The season of sunshine, road trips, late nights and bare feet is upon us! Check out these 100 ideas to plan your family’s best summer ever.
- A is for Art at this year’s Children’s Garden Festival where guests will celebrate
art in literature. Myriad Gardens’ award-winning festival, happening June 3-12, features colorful vignettes and hands-on activities inspired by four popular books: The Day the Crayons Quit, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Dot and Aaron Slater, Illustrator.
- Schedule a visit to the zoo or a local farm to hang out with
some furry friends! Money-saving tip: check out Juniper’s Butterfly Garden from a participating library and get four free tickets to the OKC Zoo through the Read for Adventure program, sponsored by the OKC Zoo and OG&E. (Valid through June 30, 2022.)
- Amp up water play with recycled or repurposed materials and kitchen staples. Add foam blocks or letters, measuring cups, etc. to a kiddie pool for a fun, open-ended playtime. Money-saving tip: plastic water bottles can easily be up-cycled into funnels.
- Go on an alphabet hunt to find each letter in the wild! C for “caterpillar” anyone?
- Too hot or too wet to play outside? Sensory bins can be your go-to answer! Keep basics on hand such as dried beans, colored rice, scoops and spoons and add in treasures. Or, get pre-made bins from Little Okie Learning Co., a metro-based, mom-owned company.
- Visit your local library! Both the Metropolitan and Pioneer libraries have resumed family programming and will be hosting summer reading challenges, story times, STEAM activities
- Expend some energy to make ice cream in a bag. All you need is a few simple ingredients and some tot-powered churning.Up your bubble game with DIY wands made out of tape and straws or fill a bin with water and soap, plus toy cars, dinosaurs or your tot’s current toy obsession for an epic bubble sensory experience.Utilize found items and sidewalk chalk to craft an outdoor obstacle course.
- Use shaving cream to “paint” on the windows.
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Find a list of things to hunt for at metrofamilymagazine.com/outdoor-scavenger-hunt.
- Get up close and personal with some fascinating vehicles at Edmond Electric’s Touch-a-Truck. Bucket trucks, garbage trucks, police cars and more will be hanging out at the University of Central Oklahoma on June 4 from 9 a.m. to noon. The first hour is a quiet hour — no horns or other loud noises allowed.
- Go on a Listening Walk. Read the book by Paul Showers first and then create your own Listening Walk unique to your family and neighborhood.
- Stay cool at a local splash pad.
Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/splash-pads-pools-lakes.
- Build a blanket fort!
- Plan a playdate at a new-to-you park or meet new friends at a Perked Up Playdate happening monthly on the third Tuesday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Find local favorites and hidden gems at metrofamilymagazine.com/metro-parks.
- Visit a locally owned bookstore such as Nappy Roots, Full Circle, Commonplace Books or Best of Books, many of which host weekly storytimes.
- Head off the beaten path for some
surprising new-to-you attractions like the Oklahoma Railway Museum or Oklahoma Firefighters Museum! Find more at metrofamilymagazine.com/lesser-known-venues-for-family-fun-in-okc.
- Spend the day at Unpluggits Paint & Play, an art studio designed especially for families. Kids as young as 18 months can paint, squish playdough and more, plus play in an indoor play area equipped with a two-story play structure and a toddler treehouse.
- Hunt for your favorite animals in the colorful exhibit Nature’s Course by John Newsom at Oklahoma Contemporary. Newsom’s large-scale paintings of plants and animals are vibrant and engaging for even the youngest artists. Money-saving tip: admission is always free!
- Hop aboard art in motion and ride Mo’s Carousel at Myriad Gardens.
- Go on a healthy adventure! Shape Your Future, a program of TSET, has put together some summertime adventures that pair fun activities with healthy, kid-friendly recipes at shapeyourfutureok.com/shape-future-healthy-adventures.
- • Travel back in time to Zoorassic World, an immersive exhibit featuring more than 25 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, at Tulsa Zoo. The lifelike dinosaurs set in natural vignettes incorporate both movement and sound to give families a realistic experience. Zoorassic World is open daily through Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and admission is $6 ($5 for members) plus zoo admission. Find more info at tulsazoo.org/roar. Money-saving tip: kids under 3 get in free to the zoo and to see the dinos!
