For the Killeen, Fort Hood and surrounding areas, there are tons of great programs that are free or at low cost that are provided for most children.

I encourage using these programs, to not only save money, but to keep kids active and motivated and so they can have loads of fun. This also gives the parents a break.

*City of Killeen offers several sports camps and recreational camp events. Click HERE to check out their EVENTS tab.

*Check out the $1 Summer Movies for Kids from Cinemark and Regal Cinemas!

*Barnes and Noble offers free reading time for kids! Click HERE to find out times and dates of child's time reading. 

Kids can bowl up to 2 games for FREE all summer long! Click HERE to sign up or to find out more information.

*Soldiers Kids Involved in Fishing Fun or SKIFF is coordinated by fishing guide Bob Maindelle. This program offers free fishing trips for kids with a military parent or parents who are deployed, in the field, on TDY or other training. Maindelle takes the kids on his boat on Belton or on Stillhouse Hollow lakes.

Fishing can happen all year, in fact, the best fishing happens in November so kids will love that excitement of catching a fish. Maindelle shares conservation tips and all fish that are caught are released back to the lake.

Maindelle also provides fishing trips for adults (military and civilians) at special prices. For more information, call Bob Maindelle at 254-368-7411 or email or on Facebook: For more information, click HERE.

*USO Fort Hood focuses on enrichment and lifting the spirits of military soldiers and their family members. They offer free and fun special events and concerts. They are known for their many “Movies on the Lawn” events.

Soldiers can use the facilities at no cost. They can grab a free lunch, watch TV and movies, play video games, use the computers or just relax.

USO Fort Hood is always looking for volunteers. For more information, stop by 50th Street Building 44 at Fort Hood, call 254-768-2771 or go to Make sure you “like” them on

*Fort Hood Area Events is an amazing Facebook page that provides all the latest events happening in the Fort Hood and surrounding area. Most of the events are free, but some have a small fee. FHAE does not endorse these events but merely shares all the details on one page. This is truly convenience right at your fingertips!

Make sure you “like” them on Facebook so you get the latest events on your newsfeed —

*Operation Phantom Support is a nonprofit organization that has a thrift store and food pantry inside their facility. It has a program called Operation Phantom Cakes. This program offers free cakes for kids’ birthdays, ages 1-18 years old. These cakes are made by volunteers who receive cake mix and other ingredients through donations.

Also, every year, around August, they provide another program called Operation Re- Supply. This program provides free backpacks filled with school supplies for school-age kids. They will be opening up their holiday program for kids to get free toys for Christmas later this month. If you would like more information or want to donate to this amazing organization, contact them at 254-449-7441, email them at or visit them at 315 E. Avenue C in Killeen. “Like” them on Phantom Support.

Jennise Colin-Ventura offers coupon and budgeting tips. Contact her at or 254-501-7515 and check out her blog at or on

Jennise "Savealotmom" Colin-Ventura | 254-501-7515 | | | instagram @jensavealotmom

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