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DJVee and Cameron “Spider-Man” Melton are among the regular cosplayers to gather at the local mall cons. Photo by Rowan Lehr.

Every summer, it seems like only two lists of free – or incredibly cheap – summer activity ideas are printed: The PG family-friendly one for those with young kids, then the PG-13 rundown designed to get teens out of the house. So if you’re looking for something a little more mature than breaking out the old Slip’N Slide or story time at the Fort Worth Central library, give some of these options a try. 

Friday on the Green, Magnolia Green Park, 1201 Lipscomb St, 817-923-1343

On the second Friday of each month, Near Southside Inc. and Historic Southside host a concert with a big picnic vibe on the Magnolia Green. Friday on the Green is a night of live music from up-and-coming local artists with booths from local vendors and local restaurateurs’ food trucks. The fun goes from 6 to 10pm Apr thru Oct, excluding Jul and Aug. More information can be found at Nearsouthsidefw.org.

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Fanboys Comic-Con, various locations

A small group of vendors and various cosplayers gathers in various malls across Fort Worth every other month on Saturdays for the day to entertain and discuss pop culture while the vendors buy, sell, and trade comic books and other geek merchandise. The next “mall con” will be held at La Gran Plaza (4200 S Fwy, 817-922-8888) from 10am to 6pm on Jun 15. More information can be found at Fanboyscomiccon.com or on Instagram @fanboyscomiccon.

Scat Jazz Lounge, 111 W 4th St, Ste 11, 817-870-9100

Scat Jazz Lounge waives their usual $12 cover charge on Wednesdays and Sundays. The venue not only has an entrance that in the right lighting looks like something from a gritty 1930s noir film, but they also host live jazz and R&B from local, regional, and national talent. Though closed Mondays, the Scat is open 7pm-2am Tue-Thu, 5pm-2am Fri, 6pm-2am Sat, and 7pm-2am Sun. If you’re into live music or want a classy and unique place to take a date that won’t leave you broke, Scat Jazz is for you. A full list of their no cover-charge nights, along with a list of upcoming events, can be found at Scatjazzlounge.com

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, 111 E 3rd St, 817- 336-7470

Nearby in Sundance Square, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium hosts free concerts by up-and-coming local artists 5-7pm every Wednesday and free trivia every Tuesday night. Trivia themes vary. Occasionally, the trivia category is movies, so if you’re ever in the mood to impress friends and random strangers with expert-level knowledge of movie quotes, and potentially win prizes like gift cards in the process, Flying Saucer has you covered. Details about Flying Saucer events can be found at Beerknurd.com.

Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub, 425 Commerce St, 817- 877-5233

Hyena’s Comedy Night Club waives their $15-20 cover charge every Thursday if you still you meet the two-drink/item per person minimum. Free Thursdays include a full show for the cost of only a couple of beers. The venue also offers pool tables, karaoke, and the occasional (and not always free) open-mic night. The club is open 7:30 Thu-Sun, with the free show starting at 8:30. Shows Fri-Sun are at 8:30 and 10:30. Information about each show is available at Hyenascomedynightclub.com.

Kung Fu Saloon, 2818 Morton St, 817- 873-8900

Kung Fu Saloon, a hybrid bar/grill and old-school arcade, sets their arcade machines to free play mode every Sunday from open to close. Games range from Mortal Kombat and Ms. Pac-Man to skeeball. The saloon also offers an adult playground built around their patio area that has games like Giant Jenga and an adult-sized teeter-totter. Information about the venue, including their dress code, can be found at Kungfusaloon.com

Cowtown Cars & Coffee, The Speedway Club, Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 One Star Cir, 817-215-8500

CC&C began as a small local car meet-up in Fort Worth and evolved to an event at the massive Texas Motor Speedway every third Saturday of every other month. CC&C is a free cruise-style car show open to all makes and models with free admission. The venue asks only that donations be made to the Speedway Children’s Charities in exchange for the coffee provided by the speedway. CC&C is 7-11am and open to anyone who wants to show off their wheels, give to a good cause, or just enjoy talking cars with a cup of joe. For more information, visit Texasmotorspeedway.com.

Latreia Church, 10941 FM 1902, Crowley, 817-297-4392

This small, family-operated motorcycle-friendly church does more than just meet Sunday mornings. Pastor Dan and wife Terri host an open art night on the third Thursday of each month that’s free to all who bring their own art supplies and want a place to indulge their creative side. The church also hosts a free outdoor movie night in the church parking lot the third Friday of every month at 7pm –– the next featured flick is Aquaman. More information can be found on the Letreia Facebook page. 

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