15 Best Things to Do in Downtown Oklahoma City

Downtown Oklahoma City, OK
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There’s always something happening downtown in Oklahoma City.

You can find a list of the city’s best things to do here, from catching a game or watching a movie at the Myriad Gardens outdoor amphitheater to seeing live music at the Bricktown Entertainment District.

It's no secret that Oklahoma City is booming.

Downtown, in particular, has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with new restaurants, bars, and businesses popping up all over the place.

Here are the 15 best things to do in downtown Oklahoma City, OK:

Visit Bricktown

Scenic view of Bricktown
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Bricktown is a district in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

It was established in the early 1990s on land once used for railroad switching yards.

Outdoor mini golf at Bricktown
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The warehouses and factories built in the early 20th century failed to attract new businesses and residents, so the city of Oklahoma City decided to redevelop the area.

Bricktown is now a popular tourist destination, home to many restaurants, bars, and shops.

The Bricktown Canal was created in the early 2000s, and it has become a popular spot for concerts and other events.

A water taxi on Bricktown's canal
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Enjoy at Chesapeake Energy Arena

Exterior of Chesapeake Energy Arena
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The Chesapeake Energy Arena is a multi-purpose arena in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The arena is the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

It also hosts concerts and other live entertainment.

The new arena replaced the Ford Center, built in 2002, as the city's primary indoor sports and entertainment venue.

Chesapeake seats up to 18,203 for basketball games and 20,000 for concerts.

The venue has hosted the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, the 2009 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament, and the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

Daytime view of Chesapeake Energy Arena
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The Chesapeake Energy Arena was built in 2002 with $89.2 million of private funding.

The City of Oklahoma City and the State of Oklahoma jointly funded $20 million to improve the parking garage and infrastructure surrounding the arena.

The City of Oklahoma City owns the venue, while the SMG property management company operates it.

In October 2009, Chesapeake Energy Corporation purchased the naming rights to the arena for $3 million per year.

The city extended the deal in January 2014 to run through 2019.

Explore the Myriad Botanical Gardens

Exterior of Myriad Botanical Gardens
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The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a park in downtown Oklahoma City, spanning 17 acres.

It contains several gardens, a lake, a waterfall, and a children's garden.

The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory is the most popular attraction in the park, with more than 500,000 visitors each year.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit any time of year.

Interior of Myriad Botanical Gardens
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In the spring, the gardens bloom with tulips, daffodils, and other flowers.

In the summer, the lake is a great place to cool off.

In the fall, the leaves change color, and the gardens are decorated with pumpkins and other fall decorations.

In the winter, the gardens are lit up with Christmas lights.

Two monarch butterflies in Myriad Botanical Gardens
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Be Mesmerized at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Exterior of Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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The Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OCMA) is a museum founded in 2002 as the Oklahoma City Museum of Art at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

The museum moved to its current location, a purpose-built structure on the grounds of the State Fair Park, in 2004.

The museum features a permanent collection of more than 3,000 artworks, including American and European paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the 18th century.

It also hosts temporary exhibitions of art from around the world.

The OCMA offers educational programs for all ages, including family days, art classes, and summer camps.

A collection exhibit in Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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The museum also features a sculpture garden and an art library.

The collection includes works by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Norman Rockwell.

Recent shows have featured works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Henri Matisse, Frida Kahlo, Yoko Ono, and Andy Warhol.

The OCMA offers educational programs for all ages, including family days, art classes (for children as young as 18 months and adults), and artists and museum staff lectures.

The OCMA also hosts the annual Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival.

Framed art exhibit in Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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Appreciate Art at the Paseo Arts District

Exterior of Paseo Art Space at Paseo Arts District
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The Paseo Arts District is a district in Oklahoma City home to several art galleries, restaurants, and other businesses.

The city is revitalizing this section; several new companies have opened in the past few years.

Shops along Paseo Arts District
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The Paseo Arts District is unique because it is home to several art galleries.

These galleries feature works by local artists, and they are a great place to find unique pieces of art.

The district is also home to several restaurants and other businesses, so there is something for everyone.

A building at Paseo Arts District
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Bring Your Friends to Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Exterior of Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
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The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum pays tribute to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing victims on April 19, 1995.

There's a reflecting pool and 168 empty chairs at the memorial.

This memorial honors the memory of the 168 people killed in the bombing.

The museum contains exhibits that tell the story of the bombing and its aftermath.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum's reflecting pool
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The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum tells the story of an event that changed the course of American history.

The bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until September 11, 2001.

It also led to the passage of the Oklahoma City Bombing Act of 1996, which strengthened federal anti-terrorism laws.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum's field of empty chairs
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Check Out Philbrook Museum of Art

Exterior of the beautiful Philbrook Museum of Art
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The Philbrook Museum of Art is located in the heart of Oklahoma City at 2727 South Rockwell Avenue.

It is a beautiful 73-acre estate that was once home to oilman Waite Phillips and his wife, Genevieve.

Grand interior of Philbrook Museum of Art
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The museum features an ever-changing roster of exhibitions and the most extensive collection of American Indian art in the world.

It was founded in 1937 by Waite Phillips (an oilman and arts patron) and his wife, Genevieve.

The museum's original location was a 23-room Italian Renaissance-style villa on the Phillips' family estate.

