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

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50 things to do this summer under $5

Reading Time: 5 minutes 

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 July 28, 2020. Please check back again for more affordable family fun. Due to COVID-19 precautions, some of the following events and venues may have adjusted their hours or programming. Please check with each venue directly to verify.

  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. Enjoy free fares on the third Friday of July, August & September.
  5. Get craft at Edmond Parks’ FREE Art in the Park sessions. Toddlers can get their hands messy with outdoor themed crafts held at various city parks.
  6. FREE Summer Thursdays is back at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Enjoy free family fun including themed craft with virtual instructions, their Oklahomans are Amazing series, a scavenger hunt and more. Held weekly, Tuesday-Thursday, until Aug. 6.
  7. Take a stroll in OKC’s new Scissortail Park and check out the unique play equipment and water features. Or try out another free splash pads on this handy list. Note: Due to COVID-19, some splash pads have delayed opening. 
  8. See Oklahoma’s only mummy at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art. During July and August, admission is free thanks to a generous donation. The museum is limiting guests in the galleries so reservations are recommended.
  9. 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.
  10. Celebrate our local pollinators at the FREE National Honeybee Day event at Martin Park Nature Center on Aug. 15 from 2-4 p.m.! Pollinators play an important role in our ecosystem. Learn how you can help!
  11. Listen to an audiobook or podcast. Here’s a handy list of popular kid-friendly podcasts.
  12. 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.
  13. Make an obstacle course in your backyard.
  14. 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 August. 
  15. Visit a historic one-room schoolhouse. Many of the ones on our list offer free admission.
  16. Embrace the great outdoors by heading to one of these top spots for exploring nature in OKC.
  17. Have a water fight without the mess! Try out these DIY sponge bombs.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Get some fresh air and exercise together on a bike ride. There are plenty of scenic trails to discover together.
  21. Go geocaching.
  22. Discover local art with Automobile Alley’s #DoorTourOKC. Several local artists created vinyl door covers showcasing a variety of illustrations, designs and styles.
  23. Enjoy an urban adventure at a local futsal, basketball, bocce ball or bike park.
  24. Get moving on the Sky Rink at Scissortail Park. For $4 before 4 p.m. until Aug. 31, families can have fun together on the new seasonal, outdoor roller skating rink!
  25. Stir up summer science fun with a variety of simple experiments
  26. Cozy up with a good book and the Pioneer Library System. Every Tuesday, librarians host a virtual bedtime story time.
  27. Create your own Independence Day parade! Decorate your bike, scooter or wagon and take a spin around your neighborhood.
  28. 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.
  29. Hit up Sonic’s Happy Hour or any of the other special meal discounts on our Restaurant Family Discount page for seriously cheap refreshment.
  30. Make a masterpiece with shaving cream! This fun activity makes everyone feel like an accomplished artist, kids and adults alike.
  31. 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!
  32. Test your Harry Potter savy with a free, virtual triva night hosted by Best of Books on July 31.
  33. 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 through Aug. 12.
  34. Play a round at a local disc golf course.
  35. Plan your mission to space in preparation for the Oklahoma History Center’s From Launch to Landing: Oklahomans in Space exhibit, coming this fall.
  36. Become a citizen scientist by creating your own mammal feeder!
  37. Rent a movie, make this festive popcorn and enjoy a night in!
  38. 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. 
  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. Banana Fro-Yo is a cheap snack that will hugely upgrade a banana bundle. Use on-hand ingredients to make this stellar summer snack.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. Tour the world with a free outdoor screening of Trolls World Tour at Mitch Park on Aug. 14. The screening is free to attend but concessions are available for purchase.
  44. Use grass, leaves, sticks and a bit of yarn to create your own natural paintbrushes with this #AtHomeArt project.
  45. Create a nature scavenger hunt in your back yard.
  46. RailFest at Moore’s Central Park (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features family activities including barrel train rides, food trucks, music and more. Most activities are free. Aug. 22, 4-7 p.m. 
  47. Embark on a spider sniffing night nike at Martin Park Nature Center to learn about the web weavers that call the park home. Aug. 22, 7:30-9 p.m. 
  48. 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. The next ride is tentatively planned for Sept. 2. 
  49. Enjoy a day trip to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Lawton. Get tips for your visit here.
  50. Connect with community at Moore’s FREE National Night Out event on Aug. 4 from 7-9 p.m. This community-building event features fun activities, safety demonstrations and giveaways.

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

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