Here are four tried-and-true options for a one-night staycation in hot Oklahoma City districts: The Plaza, Wheeler Park, Film Row and Midtown.
Staying in the newly built Wheeler Park District really feels like you’ve taken a trip to another town. We recommend perusing Airbnb for lodging rentals — full home or garage apartment rentals are available at moderate prices. The downtown skyline, Oklahoma River and a gorgeous sunset Ferris Wheel view can be seen from the bedroom windows of these homes!
The Big Friendly taproom is also located in the Wheeler neighborhood, and has the feel of a local neighborhood pub but with a modern and funky aesthetic. Terminal Commons is a casual new eatery in the Wheeler District with a delicious and dietary-sensitive menu including breakfast pastries, coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks. (Tips for when you return with the kids – Just behind Terminal Commons is a fenced-in playground ideal for parents looking to enjoy a “cup of joe” on the patio while the kids get the wiggles out!)
21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City is a funky, quirky hotel and museum that’s the perfect backdrop for a night away from the kids. Check into your room at this impressive Film Row property then budget some time to browse the incredible array of rotating art on the first level. If you’re the type who’s okay with not venturing out of the hotel for the night, settle into a booth at the hotel’s restaurant, Mary Eddy’s, for refreshing takes on comfort foods. The meal wouldn’t be complete without a generous helping of dessert before retiring to your room for the night.
A terrific way to explore Film Row and areas nearby is by bike. Even if you live in the Oklahoma City metro and know the streets inside and out, a bike tour can help you see the city through new eyes. Ride OKC offers an Art + Architecture Tour, a Bikes + Brews Tour and other seasonal tours. The great part of doing a bike tour with your spouse is learning interesting bits of history and seeing what’s new in town together. Rides start at $45 per person for a two and a half hour tour. If a tour isn’t really your thing, the company also offers bike rentals starting at $10 an hour.
A Spokies rental is another great way to get out on two wheels. Rentals are $3.50 per half hour and bikes can be picked up and dropped off at one of eight stations located throughout the urban core.
Eat & Play
One of Film Row’s dessert destinations is Cafe Disco, a cozy shop in the Main Street Arcade at Main & Lee Avenues. The store specializes in macarons and cappuccinos. They make their macarons in-house in exciting flavors like cherry blossom, honey lavender and pistachio.
Also in Main Street Arcade, Revel Eight Nail Salon & Revel Eight Grooming offer prime opportunities for pampering both you and your spouse. Stop in for a relaxing manicure, pedicure, hot shave or blowout. Other popular spots are Bar Arbolada, Stitch Cafe and The Social Club salon & shop.
Nestled into one of Oklahoma City’s most quaint corners is the Ambassador Hotel and it does not disappoint for a night away from the kids. Cozy guest rooms and modern amenities in a historic setting make for a one-of-a-kind stay. As you settle in for the night, don’t forget that Insomnia Cookies is located just across the street. They deliver fresh-baked cookies until 3 a.m. seven days a week and it’s the ideal sweet note to start your staycation.
Midtown is a prime locale for hopping on the Oklahoma City Streetcar. There are platform stops along N.W. 10th St at Hudson and Harvey Avenues that can easily connect passengers to other districts like Bricktown and Downtown. If you travel downtown, head to the top of the Devon Tower for a drink at Vast. If you choose to stick around Midtown, stop by Fassler Hall to share some duck fat fries and play a game of ping pong on the patio.
Midtown is also home to some fun local shops like Black Scintilla, Nhu Avenue, Commonplace Books and The Market, an urban bodega-style grocery store.
Eat & Play
Restaurants abound in Midtown but if you truly want to take advantage of a place you’d probably never take your kids, Ludivine is a popular pick. The candlelight and small plates create the perfect backdrop for a memorable meal out.
Another dependable date stop nearby is Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge. Order a couple milkshakes or cocktails and settle into one of the four quaint bowling lanes with old-fashioned touches like handwritten scorecards and retro furnishings.
Finish off your staycation with drinks at Hank’s. That could mean beers, wine or a latte and they serve desserts too.
Gatewood & The Plaza
Gatewood is one of OKC’s many historic pockets, and within the grid-like neighborhood is one diagonal street called “Carey Place.” There are haunted legends of events that happened on Carey Place, but myth and folklore aside, this street is a little gem of homes with character galore. A few homes and garage apartments are available on Airbnb for very reasonable rates, including this one that comes highly recommended.
Quite literally walking distance from Gatewood and Carey Place is The Plaza. If you haven’t visited in a few years, it’s worth a second look! The evolving vibrancy of local restaurants, art and retail puts The Plaza on the list of favorite districts in OKC. LIVE! on the Plaza features a monthly art walk and includes previews of new art installations, discounts at restaurants and shops, and occasional street performances from Everything Goes Dance Studio ranging from Ballet, Tap and Jazz, to Hip Hop and Break Dance, to even Flamenco and Mexican Folkloric styles. Be sure to walk around the back-side of the buildings to view rotating colorful murals commissioned by local artists!
Eat & Play
If you are looking for different kinds of local food & drink options to appease everyone, you’re in luck. Visit The Mule and New State Burgers for tantalizing comfort/American food, Empire Slice for the most creative combos of pizza or pizza by the slice, Mexican Radio for the best queso and margs, or Sasquatch Shaved Ice, Roxy’s Ice Cream Social or Pie Junky for dessert. Also check out the Up Down for a little nostalgia: this newly opened restaurant and bar houses nearly 70 different $0.25 arcade games!
For more date ideas, search the date night category on our digital calendar at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/calendar.