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 on Aug. 10, 2021. Editor’s Note: Due to COVID-19 precautions, some of the following events and venues may have adjusted their hours, programming or safety protocols. Please check with each venue directly to verify. We encourage our readers to enjoy family fun responsibly. When around others, wear a mask, avoid crowded indoor spaces, remain socially distant, wash your hands often and stay home if you or a member of your household is feeling ill. Find more information about the coronavirus pandemic in Oklahoma at oklahoma.gov/covid19. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine clinic locations, visit vaxokc.com

  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 August & September and on Labor Day.
  5. FREE Summer Thursdays is back at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Enjoy free family fun including themed storytimes, arts & crafts, outdoor games and more. Activities start at 10:30 a.m.
  6. 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 pad on this handy list.
  7. See Oklahoma’s only mummy at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art. During June & July, admission is free thanks to a generous donation. The museum is limiting guests in the galleries so visitors can maintain safe social distancing.
  8. 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!
  9. Listen to an audiobook or podcast. Here’s a handy list of popular kid-friendly podcasts.
  10. 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.
  11. Make an obstacle course in your backyard.
  12. Score a FREE comic book on Free Comic Book Day on Aug. 14. Participating retailers across the country offer a free comic book to introduce new readers to the comic book medium.
  13. Connect with nature and local artisanal coffee on a FREE Hike & Brew hike hosted by Edmond Parks & Recreation at parks and trails across the metro. Select Mondays in this summer. 
  14. Visit a historic one-room schoolhouse. Many of the ones on our list offer free admission.
  15. Find out what’s growing in Oklahoma Contemporary’s new Art Garden! During their FREE Second Saturday event, families can take part in an Art Laboratory to design and create your own original artwork on Aug. 14. Noon – 3 p.m.
  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. Edmond & Moore are hosting FREE fishing derbies for young anglers.
  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. Beat the heat with a movie night. On Tuesdays, Harkins Theatre in Bricktown brings classic films back to the big screen. Tickets are $5 and the movies begin at 7 p.m.
  22. Go geocaching.
  23. Enjoy an urban adventure at a local futsal, basketball, bocce ball or bike park.
  24. Celebrate rich cultural traditions at the Asian District Night Market Festival. Enjoy Asian food trucks, merchants and live entertainment at Military Park on Aug. 28 from 6 p.m. to midnight. The festival is free to attend.
  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 & Thursday, librarians host a virtual storytime.
  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 the 1890s with these fun activities.
  29. 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 planned for Aug. 22.
  30. Hit up Sonic’s Happy Hour or any of the other special meal discounts on our Restaurant Family Discount page for seriously cheap refreshment.
  31. Make your own masterpiece with shaving cream! This fun activity makes everyone feel like an accomplished artist, kids and adults alike.
  32. 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!
  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 June 28 – Aug. 13. 
  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, on display now.
  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. 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.
  39. Watch Shrek and even games, food trucks and more at Midwest City’s FREE Family Friday at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park on Aug. 20. Activities begin at 6 p.m., the movie begins at dusk.
  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 storytimes that are offered at no charge.
  43. Use grass, leaves, sticks and a bit of yarn to create your own natural paintbrushes with this #AtHomeArt project.
  44. Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan. Enjoy western-themed activities, storytime, craft activities, live music by the Cowboys at Heart band, face painting and more. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. and admission is free.
  45. Create a nature scavenger hunt in your backyard.
  46. Spend even more time exploring nature during the FREE Family Nature Hike at Martin Park Nature Center. Park staff will guide families on a morning hike and answer questions about wildlife. Aug. 28, 9-10 a.m. 
  47. Enjoy a day trip to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Lawton. Get tips for your visit here.
  48. Say so long to summer with a free, family-friendly concert! Yukon is bringing back their FREE Rock the Route celebration on Sept. 2, 6-11 p.m. 
  49. The Paseo Arts Festival usually kicks off the summer over Memorial Day weekend, but this year, the festival is happening over Labor Day weekend. The historic district will be filled with artists showcasing a variety of mediums including performing arts.
  50. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a day celebrating off-roading at the Midwest Jeepfest in Guthrie. The festival is free to attend and features off-road activities, children’s activities, a rock climbing wall, live entertainment and more. Sept. 4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Looking for even more summertime fun? Check out our long list of summer resources. For more financially focused resources, visit our collection of family finance articles that include expert guidance to frugal family fun ideas. 

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