There are so many things to do in Oklahoma City, OK that it can be challenging to know where to start. So, let’s begin with a bit of background. Oklahoma City is the capital city and the largest city of the state of Oklahoma. It’s located in the south of the United States. The town was settled in 1889 and Oklahoma joined the union in 1907. Oklahoma City hasn’t always been the state capital, however. That honor was previously awarded to Guthrie. By the time Oklahoma joined the union, OK City had grown far more than Guthrie, and so capital city status was transferred. Oklahoma City is known for being one of the major stops on historic Route 66, as well as for the severe weather it often suffers during Tornado Season. The city has a population of 649,000 people and has earned the nickname of The Big Friendly, or the shorter OKC.
So, let’s take you on a quick journey and explore all the great things to do in Oklahoma City, OK on your visit.
Bricktown is an area of downtown Oklahoma City, OK which was redeveloped in the late 90s as a cultural area. It has many stores, restaurants, bar and clubs, as well as the city ballpark. The area was previously an industrial center before rezoning and is now one of the most popular parts of Oklahoma City to hang out. The area takes in around 50 city blocks and also features a one-mile-long canal through the center. Water taxis are always on hand to transport residents and visitors along the canal. Spending an evening shopping, eating, and having drinks in Bricktown is one of the coolest things to do in Oklahoma City.
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
Chickasaw Ballpark is located within the boundaries of Bricktown and is home to the Oklahoma City Dodgers. The team is an affiliate of the MLB’s LA Dodgers. Construction of the ballpark completed in 1998, and it’s helped to regenerate the overall Bricktown area. Several statues of Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees are dotted around the main gates of the ballpark. These include Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees, who was born in Oklahoma. The ballpark’s name changed for a brief period in 2012, due to a buyout. However, when locals protested vociferously, it was quickly turned back. The park remains today as the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Visiting the park when there’s a game or event on is one of the best things to do in Oklahoma City, OK. If there’s nothing scheduled for the park during your visit, you can still visit the stadium.
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Myriad is a 17-acre botanical garden on the outskirts of downtown Oklahoma City. Going for a walk around the manicured grounds is a very romantic thing to do in Oklahoma City with your SO. There’s a ton to do around the site, including visiting the Crystal Bridge Conservatory, the off-leash dog park, the Sunken Garden and Mo’s Carousel. The Crystal Bridge Conservatory is the highlight of any visit. The indoor area offers a massive space to explore, with two themed areas. These are the Tropical Dry Zone and the Tropical Wet Zone. Between the two, there are more than 750 species of plant and a beautiful waterfall to enjoy.
Admission to the Botanical Gardens is free, but tickets are required for the Conservatory, available at the entrance, $5-$8
Wheeler Ferris wheel
A trip around Wheeler Ferris Wheel is one of the coolest things to do in Oklahoma City. The wheel used to be the highlight of Santa Monica Pier in California. When it was placed on the eBay auction site in 2008, it was quickly snapped up. More than $1 million has been spent on the refurbishment of the wheel, and it’s now one of the most popular fixtures on the Wheeler Riverfront Plaza. Although the Ferris wheel is the focal point of the area, taking a walk or having a picnic is a great thing to do in Oklahoma City with kids.
Tickets required, available online or at the entrance, $6 single ride.
Oklahoma State Capitol Building
The Oklahoma State Capitol Building in OKC is the seat of government for the state. After the state capital status was transferred from Guthrie in 1910, the building was started on a new complex. The Capitol building was constructed using Indiana Limestone and Oklahoma pink granite. For the interior staircase, Oklahoma black granite was used. Oklahoma State is the only capitol that has active oil rigs in its grounds. In 1952, a massive earthquake caused a 50-foot crack in the building, but no lasting damage was done.
The State Capitol Building ended up in the news in 2014 when it installed a large concrete copy of the Ten Commandments in its grounds. This caused controversy between various groups who either opposed or agreed with the installation. The block was then damaged by a driver, who intentionally steered his car into it in 2014. It was eventually removed to another site in 2015 and fighting continues about whether it should be reinstated or not. Despite the controversial stone being gone, a visit to the State Capitol (and the nearby Governor’s Mansion) is one of the best things to do in Oklahoma City, OK.
Off-beat things to do in Oklahoma City, OK
Are you looking for odd things to do in Oklahoma City, OK? We’ve got you covered. Why not take a trip to the Womb? We’re not even joking. Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips founded this off-beat arts center. The center is as attractive from the outside as it is inside and it’s hard to miss the wild mix of colorful murals on the outer walls. Within is a permanent art show called MixTape. Paying a visit to the Womb is a pretty cool thing to do in Oklahoma City. If you’re looking for more fun things to do in Oklahoma City, why not rock up to the world’s only museum dedicated to the banjo? The Banjo Museum has wall to wall…well, banjos. As well as the instruments, there’s music and all kinds of banjo-related items. If you’re feeling musical, you can try playing one while you’re there.
Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers About Oklahoma City, OK
We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the city and things to do in Oklahoma City, OK. These will help your research, planning, and general education about all the things this Wild West city has to offer.
What is there to do in Oklahoma City, OK for free?
Visitors to Oklahoma City can visit the Charles B Hall Airpark and learn about the interesting history of the Tinker Air Force Base. Other free things to do in Oklahoma City is to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. This allows you to pay respect to those killed and injured in the 1995 bombing of the former Federal Building. Alternatively, take a walk in Hefner Lake and Park and view the beautiful Oklahoma sunset.
What’s good in Oklahoma City, OK?
Everything! There’s a wide range of things to do in Oklahoma City for everyone. You can visit the Pigeon Museum, the 99s Museum of Women Pilots, or explore beneath the streets on an Oklahoma City Underground tour. Sports fans can take in a ball game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, while beer lovers can visit the Bricktown Brewery.
What is there to do in Tinker AFB?
Tinker Air Force Base is one of many major US Air Force bases and is named for the first Native American Major General, Clarence L Tinker. Tinker is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma, with more than 26,000 staff. This includes civilians and military personnel. Tinker AFB has an active church and chapel onsite, offering regular services to the public. There’s also a massive range of fitness classes and other events scheduled throughout the calendar year. The Charles B. Hall Airpark is on the same site and is open to the public. The Airpark details the full history of the site.
What can couples do for fun without money in Oklahoma City, OK?
Couples visiting Oklahoma City can take a stroll along the River walk, visit the grounds of the State Capitol, or soak up the atmosphere in Bricktown.
Oklahoma City doesn’t really have the glamorous appeal of other cities in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not got a whole lot to offer visitors. It has a reputation for being a welcoming city – its nickname is The Big Friendly – so, it’s a relaxed place to spend some time. Oklahoma City has an exciting range of events on throughout the year, including the annual Festival of the Arts, and the world-famous Groundhog Day. Who doesn’t want to visit a city that relies on an animal to predict the weather?? Exactly. We hope we’ve managed to convince you of all the exciting things to do in Oklahoma City, OK.