Summer and fun. Those two words just seem to go hand in hand. For children, it is a time to sleep in , play with friends, and embrace all that is great about being kid. Of course, it only takes a few days of hanging out at home before the inevitable "I'm bored" routine begins. I want to get my kids out of the house to have fun but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg fulfilling my role as the chairwoman of our family's entertainment committee so I am always on the lookout for bargain-friendly fun. This summer, we have been spending a good deal of our time enjoying all the free fun at Irvine Lanes and Boomers Irvine. After all, what's more bargain-friendly than free?


Irvine Lanes is part of the Kids Bowl Free program, a national program designed to give kids a safe and fun activity to enjoy all summer long. Joining the fun is as simple as signing your kids up on KidsBowlFree.comand printing out weekly coupons which are redeemable for two free games per kid, per day, seven days a week. The program at Irvine Lanes is designed for children age 15 and under but up to four adults can be included on a family pass which allows each adult to each bowl 2 games per day throughout the summer for a $30 one-time fee. Such a bargain! Kids Bowl Free hours take place between 10am and 5pm daily and run now through September 30th.

Boomers Irvine 

Next door to Irvine Lanes is Boomers, another great place to enjoy inexpensive summer entertainment. When I was a kid, our local miniature golf course had two 18-hole courses and a small arcade. Boomers feature three mini-golf courses, bumper boats, two go-kart tracks, batting cages, small carnival rides, rock wall, laser tag, a huge arcade, and a snack bar. And, as if that wasn't enough, the park now features Buccaneer Cove, a sparkling new mini water park featuring exhilarating water slides and plenty of splashtastic water play. During the month of August kids play free with the purchase of every adult Champ Pass for $30. The Champ Pass is good for four hours of unlimited fun on the rock wall, playing tag, riding bumper boats, racing go karts, riding rides, or playing mini golf. Locals and those visiting the area for an extended period of time will find tremendous value in the 3-month season pass which is good for 4-hours of fun on everything listed above as well any arcade game that doesn't give out game tickets for just $49.99. Still want more? $10 more gets you all of the above plus access to Buccaneer Cove. Details can be found and tickets can be purchased at

*Bowling photos courtesy of Flickr users Kathleen Moore and Frank Juarez.