Verizon Innovative Learning Labs

Verizon Wireless is offering a free monthly opportunity for kids ages 8 – 12 years old, to explore technology and learn new skills through hands-on, experiential technology workshops. Designed to foster greater student interest in STEM subjects, workshops expose students to topics like virtual reality, 3D design and printing, robotics, coding and more. This free learning lab is about 50 minutes long and is offered several times throughout the day during one Saturday each month. Parents must register their children in advance, space is limited.
| Information & Registration for Verizon Lab |

Mr. Muffins Trains

Just north of Indianapolis is a treasure. Mr. Muffin’s trains moved from Carmel, Indiana to Atlanta, Indiana a few years ago and families are still flocking to this Hamilton County city to see one of the country’s largest miniature train collections and track layouts. Each Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Muffin (nicknames given to them many years ago because of the muffins they offer to their visitors) open up their storefront and sell trains, a walk down the block takes you to “The Layout” where small trains whistle and steam in and out of beautiful scenes of miniature life. Recently, the Choo Choo Cafe opened, welcoming visitors for a delicious breakfast or lunch. Admission to Mr. Muffin’s Trains is free.

Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts for Kids

Lakeshore Learning store in the Nora area of Indianapolis is well known for having teaching, educational and craft supplies, but did you know they offer free Lakeshore Learning craft classes for kids on Saturdays? This is a drop in activity and everyone is welcome (age 3+) to take part in special themed crafts each week.

Microsoft Store STEM Saturday

Every Saturday, the Microsoft store offers a free STEM activity for kids age 8+. Using Microsoft products they’ll explore robotics, programming and various other STEM related activities.

LEGO Life Meetings

Meet up at the LEGO store monthly for the LEGO Life Meeting, a $10 event for LEGO enthusiast. Attendees will build a mini-model and hang out with other LEGO fans. Each attendee will receive a $5 gift voucher + a goody bag full of LEGO bricks.
| Information & Registration |

Shoe Tying Clinic at Nordstroms

On the third Saturday of every month, Nordstroms offers a free shoe tying clinic in the children’s shoe department. Recommended for children age 5 and up, bring your kiddos here to learn how to tie their own shoes!

Free Home Depot Kids DIY Workshops

Every month, Home Depot offers a free kids’ workshop in their stores. Pre-registration is recommended. Kids will assemble, build or paint various projects each month. On their first visit, children are given a Home Depot kids orange apron. At each workshop guests will receive a special pin to affix to their apron.

Petsmart

This is one of our favorites as they offer opportunities for kids to feed fish, pet hamsters and do a craft, get coloring pages and so much more.  My kids love it. Check with your local store for details.

Barnes & Noble 

Barnes and Noble offers free activities throughout the week and weekends, including weekly story times, crafts, games and special events.

Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn offers weekly story times and a few other events throughout the year including character meet and greets and more. 

Michaels Craft Store

Michaels stores have a variety of classes and activities available during the year. Some of them are free but most of them cost around $3. Other more advanced classes are available for a fee + materials. Check out the weekly craft on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon. Sign up in store or online, or just drop in. An adult must remain in the store during the event.

Indy Reads Books

This charitable used bookstore on Mass Ave wants to get families reading, and the more you buy, the more they can help Indy area adults and families learn to read. Stop in on select Saturday mornings for Paws to Read times, where kiddos can read books to reading therapy dogs. Also, some Saturday mornings, visitors will be treated to a children’s story time with a drag queen. Children can volunteer in the book store with their adults.

Local Bookstores such as Kids, Ink and 4 Kids offer story times, crafts and author signings.  Check their website and Facebook pages for details.