13 Top Things to Do in Oklahoma City

Bricktown in Oklahoma City

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Whether it's your first trip or you're a repeat visitor, there are a number of key things to see and do on any trip to Oklahoma City. Pay your respects at the poignant monument that tells a tragic story, then spend some time learning about the city's vast history and heritage and doing other fun activities like catching a game and taking in a western-themed show. There's art to peruse and a state capitol building to tour—and don't forget to make your way to the metro's lesser-known points of interest.

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Visit the First Americans Museum

First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City

First Americans Museum

Address
659 First Americans Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73129, USA
Phone +1 405-594-2100

Learn all about the history and culture of Oklahoma City's original residents, as well as the 39 tribal nations who still call the area home, at the First Americans Museum. Visit the Tribal Nations Gallery to hear stories from Oklahoma's Indigenous Peoples, view objects and artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and discover how the museum itself came to be. A family Discovery Center is also in the works, as is a full-service restaurant featuring traditional American Indian recipes and dishes.

02 of 13

Cool Off at Hurricane Harbor OKC

Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City

Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City

Address
3908 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73107, USA
Phone +1 405-943-9687

When the temperature rises in the summer, head to Hurricane Harbor OKC, part of the Six Flags family of theme parks. Chill out in the lazy river, splash around in the activity pools, hang ten in the wave pool, and take on exciting water slides like the Wahoo Racer, Pipeline Wave, Typhoon Twister, and the Mega Wedgie (don't say we didn't warn you!). Families can also enjoy Splashwater Island, Caribbean Cove, and Gangplank, where kids can "walk the plank" and safely jump off the rocks into a pool.

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Ride the Roller Coasters at Six Flags Frontier City

Six Flags Frontier City

Six Flags Frontier City

Address
11501 N I- 35 Service Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73131, USA
Phone +1 405-478-2140

Six Flags Frontier City, located just a 20-minute drive north of downtown Oklahoma City, is home to epic thrill rides such as the Brain Drain, the Silver Bullet, the Diamondback, and the Wildcat, Frontier City's only classic wooden roller coaster. Brave the Soaring Eagle 100-foot high zip line adventure or the Gunslinger, which is billed as "The wildest ride in the West!"—if you dare. Otherwise, a number of family-friendly train rides, bumper cars, and traditional favorites like a log flume, grand carousel, and Ferris wheel will keep kids of all ages entertained.

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Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, USA
Phone +1 405-235-3313

We all remember the Oklahoma City bombing, the domestic terrorist attack on the Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City that took place on April 19, 1995. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum now stands on that very spot, defining the residents in remembrance and depicting the strength and gradual sense of peace as the years have passed since that day.

The beautiful grounds and symbolic design will touch the hearts of visitors. While the outdoor memorial will certainly have an emotional effect, the National Memorial Museum provides a complete background of the event, including the timeline of the FBI investigation.

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05 of 13

Experience the Red Earth Festival

Red Earth Native American Festival Held In Oklahoma City

J Pat Carter / Getty Images

The Red Earth Festival is an Oklahoma City tradition held annually in June at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The festival is one way Oklahoma City celebrates the Indigenous American cultures that make the region unique. Native American artists travel from across the country to participate in the prestigious Red Earth Juried Art Market. On Saturday and Sunday, don't miss the huge Red Earth Pow Wow, where you can enjoy the color and pageantry of hundreds of dancers in full tribal regalia as they compete for prizes. The grand entry is not to be missed.

Address
1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, USA
Phone +1 405-252-0102
06 of 13

Get to Know Oklahoma City's Neighborhoods

Bricktown Oklahoma City

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
Bricktown, Oklahoma City, OK, USA

The recently revitalized Bricktown neighborhood has become one of the Oklahoma City's best attractions. Take a water taxi ride along the canal, eat at one of the area's great restaurants, or simply enjoy the beautiful outdoor atmosphere. While cruising along the canal gets all the publicity, Bricktown also offers horse-drawn carriage rides for a different view and experience. Relax and enjoy the clop-clop of horse hooves as you ride along the scenic bricked streets.

