Nicknamed “The Big Friendly” because of its hospitable residents, Oklahoma City has the best of both worlds, where you can enjoy city life or the privacy of rural living.
The National Stock Yards are located here, which is the world’s largest feeder and stocker cattle market. OKC is the Horse Show Capital of the World. And the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site for Canoe/Kayak in the Boathouse District is the nation’s only urban whitewater rafting and kayaking center.
With a variety of fantastic shops, restaurants, art, museums and outdoor areas to explore, the city is walkable, and no matter what your preferences are, you’ll discover Oklahoma City attractions to create amazing memories. Since there’s a myriad of terrific things to see in OKC, we’ve assembled a list of top places to visit in Oklahoma City based on what locals like to do.
How We Chose the Top 15
We asked our colleagues who live in OKC what their favorite spots are. Then we narrowed the list down by doing online research, looking at Google reviews and fact-checking. Let the adventures begin!
15 Fun Things to Do in Oklahoma City:
- Oklahoma City Outdoor Activities
- Oklahoma City Museums
- Things to Do in OKC Without Kids
- Unique Places to Visit in Oklahoma City
- Family Activities in Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma City Shopping
- OKC Day Trip
- Oklahoma City Theater & Live Music Venue
- OKC Districts – Additional Things to Do
Oklahoma City Outdoor Activities
Scissortail Park is a 70-acre urban park that extends from the core of downtown OKC to the shore of the Oklahoma River. This lively public space was created from funds generated by a penny sales tax. It’s located just south of Myriad Botanical Gardens. The park offers a variety of experiences including concerts, ornamental gardens and woodlands, water fountains, a 3.7 acre lake, children’s playground, seasonal roller link, dog park, Picnic Grove, Great Lawn, restaurant and farmer’s market. This park has something for everyone.
300 SW 7th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73109
This reservoir lake with a lighthouse in northwestern OKC was built in the 1940’s to expand the water supply for the city. Birdwatchers consider it to be one of the best locations in Central Oklahoma. Dozens of water bird species stop along the 17-mile shoreline during their annual migrations.
Lake Hefner is a great place for sailing and weekend sailboat races are held from April to October. Facilities for fishing and picnicking are also available. The Oklahoma City Boat Club is located on the east shore and hosts several open charity regattas and conducts races open to the public. Lake Hefner is also a major recreational destination, surrounded by 9.5 miles of multi-use (bicycle, skating and pedestrian) trails.
Oklahoma City Museums
The world-class Oklahoma City Museum of Arts serves over 125,000 visitors annually with traveling special exhibitions and selections from its own collection, films and arts education. The Museum’s Noble Theater is the region’s premier repertoire cinema. It screens the finest international, independent, and classic films. There’s a museum store, roof terrace, and museum cafe, whose cuisine is complemented by a full-service bar, specialty coffees, and afternoon tea.
415 Couch Dr
What began in 1958 as the Kirkpatrick Planetarium is now an expansive museum that includes child-friendly, hands-on exhibits and a café. The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is here along with a number of specialized galleries. The museum is over 390,000 square feet of fun, one of the largest science museums in the nation. Stop by Science Museum Oklahoma, where wonder meets scientific discovery.
2020 Remington Pl
This museum is not considered a “fun” place to visit but it’s an important one to recognize. The very well-done garden, pool and sculptural memorial commemorating victims of the 1995 Murrah Building bombing symbolizes strength in the wake of unspeakable violence. The memorial is located in downtown OKC on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which was destroyed in the bombing. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is dedicated to educating visitors on the impact of violence. There’s fee parking with admission.
620 N Harvey Ave
Things to Do in OKC Without Kids
The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn is a 1903 historic home turned craft beer bar, serving up local and national microbrews. It’s located in the vibrant, growing city of Edmond which is part of the OKC metropolitan area. The Patriarch has 48 taps of independently-owned craft brewery beers. It’s a great place hang out with friends. They’ve got a big indoor seating area both upstairs and downstairs, plus an outdoor kitchen with a comfy patio, live music on certain nights, outdoor games, and a place for food trucks.
9 E Edwards St
Edmond, OK 73034
Enjoy the best views of downtown Oklahoma City at O Bar, located seven stories above the Ambassador Hotel in Midtown. O Bar offers modern bistro fare, signature cocktails, local beer and a wonderful selection of wines. Have a drink and delicious food while watching the city-life from above. The rooftop bar is open to the public. The staff is friendly and attentive. And they’re open from 4pm to 12am daily.
