Oklahoma City, the capital of Oklahoma, has more attractions and history than many other larger cities.
Many things to do in Oklahoma City involve not only the city's history but the history of the country as a whole, such as the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the 45th Infantry Division Museum, and the Oklahoma Railway Museum.
All these, and many more OKC attractions, clearly depict the importance of Oklahoma in our country's growth.
But there is even more to Oklahoma City. The city has great restaurants, fun parks for the entire family, and romantic spots for couples. The city is uniquely American and an intellectual and historical haven in its own right.
Wondering what are the best Oklahoma City attractions?
Known as the "Horse Show Capital of the World," Oklahoma City welcomes its Western heritage with open arms. This city takes great pride in displaying its cowboy heritage through a range of attractions and activities, from historical cattle drives to world-class rodeos.
Let's begin to explore the top OKC attractions you must visit on your next trip.
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The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is one of the relatively new attractions in Oklahoma City.
Inspired by the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, this memorial ensures that the deadliest act will be remembered for generations to come. It was the greatest act of domestic terrorism in American history.
The artifacts and collections specifically relate to that day, including records, media response, and the investigation.
The Outdoor Memorial now contains the Field of Empty Chairs (for the 168 victims and innocent lives lost), a Reflecting Pool, and a survivor wall. Take a walking tour to absorb all the significance of that day and how the museum remembers it.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It opens at noon on Sundays. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for children under the age of 17. Parking is free.
Address: 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
No one is surprised that one of the major things to do in Oklahoma City is to channel your inner cowboy or cowgirl as you explore exhibits that depict life on the frontier, from rodeos and ranching to Native American artistry.
This National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has excellent memorabilia of the bygone days. One of the best is an exhibit of an actual town with a railroad depot, cattle car, schoolhouse, and a church, as well as a medical and sheriff's offices with actual characters – those who knew how to win the West while we reap all the rewards.
Tours of the Wild West are available. Call 405-478-2250 for specifics. The exhibits include the world's most extensive collection of Western photographs, saddlery, and rodeo trophy collection. Learn about famous cowboys like Buffalo Bill Cody and Roy Rogers who captured America's imagination with their daring feats on horseback.
Entry to the museum is $10.75 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and opens at noon on Sundays. The in-house restaurants overlooking the gardens offer some fine dining.
Address: 700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
No major city stop is complete without an equally great zoo, and Oklahoma City has an exceptional zoo that adults and children will enjoy.
Both the OKC Zoo and nearby Botanical Gardens contain over 1900 different species of animals, countless plants, and plenty of hands-on experiences that put you up close and personal with Mother Nature’s beautiful creatures.
The entrance fee is $16.00 for adults and $13.00 for children under 11 years of age.
The best way to experience the fun is by joining the daily encounters. Some of the unique encounters are:
To truly experience an animal adventure, take a two-hour tour for $200 that can accommodate up to seven guests.
Address: 2000 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Feel the need to pick a bone? It's one of the fun things to do in OKC at the Museum of Osteology, a 7,000-square museum filled with skeletons.
There are educational programs for both adults and children and the opportunity to learn more about the vertebrate kingdom. The museum has the largest collection of bones in the world, totaling more than 450.
This grand collection includes humans, reptiles, carnivores, primates, whales, and dolphins. Admission is $12.00 for adults and $11.00 for children under 11.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Forensic Night event is open for anyone over 16, which feels like walking through your favorite television show.
Learn how law enforcement and investigators handle skeleton remains and how age, cause of death, and gender are determined. Forensic Night uses replicas (not real) of genuine homicides and accidents that will help visitors solve a case.
It is one of the must-sees in OKC, full of fun and learning.
The cost is $40.00 per individual, including admission for the entire day, a private viewing, discounts at the gift shop, and the forensic night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Address: 10301 S Sunnylane Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73160
If your children are looking for places in Oklahoma City to learn and be awed, the Science Museum Oklahoma is perfect. This is where they can explore and discover the great big world around them.
On the Science Floor, they learn how to move 400 pounds with ease and solve many other mysteries.
The museum's Tinkering Garage is a tinkering workshop where curiosity and technology collide. Everything here is hands-on, and the only limit is imagination.
Your child can explore CurioCity with its eight neighborhoods where anything may happen, and obstacles must be overcome. Finally, the Kirkpatrick Planetarium has daily shows and movies about our galaxy. An expert will be on hand for questions.
