Are you looking for things to do in Oklahoma this summer? There are more than enough things to keep you busy all summer long. From swimming holes to educational activities to cultural museums, these are 15 unforgettable things you’ll want to add to your summer bucket list:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Attend one of many activites put on by the Myriad Gardens.
From 5K runs to outdoor dancing to kid's activities, Myriad Gardens has something for everyone this summer.
2. Cool off at the chilled Blue Hole Park.
This popular swimming hole located near Salina is a fantastic destination for summer. The large, cold swimming hole features shallow water perfect for young kids. There is lots of wildlife that surrounds the swimming hole and young swimmers enjoy catching crawfish in the clear water. RV and tent camp sites are available at Blue Hole Park for those wishing to stay overnight.
3. Go Whitewater Rafting.
Imagine a day spent whitewater rafting or kayaking down RiverSport Rapids in Oklahoma City. Opening May 2016, this state-of-the-art aquatic adventure facility will offer both of these activities to the public.
4. Take the kids bowling for FREE.
Take advantage of the Kids Bowl Free Program. Registered kids receive 2 FREE games of bowling every day all summer long. Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in this first ever Kids Bowl Free program. Check with your local bowling alley to see if they participate.
5. Dig for selenite crystals at the Great Salt Plains.
The Great Salt Plains in northwestern Oklahoma is the only place in the world to find unique hourglass-shaped selenite crystals. It is open for public digging from April 1-October 15, dawn to dusk. The treasure: large, intact, selenite crystals with a sand/clay hourglass embedded within the clear, gypsum crystal. Make sure to brings a shovel, water, change of clothes, sunblock and a camera.
6. Explore Martin Nature Park in Oklahoma City.
More than just a park, the City's Martin Park Nature Center provides visitors a place to explore and learn about nature and wildlife in a serene, suburban environment. Nestled on 144 acres in the city's northwest side, the park is home to many species of animals, and includes 2.5 miles of gentle hiking trails that curl through woods and grasslands of the park.
7. Take a float trip down the Illinois River.
There are different ways to float the Illinois River, but the three most popular options are by canoe, kayak or inflatable raft. Some rafts can hold up to nine passengers and are a great choice for families. The river itself is rated as Class II, and is a gently-flowing waterway with a moderate current and few hazards, so it’s accessible to experts and novices alike. Trips of different lengths are available, so check with the local rafting companies for more information.
8. Go see the Spiro Mounds.
The mounds site, located seven miles outside of Spiro is the only prehistoric, Native American archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public. The mounds are one of the most important Native American sites in the nation. Artifacts indicate an extensive trade network, a highly developed religious center, and a political system, which controlled the entire region. The protected site included 150 acres of land that encompass twelve mounds, the elite village area and part of the support city.
9. Take a Segway tour of Oklahoma City.
Segways are definitely the best mode of transportation to see the sights in Downtown and Bricktown. Segways are faster, less strenuous, and more enjoyable than walking, and maneuver more easily than cars or bicycles. Not only are they fun, they are easy to ride. Every rider is personally trained to see that they can operate the machine confidently and safely. Training only takes 3 to 5 minutes even if you have never been on before.
10. Attend an H&8 Night Market Event in Oklahoma City.
H&8th Night Market is a monthly, family- and pet-friendly street festival built around a lineup of the city’s top gourmet food trucks and live music on the last Friday of each month from 7-11pm. There is no cost to attend.
11. Rent a boat or water toy on one of Oklahoma's beautiful lakes.
Many marinas around the state offer boat and wave runner rentals. Shown above is Lake Tenkiller.
12. Visit U.S. Army Artillery Museum at Fort Sill.
The U.S. Army Artillery Museum tells the story of Artillery from 1775 to the present with over 70 guns and artillery pieces and numerous other artifacts from head gear and ammo to small arms and uniforms. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.
13. Attend the world's largest amateur rodeo.
The 2016 dates are July 18-24, 2016. Events include something for everyone; bareback bronc riding, bull riding, wild horse races, team roping, wild cow milking, calf roping, pony express races, barrel races, pole bending, flag races, chuck wagon races and the queen contest. A dance is held each night after the performance where guests are apt to be entertained by several different local and national performers.
14. Take the Heartland Flyer Amtrak train to Ft. Worth.
The Heartland Flyer connects Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, TX with daily connections. You can depart OKC at 8:25 am and be in Fort Worth by 12:23 p.m. Spend the night in Fort Worth and take the train back the next day at 5:25 p.m. You'll be back home in OKC by 9:23 p.m. Average ticket price is around $31.
15. Visit Standing Bear Park & Museum in Ponca City.
The 63-acre park encompasses more than eight fully developed acres that includes off street parking; a one-acre pond with central arrowhead island; a walking trail winding through native grasses and wildflowers to the monument site, and a shaded memorial grove at a peaceful sitting area along the way. The Standing Bear Museum and Education Center features tribal displays, traveling exhibits, artwork, and other educational material.