Publisher’s Note: We are very grateful for Callie Collins and all she has done for MetroFamily Magazine and this blog since 2014. What a legacy she leaves! We wish her and her entire family all the best.
The Plaza District brings people from all over Oklahoma City and surrounding communities. Centered around N.W. 16th Street, offbeat arts, culture and local shopping come together for a memorable day of family fun.
Identity is there too, as children get to know their city. Even if all they remember is what you ate and some of what you saw together, that counts for something in the broad spectrum of childhood. Find out more about different neighborhoods around Oklahoma City in this year’s The Everything Guide.
I feel like we’ve only just discovered the Plaza District’s appeal to families with kids after living in Oklahoma for more than a decade. We first visited this past October for the Magic Lantern Festival and came back for a show at Lyric Theatre in January. The day stands out as a happy one, complete with brambleberry pie slices at Pie Junkie.
Here’s an overview for an afternoon of fun in the Plaza District:
Know that parking is tight in the area but all its stand-out features are within walking distance of one another. Find a spot or pay to park once and you’re set to go; cash or credit card will keep you from circling for a rare open parking spot.
Where to see a show: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, 1727 N.W. 16th
Live performances feel friendly in this charming venue, which sometimes features shows especially for kids. Its tagline “Every ticket tells a story” invites kids to see classic plays and musicals. Attending can also spark kids’ interest in dance and music. Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy can help bring those skills to the stage with classes for children of all ages and abilities. See what’s coming up at lyrictheatreokc.com. Hold onto your playbill for local discounts at nearby restaurants.
Where to shop: Folk.Life, 1745 D. N.W. 16th
My husband is a Spanish teacher from Costa Rica and we love a lot of the decor and handicraft items this unique shop features. Its selection of items is really second to none. Some are imported, others are from local artists but all of them are what we’d find in other places. I appreciate being able to find Day of the Dead items and Frida Kahlo images without having to leave the country. We decorate my husband’s classroom with finds from this shop each school year because they draw students into the culture with bright colors and folk traditions before they love the language.
Thrive Mama Collective, 1745 N.W. 16th
This one-stop-shop for all things maternity is a staple for women expecting in Oklahoma City. Merchandise, doula and midwife services, birth photographers, prenatal massage and lactation specialist help are available in one space. Toys and clothes make it a favorite place to browse even if you’re not pregnant; there’s plenty to see for families with young children, besides support for their parents.
Where to eat: Pie Junkie, 1711 N.W. 16th
Featured on the Food Network, this local favorite has gained national fame. Although it tends to sell out fast and seated is limited, snagging a slice is still one of the joys of visiting the Plaza District. All pies are made in-house and the varieties available vary each day. Enjoy a piece on-site and take home a savory pot pie for dinner. Follow their social media accounts for the latest on what’s around for the day, from fruit and cream pies to quiche and other specialties.
Free fun option: You can play tourist around the Plaza District on a zero-spend budget. Window shop, see local art with the area’s famed murals and chat with local artists at pottery studios and painting galleries.
Enjoy seeing something different with your kids while exploring Oklahoma City’s artistic niche with a modern vibe. The Plaza District just might be what turns up in your child’s “What did you do this summer?” essay, with tales of stage stories, big fish and small pies.