Oklahoma is a wonderful place to visit and there are so many family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City! It’s a completely underrated family vacation destination. From museums and galleries, to white water rafting and climbing adventures, there is something for everyone in this central Oklahoma city. Our family received a week hosted stay in the spring, and we were so impressed with all there is to do! Read to the end for a day by day itinerary of everything we did, including all of the restaurants. Full, printable itinerary available here. This was part of a sponsored trip, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Why Oklahoma City?

Since I am based in southwest Arkansas, I tend to look for trips within driving distance. Which, lets be honest, anywhere in the continental United States is fair game for us. But, for ease of logistics, I try to look at trips within half a day to a one day drive. Oklahoma City is about a 5 hour drive from where I am based. It’s the perfect distance for a getaway! It’s a large city that has a lot to offer for history and culture. It even has some adventure elements to it! Plus, the food scene in Oklahoma City is great, especially if you’re looking for gluten free and food allergy friendly options.

Family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City: Big Kids.

I specifically chose this area because of the family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City that are great for big kids too. I’ve noticed that so many itineraries for “family friendly” are focused solely on children ages 8 and under. While working with Oklahoma City tourism, we focused on things for “tweens.” My children were 12 and 9 at the time of the trip and it was so much fun doing bigger adventures with them. Most of the activities we did and places we visited can be scaled for kids of all ages. It’s truly a great city for families with kids of all ages to visit.

Where to stay in Oklahoma City.

If you’d like to stay downtown, close to many great restaurants and amenities, the Residence Inn in Bricktown is a great place to stay. It’s right on the canal and you can see the waterway from many of the rooms. Each room has a kitchenette which is helpful for family travel. There is an outdoor pool and basketball court too. It’s walkable to the nearby sports arenas, entertainment districts, and plenty of great restaurants.

Bricktown in OKC.

Bricktown is an area downtown that has lots of family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City. It’s an old warehouse district that was revitalized in the late 1990’s and brought lots of great entertainment to downtown OKC. There is a baseball stadium, arcade, mini golf and activities, lots of great restaurants and some bars as well. A great activity for families is to take a cruise on the canal’s water taxis. Our guide was so much fun and we learned a lot about the great Land Run of 1889. There’s an incredible bronze statue, the Centennial Land Run Monument that you can see from the taxi, or by walking around the canal district. It’s one of the largest bronze sculptures in the world!

Must see museums: OKCMOA.

The Oklahoma City museum of art is a wonderful family friendly thing to do in Oklahoma City. It’s a beautiful museum with a large permanent collection, including an updated gallery dedicated to glass artist Dale Chihuly. There is also a huge, multi-floor Chihuly glass sculpture in the foyer! One of the things we love about the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is that it focuses on accessibility and believes in the arts being for everyone. The museum has great discovery packs for kids, with two age ranges: 2-5, and 6+. The 6+ bag worked well for my daughter (age 9) but my older son (age 12) wasn’t interested. I’ve always taken my kids to art museums, since they were young, so they know how to behave and appreciate art. Plan on spending a few hours at the art museum, and leave plenty of time to linger in the Chihuly gallery.

Another one of the family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City: check out the museum store and cafe! The cafe features whimsical treats, coffee, drinks and light fare for food. I enjoyed an oatmilk cortado while strolling the museum store. They have a wide range of home decor, gifts, toys, puzzles, and even jewelry made by local artists. Don’t miss the museum store on your way to the next adventure.

OKC Museum: The National Memorial and Museum.

This museum and memorial is dedicated to the tragic event that occurred on April 19th, 1995. The content in this museum is informative and really good, but the subject matter may be stressful or hard for younger children. My children handled it well, because we had discussed the event prior to visiting the museum. The museum is very well done, and begins with the haunting recordings from the court proceedings that happened on that fateful April morning. You’ll hear the explosions on the audio recording. Then, you walk through the museum timeline from the moments immediately after, to the rescues, clean up, investigation and rebuilding.

There were a few rooms where I covered my daughter’s eyes because she was uncomfortable with the imagery. However, this museum is a powerful and invites conversation for some very important topics. Be sure to take your time walking the grounds outdoors as well. A note: the museum is a National Memorial and has a spot to collect a stamp for your National Parks Passport book.

