A Dozen Ways to Have Budget-Friendly Summer Fun in Shawnee, OK


Photo by Robin Coleman. Kidspace Park.

Summer is the perfect time for going on trips and exploring the road, but if you and your family have the same kind of wanderlust that we do, then you’re probably looking for ways to make your dollar stretch as far as it can so you can keep going and going. Never fear—visitors looking for some summer fun that’s easy on the budget here in Shawnee, Oklahoma need look no further than this handy list.

There are three great museums in Shawnee, admission is always cheap or free, and you’re guaranteed to be fascinated by something you find. The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art has art and artifacts from all around the world, and the best part? While it’s normally $5 for adults, admission is totally free for the rest of the summer.

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center is where the tribe educates both their people and visitors about their history, and the museum within features breathtaking stories of hardship and triumph. Admission is always free, but you can leave a donation or take home a souvenir from their gift shop.

The Pottawatomie County Museum housed within the Santa Fe Depot off Main St. is a great place to go if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Shawnee and its surrounding areas. Built in 1904, the Depot itself is a living piece of Shawnee history; exhibits include model trains, a scale model of Shawnee’s historic downtown, and memorabilia. An admission donation is encouraged, $2 for adults and $1 for children.

Did you remember to bring your swimsuit? Then the Shawnee Splash may interest you with its pool, rock climbing wall, water slide, snack bar, and more. Beyond just cooling off, Shawnee Splash has a long list of events and programs which you can read about here. Even if you miss some of these specials, standard rates are only $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids and seniors.

Have you heard about Shawnee’s dollar theater? Well, the Hornbeck Twin’s standard rate for tickets is actually $2.00, but that’s great for the movies, especially for viewings of recent, popular films. You can see current running films and specials on their website. After tickets for the whole family, you may even be able to fit some popcorn into the budget!

Bowling is always a fun way to spend an evening, especially when you can get a deal on your lanes. Rates at FireLake Bowl tend to vary by the day, but three hours of bowling during their “Extreme Bowl” on Friday and Saturday nights will only run you $17.99 per person. Meanwhile, Shawnee Bowl has a late-night bowling special for $1.50 per game Sunday through Thursday. You can see more of their specials on their website..

If you and your family like to keep it old school on the roller-skating rink, Shawnee’s Star Skate is sure to keep you entertained! You can find rates and specials on their website, but their “Cheapskate” deal on Thursdays may catch your eye—only $5 per person from 6-9 pm.

What’s more emblematic of summer fun than snow cones? The popular summertime treats are popular with kids and will fit nicely into any budget. You can visit one of several snow cone stands around town, including The Hut Shaved Ice, Roller Shaved Ice, The Snow Shak, and Janie’s Snoballs. Search the category on our website to see more.

Getting to enjoy the great outdoors doesn’t need to cost you a penny! In fact, there are several great parks in Shawnee that feature fun amenities for you and your children. If you’re with the kids, head over to Kid’s Space Park on Center St., which features a playground with slides, swings, benches and more in a pleasant clearing. Feel like cooling off? Boy Scout Park features a free splash pad where younger kids can run around and have fun with the water features.

If you’re interested in keeping up with your cardio while you travel why not head out to the airport track? With a running trail over three miles in length and some strength training equipment on the south side close to the Japanese peace garden, it’s a great environment for shaping up. Not only is it free, but you’ll be burning those pesky calories left over from enjoying all of our great restaurants.

Depending on when you happen to be in town, there are often free public events that take place at the Celebration of Life Park in downtown Shawnee. One example is the 3rd Friday Block Parties organized by Safe Events for Families (SEFF), which feature live entertainment, farmer’s market vendors, craft vendors and more. You can always check the events calendar on our website to see what’s going on. You may find something that delights you.

If nothing on this list jumps out at you, not to worry—there’s so much to do on our website, you can have fun putting something together yourself. Get creative and make your own scavenger hunt activities with the resources available, such as the painted horses, selfie stops, and other attractions. Go on—do something fun, take pictures, and let us know with the hashtag #VisitShawneeOK so we can share it with our followers.

If you find yourself stumped, remember you can always find us in the visitor center at 231 N. Bell Ave. here in Shawnee, or give us a ring at (405) 275-9780. We would love to help you and your family figure out the next step of your visit.

Posted by Visit Shawnee on 07/03/2019

Share this