Save money & have fun: free & discounted family events

School is out for summer. In an effort to stop the phrase, “I’m bored,” Heartland Weekend is compiling a list of free and discounted events that you can take the whole family to enjoy. Help everyone out: if you know of others, please email us at

There are plenty of ways to have fun in the Heartland this summer!


Cape Girardeau

  • Little Tykes Time at Cape Splash: Bring your toddlers to Cape Splash for Little Tykes Time to enjoy the spray pad before the park opens for public hours! This takes place Mon.-Thurs. beginning June 4. It’s $3 per child and adults get in free.
  • River Campus Summer Arts Festival: This free event takes place on June 16. It includes live music, dance, theatrical performances, magic, and all kinds of hands-on, family-friendly activities.
  • Pop Up Movie Night: Everyone is invited to Capaha Park to enjoy a free movie every Friday night during the month of July. Local food trucks will be on hand, too!
  • Parks & Rec Day: Ice cream, prizes, crafts, and games…this free event has it all! Check out different vendors, activities, and hang out with Playmo at the Osage Centre. This takes place on July 11 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.


  • Rock in the Rock Garden: Jackson’s Rock in the Rock Garden free summer concert series returns at 7:30 p.m. beginning Friday, June 1, at the Rock Garden in City Park.
  • Movies in the Park: Movies in the Park will be offered on June 8 and August 10 in the City Park Band Shell. The movie is free and will begin at sundown. Food will be available for purchase.

Marble Hill

  • Food & Music in Twin City Park: The Bollinger County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a summer series of Food & Music in Twin City Park. There will be live music and food vendors. The park will be closed to traffic to allow room for children to play, and much more. It will take place June 16, July 21, and Aug. 18.


  • Music in the Park: Join us Downtown every Friday in June for this FREE, family-friendly event. Each week will feature a different sponsor and music act. Bring a lawn chair and picnic basket.

Poplar Bluff

  • Music on the Lawn: Come to the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library for Music on the Lawn on Friday, June 8 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Join in and sing along to popular Disney song with The Mouse Singers. Bring a picnic and a blanket (please no alcoholic beverages) and enjoy the show outside. The show will be held in the theater if there is rain.



  • Movies in the Park: The Paducah Parks & Recreation Department will hold Movies in the Park at the amphitheater in Noble Park beginning Thursday, June 14. The movies will start at dusk around 8:30 p.m. Concessions will be available from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Guests can bring lawn chairs and blankets. Movies will also be shown on June 28, July 12, and July 26.

Free and discounted movies: Several area theater groups are offering family movie events. CLICK THE LINKS for locations, dates, and prices.

After all that fun, you’ll likely want to grab a bite to eat. We’ve got some suggestions to help you save a little dough:

Where Kids Eat Free (Or Almost Free) in the Heartland

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