14 Best Things To Do In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2024 Guide)

Check out our comprehensive list of the best things to do in Oklahoma City, the vibrant capital city of Oklahoma, USA!

Oklahoma City, the capital of the state of Oklahoma, is a vibrant and evolving metropolis in the heart of the United States. Known for its warm Southern hospitality and diverse cultural scene, the city has undergone significant revitalization in recent years.

The Bricktown Entertainment District, situated along the scenic Bricktown Canal, has a lively atmosphere with restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues for all kinds of visitors.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art are among the city’s top attractions. The city’s skyline is marked by iconic structures, including the Devon Energy Center, contributing to a modern and dynamic landscape.

Oklahoma City is deeply rooted in Western history, evident in attractions like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum which showcases the cowboy way of life and the spirit of the American frontier.

Beyond its cultural and recreational offerings, the city plays a significant role in industries like energy, aviation, and biotechnology, contributing to its economic growth. For anyone visiting this dynamic city in Central USA, here are some of the best things to do in Oklahoma City!

Exploring more of Oklahoma? Check out the best things to do in Tulsa!

Downtown Okc Skyscrapers
Get ready to explore all the best things to do in Oklahoma City!

14 Best Things To Do In Oklahoma City, OK

For anyone visiting Oklahoma City, these are the top activities and attractions you need to add to your bucket list. We recommend having a car for your time in Oklahoma City, as it gives you more freedom to move around downtown OKC and the surrounding areas.

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

1. Step into the past at the Oklahoma History Center

History buffs should make sure they stop in the Oklahoma History Center, a state-of-the-art facility that serves as the headquarters for the Oklahoma Historical Society and offers glimpses into the state’s past.

The museum’s exhibits span from the prehistoric era to contemporary times, covering topics such as Native American history, the Land Run of 1889, the oil boom, and the cultural contributions of Oklahomans.

The center’s innovative and interactive displays and extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents provide visitors with a captivating journey through the unique heritage of the Sooner State.

Architecturally striking, the Oklahoma History Center is an expansive complex that houses not only exhibit galleries but also research facilities, educational spaces, and a theater for presentations.

The Oklahoma History Center serves as a dynamic hub for scholars, students, and the general public, whether you’re a real history lover or you just want to gain a greater understanding of the area!

2. Catch a performance at the Civic Center Music Hall

Another one of Oklahoma City’s gems is the Civic Center Music Hall. Located in downtown Oklahoma City, the venue was originally opened in 1937 as the Municipal Auditorium until it underwent extensive renovations and became the Civic Center Music Hall in 1970.

The hall is home to several performing arts organizations, including the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Oklahoma City Ballet, and the Lyric Theatre, making it a dynamic hub for a wide range of cultural events. The facility’s architectural charm, featuring elements of Art Deco and Classical Revival styles, enhances the overall experience for visitors attending concerts, ballet performances, Broadway shows, and other productions.

Inside the Civic Center Music Hall, visitors are greeted by elegant and acoustically refined spaces, such as the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre and the Freede Little Theatre. These venues host many performances, from symphony concerts to theatrical productions which showcase a variety of arts in Oklahoma City.

Heading south into Texas next? Check out our list of the best things to do in Dallas!

3. Stroll around the Myriad Botanical Gardens

Nestled in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, the Myriad Botanical Gardens make the perfect escape from the busy city life.

Featuring 17 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, themed gardens, and architectural wonders, the Myriad Botanical Gardens are one of the top things to do in Oklahoma City.

The centerpiece of the gardens is the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, a striking, cylindrical glass structure that houses a diverse collection of tropical plants and exotic flora. Visitors can stroll through the outdoor spaces, which include the Children’s Garden, the Seasonal Plaza, and the Great Lawn, each offering a lovely botanical experience within the heart of Oklahoma City.

Throughout the year, Myriad Botanical Gardens hosts lots of events and programs, from educational workshops and garden tours to outdoor concerts and festivals.

The combination of natural beauty, educational opportunities, and community engagement makes Myriad Botanical Gardens a dynamic and integral part of Oklahoma City.

4. Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum

The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum stands as a tribute to the tragic events that unfolded on April 19, 1995, when a devastating terrorist bombing targeted the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The museum’s exhibits carefully chronicle the events leading up to the bombing, the immediate aftermath, and the profound impact on the community and the nation. Artifacts, personal testimonies, and multimedia presentations provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the resilience and unity that emerged in the face of tragedy.

Visitors to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum are greeted by a uniqe blend of architecture and landscape design that symbolizes both remembrance and hope.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, featuring the “Field of Empty Chairs,” stands adjacent to the museum and represents each life lost with a unique chair, arranged by the floor each victim was on during the bombing.

Inside the museum, the narrative unfolds chronologically, guiding visitors through the tragedy and the subsequent recovery and rebuilding efforts. The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum showcases the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Oklahoma City National Memorial
The memorial and museum are a beautiful and heartwrenching part of the city.

