11 Best Things to Do in El Reno, Oklahoma

Officer's Quarters at Fort Reno.

Stephen Saks / Getty Images

Made famous for its towering Lucky Star Casino and delicious fried onion burger, the city of El Reno, Oklahoma, is located just 25 miles west of Oklahoma City and offers plenty of things to do year-round, including the annual Fried Onion Burger Day Festival in early May. From taking a trek along the famous Route 66 to touring one of the city's museums, this small metro community is full of entertaining and exciting opportunities for amusement.

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Gamble at the Lucky Star Casino

Rainbow over Lucky Star Casino El Reno, Oklahoma

Courtesy of Lucky Star Casino

7777 US-81, El Reno, OK 73036, USA
Phone +1 405-422-6500

One of the top casinos in the Oklahoma City area, the Lucky Star Casino is located outside El Reno. Opened in the mid-1990s, this towering casino offers over 1,000 electronic games and slots, including many Vegas-style favorites. In addition, the casino also offers blackjack tables and a 24-hour poker room. Live performances by local and regional bands are typical on weekends, and the casino has a large restaurant and bar area. Operated by the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, this 40,000-square-foot facility is open 24 hours a day.

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Ride the Heritage Express Trolley

El Reno Trolley

Kool Cats Photography / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

300 S Grand Ave, El Reno, OK 73036-3610, USA
Phone +1 405-262-5121

The only rail-based trolley in Oklahoma, El Reno's Heritage Express Trolley allows riders to tour the city without having to break a sweat. This restored 1924 Brill Motor Car has 48 seats and runs through the downtown section of El Reno. To take a tour of the downtown area, park and board the trolley at Heritage Park (on the grounds of the Canadian County Historical Museum), then hop off and on at one of the many stops along the way. The Heritage Express Trolley runs at varying times Wednesdays through Sundays year-round, and costs a small fee to ride.

03 of 11

Relive History at Fort Reno

Commissary at Fort Reno.

Stephen Saks / Getty Images

7107 W Cheyenne St, El Reno, OK 73036, USA
Phone +1 405-262-3987

Located a few miles northwest of El Reno, the Historic Fort Reno began as a military camp in 1874 during the Indian Wars Era and is where the city got its name. Today, the 6,000-acre property is a popular tourist attraction that features tours, reenactments, a wedding chapel, and the annual "Ghosts of Fort Reno" event in the fort's on-site cemetery. Stop by the Fort Reno Visitor Center and Museum for an up-close look at the region's history through a variety of artifacts, photographs, and art. Included in the museum, you'll find images of the 1888 Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, German prisoners of war letters, the historical dress of Buffalo Soldiers, and more information on the living history events at Fort Reno.

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Wander Through the Canadian County Historical Museum

Exterior of Canadian County Museum

 MARELBU / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

300 S Grand Ave, El Reno, OK 73036-3610, USA
Phone +1 405-262-5121

Located in El Reno's Heritage Park, the Canadian County Historical Museum comprises several historic buildings on the grounds. While there, tour the first Red Cross Canteen in the nation and check out General Sheridan's cabin, the oldest standing structure in Canadian County, or you can stop by the historic Old Reno Hotel, Possum Holler School, and Darlington Indian Jail for even more information about early life in El Reno. Meanwhile, the fully-restored Rock Island Depot holds a variety of memorabilia from the town's history for display. 

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05 of 11

Relax at Lake El Reno

El Reno Lake and Water Tower

Courtesy of Visit El Reno

Lake El Reno, El Reno, OK 73036, USA

With 333 acres of open land and 300 acres of water, Lake El Reno is an excellent spot for outdoor recreation. Water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, boating, and fishing are all allowed, though you must purchase a temporary fishing permit. Created by constructing a dam across Fourmile Creek, the lake is surrounded by four miles of shoreline dotted with camping, picnic, and recreation areas, including a golf course, RV park, a remote control airplane field, and a motorcycle dirt track. Lake El Reno is located just west of town between Interstate 40 and the Business Loop of I-40 (Route 66) and is open from sunrise to sunset daily throughout the year. 

