50 things to do this summer under $5 - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

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50 things to do this summer under $5

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.

Editor’s Note: This list is updated throughout the season and was last updated May 20, 2020. Please check back again for more affordable family fun. 

  1. Step outside and check out some public art. These must-see murals are scattered throughout town and don’t cost a dime to visit.
  2. 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 mealtime for free. Our list of top picnic spots in the metro should provide you with an ideal location.
  3. Host a backyard camp-out play date, without all the fuss! While your at it, try out these tasty and fun yummy mummy dogs.
  4. Tour the town on the new streetcars! Day passes are just $3.
  5. Take a stroll in OKC’s new Scissortail Park and check out the unique play equipment and water features, scheduled to reopen June 1. Or try out another free splash pads on this handy list. Note: Due to COVID-19, some splash pads have delayed openings. 
  6. 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! For families still sticking close to home, several organizers like Arts Council OKC and The Depot in Norman are broadcasting and live streaming concerts to enjoy at home.
  7. Bee kind to your local pollinators! Pollinators play an important role in our ecosystem. Learn how you can help!
  8. Listen to an audiobook or podcast. Here’s a handy list of popular kid-friendly podcasts.
  9. Grab your phone and hit a local park for a family photo session. Capture silly memories together and share them with your family and friends.
  10. Make an obstacle course in your backyard.
  11. Connect with nature and local artisanal coffee on a FREE Hike & Brew hour hike hosted by Edmond Parks & Recreation at parks and trails across the metro. Select Mondays in June, July & August. 
  12. Explore downtown on a Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). $5 suggested donation. All ages welcome. 8 – 9:30 p.m. Rides are planned for July 6, Aug. 3 & Sept. 2. 
  13. Visit a historic one-room schoolhouse. Many of the ones on our list offer free admission.
  14. Embrace the great outdoors by heading to one of these top spots for exploring nature in OKC.
  15. Have a water fight without the mess! Try out these DIY sponge bombs.
  16. Go fishing! The Oklahoma City metro has several close-to-home fishing options and City of Oklahoma City offers FREE fishing on the first Saturday of each month.
  17. Paint with vegetables and fruits. Simply cut, dip and paint to see what kinds of patterns you can create. Find more crafts with unexpected materials at metrofamilymagazine.com/bypass-the-brush.
  18. deadCENTER film festival rolls out the Oklahoma Red Carpet for independent films and their kidsFEST lets kids celebrate too. Families can enjoy a series of kid-friendly short films for free online on June 11. Passholders can take part in pop-up, drive-in experiences.
  19. Get some fresh air and exercise together on a bike ride. There are plenty of scenic trails to discover together.
  20. Watch “Godzilla: King of Monsters” poolside at The Station Aquatic Center’s Dive-in Movies (700 S Broadway, Moore). The lap pool will be open for viewing on the water. June 5. Then, catch “Toy Story 4” on July 17.
  21. Go geocaching.
  22. Enjoy an urban adventure at a local futsal, basketball, bocce ball or bike park.
  23. Stir up summer science fun with a variety of simple experiments
  24. Celebrate Asian culture at the Asian District’s Night Market Festival. Explore merchants, see cultural performances, dine on food truck cuisine and more. June 27.
  25. Create your own Independence Day parade! Decorate your bike, scooter or wagon and take a spin around your neighborhood.
  26. Transform into a territorial Oklahoma kid! Find out what life was like when Oklahoma City was getting established in teh 1890s with these fun activities.
  27. Hit up Sonic’s Happy Hour or any of the other special meal discounts on our Restaurant Family Discount page for seriously cheap refreshment.
  28. Make a masterpiece with shaving cream! This fun activity makes everyone feel like an accomplished artist, kids and adults alike.
  29. Take a twilight family walk with glow sticks. Or embark on a glowstick night hike at Martin Park Nature Center to learn about the life cycle and habitats of fireflies. June 27.
  30. De-Clutter your house and sell your no-longer-needed stuff at a local consignment sale or resale shop. Make it a family project and use the cash to do something fun together!
  31. 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 22 – Aug. 7.
  32. Play a round at a local disc golf course.
  33. Plan your mission to space in preparation for the Oklahoma History Center’s From Launch to Landing: Oklahomans in Space exhibit, coming this summer.
  34. Drop a line at the City of Moore’s FREE Fishing Derby on July 25! Kids ages 5-15 can cast a pole to try to catch a prize fish.
  35. Become a citizen scientist by creating your own mammal feeder!
  36. Rent a movie, make this festive popcorn and enjoy a night in!
  37. Head to a Moore park to enjoy free games and fun activities hosted by park staff. The event rotates throughout the summer on Fridays in June & July. 
  38. Spend a summer evening at Charles J. Johnson Central Park in Midwest City and enjoy inclusive family fun including a movie in the park, yard games, food trucks and more, on July 10 from 7 – 11:30 p.m. 
  39. 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.
  40. Make a bleach art t-shirt! Decorate a t-shirt using bleach and stencils with images of your choosing, perhaps stars and stripes for the Fourth of July. The folks at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum are kind of partial to Western imagery!
  41. Taste the sweet harvest at Porter’s Peach Festival. The town celebrates its prize crop with a parade, a car show, music and more. They serve up free peach ice cream on Saturday while supplies last. July 18 & 20.
  42. Banana Fro-Yo is a cheap snack that will hugely upgrade a banana bundle. Use on-hand ingredients to make this stellar summer snack.
  43. Spend a day at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for FREE during their Wide-Open Wednesdays beginning in August.
  44. Communities in the metro host exciting events filled with live music, local food and activities for guests of all ages. Grab your family and take part in thrilling street festivals in your community.
  45. 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.
  46. Volunteer together helping those in need at Love OKC. Volunteer opportunities available for ages 12 and up.  Aug 17.
  47. Use grass, leaves, sticks and a bit of yarn to create your own natural paintbrushes with this #AtHomeArt project.
  48. Create a nature scavenger hunt in your back yard.
  49. 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. 22.
  50. RailFest at Moore’s Central Park (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a train show with family activities including barrel train rides, food trucks, music and more. Admission to the train show and workshops are $5. Kids 8 & under are free. Aug. 22, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. 

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

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