- Break out the glow sticks for a twilight family walk.
- See endangered animals in a whole new way in the special exhibit BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo.
The exhibit uses more than one million toy bricks to create one-of-a-kind animal statues. Admission is $5, plus zoo admission. Money-saving tip: kids 2 and under do not require tickets to see the brick creations.
- Giddy up cowboy and head to the Chuck Wagon Festival at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum,
slated for May 28 and 29.
- Sign up for a local summer camp! Find options at metrofamilymagazine.com/summer-camps.
- Hunt for local murals and other public art pieces and then create your own sidewalk chalk masterpiece at home. Try out our street art scavenger hunt at metrofamilymagazine.com/street-art-scavenger-hunt or make your own!
- Go retro and hit up a skating rink near you! Skate Galaxy offers free learn to skate lessons, fun family night packages and extended day skate sessions all summer long. Or, add some spice to a park day at Scissortail Park with a roll around the outdoor Sky Rink.
- Enjoy the best of summer at a family-friendly festival. Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/summer-festivals.
- Run through the sprinklers.
- Plan a road trip. Find dozens of Oklahoma vacation ideas at metrofamilymagazine.com/exploring-oklahoma.
- Tinker in a metro makerspace! Science Museum Oklahoma
has two dedicated makerspaces offering hands-on creative exploration for all ages. Find more makerspaces at metrofamilymagazine.com/makerspaces-in-the-metro.
- Visit a neighborhood block party. Districts around the metro host monthly street festivals filled with family fun! Find the scoop at metrofamilymagazine.com/street-festivals.
- Create an integrated art project, like making a sculpture to explore force or drawing a work of art with patterns. Find instructions from Oklahoma A+ Schools at metrofamilymagazine.com/integrated-arts.
- Learn something new at Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s Summer Thursdays. Every Thursday in June and July, enjoy storytime, crafts and outdoor games, plus explore the museum to learn about influential Oklahomans. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Money-saving tip: museum admission is free during Summer Thursdays!
- Try frisbee tic-tac-toe! Using masking tape and your favorite frisbee, set this game up outside on a nice day.
- Enjoy the best of locally-grown produce and foods by visiting a local farmers market. Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/farmers-markets.
- Head to a local drive-in movie theater for some nostalgic family fun.
- Is it even summer without snow cones?! Check out our favorite spots serving up cool treats at metrofamilymagazine.com/cool-treats.
- Plan a nature-inspired outing to commune with the outdoors and each other! Check out hot spots in OKC like Arcadia Lake or Bluff Creek Park or venture farther to one of the many state parks or wildlife preserves in Oklahoma.
- Hit an Oklahoma beach! Say what?! The Sooner State offers miles and miles of lake and reservoir splashing fun. Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/best-beaches-in-oklahoma.
- Chihuly returns to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in June! The Chihuly Studio welcomes back fan favorites as well as new works of art. Money-saving tip: kids always get in free to the museum.
- Enjoy summer’s tasty bounty by visiting a local Pick-Your-Own farm with our list at metrofamilymagazine.com/okc-pick-your-own-farms.
- Create science experiments with items you already have on hand. Visit metrofamilymagazine.com/simple-science for instructions.
- Plan a family movie night. Check out our recs of family-friendly flicks by decade at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-friendly-flicks-by-decade.
- Celebrate all the best in OKC family fun at MetroFamily’s FREE Kids Fest! You are invited to an epic park party at Scissortail Park on June 18!
- Stay up late to stargaze.
- Celebrate Juneteenth, marking the official end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. Find a family event near you at metrofamilymagazine.com/celebrate-juneteenth-okc.
- The mother road of festivals is coming to OKC June 18 and 19. Route 66 Road Fest celebrates the iconic route with classic cars, movies, music and more.
- Organize a litter pick-up day in your neighborhood or favorite local park.
- Demystify an arctic legend with a visit to Sam Noble Museum. Their exhibit about Narwhals ships out June 19.
- Try a new-to-you locally owned restaurant for dine-in or to-go.
- Dive into the science of osteology at SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology and see skulls and skeletons from around the world.
- Celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21 at First Americans Museum where visitors can observe the solstice sun set at the tip of the FAM Mound. The free event for all ages includes singing and drumming, round dances and art and science activities relating to the change of seasons.
- Plan a backyard campout or go camping at a state park.
- Get creative at Oklahoma Contemporary’s Second Saturdays. Enjoy hands-on fun and visit the galleries. Money-saving tip: admission is always free!
- Cheer on the OKC Dodgers at a game.
- Make homemade slime or play dough.
- Visit the FREE 45th Infantry Division Museum to honor the service of Oklahomans. Enjoy a stroll through Thunderbird Park, where you can see wheeled vehicles, full track vehicles, tanks, aircraft and more.
- Ride the streetcar downtown.
- Go fishing. Kids ages 5-15 can learn basic fishing skills with OKC Parks’ Hooked on Fishing lessons happening on select Saturdays all summer long. Sign up at okc.gov/parksignup.
- Experience turn-of-the-century territorial Oklahoma at the Harn Homestead.
- Go bird watching at Martin Park Nature Center. Count the variety of species you see.
- Listen to an audiobook as a family.
- Play tourist with a ride on the Bricktown Canal boats.
- Shut off the screens and play a board game together.
- Visit the brand-new Oklahoma State Capitol Museum
to learn about the history of our capitol and see unique artifacts about Oklahoma.
- Have a hula-hooping contest.
- Dedicate an afternoon to pay it forward with random acts of kindness.
Tweens & Teens
- Take in some tunes at an outdoor concert. Find one near you at metrofamilymagazine.com/outdoor-movies-concerts
- Volunteer as a family. Get ideas at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-volunteer-opportunities.
- Play a round of disc golf. Find courses to try at metrofamilymagazine.com/disc-golf-courses-in-the-metro.
- Get prepped for a family 5k run or 10-mile bike ride. Find training tips from local experts at metrofamilymagazine.com/train-race-ride.
- Accept a summer reading challenge. Local libraries are giving away fun prizes!
- Catch a flick at the deadCenter Film Festival, June 9 through 12.
- Pack a picnic and revisit your favorite childhood park.
- Take a spin on the Wheeler Ferris Wheel to see the city skyline from way up high.
- Then, kick back with a good book and lounge in the hammocks near the Wheeler Wheel.
- Tour downtown to find your favorite selfie spot. Pencil in few of our favorites found at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-photo-backdrops-okc
- Track down your favorite food truck
for an outdoor lunch.
- Test your sleuthing skills and go geocaching.
- Putt a round of mini golf.
- Embark on a Native art-cation. Find adventure, culture and history through public Native art in Oklahoma. Plan your trip at metrofamilymagazine.com/pubic-native-art.
- Dust off the bikes and enjoy a family ride. The metro boasts miles of biking trails including lakeside paths and mountain bike trails. Start planning at metrofamilymagazine.com/trail-riding-with-kids.
- Channel your inner speedster with go-cart racing.
- Schedule a phone-free day to unplug together.
- Host a game night to see who will be crowned family champion. Check out our list of reader recommendations at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-board-games
- Reach for new heights at a climbing gym.
- Try out Oklahoma’s only indoor skate park, The Daily Shredd, located in Edmond. The spacious indoor park is open to skateboarders as well as roller and in-line skaters.
- Go surfing! Yes, you can surf right here in OKC at RIVERSPORT Adventures’ newest attraction Surf OKC.
- Visit a local college campus.
- Make a family TikTok.
- Visit the new First Americans Museum to experience history through the lens of the 39 distinct tribal nations in Oklahoma today.
- Go hiking.
- Brunch around town and let us know your favorite.
- Enjoy a new immersive art experience, Synesthesia, by Factory Obscura
at Fred Jones Museum of Art. Money-saving tip: museum admission is always free.
- Cosplay at New World Comic Con on July 30 at State Fair Park.
- Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. A new mobile app lets visitors connect with six storytellers who represent those impacted by the events of April 19, 1995. You can also find scannable augmented reality markers within the museum and more on the app.
- Cool off by visiting a cave or go wild on a spelunking adventure. Find our faves at metrofamilymagazine.com/oklahoma-caves-to-explore.