Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Oklahoma City, OK

  • Published 2023/02/22

Oklahoma City is the epitome of urban excitement, with a collection of action-packed attractions, relaxing destinations, and educational venues.

The first settlers arrived in 1889, jump-starting its development and eventually turning it into the great capital city of Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma City has it all: nature, wildlife encounters, exciting adventures, informative museums, tours, and many more.

It’s no surprise that this city is one of the most populated in Oklahoma.

Whether you’re looking for modern commercial establishments or nature-focused adventures, Oklahoma has an activity to suit your taste.

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

Visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Entrance gate of National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Pick up your cowboy hats and take a trip to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Founded in 1955, this museum has preserved Western history and culture.

The museum features over 28,000 artworks and artifacts related to Native Americans, cowboys, and Oklahoma’s natural wonders.

Exhibit inside the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Kit Leong /

Browse their collection of cowboy-related materials like hats, scarves, and belts.

There are also learning programs for children and guided tours for those who want a more interactive experience.

They also have a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs—like T-shirts, hats, and bandanas—with designs that will remind you of the museum.

Interior of National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Kit Leong /

Meet the Animals in Oklahoma City Zoo

Flamingos at Oklahoma City Zoo

angie oxley /

The Oklahoma City Zoo is a must-visit destination for travelers with a passion for animals.

It’s also a family-friendly destination, complete with dining restaurants, so you don’t have to leave the premises if you get hungry.

This zoo offers plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with more than 1,900 animals in their care.

Red pandas on a tree at Oklahoma City Zoo

esdeem /

You can even feed some of their animals like the giraffes, rhinos, and tortoises.

Likewise, you can watch their trained sea lions perform tricks and splash around in the aquarium.

The zoo also features personal encounters with some animals in their natural habitats.

A baby elephant at Oklahoma City Zoo

esdeem /

Explore the Myriad Botanical Gardens

Aerial view of Myriad Botanical Gardens

Andreas Stroh /

Built in 1988, this botanical garden has provided travelers and city-goers a haven to unwind from the city’s noise.

It features 15 acres of beautiful gardens adorned with sculptures and amenities like its carousel, fountain, and event stage.

They also have a pond that transforms into an outdoor ice rink during the winter.

Interior of Myriad Botanical Gardens

EQRoy /

But the highlight of this garden is its assortment of plants, flowers, and trees.

Hundreds of people lined up to witness the first bloom of a rare plant species, the Corpse Flower.

Many other stunning flowers await you in the Myriad Botanical Garden.

A waterfall at Myriad Botanical Gardens

Kastro123 /

Admire the Works in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Exterior of Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Kit Leong /

Oklahoma City Museum of Art boasts a chic, modern vibe with diverse, cultural art pieces and sculptures displayed in spacious locations.

They have their own theater, mainly showing independent films from different countries.

Art hall at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Kit Leong /

Their artwork exhibits rotate different themes, featuring various mediums such as painting, photography, installation art, drawings, and more.

Drop by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and look at their artwork collections!

Dale Chihuly collection in Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Kit Leong /

Try the Rides at Frontier City Theme Park

Rides at Frontier City Theme Park

peggydavis66, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Frontier City Theme Park is one of the best entertainment venues to try in Oklahoma City.

This amusement park checks out all the boxes for a joyful day with friends and family, from heart-dropping rollercoasters and bumper cars to children-friendly teacup twirls and carousels.

When it first opened in 1958, the park only contained three attractions: a haunted farm, a jail, and a mine train.

The Frontier City Theme Park has come a long way since then.

Besides many rides, they now have restaurants, food stalls, live shows, and gift shops within the venue.

Visit this theme park, situated along 35 Service Road, to get thrilling experiences and fun!

Watch the Sunset at Lake Hefner

Scenic sunset from Lake Hefner's lighthouse

Darlene Tompkins /

With a clear view of azure lakes and the towering lighthouse, Lake Hefner makes for an unforgettable sunset experience.

Other popular activities in the area include biking, boating, kayaking, fishing, and hiking around the lake.

Beautiful sunset at Lake Hefner

morric628 /

It’s a popular venue for water recreation, but in the 1940s, it was supposed to supply water for Oklahoma residents.

Enjoy a small picnic and relax in the calming setting of this serene lakeside.

A sailboat on the waters of Lake Hefner

Liberty Drone Imaging LLC /

Swim in Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City

Cool off with this vibrant water park in Oklahoma City!

Hurricane Harbor is a powerhouse for all things water recreation.

Whether you enjoy thrilling water slides or prefer a leisurely soak in the pool, Hurricane Harbor has plenty of attractions to match your mood.

