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Don't Miss Out! The Summer Freebies To Nab In 2023!

So many totally free things to do in cities across the country!

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Alice Mollon
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Looking for free ways to cool off and enjoy the season? Aside from checking out your hometown’s upcoming festivals, here are options if you’re traveling.

If You’re in Atlanta

July

There are several Piedmont Park Guided History Tours — all free. Learn more at  piedmontpark.org/calendar/month/2023-07.

If You’re in or near Augusta, Maine

Fourth Saturday in July 

The Central Maine Egg Festival is a party, in Pittsfield’s Manson Park, that celebrates the brown egg. Activities take place downtown for the preceding five days and include a parade, a carnival, numerous civic booths, an Early Bird Breakfast, a barbecue, street dancing and Egglympics, crafts and fireworks.

If You’re in Chicago

June 14 to August 19

The Grant Park Music Festival, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, features 10 weeks of concerts throughout the summer. The Grammy-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and the 100-plus-member Grant Park Chorus, as well as special guest performers and conductors, offer Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Bring a blanket.

June 22 to August 21

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park hosts the nation’s only free outdoor classical music series. Check dates and times locally.

If You’re in D.C.

July 4

A Capitol Fourth is the star-studded concert that takes place on the National Mall before the fireworks. It airs on PBS and can be enjoyed in person if you get there early. Washington’s fireworks are one of the highlights of being in the country’s capital on Independence Day. In addition, the surrounding area provides a plethora of viewing options.

If You’re in Denver

All summer

Check out Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, a towering red monument, for one of the world’s renowned free summer concerts. There’s also a free Visitor Center with a museum and surrounding hiking trails. Concerts are held most summer nights. On the schedule are the Avett Brothers, Tori Amos, Brandi Carlile and many more.

July 21, August 31 and September 9

The Denver Botanic Gardens opens its gates to the public and waives admission so summer visitors can roam the gardens, including the butterfly exhibit, for free.

If You’re in New Hampshire

June 21 to August 30 

Hit Hampton Beach for a free fireworks display every Wednesday night, weather permitting, starting at 9:30 p.m. and running through the end of August.

All summer

On weekend evenings and select weeknights, hear a free concert at the Hampton Beach Sea Shell Stage and rock out.

July 10 to August 28

Family-friendly free movies start at dusk next to the playground at Hampton Beach. Bring a blanket and your favorite movie snack. Events are weather permitting.

If You’re in Jackson, Mississippi

August 19 

The nonprofit Mississippi Book Festival draws thousands of readers annually. National, regional and local authors are available to sign books and connect with fans. Book talks and author panels about all things literary take place all day, and there's even an Author's Alley, where self-published writers can sell their books.

If You’re in New York City

June 13

The Museum Mile Festival holds an open house and street party on Fifth Avenue along Central Park from 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side. There is free admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Africa Center; El Museo de Barrio; the Museum of the City of New York; the Jewish Museum; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and the Neue Galerie New York.

If You’re in Paris

July 14 

Celebrate France's national Bastille Day. Watch the military parade on the Champs-Elysées, with an accompanying air show. There’s also a classical concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and free concerts, shows and various events throughout the day, ending with a fireworks display.

If You’re in Philadelphia

All summer

The summer weather welcomes a host of street festivals throughout the city, such as the South 9th Street Italian Market Festival, the Odunde Festival, the Juneteenth Parade and Festival, and Wawa Welcome America festivities. See the city’s event listings. 

If You’re in Reno, Nevada

Fridays, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., June to August

If it’s a Food Truck Friday, more than 45 rotating gourmet food trucks offer craft desserts, barbecue and other foods, plus fine wine and cocktails. You’ll find live music, plenty of parking, and a playground and train rides for the kids. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and experience the tastiest food in Reno.

If You’re in San Francisco

August 4 

On August 4, admission to national parks and monuments — including Pinnacles, Muir Woods and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park — is free. (Check other states for free entry on August 4 too.)

All summer 

Stern Grove Festival features free concerts on Sundays. Headliners such as the Doobie Brothers, Carlos Santana, Pink Martini and Janelle Monáe have appeared in the past.

If You’re in Seattle

July 21 to 23 

Bite of Seattle is the city’s premier food festival. Enter at the Seattle Center for free and enjoy cooking demonstrations, specialty vendors’ fare, wine tastings, live music and cook-off competitions.

Other Free Food or Beverage Events This Summer

July 11

National 7-Eleven Day (The chain gives out free Slurpees.)

July 16

National Ice Cream Day (You can get freebies from Friendly’s, Carvel and elsewhere.)

July 19

National Hot Dog Day (Look for freebies from Nathan’s Famous, Sonic Drive-In and 7-Eleven, plus other chains and supermarkets.)

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have your birthday during the summer, here’s a long list of birthday freebies you can access.

Where are you headed this summer? Let us know in the comments below.

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