A different facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory is explored each...

A different facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory is explored each of the four weeks of Summer Sundays, kicking off on July 15 with "Family Fun Day," which focuses on basic scientific theory using magnets, mirrors and more. Credit: Handout

The economy may still be shaky, but your family economics may improve this summer if you plan your schedule right. A number of activities for kids and families are free, from bowling to outdoor shows to movies. Here are some options:


WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, July 15 to Aug. 5. William Floyd Parkway, 1.5 miles north of Long Island Expressway Exit 68, Upton, 631-344-2651; www.bnl.gov

INFO Reservations not required, but ages 16 and older must have a photo ID

A different facility at the lab is explored each of the four weeks, kicking off July 15 with "Family Fun Day," which focuses on basic scientific theory using magnets, mirrors and more. See a "Phenomenal Physics" show by Mr. Fish. On Aug. 5 there's "Atom Smashing Fun," which is recommended for ages 10 and older and includes a tour of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, a particle accelerator where physicists re-create the conditions of the universe as it is believed to have existed microseconds after the Big Bang.


WHEN | WHERE Check for times and locations at kidsbowlfree.com. Most centers start by July 1 and continue through Labor Day

INFO Most centers define kids as ages 15 and younger; bowling-shoe rentals additional, if needed.

This is the fifth year for Kids Bowl Free, which allows children two free games every day all summer. Register at kidsbowlfree.com and receive vouchers via email every Sunday for two free bowling games each day for the entire week. "It gets the kids that never bowled before to come and bowl. It gets them off the streets, it gets them in the bowling alley and we have bowlers for the future," says Joan Giordano, promotional manager for East Islip Lanes. Other participating Long Island centers include Baldwin, East Hampton, East Northport, Malverne, Massapequa, Patchogue and Port Jefferson Station.


WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, June 26 to Aug. 7 Chapin Rainbow Stage, Heckscher Park, Prime Avenue and Main Street, Huntington; complete schedule at huntingtonarts.org

INFO In the event of rain, call 631-271-8423, ext. 4, for a recorded message regarding an alternate location indoors.

This summer's shows include acts such as "Monkey Music With Meredith LeVande" July 3; her videos have been shown on more than 100 PBS stations nationwide. LeVande will lead kids (and parents!) in playing "air guitar," popping bubbles and doing the Macaroni Dance. Other shows include the play "Cinderella," a puppet show called "The Lion's Whiskers" and a pop-rock kids band called Tim and the Space Cadets hosting "The Greatest Party Ever." Bring a blanket or lawn chair.


WHEN 10 a.m. Wednesdays, National Amusements; nationalamusements.com, click on "Programs"

INFO Book report form is online at nationalamusements.com

National Amusements offers five Bookworm Wednesdays. In exchange for presenting a short description of a book they read, children are admitted free with a parent or guardian and can bring a sibling younger than 6 along. If your child is too young to read and write, you can read to him and he can draw a picture instead of writing a review. The movies are: "Puss in Boots" (July 11); "Mr. Popper's Penguins" (July 18); "Rio" (July 25); "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" (Aug. 1); and "Kung Fu Panda" (Aug. 8). Participating theaters include the Farmingdale Multiplex and Island 16 in Holtsville.

And for $1 per person . . .


WHEN | WHERE 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays during July and August, United Skates of America, 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford

INFO 516-795-5474; unitedskates.com; Bring your own in-line skates or roller skates to avoid $4 equipment rental fee. The concession stand and arcade games will still charge regular prices.

"The economy still leaves people struggling for affordable entertainment venues," says Lauren Fink, event coordinator. "Roller-skating has huge health benefits and kids do not even realize it while they are having so much fun skating around the rink with mom and dad and their friends."


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