Last Updated on December 12, 2022
There are lots of things to do in Oklahoma City, a city that’s so vibrant and alive, with all the comforts of home and the flavors of the world. And it’s perfect for seniors and families, singles and couples, everyone regardless of age…
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
By Carla Marie Rupp
What things to do in Oklahoma City?
You should have seen me chatting away with other folksy, jovial patrons at the old-style counter at Cattleman’s Cafe over my chocolate meringue pie, right after an amazing dinner in Stockyards City. I couldn’t have had more fun on this lively, after-the-auction night.
Or caught a glimpse of me in the sophisticated Red Piano Lounge of the 100-year old Skirvin Hilton, famous for its lavish, unique lobby and Oklahoma City’s version of the Big Apple’s Waldorf-Astoria.
Why vacation in historical Oklahoma City? Simply because it is so vibrant and alive, with all the comforts of home and the flavors of the world. And it’s perfect for seniors and families, singles and couples, everyone regardless of age. “I think this city didn’t get the memo that the country is in a recession,” one cabbie said to my curious questions. It looks like — and literally is — a Boom Town! Everything’s up and coming.
Things to Do? Plenty in Oklahoma City
There’s the new Deven Energy skyscraper, a burgeoning art scene, a variety of interesting neighborhoods, a downtown urban renaissance and a shimmering riverfront. The spirited environment blends with a deep western heritage, creating a place where commerce, culture and tourism can thrive.
There’s also history, although the most recent is heart-felt. One wonderful afternoon I visited the awe-inspiring Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, and learned more about the tragedy that struck the city on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people.
As the capital city of Oklahoma, OKC has something for everyone whether you wear a business suit, jeans, a cowboy hat or the finest fashion. And shoppers and museum-goers love it, too, for its world-class offerings full of treasures galore.
I loved posing with some of the many painted buffalo statues sitting all over the city, especially one in front of the unique Red Earth Museum shop and art gallery in downtown Oklahoma City. The colorful fiberglass creatures are five feet tall, eight feet long and three feet wide. The whole thing started with the Nature Conservancy Spirit of the Buffalo Project.
Oklahoma City for Business and Pleasure
I went to OKC on business during a beautiful late September week and stayed longer to find the things to do in the city. What I felt and saw was a hipness, beauty and excitement, with loads of fun and change in the air. I felt it when I visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, the Oklahoma History Center, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
And what a fantastic time you can have if you plan carefully since there are festivals, fairs and events held all year long. I was lucky enough to have my visit coincide with the biggest party the city holds: the Oklahoma State Fair. I snapped photos of a professor on aging taking his granddaughter on toddler rides, teenagers eating chocolate-covered bacon (eek!), a youngster riding two white horses at the same time (wow!) and homemakers competing for whom could make the best grilled cheese sandwich.
I saw baby animals being born, heard entertainers such as the Village People and the Dustbowl Gypsies (a bluegrass trio, and I turned out to be one of their biggest fans), joked with a female “human spider” illusionist and saw a hypnotist put a whole row of volunteers to sleep.
During the business portion of my trip, I stayed at the upscale Renaissance Hotel which is within walking distance to entertainment, dining and nightlife in the city’s famous Bricktown, a great district chock full of restaurants, clubs and music venues, and the very special American Banjo Museum.
In Bricktown, you might enjoy drinks on the deck at Nonna’s as we did, or take a beautiful boat ride on the canal, with your driver on the Bricktown Water Taxi describing the sights, historic statues and all the variety of fun and food available in the vibrant downtown district. You can hop off anywhere you like.
I’m a New Yorker who was born in Kansas, a neighboring state of Oklahoma, and now I’m just thrilled to be a fan of OKC!
If you go:
Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau
123 Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Tel. (405) 297-8912 / (800) 225-5652
1309 S Agnew Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73108
One Park Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Tel: (405) 272-3040
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
620 N. Harvey, Oklahoma City
Tel. (405) 235.3313 / (888) 542-HOPE
Oklahoma State Fair
Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel
10 North Broadway Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Tel. (405) 228-8000
American Banjo Museum
9 E. Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Tel. (405) 604-2793