Oklahoma City is a beautiful and thriving city in the South Central region of the United States. Its central location makes it easy to visit from anywhere, and there are plenty of things to do for any traveler.
Traveling to this city, you will find that the attractions and activities here are not only plentiful but also affordable. It is a great place to visit if you want to experience some of America’s most iconic attractions.
The city’s economy has grown exponentially over the last few years, and it continues to grow. Today, the city offers plenty of opportunities for entertainment with its numerous museums, art galleries, parks, zoos, and more.
So, if you are planning a vacation to this city, here are 13 Best and Fun Things to Do in Oklahoma City that I recommend checking out when visiting Oklahoma City.
Things to Do in Oklahoma City
1. Science Museum Oklahoma
The Science Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma City. This is an interactive exhibit museum that includes many activities for kids and adults. It has over 300 exhibits and demonstrations, including the globe of storms exhibit featuring tornado simulations, which I found especially interesting.
This museum also offers fun shows each day along with many other attractions such as Odyssey Toddler areas, IMAX 3D theatre, and more! In addition, there is a botanical garden where you can learn more about botany and nature. This place is educational for both adults and children alike. So I would recommend it if you are traveling with family or friends or just looking for something to do in the Oklahoma City area.
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2. Museum of the Great Plains
The Museum of the Great Plains is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Oklahoma and has been named one of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma. The museum covers a wide range of topics, from the history of Native American tribes to what it was like to live in Oklahoma before settlers came.
Of all the exhibits, I enjoyed learning about the nomadic Native Americans who moved around quite a bit, grazing their livestock and living off buffalo meat. They did not settle down until they felt that there was enough land for them to practice agriculture.
Also, I found it interesting how some tribes used horses when they first arrived from other regions while others stayed with their traditional ways and did not use horses at all.
I would recommend this museum to anyone interested in the history of Oklahoma and Native American culture.
3. National Weather Center
Do you love the weather? Well, if so, then another one of the top things to do in Oklahoma is checking out the National Weather Center.
The National Weather Center conducts research into severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other types of dangerous weather. It also helps to warn people about approaching severe conditions by providing forecast information. You can also talk with meteorologists and see demonstrations related to predicting weather today and its impact on your life.
My favorite part was getting a tour around their laboratory because it’s always interesting to learn more about what goes into weather prediction and how it affects the daily lives of millions of people across our country each year.
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4. Shop or Dine in Bricktown
Bricktown is another of the beautiful places to visit while touring in Oklahoma. It is an area that has become very popular with tourists because it has many bars, restaurants, and shops, including some that are unique to this part of the country. And the best part is that they are all within walking distance.
Many of the brick buildings were built back when Oklahoma was still a territory. The stores here are located inside the historic warehouses, offering deals on clothing, home accessories, and fine jewelry. There are also some local craft vendors selling paintings, pottery, and metal sculptures, along with several eateries.
In addition, this town features a lot of recreational activities, live music, and other events such as a boat ride on a water taxi and movies on the water during warmer months. So if you want to go out for dinner on a Friday night or grab drinks with friends, I would recommend visiting this place.
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5. Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve is also one of the top attractions in Oklahoma for art lovers, nature lovers, and history enthusiasts alike.
Woolaroc ranch puts great emphasis on protecting native species that are becoming endangered due to habitat loss. This is achieved through not only preserving land, but also reintroducing animals back to their natural environment.
For example, the site contains herds of bison along with many other species, including American elk, red wolves, black bears, bald eagles, and white-tailed deer. There are also around 100 different bird species that can be sighted at this reserve.
There is also a museum within the preserve that contains a lot of information about local history and culture, especially as it relates to Native Americans who have lived in this area for generations. There are many historical artifacts related to hunting and ranching heritage throughout the world, including an extensive collection of western hats belonging to famous cowboys.
All things considered though, I would recommend taking a guided tour mainly because this attraction is very educational.
6. Oklahoma City National Memorial
Visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial is another one of the top things to do in Oklahoma for history lovers. This memorial was designed to commemorate events on April 19th, 1995, when terrorists bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.
The outdoor memorial includes a reflecting pool surrounded by 168 empty chairs, each representing a person who was killed. The reflecting pool also contains an eternal flame that symbolizes hope and rebirth. And there’s also a museum located at this site, where you can learn more about what happened that day and how it has impacted people around the country ever since then, especially those who lived here in Oklahoma City.
My favorite exhibits at this museum include ‘The Survivor Tree,’ which has become an important symbol for Oklahomans since it survived the blast. So, if you happen to visit Oklahoma and you are interested in remembering those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing, then I would recommend visiting this place.
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7. JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum
If you are a history lover or a gun enthusiast, then this is one of the tourist attractions in Oklahoma you can’t miss. The J.M Davis Arms & Historical Museum has a large collection of historic, antique and rare firearms from all over the world dating back to the 1600s when guns were used for hunting instead of war.
