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12 Free Things To Do In Oklahoma City

Updated: May 7, 2023

We all laugh at some of the Turbo Tax commercials with the slogan “Free — free, free, free, free.” We make memes out of Oprah’s “You get a car, and you get a car. Everybody gets a car.” But the reality is that we all like free things (if they’re good, of course), and that’s no less true when traveling.

Overall, Oklahoma City has some pretty great free experiences compared with other places, including outdoor areas, museums and art galleries. A few of them are for kids, and a few of them are quirky. Some are short activities, and others take up more time. They all can be fun, though, depending on your interests.

So, if you’re on a budget and exploring OKC, splice in some of these no-cost activities with the other attractions on your list. Or you could even stick to only these free — free, free, free, free places.


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1. Oklahoma State Capitol

The Oklahoma State Capitol does indeed have attractions for tourists (and locals!). Consider starting at the museum where you'll learn about the history of the state's government, the construction and reconstruction of the capital building and more. You can also go on one of the tours, which usually starts at the hour. Feel free to walk the six floors yourself, too. Snap some photos of the architecture and view the artwork, from framed paintings to murals.

If you're hungry, there is a café with sandwiches, salads, wraps, etc., and you might find the gift shop interesting as well if you're looking for Oklahoma-themed paraphernalia. Lastly, don't forget to walk the grounds to see the statues and memorials.

2. 21C Museum and Hotel

What boutique hotel would decide to add an art museum to its lobby? That would be 21C Museum Hotels! The company has a variety of locations, all in the heart of popular cities: Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, Kansas City, Durham, Des Moines, Cincinnati, Chicago and Bentonville. The contemporary art museum at the Oklahoma City location isn’t huge, but it is exciting, and everything looks classy! The exhibits also rotate, which means you could go back another time or year and see different art pieces and a new theme.

3. Myriad Botanical Gardens

While the Crystal Bridge Conservatory is not free, the gardens surrounding it are, and they’re beautiful. You’ll discover all types of flowers and plants plus ducks, turtles and koi fish. It’s a perfect place to go on a walk or read a book, an oasis right in the middle of the city. If you have children, take them to the kids' area, which includes a splash pad and unique playground equipment. The Myriad Botanical Gardens also holds weddings, events and even turns into Pumpkinville in the fall.

4. 45th Infantry Division Museum

This experience was very surprising, as there was so much to see that my group didn’t even have time for it all. The rooms inside just keep going and going. If you’re interested in the military, history and weaponry, this is your stop. First take a look outside where all of the planes, tanks and automobiles are showcased. Next, move to the indoor museum for information about multiple wars and Medal of Honor recipients, a military cartoon collection, a chapel and lots and lots of guns and other weaponry. The museum isn't modern, but there’s history galore!

5. Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine

Officially opened at the beginning of 2023, this shrine is a beautiful piece of architecture in Oklahoma City. You'll recognize its reddish dome and cross-topped steeples from the highway. But what you might be most curious about is what you can do there. Yes, you can go inside the church to see more of its interior design and architecture, but you can also visit the museum about Stanley Rother (the first missionary from the US who was martyred), take a look at the items in the gift shop, go on a tour, relax in the gorgeous courtyard or take a walk on the path surrounding the shrine to the Our Lady of Guadalupe statue and St. Juan Diego statue. It's a beautiful, serene place, the perfect spot for some Instagrammable photos.

6. Oklahoma Railway Museum

Do you have a child who is currently obsessed with trains? (Or are you obsessed?) Then “all aboard!” Take them to this free railway museum where they can climb on and explore old train cars and even take a ride on one. There is a small museum room, a gift shop and also an entire car with toy model trains and a railway setup to watch the trains move on the tracks.

7. Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art

Technically located just outside of Oklahoma City in Norman, this museum is part of the University of Oklahoma. It has a lot of exhibits, from European, Asian and American art to collections from Eugene B. Adkins and Weitzenhoffer, so set aside time to enjoy it fully. It also includes special exhibits throughout the year, and you'll receive all of that information at the front desk. Don’t forget to also walk the grounds outside of the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art where you’ll find the large sculptures.

8. Scissortail Park

Every night in Scissortail Park, the 197-ft tall Skydance Bridge sculpture lights up for walkers and drivers. This is definitely a top Instagrammable spot in OKC, and you'll find many people walking the bridge to see this sight each night! The park also comes alive during the day, when people can enjoy walking or running through the gardens and around the lake or playing at the "sprayground." There is also a boathouse with pedal boats, canoes and kayaks, food trucks nearby and Sky Rink, or an outdoor roller rink, though these activities do cost money.

9. American Pigeon Museum

I didn’t know what to expect at all from this attraction since the topic was pigeons. Should it be free? Yes. But was it a good museum? Yes! It’s very small, which is great because you never get the feeling that they tried to stretch information to make it seem more interesting than it is. Additionally, I surprisingly learned a lot about the different types of pigeons, pigeon racing and how they used carrier pigeons in the military. You can also see some of the different breeds in person as the museum showcases several real birds each day.

10. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

This center is bringing more awareness to contemporary art and the conversations surrounding it. There is often a theme with special exhibits, so one thing to keep in mind is that this museum changes. Look online or call ahead to learn what types of art you’ll be viewing when you visit. There’s also a coffee shop inside as well as a gift shop. Plus, the center puts on various events throughout the year.

11. Remington Park

It's off to the races! Remington Park is a horseracing track plus casino. There are two live racing seasons: one in the spring and early summer and one in the fall. Usually, you'll find that the racing happens in the evenings Thursday through Sunday. There are also special events, such as Extreme Racing, which includes races with ostriches, zebras and camels. At Remington Park, you can pay for food, drinks or to gamble, but admission is always free.

12. Martin Park Nature Center

Martin Park Nature Center is a little outdoor escape with more than three miles of trails. With Spring Creek running through it, you'll get to see the red dirt Oklahoma is famous for and watch some wildlife, including squirrels, birds and turtles. You can also stop by the indoor nature center to view more creatures (like snakes) and learn about the land, from how it formed to what grows there. This is a great spot for the whole family to learn and get some exercise.

While all of these stops are free, many of them do appreciate donations. You definitely don’t need to give one, but if you really enjoyed an experience, think about giving back a little because it is that generosity that helps keep some of these places open and FREE for everyone to enjoy.


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