20 Things to Do In Oklahoma City

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There are several things to do in Oklahoma City, the state capital, whether it’s your first trip or if you’ve been there before. The city is filled with everything any major city should have, from world-class museums and restaurants to exciting nightlife and attractions. Oklahoma City’s most significant attractions include the vibrant Bricktown Entertainment District, museums, parks and a touch of Old West charm.

Visitors can also enjoy the outdoors at the Oklahoma City Zoo, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, and the many fine restaurants that line the banks of the Oklahoma River, among other places. The city has all the excitement you could want and is perfect for family vacations, romantic getaways, and unique outdoor trips. So, if you’re planning a trip, these are some things to do in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Top 3 Tours

20 Things To Do In Oklahoma City

1- Visit Oklahoma City National Memorial And Museum

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The Oklahoma Bombing Monument with empty chair sculptures memorialises those lost to the terrorist bombing.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum commemorates the 1995 bombing, where 168 people died.

The memorial is dedicated to the victims of the incident, rescuers and survivors.

It provides insights into the events that led to the disaster and the tragic aftermath.

After visiting the museum, stroll through the area and pay your respects at the Gates of Time.

Other popular landmarks symbolising Oklahoma City’s strength and endurance as it moved into a new age include The Reflecting Pool, the Field of Empty Chairs and the Survivor Tree.

Oklahoma City National Memorial is at 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Reserve your entry ticket here or join a guided tour.

2- Explore The Oklahoma City Zoo

Oklahoma City Zoo is one of the USA’s top zoos, making it an essential stop for any family trip there.

There are over 70 different kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish to see along the zoo’s Oklahoma Trails, a 7-acre (2.8 ha) naturalistic habitat installation representing the state’s 11 distinct ecoregions.

The zoo has a 9.5-acre (3.8 ha) elephant habitat where visitors learn about elephants, and the Cat Forest is a replica of the habitats of African lions, tigers and snow leopards.

The Great EscApe exhibit is also popular because it allows visitors to get extremely close to apes like gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees.

Kids can enjoy the Children’s Zoo, a popular attraction that offers educational and entertaining activities and close encounters with animals, including flamingos, goats, monkeys and lorikeets.

Oklahoma City Zoo is at 2000 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.

3- Discover Cowboy Heritage

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There are some cool things to do in Oklahoma city today.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a structure atop Oklahoma City’s Persimmon Hill that houses thousands of Western and American Indian artefacts.

The museum was established in 1955 to collect, display, and conserve a wide range of Western antiques and artwork.

It educates the public about the history and culture of ranching in the United States through interactive displays showcasing Native American culture, American cowboy history, rodeos and Victorian firearms.

Visitors can also explore the beautifully designed gardens and the Children’s Cowboy Corral, an interactive space for kids.

The museum also houses an impressive collection of Native American and Western art by well-known artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and sculptor James Earle Fraser.

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is at 1700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111. This scavenger hunt will help you discover the museum and other landmarks.

4- Stroll Through The Botanical Gardens

things to do in oklahoma city this weekend Image of Rainforest gardens in greenhouse with waterfall and walking path.
Wandering around the botanic garden is one of the most relaxing things in Oklahoma City.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a lovely green space in the heart of Oklahoma City, surrounded by tall buildings from the business district.

This lovely area is home to various exotic plants, animals, calming streams, and a fun children’s playground.

They offer educational programmes for kids, such as Junior Gardener and Roaming the Rainforest.

The gardens are beautiful in any season.

You can cool off in the surreal thunderstorm fountain in the summer and glide across the popular ice skating rink in the winter.

Myriad Botanical Gardens is at 301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

5- Explore The Oklahoma City Museum Of Art

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art features travelling exhibitions, an original collection, a theatre and a restaurant.

Opened in 2002, the museum has become an important part of the city’s cultural scene thanks to its extensive collection that spans five centuries and its vast collection of contemporary pieces.

The museum is spread across three floors and is divided into various themes and topics.

There is a hall with Dale Chihuly’s glass artworks, art from Latin America, and the 18th century in Europe.

The museum also features a premier repertory theatre screening high-quality foreign, classic, and independent films.

The Museum School also provides art classes and art camps for children.

Oklahoma City Museum Of Art is at 415 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

6- Take A Walk Through Bricktown Entertainment District

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Looking for things to do in Oklahoma City? Check out these top 20.

Bricktown is a significant entertainment district, originally a major warehouse district, located east of the central business centre of Oklahoma City.

This revitalised district provides visitors with nonstop action and is known for its entertainment venues, vibrant nightlife, cafes, restaurants, stylish shops, and various attractions.

Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the district’s brick-lined streets, a ride on a water taxi down the winding Bricktown Canal, or a movie at the stunning Harkins movie theatre.

The district also features a winery and a duelling piano bar, and if you start to feel hungry, there is a large selection of great restaurants in the surrounding area.

