Fun Things to do in OKC with Kids
I’ve partnered with Hotels.com to share family fun ideas in OKC that allow for safe travel and proper physical distancing based on my personal experience visiting the city.
Nicknamed “The Big Friendly,” Oklahoma City is located on the infamous Route 66 and is known for its warm hospitality, quirky roadside attractions, and family fun. OKC has a ton of things to do for families and was voted one of the top travel destinations by Travel and Leisure magazine to visit in 2020.
Below are some of our top recommendations that are easy to do with social distancing, our favorite restaurants for take-out and outdoor dining and our picks for where to stay in Oklahoma City.
If you haven’t already booked your hotel for Oklahoma City, I suggest looking for a hotel in Bricktown, especially if it’s a first-time visit. The area is walking distance to many restaurants, shops, bars and the baseball complex. Ready for some fun in Oklahoma City? Keep reading!
Top Things to Do in Oklahoma City
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Myriad Botanical Gardens offers a beautiful respite right in the middle of the city. In addition to beautiful flowers, the Botanical Gardens also offers light shows and seasonal fun like an ice skating rink in winter.
Around the Gardens, you’ll find a Children’s Garden area, a 600-seat outdoor performance space, and several distinctive pieces of art. This park is one of the most popular things to do in Oklahoma City. Bring a picnic and make it a full day adventure!
Myriad Botanical Gardens Address: 301 W Reno
Riversport Adventures & Rapids
Check out this outdoor adventure without leaving downtown. Riversport Adventures is one of the most unique urban adventures you’ll find in a city. When was the last time you went whitewater rafting or tubing in a city? Beyond the water sports, there is an 80-foot SandRidge Sky Trail and a 700-foot zipline across the Oklahoma River.
In the park, there are several daredevil Sky Slides and a six-story Rumble Drop free-fall. For those looking for fun without high-adrenaline thrills, you can get on the water in a kayak or stand up paddleboard.
You’ll also find a youth zone, 13+ miles of trails for running or cycling, mountain bike trails and pump tracks. Riversport offers a thrilling adventure and a great way to explore more of the city from a different perspective. Riversport is truly one of the most fun things to do in OKC!
Riversport Adventures & Rapids Address: 800 Riversport Drive
Explore Bricktown: OKC’s Top Entertainment District
Bricktown is a happening section of downtown, with repurposed warehouse spaces that are now restaurants, piano lounges and wine bars. There is a canal that runs through it, with water taxis that offer both a tour and a way to move from one place to another.
Always lively, this district has a ton of live music and is filled with restaurants, shops, bars, and even home to the OKC Dodgers.
Water Taxi in Bricktown
Did you know Oklahoma City had canals? In fact, you can jump on a Water Taxi (they run regular transportation like a bus route), or take a specialized canal tour that includes historically themed narration through the heart of downtown. The route is one mile long and a roundtrip usually takes 40 minutes.
You can jump on and off to explore the many restaurants and shops or simply enjoy the full tour. This is one of the most popular Oklahoma City attractions and is fun for the kiddos and adults. Along the water taxi route are several interesting statues that are sure to impress!
Check the website for the most up to date information as hours change seasonally.
Oklahoma Land Run Monument
The Oklahoma Land Run Monument commemorates the moments when the Unassigned Land of the state first opened in 1889. There was a frenzy of energy when settlers came into town to claim land, and it’s all captured here in the statues. Located at the south end of the Bricktown Canal, the monument is a city park and is open to the public year-round. It boasts a large collection of bronze statues, so get your cameras ready.
Oklahoma Land Run Monument Address: 200 Centennial Ave
Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. For obvious reasons, this museum is extremely heart-wrenching, moving, and sad. But it’s also about how a city came together to help in the rescue effort.
Voted a Top 10 Museum in America by Yelp, this museum is incredibly detailed and walks you through every aspect of the tragedy, but it has a focus on the victims and the first responders and the community. Although it does include information about the bombers and the details of the event, that isn’t what the museum is about. Each section of this memorial was carefully thought out to pay respect and offer a place of reflection.
If you visit toward the end of the day, save the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial for the end as the lighted designs are truly stunning.
Oklahoma City National Memorial Address: 620 N Harvey
Oklahoma City National Memorial is open from 9am-6pm
What the locals call “Oklahoma’s Next Great Urban Neighborhood,” the Wheeler District is teeming with activity. The Wheeler District was developed in 2014, and is now home to several homes and things to do.
The most famous has to be the Wheeler Ferris Wheel that was purchased on eBay after being retired from the Santa Monica Pier. A brilliant sight in the day or night, come get your pictures with the now Insta-famous OKC sign and the Wheeler Ferris Wheel in the background. Gathered around the Ferris Wheel, you’ll often find food trucks, hammocks, and games. Check the Wheeler website for the most up-to-date seasonal hours.
Wheeler District Address: 1701 S Western
Where to Eat in Oklahoma City
Now that we have covered what to do in Oklahoma City, it’s time to share a few of our favorite restaurants and things to eat in OCK.
OCK Breakfast Options
Hatch Early Mood Food
Located in Oklahoma City’s bustling downtown Automobile Alley district, Hatch Early Mood Food is a unique spot serving up some next-level dishes in the historic Buick Building. The menu offers something for everyone, with options ranging from classic breakfast like omelets, benedicts, and pancakes to nutritional selections and hearty favorites like chicken n’ waffles or street tacos.
Start with a hash brown tumbler and you’re sure to be on your way to a heavenly meal. Reviews note they accommodate special diets as well. As any great brunch spot does, Hatch has a mouthwatering drink menu for breakfast cocktails, including some delicious twists on mimosas and several coffee-based cocktails to get you up and buzzing! Avoid the lines with the no waitlist app. Great place to have a lively brunch or hang out and get some work done while enjoying a delicious meal.
