Listing of Free (or Cheap) Local Activities for You and Your Family
Free Help With Your Taxes
Representative Warren Kampf has once again partnered with the Chester County AARP Foundation Tax Program to provide free, volunteer-run, tax assistance. His office will be coordinating the appointments that will be held at the Paoli Fire Company. This is the fifth year for this partnership and each year this program grows and the volunteers at AARP are able to offer tax services to more area residents. The AARP Foundation Tax Program is administered by the AARP foundation, but participants are not required to be members of AARP. This tax program is the nation’s largest free volunteer tax assistance service.
Appointments will be on Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and all volunteer tax preparers are IRS trained and certified. AARP counselors will help prepare and electronically file federal, state and local tax returns and Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate forms, when they become available. All community members are welcome. Appointments begin Feb. 7 and continue until April 11.
Please contact Representative Kampf’s district office at 610-251-2876 to schedule an appointment. Appointments and availability are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Free Family Movie Night – Easttown Library
The First Friday of each month check out the Easttown Library for their free family movie showing at 7pm. Note: sometimes the movies are not on the first Friday – check with the library for the exact details.
Library Activities for Children, Teens, Families, Adults
Check each library for MANY on-going or one-time free or low-cost activities. There are book groups, summer reading programs (usually begin in June), film series, lectures, tons of kids activities (teens too), and lots more. There are great adult programs as well (including computer training, tax assistance, etc.). These are terrific resources for our community.
Easttown Library & Information Center Click on Programs to see the current offerings
Tredyffrin & Paoli Libraries Click on Programs & Events to see the current offerings
FREE Activities for Families and Kids in Philadelphia
FREE YMCA Membership for 7th Grade Students
At our local YMCA’s 7th Grade Initiative, graduating 6th grade and current 7th grade students across Chester County are invited to sign up for a free membership. Stop by the Welcome Center with your parent or guardian, school ID and school schedule or report card. Complete a membership application and our code of conduct release and you can immediately enjoy all the YMCA has to offer.
Free (or Almost Free) Opportunities For Local Culture and Learning
Easttown Library’s Museum Pass Program offers free passes to a number of museums and attractions that you can check out the same way you check out a book. Venues available include The Elmwood Park Zoo, National Constitution Center, Academy of Natural Science, Battleship New Jersey, Chanticleer Garden and Morris Arboretum. There are many more.
ArtReach – an organization that works to bring arts and cultural opportunities to traditionally undeserved audiences offers the ACCESS Admission Program. Anyone with an Access card (for SNAP or MA) can get discounted admission ($2 per person) to a wide range of Philadelphia museums/cultural institutions. One Access card admits up to 4 family members at a rate of $2 per person. (Admission is to be paid by the visitor, not through their Access card.) Venues available with this opportunity include, The Barnes Foundation, The African American Museum, the National Constitution Center, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and the Please Touch Museum. There are many more.
Khan Academy – This is not an activity – but it’s a free source of wonderful learning opportunities. This award-winning website gives you access to a library of over 3,200 videos explaining and illustrating everything from advanced mathematical problems to straightforward historical events. All the short lessons are conducted in the Khan Academy’s trademark style, with simple steps and a clear narration. A log allows you to record the videos they have seen and track their progress. Khan Academy is a great teaching aid, as well as a study boon to anyone not just students!
Pennsylvania Learns Now Available through iTunes U – The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently launched the Pennsylvania Learns program through the iTunes U application that provides a collection of state standards-aligned educational resources online and free of charge for Pennsylvania’s students and teachers. The Pennsylvania Learns program includes resources for grades six through eight in math, algebra I and biology, and grades nine through 12 in English language arts. Each module includes lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi that students can use as an on-demand resource for understanding and studying course work. Sixty educators from school districts, intermediate units and postsecondary education institutions are working with the department in course and content development.
Local Parks with FREE Activities for the Whole Family
We all know that Valley Forge National Park is right in our backyards, and offers lots of great hiking and biking trails, sledding hills, and a free visitors center. Wilson Farm Park is also a great park with wonderful playgrounds and walking paths right in the heart of Tredyffrin Township. But for a change of pace try one of these other local parks that may offer your family a fun-filled day with only the cost of gas to get there.
French Creek State Park in Elverson
Once an industrial complex for the fledgling United State of America, today French Creek State Park is an oasis for people and wildlife. Straddling the Schuylkill Highlands, the 7,730-acre park is the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City. The forests, lakes, wetlands and fields are a destination for the people of southeast Pennsylvania to hike, fish, camp and bike. Two Disc Golf courses, winding through the woods by Hopewell Lake, attract visitors of all ages, year-round. This activity (sometimes referred to as Frisbee golf) is a favorite sport for individuals and families.
Ridley Creek State Park in Newtown Square
This park encompasses over 2,606 acres of Delaware County woodlands and meadows. The gently rolling terrain of the park, bisected by Ridley Creek, is only 16 miles from center city Philadelphia. Take your pick from hundreds of picnic tables in 14 different areas at Ridley Creek State Park. Located in Delaware County Park, it’s just 16 miles from Center City Philadelphia. And sightseers and history buffs won’t want to miss the restored colonial plantation, an architectural landmark located right in the park. Bicycle or hike along the 12 miles of trails that wander through the park’s 2,600 acres of woodlands and meadows. Dip a fishing line in trout-stocked Ridley Creek.
Norristown Farm Park in Norristown
One of the most unique parks in the Pennsylvania state park system, Norristown Farm Park is a working farm in continuous use since colonial times. The 690-acre park is home to 71 species of wildlife, fish, reptiles and amphibians; 173 species of birds; 89 species of trees; and 216 species of wildflowers. Here you will find hiking trails, a trout nursery, picnic areas, separate forest areas of mixed oak and other deciduous trees, flood plain, old farm fields, working fields, wetlands and two streams. There are 15 historic buildings on the property, the earliest dating from 1764. One of the last undeveloped areas in Montgomery County, Norristown Farm Park is actively farmed. Sitting quietly in the midst of a population of over 65,000 people, eighty percent of the park is dedicated to growing farm crops.
Marsh Creek State Park in Downingtown
Marsh Creek State Park is in the rolling hills of north central Chester County. The 1,727-acre park contains the 535-acre Marsh Creek Lake, which is great for fishing, sailing and is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl as well as a popular spot for most water sports, including sailing and fishing. Fishing in the lake is good-to-excellent for warm water fish, and while the lake’s off limits for swimming, there’s a large pool for anyone who wants to take a dip. If you’re not looking to spend time on the water, you might try exploring the trails, which wind through forest, field and wetlands. The trails are open to horseback riders as well as hikers and backpackers.
T&E Care is an IRS recognized non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. The official registration and financial information of Tredyffrin & Easttown Care may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.