Norman is a picturesque city located in Oklahoma in the United States. It is known for its astounding natural beauty, incredible nightlife, and rich history. Whether you’re looking for wild adventures or a relaxing vacation, Norman offers something for everyone. Explore its incredible wilderness, outstanding museums and galleries, numerous casinos and bars, and enchanting parks. You can enjoy a broad array of outdoor recreation, such as hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, camping, wildlife viewing, and more. The diverse wildlife here includes deer, coyotes, bald eagles, hawks, foxes, lizards, alligators, and more. Plan your next holiday at this amazing destination. Here’s a list of the best things to do while vacationing in Norman…

Check out humongous dinosaur skeletons

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Founded in the late 19th century, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is one of the prime attractions in Oklahoma. It focuses on the natural history of this region and has over 7 million exhibits relating to the flora, fauna, geology, natural resources native to the state in its five galleries. The museum’s exhibits  are one of a kind and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Its collection includes the largest Apatosaurus skeleton on earth, Pentaceratops skeleton, oldest rocks of the region, Saurophaganax skeleton, Tenontosaurus skeleton,  a meteorite, Arctodus skeleton, and plenty more exhibits dating back millions of years. The Hall of the People of Oklahoma gallery here features exhibits that depict the history of the native people of the region. The displays include ancient weapons, painted skulls of animals, handprints of tribal people, replica clothing and toys, and more. The Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair is hosted by this museum annually. Explore the ancient exhibits of this museum and be amazed.

Lakeside picnic at Lake Thunderbird State Park

Lake Thunderbird State Park
crotonoil / Shutterstock.com

This park features a picturesque lake surrounded by splendid greenery. Enjoy a lovely lakeside picnic here and admire the gorgeous views. You can dive in for a refreshing swim in the lake or explore the waters by canoeing. Hike or bike on the verdant trails and view the diverse wildlife. You can spot many deer and eagles here. The park’s several camp sites let you explore the region’s wilderness. The lake also provides access to fishing. In winters, this is a popular site for skiing.

Explore art at Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art

Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

This museum dates back to 1936 and features over 20,000 exhibits in its permanent collection. It includes Native American art, Asian art, American art, and French Impressionism. Artistic works from the 16th century and beyond are displayed here. Additionally, rotating exhibitions are organised at this museum throughout the year. Renowned artists whose works have been featured include Ansel Adams, John Singleton Copley, Maria Martinez, Vincent Van Gogh, and several more. Admission is absolutely free for all visitors.

Exhilarating rides at Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park

Take a break from the mundane life and spend an exciting day at this park. It offers amusement rides, minigolf, go-karts, laser tag, an arcade featuring numerous games, a playground, rock climbing, batting cages, and a water park. Beat the heat at the water park’s lazy river, multiple pools, several water slides, water playground, splash pad, and more.  Don’t miss out on the exhilarating free fall experience here. This is a great place to try out thrilling rides, have fun in the pool, and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Enjoy nightlife at Riverwind Casino

Being one of the largest casinos in Oklahoma, Riverwind is a perfect place to enjoy the nightlife. It features more than 2700 fruit machines and numerous table games, such as poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and more. Try out mouth-watering food and delicious drinks at the several restaurants, cafes, and bars here. Attend a concert or a comedy performance at their theatre which has featured many big names in the entertainment industry. Groove to the beats at the river lounge dance place.

Watch a game at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Established in 1923, this is one of the largest stadiums in the world. It is the home ground of the Oklahoma Sooners football team and can accommodate over 80,000 patrons during a game. Located in the University of Oklahoma campus, it is a fantastic place to catch a glimpse of the local culture and enjoy a great game.

Wine Tasting

Native Spirits Winery is Norman’s popular spot for wine tasting and attracts locals and tourists alike. Taste their renowned wines and take a tour of their enchanting vineyard. Visit this place on a Friday night to enjoy great musical performances by local artists while sipping on delicious wine. They host a variety of events throughout the year. The wine blending class here provides hands-on experience and allows you to learn a great deal about wine making.

Travel back in time at Moore-Lindsay Historic House Museum

This historic building dates back to the late 19th century and was formerly the home of the Moore family. The Moores were real estate investors and were the president of the Norman Building and Loan Association. They sold the house to the Lindsay family who started living at this place from 1907. Today, the house is a museum that focuses on the local history of Norman. It has been maintained by the city to accurately represent the lifestyle of the elite of this region during the 1900s. It has on display thousands of historical artifacts, local memorabilia, documents, albums, rare books, and more. Admission is absolutely free.

Picnicking at Parmele Park

Spend a relaxing day at this amazing park located 15 minutes from Norman. It has a splash pad, playground, basketball courts, picnic tables, and hiking trails. This is a very popular spot for weekend fun. Explore the park, indulge in a game of basketball, cool off in the splash pad, and end your day with a delicious picnic.

