Free and Inexpensive Family Activities

  • Libraries

    Libraries in America serve as community centers. They have free books, CDs, DVDs, and activities for all ages, as well as free WiFi and air conditioning. All you need to get a library card at your local library is a piece of mail with your name and Sudbury address on it. You can even mail yourself a letter if you’re new in town and haven’t received any mail yet.

    The Goodnow Library in Sudbury has events for children, teens, and adults. During Story Hour events, a librarian reads picture books aloud to children. There is a Maker Lab for teens and adults to use 3-D printers and other tools. There are classes and book clubs for adults. The library also hosts cultural events such as Lunar New Year celebrations, in partnership with local Chinese-American organizations.

    You can borrow passes from the library to get into museums at discounted rates. Your library card also gives you access to Goodnow’s online resources such as Mango Language software. Through interlibrary loan you can get books from any library in the region, including books in many languages other than English.

    It’s okay to visit the libraries in other towns too. The Natick library has a lot of great resources and activities. The Framingham libraries have great selections of children’s books in Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese. Maynard Public Library has a great selection of children’s books in Spanish. The Brookline library has books in Hebrew. The Concord and the Lexington public libraries also have children's collections in Chinese.

    Librarians love to help. Tell them what you are looking for and they will help you find it.

    Sudbury Parks and Recreation Department

    Sudbury Parks and Recreation complex is located at 40 Fairbank Road

    • Haskell Field- Bring your kites, your footballs, your badminton nets, or your dog and come use these community fields for free. This is a great place to meet with other families. It’s easy to find and there is a big parking lot. In the summer, there are weekly concerts. There are 3 large soccer fields, 6 small soccer fields, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, tennis courts, and bathrooms.
    • SMILE Playground- A huge, free playground for children ages 5-12 with a special section just for toddlers.
    • Atkinson Pool- For a low fee ($4) you can use the public pool. There are some times for family swimming and others just for “lap swimming” (adults swimming back and forth in straight lines for exercise.) Sometimes there are dedicated lanes for lap swimming and children are allowed to play in the rest of the pool at the same time.

    The Park and Recreation Department also offers equipment rental and runs summer programs for children. Look at their activity page for more information.

    Other Fields

    • Davis Field: Located at 195 North Road. There are more soccer fields that you can use for free.
    • Cutting Field: Located at  429 Maynard Road. You can use these new astro turf soccer fields, so long as there is no team practice.
    • Feeley Field: Located near Route 20. There are fields, baseball diamonds, and tennis courts. (There may be fees to use the tennis courts.)
    • Alumni Field in Maynard:Located just over the town line in Maynard on the corner of Rt 27 and Rt.117.  Alumni Field has football fields, a baseball diamond, tennis courts, and a track for running. Like the other fields, you can use them so long as there is no team practice.

    Walking Trails and Hikes

    • Camp Sewataro: Right next to Haynes Elementary School, Camp Sewataro has private day camp programs for children during the summer. The rest of the year it is a popular place for local families to walk, hike, or visit with each other. Sometimes there are even free programs for families.
    • Wayside Inn Historic Site/ Old Grist Mill Museum: The Wayside Inn is a popular place for Sudbury families to walk around or bring picnics. There is easy parking and lots of clear signs. You can look at the garden, view the historical sites, or attend storytimes for children. You don’t have to spend any money to enjoy most of the activities here.
    • Storybook Trail: Located at Wolbach Farm right off Route 20. During certain seasons there are pages of a story book posted at intervals along this 1.2 kilometer loop. You walk a short distance in the woods, stop and read a page to your children, walk a little more, and stop again. It’s a nice way to encourage reluctant little ones to keep walking just a bit more.
    • Mount Misery: is the largest conservation area in the nearby town of Lincoln, with many acres of fields, woods, hills, and ponds. It’s a great place to invite another family to join you on a hike. The parking lot is on Route 117.

    Excelsior Comics and Games

    Excelsior Comics in Maynard, MA doesn’t look like much from the outside. They sell comic books, Magic the Gathering cards, and games. However, they also have a big space with tables for kids to meet up and play games together, hanging out in the store for hours without spending money. For gamer kids, this store is a magical place to find like-minded souls in the area.