Summer Bucket List: 70 Free and Cheap Things to Do In OKC

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Summer is here and my kids have asked for eleventy billion snacks already. It hasn’t taken me long to realize that we NEED to get out of the house! 

Luckily, there’s no shortage of fun in the OKC metro and even luckier? So much of it is free or cheap! I hope you enjoy this Summer Bucket List of Free & Cheap Fun in OKC

70 Free Things to do in OKC This Summer:

Special “Freebie” Days You Don’t Want to Miss

1. Head to the zoo for Free – On July 9th zoo admission is free for sales tax appreciation day. 

2. Free Slurpee Day – On July 11th grab a free slurpee at 7-11! (See what they did there?)

3. Free Chick Fil A – Show off your bovine skills and dress like a cow for a free Chick Fil A Entree on July 10th. Mooo!

4. Free Donuts – On June 7th head to Krispy Kreme for a free donut in honor of national donut day

Head to a Museum for Free

5. Visit the Sam Noble Museum – On the first Monday of every month, enjoy complimentary admission for children 17 and under.

6. Art Adventures at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art – Your young artists (ages 3 to 5) can experience free art through books and projects every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman.

7. Saturdays for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum – Head to this great museum on the first Saturday of the month for free gallery tours of select exhibits and hands-on learning.

8. Visit the Edmond Historical Society Museum – Another free attraction, this museum features a Children’s Learning Center with hands-on play areas, costumes, and more.

9. 45th Infantry Museum – Check out World War II relics and other items from military history at this free museum.

10. Second Saturdays Make & Take Art – Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center offers free art projects for children every second Saturday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. Projects are fun for children of all ages and experience levels.

11. Summer Thursdays at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum – On Thursdays beginning at 10:30 a.m., enjoy free admission to the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Crafts are also included.

12. Visit the Oklahoma Railway Museum – This free museum features freight cars, passenger cars, and a real steam engine. Plus, a train ride!

13. OSU Museum of Art Family Day – All summer long, on the second Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit the OSU Museum of Art for free, hands-on art activities for all ages.

Catch a Movie, Game, or Concert for Nearly Nothing

14. Art Moves – The Arts Council of OKC and Devon present this free art event that features daily performances in various locations downtown. From Noon – 1 p.m. every day, bring the kids out and enjoy something new!

15. Showbiz Kids Club – Take your kids for a $1 movie every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

16. Take in a movie at the Summer Movie Fun Series at Harkins Theater – Season tickets for all 10 movies are just $5.  Individual tickets are available the day of the show for $2 each. Doors open at 9 a.m. and all shows begin at 9:45 a.m. with movies running every week day. 

17. Watch Live Bicycle Races – Held in the Wheeler District, the Wheeler Criterium occurs every Tuesday through August at 5:30 p.m. Cheer on some of the state’s best cyclists and enjoy live music and food trucks.

18. Free Movies & Concerts – OKC has SO many great opportunities to see a movie or concert in a park. Check out this guide for a show near you. 

19. Live! on the Plaza – The Plaza District’s art walk occurs every second Friday of the month. From 7 to 11 p.m., you can enjoy live music, local artists, special events, shopping, and more!

20. Catch a baseball game – Catch an OKC Dodgers baseball game in Bricktown. Tickets start at $8.00 and the season lasts all summer.

21. OKC Energy Soccer – Cheer on OKC’s newest team for a fun family outing – tickets start at $11.00.

Foster a Love of Reading at a Local Storytime

22. Bringing Books to Life – Every Wednesday from 10 – 11 a.m. in the Children’s Garden at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, catch nature-themed story time and crafts.

23. Catch a Story and a Cupcake – On the first and third Saturday of the month, enjoy coffee while your children listen to story time at Cuppies & Joe on NW 23rd Street. Storytime runs from 10 to 11 a.m.

24. Storytime at Barnes and Noble – Join energetic storytellers at metro Barnes and Noble Bookstores every Saturday from 11 to 11:45 a.m.

25. Metro Library Story Times & Activities – Check out your local library’s calendar of events for story times and other awesome free activities

26. Best of Books – Saturdays at 11 a.m. Led by a staff member or children’s author – an additional activity usually offered.

27. Full Circle Bookstore – Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. For toddlers thru age 10 – enjoy the cozy children’s room and story time – sometimes with a special guest!

Soak Up the Sun With Free & Cheap Outdoor Fun

28. You Pick Farms & Orchards – This guide lists great pick-your-own farms around the area for you to enjoy!

29. Walking Tour of Myriad Botanical Gardens – On the last Saturday of every month, you can join the free Walking Tour program at 10 a.m.

30. Fish for Free – The City of Oklahoma City offers free fishing days on the first Saturday of every month. For those 16 and older, a state license is required.

31. Join an OKCMB playgroup – Keep up with your local group’s Facebook page for information on our summer park hops!

32. Visit the Clydesdales – Located in Yukon, the Express barn is home to the world-famous Express Clydesdales. You can get up close and personal with these gentle giants for free!

33. Head to an Area Splash Pad – Soak up the sun and check out this guide, which will help you find splash pads near you.

34. Spend Time in the Park – Find a park or recreation center near you to explore and play outside. (OKCYukonEdmondNormanMoore).

35. Go Geocaching – Geocaching, the world’s largest treasure hunt, is both free and educational. Using GPS devices, you try to locate hidden containers and share your experiences.

