As Summer break begins over the next month, everyone is looking for new ways to enjoy the beautiful weather outside. After months of cold and stormy weather, there is no reason to put stress on your wallet while soaking up the sun. Fortunately, there is a host of free activities in the Modern Frontier to keep you busy throughout the summer!
If you enjoy outdoor activities, you’ll definitely want to check out Scissortail Park this summer. From a family-friendly farmers market every Saturday morning to the splash pad located in the park, there is plenty to do at OKC’s largest urban greenspace. If you like to shoot hoops or kick a soccer ball, lower Scissortail Park has great basketball courts and soccer fields that were still under construction last year. Be sure to visit their event calendar to learn more about the many free events taking place at the park this summer!
If you want to check out some incredible art for free, head over to Exhibit C in Bricktown or the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center in Automobile Alley. Exhibit C is a phenomenal, 4000 square-foot art gallery and retail space containing First American artwork. The gallery is free to view, but guests can purchase art pieces and learn more about Chickasaw Country at this hidden gem in the city’s entertainment district. Entry is also free at Oklahoma Contemporary, where the new exhibit Patterns of Knowing will open on May 18. This brand-new exhibition explores how patterns sourced from Indigenous cultures embody a lineage of ideas. This collection of art features the work of Jordan Ann Craig, Benjamin Harjo Jr. and Jeri Redcorn and will run from May to October. Oklahoma’s largest selection of World War II artifacts are also on display at the 45th Infantry Division Museum, which grants free entry year-round. The Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum are both new to the Modern Frontier in 2023, giving visitors two additional attractions to explore for free.
There are also multiple free festivals over the course of the summer. From May 27-29, the Paseo Arts Festival will take over the streets of the Paseo Arts District, featuring over 100 visual artists, 50 musicians and 20 food vendors. From June 1-3, the Red Earth Festival will celebrate First American culture and heritage at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Also in early June, OKC’s 39th Street District is hosting the 36th Annual OKC Pride Parade and Festival. From June 2-4, 39th Street will be decorated with live entertainment, food trucks and plenty of other vendors all leading up to the huge Pride Parade on June 4 at 6 p.m. On June 25, the OKC Pride Alliance is hosting its third annual parade, taking place in downtown Oklahoma City from 11 a.m. to noon.
In August, Chisholm Creek is hosting the Chisholm Creek Fam Jam. Taking place on August 5, this family-centric event is designed to help raise money for public schools by involving local businesses and including a raffle for those who donate to the cause. The Modern Frontier’s summer festival slate culminates on August 19 with the wildly popular Asian Night Market.
For children under 12, the Chuck Wagon Festival at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum grants free entry. Stop by the Adventure District to enjoy this western-themed event from May 27-28.
There are plenty of free weekly and monthly events in Oklahoma City that give attendees a small taste of what each district has to offer. The West Village District hosts a Fourth Friday event on the fourth Friday of every month that features different vendors and live entertainment as well as specials from local businesses. The Paseo Arts District will hold its First Friday Gallery Walk on June 2 and July 7, giving attendees a chance to view artwork from numerous local artists for free. This event helps give these artists exposure while also creating a fun atmosphere for eventgoers. Additionally, the Wheeler District hosts its weekly farmer’s market every Friday evening.