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Frugal Family: Let's Go, Kids! It's Free (or Cheap)

Patch scoured our local resources to come up with activities you can do as a family or kids can do alone.

Has the sour economy gotten you down? Put family outings on hold? be This week, Patch searched for family activities you can do on a budget.

1. 

Deal: Treat yourselves to ice cream at Knudsen's, and kids get their face painted for free every Tuesday between 5 and 8 p.m. 

The Fine Print: Only on Tuesdays at stated times.

Extra, Extra: Knudsen’s also has a birthday club that gives you a free treat on your birthday.

Good through: Ongoing.

2. 

Deal: Create four scrapbook pages at Jazzy Craft’s special class, QQ “Memories Tucked Away.” Participants will learn how to make paper flowers, and you’ll receive Quick Quotes most popular Powder Puff chalking ink in Amaretto. The cost of the class, which will be held on Thursday, March 10, from 7 to 9 p.m., is $25.

The Fine Print: For age 12+. 

Extra, Extra: Jazzy Crafts also offers a monthly kids' crafting class. This month it's scheduled for Wednesday, March 16 at 3:30 p.m. The cost is $15. Check in with Jazzy Crafts to find out what the monthly art project will be. A reservation is required.

Good through: One-day class.

3.

Deal: The Castro Valley Library's spring story time for preschoolers starts Wednesday, March 23. Thirty-minute storytelling and activities every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Then check out picture books for your preschooler or "stay and play" to enjoy the library's collection of games and puzzles. It's all free.

The Fine Print: Story time is geared for ages 3-5, but younger siblings are permitted "with a lap to sit on." 

Extra, Extra: The Hayward Library has free bedtime stories children of all ages Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Good through: Spring preschool story time sessions through May 25, 2011.

4.

Deal: Go bowling with the family for $5 per person on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For $5, you get free shoe rental and two games.

The Fine Print: Promotion valid between 11 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays only.

Extra, Extra: On Tuesdays, games and shoe rentals are $2 each from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Good through: Weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

5.

Deal: Plan a children’s birthday party at Aran’s Art Studio and pay just $30, on top of the price of art projects. Price includes supervision and clean-up.

The Fine Print: Must call in advance to book party. Space is sometimes available the next day. A $50 deposit is required.

Extra, Extra: The birthday boy or girl receives a free personalized birthday plate for guests to sign.

Good through: Ongoing.

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