Cheap and FREE Summer Fun – 2017

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Well, this is a 4th year re-post. I have updated as much as I can, and will continue to do so as schedules are released. So, here is the list of summer fun to exhaust your children (2017)!  If you see, think of, or know of any others, send me an email!   GET READY TO HAVE A GREAT (CHEAP) SUMMER!

AND – check out this extensive list of Vacation Bible Schools


Go to the Lakefront. What is more relaxing than being near water? The kids can play on the playground equipment, you can take a walk along the lake, take a bike ride, and just get out of the house for a while.

Mand lakefront playground

Photo Credit –



St. Tammany has access to a few beaches. Fontainebleau State Park has a lovely beach area. Park entrance fee is just $2.

There is also White Sands Lake Day Beach – just $15 for 12 and up, $10 for 3-11 and under 3 is FREE! This is a local beach located in Washington Parish that offers swimming, beaches, cabanas and inflatable water toys. Super fun and close by! They open May 6 this year!

WhiteSandsLakeWhiteSandswaterpark whitesandscabanas

Splashpads are a great way to cool off and burn off some energy! There is a splashpad just up the street from the Lakefront at the Mandeville Trailhead that will certainly exhaust, ahem…entertain the kiddos. Remember to bring your sunscreen! ! Kids are invited to enjoy the refreshing splash of the aquatic fountains March-October 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Mandeville Splash Pad

Photo Credit – Barrett House


Coquille Parks and Recreations Splashpad open Monday-Sunday beginning on May 1st!


Bogue Chitto State Park Splash Pad – Water Playground – Louisiana State Parks’ water playgrounds operate Tuesdays through Sundays, April 1 through October 31, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the facilities will be closed on Mondays for cleaning and maintenance. Please contact the park directly, to confirm that the playground is open or for additional information.  $3 per person; Free for Seniors (62 and older) and children age 3 and under

Pearl River Splash Pad – James Lavigne Playground located behind the Town Hall, 39460 Willis Alley. The water park is open daily from sun-up to sun-down beginning the week school is out.
Everyone is welcome to enjoy the splash!


Other Splash Pads

Heritage Park – 1701 Bayou Lane (behind the old Slidell Train Station on the Front Street)  Open daily from 6am -10pm

Fontainbleu State Park – Louisiana State Parks’ water playgrounds operate Tuesdays through Sundays, April 1 through October 31, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the facilities will be closed on Mondays for cleaning and maintenance. Please contact the park directly, to confirm that the playground is open or for additional information. Mandeville ($3 per person entrance fee to park)

Abita Springs – has a Splash Pad, too. It is located near the Museum (Main Street), behind Abita Middle. This water feature has quickly become the favorite way for local kids to cool off on hot summer days.  Dozens of water jets spray Abita water high in there at varying heights and intervals for the children (and some grown-ups too!) to play under.
Shade areas and benches surround the popular play spot. Open during regular park hours: dawn till dusk.


Visit Camp Salmen Nature Park – take a hike on a trail, visit some of the restorations, or let the kids play on the fun equipment! If you are a budding photographer, there are many fabulous photo opps out there. So, grab your kids, the camera and go play!


Here are some points of interest from their website:


Camp Salmen Nature Park is one of a string of beautiful natural areas on the nature-blessed North Shore. Besides having amenities like picnic pavilions, historic structures, meeting places and scenic Bayou Liberty, the park has four miles of footpaths, bike trails and boardwalks for close-up observation of nature.


Illuminating the property’s heritage is a 200-year-old French Creole-style building, which was probably built in the first decade of the 1800s and served as the major trading post in the Bayou Liberty region for over a century. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

salmen playground

All photos of Salmen Nature Park provided by my friend, Angela Roques (Queen of Pops).



Sunset at the landing

Sunset at the Landing Concert Series – The Sunset at the Landing Concert Series is a free, outdoor concert held every third Friday from March to October on Covington’s former Columbia Street boat landing, now a permanent performance stage overlooking scenic Bogue Falaya River.

Concerts feature regional and touring artists performing jazz, bluegrass, folk, blues and more.

All are encouraged to bring refreshments and chairs or blankets for lawn seating. Some bench seating is also available.

The series is sponsored by St. Tammany Homestead, the City of Covington and the Covington Farmers Market.

For more information, including current performing artists, please visit
Location: Columbia Street Landing on the Bogue Falaya River
Transportation/Parking: Free off-street parking
Hours: 6-9 p.m.
Admission: Free


Rockin the Rails Concert Series – Sorry – this one ended for 2017 already

Mandeville Trailhead Concert Series is held each Friday!  Located at 675 Lafitte Street in old Mandeville. Concerts begin at 6:30pm.