Aviation Gallery soars through time and history, beginning with Leonardo de Vinci's aircraft drawings to the exhibit of vintage aircraft to 20th-century aviation artifacts.
The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Entry into the museum is $20.95 for adults and $15.95 for adults.
Address: 2020 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Also Read: Best Science Museums in the US
One of the Oklahoma City attractions that shouldn't be missed is Myriad Botanical Gardens, a fabulous tropical jungle.
This is a 15-acre Garden of Eden beckoning with flowers, pure relaxation, and a children's playground in the Children's Garden.
The garden is free year-round. The Thunder Fountain and its cascading waters are splash heaven for children and adults during summer.
Just bring a bathing suit. Water is a huge theme here, from a waterfall to a stream that flows from the lake by the Crystal Bridge. Very refreshing.
The 224 feet long Crystal Bridge, covered in glass panes, is very much the star of the garden.
Within the bridge, visitors can enjoy dual climate areas; one is a tropical wet zone and the other a tropical dry zone, allowing over 500 different species of plants to thrive.
The Garden hosts a lavish Lunar New Year and the Oklahoma City Flower and Garden Festival in May. Check their website here for more information.
Address: 301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
For fans of glass artist Dale Chihuly, the OCMA is one of the important places to visit in Oklahoma City.
OCMA has the world's largest collection of his artwork, including the breathtaking 55-foot Eleanor Black Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower, which graces the atrium.
In addition to the remarkable Chihuly collection, the museum exhibits 19th and 20th-century European and American masterpieces by artists such as Renoir and Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as photographs and sculptures.
The onsite café serves lunch, dinner, and a daily tea.
It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and remains open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Sunday hours are noon to 5:00 p.m.
It is closed on Mondays. Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 18.
Address: 15 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
This 581,000-square-foot facility, once known as the Chesapeake Energy Arena, is now the Paycom Center.
The original structure has been renovated and expanded to enhance visitors' experience.
It is a sports and events venue for world-class concerts and is home to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Oklahoma City Blazers. For a list of upcoming entertainment events, click here.
One of the key highlights of the Paycom Center is its striking architecture, with a colorful façade that catches the eye from miles away. Inside, fans are greeted by spacious concourses flooded with natural light, creating an alluring atmosphere for pre-game festivities.
The Paycom Center offers a wide range of restaurants and bars. The Michelob Ultra Club has a burger menu with beer. The Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Club has full bar offerings with tap beer and cocktails.
The Courtside Club brings a wow factor to the Paycom Center. Guests come here for VIP treatment, elite restaurants, three bars, marble tables, a fireplace, and pleasant subdued lighting.
Address: 100 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
The 45th Infantry Division Museum is the only state-operated museum devoted to military history and one of the more significant Oklahoma City attractions.
It was erected in honor of the 45th Infantry. This unit nicknamed the Thunderbirds, fought famously against the Nazis and, more famously, helped to liberate France and the Dachau concentration camp.
Many American soldiers from the 45th are buried in an American cemetery in the French town of Epinal. The French have adopted them as their own in gratitude for their bravery.
The museum has exhibits not just from World War II but from the Civil War, the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf conflict.
The pride of the museum is a Civil War Confederate riffle created by the British inventor Joseph Whitworth. The one at the museum is one of only five such riffles still in existence.
The 45th Infantry Division Museum is closed on Mondays and opens at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday to Friday, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. It closes at 4:15 p.m.
Address: 2145 NE 36th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
The Oklahoma State Capitol stands proudly in the heart of Oklahoma City, serving as a symbol of strength and resilience for the state.
Completed in 1917, it has impressive Greco-Roman architecture with a large dome adorned with a beautiful bronze statue called "The Guardian," representing the spirit of Oklahoma protecting its people.
In addition to 650 rooms, the capitol building contains lovely stained glass windows, murals, and several art exhibits. It is also one of the rare OKC tourist attractions surrounded by functioning oil wells.
The Oklahoma Arts Council has elevated what could be an ordinary state capitol into an art museum with free tours Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is a unique blend of government and art history.
The capitol is open weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturdays.
Address: 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Much of Oklahoma’s history can be found right across from the State Capitol building. The Oklahoma History Center exhibits the stories that make Oklahoma real, from its oil, the Dust Bowl, and tornadoes, to its Native Indians.
It is one of the favorite OKC attractions and has five galleries and hundreds of interactives that tell the tale of the Oklahoma people.
It also hosts special events, from Civil War Day to concerts; something always happens at the Oklahoma History Center.
