Museums, zoos, concert halls and other cultural sites are so under-funded that they have been raising their admission prices way beyond what most families can afford. Corporations are jumping in — getting tax benefits and good public relations by funding programs that should be truly public. It’s a shame, but this is where we are at right now.

I received an e-mail which I thought I would share with families that may be looking for things to do this summer with their kids at minimal cost. The retail store Target is offering free events this summer and some lasting through to December. Target gives 5 percent of its income to communities. One of the things I think is great is that these free events are on the weekends and on holidays — which makes them accessible to all who work on the weekdays.

I suggest you go to their , and select your city: they will give you a list of events in your community — this is throughout the country. They also offer grants to take children on field trips.

For example, these are some of the things I found for my community in Southern California:

First Sundays of the month from now through December
• Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California
• California African American Museum in Los Angeles

First Saturdays of the month from now through December
• Children’s museum in La Habra, this is a fun one for kids they get to dress up, get behind the wheel of bus and they have a cool theater where kids can put on costumes and pretend they are in a play.

Every Second Saturday except August
• Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles

Every Second Sunday
• Children’s museum in San Diego
• In Orange County, the Museum of Art

There are several symphonies and music and family festivals plus some holiday Mondays. I know that with the economy as it is finding some free activities to share with family is appreciated.

And let’s also press for more public funding for culture and recreation.