If you’re like most Oklahoma parents, you love finding free activities for the whole family to do. Whether you’re keeping an eye on your bottom line or you simply enjoy the feeling of saving a few bucks, you’re in luck. So, take advantage of our guide and check out these six things to do in Oklahoma City that won’t cost you a dime.
Discover the Children’s Learning Center
Edmond Historical Society and Museum provide complementary educational programming and quality exhibits to area residents at its facility on South Boulevard. Museum directors invite kids as young as toddlers to visit its popular Children’s Learning Center. This miniature pioneer town is located in the main gallery and features information about early Edmond, including vintage photographs that adorn the walls.
The Children’s Learning Center is a terrific place for kids to learn by playing dress-up and letting their imagination run wild with toys in the activity area. Discover this family-favorite destination and engage in tons of activities without paying a cent with hands-on attractions like:
- General store.
- Train station.
- Post office.
- Sheriff’s office.
- Prairie house.
- Native American tepee.
- Newspaper office.
Beyond Edmond Museum’s extensive permanent displays, staff offer loads of free activities for all ages, such as Olympic Family Day each February. Kids will make themed crafts, play games, read stories and explore the temporary exhibit “From Athens to Atlanta: An Olympic Collection 1896-1996.”
Stretch Your Legs at the Route 66 Park
The Route 66 Park is another excellent cost-free find near home. This 148-acre park sits along the shores of Lake Overholser. It boasts everything a delightful community gathering place should, including fishing ponds, walking trails, a playground, an amphitheater, a skate court, and an observation tower.
Strap your baby in their stroller and go for a walk down the “Mother Road.” This memorial path is a replica of the historic Route 66 roadway as it travels from Chicago to Los Angeles. Located on Northwest 23rd Street in Yukon, Route 66 Park also offers drinking fountains, picnic tables, and restrooms, so plan to pack a cooler with sandwiches and stay for lunch.
Get Wet at Scissortail Park
Discover Oklahoma’s natural beauty at Scissortail Park. Located on Southwest Seventh Street, between Hudson and Robinson, this lively 70-acre space offers parents and children a fun and welcoming environment. It’s truly an urban oasis, sitting near the shore of the Oklahoma River.
Scissortail Park offers loads of engaging outdoor experiences for visitors of all ages. Roam through the gardens or take a break from walking while the kids play on the playground. There’s also a 3.7-acre lake, a boathouse, a dog park, a large grassy lawn, and a picnic grove trellis. In addition, you get free access to the park’s numerous gardens, including the Gaylord Family Parterre, Mary Ann and Stroud Holt, and the Scissortail Lake Lens.
Oklahoma City residents with limited mobility can also schedule a free golf cart tour of the park. Scissortail is always free to visit. However, there are private or ticketed events held on occasion. It’s open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., while the Children’s Park is open from dawn until dusk.
Get Your Kicks on Route 66
Oklahoma is home to the longest strip of Route 66, and the local section of this historic roadway is a must-drive — if you haven’t already. While you will have to fill up the tank, there’s no charge to travel back in time. Point out Oklahoma City’s many iconic landmarks like classic hotels, museums, memorials, vintage gas stations, and cafes to the kids as you cruise down the highway. You can start your tour with some of our favorite sites, including:
- Braum Grocery’s Milk Bottle.
- Will Roger’s Theatre.
- Ann’s Chicken Fry House.
- Phillips 66 station.
- Lake Overholser bridge.
- Arcadia Motel.
Tour the State Capitol
Get to know the State Capitol with a 45-minute tour. The Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation operates this awesome program. Its trained volunteers provide guests with fascinating Oklahoma history tidbits while you and your family wander throughout the complex.
Inside the Greco-Roman structure, you’ll discover 650 rooms over 11 acres of space. Designers decked out this domed building with marble floors, hand-painted ceilings, and numerous works of art, from portraits to sculptures and murals. You’ll even get to see the working oil well that still sits on the grounds.
Admission to the building is free, and tours are scheduled weekdays on the hour between 9 and 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Meet your guide at the Welcome Center. If you prefer to take a self-guided tour, pick up a brochure from a volunteer to guide you. Parking in the Capitol’s south lot is also free.
Pay Tribute at the National Memorial
Gather with friends and neighbors and visit Oklahoma City’s Outdoor Symbolic Memorial. Officials designed the park as a place for healing and to honor the victims of the tragic bombing in 1995. Located on the grounds where the event occurred, it’s a special place for quiet reflection.
There’s never a charge to explore the outdoor space. Make sure you get the walking tour book. It provides a close look at the Memorial’s symbolism that you can share with your little ones. In addition to the large children’s area with chalk and boards for expressing their feelings, your family will find many peaceful regions of the park, including the following:
- Gates of Time.
- Rescuers’ Orchard.
- Survivors’ Tree.
- Reflecting Pool.
- Field of Empty Chairs.
- Survivor Wall.
- Murrah Plaza Memorial Overlook.
So, there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Oklahoma City just informed you of the six best free things to do near home. Did you like our selections? Did we miss a favorite freebie of yours — one OKC locals would love? If we did, let us know! Drop us a line so we can add your ideas to our ever-expanding list of suggestions.