First Americans Museum.

This incredible museum was recently built. The doors opened in the fall of 2021. It is over 170,000 square feet and is the largest indigenous cultural center, in one building, in the United States. The museum and immersive learning experience honors indigenous peoples and the ancestral people groups who inhabited the lands that now make up Oklahoma, before the United States was a country. The First Americans museum holds several galleries, an event space, a restaurant, gift shop and beautiful grounds. The cultural center pays tribute to the 39 tribes that call Oklahoma home.

While currently under construction, the soon to come Family Discovery Center will feature a walk through, life size, pop up storybook with a range of characters, including Grandma Turtle. The museum is currently fundraising for this new gallery and it will feature Native heroes and a scavenger hunt. Plan on spending half a day at this museum, or stay for the day and enjoy lunch at the on-site restaurant.

Okana, a family friendly resort and indoor waterpark, is currently under construction. The resort is being built by Chickasaw Nation and will open in 2025. The resort sits right next to the First Americans Museum and will make another great addition to the list of family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Saddle up, it’s time to learn about Western Heritage! This huge museum is located north of downtown. It is home to over 20,000 pieces of Western and Indigenous artworks and artifacts. Additionally, it has the largest collection of American Rodeo photographs, history, saddles, awards and more. We had a great morning exploring this museum. The exterior grounds of the museum have walk through exhibits with statues commemorating notable people. Another neat thing is the 100,000 square foot Liichokoshkomo exhibit. It’s a great place for kids of all ages to get some immersive and hands on learning experiences. You can observe various types of indigenous homes, try your hand at roping cattle, and explore an old west style general store. For the older kids, the Western Art galleries are expansive and worth a visit.

Science Museum Oklahoma.

Welcome to Oklahoma’s only hands on science museum and one of the best family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City. Science Museum Oklahoma sits not too farm from the Western Heritage Museum on the north side of downtown OKC. The museum is an ASTC passport program museum, which means if you have a membership to any ASTC museum, you can get free admission! Side note: a science museum is a GREAT gift for any family or homeschool family. Here is a big list of experience based gift ideas. Science Museum Oklahoma is HUGE. So big that it’s one of the biggest science museums in the USA! It has several large exhibit halls, including the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Kirkpatrick Planetarium, the super fun CurioCity, science floor and more. You could easily spend an entire day here, but plan for at least three hours.

The Banjo Museum.

Did you know that Oklahoma City has the largest banjo museum in the United States? The American Banjo Museum in downtown OKC has the largest on-display collection of banjos! I never knew so many different types of banjoes existed. There are some stunning instruments that seem like works of art. There is a unique multimedia exhibit at the beginning that walks you through the history of the banjo. We learned so much! At the front of the museum there is a hands on area where you can even try playing three different types of banjoes. Plan on staying about an hour or two at this museum in downtown OKC.

An urban adventure park.

Riversport OKC is one of the best family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City, especially for big kids. This park is home to a manmade white water rafting course that kids as young as 8 can enjoy. When the rapids are at Class IV or V, the minimum age is 16. There is also a river tube area which is tons of fun. For the extra adventurous there is also the Sky Trail or even the Sky Slides. Additionally, there is a zipline, jumping pillow, and play area for younger children as well.

A lake offers an area for kayaking and sup rentals, along with rowing. Riversport OKC is an Olympic training site for the US Olympic and Paralympic rowing teams. The best deal is to purchase a full day premium pass which will get you: two rounds of white water rafting, unlimited river tubing, and unlimited play on the adventure structures, plus locker rental. There is a restaurant on site and you can plan to spend a full day at this great park! Here is a video of our day at Riversport OKC.

Climb the Silos.

Close to downtown, you’ll see huge mural and colorful mural on the side of an old grain silo. It’s actually a climbing gym! The Silos Climbing Gym is inside old grain silos that were converted to the gym in 1999. They have top ropes, auto-belay, a fitness area, and a bouldering area. There are also top ropes routes on the outside of the silos, which are open in good weather. It’s one of the coolest climbing gyms we have ever seen and a really great family friendly thing to do in Oklahoma City. The gym is part of a group of gyms called The Stoneyard. Check out a video of our experience at the Silos.

