Free and Low-Cost Summer Entertainment Is Close By

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 tfc-farm-tourLooking for things to do that won’t drain your summer entertainment budget? Try these free and low-cost events and destinations around the state and within a day’s drive.

Go locavore at The Farmer’s Cow events. On Sunday July 21, (in celebration of National Ice Cream Day), Fort Hill Farm in Thompson hosts a “Blueberry, Ice Cream & Bluegrass Bash” from 1 to 4 pm. The free event features entertainment, wagon rides, farm tours and complimentary sundaes. Information: www.TheFarmersCow.com or 866- 355?2697COWS.

On Aug. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m., Cushman Farms, 393 Lebanon Ave., in Franklin, holds its annual free corn roast and farm tour, with free guided tours of the dairy operation, sweet corn tastings and sampling of The Farmer’s Cow products. Information: www.TheFarmersCow.com or 866-355?COWS.

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass, rolls back admission prices to $5 for all visitors on July 26 and Aug. 23. The special price applies to adults, seniors and youth ages 3-17 (children 2 and under are free). Regular adult museum admission is $24; senior admission is $22 and kids’ admission is $8. (Offer does not apply to educational groups of 10 or more.) Information: 800-733-1830 or www.osv.org.

The Worcester Art Museum, 56 Salisbury St., in Worcester, Mass., (about an hour from Hartford), is offering free admission — and more — to all in July and August. The user-friendly summer schedule includes tours, drop-in book clubs and sketching sessions, (supplies provided), guest speakers and children’s activities, along with free parking and WiFi. Information: 508-799-4406 or www.worcesterart.org.

The New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., has free admission on Saturdays. You’ll need to arrive by noon, but once you’re in, you can stay as long as you like. Information: 860-229-0257 or www.nbmaa.org.

Admission is free between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Wadsworth Museum on the second Saturday of each month. Second Saturdays for Families events includes hands-on activities and special entertainment. Information: www.thewadsworth.org or 860-278-2670.

Stepping Stones Museum, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, is free between 5 and 8 p.m., on the first Thursday of each month. The interactive museum features interactive exhibits for kids. Information: 203-899-0606 or www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.

The Museum Pass Program, available at area libraries, offers passes (usually for two adults and two children) to state museums, parks and attractions. Passes are good for one-day admissions to the New England Air Museum, the Connecticut Trolley Museum, the Mystic Aquarium, Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester and loads of others. Check with your local library for details.

Bank of America’s “Museums On Us” program offers free admission to museums and attractions across the country on the first weekend of each month. If you have a Bank of America debit, credit or ATM card, just present it at any of 100-plus cultural destinations across the country, including the Bronx Zoo in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and your admission fee will be waived. The “Museums on Us” promotion takes place on the first weekend of each month. For details, visit museums.bankofamerica.com.

The free Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival, one of the largest such events on the East Coast, features world-renowned sand artists from around the world and draws hundreds of thousands of spectators. This year’s happening takes places on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 19, 20 and 21 and offers a interactive Kid’s Zone with free sand sculpting lessons. Revere, Mass., is about six miles north of Boston. Information: www.reverebeachpartnership.com.

Age has its perks. Connecticut residents 65 or older are eligible for a free lifetime Charter Oak Pass, giving them free admission to all state parks and forests, as well as Gillette Castle, Dinosaur Park, Fort Trumbull and Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery. Apply by mail at Charter Oak Pass, State Parks Division, 79 Elm St., Hartford; by phone at 860-424-3200 or visit www.ct.gov/deep.

Connecticut residents 65 or older qualify for free lifetime fishing and hunting licenses. Get details from your local town clerk or check www.ct.gov/deep.

Travelers 62 or older pay $10 for the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, ($20 if ordered by mail), good for lifetime free admission to national parks, monuments, forests, wildlife refuges and recreation areas, along with a 50 percent discounts on some park-usage fees for RV camping, parking and boat launches. (Check nps.gov for details.)

Follow the Connecticut Butterfly Association on Facebook, (www.facebook.com/connbutterfly), and you’ll get updates on free guided field trips around the state.

Anyone who brings a Coke can or bottle, (full or empty), to a Six Flags Amusement Park gets in for the kids’ admission price, (a savings of $10). Go online at www.sixflags.com, buy your ticket three days in advance of your visit and use the code, “COKE” and you’ll save $16 on an adult admission. Information: www.sixflags.com.

Attend Yale without the five-figure tuition. The famed New Haven university offers free guided tours Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tours start at the Yale Visitor Center, 149 Elm St., and last about an hour and a half.

At Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, Mass., (about an hour and a half drive from Hartford), good things come with a tiny price tag. Admission is just $7 for adult; $5.50 for kids ages 3 to 12 years; $4.75 for seniors; $2.75 for U.S. military and free for those under three. The zoo packs a large number of unusual animals into its small space and also features a seasonal zero-depth, children’s water playground called the “Splashpad Playspace.” Information: www.capronparkzoo.com.

PEZ headquarters, in Orange, has a visitor center featuring the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, interactive videos of PEZ history and trivia. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children 3 to 12, and free for kids under 3. All paid admissions come with a $2 credit that can be used toward gift shop purchases. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Information: www.pez.com/visit_us.

Heading to the Big Apple? Head off the beaten, (read, pricey), path and into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre at 307 West 26th St. The entertainment venue offers improv, sketch and comedy events at ticket prices that range from free to $8. (Robin Williams, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Conan O’Brien have all appeared in shows at UCB Theatre — at those prices.) Schedule and tickets at http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/.

TKTS Discount Booths, in three Manhattan locations, offer tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway musicals and plays at up to 50 percent off. You can also download the free official TKTS app for iOS and Android. Information: www.tdf.org.

Massachusetts and the Highland Street Foundation host Free Fun Fridays, an annual summer program that offers free admissions to museums, zoos and cultural destinations on Boston and other locales around the state. Each Friday through Aug. 30, six different venues are open free of charge and offering special activities to visitors. Information: www.highlandstreet.org/freefunfridays/.