Ambassador Hotel, 1200 N Walker Ave 7th Floor
Unique Places to Visit in Oklahoma City
Take a walk through the Plaza District in the heart of Oklahoma City. This neighborhood commercial district is full of creative, local flavor. Delight in constantly changing full scale murals on all the walls. The OKC arts district has over 50 local businesses, ranging from dining to theatre to retail and beyond. The Plaza District is home to restaurants. bars, uniqushops, performance venues and creative services.
Family Activities in Oklahoma City
Ride OKC Bike Tours and Rentals allows you to experience downtown Oklahoma City while getting insight into the unique history, art, architecture, craft beer and local food. Have a fun time riding through some of downtown Oklahoma City’s best hidden gems.
You’ll have your own expert guide to show you the best parts of OKC and give you all the insider recommendations for your trip. Their staff takes the time to make sure you know the best and safest way to get to your destination
428 W California Ave
The Wheeler District is a growing, vibrant and connected community on the south bank of the OK River. Wheeler is walkable and bikeable. It represents the creation of an entirely new urban district where visitors can explore a public park, shops, restaurants, a brewery and more.
Be sure to visit the historic Ferris wheel which was rescued from the Santa Monica Pier and brought to Oklahoma City. It has become an instant landmark and gathering place for locals and tourists.
Oklahoma City Shopping
The Midtown District is so much fun, home to plenty of local shops, restaurants, bars, housing, lodging, and many professional services. Located just north of the CBD in downtown Oklahoma City. Midtown is a pedestrian-friendly area. And nightlife options range from retro-chic cocktail lounges to upbeat beer halls, including one with a bowling alley and another with live music and food trucks. Indie boutiques sell trendy clothing and designer home décor.
Belle Isle Station has a nice mix of retail and grocery shopping. There’s a total of 35 stores in the mall. It’s located close to the center of Oklahoma City and close to the trendy areas and the Plaza District, as well as OKC’s Chinatown.
1700 Belle Isle Blvd
OKC Day Trip
A place where nature can run wild right in the middle of a city, Martin Park Nature Center is more than just a park. It’s a hub for nature exploration and education for visitors of all ages. Guided hikes, education programs and an interactive learning center provide guests with a place to learn about nature and wildlife. The park has trails through woods and grassland, plus amenities including a nature center and playground.
5000 W Memorial Rd
Oklahoma City Theater & Live Music Venue
Lyric Theater puts on stellar productions year-round. Classic and contemporary musicals, plays and new works are performed in a renovated historic theater that was founded in 1963 and is now the state’s leading professional theatre company. Their productions and programs reach over 50,000 people annually. Professional actors, designers and technicians work side-by-side with the best of local talent to create magical performances.
1727 NW 16th St
The Jones Assembly is OKC’s premiere dining and entertainment destination on the west end of downtown historic Film Row. Several concerts are held here. Enjoy their indoor or outdoor space, a full service restaurant with regional American flare, a bar with craft cocktails in a spacious venue. You will love the atmosphere… food, spirits and music – the perfect combination.
901 W Sheridan Ave
OKC Districts – Additional Things to Do
Here are a few extra recommended places that we’ll call “runner-ups.” They’re just too good not to mention. All of these spots are located in some of OKC’s popular districts notated below.
Automobile Alley is a historic district in downtown OKC filled with shopping, dining, commerce, art and creativity in general. You’ll find independent stores selling clothing, sporting goods and home décor as well as upscale beauty salons and fitness studios. If you’re in the area, check out Factory Obscura for a cool, immersive, all sensory experience. Automobile Alley a small neighborhood known for its 1920s brick buildings with vintage neon signs, remnants of the area’s Model T–era car dealerships.
Riversport OKC in the Boathouse District is a crazy fun outdoor destination in Oklahoma City. This state-of-the-art whitewater rafting and kayaking facility offers both family fun and athlete training. There’s an 80-foot structure which is the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world and a 700-foot zip line across the Oklahoma River and back. Boathouse District activities include stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing and more. And if you prefer to stay on land, there are more than 14 miles of paved trails for running, walking or cycling.
A couple of other cool places to visit in the Boathouse District – the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum containing almost 30,000 artifacts and art pieces. Or, you could visit the Zoo and Botanical Garden.
Bricktown is a lively entertainment district with repurposed warehouse spaces. Here you’ll find restaurants, piano bars and wine bars, along with eclectic shops that sell clothing, home décor and specialty food items. The Bricktown Water Taxi takes riders along the Bricktown Canal for entertaining and historically-themed, narrated tours and dinner cruises.
Paseo is home to over 20 galleries and more than 80 artists all within walking distance of each other. The two-block street has maintained its Spanish revival architecture with its original stucco buildings and clay roof tiles. Along with the galleries are restaurants, art schools, boutiques and other businesses. Come explore OKC’s unique arts destination.