Full itinerary break down: day 1.

On our first night in Oklahoma City, we arrived and checked into our hotel. Then, we walked over to Bricktown to ride the Water Taxi and enjoy some of the amenities the area has to offer. After our ride on the water taxi we drove over to dinner at Hall’s Pizza Kitchen. It is a really cute restaurant with a great menu. A tip: order any pizza “the King’s Way” for a gluten free crust option. They also have an allergy friendly menu, just ask for one.

You can enjoy one of the amazing desserts at Hall’s, or walk just down the sidewalk to Capitals Ice Cream. This adorable ice cream shop specializes in unique ice cream flavors and cereal toppings. It’s also a great photo op. Also in this area: Baker Street Escape Rooms. We didn’t get a chance to try one of them but we heard they’re lots of fun! FYI – if you’d like a full, printable itinerary for Oklahoma City, check it out here. One more thing: all of these restaurants were selected to be gluten and food allergy friendly!

  • Day 1 Itinerary: half day
    • Arrive in OKC and check into Residence Inn Bricktown
    • Walk over to Bricktown and enjoy the arcade and Water Taxi
    • Dinner at Hall’s Kitchen
    • Dessert at Capitals Ice Cream

An adventure day.

Our first full day was the a great experience with family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City. It was an action packed day that was also filled with great food and some educational experiences too.

  • Day 2 Itinerary: the adventure day.
    • Breakfast at Kitchen 324 – be sure to make a reservation! They get very busy on the weekends.
    • Spend the rest of the morning at Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
    • Grab a cappuccino at browse the museum store at OKCMOA.
    • Lunch at Charleston’s at Bricktown.
    • Go back to the hotel to grab your water clothes, sunscreen, and get ready for some active fun.
    • Head over to Riversport to spend the rest of your day, be sure to book your white water rafting rides when you purchase your tickets or when you get there.
    • Dinner at The Press in the Plaza District. They have a great menu with allergy friendly options, just ask for what you need altered.
    • Walk over to Roxy’s for dessert. We were lucky to stumble on some outdoor live music and it was so fun!

A cultural learning day.

The next day was just as busy but this time it was an excellent opportunity to learn, combined with some adventure in the afternoon.

  • Day 3 Itinerary: cultural learning day.
    • Breakfast at the Harvey Bakery, which felt like walking onto the set of a Wes Anderson film.
    • Head downtown to the Red Earth Art Gallery.
    • Explore some of the downtown OKC tunnels. There are some really neat art exhibits in the tunnels under the city!
    • Drive over to the First Americans Museum to explore and learn for a few hours, eat lunch there as well.
    • After lunch, drive over to the OKC Silos for some climbing adventures. They have auto-belay so you can climb without a partner!
    • Take what energy you have left and drive over to Incredible Pizza Company for the COOLEST arcade experience. They have indoor roller coasters, bumper cars, laser tag, go karts, tons of games, and so much more.

Day 4: a heavy topic balanced with some fun.

For our fourth day of family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City, we started the day with an award winning breakfast spot. From there we went to the OKC National Memorial and Museum. I would recommend this museum for children aged 8 and above. At lunchtime, we ate at a great pizza restaurant that had gluten free options. Next, we explored Automobile Alley which has lots of great gift shops and unique things to see! Here’s everything we did on day 4:

  • Day 4 Itinerary: museum, shopping, and more.
    • Breakfast at Cafe Kacao – This award winning brunch spot has an incredible menu. Get the Cafe Abuelita Latte. It’s delicious. The signature Oreo pancakes were a huge hit with the kids.
    • The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum – be sure to get your National Parks stamp inside the gift shop. Just ask a shop attendant to get it for you.
    • Explore The Automobile Alley District –
    • Go bowling at the incredibly cute and retro Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge. They have great happy hour specials and a wide menu of snacks and food to enjoy while you bowl. You can also book a private bowling lane and room!
    • Head over to the Uptown 23rd district.
      • Enjoy dinner at Basil Mediterranean Cafe.
      • Grab ice cream at Boomtown Creamery – if you’re lucky and they have the carrot sorbet, get it. It’s delicious.
      • Check out the Route 66 Historic Sign and the Robot art sculpture.