Play poker at Goldsby Gaming Center

This popular casino features over 360 games, a bingo hall, a bar and a diner. Spend a wonderful and fun evening with your friends here. Try out the numerous games and win money. You can enjoy amazing beer at the bar and gorge on delicious meals at the restaurant.

Outdoor recreation at Tom Strouhal Little River

With multiple ponds, hiking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, a splash pad, and beautiful lawns, this park provides endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Sit by the ponds and admire the scenic views or enjoy a good book. You can take a relaxing stroll and watch the picturesque sunset. It is also an amazing place to enjoy a picnic. Try your hand at fishing in the mesmerising ponds and have fun at the splash pad.

Explore Native American art at Jacobson House

Jacobson House
David Dobbs / CC BY-SA

This historic house was formerly the home of renowned artist Oscar Jacobson. He was the first director of the School of Art at the University of Oklahoma. Today, this house is a museum that emphasises on Native American art.  Explore the gallery and check out the outstanding pieces of American Indian artworks. Various events are organised here throughout the year. Admission is absolutely free of charge.

Shop Fresh at Norman Farm Market

The farmer’s market in Norman is organised from April to October every year on Tuesdays and Saturdays. You will find a wide variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, eggs, poultry, dairy produce, spices, wine, and more. All the products are sourced from local farms. On Tuesdays, it is open from 4p.m. to 7p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Watch a show at Elsie C. Brackett Theatre

This theatre is affiliated to the University of Oklahoma campus and presents outstanding plays, ballet, musicals, opera, and various other live performances. Established in 1965, it can accommodate close to 600 guests. This venue is an amazing place for a wonderful evening’s entertainment. Visit this theatre and enjoy a great show.

Workout at Andrews Park

Andrews Park Norman
David Dobbs / CC BY-SA

Visit this park for your morning workout and watch the sunrise. It has playgrounds, picnic areas, a basketball court, a splash pad, a skate park, walking trails, and an amphitheatre. It hosts various entertaining events, such as Groovefest, jazz performances, and musical concerts. Explore this scenic park, play a game of basketball, beat the heat in the splashpad, and enjoy a lovely picnic here.

Win money at Newcastle Casino

This is one of the most popular casinos in the state. They offer electronic games, table games, and bingo. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. and also features a restaurant and a bar. You can play blackjack, roulette, Mississippi stud, ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, and more at the 14 tables here. Visit this place with your friends, win money, enjoy great drinks, and have an amazing time.

Encounter animals at Discovery Cove Nature Center

Encounter and interact with various regional animals that are kept on display at this place. They also showcase numerous regional artifacts, skulls of various native animals, mounted creatures, bones, and more. Tour the museum and learn more about the native fauna of Oklahoma. They have live turtles, snakes, pythons, tarantulas, bearded dragons, and several others. You can also enjoy the eagle watching tours that are offered here.

Hiking at Sutton Wilderness Trail Park

Encompassing 160 acres, this park features dense foliage, a serene lake, diverse wildlife, nature trails, and plenty more. Explore the vast spreading wilderness and admire the scenic views. You can spot deer, exotic lizards, foxes, colourful butterflies at this park. The mesmerising lake provides access to fishing. Enjoy an invigorating hike on the verdant trails and view diverse species of birds patrolling the sky. This is also a great place to walk your pet.

Paintball

Oklahoma Paintball & ATV Games offers an amazing paintball field that hosts groups of varying sizes. Grab your friends and visit this place to enjoy a mind-blowing experience. The field is military themed and is frequented by both tourists and locals alike. It is one of the most fun places to organise a party and features replica tanks and helicopters. All equipment and gear are provided on the site. Enjoy an action-packed, fun day with your friends here and create unforgettable memories.

Open air movies at Lions Park

This park features a playground, picnic tables, tennis courts, beautiful lawns, and greenery. A multitude of entertaining events are hosted here all year round. Open air movies are played during summer months which attracts myriads of movie aficionados to this park. Bring along your blanket, pack a nice picnic, and enjoy the cinema with your loved ones. Attend the amazing musical concerts that are organised here during summer evenings and groove to the beats of popular bands.

Appreciate the Down's Family Christmas Lights

A local family in Norman organises captivating and incredible Christmas light displays in the winter months every year. This is a popular local attraction of this city. Visit this place,  explore the amazing decorations, and enjoy the music. Admission is absolutely free.

Visit the National Weather Museum

Established in 2016, this museum displays a broad array of meteorological instruments. It aims to educate its patrons about weather forecasting and related sciences. The museum is open from Thursdays to Saturdays from 10 am to 4pm. Tour the museum to learn about the history of weather research and check out the cool displays. Admission fee ranges from USD 3 to USD 7. Children below the age of 3 can enter for free.