In addition, they also have regular shooting demonstrations in which you can see gun experts fire various types of weapons out on their range located nearby the museum. There is even a gift shop with loads of different items relating to guns and ammunition. You can spend hours browsing through the many exhibits at this museum because there are many interesting things to see.
Beyond simply exploring all these awesome artifacts, though, this museum also offers educational programs where you can learn more about how firearms evolved over time. In addition, there’s also a modern range outside where you can try out some of the guns that are on display inside or shoot at targets for fun. Overall, this is definitely a perfect place to visit while you’re traveling through Oklahoma.
8. 45th Infantry Division Museum
Another one of my top picks for things to do in Oklahoma is the 45th Infantry Division Museum. This museum was designed based on the concept “To Honor Those Who Served.” It focuses on telling the story of the soldiers who fought during World War II, using firsthand accounts from veterans, documents, photographs, and other memorabilia. It especially pays tribute to the soldiers in the 45th infantry division, who were sent overseas when America became part of World War II.
This museum not only tells physical facts about how World War II was fought, but also includes exhibits that show what life was like for soldiers at that time. For instance, you can view some amazing exhibits like uniforms and equipment used by soldiers during WWII.
My favorite exhibits at this museum were the military vehicles that soldiers drove into combat zones, as well as Sherman tanks displayed on a 15-acre open park. These exhibits help you visualize how rough it was for those who fought in this war and the conditions they had to face on a daily basis.
9. Oklahoma City Museum of Art
If you are interested in art, then the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is one of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma that I recommend. Opened in 1945, this museum has thousands of pieces on display, including sculptures and paintings. The works they exhibit here change all the time, but there’s always something new to see.
This museum also includes a sculpture garden with artwork from both modern and contemporary artists. It allows visitors to enjoy their surroundings while they walk around and discover what is on display at the moment. The most impressive piece in this collection is the Dale Chihuly glass pavilion made up of hundreds of different glass crystals. It truly takes your breath away when you see it up close.
10. Overholser Mansion
There are lots of interesting things to do in Oklahoma. And the Overholser Mansion, for example, is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the state. This mansion was built by oil tycoon Samuel Marmaduke Overholser in 1903.
The home was originally built to have 20 rooms with eight bedrooms on two floors, but only 11 were finished. It’s evident that Overholser wanted his home to be impressive when he first hosted guests here. He had all kinds of amenities included including gaslights, electric bells to call servants, steam heaters, bowling alleys, and green space outside.
My favorite part about this historic building is learning how the Overholser family lived here and how they even survived after this area suffered from major economic depression. So, if you happen to be in Oklahoma City, it’s definitely worth stopping by to learn more about what life was like for early 20th-century residents in this city.
11. Woody Guthrie Center
Woody Guthrie Center is another one of the best tourist attractions in Oklahoma dedicated to telling the story of folk-singer Woody Guthrie. In addition to his music, he wrote a lot of political song lyrics during the Great Depression, criticizing government policies and injustices against disadvantaged people.
Along with an interactive museum about his life and music, you can also find musical instruments exhibit at the center where kids get a chance to play a variety of musical instruments from different parts of the world.
My favorite display at this center was ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’, which exhibits important items associated with Guthrie’s life, including records he signed for fans, books written by him, and even clothes that he used to wear while performing on stage.
12. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
If you love the western lifestyle, then there are plenty of things to do in Oklahoma City. You can visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, which has large collections of materials that have been used throughout history by cowboys and people living during the Old West era.
Also, your journey through this museum will showcase how American cowboy culture changed with time as different immigrants entered America’s westward expansion. Some displays include authentic clothing and items ranging from weapons used for hunting to saddles and other belongings that were often transported by horses. These include wagon wheels and mechanical parts used to help drive carriages across rugged terrain.
And there’s also a rodeo arena where you can watch performances by the Westernaires, which is an award-winning performing group that specializes in western riding and trick roping. They love to put on shows for visitors. So if you want to see some of the best riders around, I recommend watching them perform live.
The atmosphere here is designed to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. And that’s what makes it a top tourist attraction in Oklahoma and a fun thing to do if your kids like history or live-action role-playing games.
13. Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
Finally, I end my list of top tourist attractions in Oklahoma with Route 66 Museum in Clinton. This museum has an extensive collection of artifacts and information related to this historic highway. They have a collection of more than 70 classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles on display. In addition, the museum also includes many Route 66 artifacts such as old records and documents, license plates, and road signs, all of which date back to the original highway.
The exhibits at this site include nearly everything there is to know about this highway, including how it became one of the main highways along the west coast to connect Los Angeles with Chicago after opening in 1926. Today, you can still drive along a section of Route 66 through Oklahoma for a glimpse into the past.