5. Catch a thrill at Frontier City

Frontier City is a beloved western-themed amusement park that captures the spirit of the Old West for visitors in Oklahoma. The park has many epic rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions, all set against the backdrop of an Old West town.

Visitors can experience the excitement of the Wild West through live entertainment, stunt shows, and themed events that bring the frontier era to life. From the wooden roller coaster, the “Silver Bullet,” to the adrenaline-pumping thrill of the water-based “Renegade Rapids,” Frontier City offers a diverse range of experiences for guests of all ages.

Beyond the rides and attractions, Frontier City embraces its Western theme with an array of shops, restaurants, and live performances that transport visitors back in time.

The park’s commitment to preserving the nostalgia of the American West, combined with its dedication to providing cutting-edge amusement park experiences, makes Frontier City a top destination in Oklahoma City.

6. Tour the exhibits at the Oklahoma City Zoo

Another one of the city’s top attractions is the Oklahoma City Zoo. Established in 1902, the zoo has evolved into a world-class facility with a mission to provide extraordinary experiences for guests while promoting conservation and education.

Home to over 1,900 animals representing a diverse array of species, the Oklahoma City Zoo offers an immersive and educational environment for visitors of all ages.

From the Great Escape, an expansive habitat for primates, to the Cat Forest/Lion Overlook, showcasing majestic big cats, the zoo promotes a deeper appreciation for the animal kingdom.

One of the standout features of the Oklahoma City Zoo is its commitment to conservation and education. The zoo actively participates in several conservation initiatives, both locally and globally, to protect endangered species and their habitats.

Educational programs, wildlife shows, and interactive exhibits engage visitors in learning about the importance of wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship. With beautifully landscaped grounds, engaging exhibits, and a commitment to animal welfare, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a beloved destination in the heart of the city.

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7. Watch a local sports game

One of the best things to do in Oklahoma City, OK is watch a local sports game! Watching a professional sports game in Oklahoma City is a thrilling and communal experience that embodies the city’s passion for sports.

Whether it’s catching an Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena or cheering on the Oklahoma City Dodgers, the city’s minor league baseball team, at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the atmosphere is electric.

Fans come together with a shared enthusiasm, creating a sense of camaraderie and hometown pride. The Thunder’s “Loud City” reputation echoes through the arena, while the cheers and chants at the ballpark resonate with the love Oklahomans have for their teams.

Beyond the action on the field or court, the vibrant pre-game festivities and the welcoming spirit of fellow fans contribute to making the experience of watching a professional sports game in Oklahoma City a must-do!

8. Dive into the Wild West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is an iconic tribute to the rich heritage of the American West. The museum celebrates the spirit, history, and artistry of the cowboy and the pioneers who shaped the Western frontier.

The institution has an extensive collection of Western artifacts, artworks, and memorabilia, showcasing the diverse aspects of Western life, including Native American culture, cowboy history, and the exploration and settlement of the frontier.

One of the museum’s iconic features is the stunning “The End of the Trail” sculpture by James Earle Fraser, which captures the endurance and resilience of Native American peoples.

The museum’s galleries house an impressive collection of Western art, including works by renowned artists such as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Visitors can explore exhibits on cattle ranching, rodeo history, and the evolution of Western firearms.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum provides a unique and immersive experience for those seeking to understand the legacy of the American frontier. It’s a great place to engage with history and learn more about the Wild West that America is so famous for.

9. Admire the Centennial Land Run Monument

One of Oklahoma City’s most iconic landmarks is the Centennial Land Run Monument. Situated in Bricktown Entertainment District, the landmark stands as a tribute to the historical significance of the Land Run of 1889, a pivotal event that marked the opening of the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma Territory for settlement.

Unveiled in 2004 as part of the state’s centennial celebrations, the monument is a sprawling bronze sculpture that captures the energy and anticipation of the pioneers who participated in the iconic land run.

Comprising 45 larger-than-life figures, including horses and covered wagons, the monument vividly portrays the diverse array of individuals who sought to claim a piece of the available land during this momentous chapter in American history.

The Centennial Land Run Monument is both a fascinating piece of public art and a historical landmark. It’s one of the coolest things to see while exploring Oklahoma City.

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10. Broaden your mind at the Science Museum Oklahoma

One of the best things to do in Oklahoma City for travelers of all ages is tour the Science Museum Oklahoma. The Science Museum Oklahoma combines hands-on exhibits, engaging demonstrations, and educational programs to make science accessible and exciting.

The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, from physics and chemistry to biology and space exploration. Visitors can explore the wonders of the human body in the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit, experience the thrill of the Tinkering Garage, or immerse themselves in the mysteries of the natural world in the CurioCity exhibit.

The Kirkpatrick Planetarium within the Science Museum Oklahoma offers cool shows about astronomy and space exploration, which is amazing for those who love learning about the mysteries of Outer Space.

