Ultimate Summer Fun - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

Where OKC parents find fun & resources

Ultimate Summer Fun

by Erin Page. Photos provided.

Reading Time: 10 minutes 

From long-time OKC favorites and top trends in family fun to close-to-home travel destinations and boredom busters, check out these 100 ideas to make your summer extra bright!

The highlighted listings in this article represent paid partners.


OKC Staples & Favorites


Visit your local library! Both the Metropolitan and Pioneer library systems are hosting summer reading challenges, story times, family programming and much more all summer long.


Take a hike … at night! Go on a Park After Dark nature walk at Martin Park Nature Center on May 6 or Aug. 5 to hear and see nocturnal animals that only come out when the lights are out.


Enjoy nostalgic family fun at a local drive-in movie theater.


Commemorate the 100th birthday of Civil Rights activist Clara Luper with music by the OKC Phil at the Clara Luper Centennial concert on May 13.


Giddy up cowboy and head to the Chuck Wagon Festival at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum on May 27-28.


Enjoy drop-in art the third Saturday of May and June from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Activities help family members of all ages connect to the exhibits on display and explore their creativity. Kids ages 17 and under always get in free!


Learn about influential Oklahomans at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s FREE Summer Thursdays. Every Thursday in June and July, enjoy story time, crafts and games, plus explore the museum exhibits. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day.


Enjoy Indigenous art, music, activities and programs at the annual Red Earth Festival on June 1-3 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.


Celebrate all the best in #okcfamilyfun at MetroFamily’s Kids Fest! Join us at Rose State College on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get your tickets at metrofamilymagazine.com/kidsfest.


Check out the newly renovated Inasmuch Foundation Crystal Bridge Conservatory at Myriad Gardens. Don’t miss the interactive stations along the third-level skywalk or the Discovery Room, which offers new family-friendly activities every month.


Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.


Watch Shakespeare … under the stars! Giggle and grin watching romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, performed by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park June 8-18 in the Paseo District.


Experience turn-of-the-century territorial Oklahoma at the Harn Homestead during their Picnic on the Prairie event on June 17.


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.


Brush up on your angling skills with OKC Parks’ Hooked on Fishing lessons, happening on select Saturdays all summer long. Kids ages 5-15 can sign up at okc.gov/parksignup.


Schedule a tour of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Eagle Aviary, home to injured eagles that cannot be returned to the wild. Eagles are an integral symbol of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation culture, revered as warriors and messengers, and a visit to the Eagle Aviary to learn about the birds’ care and cultural significance from their caregivers is a sacred, once-in-a-lifetime experience!


Explore military history and vehicles at the free 45th Infantry Museum.


Sign up for Vacation Bible School! Churches around the metro host the free events throughout the summer, including New Covenant’s FREE Keeper of the Kingdom VBS June 26-29, where kids ages 4 through fifth grade will enjoy crafts, games, songs and more. Check out metrofamilymagazine.com/vacation-bible-school-guide for all the options.


Celebrate all things red, white and blue at Edmond’s LibertyFest, with events held from June 14 through July 4. Catch the iconic parade and fireworks show, both held on Independence Day.


Experience explosive fun, watch weather come to life and examine electrifying experiments during Science Live! shows at Science Museum Oklahoma.


Spend a day strolling through Bricktown. Ride the Bricktown Water Taxi, play a round of mini golf at Brickopolis Entertainment, catch an OKC Dodgers game at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, bowl a strike at Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge, visit the American Banjo Museum and much more!

Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership


Head to the Oklahoma State Capitol to see where Oklahoma laws are made. Stop by the museum to learn about the history of the building. Don’t forget to look up to admire the sculpture of The Guardian by Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole) atop the dome!


OKC is alive with The Sound of Music! Catch Lyric Theatre’s production of this Rodgers and Hammerstein family favorite June 27 through July 2. Featuring a 75-member cast, live orchestra and Canterbury Voices, don’t miss the chance to “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” this summer.