Guests can check out the significant representation of Native artifacts, tribal music, and photographs relating to the state’s early days. The Kerr-McGee Gallery features the substantial history and civil rights movement of Blacks in Oklahoma.
The gift shop is stocked with souvenirs and artwork created by local artisans. There is a research library on site, as well.
The entrance fee for adults is $12.50, and it is free for children under the age of five. A family pass for up to six visitors is $35.00.
The Oklahoma History Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Sunday.
Address: 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., Oklahoma City
One of the historically significant Oklahoma City attractions is the Oklahoma Railway Museum.
Few can remember the original importance of the railroad, which was once the only transport across the country.
And by populating free western states, the railroad helped bring an end to southern slavery. Locomotive lovers know the role the railway has in shaping our country.
The museum features freight and passenger cars, a genuine steam engine, and plenty of railroad equipment. It is all free.
Kids especially love the Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine. They get to take a 25-minute ride and hear exciting stories. Thomas takes over 40,000 passengers for a ride each year.
In addition, rides with classic diesel engines and passenger coaches are offered every first and third Saturday of each month from April through August. The cost can vary between $5.00 and $12.00.
The museum also offers music, arts and crafts, and miniature golf. It is fun for the entire family.
Address: 3400 NE Grand Blvd., Oklahoma City
Also Read: The Best Railway Museums in the US
Unlike some Eastern states and its wealthy residents, Oklahoma's development is mainly attributed to working-class individuals, natives, and adventurers.
However, the rich also played their part, and one of the best things to do in OKC include visiting the city's first-ever mansion built by the "Father of Oklahoma City," Henry Overholser.
The mansion, erected in 1903, is now owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society. It mirrors a different aspect of Oklahoma’s beginnings and social life.
The mansion’s exotic Queen Anne and Chateauesque styles stand in harsh contrast to the functional prairie styles of its neighbors. Following its construction, the local newspaper wrote, “The house is a sermon on beauty. It is uplifting and ennobling as works of art are ever. The taste with which it has been decorated and is being furnished is flawless and shows a praiseworthy mastery of the subject, and the whole Overholser house is an incomparable example of the possibilities of beautiful homebuilding.”
Hourly self-guided tours of this substantial historic mansion are available Tuesday through Thursday at 10:00 a.m., noon, and 2:00 p.m. The fee is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.
On December 10the, the mansion holds a special Breakfast with Santa from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Address: 405 NW 15th Street, Oklahoma City
Also Read: Most Famous Historic Homes in America
This theme park is a part of the Six Flags organization and one of the fun places to go in Oklahoma City for 50 rides and all kinds of attractions for children.
Some rides are heart-pumping, such as the speedy Diamondback, the Gunslinger, or the seven-story looping Rolling Thunder!
Cool off at Frontier City! Make sure to bring your swimsuit for Wild West Water Works, included in the price of admission.
Kids will love the water park rides with its 66-foot-long tunnel slide. Gentler rides for children include the bouncing Frog Hopper, mine train coaster, swings for young ones, a tree house, a child-sized Ferris wheel, and many others.
Check ticket prices and add-ons for prices and additional benefits.
The park has an abundance of restaurants to indulge in delicious delicacies and hearty sides inspired by the flavors of the Old West.
Address: 11501 N I- 35 Service Rd, Oklahoma City
Also Read: 25 Best Amusement Parks in the US
Imagine it is April 22, 1889. Fifty thousand people are rushing to claim two million acres of free land.
Thousands of people – rich, poor, black, white, male, and female – waiting for a cannon shot for the signal for them to bolt forth and claim their land.
Horses keeled over, wagons crashed, and people were trampled. The forward rush began an avalanche of crashes and fights. And two more land rushes after that were almost equally as chaotic.
In Oklahoma, there is a certain pride in belonging to one of the original land rush families who settled there.
To commemorate both the chaos and the bravery, a Land Run Monument was constructed, complete with 47 dark bronze statues – larger than life-like horses, riders, and wagons. This is one of the attractions in Oklahoma City the city is most proud of.
These are the largest bronze statues in the world. They recreate a day in 1889 that ended in total disaster, which was the beginning of the State of Oklahoma, its farms, and its towns.
One statue shows the cannon which started the rush. Others show fallen horses, wagons filled with goods, and even gentile ladies riding side saddles. There is a dog and a jackrabbit mixed up in the general pandemonium.
