For many students, school is more than just a place for learning. It is an opportunity to eat and a safe place to go during the day. This means that summer vacation kicks off a period of uncertainty for these students, who wonder where they will get food or what they will do without the school’s resources.
Fortunately, there are many options for kids in Pinellas County during the summer. Check out these eight free resources for kids in St. Petersburg and other parts of the county.
Free Breakfast and Lunch for St. Petersburg Students
During the summer, the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department and Healthy St. Pete partner with Summer BreakSpot to offer free lunches (and in some cases free breakfast) to kids under 18. This program runs from June 3 through August 9 all across the city. No application or registration is required. There are almost 20 locations across St. Petersburg offering this lunch program, many of which are held at local parks or community centers. This creates a safe place for kids to spend time before or after they eat lunch as well.
Family Resources Summer Programs
Family Resources offers after-school programs for kids and teens throughout the year. Kids enjoy healthy snacks, participate in guided activities, and have a safe place to go after school. We extend our after-school programs to summer hours from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
We have two locations for our after-school and summer programs. If you are interested in registering your child (or children) at one of our programs, contact:
- 727.323.6645 for availability in our Thomas “Jet” Jackson location.
- 727.545.6596 for availability in our Skyview location.
If there are no available spaces, we will try to let you know when the programs open up, or when you can sign up for upcoming programs.
Visit Free Museums Through Your Local Library
You can check out much more than books at your local library. You can also check out free museum passes for various museums in our area. An adult needs to check out a museum pass that is valid for up to 2 adults and 3 children under the age of 18 in the same household. You will present the receipt for the museum pass to the museum upon entry. This is a great way to visit multiple museums over the summer for free as a family.
A few of the museums available as part of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative include the Florida Holocaust Museum, the Imagine Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Check Out Local Parks and Events
Most Pinellas County parks are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm during the summer. These parks are great for exploring nature trails, getting exercise, and playing with friends on the equipment. Some parks hold late hours at night, especially in brightly-lit areas, to give kids a safe place to play.
Check out a couple of parks near you and also look for child-geared activities, speakers, and learning events. You might be able to spend your weekend discovering the different reptiles in Florida at Weedon Island or learning about our state’s history at Heritage Village in Largo.
Read Your Way to a Free Rays Game
June kicked off the return of Reading with the Rays, a program where students read their favorite books over the summer and earn tickets to Rays games. Available at most Pinellas County libraries, K-12 students can receive a Reading with the Rays card, select a book to read, and then ask a parent to initial the card when they finish the book or a certain number of reading hours. Then, students take the card to the librarian to exchange it for prizes, including two free Rays tickets. This is a great way to see the Rays play while avoiding summer learning loss.
Reading with the Rays isn’t the only way to earn prizes reading this summer. Check out these other programs as part of Pinellas County Schools. Also, while you’re at the library picking out books, check out their monthly programs. They might have some fun and free summer activities that your kids will like.
Roller Skate with Kids Skate Free
Kids Skate Free is a program developed by Roller Skating Association International with the goal of getting kids away from their TVs and moving around to promote a love of exercise. Parents can register up to four children per email address to receive two free passes to
use at skating sessions. Since the Kids Skate Free launch in 2012, more than one million children have signed up for the program. Kids in Pinellas County can use this program at Astro Skate in Pinellas Park.
Free Movies at Cobb Theatres
If you’re looking to escape the hot Florida heat, head to one of the Cobb Theatre locations at Tyrone Square mall in St. Petersburg and Westfield Countryside mall in Clearwater. They offer free summer movies every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday starting at 10am. As part of the 2019 Kids Summer Movie Escape series, Cobb Theatres is showing popular kids movies like Smallfoot, Madagascar, The Emoji Movie, and Paddington 2. Tickets are first-come-first-served and doors open at 9:30am.
No-Cost Medical Clinics for Kids in Pinellas County
While getting a medical check-up isn’t as fun as seeing The Emoji Movie or attending a Rays game, these clinics serve as an important resource for families without insurance. There are four no-cost health clinics for kids in Pinellas County over the summer at various local high schools. These clinics run from June 17 to August 13 and offer sports screenings and physicals, free vaccines, and vision and hearing tests. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment ahead of time to skip the line. You can learn more through the Pinellas County Department of Health.
These are just a few of the free resources for kids in Pinellas County, and we are always looking to add more! Reach out to us on Facebook to share your free resource for kids in Pinellas County so we can keep this list growing.