7- Tour The Museum Of Osteology

The Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City is a 7,000-square feet museum dedicated to educating visitors about bones, skeletons and fossils.

The museum houses around 400 skulls and 300 complete skeletons and provides exciting new information about the evolution of the skeletons of various vertebrate species.

It doesn’t look all that remarkable from the outside but you will be surprised when you enter and see the collection of meticulously laid out bones.

As you wander around, you’ll see some of your favourite animals standing as they would if they were alive, sans skin and organs.

The Museum Of Osteology is at 10301 S Sunnylane Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73160.

8- Wander Through The Science Museum

The Science Museum in Oklahoma City is one of the largest science museums in the United States, covering over 8 acres (3.2 ha).

It’s an interesting place to learn while having fun, as it houses many interactive exhibits, a state-of-the-art theatre, a planetarium and several galleries.

Although the museum is designed with children in mind, its many hands-on exhibits will pique the interest of visitors of any age.

The Science Floor, the main section of the museum, shows how science affects our everyday life.

You can also learn about how engineering, art, and technology interact at the Tinkering Garage or explore the interactions between science and art at the smART Space.

The Science Museum Oklahoma is at 2020 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.

9- Visit The Oklahoma History Center

things to do in downtown oklahoma city
The skyline of Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma History Center is the place to learn about the history of Oklahoma, from Native American culture to the details of the Land Run and the early American frontier.

There are a variety of topics, including geology, trade, Native American culture, settlers, and aviation, showcased in the museum’s five galleries, all of which feature high-quality exhibits and cutting-edge technology.

The museum’s beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows provide breathtaking panoramas of the state capitol.

After the views, you can enjoy the lovely gardens adorned with art pieces and native plants.

The museum also hosts tours, lectures, and living history demonstrations for both young and old.

Oklahoma History Center is at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

10- Tour The Henry Overholser Mansion

cool things to do in oklahoma city Long exposure.
The Lake Overholser Dam was built in 1918 to impound water from the North Canadian river.

The Henry Overholser Mansion is a sprawling three-story Victorian-style mansion built by industrialist and county commissioner Henry Overholser in 1903.

Most of the area that is now Oklahoma City was open ranch land back then.

However, Henry Overholser’s mansion added a touch of class to the otherwise rough-and-tumble city.

Because of his contributions to the city’s growth and development, he is often called “the father of Oklahoma City.”

The French-style chateau was sold to the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1972, afterwards renovated, and now functions as a museum.

Although, the historic architecture of the house has been preserved, and the sandstone, chimneys, and windows have all been repaired.

Tour the mansion to learn all about its rich history and period furnishings.

Henry Overholser Mansion is at 405 NW 15th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73103.

11- Have Fun At Frontier City Theme Park

things to do in oklahoma city with kids
Having fun at a theme park is one of the memorable things to do in Oklahoma City.

Frontier City is an Oklahoma City outdoor amusement park with fun family rides.

This park offers everything, from thrilling roller coasters to exciting water rides and mild attractions for the little ones.

There are 50 exciting attractions that thrill-seekers of all ages will enjoy.

Some of the best rides at the amusement park are the Brain Drain, Diamond Back coaster, Gunslinger and the Silver Bullet.

Rides such as Frankie’s Mine Train, the Grand Centennial Ferris Wheel, Dodge’ Em’s, and the Mystery River Log Flume are suitable for the whole family.

Depending on the time of year, there may be a variety of water rides available.

Frontier City Theme Park is at 11501 N I- 35 Service Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73131.

12- Explore The 45th Infantry Division Museum

The 45th Infantry Division Museum is housed at Oklahoma City’s historic Lincoln Park Armory, built in 1937 to honour the Oklahoma National Guard unit that served the state from 1920 to 1968 in both World Wars II and Korea.

Along with the exhibits, the grounds have rows of military vehicles and an extensive arsenal from these wars.

The Reaves Firearm Collection is a notable example, as it contains the standard infantry and cavalry firearms employed by the United States military.

The exhibits provide pictures, artefacts and documents about battles fought in Oklahoma during various wars, including WWI, the Spanish-American War and Civil War.

Anyone interested in 20th-century military battles will love this museum.

The 45th Infantry Division Museum is at 2145 NE 36th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.

13- Tour The Oklahoma State Capitol

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Exploring the state capitol building is one of the best things to do in Oklahoma City to learn about history.

The Oklahoma State Capitol is a fantastic resource for information on Oklahoma’s history and system of government.

Massive murals and paintings of major historical events in Oklahoma can be found throughout the 650-room Greco-Roman building, which lies on over 100 acres (40 ha) in Oklahoma City.

The capitol complex also houses monuments, changing art exhibits, and the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial.

Visitors can stroll through the beautifully groomed gardens and observe the operational oil derricks on-site.