Jazz’n the Vines – All shows are Saturday evenings from 6:30 to 9 pm with gates opening at 5 pm:


All shows are Saturday evening from 6:30 to 9 pm at Pontchartrain Vineyards! Ticket sales for our next show with Linnzi Zaorski on Saturday April 29 are now open. See our event listing here for links to online sales, special offers, and policies here

Ticket sales for each concert go on sale the week after the preceding concert!

Tickets are $10/person per show for the public. Wine Club Members can purchase 2-for-1 tickets, up to 4, for any show. Additionally, our new Gatekeeper’s Wine Club level (launching Saturday, March 11) get two free tickets to every Jazz’n the Vines show. More coming soon!

Columbia Street Block Party – Downtown Covington – held the LAST Friday of each month – See classic cars, hear music and stroll the streets of beautiful, historic downtown Covington.

Columbia Block Party


Geocaching! This is a very recent discovery for my family, but my kids are hooked! Get out and go geocaching! Download the FREE app – Geocaching and get started. Basically, you use your phone to go on a real life treasure hunt! The app will only show you things that are very nearby, so don’t think that there aren’t “caches” in your area. Trust me! They’re out there! I live in VERY rural St. Tammany and we have at least 5 within 5 miles of us. They are ALL over Covington. We did several yesterday afternoon. So far, the only ones we have found are just to sign/date the log and then record that you did find it on the app. This lets subsequent cachers know that someone found this one recently. It’s very fun and the kids are loving it! Totally free and it gets you out of the house!

This was our first find last year – Note the location!! Don’t let the kids go alone! Some are in pretty precarious positions!1st geocache

And another last year in downtown Covington:

IMG_2422Now as you get a little more involved, there are caches with “treasures” in them. You are supposed to take what you find and leave something of the same approximate value. We haven’t gone that far yet. But, I would love to know if any of you have, what types of things do you find? What do you leave?




Go fishing at the St. Tammany Fishing Pier – plenty of shade under the Twin Span bridges! Clean bathrooms.

Pier Entrance fees are $3.00 for individuals 12 and older to fish from the pier; visitors 12 and older who do not wish to fish from the Pier will be charged $1.00; and children under 12 can enter for free. Everyone must have a fishing license.
Visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Pier hours are as follows: Monday and Tuesday, CLOSED
Wednesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Remember children under 12 are always free.

54001 E. Howze Beach Road near Slidell, LA MAP
(East side of I-10, exit 261 by the shore of Lake Pontchartrain)


Louisiana’s Free Fishing Weekend Set  – June 10-11, 2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries invites Louisianans of all ages to fish for free the first weekend in June without a fishing license on any of the state’s public waters.

Louisiana offers miles of shoreline and a myriad of freshwater lakes, marsh, and bayous to take opportunity of during this annual event.

The Department hopes the weekend will introduce newcomers, visitors and people with rusty skills to one of Louisiana’s most popular sports.  If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing.

Anglers are allowed to fish on all public bodies of waters without a license, but all fishing regulations still apply.


Bogue Chitto Youth Fishing Rodeo – JUNE 10, 2017

Calling all kids from ages four to twelve! Whether you’re new to fishing or an experienced angler, join us for the “24th Annual Bogue Chitto Youth Fishing Rodeo,” Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the Pearl River Turnaround Fishing Access Site.

For a per child rodeo registration fee of $15, which supports the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, children receive a fishing rod, worms, a t-shirt, and the whole family gets lunch. Prizes are given for children’s age categories, and for categories of fish, as well as overall biggest fish.

Click here to download a Fishing Event Registration Form



SUMMER KIDS FLICKS – SLIDELL This is a great thing to do on rainy days, or just to get out of the house. GET THERE EARLY, it fills up quickly. $4 gets you a seat, a box of popcorn and a drink. GREAT deal!




Full menu is also available. Great for daycares, summer camps and large groups. All movies rated G or PG. Box office opens at 9:30AM. Movie begins at 10AM.
To book a large group contact



Here is a Fun Summer activity…..and it’s FREE! Bring a blanket or bag chairs and relax outside with these classic films!


Regal Summer ExpressSo very excited that this came to Covington a few summers ago! Regal theater in Covington (behind Target and Best Buy) offers $1 movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These are older family movies and there will be 2 each week.