With a mission to inspire a lifelong love of learning, Science Museum Oklahoma serves as a hub for discovery, innovation, and scientific exploration. It’s a popular destination for families, school groups, and science enthusiasts.

11. Tour the Oklahoma State Capitol Building

Check out one of the city’s top landmarks by touring the Oklahoma State Capitol Building. Completed in 1917, the Capitol building reflects a blend of classical and neoclassical architectural styles, with a prominent dome rising above its structure.

The building is adorned with intricate details, including impressive murals, sculptures, and stained glass, contributing to its status as a historical and cultural landmark. The Capitol not only serves as the seat of Oklahoma’s government but also houses the offices of the Governor, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

Surrounded by landscaped grounds and featuring a prominent dome topped with a bronze statue of a Native American, the Oklahoma State Capitol offers visitors both a glimpse into the state’s political process and a display of architectural excellence.

With its iconic presence in the Oklahoma City skyline, the Capitol allows travelers to appreciate the state’s political legacy and architectural heritage.

Oklahoma City State Capitol
The inside of the Capitol Building’s dome is a highlight of this incredible landmark.

12. Tour the Oklahoma Railway Museum

Learn more about the history of the Oklahoma capital city with a visit to the Oklahoma Railway Museum. This unique museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich heritage of railroads in Oklahoma and the surrounding region.

The museum features an impressive collection of vintage locomotives, railcars, and artifacts, offering visitors a glimpse into the older era of rail travel. One of the highlights is the meticulously restored steam and diesel locomotives that once traversed the rails. You can see what trains actually used to look like back in the day!

Visitors to the Oklahoma Railway Museum can not only admire the artifacts but also enjoy train rides on selected weekends. The immersive experience allows guests to step back in time and appreciate the sights and sounds of vintage railway travel.

The Oklahoma Railway Museum serves as a living testament to the importance of railroads in the history and development of the region and offers an engaging experience for individuals of all ages.

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13. Try indoor skydiving

Indoor skydiving at iFly in Oklahoma City, OK provides an exhilarating and safe alternative to traditional outdoor skydiving.

Located in the heart of the city, iFly offers thrill-seekers the opportunity to experience the sensation of freefall within the controlled environment of a vertical wind tunnel. Participants, equipped with a specialized jumpsuit and helmet, are lifted off their feet by a powerful updraft, allowing them to float and maneuver in the air just like during a real skydive.

Instructors guide participants through the experience, ensuring a memorable and safe adventure for individuals of all ages.

iFly’s indoor skydiving facility in Oklahoma City not only caters to adrenaline enthusiasts but also serves as a unique and accessible venue for those looking to experience the thrill of freefall without the need for an airplane or jumping from great heights.

14. Visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a cultural gem that enriches the Oklahoma City community through its amazing collections and exhibitions.

The museum’s permanent collection spans a wide range of artistic styles and periods, with a notable focus on American and European art. Visitors can browse through incredible paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, including works by renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Beyond its art exhibits, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art provides educational programs, film screenings, and community events, making it a vibrant cultural hub for both residents and visitors.

The on-site Noble Theater often showcases independent and international films, contributing to the museum’s role as a center for visual arts and cinematic expression. With its commitment to accessibility, creativity, and cultural enrichment, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art continues to promote art and beauty in the heart of Oklahoma.

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Where To Stay In Oklahoma City, OK

Here are some top recommendations for places to stay in Oklahoma City that suit travelers of all budget ranges!

Best Luxury Accommodation in Oklahoma City, OK – Omni Oklahoma City Hotel

Omni Oklahoma City Hotel is one of the most highly-rated hotels in the city center. The aesthetically pleasing, contemporary interior is complemented by the incredible amenities. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, a fitness center, a 24-hour front desk, a terrace with amazing views, an on-site restaurant and bar, a business center, and even a hairdresser!

This 4-star hotel is also conveniently within walking distance of all the highlights in the downtown area. It’s only 400 meters from Chesapeake Energy Arena so you can catch a basketball game with ease!

Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Oklahoma City, OK – Wyndham Grand Oklahoma City Downtown

Those looking for an affordable yet upscale stay can head to the Wyndham Grand Hotel. With an on-site spa, indoor pool, restaurant, and fitness center, you can relax and indulge when you’re not out exploring all the best tourist attractions in the city center.

Each room at the Wyndham Grand is stylish and welcoming, with a work desk, comfy beds, high-quality linens and amenities, and gorgeous views of downtown Oklahoma City or the Bricktown Canal District.

Best Budget Accommodation in Oklahoma City, OK – Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, located in Bricktown, is one of the best budget stays you can find in the city. Free private parking is available and the hotel even offers a free shuttle for guests who want to explore without a car. Free breakfast, daily housekeeping, amazing service, and great amenities in the comfy rooms make this a convenient and fulfilling stay in OKC.

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

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