You can discover family-friendly attractions, locally-owned restaurants and unique experiences your whole family will enjoy all over Oklahoma City. Whether you have young children, tweens, teens, or are just young at heart, finding family fun is easy to do. Here’s a few suggestions to help you explore, play, learn and eat your way across OKC.
Start your family adventure in the Adventure District. Experience the excitement of feeding giraffes, petting stingrays in Stingray Bay, and viewing native Oklahoma wildlife on the Oklahoma Trails at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Voted one of the top zoos in the U.S. by Parents Magazine, you’ll want to make plans to explore, attend a zookeeper chat or learn more about the animals. For an extra special visit, schedule a Wild Encounter to go behind the scenes and get up close and personal with grizzly bears, sea lions, elephants and Galapagos tortoises.
Next door to the zoo, science comes alive at the Science Museum of Oklahoma. Interactive exhibits on the science floor teach and entertain, activities in the Tinkering Garage let you be an inventor, and in CurioCity (pronounced “curiosity”) it’s play time for all ages inside the area’s eight neighborhoods. For younger children, GadgetTrees is a two story tree house where little ones can play, explore and expend some energy.
What child doesn’t dream of being a firefighter? Step inside a replica fire station and see antique fire trucks at the Oklahoma State Firefighter’s Museum and Memorial.
Go back to the rugged American West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and catch a glimpse into the lives of American Cowboys, settlers and Native Americans. The interactive Children’s Cowboy Corral provides hours of western-style fun. Saturdays, families will find special hands-on, minds-on activities designed especially for children.
If you want to discover local art, take the family to the Paseo Arts District, the city’s arts destination. The area is home to 80+ local artists and 22 galleries and hosts a First Friday Gallery Walk that brings visitors and local families together for art openings, gallery viewings, food trucks and shopping from 6 to 10:00 pm. Kids can enter the Craftroom for creative, hands-on projects. Families love the hands-on exhibits at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This museum houses both European and American art, as well as one of the largest collections of Dale Chihuly glass in the world. Drop-In Art Saturday (1 to 4:00 pm) has unique activities for families to create their art work inspired by the museum’s collection.
Be sure to check out the Bricktown Entertainment District for plenty of family fun options. Take a cruise along the mile-long Bricktown Canal in a water taxi, check out the larger-than-life Land Run monument, play a round of miniature golf at Brickopolis and explore the American Banjo Museum, home to more than 400 beautiful instruments.
A favorite with active families is RIVERSPORT Adventures in the Boathouse District. Here you can play on land, water or in the sky. The area is home to the Sandridge Sky Zip that lets you zip line 700 feet across the Oklahoma River, slide down one of the 72-foot Sky Slide (America’s tallest dry slides) and take on new heights on the Sandridge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind. For those that want to get wet, head to RIVERSPORT Rapids for whitewater rafting, kayaking and tubing. Not to leave little ones out, there is a special Youth Zone for children under 48” with many of the same activities.
If you are looking for high speed thrills, head to Oklahoma City’s amusement park, Frontier City. Thrill rides like the Diamondback and Silver Bullet are perfect if you seek an adrenaline rush. Family friendly rides like the Prairie Schooner and Renegade Rapids are fun for all ages. New this year, Frontier City will open for “A Frontier Christmas” November 30 through December 30 featuring more than one million Christmas lights, visits with Santa, holiday shows and much more.
Basketball fans will enjoy watching the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder play at Chesapeake Energy Arena and soccer fans can cheer on the OKC Energy FC, the city’s United Soccer League team, at Taft Stadium.
Reconnect with nature in downtown Oklahoma City at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. This 15- acre park is home to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, beautiful outdoor gardens and a six acre Children’s Garden. Each fall, the Gardens are transformed into “Pumpkinville,” a harvest-themed park that features more than 16,000 pumpkins and fall festivities. Ride the Express Train, visit the pop-up shops and come for plenty of family fun.
A local favorite since 2003, families love heading out to Orr Family Farm. Enjoy 50 acres of farm fun this fall with a pumpkin patch, hayrides, a fall maze, cannon blasters, fireworks every Friday and Saturday in October and Zombie Apocalypse Paintball for the older kids. There will also be pig races, the popular train rides and other farm fun through November 3.
Oklahoma City is home to world class indoor attractions too. Let the family be adventurous in the Chisholm Creek area while skydiving indoors at iFly, teeing off three stories high at Top Golf and then finishing at Main Event Entertainment with bowling, laser tag, billiards, games and an indoor ropes course. This area in northwest Oklahoma City is host to some of the newest family friendly restaurants and local shops, with Quail Springs Mall down the street.
Explore the Oklahoma History Center to discover the state’s rich history. Oklahomans have contributed to our nation’s history in aviation, geology, transportation and more. See how that history impacts our present and future. Find special family activities throughout the museum including crafts, coloring, hands-on carts and educational trunks during First Saturday Hands-on History the first Saturday of each month.
Oklahoma City was changed forever in 1995. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum remembers all those affected by the events of April 19th, 1995 and tells the story of a community’s resolve to overcome and never forget. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a must-see for any visitor. The newly renovated, state-of-the-art museum engages younger visitors like never before with interactive exhibits, artifacts and stories.
Visit one of only two skeleton museum’s in the world at the Museum of Osteology. Exhibits are truly unique as they feature animal skeletons from around the world. The museum educates guests on anatomy, diversity and more. Pick up a scavenger hunt and follow the clues to learn more about the different exhibits.
You are sure to find whatever your family is craving at one of Oklahoma City’s many locally-owned restaurants. With casual atmospheres and varied options on most children’s menus, families can have a fun night out for dinner anywhere in the city.
You can start with an Oklahoma-original: the onion burger. Head to Tucker’s Onion Burger for one of the best burgers in town. If you’re really hungry, order the triple patty “Mother Tucker” and top it off with a milkshake.
Another family favorite, particularly for older kids, is The Mule in the Plaza District, where the classic grilled cheese is flipped upside down. Try the Macaroni Pony with pulled pork barbecue, macaroni and cheese on jalapeño cornbread. You’ll never look at grilled cheese the same again. For dessert, walk down the street to Pie Junkie for a slice of freshly made pie that’s made with lots and lots of love. You can’t go wrong with anything in the case, but S’More, with a thick layer of homemade marshmallow and graham cracker crust, is a favorite. If you would rather have ice cream, go across the street to Roxy’s Ice Cream for a hand dipped cone, ice cream sandwich or root beer float.
Hometown favorite, Earl’s Rib Palace is another good choice. Try their famous ribs or pulled pork and then finish off your meal with homemade cobbler. Food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar restaurant, Mutt’s Hot Dogs makes the classic hot dog unique with a large variety of many types of toppings, as well as a choice of classic beef, bison, duck or chicken links. Another Oklahoma-based favorite is Hideaway Pizza. Locals love their pizza and it’s been voted best pizza in the city for years by TripAdvisor.
Who knew gourmet corn dogs were a thing? A crowd pleaser all around, Anchor Down not only dishes up the best corn dogs you’ve ever had paired up nicely with their craft beer and cocktail menu, for the adults of course. If you’re shopping for a book, grab some food all in one place –The Kitchen at Commonplace Books is a gathering spot in Midtown offering specialty coffees, teas, cocktails, wine and food for every taste bud.