Hatch Early Mood Food Address: 1101 N Broadway Ave
The sign says it all… “all you need is love and waffles.” The space is super chic and inviting with decor that’s inviting and modern. Once inside, you’re met with a warm atmosphere and large servings to get your day started right. Order up front and then find your table. Guest favorites at Waffle Champion include waffle bites, and of course, chicken and waffles.
The waffle sandwich options are just as good as their “Clean Livin’” healthy food options like a Gluten-Free Waffle with fresh fruit. If you really love all things breakfast, check out their cereal milk for a complete breakfast situation. Don’t worry, mimosas are available here as well. Waffle Champion is also open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays if you have a late-night waffle craving.
Waffle Champion Address: 1212 N Walker Ave #100
Belle Kitchen offers handcrafted baked goods made from scratch using original recipes. They are well-known for their doughnuts, which are made from dough that takes two days to produce! Simple, real ingredients combine for a selection of fresh pastries – eclairs, meringues, croissants, baguettes, and more, all offered daily. They also serve some of the best breakfast sandwiches in Oklahoma City. Treat yourself with their homemade Canadian Poutine. Breakfast and lunch served all day.
Belle Kitchen Address: 7509 N May Ave.
Lunch in OKC
Tucker’s Onion Burger
Back in the 1920s, a few Oklahoma cafes needed to find more ways to include beef in their menus. A few creative chefs found that if they pressed thinly shredded onions with their beef, it stretched their offerings, as well as added to the taste. These burgers have been an OKC staple ever since! Now an item with a cult following, the onion burger draws visitors from all over and even has its own festival in May. Don’t leave Oklahoma without trying an onion burger at Tucker’s!
Tucker’s Onion Burger Address: 324 N.W. 23rd St.
What began as a family tradition in 1957 has grown to be voted the best pizza in Oklahoma by several publications on an annual basis. Hideaway became known for its tasty pizza, and later the Volkswagen Bugs that delivered it around town. Today, you can try old favorites like the Around the World pizza or new additions like the Prime Rib pizza.
Hideaway Pizza Address: 901 N Broadway Ave
Iguana offers fresh cooked Tex-Mex with real ingredients in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The homemade salsas and margaritas are almost too easy to enjoy. You have to get the guacamole, offered with seasonal toppings like pomegranate seeds. If you’re around on a Tuesday, head over for Taco Tuesday to enjoy $1 mini tacos and $1.50 beers with a fun crowd. Other favorites include the chicken tortilla soup and carnitas enchiladas.
Iguana Address: 9 NW 9th St
Dinner in OKC
For a night of fun, check out this college hotspot. Brickopolis offers arcade games, mini-golf, and laser tag, among other activities. Located in the heart of Bricktown, this spot can keep you busy for hours of fun and some great dining options. On the Canal Level, you’ll find a pizza buffet and a hot bar with comfort food. On the Street Level, check out the bar for their full-service bar. If the weather is nice, sit out on the patio and enjoy the view of the Bricktown Canal.
Brickopolis Address: 101 S Mickey Mantle Dr
Named for the family that once sold flowers out of the building that now houses the restaurant, Cheever’s offers unique tastes and memorable experience. Try the molasses roast chicken with their amazingly tasty collard greens or the polenta-stuffed tamales. If you feel like trying something out of the box, opt for the shrimp and grits with fried spinach. The decor is historic OKC, complete with the flower box that started it all.
Cheever’s Address: 2409 N Hudson Ave
With a huge menu and a central location to all downtown attractions, you can’t go wrong with HeyDay. Head here for a quick dinner before a concert or basketball game, or stay for a while and enjoy the adult arcade and bowling alley. Enjoy the full bar and fill up on food options ranging from soups and salads to hearty favorites like the Bad Boy Burger.
If you are in the mood for fast food, the only spot to try is Sonic Drive-in, which got its start in Oklahoma.
HeyDay Address: 200 S. Oklahoma Ave
Where to Stay in Oklahoma City
Hyatt Bricktown 20 Russell Perry Ave.
For a gorgeous view of the Oklahoma City skyline, stay at the Hyatt Bricktown. It’s central to exploring downtown and is walking distance to several destinations like the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City University, and the Bricktown Entertainment District. Rooms are modern and spacious with one or two beds, as well as a sleeper sofa. There is 24/7 dining available, plus free wi-fi!
OKC Fun Facts
- The world’s first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City, on July 16, 1935.
- Oklahoma is bordered by six states: Texas to the south and west, Arkansas and Missouri to the east, Kansas to the north and Colorado and New Mexico at the tip of the northwestern Oklahoma panhandle.
- Oklahoma is located on Route 66.
- Oklahoma City literally came together in a day after the government opened up the Unassigned Land. Those who snuck in early before the noon opening bells were called “Sooners,” while those who favored the opening of the land were called “Boomers.” Both names made their way into the University’s fight song today.
- Oklahoma’s capitol building sits on an active oil well with a rig right out front.
- Oklahoma sees more tornadoes than any other city in America, earning the nickname of the capital of “Tornado Alley.”
- Oklahoma has the largest American Indian population of any state. Originally, the state of Oklahoma was set aside for the exclusive use of the Indians and was called Indian Territory. However, in 1889, the land was opened to settlers in what became known as the “Oklahoma Land Rush.”
There you go! Our top things to do in OKC with kids, best family-friendly restaurant options and of course a great hotel option for families! Have you visited Oklahoma City? Please share your favorite things in OKC in the comments below!
As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulation as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are a few recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis. Click here for a DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and status of local businesses and Oklahoma City Travel alerts..
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.