The Oklahoma State Capitol is open to visitors, who can explore on their own or through a guided tour that provides more context.

Oklahoma State Capitol is at 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

14- Wander Around The Paseo Arts District

The Paseo Arts District is the premiere destination for all forms of art in the city and a great way to see the best of Oklahoma City’s art scene.

This district is a great place to get a sense of the local culture.

You can see examples of Spanish revival architecture, as well as several galleries, art schools, restaurants, boutiques and other businesses spread out over two city blocks.

In the evenings, the area comes alive with a mix of trendy cocktail lounges and dive bars with live music, karaoke and pool tables.

Classes are offered at the Paseo for both kids and adults, and topics include drawing, painting, jewellery making and other creative pursuits.

The Paseo also hosts special events like American Craft Week and First Friday Gallery Walk.

15- Cruise Around On The Bricktown Water Taxi

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Aerial view of Oklahoma City shopping area looking down on the canal.

The Bricktown Water Taxi provides a unique way to experience the sites of Oklahoma City’s historic Bricktown district.

Take a tour along the Bricktown Canal to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and attractions of a bustling district at a leisurely pace while also enjoying stunning views of Bricktown’s iconic red-brick buildings.

Another alternative are interesting and historically themed narrated cruises around Bricktown’s entertainment district.

These tours give you the chance to learn about some of Oklahoma City’s popular legends and heroes or to admire the intricate details of a structure that is more than 100 years old.

Dinner cruises and private charters are also available in addition to the standard service.

The taxi service is available seven days a week during the summer months and on most days throughout the rest of the year.

Bricktown Water Taxi is at 111 S Mickey Mantle Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.

16- Visit The Oklahoma Railway Museum

The Oklahoma Railway Museum keeps the state’s railroad legacy alive in a former train depot.

A steam engine and several different train vehicles (including passenger cars, freight cars, locomotives, and cabooses) are on display, making this one of the city’s most entertaining attractions.

The train’s sights, sounds, and smells may make you yearn for a time you did not experience.

This museum is an excellent example of why Oklahoma City is such a fascinating place.

Oklahoma Railway Museum is at 3400 NE Grand Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.

17- Explore The First Americans Museum

The First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City provides an in-depth look at the area’s rich cultural heritage, including that of the 39 tribal nations that continue to call it home.

The museum, which also houses the National Native American Hall of Fame, is an architectural masterpiece with a design that has special significance for the indigenous tribes it represents.

The Indigenous people of Oklahoma share their histories in the Tribal Nations Gallery, where visitors may also view objects on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and find out more about the museum’s origins.

The museum features an interactive family exploration centre, a full-service restaurant with Native American cuisine and a museum store with original artwork by renowned Native American artists.

First Americans Museum is at 659 First Americans Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73129.

18- See A Show At The Civic Center Music Hall

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Attending a concert is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Oklahoma City.

The Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City has represented the city’s dedication to providing top-notch live entertainment since 1937.

With a seating capacity of 2400 people, the theatre hosts a wide range of concerts that appeal to all types of spectators.

The Civic Center is home to the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Ballet, the Lyric Theatre and occasional touring Broadway musicals.

The venue has a coffee shop, bar and concession stand.

The Civic Center Music Hall is at 201 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

19- Check Out The Centennial Land Run Monument

best things to do in oklahoma city in morning light
There are plenty of things to do in Oklahoma City, including shopping, eating and exploring museums.

The Bricktown district of Oklahoma City is home to the centennial land run monument, which commemorates the Land Run of 1889 when thousands of individuals raced to claim their piece of Oklahoma Territory that the government was giving out for free.

This monument honours the brave people whose efforts laid the groundwork for present-day Oklahoma City and ensures their tales will be preserved forever.

An art installation on the site depicts the settlers, their horses, and their wagons racing for the land.

It is one of the longest sculpture series in the world, consisting of 47 bronze statues spaced out across a distance of 365 feet.

Centennial Land Run Monument is at 200 Centennial Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

20- Watch A Big-league Game

top 10 things to do in oklahoma city Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.
You’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Oklahoma City, whether you’re visiting with kids or solo.

Watch a game from the stands while supporting the home team.

One of the best NBA teams, the Oklahoma City Thunder, brings the action to the basketball court at the Chesapeake Arena in the heart of Oklahoma City.

Baseball fans will like to attend an Oklahoma City Dodgers match at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

Although the Oklahoma City Dodgers play in the minor leagues, catching a game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is one of the city’s top attractions.

Nearby restaurants, hotels, museums, and other attractions make these Oklahoma City sporting events convenient for visitors of all ages. 

For more places to visit in the Southern states, see:

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Jessica Shaw is a storyteller who has lived in four U.S. states - Missouri, Georgia, Ohio and Illinois - and has visited many others. She loves history and nature and is a big fan of road tripping.