36. Backyard Games – Never run out of fun at home with this great list of fun games!

37. Fairy Houses – Such a sweet way to pass the time!

38. Plant a Garden – Teach the kids about gardening by picking a few flowers or trees and watching them grow.

39. Great Salt Plains – Take your turn at digging for unique selenite crystals on the beautiful salt flats of the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge near Jet, OK. It’s free, and you get to take your treasures home with you! 

40. Oklahoma City Boathouse District – Hike along the Oklahoma River and let your kids enjoy the modern playground located on the banks in Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District. While you’re there, be sure to kick back and watch the various boats, canoes and kayaks working their way up and down the river.

41. Keystone Ancient Forest – Hike and explore this unique-to-Oklahoma forest, made up on 500-year-old post oaks and 300-year-old cedars located in Sand Springs. You can also take a break at Keystone Lake to enjoy wildlife watching. Open during select Saturdays.

42. Gathering Place – This is WORTH the drive to Tulsa for an amazing park with fun for all ages.

43. Complete Guide to Outdoor Fun – Wanting more outdoor ideas? Check out our complete guide to getting kids outside in the metro.

Have a Hands-On Experience with History

44. Tour the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion – Every Wednesday through May, you can take a free tour of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion from Noon to 3 p.m. Reservations are required.

45. Explore Historic Guthrie – Check out Oklahoma’s First Capitol, ride the trolley, or just stroll through downtown and window shop. 

46. Travel Route 66 – You don’t have to go far to find Route 66 in Oklahoma. A quick drive to Pops and the Round Barn in Arcadia are quick ways to discover some of the state’s quirky, beloved roadside attractions.

47. Territorial Schoolhouse – Step back in time and visit the first one-room schoolhouse in Oklahoma. 

Keep it Local at a Festival or Special Event

48. Watch the Blue Angels Soar – On June 1st and 2nd the Blue Angels will be at Tinker. The event is totally free and should make for a great family fun day. 

49. Attend an Art Walk – The Paseo Arts District hosts the First Friday Gallery Walk on the first Friday of every month with themes exhibits, guest artists, and more! 

50. Venture to McLoud for the Blackberry Festival – Find all sorts of blackberry items including cobbler, sodas and more. There will also be live music, a parade, a pageant and fireworks for you and your family to enjoy. The festival runs Friday, July 12th – Saturday, July 13th. 

51. 20th Annual Ice cream festival – Take a trip to Chandler for FREE scoops of ice cream and tastings of home-made sweets.

52. Experience Native American Culture – At the Red Earth Festival, enjoy a variety of both traditional and contemporary artworks will astound as you move through the exhibits featuring some of today’s most celebrated Native American artists.

53. Bust out your red, white and blue for Libertyfest – Take in the all-day activities in Edmond this July Fourth. Check out the parade, festival activities, food, music and more throughout the day, and wrap your night up with a brilliant display of fireworks over the UCO campus. 

54. Rush Springs Watermelon Festival – Who doesn’t love watermelon in the summer? Visit Rush Springs as they celebrate the watermelon harvest with seed spitting contests, arts and crafts, live entertainment, a 5k Watermelon Run, FREE watermelon and more.

55. Shawnee Trail Days – Step back in time on June 21st and 22nd to enjoy live demonstrations, games, entertainment, cooking contest, car show, and period demonstrators,

56. Farmer’s Market Guide – Support local Farmer’s and enjoy an open market at your local Farmer’s Market. 

Learn Something New at a Free or Cheap Class

57. Free Crafts for Kids – Make your way to the Lakeshore Learning Store at 6300 N May Ave every Saturday for free crafts! The event is open to kids ages 3 and up, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., no reservation required.

58. Michael’s Camp Creativity – for just $3 a class your child can enjoy great crafts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the summer. 

59. Build Legos at Penn Square Mall – On the first Tuesday of the month, you can head to the Lego Store in Penn Square Mall for a free Mini Model Build.

60. Build and Grow With Lowe’s – Attend free workshops at Lowe’s that help kids learn how to make fun projects, like a birdhouse and planter. Register ahead for these events.

Summer Classics

61. Set up a Lemonade Stand – Minimal cost, maximum fun (and cute!) Plus you can totally pass this off as a teachable activity – put those little entrepreneurs to work!.

62. Catch Lightning Bugs – This summer staple can’t be beat, and it’s free fun for the whole family.

63. Go Camping – But not without reading this list of tips for a successful trip first!

64. Have a Water Balloon Fight – Bonus points if you’re the one that starts it, mom!

65. Make Your Own Art – While you’re outside with the water balloons, break out the sidewalk chalk and let your little artists create their own masterpieces.

66. Get Pinteresty – With this great list of kid-approved crafts

67. Sprinklers – Turn ’em on. Run like crazy. Water your lawn and wear out the kids all at once. Yes please!

Other Free Activities around OKC

68. Tour Braum’s – Take the drive to Tuttle for a free guided tour of the Braum’s factory. Reserve your spot in advance, as space is limited.

69. Visit the National Memorial – For a few moments of history and reflection, take the family to the Oklahoma City National Memorial in downtown Oklahoma City.

70. Go Bowling – Did you know you can register your kids to receive free bowling all summer long? Several OKC bowling alleys participate in this program, and it’s a great way to save money and stay active.

What are YOUR summer plans? 

 

 

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