The city of Oklahoma City operates a huge number of parks all around the metro. Depending on the location, you can find playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields/courts, gyms, trails and more. Three of them (Dolese Youth Park, Will Rogers Park, and Woodson Park) even have Disc Golf courses for the frisbee enthusiasts. During the summer, 15 of those parks also have spraygrounds with various buttons, levers, and cannons, all to douse the kids with water and beat the Oklahoma summer heat.
Located on West Memorial in northwest OKC, the Martin Park Nature Center is one of the best spots to take kids in the metro, particularly for the fun and educational outings. The fact that it's absolutely free only makes it that much better. Open Wednesdays through Sundays almost the entire year, Martin Park Nature Center is a wildlife sanctuary with a number of animals, hiking trails, a museum, library and more. Guided tours are available for a fee, and there are special events throughout the year.
Location: 5000 W. Memorial Rd.
Many in Oklahoma City know the Oklahoma Railway Museum for the "Day out with Thomas the Train" event. But the museum itself is a really neat place, with freight cars, passenger cars and even a steam engine on display. Best of all, admission is completely free. Be careful, though. The kids are going to want to go for a ride on one of the trains or hold a birthday party in the red party caboose. Those do cost money.
Location: 3400 N.E. Grand Blvd
Lake & River Recreation
Even if you don't have a boat or wish to spend money on a fishing permit, the Oklahoma City area lakes have plenty to offer. Head to Hefner, Draper, or Overholser for some outdoor recreation for the kids. There are picnic areas and playgrounds, particularly at Hefner, and the areas are great for kite-flying or other outdoor games. Like Hefner and Overholser, the Oklahoma River also has miles of fantastic trails for biking, running or walking.
Speaking of fishing, it's going to cost money to fish at any city lake. But Oklahoma City has Saturday fishing classes free for kids age 5-15 throughout the summer at the "Close to Home" fishing areas. The classes cover knot-tying, casting, fish identification and more, and they even provide the poles, tackle, and bait.
Metro Art Galleries
One option for the older kids is to visit some of Oklahoma City's art galleries and allow them the opportunity to appreciate the creations. There are several wonderful galleries in the metro that are both free and packed with stunning artwork. The Underground downtown has an "Invited Artist Gallery" that often features local artists, and the Paseo District has a number of galleries and studios. The gallery at 50 Penn Place is another outstanding one.
OKC Zoo on Offseason Mondays
Some of the items on this list are best for summer. Well, the winter months are a great time to check out all the Oklahoma City Zoo has to offer. The zoo has free admission on Mondays during the months of December, January, and February. That can add up if you're taking a large group. It's a free way to spend an afternoon, exploring the fantastic animal exhibits.
Location: 2101 NE 50th Street
Community Recreation Centers
Many people know of the Oklahoma City parks, but some aren't aware that the city also has 12 Community Recreation Centers around the metro that are perfect for free kid's activities throughout the year. There are games, sports, arts & crafts, fitness, performing arts, and more.
Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park
Keep in mind that it's a non-supervised facility, but the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park at 1700 South Robinson is a great place for the kids that enjoy skateboarding, in-line skating or BMX-style biking. The 26,000 square foot park is open from dawn to 11 p.m. throughout the year and includes various bowl courses and a street course with ledges and handrails. Protective gear is required, and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.