15 Best Things to Do in Lawton, OK

Lawton, OK
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The city of Lawton in Oklahoma is your ticket to the Wild, Wild West adventure.

Lawton, located in the southwest part of the state, is a lovely city with a vibrant culture, a rich past, notable landmarks, and unique traditions.

It is the seat of Comanche County.

One of Oklahoma's oldest cities, European Americans established the Lawton on August 6th, 1901, on Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache tribal territory.

The city name was a tribute to Major General Henry Ware Lawton, a distinguished American Army officer who fought in the Civil War, the Apache Wars, and the Spanish–American War.

Lawton lies a region reminiscent of the Great Plains, with grassland, few trees, and a flat landscape with gentle, rolling hills.

Lawton has a dry subtropical climate, which means that it has hot, humid summers and cool, mild winters.

This climate makes it ideal for the thriving wildlife of the area.

However, there are other features in this city that are waiting to be discovered!

Museums, galleries, and magnificent gardens offer Lawton a more metropolitan feel.

Meanwhile, other visitors prefer the simple pleasures of a road trip down Route 66, Oklahoma's most famous route.

What are the best things to do in Lawton, Oklahoma?

Here are 15 of them:

Take a Pilgrimage to Holy City

View of Holy City
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This 55-acre nature preserve in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge provides guided tours of its stone monuments and sculptures.

Holy City got its origins as an Easter Passion Play in the Wichita Mountains in 1926.

That year, the local minister in the name of Anthony Mark Wallock presented to his Sunday school students the life of Jesus.

View of the Holy City
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As time went on, the spectators grew in number, and the local government constructed more structures in the location to serve as backdrops for the production's special effects.

The drama is now performed every year, during Easter, although the site itself is open all year round.

Introduce Ballet to Your Kids at Lawton Ballet Theater

Lawton has a vibrant artist community proven by its thriving ballet scene.

Lawton Ballet Theatre is the premier ballet school in Southwest Oklahoma for students aged three and up.

It offers the groundbreaking American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, which combines high-quality artistic training with dancer health and child development fundamentals.

Ballet students of all ages and abilities may benefit from the ABT National Training Curriculum, which includes age-appropriate, outcome-based criteria for high-quality ballet instruction.

Aside from ballet, it also offers classes in tap jazz, modern lyrical, and hip hop.

Picnic at Elmer Thomas Park

Lake in Elmer Thomas Park
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Take a break and unwind at Elmer Thomas Park.

It features paved walkways that crisscross Elmer Thomas Park, allowing visitors to bike and stroll.

If you have kids, this Park has a great playground where they can run about and play.

It also has a covered picnic area where you can build memorable moments with your family and enjoy some food and more.

House Near Elmer Thomas Lake in Oklahoma
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The Park has a big lake where visitors may go fishing or feed ducks and a Veterans Memorial Park with various military artifacts on exhibit.

It also includes restrooms for the convenience of its visitors.

Test Your Strength and Endurance at Venture 2 Climb

If you love extreme sports, you might like trying out rock climbing at Venture 2 Climb.

No matter if you want to learn rock climbing or just want to rappel, Venture 2 Climb in Lawton is a wonderful option.

To enjoy the outdoors, bond with your friends, and develop your climbing skills, Venture 2 Climb provides guided rappelling and rock-climbing options.

It also offers other outdoor activities like biking.

The guides take care of all your needs, including providing and setting up all the necessary equipment.

Venture 2 Climb also sends a photographer along with you to capture all the special moments.

Rather than forcing you to reach the top asap, the knowledgeable guides at Venture 2 Climb will let you move at your own pace.

Explore Lawton’s Past at Museum of the Great Plains

Baldwin locomotive #1526 at Museum of the Great Plains
William Cushman / Shutterstock.com

A living history museum, the Museum of the Great Plains depicts life in the 1840s.

This historical museum also transports you to Oklahoma's past.

In fact, some parts of the museum are outdoors to show the replica of historic buildings, including a train depot and a schoolhouse.

There is also a trading post model that shows tourists about the old trading ways as well as the kinds of goods that people used to trade.

Outside Museum of the Great Plains
Jphill19, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It also features exhibits about the advent of the Paleo-Indians and the evolution of their lifestyle up to the present day.

The Great Plains Museum has displays that are both informative and engaging, as well as self-guided tours.

It also offers student and foreign visitor trips that include talks and other activities.

Visit the Great Plains Museum to get some knowledge that you can then pass on to others.

Unleash Your Inner Kid at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park

Lawton's Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park is one of the best year-round indoor entertainment in the city.

Enjoy a great afternoon at this park on Cache Road.

It's a family-friendly amusement park featuring everything from trampolines to climbing beams, a tube playground, a tiny zipline, and a warrior course.

This large playground allows you to do some high jumps and some interesting aerial maneuvers.

After a fun day, you may replenish your energy at the park’s Urban Air Café.

It's also a great spot to celebrate birthdays and other family events because of the trampoline park.

Visit Mattie Beal Home

Outside View of Mattie Beal Home
Crimsonedge34, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This Neoclassical Greek Revival-style Historic Mattie Beal Home was owned by Charles Warren and Mattie Beal Payne.

It features a baroque embellishment and a Mediterranean-style roof.

Despite its grandeur, the mansion is a testament to its owner’s kindness.

