50 Things to Do This Summer under $5

PHOTO COURTESY OF MYRIAD GARDENS. Photo by Justin Coleman with Peak RES. Find more of his work at @just_beardsly.

Editor's Note: This list was updated as of July 19, 2018.

Summer is a glorious season when kids are out of school and families get to spend lots of extra time together. As many parents know too well, entertaining little ones can get expensive. We've got you covered with this list of 50 exciting summer ideas all under $5. Most of these events and activities are actually totally free! Oklahoma City offers plenty of frugal fun, so be sure to take advantage of these incredible inexpensive programs and activities.


  1. FREE Wheeler Criterium in the Wheeler District (1701 S Western Ave) features some of Oklahoma’s top riders in fast-paced, flat track races as well as live music and food trucks. Tuesdays, 5-8:30 p.m. 
  2. Spend a day at the beach, the Bricktown Beach! Enjoy a large sand-filled outdoor park with umbrellas, lounge chairs, volleyball equipment and outdoor games.
  3. Drop a line at the City of Moore’s FREE Fishing Derby on July 28! Kids ages 5-15 can cast a pole to try to catch a prize fish.
  4. Celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month at Mustang’s annual Pack the Park event on July 30. Enjoy a movie in the park, inflatables, games, live music and swimming. Pool admission is $5 per person or $10 for the whole family.
  5. Third Thursdays at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features musical performances, art activities, a special menu at the Museum Cafe, full bar on the Roof Terrace and access to the Museum's galleries, including special exhibitions. Members, free; non-members, $5. Select Thursdays this summer, 5-10 p.m.
  6. Weekly Walk-ups at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features fun activities that explore and celebrate the plant world. Activities vary by each day’s theme. $2 suggested donation. 10 a.m. – noon, weekdays from June 25 – Aug. 10.
  7. FREE Midwest Summer Fest at Charles J. Johnson Central Park (Mid-America Blvd & SE 29th St, Midwest City) features live entertainment, a movie in the park, yard games, food trucks and more, on the first Friday of June, July & August as well as Sept. 7. 6 – 11 p.m.
  8. Enjoy an evening of dance at Myriad Gardens’ Dancing in the Gardens event. Admission is free and a live DJ will keep the tunes grooving. Food and drink special will be available for purchase. Aug. 3.
  9. Watch Disney’s Moana water-side. Enjoy a screening of the popular family flick at Westwood Aquatic Center. Aug. 3.
  10. Summer Movie Express at Warren Theatre (1000 S Telephone Rd, Moore) features kid-friendly screenings of fun movies for a discounted price on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. See website for a list of scheduled movies. $1. 10 a.m. 
  11. FREE Art in the Park, held at various Edmond parks, lets kids use nature and popular children’s book as inspiration for creations. July 3 & Aug. 8, 10 – 11 a.m.
  12. Okietales at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr) features a one-of-a-kind reading and storytelling time where kids can see and hear history. Best suited for ages 5-9. Museum admission included. $2 Wednesdays in June & July, 10:30-11:30 a.m. 
  13. Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a leisurely hour ride through downtown and time training runs. $5 suggested donation. All ages welcome. 8 - 9:30 p.m. Rides are planned for July 27 & Aug 27.
  14. Try a new playground! There's no better way to entertain the kids than to take them to a new open-air play place. These 10 are totally free and recommended by our readers. 
  15. Summer Movie Fun Series at Harkins Bricktown 16 (150 E Reno Ave) features fun family films every day of the week for a discounted price. See website for a list of movies. $2. 9:45 a.m. weekdays.
  16. FREE Summer Concert Series at Hafer Park (1034 S Byrant St) features local bands performing in the park every Thursday in May 24 – August 9 from 6:15-8:45 p.m.
  17. Banana Fro-Yo is a cheap snack that will hugely upgrade a banana bundle. Use on-hand ingredients to make this stellar summer snack.
  18. Gypsy Glam Roadshow hosts a Kid’s Fest at the OKC Farmer’s Market on Aug. 5. Shop, bounce, dine and more. Admission is $5 for ages 5 and up.
  19. Spend a day at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for FREE during their Wide-Open Wednesdays.
  20. FREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in the Norman Arts District (downtown Norman) features a monthly celebration of the arts in Norman. 6 - 9 p.m. Aug. 10.
  21. FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more on the second Friday each month, rain or shine. 7 -11 p.m. Aug. 10.
  22. Sit back and enjoy a FREE flick at Sam Noble Museum. The museum is showing family-friendly movies on select days this summer. Aug. 11.
  23. FREE Art Moves at various locations in Downtown Oklahoma City offers a free hour-long lunchtime art experience every weekday. Events run every weekday, noon-1 p.m. (unless otherwise noted), and are free and open to the public.
  24. Take a spin on Myriad Gardens’ carousel at their Carousel Carnival Day! Guests can ride the newly installed carousel for $2 a rider, try their luck at some carnival games on the Pavilion Lawn, learn how to make balloon animals and more. Aug. 11.
