From family-friendly museums to a blue zoo, outdoor recreation to wild animal encounters and so much more, there are endless things to discover in Oklahoma City. Check out our family-friendly Oklahoma city bucket list for the best-of-the-best in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Bucket List
Blue Zoo Aquarium
Touch and feed stingrays, birds, and reptiles, experience sharks, an octopus, clownfish, seahorses, jellyfish and angelfish, and meet mermaids at the new Blue Zoo Aquarium. It’s a super hands-on environment that inspires and educates its guests. Don’t forget to purchase feeding tokens. They bring the interactive experience to the next level.
Isn’t Nana’s expression priceless as she interacts with this bearded dragon?
Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory
The Myriad Botanical Gardens Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory building is a 224-foot living plant museum covered by 3,028 translucent acrylic panels. Once inside, you’ll be welcomed by towering palm trees, tropical plants and flowers, waterfalls, and exotic animals. It’s a beautiful oasis that is a must for your Oklahoma City bucket list.
It’s a beautiful feeling to be surrounded by nature in the middle of the city. Oklahoma City does an excellent job incorporating nature into the heart of the city.
Also at The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a free six-acre Children’s Garden where kids can run, jump, and climb their way through the park activities like slides, swings, and seesaws.
Science Museum Oklahoma
Science Museum Oklahoma is the state’s only hands-on science museum and one of the largest science museums in the nation. It houses more than eight acres of experiences and teaches kids about everything from space exploration to crime scene investigation.
Be sure to look at the museum map and plan for an entire day there because you will have a difficult time getting your children, and yourself, to leave.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is our favorite stop on our Oklahoma City bucket list. It’s a whole new world of immersive interactions with all of your favorite wild animals. It has more than 2,000 animals and amazing exhibits. Enjoy world-class habitats including Great EscApe, Cat Forest/Lion Overlook, Oklahoma Trails, and Sanctuary Asia where you will find the amazing animals of the Asian continent.
Make sure you save time for The Children’s Zoo while you’re there. It’s a 2.5 acre area within the Oklahoma City Zoo dedicated to the enrichment and education of children. Children can explore, touch, and immerse themselves in a natural outdoor environment that will stimulate their imagination, encourage exploration, and give them a greater appreciation for nature.
Here, you can even feed the lorikeets. These colorful parrots are active, noisy, and fun to feed nectar. Max’s lorikeet interaction was one of the most precious moments of his life so far. He quietly watched as the lorikeet ate nectar from a cup. The inquisitive expression on his face made my day. He may not remember it but experiences like this shape them as little humans.
Wild Encounters at The Oklahoma City Zoo
The Zoo’s behind-the-scenes experiences are wilder than ever. Wild Encounters enable you to get up close and personal with grizzly bears, rhinos, sea lions, and elephants.
We’d recommend adding the Elephants Wild Encounter to your Oklahoma City bucket list. You will go behind the scenes for an up-close encounter with some of the Zoos largest and most beloved residents – the Asian Elephants!
Additionally, the Sea Lions Wild Encounter makes you the trainer and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a gentle kiss from one of these beautiful creatures.
If you’d like an encounter with some of the zoos oldest and most beloved residents, the Galapagos tortoises provide a unique up-close encounter where you can feed them cactus and rub their necks, a special treat for both of you.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art presents a dynamic range of exhibitions, including one of the world’s largest public collections of Dale Chihuly glass, a major collection of photography by Brett Weston, and the definitive museum collection of works by the Washington Color painter Paul Reed.
The best part of the museum for families traveling with children is the Discovery Packs available free of charge. These activity packs give visitors with children a chance to discover a new world at OKCMOA with fun, hands-on gallery learning. Inside each pack, you’ll find items such as a storybook, an OKCMOA sketchbook with guided drawing prompts (take this home when you leave), Match & Discover Cards featuring works of art found in the galleries, sketching materials, and more! Packs are available for ages 2-5 and ages 6+ and are available on each Museum floor.
We didn’t include many food options on our Oklahoma City bucket list but no OKC list would be complete without including Hideaway Pizza.
Hideaway Pizza offers twenty-six specialty and seasonal pizzas. Crust and sauce are made fresh and on-site daily. They also serve a rotating section of local and regional craft beers. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s an easy walk to hotels, activities, and museums.
It isn’t just their pizza that will have you drooling either. Their desserts are unforgettable.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
With more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts and the world’s most extensive collection of American rodeo photographs, barbed wire, saddlery, and early rodeo trophies, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a fine addition to your Oklahoma City bucket list.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all inside the museum, you go outside and you enter another world of Western heritage. Go inside the replica tepees, marvel at the giant sculptures, or step back in time for an evening stroll in a replica turn-of-the-twentieth-century cattle town.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosts several temporary and traveling exhibitions throughout the year. The Museum’s exhibitions strive to preserve and interpret the evolving history and cultures of the American West.
Wheeler Ferris Wheel
The 100-foot-tall Wheeler Ferris Wheel once graced the Santa Monica Pier in California. It offers an incredible view of the Oklahoma City skyline and the south bank of the Oklahoma River.
Snap an OKC Photo
On the grounds in front of the Wheeler Ferris Wheel, snap a photo of the massive white OKC letters.
Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City, Autograph Collection
After full days of adventure, you’ll want a cozy place to rest your head. Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City, Autograph Collection is a must for the Oklahoma City bucket list. Revel in the perfect blend of luxury and convenience.
They provide an on-site restaurant for delicious cuisine and a rooftop bar with breathtaking skyline views.
The outdoor pool provides additional entertainment and is sure to make the kids, as well as the kids at heart, happy.
Whether you spend the day working or playing in OKC, immerse yourself in their upscale rooms and suites following exciting activities.
21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City
Another amazing hotel option is 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City.
Much more than just a place to spend the night, 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City is the perfect blend of contemporary art mixed with spacious guest rooms, vibrant public spaces, and New American cuisine.
The on-site dining at Mary Eddy’s offers exceptional service and quality, and the spa will cover all of your relaxation and rejuvenation needs.
The huge soaking tub in the suites was a family favorite along with the purple penguins found around the property.
21c Oklahoma City boasts more than 14,000 square feet of exhibition space. Their exhibitions rotate, so make plans to visit often.
With grand skies and even grander adventures, an Oklahoma City bucket list is easy to create and remarkable to fulfill.