Take a trip to Africa … at the OKC Zoo! Expedition Africa, opening this summer, will feature Zoo favorites, like giraffes and the African Painted Dogs, in addition to species brand new to the Zoo. Enjoy views of the African savanna and naturalistic animal habitats across 12 acres, the largest Zoo expansion to date!


Celebrate the end of summer at Yukon’s annual Red Dirt music festival: Rock the Route! Held Aug. 31, the free concert features family activities and food trucks in addition to a variety of performances.


New & Trending Things to Do


Challenge your family to a friendly game of basketball, pickleball or futsal at the new courts in the southern section of Scissortail Park.


Take part in the FREE oNE OKC block party celebrating Northeast OKC on May 5-7 at Washington Park. Enjoy live entertainment, food trucks, vendors, kids’ activities, volunteer opportunities and more.


Take a FREE family yoga class! In celebration of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, classes will be held May 13 and June 17 at Bikram Yoga Studio. Ages 4 and up are welcome.


Discover why OKC was named the No. 1 city for street art by USA Today in 2022! Download MetroFamily’s Street Art Scavenger Hunt to explore some of the city’s most well-known public art at metrofamilymagazine.com/street-art-scavenger-hunt.


Catch the final days of the exhibit The Art of Food at Oklahoma Contemporary, where admission is always FREE, before it closes on May 22. Plus, make plans to enjoy FREE Second Saturday family fun in June and July.


Check out the new First Americans Museum on the third Sunday of the month when kids ages 4 to 12 get in free for AT&T Sundays.


Learn about the legacy of Charlie Christian, a key figure in the development of jazz and bebop music. Then, head to the Charlie Christian International Music Festival June 1-3 at Oklahoma City Community College for family fun, food and music by local and nationally-noted artists. Bring your lawn chairs!


Spend a day in nature learning about plants, bugs, soil and more at the Myriad Gardens’ new Children’s Gardening Fair June 3-4.


Experience the depths of the rainforest … right here in the metro! Climb a giant spider web, zip along a butterfly monorail, swing on rope vines, reenact the sounds of rain and discover the diverse inhabitants that live in the rainforest in Sam Noble Museum’s Rainforest Adventure exhibit, open through June 4.


Climb to new heights at Threshold Climbing Gym.


Enjoy the immersive art experience SYNESTHESIA at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman before it closes on June 4. Admission is FREE!


Catch a flick at the deadCenter Film Festival, June 8-11.


Ride your bike over the tops of shipping containers (yes, really!) at RIVERSPORT OKC’s bike park expansion. Don’t miss the welcome center and nature center inside those shipping containers or the outdoor classroom, community garden and play area.


Keep that bike-riding momentum going by exploring new (or new-to-you!) family-friendly bike trails, events and races. Plan your ride at metrofamilymagazine.com/okc-bike-events.


Walk through a giant ear into the unexpected, imaginative, immersive world of Factory Obscura, where the art on display is touchable and all around you.


Plan some #okcfamilyfun with your pup! Check out our favorite dog parks in OKC at metrofamilymagazine.com/dog-parks-in-the-metro. (Pack plenty of water for you and your dog!)


Ride the streetcar downtown.


Take your summer of fun to the streets! Visit a local street festival or community block party, like LIVE on the Plaza or Edmond’s VIBES. Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-friendly-okc-street-festivals.


Mark National Selfie Day on June 21 with a tour downtown to find your family’s favorite selfie spot. Find our suggestions at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-photo-backdrops-okc.


Celebrate Pride Month at the OKC Pride Fest Parade, Family Zone and Pridefest weekend at Scissortail Park June 23-25.


Dive into the science of osteology at SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology to see skulls and skeletons from around the world.


See the Blue Angels at the FREE Tinker Air Show on July 1-2! See page 34 for tips to take the family.


Visit the new OKC Parks Willa D. Johnson Recreation Center, opening in July, which includes an indoor pool with lazy river and waterslide, teen lounge with esports and gaming area and a teaching kitchen for cooking classes.


Watch the sunset from atop the Wheeler Ferris Wheel.


Cap off your summer of fun at the Fireflight Balloon Fest in Shawnee on Aug. 11-12 with balloon launches, a kids’ zone, splash pad and the magical evening balloon glow.