You can lounge on water tubes as you let the calm waves take you around the pool or use the water tube to ride down exciting slides like the Bermuda Triangle.

They also have water-themed restaurants and stalls if you get hungry.

Hike at Martin Park Nature Center

A boardwalk over Martin Park Nature Center's water

Kit Leong /

Living in a busy city can sometimes be tiring, but luckily, there are nature preserves in Oklahoma City which can give you a break.

The Martin Park Nature Center is one of those nature trails, featuring a miniature forest and grasslands to reconnect you with the environment.

Nature trail at Martin Park Nature Center

Kit Leong /

You can hike on their trail to get a glimpse of Oklahoma flora and fauna.

Some of the animals are rabbits, deer, owls, foxes, squirrels, raccoons, birds, etc.

At the end of the trails, guests will find a large pond with a colorful wildflower meadow nearby.

A heron at Martin Park Nature Center

Richard G Smith /

Experience the Factory Obscura Mixtape

“Modern” and “unique” are two words that best describe Factory Obscura Mixtape.

Founded in 2017, the art collective wanted to innovate art forms and bring out the inner child in every guest.

This quirky venue combines classic sounds with creative visual masterpieces covering whole rooms from the ceilings to the floors.

It’s an art experience beyond traditional galleries, where guests view paintings and sculptures amid clean white walls.

Factory Obscura goes for bright, colorful aesthetics with disco lights and vivid decor.

Experience a new, dreamlike art adventure where you’re freely allowed to touch the artworks and explore your surroundings with matching themed music.

Visit the Farmers’ Market at Scissortail Park

Aerial view of Scissortail Park

Kit Leong /

Scissortail Park is a simple, cheerful park with a pleasant atmosphere and various activities available for guests of all ages.

There’s a boathouse where you can rent paddleboards and boats to roam the lake.

A pathway at Scissortail Park

Kit Leong /

There’s also a smooth roller-skating arena if you want to glide across the rink and feel the wind in your hair.

But the true highlight of the Scissortail Park is its farmers’ market.

It provides locally produced goods, from fruits and vegetables to handcrafted beverages and baked goods.

People relaxing at Scissortail Park

Wirestock Creators /

Climb Aboard the Bricktown Water Taxi

An empty Bricktown Water Taxi on the canal

EQRoy /

Why choose a walking tour when you could ride a water taxi?

Since 1999, Bricktown Water Taxi tours visitors around downtown Oklahoma City’s entertainment district through the water canals.

It aims to be an entertaining experience for all its guests.

Rear of a Bricktown Water Taxi

EQRoy /

Their topics include the history of Oklahoma City, its famous buildings, and the future development plans of Oklahoma City officials.

For variety, they also have different tour options, like scavenger hunts and dinner cruises. There’s also plenty of other things to do in Bricktown see our top picks here.

The seats of a Bricktown Water Taxi

EQRoy /

Feel the Thrill with Riversport Adventures

Visiting this park can feel like a real adventure with extreme activities.

You can go kayaking on intense waves, try high-speed slides, ziplines, and even freefalling.

Don’t worry if extreme sports aren’t your thing because they also offer easygoing activities!

Kayak on flat, stable waters or visit the animals in their basecamp nature center for a more relaxed journey.

There are plenty of activities for children in the youth zone, including an inflatable pillow, a small zip line, and a kid-friendly version of their extreme adventure course.

Enjoy Game Night at Brickopolis Entertainment

Exterior of Brickopolis Entertainment

Liz Stors /

This three-floored building is home to many social games, making it a popular game night destination.

From interactive laser tags to miniature golf and arcade games, Brickopolis Entertainment is a one-stop attraction that families and friends can enjoy.

Interior of Brickopolis Entertainment

Kit Leong /

They also have outdoor attractions featuring putt-putt, a climbing wall, and a bungee trampoline overlooking the water canals.

There’s also a bar and grill restaurant serving American food staples like burgers and pizza inside the building.

Book your next game night at Brickopolis Entertainment.

Tables and chairs in Brickopolis Entertainment

Kit Leong /

Stroll along the Paseo Arts District

Exterior of a cafe at Paseo Arts District

MARELBU, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The buildings around Paseo Arts District make it a unique part of Oklahoma City.

You’ll see several buildings painted with bright-colored walls, while most roofs are made from clay tiles, showcasing classic Spanish-style architecture.

Building at Paseo Arts District

MARELBU, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paseo is home to over 20 galleries and 80 artists from all over the country.

There are also quaint bookstores and restaurants around Paseo Arts District worth exploring.

Association building at Paseo Arts District

MARELBU, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn from the Red Earth Art Center

American Indians played an essential role in the beginnings of Oklahoma City.

This museum preserves and spreads the knowledge of Native American arts, culture, and tradition.