06 of 11

Play a Round at Crimson Creek Golf Course

ManpPlaying golf at Crimson Creek Golf Course

Courtesy of Crimson Creek Golf Course

801 Babcock Dr, El Reno, OK 73036-2504, USA
Phone +1 405-422-4653

Lake El Reno serves as a picturesque backdrop for a challenging golf course with 18 holes known as the Crimson Creek Golf Course. Although it was first opened in the 1960s as a nine-hole country club, the course was redesigned by P.B. Dye, Jr. and reopened in 1998 as an 18-hole municipal golf course that quickly became a favorite for local and visiting fans of the sport. Perfect for both novices and avid golfers, Crimson Creek features a traditional layout on the front nine holes while the back nine holes offer a links-style feel.

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Relax in City Parks

Adams Park pavilion

Courtesy of Visit El Reno

801 Babcock Dr, El Reno, OK 73036-2504, USA
Phone +1 405-422-4653

El Reno is home to over half a dozen city parks and recreation areas that cover about 150 acres in total. There are pavilions for events, baseball fields, playgrounds, walking trails, basketball, tennis, and sand volleyball courts, picnic shelters, and a public swimming pool. Located just west of the city on Route 66, Adams Park is the most diverse city park, featuring a soccer field, an 18-hole disc golf course, and state-of-the-art facilities, including a 10,000-square-foot skatepark and a rodeo arena, and four baseball fields. Other parks include Frank Knight Park, Gadberry Park, Rinehart Park, Burton Park, and Legion Park, home to the public swimming pool and a 2,000-square-foot public splash pad for kids.

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Catch a Flick at Reno 8 Movie Theater

Teen Titans at Reno 8 Event

Courtesy of B&B Theaters

3000 S Country Club Rd, El Reno, OK 73036, USA
Phone +1 405-276-2019

Part of the family-owned B&B Theatres chain, based out of Liberty, Missouri, the Reno 8 Movie Theater is located on Country Club Road just south of I-40 on the southwest edge of El Reno. The theater features an arcade, concession stands, and four screens with stadium seating and digital sound. Take your family to catch a flick at this local favorite any day of the year between 3 p.m. and midnight.

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09 of 11

Go Bowling at El Reno Bowl

Midsection Of Man Playing Ten Pin Bowling

Aiman Khair Bin Samsol Hairi / EyeEm / Getty Images

2412 Sunset Dr # 76, El Reno, OK 73036-2128, USA
Phone +1 405-262-3611

One of more than 10 Oklahoma City bowling centers, the El Reno Bowl has 16 bowling lanes, a game room, and a snack bar, and it features open bowling, league matches, and group reservations. Go on late Friday or Saturday for the All You Can Bowl special, or stop by any day of the week for a quick game with your family. El Reno Bowl is located just off Route 66 near Adams Park in western El Reno and is open seven days a week. 

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Watch Redlands Community College Sports

RCC Basketball

Courtesy of Redlands Community Collage

1300 S Country Club Rd, El Reno, OK 73036, USA
Phone +1 405-262-2552

Redlands Community College is El Reno's only public college and is home to several sports teams known as the Cougars. Teams include men's baseball and basketball and women's basketball, golf, soccer, and a cross-country team for both genders. If you're a fan of local collegiate sports, you can catch a game almost any time during the regular school semester at the Redlands Community College campus, which is located in western El Reno near Lake El Reno. Check the school website for game times and tickets.

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Attend an Annual Event

Man grilling giant hamburger patty

Courtesy of Fried Onion Burger Day Festival

Depending on the time of year you're in El Reno, you may find one of the more unique and memorable events in the Oklahoma City metro area, like the famous Fried Onion Burger Day Festival in May, which celebrates the annual cooking of the world's largest fried onion burger. Later in August, the Oklahoma Indian Nations Pow Wow brings tribes from all over the region to an annual celebration of Native American culture. Then, holidays like Halloween transform downtown into a frightening (yet family-friendly) haunted attraction during the Halloween Spooktacular. There's the Christmas on the Western Frontier at Christmas time, an event that features a downtown parade and plenty of small-town holiday cheer. To find an event happening when you visit, keep up with the OKC area monthly event calendars to ensure you don't miss out on any fun.

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11 Best Things to Do in El Reno, Oklahoma