Things All Families Should Know Before Their Oklahoma City Vacation

Planning a wonderful family trip means finding a destination with plenty of activities to please everyone. Oklahoma City — called OKC by the locals — is a great spot for a fantastic vacation. Located in the heart of Oklahoma, OKC offers sports, adventure, museums, and a rich tradition of the Old West cattle industry. Let’s look at what adventures await.

When to Go

Oklahoma City sits in the middle of Tornado Alley, so avoid March through June when severe weather is most likely. The rest of the time, OKC offers relativity mild weather, with some snow during the winter. The most popular time for a visit is September through November, when mild temperatures and sunny skies offer comfortable outings. Once you decide on a date, check out the many family-friendly hotels in the area.

Kid-Friendly Museums

Image via Flickr by Jinx!

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art holds the largest collection of Dale Chihuly’s breathtaking glass work. But don’t worry about taking your children to this museum, because there are many hands-on activities and kid-oriented programs. Don’t miss the Science Museum of Oklahoma, a huge complex with over 350 hands-on science exhibits. It’s a kids’ paradise where visitors create their own inventions, explore a miniature city, and even step inside an artificial tornado.

Other museums worth a trip include the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the Museum of Osteology (the Bone Museum), which is filled with skulls and skeletons. The bones include those of a two-headed calf and a 40-foot-long humpback whale. There’s also the 45th Infantry Division Museum, full of military vehicles, or you can take a trip to 1903 with a tour of the Overholser Mansion.

Outdoor Activities

The Oklahoma Zoo & Botanical Gardens offers over 1,900 animals and spreads across 119 acres of park and gardens. If action is more in line with your family, check out Riversport Adventure Park. This aquatic playground south of downtown offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, paddleboarding, and tubing. The adventure continues with ziplining, climbing walls, bungee trampolines, and a six-level obstacle course.

Stockyards City takes you back in time to the days when the cattle business was king. The historic district, filled with western-themed shops, bars, and restaurants, is the home of the world’s largest stock and feeder cattle market. Auctions still take place on Monday and Tuesdays.

Hear the Thunder

Catch an Oklahoma CityThunder NBA game during basketball season. Individual game tickets start at $12, making this an affordable family night out. Afterwards, stroll through adjacent Bricktown, an old industrial district turned into an entertainment area with shops and restaurants. Travel on a water taxi through the manmade canals winding through Bricktown.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum honors the victims of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. The poignant memorial offers a beautiful reflection pool and chairs commemorating those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Rodeos, concerts, and art fairs make frequent stops in Oklahoma City. Check with the visitors bureau prior to your visit for upcoming events. Enjoy your vacation in Oklahoma City, and don’t be surprised if you see a real cowboy walking down the street.

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