Those who run in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon have seen considerable changes over the last 18 years. This year may be the biggest change yet! No longer a place with limited options, downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods are bustling with activity! A full weekend awaits within a few miles of the finish. Whether a runner or a spectator, we’ve lined out suggestions that will produce a memorable Memorial weekend. We’d love to see what else you discover! Tag us using #SeeOKC and @visitokc.

The Expo is a great place to kick off the weekend! Not just for runners, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Health and Fitness Expo offers forums, giveaways, product trials, and exclusive marathon gear. No need to pick up your packet and run, stay a while and experience the excitement. Stop by on Friday or Saturday leading up to the race at the Cox Convention Center.

Festival of the Arts

The Festival of the Arts invites visitors and locals to taste, see and experience the vibrancy of Oklahoma City. The festival runs the gamut of creativity with visual arts, performance arts, and culinary arts all blending beautifully in Bicentennial Park. Near the festival, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a must see! The newly refreshed and renovated Museum Cafe is now open to the public and taking reservations.

The core of downtown and the Art’s District is the hub for all things Memorial Marathon and Festival of the Arts. If you’re up for venturing out into Automobile Alley, The Paseo, Midtown and Film Row we’ve provided some top picks. Don’t take our word for it, OKC’s vibrant districts are worth exploring! We encourage you to hop on the streetcar, take a walk or drive, pop into shops to take a look, check out menus, enjoy the sights and scents; there is so much to see.

Kitchen at Commonplace

If retail is your race, check out Siempre Viva, Plenty Mercantile, Commonplace Books, The Plant Shoppe, and Salt & Water. For relaxation and rejuvenation, head to Udander, take a stroll through the Myriad Botanical Gardens, catch a class at 405 Yoga, or stop in for a refreshing tea at Urban Teahouse.

OKC has proven to have a refined palette and variety awaits! The 8th Street Market, downtown’s first food hall, is home to Prairie Artisan Ales, Magasin Table, and Prelude Coffee. Equipped with board games, dog and kid friendly, Vanessa House Beer Company is a great place to wind down or get amped up for the weekend. They allow outside food, order a pizza from Hideaway for carb loading. Elk Valley is another great find if local beer is what you seek. Stonecloud Brewery is also a must if you enjoy barrel aged sours. Oso in Paseo offers a fun spin on fresh Mexican food. You’ll find all around good vibes here. The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen boasts of amazing patio views and a variety of offerings to suit any appetite. If coffee is what you need to seize the day, Elemental is near the start of the race. For round two, Clarity Coffee is near the finish.

OKC Memorial Marathon

The Marathon will kick off early Sunday morning. If it’s been some time since you’ve participated in the race as a spectator, it’s time for you to come back! The finish line has been moved south and will take runners along the Oklahoma River and soon to be completed, Scissortail Park. As our city grows and changes, the course must follow suit!

Whether on race day or the days leading up, a visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial is a must. We run to remember the 168 lives lost on April 19, 1995 and the grounds of the Memorial is the perfect place to reflect. Visit the museum Monday through Saturday from 9am-6pm. The Museum will open early, at 8am on race day. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is open 24 hours a day.

An exciting, new addition to the Marathon is the Finish Line Festival featuring Matt Stansberry and The Romance! The 9-piece band will perform on the Devon Lawn at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Their tunes will accompany the sound of running feet, cheering crowds and provide a place for runners to celebrate! All are welcome to join this party!