  25. Tuesday Night Classics at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno) features special presentations of classic films on the big screen every Tuesday at 7 p.m. for $5. 
  26. Go bowling! At least three local bowling lanes are offering free games every day for kids out for summer break. You'll have to pay for shoe rental, but this is still incredibly cheap summer entertainment. Learn more about these offers on our Indoor Summer Fun Guide
  27. Head to an indoor playground. Play places are available at both Sooner Mall (3301 W Main St, Norman) and Quail Springs Mall (2501 W Memorial) to provide a little air conditioned entertainment at no cost. 
  28. Outdoor Summer Movies & Concerts are offered totally free at many local parks. Spend a few bucks on concessions and you have a killer summer outing!
  29. FREE Summer Thursdays at Gaylord-Pickens Museum (1400 Classen Dr) features story time and a craft for families as well as FREE museum admission. 10:30 a.m. every Thursday.
  30. Enjoy Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd). This twice monthly event is totally free so spend a few bucks on a tasty cup of coffee and relax while your kids are entertained by a lively story reading on the first and third Saturday at 10 a.m.
  31. Visit the Wiley Post Park Splash Ground (SW 17th & Robinson) or any of the other free splash pads and parks on this handy list
  32. Catch a movie at Northpark 7 (12100 N May, Ste G). If you think it's impossible to go to the movies for $5 or less, think again. This theater offers $2 admission to regular shows and drops admission to just $1 on Tuesdays. 
  33. FREE Hooked on Fishing lessons at various Oklahoma City parks offer kids a chance to learn to fish without the expense of equipment or a license. Everything's provided, just show up ready to have fun. The lessons are held weekly at various parks. 
  34. Find your Zen at FREE Yoga in the Park at Earlywine Park, held monthly on the first Saturday through October at 9 a.m. All ages welcome.
  35. Visit a historic one-room schoolhouse. Many of the ones on our list offer free admission.
  36. Admission at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) is always free. They're open Tuesday through Sunday and packed with exhibits your little ones are sure to find intriguing. 
  37. Explore Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expy) with the whole family. The shop has an extensive children's area and regular events like live music and story times that are offered at no charge. 
  38. ​FREE Make + Take at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) features new art-making projects inspired by works of art on view at the museum. Projects are designed to be accessible and fun for visitors of all ages and all levels of art-making experience. All children must be accompanied by an adult. No registration required. All supplies included. 1 - 4 p.m. every second Saturday.
  39. Check out some public art! These must-see murals are scattered throughout town and don't cost a dime to visit.
  40. Taking the whole family out for a restaurant meal can be expensive. Pack up your regular homemade lunch and take it on a picnic to instantly upgrade your meal time for free. Our list of top picnic spots in the metro should provide you with an ideal location. 
  41. Hit up Sonic's Happy Hour or any of the other special meal discounts on our Restaurant Family Discount page for seriously cheap refreshment. 
  42. Visit your local library. Both the Metropolitan Library System and Pioneer Library System have several locations and dozens of free events offered all summer. Even if you don't catch a special event, these facilities are havens for families seeking free summer fun.
  43. Volunteer together helping those in need at Love OKC. Volunteer opportunities available for ages 12 and up. Aug. 18
  44. Need more cat videos in your life? Myriad Garden’s FREE Cat Video Festival features a collection of the internet's finest cat videos as well as food trucks, live music and more. Aug. 18.
  45. Kick off the school year with a blast at People’s Church FREE Wild World Back-to-School Carnival. Kids can slide and bounce on gigantic inflatables, saddle up for a pony ride, see amazing extreme animals and have their face painted. Aug. 19.
  46. Celebration the end of summer at the Historic Capitol Hill District’s FREE Fiesta Friday. Dust off your leather jacket or poodle skirt and enjoy live bands and classic cars. Aug. 24
  47. Learn about common birds of prey found within Oklahoma City at Martin Park Nature Center’s FREE Build-A-Raptor event. Aug. 25.
  48. Slide Outta Summer at Mitch Park celebrates the end of summer with inflatable water slides, music, food trucks and a sand pit. All ages are welcome and admission is $5. Aug. 25.
  49. Browse some cool cars for a great cause! The Silver Star Community Team Car Show benefits several local non-profits. Aug. 25.
  50. Catch some tunes at the annual Rock the Route Celebration in Yukon. Attendees can also enjoy dining at one of the food trucks, shopping and more. Aug. 30.

Looking for even more summer time fun? Check out our lengthy list of summer resources.

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