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Catch a Game at Chesapeake Arena

Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
100 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, USA
Phone +1 405-602-8700

The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the top teams in the NBA. From the moment the franchise arrived in 2008, even before the winning streak began thanks to superstars Durant and Westbrook, fans have packed "The Peake" for each and every game. It's fun and loud, and a great venue for sports action. If you're not a sports fan, the Chesapeake Arena also hosts a variety of other events throughout the year. Headline concerts, family shows, and monster trucks are just a few of the things you can catch here.

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Visit the OKC Zoo

Oklahoma City Zoo

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
2000 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, USA
Phone +1 405-424-3344

It's been called one of the top 10 zoos in the U.S. and is one of the oldest in the southwest. With a beautiful landscape and a number of exotic animals, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a great place to take the family while in town. Check out the Elephant Habitat, Cat Forest, Great EscAPE, Oklahoma Trails, and the fantastic Aquatics shows. One of the major attractions at the zoo is not quite animal-related: The Zoo Amphitheater hosts a number of great outdoor concerts during the summer.

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Get Out on the Oklahoma River

Chesapeake Boathouse

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

It's hard to believe this place was once little more than a glorified drainage ditch. Now, the Oklahoma River is a top city attraction, a recreational gem with kayaking, trails, adventure courses, a zip line, and events space.

Ferries and boats provide access to Historic Stockyards City, the Meridian Corridor, and the Regatta Park/Boathouse District. All boat docks offer parking and access to additional public transit services so you can see more of OKC. Take a fun, relaxing Oklahoma River Cruise, which runs about 45 minutes. There are special holiday and themed cruises featuring entertainment and a cash bar as well.

Address
Oklahoma River, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
10 of 13

See the Dodgers Play at "The Brick"

Bricktown Ballpark

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
2 S Mickey Mantle Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73104-2433, USA
Phone +1 405-218-1000

The Chesapeake Arena is great, but if it's a nice spring or summer day in Oklahoma City, why not get outside? You won't find too many better minor-league baseball facilities in the U.S. than the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, known by locals as "The Brick." The Oklahoma City Dodgers are typically in action from April to early September. Watch the players warm up as you snack on hot dogs, pizza, and traditional ballpark food.

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Geek Out at Some of the City's Best Museums

Science Museum Oklahoma

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
2020 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, USA
Phone +1 405-602-6664
4.8

Science Museum Oklahoma provides a great educational experience for kids and is quite an enjoyable Oklahoma City attraction for adults as well—don't tell the science teachers, but who knew it could be this much fun? Get hands-on with the exhibits, see World War II airplanes, and discover the visual wonders of fractal art. The Kirkpatrick Planetarium also takes visitors on a trek through the night sky in mesmerizing fashion. 

Otherwise, Oklahoma City gets a bad rap sometimes in regard to culture, but frankly, with so many great museums, it's far from the truth. From the amazing works at the OKC Museum of Art to the depth of the Oklahoma History Center or the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, the area offers a number of excellent options. Long known as the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum was established in 1955 and is an amazing facility that showcases the area's rich Western history, art, and culture.

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Catch a Show at the Civic Center Music Hall

Civic Center Music Hall

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
201 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, USA
Phone +1 405-594-8300

Redesigned as part of the original MAPS initiatives, the Civic Center Music Hall features year-round arts and entertainment from companies such as the OKC Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Lyric Theatre, as well as various touring Broadway productions. While the widely publicized shows are presented in the main theater, keep an eye out for some great, lesser-known fare in the smaller black-box "CitySpace" theatre in the basement.

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Visit the State Capitol

Oklahoma State Capitol

TripSavvy / Adam Knapp

Address
2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, USA
Phone +1 405-521-3356

Don't miss this important OKC site. The Oklahoma State Capitol building was finished in 1917 but did not have a dome—it was supposed to, though a lack of funds prevented it—and it was finally constructed in 2002. Try to snap a shot of the statue on top of the Capitol dome with a zoom lens. Called the "Guardian," the 17-foot tall bronze Native American statue was designed by Master Artist Enoch Kelly Haney.

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13 Top Things to Do in Oklahoma City