Martha "Mattie" Helen Beal, a teenage Wichita, Kansas, telephone operator, was the second name called in the 1901 land lottery.

Beal chose a 160-acre plot at the town's southern boundary and later subdivided it into affordable lots.

She also donated the land that houses Lincoln School, a church, and two municipal parks in the Beal Addition.

When the Paynes took over the ownership in 1923, they rebuilt the house, simplifying its external design features.

The Paynes lived in this house for over three decades.

The house had a number of owners before the Lawton Heritage Association bought it in 1974.

Watch Performances of Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra

Are you a fan of classical music?

Or just love watching live musical performances?

The Lawton Philharmonic Society is a civic, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting musical and educational activities in Lawton.

The Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra offers a high-quality cultural experience through symphonic performances performed by professional musicians.

Depending on the music performed, you may see at least 80 members performing.

It also hosts additional events that, while not involving the orchestra, still provide our guests with a memorable experience.

Moreover, it offers educational outreach to local children and adults.

To learn more about the company's upcoming performances and to purchase tickets, go to their website.

Visit Fort Sill Historic Landmark & Museum

View of Fort Sill Historic Landmark & Museum
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The Fort Sill National Historic Landmark & Museum is a relic of a 19th-century frontier army outpost, with more than 50 structures and acres of grounds.

Fort Sill is most known as the final resting place of Geronimo, but it also serves as an active Army military facility.

Contrary to common belief, Geronimo was only detained at Fort Sill for a few hours at a time.

The famous Apache warrior did die on the fort's grounds, and he is buried there.

View of Fort Sill Historic Landmark & Museum
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Other prominent Native Americans buried at Chief's Knoll include Quanah Parker and Geronimo.

Fort Sill's original structures are still in operation and in pristine shape, with 46 of them still standing.

There are many historic residences, a museum, and the Post Chapel all located in the Post Quadrangle area.

Visitors can access the museum's visitor center by going to the southeast quadrant.

To save time, audio guides and brochures are provided for self-guided tours.

Before entering the base, all visitors must go through a background check at the Visitors Control Center.

See Different Armed Forces Artifacts at Air Defense Artillery Museum

Bateman Road is home to the Museum of Air Defense Artillery.

You may learn everything about Oklahoma's and the country's air defense systems at this interesting attraction.

In this museum, you'll see relics of the US military's past, including old weapons and warcraft.

Exhibits and vintage pictures help tourists grasp the city's origins and history better as well.

The Air Defense Artillery Museum is a great place to spend a day studying and taking pictures with your family and friends.

Buy Vintage Souvenirs at Antiques By Helen

Even if you don't appreciate fancy things, you're bound to discover something at Antiques By Helen that you'll like.

Furniture, souvenirs, jewelry, and more are all available here.

For an idea of what they have available, check out their website and look at some of the interesting things they have to offer.

In addition, the personnel at the antique shop is helpful and kind.

Stop by today and stock up on some treasures.

Fish at Lake Ellsworth

View of Lake Ellsworth
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Lake Ellsworth is a great place to go boating, fishing, or just relaxing.

Lake Ellsworth, which is only 80 miles from the metro area, is a great day trip destination for anyone who wants to go fishing, swimming, boating, or do one of the many other things offered here.

With its 43 miles of coastline and 5,600 acres of open water, Lake Ellsworth is one of the best places to fish in the state.

Ralph's Resort Concession and Marina is close and offers fishing and boating services.

Visit one of the lake's numerous basic camping areas to get a taste of true backwoods camping.

Bring the RV to a Lake Ellsworth RV hookup site and utilize the grills and gazebo for a family get-together near a small swimming area.

Leslie Powell Gallery is a must-see if you're interested in learning more about Lawton's vibrant art scene.

It's like a wonderful little art museum, with displays of pictures, paintings, and other kinds of art.

The Leslie Powell Gallery gathers works of art by area contemporary artists and provides them with a platform to display their work and make it available to the public.

For example, in addition to exhibits, the art museum hosts seminars and lectures about art and its techniques.

Whether one is an established artist or a blossoming newcomer, any local artist may participate.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center

Located roughly 20 minutes from Lawton is the city of Medicine, Oklahoma.

It is where you will find the eight-acre Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center.

Here, you may see over 90 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals from across the world.

It all starts with looking at fish, including those that are endemic to Oklahoma.

You will also see lizards, spiders, and other scurrilous creatures within.

You may also feed turtles and quail if you buy food from the center.

It also has a six-acre botanical garden with many local plants.

Tour the National Weather Center

Outside View of National Weather Center
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The National Weather Center is located in Norman City, which is 1.15 hours away from the city of Lawton.

Some of the world's worst weather events occur in Oklahoma State, including strong tornadoes, raging lightning, and blistering heat.

Visitors will learn a lot about weather patterns and extremes on a trip to National Weather Center.

Visits to the School of Meteorology at Oklahoma University and the Storm Prediction Center are part of the guided tour.

Take note that the Center does not accept walk-ins, so you must make reservations in advance.

There is also a café on site accessible to the public, and entry to the weather center is free.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to imagine such a city jam-packed with rich cultural history, fun activities, splendid art scene, and natural attractions.

But you can experience all these in Lawton, Oklahoma.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new in the area or just cruising through, the city has a lot of interesting activities in store for you.

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