Seeing the statues is free, and the walk is open 24 hours daily.
Address: 200 Centennial Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
On a hot summer day, one of the best things to do in Oklahoma City is to stay cool at Hurricane Harbor, a water park that is a part of Six Flags Park.
There are over 25 acres of fun, rides, slides, and pools. Visitors can pump up their heartbeat while soaring down the 6-story Big Kahuna or float cozily down Castaway Creek. Something for all can be found here.
The water park is open seasonally from May until the weather gets colder. It is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to either 7:00 or 8:00m p.m. As the days get shorter, closing time moves up to 6:00 p.m.
Admission fees change depending on the time of year, so check their website for more precise information. As a rule, anyone over 48 inches pays $26.99 for admission; anyone shorter gets in for $22.99, and infants get in for free. Season passes are $69.99. Again, this can increase depending on promotions or the time.
Slides such as the Mega-Wedgie and the Acapulco Cliff Dive are very popular, as are many tube rides.
There are plenty of child-friendly dining options, from pizzas to burgers. Visitors can rent cabanas with comfortable seating, tables, chairs, beverages, and privacy for special comfort and added enjoyment.
On a sunny day, a private cabana is the equivalent of sheer luxury. A deluxe cabana, including waitstaff, four drinks a day, and cushioned seats, is available for $249.00.
A simple two-person lounger by the wading pool is available for $40.00.
Address: 3908 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73107
One of the places in Oklahoma City that are guaranteed to thrill youngsters to the bone is the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum.
Everything here is devoted to the exhibition of antique fire equipment, including gear from the mid-18the century. Artifacts from the US’s oldest fire company, under the command of Benjamin Franklin, are also displayed here.
The memorial to Oklahoma’s fallen firefighters since 1894 will bring tears to viewers' eyes. These are the true heroes among us – or no longer among us. Their names are engraved in granite on the Wall of Valor.
The Memorial Park Walkway honors not just firefighters and all rescue workers, such as those who were at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995.
For children, who usually view firefighters as the heroes that they are, the museum has a firefighter reading books to children. And the children can meet the hero fire dog, Sparky, in person!
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and opens at 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. Admission for adults is $6.00 and $5.00 for children under 12 years of age.
Address: 2716 NE 50th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
There are many OKC attractions, but few like the Bricktown Entertainment District, where the fun never stops. The old OKC district is filled with restaurants, entertainment, and a lively nightlight.
It’s a terrific destination to take a canal cruise and catch the OC Dodgers playing a game at the Bricktown Ballpark. Even without a game, a 40-minute water taxi cruise will take visitors past major interest points.
A particular favorite by the Riverwalk is Michael Murphy's Dueling Piano Bar. Sit back with a signature cocktail and listen to three dueling instruments. Dance or laugh, either, is fine and acceptable.
The Brickopolis area is all about family fun, with arcade games and miniature golf.
For a romantic evening in Bricktown, take a horse-drawn carriage to the Library of Distilled Spirits. The vault contains 1,500 different spirits, some of them quite rare. The lighting is dim, the bartenders knowledgeable, and you can choose from 200 cocktails.
These rare cocktails are authentic. Around the turn of the century, spirit lover Charles H. Baker Jr. traveled the world from Cairo to Yokohama in search of bars, bartenders, and their secrets. He collected their wisdom and recipes in a book, some only available at the Library of Distilled Spirits.
Every Tuesday, the Library has a Margarita and Taco evening with two tacos for $6.00.
Address: Bricktown, Oklahoma City
Spots in Oklahoma City that are Instagram-worthy include Hefner Lake and the surrounding park. The sunsets here are beyond magnificent. For golfers, the Lake Hefner Golf Course is on the southern end.
With its picturesque lake, lush greenery, and plethora of recreational activities, Hefner Lake & Park provides an ideal setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.
The lake has 2,500 shorelines for hiking, biking, fishing, jogging, picnicking, and unwinding. Swimming is not permitted in the lake, but people flock here for boating, kite surfing, kayaking, and more. Boats can be rented.
Lake Hefner is surrounded by several first-rate restaurants, such as Louie’s Grill & Bar. Dine on the patio and enjoy the grand view or dine inside and enjoy the sports on the television. Nearby, Mama Roja does a mean salsa and chips.
Address: 4491 S Lake Hefner Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73116
This is the home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers. When the Dodgers aren’t playing, the ballpark is used for special events that can fit up to 13,000 cheering fans. Tickets are available for each level of seating, so check here for more information.
