The Oklahoma City mainly known for its top-rated museums rolls out the red carpet to its visitors who are in search of a thrill, adventure, quality family time and good food and sceneries. Pay tribute to the people of 1995 tragic event at Oklahoma City Memorial, feed the giraffes at Oklahoma Zoo and lose your voice at Mega Wedgie slide in White Water Bay. Make sure to include educational, interactive and action-packed destinations on your bucket list for the trip by following this guide to top tourist attractions in Oklahoma City.
Let's explore Oklahoma City points of interest and 15 best things to do in Oklahoma City:
1. Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is the remembrance of the tragic incident which took place on 19 April 1995. On that fateful day, 168 people died, and 680 more were injured due to domestic terrorist bomb. The Memorial is erected in honor of those who lost their lives, the unsung heroes who rescued the buried and nursed the injured and the survivors who lived to tell the devastating tale. The interactive tour of the museum takes the visitors through 10 different chapters, starting with the historical significance of the site all way through the bombing’s lasting impact.
2. National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Located on Persimmon Hill in Oklahoma City, the institution offers a panoramic view of the city besides being the conservational center of Western Heritage. Founded in 1955, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is an excellent center of a collection, exhibition, and preservation of the Western arts and artifacts. On the display of this amazing museum are the Native American Pieces, real cowboy clothes, and various Victorian firearms used by them. The art collections feature arts of some of the renowned artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Sculptor James Earle Fraser. The museum with more than 10 million visitors since its inception is a perfect destination for an educational day out for a family.
3. Museum of Osteology
The Museum of Osteology is nothing but all bones and skeletons. The 7000 square foot museum has on display over 350 skeletons and skulls collected from all over the world. The museum primarily focuses on providing information about structure and function of the animal skeletal system including that of human beings. The museum exhibit offers information about the diversity, classification, adaptation, and locomotion of different vertebrates such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and some species of fishes. The one of a kind and first of its kind museum should be on the must-visit checklist of the tourists even to understand one own’s skeletal structure if not other animal’s.
Bricktown is a result of the successful renewal project of the once-abandoned red-brick warehouses. The project which took place in the 20th century has converted the deserted buildings into fancy shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The place has been turned into a premier entertainment hub with a number of swanky restaurants, sports venues, and concert theatres. One can enjoy a pre or post-dinner stroll along the serene river or can take narrated cruises along the canal.
5. Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
As a kid, almost everyone was fascinated by different kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds present in the zoo. And if one admires the wildlife still, then he would inevitably fall in love with the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. Covering 119 acres of space, the Oklahoma Zoo is home to more than 1,900 animals. Tourists are most impressed by the herd of African elephants which are enclosed in their natural habitat. There is also a section specifically designed for the young visitors, where they can get up close with monkeys, goats, flamingoes, and lorikeets. If one gets lucky enough to land on the perfect time, he can also feed the majestic giraffes from a special platform built for the purpose.
6. Science Museum Oklahoma
Also known as Omniplex, the Science Museum is a place to release the kid inside. The complex covering more than eight acres of land is a perfect blend of education with entertainment. It comes with a promise of incredible fun offering a large number of interactive exhibits science, engineering, aviation and also of art. It also features contemporary theatre, a planetarium, a two-story tree house, a Tinkering garage, and numerous galleries. Recent visitors applaud its appeal to different ages and interest and have been nothing but praises for its friendly and cordial staff.
7. Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The 110,000 square feet Art Center is undoubtedly the core of city’s cultural life. Founded in 2002 in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center, this museum houses collection spanning five centuries and focuses mainly on the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures of American and European artists and contemporary art pieces. The museum is a must visit place for Dale Chihuly’s fans as it houses one of the most extensive collections of his glass sculptures. Anyone visiting Oklahoma cannot miss out the 55-foot Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower which is on display in the museum’s atrium.
8. White Water Bay
Even though Oklahoma mainly boasts of its magnificent museums, the city offers no fewer thrills for those seeking out for it. White Water Bay is a perfect destination for the whole family looking out for fun-filled ‘family time.’ The water park offers a number of exciting slide rides, raft rides, and family rides. Out of all the exhilarating rides provided by the water park, one cannot miss out the heart-stopping 277-foot long Mega-Wedgie speed slide with 6-foot free fall at the end. Apart from the enthralling water attractions, the place offers plenty of restaurants and eateries to fuel the body after shouting the lungs out.
9. Myriad Botanical Gardens
Spanning over 15 acres of space, Myriad Botanical Gardens are located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. It features striking pieces of art such as the “Gateway” and the “Childhood is Everlasting.” The lush green park has a lot to offer to its visitors irrespective of the age brackets. From children’s park to splash fountains, this place also has an off-leash dog park for Fido owners. One can sit on the park benches and enjoy the serenity of the place or can stroll or run along the paths. One can also get lucky to witness occasional concerts while spending a relaxing evening.
10. Civic Centre Music Hall
Initially known as the Municipal Auditorium, the Civic Center Music hall is an excellent spot for enjoying great live music with family and friends. Built in 1937, it is Oklahoma’s premier concert hall. The hall with 2400 seating capacity hosts 250 performances a year which ranges over various genres such as classical and contemporary, Broadway musicals, comedy shows, enthralling dance performances, and children’s shows. The hall also has a bar and coffee shops so that the guests can have a variety of options while they enjoy the beguiling performances.
11. Overholser Mansion
Overholser Mansion is the house of Businessman, county commissioner, and founder of the Oklahoma City Henry Overholser. He is often called as the “Father of the Oklahoma City” for his dedication to the development of the town. The 3-story Victorian-style mansion was built in 1903 and later in 1972 was sold to the Oklahoma Historical Society. It was restored and converted into a historical museum. The estate features French stained glass, Antwerp fine oak panelling, and English carpets. Visitors can explore through the furnished rooms. The house is reportedly haunted, and one might have the opportunity to experience a supernatural activity.
12. State Capitol
Designed and built between 1914 and 1917, the Greco-roman styled State Capitol Building provides the visitors with the opportunity to explore the history, and government of the Oklahoma state. The 600 rooms covering 11 acres of land contains numerous murals depicting the history of the state and also art exhibits, statues and the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial. The guests can stroll on the landscaped grounds or opt for 45-minutes guided tours.
13. Frontier City
Family adventure time doesn’t end at White Water Bay but gets continued at another rousing destination, Frontier City. The Wild West-themed amusement park features more than 50 rides including four suspenseful roller coasters. The seven stories high ‘Brain Drain’ roller coaster is the show stealer of the amusement park.
14. Lake Hefner
The reservoir Lake Hefner was created to save the Oklahoma City from running into water shortage issue. Named after the mayor of the city, Robert S. Hefner, the lake was constructed in 1947. The lake offers beautiful 9.5 miles long bicycle trails for the family to have a pleasant time. Additionally, it also offers recreational fishing spots with the lake being populated with a various gamefish species including channel fish, walleye, bluegill, white bass, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. One can also choose for recreational boating at the Lake Hefner to enjoy the peaceful evening.
15. Oklahoma History Center
Smithsonian-affiliated Oklahoma History Center building spanning over 18 acres of land is an astounding center displaying diverse facets of Oklahoma history. The 215,000 sq. Ft. of diverse exhibit contains galleries with over 2,000 precious artifacts each telling the interesting story of Oklahoma City and its people. The center is also a hub for extensive research materials and archives. The visitors can explore the botanical gardens outside while admiring the beautiful sculptures. Additionally, one can also enjoy the ¼ mile Red River walking tour and replicate the Red River’s Journey along the Oklahoma border.