Cowboys, Automobile Alley, and one-off museums: Find fun places to visit in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, or OKC for short, is a dynamic modern city with a proud cowboy heritage. Take your family to visit fun attractions like OKC Zoo, and then loop the loop on a roller coaster at Frontier City theme park. You can tour outstanding museums like the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum or wander through the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, with its colorful Dale Chihuly glasswork. The fascinating Museum of Osteology is dedicated entirely to skeletons, ranging from mice to primates to a humpback whale.
At the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, you can learn about the city’s cowboy culture as you stroll past works by Frederic Remington, sepia-toned rodeo photographs, and the world’s largest collection of saddles. Outside, kids can explore a Puebloan cliff dwelling and a prairie sod house or pretend to be a conductor at a train depot. If you’d like to experience a live cattle market, head to Stockyards City for a public auction and then shop for custom boots or grab lunch in an Old-West-style saloon.
After dark, head to Bricktown. The city’s hippest district comprises converted warehouses that pulse with busy pubs and live music of all kinds, from blues and acoustic guitar to dueling pianos. The nearby Deep Deuce area is the epicenter of the city’s storied jazz scene, while the Uptown 23rd stretch along historic Route 66 has cool venues like the 1937 Tower Theatre, as well as spots for gourmet doughnuts and local food icons like the onion burger.
More fun places to visit in OKC:
- Automobile Alley: A thriving hub of car dealerships in the 1920s, this revitalized area is home to handsome brick buildings with glowing neon signs. These days, the old garages house indie gift shops, wine bars, and trendy eateries serving pizza and brunch.
- Factory Obscura Mix-Tape: Created by a collective of local artists, Mix-Tape is an immersive experience that takes you through a series of unique spaces, each with its own whimsical, quirky design. Think walls and ceilings draped in yarn, floors painted with bold murals, and LED light shows everywhere you look. You can play with hands-on features like a bubble wall or listen to soothing words in a cactus treehouse.
- Riversport: When the summer days start to swelter, cool off and experience the thrills at this water adventure center in the Boathouse District. You can blast down rapids by tube, kayak, or raft, or you can go for a relaxing float on a stand-up paddleboard.
- Scissortail Park: This terrific park packs in tranquil gardens and a boating pond, as well as engaging kids’ zones with interactive fountains. Shop for picnic goodies at the Saturday farmers market, and check the calendar for special events like summer movies and live concerts on the lawn.
- Paseo Arts District: More than 20 galleries cluster in this artistic pocket of brightly painted Spanish Revival buildings. Pop into a studio to admire handmade jewelry and stained glass, and then make your way to one of the area’s growing number of buzzy restaurants.
When to go
Summers in Oklahoma City are hot, with daytime highs often reaching into the 90s. Temperatures are typically mild in spring and fall, though, and the cold winter months still bring plenty of bright, sunny days. Visit in June for the deadCenter Film Festival or in September for the Oklahoma State Fair, featuring fairground rides, horse shows, and all manner of enticing snacks.
Planning a visit to Oklahoma City? Check out the area’s Radisson hotels to find the best base for your vacation.
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