For large parties, receptions, conventions, concerts, weddings, company events, or trade shows, this is one of OKC attractions that meets many needs.
Any rental includes the convenience of the clubhouse, lounge, Skyline Deck, and Budweiser Deck.
The Skyline Deck holds approximately 50 people, while the Budweiser Deck can hold twice as many – these are great options for group meetings and get-togethers. More intimate, the Entertainment suite is perfect for a dozen people.
Tickets include entry to the Budweiser Deck, an OKC Dodgers hat, food, and limited drinks. A beer and cash bar are available.
Looking for a bargain? Tuesday home games have beer and sodas for $2.00. Cheers!
Address: 2 South Mickey Mantle Dr, Oklahoma City
For beer lovers, one of the logical destinations in Oklahoma City is Bricktown Brewery.
At Bricktown Brewery, you'll discover an impressive selection of craft beers that will tantalize your taste buds.
From classic styles like Pale Ales and Lagers to unique creations bursting with flavors like blueberry or orange, their expert brewers have mastered the art of brewing.
Pair your chosen drink with one of their savory dishes thoughtfully crafted to complement the flavors in each glass.
The handcrafted beer goes down smooth, and the hickory smoked barbeque is legendary. Three private rooms make it a perfect meeting place for any sized group.
There is music Friday and Saturday evenings. The bar is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, they close at 2:00 a.m., and on Sundays, the closing hour is 9:00 p.m.
Address: 1 N Oklahoma Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
If you are looking for an abundance of activities all in one place, one of the best things to do in Oklahoma City is to visit Scissortail Park.
The park is designed to bring people together and encourage community relations. Scissortail’s Park Ranger program is intended to educate people of all ages about the local wildlife, and they are also in charge of the Junior Park Ranger activities.
The park’s playground is one of the best in Oklahoma City and is open from dusk to dawn each day. It has everything to enhance a child’s imagination and is available for birthday parties and picnics.
The restaurant Sparks, located at the edge of the park, can prepare burgers, sandwiches, drinks, and other goodies.
Visitors can enjoy the many trails here by taking a stroll or riding a bike. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
For athletes, the park has pickleball and basketball courts. The Sports Pavilion has chairs for rent and equipment for sale. After a hard game, it is time to cool off at the Sprayground or rent a boat.
Address: 300 SW 7th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73109
For an immersive art experience that promises to transport visitors into a world of nostalgia and wonder, a must-see destination in Oklahoma City is Factory Obscura: Mix-Tape.
As one visitor stated, it’s like walking through several different worlds.
From a unique art installation to workshops, everything here is one-of-a-kind and designed to enhance and activate the imagination using colors, soundscapes, and landscapes. Imagine walking through a kaleidoscope.
Upon entering the lively space, you are immediately transported back in time to the days when mixtapes were the epitome of cool.
The walls are adorned with cassette tapes while vintage speakers emit melodies that will evoke memories from your past.
The gift shop carries locally created items that are unavailable anywhere else.
Address: 25 NW 9th St, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City exemplifies cowboy culture like no other place and is known as the Horse Show Capital of the World. From the Cowboy Museum to the Railroad Museum, which details the opening of the country to the West, Oklahoma City is largely where the U.S. began. Its cultural roots are symbolized by being the only capital city in the U.S. surrounded by functioning oil wells.
The fall months of September and November are ideal for exploring Oklahoma City following the summer heat. During the winter, the city can reach below-freezing temperatures, but that is an excellent time to visit the many Oklahoma City museums or the tropical garden inside the Myriad Botanical Gardens, which houses a variety of tropical and desert plants, as well as a waterfall.
To honor the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building, visiting the National Memorial and Museum is both a heartbreaking and informative OKC destination.
Oklahoma City is all about cowboy culture, and a visit to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is a must.
The Bricktown neighborhood offers everything a visitor might need: a lovely canal, plenty of entertainment, and the best restaurants and bars.
Surely the bone-filled Museum of Osteology qualifies as unique. Where else can visitors view rooms filled with skeletons and help perform an autopsy and learn how the professionals determine the cause of death – just like on television?
Visitors may be surprised at all the things to do in Oklahoma City. From fun entertainment to museums that incorporate the history of our country, Oklahoma City is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
Born out of the disaster of the 1889 Land Run, Oklahoma City citizens have turned into movers and shakers to ensure the best for their city and continue to attract thousands of visitors with its wonderful OKC attractions.