A sculpture in Philbrook Museum of Art
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See the State Capitol Building

Exterior of State Capitol Building
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The State Capitol Building in Oklahoma City is home to the Oklahoma legislature.

Built in 1917, the building is the only state capitol in the United States in the American Renaissance style.

The Oklahoma City State Capitol is also the only state capital with an oil well on the grounds.

Beautiful ceiling inside State Capitol Building
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The State Capitol Building has been used for various purposes over the years.

It has been used as a meeting place for the Ku Klux Klan, a temporary shelter for refugees, and a morgue for victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Interior of State Capitol Building
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Learn a Lot at Science Museum Oklahoma

Exterior of Science Museum Oklahoma
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Science Museum Oklahoma is where people can come and explore the wonders of science.

There are exhibits on energy, space, and Earth science.

The museum also has a planetarium and an IMAX theater.

Interior of Science Museum Oklahoma
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In addition to the exhibits, the museum offers educational programs for school groups and summer camps.

There are also programs for adults, such as lectures and workshops.

Science Museum Oklahoma is a great place to learn about science and have fun simultaneously.

Exhibit in Science Museum Oklahoma
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Bring Your Friends to Stockyards City

Welcome arch of Stockyards City
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Located in the heart of Oklahoma City, Stockyards City is a historic district home to some of the best shopping in the metro area.

You can find it all in this one-of-a-kind district, from Western wear and gear to home decor.

In addition to its many shopping options, Stockyards City is also home to some great restaurants.

A parade at Stockyards City
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Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a steak dinner or want to grab a quick bite, you’ll find something that suits your taste in this district.

Finally, if you’re looking for a place to enjoy a cold beer or drink, you can find it in Stockyards City.

With several bars and saloons located in the district, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Interior of Stockyards City's museum
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Check Out the Will Rogers World Airport

Interior of Will Rogers World Airport
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Rogers World Airport is the busiest airport in the state.

It was initially known as Will Rogers Airport, after the famous humorist and actor who resided in the area.

The airport is a central hub for American Airlines and features several airline lounges and a variety of shops and restaurants.

Rogers World Airport is a great place to visit for many reasons.

An aircraft outside Will Rogers World Airport
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First and foremost, it is home to one of the country's largest collections of public art.

The airport features more than 200 pieces of art, including sculptures, murals, and paintings.

Second, the airport is a central transportation hub.

It is a central connecting point for passengers traveling to and from destinations in the Midwest and Southwest United States.

If you're looking for an airport with lots of activity and plenty of things to do, Rogers World Airport is a great choice.

Glass doors of Will Rogers World Airport
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Explore the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Entrance of National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
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The mission of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is to collect, preserve, and exhibit objects that represent the history of the American West.

The museum opened in 1955 in Oklahoma City.

It has since become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state.

Interior of National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
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Some of the museum's highlights include the Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to notable Western artists, actors, and athletes; and the American Cowboy exhibit, which showcases the history and culture of cowboys in America.

There is also an extensive collection of firearms on display and a replica of a frontier town.

Exhibit in National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
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Bring Your Family to the Adventure District

Oklahoma City has long been an excellent place for a family vacation.

With its Adventure District, which features the Oklahoma City Zoo, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, and the Science Museum of Oklahoma, there is always something new and exciting to see and do.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals from around the world.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens has 17 acres of gardens, lakes, and walking trails to explore.

The Science Museum of Oklahoma is one of the largest science museums in the country, with more than 350 exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to outer space.

Grab a Bite at the Asian District

Sign along Asian District
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The Asian District in downtown Oklahoma City is where you can find all things Asian.

Japanese Americans initially settled in the district in the early 1900s, and today it is home to people from all over the world.

There are restaurants, shops, and cultural centers representing China, Japan, Korea, India, etc.

The Asian District is a great place to learn about other cultures and experience international food and shopping.

It's also an excellent place for families, as children have many activities.

Visiting the Asian District is a fun and educational experience that everyone should enjoy at least once!

Enjoy the Music at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Exterior of Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
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The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a museum and performance space in Tulsa, Oklahoma, dedicated to the history and preservation of jazz music.

The museum offers exhibits on the history of jazz music and its performers, live jazz performances, and educational programs.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is in Tulsa's historic Oral Roberts University neighborhood on the Philbrook Museum of Art campus.

The building was initially constructed in 1937 as the home of the Philbrook family.

Architect Edward Buehler Delk designed the structure in the Moorish Revival style.

J .D. McCarty, a jazz musician and former mayor of Tulsa, founded the museum in 1996.

The museum's exhibits highlight the history of jazz music and its performers.

Interior of Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
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Major exhibits include "From Ragtime to Swing: The Music of America", "The Birth of Bebop: American Jazz in the 1940s", and "Oklahoma Jazz: A State History".

The museum also offers rotating exhibits on various aspects of jazz music.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame presents live jazz performances in the Jazz Hall's performance space.

The hall seats 350 people and features a world-class sound system.

Performers who have graced the stage of the Jazz Hall include Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame offers educational programs on jazz music for students of all ages.

Programs include school tours, residencies, master classes, and workshops.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of things to do in downtown Oklahoma City.

The list provided here is a great starting point for visitors or residents looking for something new to do.

From arts and culture to nightlife and recreation, there is something for everyone in the heart of Oklahoma City.