The non-profit organization Red Earth, Incorporated, helped build the museum in 1978.

The gallery features sculptures, paintings, and woven materials that highlight Native American style, clothes, beliefs, etc.

Some items like scarves and earrings, with designs that embody Native American style and tradition, are on sale at the gift shop.

Visit the Science Museum Oklahoma

Exterior of Science Museum Oklahoma

Kit Leong /

Take your child’s learning to another level with this fun and immersive museum in Oklahoma City.

Established in 1958, the Science Museum Oklahoma has constantly developed ways to make learning science more fun and interactive.

Interior of Science Museum Oklahoma

Kit Leong /

Their current exhibits showcase plenty of subjects like space, animal wildlife, aviation, oceanography, etc.

Likewise, their exhibits follow unique and creative designs to help kids remember the information more easily.

Take the opportunity to learn more about the world’s sciences!

A display inside the Science Museum Oklahoma

Kit Leong /

Pay Tribute to the Victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing at the Oklahoma City National Memorial

View of the Oklahoma City National Memorial

EQRoy /

In 1995, OKC faced one of the deadliest bombings in the U.S. when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building exploded.

Military veteran Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck in front of the building filled with explosives.

It killed 168 people—19 were children while over 680 others were wounded.

View of Oklahoma City National Memorial

Hendrickson Photography /

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was then built on the site to honor and pay homage to all victims, survivors, and rescuers.

Officially dedicated in 2000, the Memorial features twin bronze gates, a reflecting pool, a field of 168 empty chairs made with glass, bronze, and stone with victims’ names, and more.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

View of Oklahoma City National Memorial

EQRoy /

Get Closer to the Animal Skeletons at the Museum of Osteology

Snake skeleton at Museum of Osteology

Kit Leong /

If osteology piques your interest, the best spot to visit is the Museum of Osteology on South Sunnylane Road.

The museum features a display of more than 400 bones and skeletons of animals of different species from all over the world.

You can see each exhibit, which showcases the bones and skeletons of animals; both in good and bad health with interesting facts attached to them.

Skeleton of Meerkat at Museum of Osteology

Kit Leong /

The museum also has a cute gift shop with unique finds for souvenirs.

Established in 2010, the Museum of Osteology is the brainchild of Jay Villemarette, who has been collecting animal skulls and skeletons since he was 7.

Monkey skeletons at Museum of Osteology

Kit Leong /

See the Centennial Land Run Monument

Statues at Centennial Land Run Monument

northallertonman /

The Centennial Land Run Monument is a life-size sculpture commemorating the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 in the Unassigned Lands.

Paul Moore installed the bronze statues in Bricktown District, which depict how the homesteaders in 1889 fought for a better life.

Statues at Centennial Land Run Monument

northallertonman /

The art installation beautifully tells the urgency and struggle of these people; perfectly molded into life-size statues.

Your visit to the Centennial Land Run Monument will also take you to a beautiful walking path by the river.

Scenic view of Centennial Land Run Monument

Robert Kixmiller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn More about the Military at the 45th Infantry Division Museum

Weapons at 45th Infantry Division Museum

Greg Goebel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 45th Infantry Division Museum pays tribute to the war veterans who served in the military.

It’s the largest state-operated military museum, which showcases and preserves the military history of OKC and the 45th Infantry Thunderbird Division.

You’ll see lots of military artifacts, including firearms, as well as interesting items that Adolf Hitler once owned.

Weapons at 45th Infantry Division Museum

Greg Goebel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1965, the 45th Infantry Division Museum has a huge collection of tanks, weapons, and aircraft, among others.

You can find it at Northeast 36th Street.

Gun at 45th Infantry Division Museum

Greg Goebel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch a Baseball Game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Exterior view of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Kit Leong /

Home to the MLB team OKC Dodgers, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark hosts baseball tournaments, including the Dodgers games.

The stadium can seat up to 13,000 people and holds other events, parties, meetings, concerts, and more.

Opened in 1998, the stadium features the statues of legendary and iconic baseball players, including Johnny Bench.

Game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Kool Cats Photography over 2 Million Views (, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ballpark’s exterior is made of bricks with a long LED video board; giving it a retro charm with a modern vibe.

Check out Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark when you’re in town, and see if there’s a game going on!

People enjoying the game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Kelly (, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that Oklahoma City is one of the ideal destinations for travelers who love to stay active and try new things.

Oklahoma City also features relaxing oases and natural attractions that deepen your bond with the earth.

From heart-dropping adventures to leisure activities and unique experiences, this city has plenty of attractions you won’t forget.

Visit Oklahoma City and enjoy a good mix of thrilling and relaxing activities.

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