Howdy! If you’re looking for the coolest destination in the Midwest, then look no further than Oklahoma City.
With its cowboy influences seen around every corner, Oklahoma’s capital is often considered to be “the biggest small town you’ll ever see”.
There is tons of fun to be had in Oklahoma City that both adults and children will enjoy, as well as big kids, too.
As its reputation suggests, it combines the perks of the big city with a small-town community – you won’t see anything like it elsewhere.
That said, the city is most proud of its Western heritage. Therefore, you’ll find tons of museums dedicated to cowboy history, as well as horse shows and barbeque stands.
However, if it is your first time in the city, it can certainly become overwhelming when you’re thinking about what to do.
With this in mind, this guide will walk you through all the best things to do in Oklahoma City so you can stop worrying about your itinerary and start making some memories.
Let’s get started.
When it comes to fashionable dining, rousing nightlife, and crowd-pleasing entertainment, there is no other place quite like Bricktown Entertainment District in Oklahoma City.
Here, you’ll find tons of action all within the city’s refreshed downtown warehouse district. Simply park your car and make your way through the district’s pleasant brick-lined streets.
You can catch a ride on the water taxi and take in all the sights in style while winding down Bricktown Canal. Likewise, you can stop at Harkins Theatre to watch a movie or even dance the night away at one of the City’s hot spots like the Coyote Ugly Saloon.
When you have finished the dance exploring and developed an appetite, you can stop and grab a bite at some of the finest dining establishments in Oklahoma City.
This includes The Mantel and Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse which is known for its celebrity sightings and exquisite entrees.
Alternatively, you can stop at Jazmo’z Bourbon Street Cafe which offers outdoor seating overlooking the bustling crowds along the canal.
If you’re a fan of all things country, then you’ll want to stop at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill. Here, you can order everything from fried bologna sandwiches, flash-fried catfish, or even some of the best Southern sweet tea and steak in the state.
With tons of variety, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Bricktown Entertainment District. Some notable mentions include the dueling piano bar and winery – you’ll never get bored at “The Brick”.
On April 19, 1995, a bomb was dropped on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at 9:02 a.m. – stopping time and becoming a harrowing event in American history.
In the incident, 168 people were killed, this includes 19 children as a result of the blast.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum was established as an honor to the people affected by the attack.
Here, you’ll take part in a chronological self-guided, and interactive tour that is divided into 10 different chapters – starting with the site’s history all the way to the final bombing and what this means for the country and state today.
During the tour, you’ll hear the stories of survivors (and their families), view archived news footage, and see some artifacts recovered from the blast, this includes Timothy McVeigh’s getaway car.
Once you’ve finished the tour, outside there is a memorial that honors all the victims, survivors, and rescuers where the building once stood.
There are many different features to the memorial, however, the most moving could be considered the Field of Empty Chairs.
On the footprint of the Murrah Building, you’ll find 168 chairs that represent all the lives lost on that tragic day. Each chair has the name and details of each person, as well as the floor they were on.
To represent the children who died in the bombing, there are 19 smaller chairs dedicated to them.
As a city that boasts its western and cowboy heritage, it is no surprise that there are tons of museums in downtown Oklahoma dedicated to all things wild west.
One of the most iconic attractions in the whole of Oklahoma City is The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum which is home to more than 28,000 artifacts.
In addition to this, the museum also has a collection of rodeo trophies, and vintage rodeo photographs, as well as a saddlery – perfect for anyone looking to gain a deeper insight into Western culture.
If you want to take the enjoyment up another level, then you can book an activity, such as a scavenger hunt which takes you on a Wild West adventure all around the city.
Immerse yourself in towering blown glass pieces, modern sculptures, many textures of paint on canvases, and tons of bold colors at the illustrious Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Here, you’ll find new energy to artistic expression all situated in the downtown area. As you enter the museum, you’re welcomed by an impressive 55-ft tall Chihuly tower that is twisting and curving in an array of colorful glass.
Plus, there is a range of scattered galleries to explore all within three different floors – reflecting everything from 19th-century European art and international traveling exhibitions to Latin American paintings, one of the largest Dale Chihuly glass pieces collections in the world, and avant-garde sculptures.
If you or someone in your family is interested in biology or osteology (the study of skeletons and bones) then you’ll want to stop at Skeletons: Museum of Osteology.
In this 7,000-square-foot museum, you’ll find over 300 complete skeletons, as well as over 400 skulls.
The museum offers skeletons of all sizes, ranging from massive humpback whales to tiny hummingbirds.
During your journey throughout the museum, you’ll be given the opportunity to learn all about the vertebrate kingdom, as well as an option to touch the skeletons on display.
Here, you will learn everything about adoption and locomotion, as well as how the different animals thrived in their environment and how this impacted their skeletal system.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet bar, a peaceful restaurant, or to even dance the night away in a club, well, there is something for everyone at a night in Oklahoma City (see also “Best Hotels In Oklahoma City“).
If you want to get to know the locals, then you can’t go wrong with Bunker Club. It is situated in the Town Theater building. Plus, you don’t have to worry about dressing up to enjoy it.
The bar offers regular karaoke and vinyl evenings and stands out among other nightspots in the city thanks to its super-affordable prices and vintage art.
While they have plenty of food options to choose from, you don’t want to miss out on the Frito Pie-In-A-Bag – it is delicious when washed down with a cold craft beer.
Explore everything the wilderness has to offer in a world of untamed adventure at the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden.
In fact, it has even been rated as one of the top destinations as a family-friendly zoo in the country.
Here, you can explore the zoo’s impressive elephant habitat where you take a picture of the adorable Asian elephant calf Achara who was born in 2014.
Alternatively, you can test your bravery and go watch the lions and tigers as they sulk around their habitats.
Besides this, one of the most popular exhibits to take part in is the Great EscApe. Here, visitors are rewarded with an up-close and personal experience with mighty gorillas, spry orangutans, and playful chimpanzees.
There is tons of fun for children, too. In fact, around every corner, there is an activity to take part in. For instance, the hugely popular Children’s Zoo where you can find everything from a touch area, climbing frames, flamingoes, and spider monkeys.
One of the best ways to experience everything a place has to offer is by completely immersing yourself in the experience.
Thanks to this farm, you can escape the hustle and bustle without traveling too far.
In fact, thanks to its spectacular downtown areas, you’ll find tons of dogs, horses, chickens, and donkeys.
Oklahoma City is known for much more than its Western and cowboy influence. However, it is one of the aspects the state is most proud of, too.
Therefore, don’t be surprised to find small nods to cowboys and Western culture throughout the vacation.
From museums and restaurants to zoos and farm experiences, Oklahoma has tons of activities to offer.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with some inspiration to make the most of your stay.
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