20 Iconic OKC Attractions - MetroFamily Magazine
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20 Iconic OKC Attractions

by Hannah Schmitt

Reading Time: 5 minutes 

Oklahoma City is home to countless family-friendly attractions and activities. Over the past 20+ years, it’s been our job to help point families to the best places to spend time together. Especially in the past few years, Oklahoma City has seen a spike in kid-friendly destinations. It’s thrilling to live in a city where kids can bounce off the walls in a trampoline park, zipline over a river, view the city from the top of a Ferris wheel and even skydive indoors. So it’s nearly impossible to narrow down a list of the most iconic family-friendly attractions in the metro but here (in no particular order) are the 20 places that have been mentioned the most in our pages over the past 20+ years and why you should make a trip to go see them now!

  1. Oklahoma City Zoo: In 1909 the city approved the purchase of 600 acres for Lincoln Park Zoo, now called the Oklahoma City Zoo. It’s come a long way as the facility welcomed a million visitors in 2017, is home to almost 2,000 animals and features a preschool and dozens of educational programs throughout the year.
  2. Science Museum Oklahoma: Before STEM was an acronym in anyone’s lexicon, this kid-friendly museum was bringing valuable science principles and concepts to young Oklahomans. In the past 20 years, they’ve taken on features like opening the city’s first large-format, dome-screen theater and CurioCity, a special exhibit for kids that’s larger than 95 percent of the standalone children’s museums in the country.
  3. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum: This attraction is a hub of history education for all ages and the youngest visitors have long enjoyed the Children’s Cowboy Corral, where kids can dress up as cowboys and cowgirls and participate in activities that take them back to Oklahoma’s early days. The museum’s indoor Prosperity Junction and outdoor playspace Liichokoshkomo’ are sure to be a hit!
  4. SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology: Unlike any other museum experience, the facility combines kids’ natural interest in animals and curiosity in science by revealing the skeletons of hundreds of creatures.
  5. Oklahoma History Center: The airplane hanging from the ceiling at the entrance of the museum has been getting kids excited about history for years. This museum has been a staple for our readers because the indoor exhibits offer plenty of excitement for older kids and a spacious outdoor area is perfect for learning about Oklahoma history while burning some energy at the same time.
  6. Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Although this museum has been open for decades, it continues to morph into something more and more family-friendly each year. While programs and exhibits for adults continue to thrive, the museum staff has added interactive ways for kids to enjoy the exhibits like scavenger hunts and sketchbooks.
  7. Harn Homestead: Few attractions have deeper roots in Oklahoma City than Harn Homestead. The centerpiece of this living history museum is a house that was built in 1904. Now, young visitors can learn about original Oklahomans by touring a replica 1800s homestead cabin, an 1800s schoolhouse and an early 1900s dairy barn.
  8. Martin Park Nature Center: Smack dab in the middle of an urban area sits 140 acres of wildlife and adventure. Additions over the years of a nature-themed playground and the INTEGRIS Courage Trail for individuals with disabilities have made it an Oklahoma City staple for families.
  9. Oklahoma City National Memorial: Certainly the most somber museum experience in the city, a visit to this memorial is an essential experience to help older kids understand this important piece of Oklahoma City’s history.
  10. Myriad Botanical Gardens: The idea for this urban oasis was dreamed up in the late 60s and the Crystal Bridge finally opened to the public in 1988. It was recently named the top urban park in the world and has continued to change and grow over the years. With its impressive Children’s Garden and kid-friendly events, it has been one of the city’s brightest spots for outdoor family fun over the past 20 years.
  11. Pops Arcadia: Can a restaurant really be considered an attraction? It can if it features an LED-lit 66-foot bottle of soda outside. Families have enjoyed driving Route 66 out to this iconic roadside attraction and picking a unique flavor from their 700+ soda options since it opened in 2007.
  12. Plaza District: This 16th Street neighborhood has morphed over the past 20 years into one of the most popular weekend spots for families. What kid doesn’t love a pie, ice cream and snow cone shop all on the same strip? And regular weekend arts and culture events keep families coming back.
  13. Winchester Drive-In: One of only a handful of drive-in movie experiences left in Oklahoma, the Winchester continues to make our pages for its nostalgia and affordability.
  14. Frontier City & Hurricane Harbor: Like many of the attractions written about in our magazine over the years, Frontier City and Hurricane Harbor, previously White Water Bay, hold a special place in many readers’ hearts because they remember going there as a child and now they can take their own kids. This thrilling amusement park and water park manage to maintain nostalgia while adding new rides and features every year.
  15. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art: This attraction makes it into the magazine again and again because families love having a world-renowned museum that’s free to the public. The museum hosts family events where special hands-on activities are organized for young museum-goers.
  16. Oklahoma City Thunder Games: Ever since the Seattle Supersonics traveled east and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, local parents have relished the opportunity to give their kids a taste of live professional sports. Enjoying a game at the Paycom Center and all the revelry before and after the games continues to be a favorite OKC pastime for families.
  17. Sam Noble Museum: If your kids think the words “natural history” sound boring, prove them wrong with a visit to this museum where they can dig for dinosaur bones, get up close and personal with exciting artifacts and see the world’s largest Apatosaurus skeleton.
  18. Bricktown: The restaurants and attractions scattered through bustling Bricktown just get better every year. A family favorite is the Bricktown Water Taxi. More than a million people have ridden the water taxi and although locals might consider it just for tourists, parents should consider this a prime activity for Oklahoma City kids.
  19. RIVERSPORT Adventures: Although it is still one of Oklahoma City’s newer attractions compared to some of the veterans on this list, the SandRidge Sky Trail has been thrilling local families for the past several years and the area continues to get better with new additions every year, including white water rafting and skiing.
  20. Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord-Pickens Museum: This unique museum not only tells visitors the stories of iconic Oklahomans, but it also helps kids imagine themselves in heroic roles through interactive exhibits and activities.

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