The word "staycation" has become commonplace in many households these days with the economy forcing folks to vacation at home.
Staycation activities include time at public and family pools, visits to local parks and museums or local festivals and many others. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky.com for local events. Being creative and proactive by registering for programs will give your family many wonderful memories within your budget. Here are some to try:
■ Barnes and Noble: To reward children in grades 1-6 for reading during the summer, Barnes & Noble is offering a summer reading program. After reading eight books of their choice, kids will receive a free book. To participate, visit: http://bit.ly/14aeMDa. Children need to read eight books, record them in the Barnes & Noble reading journal and then take the journal to the nearest Barnes & Noble before Sept. 3.
■ Joseph-Beth Booksellers: Sign up your children for Joseph-Beth's Adventure to Summer Reading. Children will receive a passport, stickers, free dessert every time they read a book, plus read six books get one free. Visit: http://bit.ly/ZvHzpK.
■ Half Price Books: Children 14 and younger can earn $5 in Half Price Books Back to School Bucks when they join the Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program. Kids need to read for at least 15 minutes each day in the months of June and July, or have a grown-up read to them.
Download the reading log to record your child's progress. Turn it in to receive $5 in Half Price Books Back-to-School Bucks. The $5 discount card can then be applied to the pre-tax amount for a purchase valid until Aug. 28. Limit one coupon per person, per visit. http://hpb.com/fyb.
■ Chuck E Cheese: Each time your child reads for two weeks in a row, they will earn 10 free tokens at Chuck. E. Cheese. Download the reading form at http://bit.ly/14LjSem. The offer is valid through Dec. 31 at participating locations. Food purchase required for redemption. Limit one of any free token offer per child per day.
■ Lexington Public Library: Sign up for summer reading program for kids, teens and adults. Teens read 15 hours then bring in a reading log to receive a free book. Younger kids fill out a log to get invited to the finishers party at the end of summer plus put in a drawing to win prizes. http://bit.ly/15lwF4w.
■ At Strike Zone Lanes in Nicholasville, kids can bowl free all summer long (up to 6 kids). Just register your child and your child will receive two free fames of bowling every day all summer long. You do have to pay taxes as well as the shoe rental fee. Visit: Kidsbowlfree.com for specific information.
■ Cinemark Theatre: The Summer Movie Clubhouse is a 10-week program of recently released G and PG for kids. The cost is $1 per person. You can purchase a punch card for all 10 movies for $5 while supplies last. Check out your local theatre for times and dates at http://bit.ly/ifqUeB.
■ Apple Store: Kids 8 -12 can attend a free Apple Camp to learn how to shoot their own footage, create an original song in GarageBand on an iPad and put it all together in iMovie on a Mac. Visit: http://bit.ly/fOOUYC
■ Home Depot: Home Depot offers free classes to kids the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon. Kids get to take home their craft plus an orange apron and achievement pin. Visit: http://thd.co/10IpS1Y
■ Lowes: Lowes stores offer Build and Grow workshops for kids. Check out the website for times and craft. Your child will also receive a free apron, safety goggles and a patch. Visit: http://bit.ly/xYslh4
■ Disney Store: The Disney Store has free events throughout the year that usually involve costumes, stories, music, and games. Visit: http://bit.ly/X2CB1h
■ Visa Signature Card: Purchase two tickets on Fridays at the Fandango website with your Visa Signature card and receive one ticket free. Visit: http://bit.ly/eJPRIl.
■ MoonDance Amphitheatre at Beaumont Circle: Enjoy a free Big Band and Jazz Series concert every Tuesday through June 25 starting at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and pack a picnic dinner. Call Lexington Parks & Recreation, 288-2925 or visit Moondancelex.com.
■ Redbox: Create a new Redbox.com account and reserve your first movie online and you will score an account credit valid for a free one-night DVD rental after returning your first rental. Redbox.com/movienight
■ If you are a home school family with kids in grades kindergarten through 6th, through September 1 you can receive free materials from Pizza Hut about its reading program called Book It. In addition you will receive coupons for free personal pizzas. Visit: http://bit.ly/12ueFn.
■ Free small Fizz Freez on Saturdays for kids 12 and younger at Thortons gas stations. Visit: Thorntonsinc.com
■ Burger King is offering soft=serve cones until June 5 for 50 cents.
Father's Day deals:■ Take Dad out for dinner with $5 off two entrees at Outback: http://bit.ly/12Ri3rI.
■ Free Father's Day Card at Treat.com when you enter promotional code DADCARD at checkout. Offer expires June 10
■ Free photo book for Father's Day from MyPublisher. New customers only. http://bit.ly/11dHpSk.
■ Give the gift of Dollar Shave Club membership to Dad. Every month starting at $1 a month plus shipping and handling Dad will receive up to five cartridges delivered to his door. http://bit.ly/1081MAu.
■ Purchase a participating gift card at Kroger for Dad and receive four times the fuel points. Kroger.com
■ Celebrate National Donut Day by getting a free donut at Krispy Kreme on June 7.