2019 Free (and Cheap) Indoor Activities this Summer in Huntsville and North Alabama

At some time during the summer, there will be a day (or many) when it’s rainy or just too hot to be outside. When that happens, here are several great indoor summer fun options in Huntsville. Many are free (or cheap) with special passes and programs just for the summer!

For even more FREE family-fun this summer, check out our 2019 Summer Fun Guide. Filled with information on free outdoor concerts, free summer movies, free and cheap outdoor children’s activities, free summer movies, pools and splashpads, and so much more! Your children will not be bored this summer! 

Indoor Summer Fun in Huntsville & North Alabama

Bowl for Free

bowlingforkidssakeStars and Strikes is offering the “Kids Bowl Free” summer program for children ages 15 and under. Sign up your child to receive two free games all summer long.

AMF Pin Palace Lanes (Huntsville) and River City Lanes (Decatur) also offer a summer pass for $43.95 that entitles kids 15 and under to 3 free games of bowling per day all summer (May 20 – September 2). Adults and kids ages 16+ can also purchase passes for $58.95. Shoes are included. Register here.

Free (or Cheap) Kids’ Workshops

  • Apple Camp – Apple Camp is designed to help spark the imagination of kids ages 8 to 12. Kids attending Apple Camp in summer 2019 can choose to explore coding and robotics, moviemaking, or musical storytelling. At Apple Camp, kids and their creativity are the focus. Check out more classes for kids and parents right here.
  • Kids’ Club – Michaels offers regular kids craft workshops aimed at children ages 3+ and most have a small fee ($2 for ages 3-5, $5 for ages 6+). Let your kids explore their creativity while you shop!

Free & Cheap Summer Movies

Hands down one of our favorite things to do when it’s too hot or rainy. This list is so long we put the whole thing over here, plus we have all the movie theater locations here.

Apollo: When We Went to the Moon

Location: U.S. Space & Rocket Center (map)
Dates: Daily at through December
Price: FREE with membership or general admission ($25 for 13+, $17 ages 5-12, FREE ages 4 and under)
More InfoWebsite


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The world-premiere exhibition, ‘Apollo: When We Went to the Moon,’ chronicles the timeline from the beginning of the Space Race – a time when the U.S. and Soviet Union competed over their accomplishments in space exploration – to the collaborative culture of the International Space Station program and beyond. Experience the best of technology and exploration through the eyes of the engineers and in the boots of the astronauts who took us to the moon 50 years ago. Enjoy an Apollo 11 launch experience and explore artifacts and media memorabilia highlighting the turbulent nature of this pivotal era in our history.

Biergarten at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

When: Thursdays through November 21, 4:30-7:30PM
Where: The Davidson Center at the USSRC (map)
Cost: FREE admission; food and drinks extra
More Info: Website

This weekly family- and dog-friendly event is a local favorite at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center! Enjoy the festive atmosphere with imported and domestic beers and delicious wines from the German region. It’s family-friendly and leashed dogs are welcome on our Apollo Terrace and in Apollo Courtyard. Admission is free, and food and beverages are available for purchase. To support our local community, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is featuring a nonprofit organization each week, and a portion of food sales that evening will be donated to the organization.

VBAS Public Planetarium Showshuntsville planetarium vbas

Location: Wernher von Braun Planetarium (map)
Dates: Saturdays at 7:30PM
Price: $5 for Adults, $3 for Students, and free for children under 6, as well as VBAS members
More InfoWebsite | Read the RCM Review

Every week, VBAS members and guest speakers present a variety of astronomy related programs from famous astronomers, science fiction and astronomy, historical astronomy, and the history of spaceflight. It is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes in advance to have time to park and find a seat! Weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to look at some of the wonders of the universe following the planetarium program with the help of the VBAS’s experienced and knowledgeable observing crew.


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Tennessee Aquarium

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee (map)
Dates: Daily 10AM-6PM
Price: Admission for two adults and up to five children is unlimited during May through Labor Day when you purchase their $99 Summer Family Pass (Regular daily admission is $30 for 13+; $19 for ages 3-12)
More InfoWebsite

Pass holders enjoy unlimited daily admission to the Aquarium for two adults and up to five children (ages 18 or younger) through Labor Day.  The $99 pass will be available only at Chattanooga-area Food City locations through May 31.

Summer Reading Programs

We all know reading is FUNdamental & it’s crazy important to keep it up during the summer months. So here are several reading programs to help make sure your child is ready and able when the school year comes around again.

HMCPL’s Summer Reading Program

Join the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library’s Summer Reading Club by picking up information at your local library. It’s easy and best of all, FREE! From animal programs, rock painting, and STEAM-based learning experiences, the library has something for kids of all ages. Summer Reading information will be available for pickup at any branch beginning May 28. On July 26, from 4-7 p.m., we’ll have a closing celebration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to celebrate Summer Reading. See a youth services librarian for more information. To find out more information, pick up a Summer Reading packet at your local branch or visit the HMCPL webpage.


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Barnes and Noble

As in previous years, Barnes and Noble is offering a free book to every child participates in their Summer Reading Program and records their adventures in a journal you can download from their site. Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between August 1 and 31, 2019 to get your free book!

Chuck-E-Cheese

Offered year-round, Chuck-E-Cheese reward calendars are just one of many types of incentive programs the big cheese offers to parents as a way of getting them to do all kinds of things (stop picking your nose, clean up your room, use the potty, etc.). Simply download and print out a calendar, mark off the days, bring completed calendar to any Chuck-E-Cheese and receive 10 free tokens.

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