Summer is a time for slower work days, no school, warm weather, and for many people stress about how to entertain the kids and keep the family happy on a small budget. Luckily, Pensacola has a wide variety of free activities, events, and attractions that the whole family will enjoy.
National Museum of Naval Aviation
This museum, located on board Naval Air Station Pensacola, is one of the largest aviation museums in the world. It is also completely free and open to the public; simply show your I.D. at the gate. The National Naval Aviation Museum has two levels of interactive exhibits that will walk visitors through the earliest days of aviation to the present. Kids and adults can climb into real fighter jets and other types of aircraft. When the Blue Angels are in town, visitors may see them practicing in the sky in the morning and early afternoon or plan to see one of their air shows that are held at various times of the year. For more information go to http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/ .
Fort Barrancas is another interesting site that is on NAS Pensacola. A small welcome center greets visitors and two nature trails are available for use: one located across the way from the fort and another that begins at the welcome center and leads up a hill to the fort. Guests can explore the large fort on their own, or plan their trip so that they can take a free guided tour. Once you are at the top of Fort Barrancas, beautiful views of Pensacola Bay can be seen so make sure to bring your camera!
Veterans Memorial Park
This five and a half acre park in downtown Pensacola has a World War I monument, World War II monument, a United States Submarine Veterans Submarine Lifeguard League memorial, and a one half scale model of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC and lists the names of all of the 58,219 women and men who are listed as KIA or MIA during the war. Currently the Veterans Memorial Park does not have a Korean War Monument and the local Korean War Veterans Association is currently collecting funds for one. Although the park is free, not a penny is paid out of taxpayer’s dollars for maintenance and upkeep. To find out how you can donate your time or money to this important memorial please go to http://www.pensacolawallsouth.org/home.html .
Pensacola beach has the powder white sands that the Gulf of Mexico is famous for. Beach lovers can chose to lay their blanket down by the Quietwater Beach Boardwalk where shops, bars, restaurants, and several stages with entertainers share the space along with bikini clad beach goers. Several times a year free festivals are held at the boardwalk as well. For a more relaxing holiday, simply head towards Fort Pickens for seven miles of seemingly unending sand and isolation.
T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum
The T.T. Wentworth is part of Historic Pensacola Village but is completely free. The first level exhibits Wentworth’s unusual collection of artifacts and collectibles, another floor walks visitors through a fun Pensacola based history lesson, and the top floor is completely dedicated to kids with a Frontier styled fort and town, a ship, and a Native American village and trading post. For more information go to
Just For Kids:
Free Lowes Build and Grow Clinic
Every Saturday at 10 am all Lowes in Pensacola hosts a free wooden project for kids. Kids get a free apron, goggles, and project. Once completed, children receive a certificate and patch. To register online go to https://www.lowesbuildandgrow. com/ .
Free Home Depot Kids Workshop
Each month all Home Depot Pensacola locations show kids ages 5-12 how to build their own wooden projects. Classes are scheduled on Saturdays and are anytime between 9am and noon. Kids get a project kid, apron, and an achievement pin. Check their website for more information at http://www.homedepot.com/webap p/wcs/stores/servlet/ContentVi ew?catalogId&langId=-1&pn=Kids_Workshops&storeId=10051 .
Free Saturday Crafts at Michaels
The Michaels craft store on Bayou Boulevard has free monthly kids craft events on Saturdays. Not all programs are free so make sure to check their website at http://www.theknackkids.com/.
With all the free activities and events, this summer shouldn’t drain your pocketbook or cause you money related stress. Just remember to pack a lunch, wear some sunscreen, and bring your camera!