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Oklahoma City is the capital of the state with the same name, it is a large industrial and business center. The city’s economy is developing very successfully, so the authorities allocate a lot of money for the development of the tourist business. Several new hotel complexes have already been built in the city and many more are on the construction project for the coming years.
In addition to hotels, new concert halls and entertainment complexes are being built, and there are a lot of large-scale festivals being held in the city. One of the most significant celebrations is the Thanksgiving Day, when colorful parades can be seen in the streets. The whole day the locals have fun, make presentations and enjoy refreshments. If you want to find out how to spend time in Oklahoma City, you are offered to choose the best pastime checking out the list of best things to do in Oklahoma City here.
- Thing to do number 1: Visit the State Capitol
- Thing to do number 2: Watch basketball Game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena
- Thing to do number 3: Go to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
- Thing to do number 4: Visit the Osteology Museum
- Thing to do number 5: Enjoy beauty of nature in the Myriad Botanical Gardens
- Thing to do number 6: Go to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
- Thing to do number 7: Get new knowledge in the Science Museum Oklahoma
- Thing to do number 8: Go Shopping in Oklahoma City
- Thing to do number 9: Enjoy River Sport Adventures at Lake Hefner
- Thing to do number 10: Go to the Overholser Mansion
State Capitol is a local landmark that stands out against the background of the rest is not only thanks to its grand size, luxurious royal interior decoration, but its own oil rig.
They drilled it right on the flower bed with petunia, from where its name Petunia-1 originated, today it continues to pump oil. Inside, the building contains:
- mosaic ceilings,
- arched passages and sculptures,
- as well as paintings by famous artists.
On display in the Capitol rotunda you will see Chickasaw artist Mike Larsen’s mural Flight of Spirit. Paintings of Wayne Cooper are also here on the building.
The main aim is to depict the oil history of Oklahoma City. One of such works of art is “The Earth and I are One” that can be seen on the first floor of the building.
At the Senate lobby there is an oil-on-canvas painting – the “Ceremonial Transfer of the Louisiana Purchase in New Orleans – 1803” by Mike Wimmer. This is not the full list of paintings to enjoy.
Interesting: Oklahoma State Capitol remains the only one in the USA with active oil rigs.
If you love sports and especially basketball, then you should go to the Multifunctional Chesapeake Energy Arena, formerly known as “Ford Center”, which was opened in 2002. It is the home arena for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.
The construction of the new sports complex was part of the 1993 program to improve sports facilities in Oklahoma City. Construction lasted 3 years. And the cost of the whole project was only 89 million dollars. The arena is equipped with all modern equipment.
Since the arena is the property of the city, it is often used for various social events and concerts. Here already there were celebrities as:
- Paul McCartney,
- Lady Gaga,
- Taylor Swift
- and many others.
Interesting: Its total capacity is more than 18 thousand spectators.
Zoo and Botanical Garden Oklahoma City is located on 110 acres of beautiful lands and contains more than two and a half thousand animals. It is one of the main attractions of Oklahoma and according to polls is among the top three best family zoos in the country.
All visitors are highly recommended to visit Oklahoma Trails. This part of the zoo is 11 zones dedicated to the inhabitants of the region. In total you can see here about 1900 animals. More recently, the Children’s Zoo opened on the territory. In it, children can immerse themselves in the world of wildlife, touch and study animals.
There are many exhibits you can look at:
- Great EscAPE: here you will see gorillas and chimpanzees.
- Cat Forest: big and small cats.
- The Children’s Zoo: kids may explore nature and animals such as monkeys, goats, flamingos.
- Butterfly Garden: a great variety of butterflies can be found here as well as about 15000 plants.
- Island Life: over 80 exhibits from the whole world.
Besides the already mentioned places, you can enjoy such attractions as Safari voyage boats, the Sea Lion Show, the Safari Tram and others.
Interesting: The Oklahoma City Zoo is known as the member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums.
As you may guess by the name of the museum, it presents bones and skeletons study
Jay Villemarette, the founder of the museum, has been collecting the species displayed in the museum for about 40 years. Here one can find over 2500 species of:
In 2015 the section with skeletons was opened. . More than 500 skeletons of animals from the whole world can be found in this private Oklahoma City museum. The museum is able to provide you with the interesting educational experience.
Important: The Osteology skeleton museum is the first one in the US.
The Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City is a great place to have a walk and relax. This 17-acre garden has a lot of things to offer its visitors.
Since 1988, the Myriad Botanical Gardens have been used as:
- a place for a family weekend,
- a playground for kids,
- and a perfect destination just to relax and enjoy nature.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens offer a lot of possibilities. The outdoor areas are opened during the whole year. This is a perfect place to go in summer as you can refresh under cascading water streams. If you have decided to go to Oklahoma with kids, then they will definitely like the Children’s Garden, where kids will be able to have fun in the following areas:
- spongy play areas,
- playground toys
- a treehouse observation area.
You will like a large water fountain, which turns into a flowing stream. The greatest pride of the Myriad Botanical Gardens is the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory with the wet and dry climate zones known as Wet Mountain and Dry Mountain.
