SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – There are endless places for family fun in Savannah and the surrounding area where you can take the kids for free this summer. Here are some suggestions.

Take a ferry ride

Give kids a unique perspective of Savannah’s downtown by taking them offshore. The Savannah Belles Ferry system provides free passage across the Savannah River between downtown’s riverwalk and Hutchinson Island. The ferry ride offers one of the best views of the historic riverfront that visitors often miss. 

Ferry rides from Savannah’s River Street are offered every 15 minutes. The accessible ferries can accommodate bicycles and strollers. Dogs of all sizes are allowed on the ferries but must remain on a leash or in a carrier. 

Ferry landings are located at the riverwalk at Savannah City Hall, Morrell Park near the Savannah Marriott Riverfront and the Savannah Convention Center on Hutchinson Island next to the Westin. For more information, visit this link.

Junior Ranger for a day

Fort Pulaski National Monument’s Junior Ranger Program is a fun way for young visitors to get the most out of their visit to the park and could entertain them for hours.  

Children ages 6 to 12 can participate in the activity-based Junior Ranger Program in which children complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger and receive an official Junior Ranger badge and Junior Ranger certificate. 

For more information visit Fort Pulaski’s website linked here.

Foster a pet together

Parents and children can team up to help organizations like the Humane Society of Greater Savannah save lives by providing a temporary, loving and restful retreat for animals in need. The Humane Society will provide all of the supplies, food and medical attention needed for the animal, so there is no cost to the foster family. All you provide is love. 

Call 912-661-6379 to learn about pets in need of temporary homes or send an email to foster@humanesocietysav.org.

Bowling

Nothing beats two free bowling games courtesy of KidsBowlFree. Every summer, this program, which is designed by bowling centers, collaborates with local bowling alleys, like Frames and Games in Pooler, so that kids can have a safe, secure and fun way to spend their summer.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for two free games each day of the KBF program, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.

Storytime at Live Oak Public Libraries

Children can bring their own blankets, relax and let their imaginations run wild at the Southwest Chatham Library lawn for a socially distanced, outdoor story time, weather permitting.

Live Oak Public Libraries also offers indoor storytimes at its other locations. Magic shows, music and movement, craft times and much more is available, too. Visit liveoakpl.org for more information.

Glasshunt

Children and adults can find extraordinary pieces of art and keep the pieces for free courtesy of Ron Martinez, owner of Hostess City Hot Glass. Each month, he and his team hide some of their custom made glassware pieces across Savannah for people to find during their glass hunt. 

Hostess City Hot Glass shares clues on their social media page to help figure out where the magically beautiful pieces might be.

Home Depot kids‘ activities

During the first Saturday of every month, kids have the opportunity to create something special out of kits the Home Depot provides. The kits include pre-cut materials, directions, estimated build time, level of difficulty and a Certificate of Achievement. 

The upcoming workshop for the month of July is a constellation viewer. For more information visit homedepot.com.

Visit Tybee Island

Home to over three miles of beautiful beaches, there are five unique Tybee Island beaches that children can choose from to build sandcastles, play kickball or collect seashells.

Tybee Island also offers other cost-free natural attractions such as their parks and playgrounds, ready with sport courts, fields, playgrounds and picnicking for outdoor enjoyment.

Keep in mind, there is a cost for parking between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., including weekends. Visit this link for details.

Wander the Savannah Botanical Gardens

The gardens offer a relaxing and peaceful natured based day out for the family.

Owned and operated by Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs and located just minutes from Savannah’s Historic District, the Savannah Botanical Gardens include both formal and naturalistic plantings as well as a two-acre pond, amphitheater, nature trails, archaeological exhibit and the historic Reinhard House.

For more information visit savannahbotanical.org.

Explore Oatland Island wildlife

A visit to Oatland Island Wildlife Center is free for children 3 and under. However, it’s a $3 fee for children 4 to 17 and $5 for most adults.

The center sits on over 100 acres of maritime forest and is home to more than 95 animals from 39 different species​. From goats, donkeys, rabbits, sheep, white-tailed deer, cows and bison to owls, eagles and lizards, there is plenty for kids to explore. 

Oatland Island also has a welcome center that was originally built for the Order of Railway Conductors as a retirement home in 1927. Visitors can also enjoy the Marsh Boardwalk, which offers guests a chance to observe the beauty of the tidal creek and marshes and see fiddler crabs, schools of fish or even a dolphin or two. For more information visit this link.