Close-to-home Travel Destinations


Don’t miss the annual cooking of an 850-pound fried onion burger during El Reno’s Fried Onion Burger Day on May 6!


Encounter penguins, rhinos, giraffes, otters, lorikeets, monkeys and much more at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Wichita, Kan. Just 2.5 hours from the metro, the park offers unique opportunities to get up close and personal with exotic and endangered animals to learn how humans can impact conservation. Find out how you could WIN a “Best Day Bundle” to visit the park on page 6!


Go horseback riding with Sequoyah Riding Stables through the variety of wooded and open trails in Sequoyah State Park in Hulburt.


Experience Tulsa’s The Gathering Place, named the best city park in the nation. Discover 66.5 acres of unique playgrounds, climbing structures, trails, boat rentals, restaurants, outdoor family programs and much more. Check out page 6 to see how you could WIN a trip to Tulsa this summer!


While in Tulsa, experience the powerful story and legacy of Black Wall Street in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District with stops at Greenwood Rising, the Greenwood Cultural Center and John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park.


Dig for selenite crystals at the Great Salt Plains near Jet, the only place you can do so in the world! Get tips for your trip at metrofamilymagazine.com/digging-great-salt-plains.


Rent a dune buggy or ATV to scale the 1,600 acres of sand dunes in Little Sahara State Park near Waynoka.


Take a road trip to visit one of the four children’s museums in the state – including Science Museum Oklahoma’s CurioCity right here in OKC, Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, Discovery Lab in Tulsa and Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in Enid.


Cool off by visiting a cave or go wild on a spelunking adventure. Find our faves at metrofamilymagazine.com/caves-to-explore.


If your cave touring takes you to Alabaster Caverns, head just 30 minutes southwest to Boiling Springs State Park, where, you guessed it, you can see a boiling spring! Enjoy the swimming pool, fishing and golf on-site as well.


Head to Arcadia to see the Round Barn and enjoy a meal at Pops.


Sleep in a yurt at Natural Springs State Park.


Swim and rent canoes or paddle boats on Lake Altus, hike trails, fish, visit the amusement park and check out the newly-renovated lodge at Quartz Mountain State Park in southwest Oklahoma. Include stops at Medicine Park and the Wichita Wildlife Refuge in your trip. Find a full itinerary for a weekend getaway at metrofamilymagazine.com/quartz-mountain-state-park.


Spend a day in McLoud for the annual Blackberry Festival July 7-8, where you can sample fresh blackberries as well as blackberry-flavored treats in addition to watching the parade and enjoying carnival games.


Visit Durant, the headquarters of the Choctaw Nation, where the Choctaw Casino & Resort features a family-friendly tropical oasis complete with pools and waterslides. Plus, visit the newly opened Choctaw Nation Cultural Center where kids will love the unique technology and interactive spaces.


Head south to Frisco, Texas to experience KidZania children’s museum, catch a Frisco RoughRiders baseball game, visit The Museum of the American Railroad and much more! Get a three-day itinerary at metrofamilymagazine.com/three-days-in-frisco-texas.


Enjoy free peaches and ice cream at the 57th Peach Festival in Porter on July 13-15. Plus, check out the parade, arts and craft vendors, tractor pull and culinary contests.


Visit the Chickasaw Cultural Center
in Sulphur and take part in the daily Stomp Dances. Stop by Chickasaw Nation-owned Bedré Chocolate Factory on your way!


Head to the beach … right here in Oklahoma! The Sooner State offers miles and miles of lake and reservoir splashing fun. Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/best-beaches-in-oklahoma.


Float the iconic Illinois River near Tahlequah. Pro tip: plan your float on a weekday, when the river is less crowded.


Visit Osage Nation in northeast Oklahoma for fishing, hiking and swimming at Osage Hills State Park, a drive through the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie and a visit to Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve.


Next, head to Pawhuska to visit the Pioneer Woman Mercantile and walk across the town’s iconic swinging bridge.