Movies are at 10am each day as listed below. There is no discount at the concession stand to go along with this offer. Get there early – lots of summer camps attend and they fill up fast!
Week 1  – Tue June 6 -Wed June 7 : Kung Fu Panda 3 & Ice Age: Collision Course
Week 2  – Tue June 13 – Wed June 14:  Trolls & Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Week 3  – Tue June 20 -Wed June 21: Monster Trucks & Penguins of Madagascar
Week 4  – Tue June 27 – Wed June 28: Rio 2 & The Boxtrolls
Week 5  – Tue July 4 – Wed July 5:  The Secret Life of Pets & Sing
Week 6 –  Tue July 11 – Wed July 12:  Kubo and the Two Strings & Ratchet and Clank
Week 7  – Tue July 18 –  Wed July 19: The Spongebob Square Pants Movie: Sponge Out of Water & The Adventures of Tin Tin
Week 8  – Tue July 25 – Wed July 26:  Happy Feet 2 & Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Week 9  – Tue August 1 – Wed August 2: Storks & The Lego Batman Movie


Covington Louisiana Actors Playhouse Series – at Covington High Auditorium – This group puts on a few plays over the summer and are they are FABULOUS! We have seen several and can’t wait to catch more this year! Students are $8 and adults are $10. Introduce your kids to stories without a screen!  Schedule below:



Skaters Paradise in Slidell: (this is an older schedule. Call to verify before going. Will update asap.)


Sun Town Hall – $5 per kid – Each FRIDAY Night

First SATURDAY of the month is to benefit Fire District 9 – 7 pm to 10 pm, for a fun night of skating! Only $5.00 per person. Concessions will be sold.

Also by Fire District 9 – YOUTH FIRE CAMP! Very affordable camp!!

St. Tammany Fire District 9 * Fire Camp – REGISTER HERE




That’s what all the teachers say to do over the summer to prevent your kids from forgetting or sliding back before the next grade!

Each year, the St. Tammany Parish Library Children’s Department hosts a Summer Reading Program for ages 0-11 years old. Registration usually begins in late May. Visit our library at to register. This year’s program will be announced ANY DAY NOW!


Story Time at each Branch is FREE.  Get the details for your local branch HERE

There are also plenty of programs for the bigger kids and teens. Find the TEEN PAGE HERE.

Other Reading Programs:

Barnes & Noble – 

Kids Earn a Free Book!

Barnes-_-Noble Summer 16

Here is How

The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is here to help you on your way, encouraging you to read books of your own choosing and earn a FREE book, simply by following these three easy steps:

1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal (English or Español). Tell us which part of the book is your favorite, and why.
2. Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16th and September 5th, 2017. Find a Store
3. Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

Chuck E. Cheese

Each time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row, they will earn 10 FREE tokens at Chuck. E. Cheese! Head on over here to print the form. Valid through 12/31/16 at participating locations. Food purchase required for redemption. Limit 1 of any free token offer per child per day. **they actually have TONS of reward calendars for everything from reading to not picking your nose! HA!  See them all HERE!


Home Improvement/Craft Workshops  

Home Depot – First Saturday of the month – FREE – CLICK HERE to register for these



See the full list of FREE KIDS CLASSES at Pelican Park HERE. Calendars appear to be posted monthly.


 Michael’s Camp Creativity:  Click here for more info –


Kids Bowl Free

Kids Bowl Free in Hammond, Houma and Baton Rouge. Kids get up to 2 free games per day! See their page for more info and see THIS page for a list of Louisiana participating bowling alleys.

***If you have an activity that you would like me to add to this list, please either message me on Facebook or email to and put FREE SUMMER as the subject. It’s too much to keep up with by just comments here. Thanks for the kind words and I am thrilled that you all enjoy this list!

**************NEW FOR 2017***********

Have you heard of St. Tammany Parish Rocks? This is a new trend popping up all over. People are painting and hiding rocks around the area. Then, you get your kids away from their screens, get outside and find them! Everyone is getting in on this, even the local news personalities!

There is a brand new rock out there today just for NSM! If you find it, send me a picture of you with it and I will do an Amazon Gift Card giveaway at the end of summer for all who find my rock! Your picture holding my rock is your entry!

Check out the Facebook page HERE.

There is also a page for BOGALUSA Rocks  and SLIDELL ROCKS.

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One Response to Cheap and FREE Summer Fun – 2017

  1. Judie Dauser says:

    The Varnado Store Museum located in Franklinton on Pearl Street just in back of the courthouse is opened on weekends sat 10 to 4 and Sun 1 to 4 Free for all changing exhibit every 2 months you can go to thevarnadostoremuseum on facebook and check it out.

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