First stop: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Located on the north side of downtown, The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum teaches the lessons learned and the hope that rose from the April 19, 1995 domestic terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Start inside with the Memorial Museum, and then head outside to the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial to reflect on the powerful experience of the museum exhibits and artifacts. Also, be sure to swing back by at night to see the beautiful Outdoor Symbolic Memorial in a whole new light.
Next: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
From the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum - Travel 1 block west to Hudson. Turn left. Travel 2.5 blocks south. Oklahoma City Museum of Art will be on your right (west side of Hudson).
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is located in the heart of the downtown Arts District and is celebrating its 10th year downtown in 2012. Its permanent collection consists of European and American art, as well as the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world. You'll know you're in the right place when you see the 55 ft. tall Chihuly glass tower in the atrium at the front of the museum. Grab lunch at their gourmet café and swing by the gift shop for some fun and funky souvenirs. And if you happen to be in town on a Thursday night from May- October, be sure check out "Cocktails on the Skyline", where you can grab a cocktail on the museum rooftop from 5pm-10pm.
Next: Myriad Botanical Gardens & Tropical Conservatory
From the Oklahoma City Museum of Art - Travel 3 blocks south on Hudson. Myriad Botanical Gardens will be on the southeast corner of Hudson & Sheridan.
This 17-acre living plant museum makes your senses come alive with bright blooms, bubbling fountains and lush foliage. The gardens and conservatory received a $38 million makeover in 2011, including a new LED lighting system that illuminates the entire "tube" at night with a beautiful array of colors. Other new additions include a Children's Garden, a grand event lawn, special event pavilion, restaurant and activity plaza, a dog release area, and numerous water features that provide a dynamic energy to this downtown space. Start inside the conservatory, but be sure to leave plenty of time to walk the entire grounds.
Last stop: American Banjo Museum and Bricktown Entertainment District
From the Myriad Gardens - Exit the gardens from the northeast corner located at Sheridan & Robinson. Travel 2.5 blocks east on Sheridan. You will cross under the entrance bridge to the Bricktown Entertainment District and the American Banjo Museum will be located on your left (north side of Sheridan).
The American Banjo Museum is a good place to start your exploration of the Bricktown Entertainment District. Even if pickin' and grinnin' isn't your thing, seeing the beauty of these instruments and learning their uniquely American history is worth the stop. See over 300 banjos on display, as well as interpretive exhibits that tell the story of the banjo from its humble roots in American slavery to its modern day roles in bluegrass, folk and world music. Check the museum's website for dates of live performances and special concerts.
After you leave whistling from the American Banjo Museum, it's time to paint the town (brick) red in Bricktown. Once a busy warehouse area, Bricktown is Oklahoma City's hottest entertainment and dining district. Grab dinner at one of the numerous restaurants and then take a water taxi ride along the mile-long Bricktown Canal. If you'd rather keep walking, skip the water taxi and stroll along the mile-long pedestrian canal, lined with canal-side restaurants, nightclubs and shops. The canal ends in Lower Bricktown, where you can see the Oklahoma Land Run Monument. When complete, the sculpture-in-progress will feature 45 heroic (life and one-half size) figures of land run participants, frozen in motion as they race to claim new homesteads.