A day of museums and more.

Day five in Oklahoma City was jam packed with loads of fun! We ate at an amazing vegan and allergy friendly restaurants, played at a gorgeous park, explored two incredible museums and ended the night at a very uniquely OKC experience that you’ll only find at the modern frontier.

  • Day 5 Itinerary: museums and epic fun.
    • Breakfast at Plant. This very Instagrammable restaurant is beautiful. They have a great menu of plant based and gluten free foods!
    • Play at Scissortail Park. The park opens at 6 AM and you can enjoy the playground, walking paths, water play area, gardens, and the lake with kayaks and paddle boats for rent.
    • Lunch at The Loaded Bowl. One of my favorite places to eat. Get the bbq mac, it has a gluten free pasta option and is made with cashew based cheese! Everything was delicious! We took our food to go and walked down to a nearby seating area to enjoy our lunch.

More of day five.

This day was really busy, especially with all of the amazing museums we saw in the afternoon!

  • We explored the Science Museum Oklahoma, having spent half a day there but honestly you could spend an entire day in this huge science museum!
  • Then, we visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
  • For dinner, we went to Flower Child, another great allergy friendly restaurant.
  • Finally, we headed to Wheeler Park! A tip, if you can, time your ride on the Ferris Wheel for sunset! It wasn’t busy, especially on a weekday, so the ride attendant stopped us at the top of the wheel and we got to enjoy the sunset! Buy tickets on line or in person.
    • Wheeler Park is free to visit and play at, the fees are for the concessions and ferris wheel tickets. There are free yard games and open places to play, plus hammocks and the iconic OKC letters photo op!

The last day in OKC.

On our last day, we decided to sleep in a little bit before breakfast. After a relaxing morning in our room and packing up, we went for breakfast at Hatch Early Mood Food. It’s a great brunch spot with a really fun aesthetic and vibe. It can get busy on the weekends, so be prepared to wait a little bit, or call ahead. The next and final stop on our OKC adventure was the Banjo Museum downtown. Well, actually, our REAL last stop was Stitch Cafe OKC, one of my favorite coffee shops with a plant shop connected to it!

A printable itinerary.

Thank you so much for reading this whole post! I hope that you found it helpful and insightful! If you’d like this itinerary in a printable format, I can help! I have FREE pdf for you with six days of activities in Oklahoma City, with restaurants and more. Plus, I added a few journaling pages with prompts. Grab the free pdf for family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City here.

Even more Oklahoma content.

Want more Oklahoma content? I can help. My friend Bobbie at Reclaiming Wonders has a great blog post with even more family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City. Check out that Oklahoma blog post here. Chickasaw Country is in south central Oklahoma and it’s another great place for families. Read all about exploring Chickasaw Country with kids here. If you’re looking for adventures in southeast Oklahoma, check out Broken Bow and Hochatown.

Thanks for reading.

I know, this was a long one. But, there is SO much to do in OKC, I wanted to make sure that I covered everything that we did. One thing I was really impressed with was the amount of gluten free, plant based, and allergy friendly options there are! I have Celiac Disease and lots of food allergies, so eating while traveling is sometimes challenging. Not in Oklahoma City! There are lots of delicious options. I hope you and your family have a wonderful time exploring all the family friendly things to do in Oklahoma City!

About the author.

Nichole is a writer, content creator, and family travel and adventure influencer residing in southwest Arkansas. Though her and her husband (Ryan) are originally from the midwest, they’ve lived in Arkansas for ten years now and are thrilled to call it home. They have homeschooled their children from the beginning of their educational journey. They have a now 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter, along with a 9 month old, 100 pound Direwolf Dog puppy named Levi. Nichole is an avid outdoor adventurer and roadtripper and has been taking her kids on adventures by herself since they were infants, it’s all part of what she calls being responsibly brave. She is also on the Executive Team for Run Wild My Child and has contributed to Wild and Free. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with all of their shenanigans.