What's better than hanging out with the family? Taking the family out for free. Here are some low- to no-cost ideas to get you out of the house for a day of fun.

With the Sonoma County Fair happening through Aug. 11, kids will be clamoring to get through the gates and enjoy a smorgasbord of cool activities. But not everything at the fair comes with a price tag.

For the cost of admission, you can join in on many of the fun contests, including animal imitations, bubblegum blowing, a canine costume contest and parade, and more.

And to make it a truly free event, build a paper house with a Habitat for Humanity template provided on the Sonoma County Fair website, and bring it to the fair to receive a free admission ticket for your next visit. Info: <a href="http://sonomacountyfair.com/">sonomacountyfair.com</a>.

Saturday, Aug. 3, the Children's Museum and Friedman's Home Improvement team up for their monthly Kids-Worx Creative Workshop. From 9 a.m. to noon, kids of all ages are invited to take part in a free morning of imaginative building, science, art and fun. 4055 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. <a href="http://friedmanshome.com/kidsworx">friedmanshome.com/kidsworx</a>

Also on Aug. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon, kids are invited to Home Depot to build their very own Load 'n Go Truck. The free workshop, held every first Saturday of the month with varying themes, is designed for kids ages 5-12.

Kids not only will be able to keep their project, but they also will receive a workshop apron, a certificate of achievement, a commemorative pin, and some new building skills. Stores located in Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Windsor. Info: <a href="homedepot.com">homedepot.com</a>.

And on Aug. 8, from 5-8 p.m., the Charles Schulz Museum will offer free admission to their museum, and serve free ice cream cake from Coldstone Creamery. Peruse their exhibits of past and present comics, a recreation of Sparky's work space, and a chance to help build a towering house of cards. 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. Info: 579-4452, <a href="http://schulzmuseum.org">schulzmuseum.org</a>.