Pack a picnic and lace up your hiking shoes for a trek through Red Rock Adventure Park near Hinton.


Stay in a covered wagon at Robbers Cave State Park.


Savor the sweetness of summer at the annual Watermelon Festival in Rush Springs on Aug. 12. Check out the carnival rides, craft fair, car show, watermelon-themed activities and seed-spitting contest!


Boredom Busters


Vote in MetroFamily’s annual Family Favorites contest to crown the best in local businesses, attractions and organizations. Each time you do, you’ll be entered for a chance to WIN a staycation to Tulsa! Vote daily through May 17 at metrofamilymagazine.com/vote.


Volunteer as a family at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Find family volunteer opportunities across the metro at metrofamilymagazine.com/family-volunteer-opportunities.


Build a blanket fort!


Sign up for a local summer camp,  like Camp Cadence! Held at Cadence Equestrian Center with weekly options from June through early August, campers ages 6-17 learn about horse care and enjoy riding lessons in a safe environment. Find summer camp options to fit your child’s interests  at metrofamilymagazine.com/summer-camps.


Enter for a chance to WIN the best summer ever with prize experiences from the Gaylord Texan and Tanganyika Wildlife Park, as well as toys and games like Paddlesmash, Gel Blasters and so much more! Enter our Ultimate Summer Fun contest daily from May 19 through June 19 at metrofamilymagazine.com/contests.


Take a hike, ride your bikes or go on a nature walk along the 13 miles of trails around Edmond’s Arcadia Lake. The trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.


Visit a locally owned bookstore such as Nappy Roots, Full Circle, Commonplace Books or Best of Books, many of which host weekly story times.


Head off the beaten path for some new-to-you attractions like the Oklahoma Railway Museum or Oklahoma Firefighters Museum. Find more ideas at metrofamilymagazine.com/lesser-known-venues-for-family-fun-in-okc.


Have a hula-hooping contest.


Stay cool at a metro splash pad. Find our favorites at metrofamilymagazine.com/splash-pads-pools-lakes.


Stay up late to stargaze.


Give young athletes a leg up in learning life skills like teamwork, listening and cognitive functioning in SoccerCity’s Lil’ Kickers classes. Kids ages 18 months through 9 years enjoy imaginative play games in addition to soccer instruction. Check out page 61 to score a FREE trial class.


Make a list of your favorite local parks and playgrounds and then add some new-to-you locations you want to try. How many can you check off your list by the end of the season? Visit metrofamilymagazine.com/metro-parks to get started.


Enjoy the best of locally grown produce and foods by visiting the Edmond Farmers Market on Saturdays. Find a full list of our favorite local markets at metrofamilymagazine.com/farmers-markets.


After visiting a farmers market or local pick-your-own farm, create a meal with your finds. Get healthy summer recipe inspiration from Shape Your Future Oklahoma on page 36.


Check out an audiobook from your local library and listen as a family.


Break out the glow sticks for a twilight family walk.


Sign up for swim lessons. Find the best metro options, including survival swim lessons and Parent-Tot classes through locally owned Oklahoma Swim Academy, at metrofamilymagazine.com/swimming-lessons.


Enjoy a summertime outdoor concert or movie. Find the metro’s seasonal line-up at metrofamilymagazine.com/outdoor-movies-concerts.


Grab a cool treat from a shaved ice stand. Find local hot spots to enjoy cool treats at metrofamilymagazine.com/places-to-find-cool-treats-in-okc.


Conduct science experiments with items you already have on hand at home. Visit metrofamilymagazine.com/simple-science to get started.


Plan a backyard campout or go camping at a state park.


Incentivize the kids to complete their summer chores with the promise of a trip to locally owned The Learning Tree Toys, Books & Games, where, based on age, interest and budget, the sales team can recommend just the right products for allowance spending.


Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Find a list of things to search for at metrofamilymagazine.com/outdoor-scavenger-hunt.


Create a digital scrapbook or photo book of your family’s favorite summertime experiences so you can look back at the memories for years to come!


For even more summertime family fun, check out our Summer Fun Guides, packed with things to do all season long.

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