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Budget-Friendly Parsippany Staycations

Free or cheap family activities to create your own fun during the last six weeks of summer

We’ve taken a few short trips this summer, spent a week here or there. Now that we’re more than halfway through the season and six weeks away from the first day of school, we’re staying closer to home.

I’m focused on taking advantage of all the great things going on locally to turn the rest of our summer into a fabulous “staycation.”

We’ve done our research and identified our top picks for things to do before summer is through.

Hit the Lanes

And we’re not talking about swimming lanes. This summer, kids all across the country are enjoying the sport of bowling as part of a program called “Kids Bowl Free.”

At the bowling centers in Boonton and East Hanover owned by Nationwide Bowling, kids 15 and under can enjoy two free games every day for the entire summer. They also offer a phenomenal package where up to four adults can also enjoy two daily games for just $24.95.  I had to read it a few times to believe it!

Once you register, you’ll receive weekly coupons via e-mail. It couldn’t be simpler and it will provide you with a fun thing to do on hot or rainy days.

Hanover Lanes can be found at 119 Route 10. Boonton Lanes is at 720 Myrtle Ave. Both are open late every night of the week.

Get Crafty at Michael’s

Now in their new location at 1099 Route 46 East, has several different “Back to School” mostly free events on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of August. Most of them offer free admission. All events are drop-in and only available while supplies last. Get more info here.

  • Sat 8/13 noon to 2 p.m.: Make a duct tape folder for school
  • Sat 8/13 10-2 p.m.: Collaborative painting event (Fees apply)
  • Sat 8/13 10-12 p.m.: Turn a clay pot into a cool bookworm (with purchase of clay pot)
  • Sun 8/21 11-1 p.m.: Create your own artist trading cards
  • Sun 8/21 1-3 p.m.: Personalized foam stamps

Check in at Clearview

across New Jersey, including our local theater here in Parsippany, have a Summer Kids Club program offering free movies on Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30. The full schedule and all participating theaters can be found here.  August movies include Cats & Dogs 2, Megamind, Marmaduke and Shrek 4. 

Make something at Home Depot

has free workshops designed for kids ages 5-12 on Saturdays where each child can make something on his or her own.  On Saturday Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon kids get to make their own pencil box holders at the Parsippany store at 780 Route 46 West. Each child will get his or her own Home Depot apron too, which is perfect to send into school for art class.

Enjoy Evenings in the Park

There are two Thursdays of music left for the municipal Summer Concert Series held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Veteran’s Park. Aug. 4 will feature 3 Po Tenors and Italian food will be served starting at 5 p.m.  All proceeds will benefit the  at the local Community Center. On Aug. 18, the township presents the final concert featuring an Eagles tribute band called Hotel California. A barbecue prepared by will begin at 5 p.m. and all proceeds from that evening will benefit the .

You can also check out the concerts in Boonton at Grace Lord Park,  which is toward the top of Main Street. Big Jeff and the Bouncy People which caters to kids are playing tomorrow night (Aug. 3) starting at 7 p.m. and Brother Wisdom, a classic rock band,  performs Aug. 10.

Snack on Local Produce

There’s nothing like local peaches, corn and tomatoes in the summer. We’ve been up to Union Hill Farm, which is just off Route 10 on Cooper Road in Denville. We plan to visit the  at Town Hall too--it's held every Friday from 1:30-6:30 p.m.  There are farmer's markets in nearby Denville, Boonton and Morris Plains as well. 

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