The Crystal Bridge has about 1,000 plant species from all continents:
- and begonias.
Interesting: Here there is a unique plant called the Amorphophallus titanium, or corpse flower, which is so famous because it blooms less than 10 times worldwide every year.
If you have always been a fan of westerns and cowboys, then it is a good idea to visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City with more than 28,000 Western and Native American artworks and artifacts. The facility also has the most extensive collection in the world of:
- American photographs of rodeo,
- barbed wire,
- saddlery and early rodeo trophies.
Museum collections focus on preserving and interpreting the heritage of the American West. The museum becomes a picture gallery during the annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale every June. Prix de West Artists sells original works of art as an event to raise money for the Museum.
It was established in 1955 as the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Museum, from the idea proposed by Chester A. Reynolds to honor the cowboy and his era. Later the same year, the name was changed to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Museum. In 1960 the name was changed again to the “National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Center”. The American Union of Museums gave the museum full accreditation in 2000, the year the museum took its existing name. To support the memory of the founder, the museum provides the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Prize. This prize is granted to a person or institution contributing to the preservation of American Western history and heritage.
The museum’s collection includes more than 2,000 works of Western art, “William S. and Anne Atherton Art of the American West Gallery.” The exhibition area contains landscapes, portraits, sculptures by artists of the 19th- 20th century. There are more than 200 works of Charles Marion Russell, Frederick Remington, Albert Birshtadt, Solon Borglum, Thurmond Restuettenhall, Robert Loyd, Charles Shreivogel and other early artists. The collection also includes more than 700 pieces by Edward S. Curtis and more than 350 from Joe Deiong.
Historical galleries include:
- the American Cowboy gallery,
- The American Rodeo gallery, fashioned after the 1950s rodeo arena, provides a look at America’s native sport;
- The Joe Grandi Museum of Frontier West Gallery shows more than 4,500 artifacts once owned by Western artist Joe Grandy;
- Native American Gallery, attention to the embellishments that Western tribes made to their everyday objects to reflect their beliefs.
Interesting: In 1974, a Western painter Arthur Roy Mitchell of Trinidad, Colorado received a special award, “The Honorary Prize of the Trustee,” being cited as “the man who made the majority for southwest history” through his collective art.
The Oklahoma Science Museum is a museum of science and technology in Oklahoma City. The museum also includes the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, from which, in fact, the birth of the science museum began. Also in the museum there is a number of specialized galleries. Here you should definitely visit the following sections:
- Destination Space: this section is devoted to those who have made their contribution in the aerospace. Among the artifacts you will see such as: the Apollo Command Module simulator, Apollo Lunar Module, artifacts of Wiley Post.
- Aviation and Space Hall of Fame: the main hall displays historical exhibits, models of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo capsules.
Interesting: The Science museum welcomes not only adults but kids as well as there are kid-friendly space exhibits.
If you don’t want to leave Oklahoma City without souvenirs reminding you of the great traveling experience, then you should spend time shopping. Here you will find a lot of outlet malls as well as one-of-a-kind shops.
Oklahoma City is known as the place where you can get great shopping experience. There are a lot of shopping opportunities here.
If you want to buy something unique, then you may visit one of the specialty shops that offer almost everything: from artisan chocolates to the Native American-made art.
There is a choice of 100 stores, where you can purchase a lot of things, for example:
- Western attire,
- chic home décor,
- designer handbags
- and high end art.
Interesting: Convenient shopping districts are found everywhere in Oklahoma. You will find bakeries and antique departments, coffee bars and many other interesting places selling exactly what you need.
Lake Hefner appeared in 1947. Since then there hasn’t been better place for recreation, fishing and sure sailing. If you like kayaking, then you have a great chance to enjoy river adventures at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma. Moreover, here you will be offered a lot of possibilities:
- To have interesting lessons in the Riversport school. Lessons can be taken by anybody older than 8. Basics of kayak and canoe as well as rowing lessons are offered to everyone who wants to gain the required knowledge and experience enjoying river sports.
- To become the part of the Youth Sailing Camp and learn everything you should know about the safety measures and all basics about sailing before you start practicing.
Interesting: Rent a boat or kayak after having taken lessons or at once if you are an experienced sailor. Moreover, often there are sailboat races. There is a golf course and many playgrounds.
The mansion built in 1903 is worth seeing as it has been included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Henry Overholser is known as the “father of Oklahoma City”. After the owners died the mansion has been transferred to the Oklahoma Historical Society.
What distinguishes this mansion? First of all, its architecture, which was the work of W.S. Matthews. About $38,000 were spent to build the mansion. The main building materials that were used: brick and sandstone. All interior was hand-made and decorated with Italian illumination. What can you look at visiting the mansion:
- Original English carpets,
- French stained-glass windows,
- Belgian woodwork.
Interesting: There is an education tour at the Henry Overholser Mansion, which is intended to give an opportunity to learn more about the past of Oklahoma City.