With so much going on in OKC, now’s the perfect time to be a tourist in your own town. This summer, choose a sensational staycation right here! You’re in for a world of discovery. Check out the suggestions below to get started.
All in the Family
Pack up the family this summer to spend a night with peanuts, cracker jacks and the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. And while you’re at it, check out the new Bricktown Beach located in Third Base Plaza. Featuring 123 tons of sand plus sand volleyball, picnic tables, live music and family-friendly movie screenings, the Beach is sure to be a popular summer hangout, offering a small sample of coastal living right here in OKC.
While you’re downtown, take the time to enjoy the weather with Spokies, a bike-sharing service with seven kiosks across town, including one right outside the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Ride under the Reno and Sheridan underpasses to view impressive murals by local artists, or stop into one of dozens of local eateries for a picnic lunch to enjoy at Myriad Botanical Gardens.
And if you haven’t visited Science Museum Oklahoma in a while, now’s the perfect summer to do so. The kids will want to get lost for hours in CurioCity, a 20,000-square-foot space with eight unique neighborhoods like Spark Park, Wunderground and Tinker Works that introduce science in unexpected and entertaining ways. And don’t miss the new SmART Space galleries, which explore the intersection between art and science. Two exhibits currently occupy the space: “MAGNIFIcence,” featuring small details of the world in a larger-than-life fashion, and “Da Vinci – The Genius,” which demonstrates the full scope of the mastermind’s remarkable achievements in hands-on ways.
For more information about family fun in OKC, click here.
There’s never been a better time to get your thrills in Oklahoma City. With all the buzz surrounding RIVERSPORT Rapids, joining in the whitewater action is an absolute must this summer. Snag an All Access day or annual pass for rafting and tubing plus all other adventures on the Oklahoma River. Stick around overnight for urban camping, where you can enjoy classic favorites like s’mores, stargazing and outdoor games — just bring your tent and gear.
And just down the road is the newly reopened Climb UP OKC, a state-of-the-art climbing gym situated in a series of repurposed grain silos. Though the 90-foot climbs may seem daunting, training is available to help you scale the walls like a seasoned pro. The standard climbing package, which includes a climbing pass plus harness, shoes, belay training and orientation, is just $27.
On the west side of the city at Lake Overholser, there’s plenty of fun to be had at the Route 66 Boathouse. Here, you can rent bikes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards, and can even take a class from the pros at Flat Tide Surf. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the new RIVERSPORT Adventures at Lake Overholser, featuring a stunt jump free fall, an extreme swing, a climbing wall and a double zip line across the water.
For more information on Outdoor Recreation in OKC, click here.
For the Foodies
While there are plenty of tried-and-true favorites in town, take the opportunity this summer to branch out into Oklahoma City’s culinary world. There’s the new food truck park Delmar Gardens in the Farmers Market District, featuring a rotating spread of familiar faces as well as lesser known trucks on the block. Next door is Urban Agrarian, a market packed with locally grown foodstuffs and a variety of homemade treats. On the weekend, stop by Power House to enjoy a brunch buffet for the record books. And take note of the growth in the area — popular vegan food truck The Loaded Bowl is slated to open a brick and mortar restaurant in the district (hopefully) later this year.
A few blocks over on Main Street is the game changing 21C Museum Hotel, situated in the historic Fred Jones Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant and featuring Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge. Named for Fred’s wife, Mary Eddy Jones, the restaurant occupies the plant’s former showroom and dishes up such culinary creations as knife and fork lamb ribs, grilled sunburst trout and a classic summer panzanella salad. If you’d rather not go for the whole enchilada (so to speak), hang out in the bar to enjoy snacks and unique craft cocktails.
And in the realm of low-key patio dining, Cultivar Mexican Kitchen in Automobile Alley is easily a growing hotspot. Fresh tortillas, made from hominy imported from southern Mexico, are ground in-house daily. Tacos feature such ingredients as grassfed beef barbacoa, rotisserie chicken and crispy chickpea fritters, and the “not taco” menu includes build-your-own bowls and burritos with dozens of fresh-off-the-farm ingredients. Plus, with a full-service bar and some of the best queso in town, Cultivar’s an easy choice for a bite any time of day.
For more information about OKC restaurants, click here.
Night on the Town
Plan a romantic getaway without the hassle of actually going away! Book a midweek stay at Midtown’s Ambassador Hotel and stop into O Bar for Wine Down Wednesday, where an expertly select varietal is available each week for just $5 a glass. Or, go for the historic Colcord Hotel or Skirvin Hilton Hotel, and enjoy a morning stroll through nearby Myriad Botanical Gardens after a delicious breakfast at the high-end onsite restaurants.
For accommodations with a modern edge, try Deep Deuce’s Aloft Hotel. Venture out for dinner at local hotspots The Wedge or Urban Johnnie, then top off the night at WSKY Lounge with a choice of over 400 spirits, 250 of which are, you guessed it, whiskey.
Be one of the first to stay at Film Row’s 21c Museum Hotel, where modern art and industrial stylings combine for a truly unique experience. Kick things up a notch with one of the seasonal packages; the Live Like a Local Package includes a map of OKC’s top spots, a list of 21c-exclusive discounts at local shops and a $100 voucher to the in-house 21c spa.
For more information about nightlife in OKC, click here.
Take a break from routine with a classic Sunday experience in Oklahoma City. Enjoy unique takes on brunch at Picasso Café and The Mule, where the omelette bar is available to your heart’s content and the fries are topped with white gravy, eggs over easy and the best cheese curds you’ve ever experienced.
Or, go for a tried-and-true favorite at Kitchen No. 324, taking the time to relax and unwind right across the street at Scandinavian spa udånder. Featuring a luxury steam and sauna and thoroughly reinvigorating facials, massages, foot soaks and body scrubs, udånder will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of your staycation ahead.
Wrap up the perfect afternoon with a tour of “Matisse in His Time: Masterworks of Modernism” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Organized by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the exhibit is wrapping up its international tour at OKCMOA, its only North American venue. Experience the full scope of Matisse’s extraordinary career through nearly 50 of his paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, and enjoy iconic works by other 20th century masters like Picasso, Renoir and Modigliani. Tickets are available here.
For more trip ideas and guides in OKC, click here.