17 Offbeat and Unique Things To Do in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is a lot more quirky than you might imagine!

Yes, my search for unique things to do in Oklahoma City led me to a giant ferris wheel, a water taxi, bison statues, immersive art experiences, and strange museums about pigeons, banjos, and animal skeletons.

welcome-to-oklahoma

If you’re heading to Oklahoma’s capital city, here’s a guide to some of the most interesting, offbeat, and unique things to see and do while you’re in town.

Unique Things To Do in Oklahoma City

American Banjo Museum

Oklahoma City is a very quirky city. Our recommended first stop is the American Banjo Museum, an entire facility dedicated to the instrument beloved by everyone from Mumford & Sons to Kermit the Frog.

banjo museum - quirky oklahoma city attractions
The Banjo Museum is one of the most unique Oklahoma City attractions!

You’ll learn about this history of this fun stringed instrument, and see exhibits of the most famous banjo players over the years, from rocker Bela Fleck to comedian Steve Martin.

They have a collection of very old banjos, including one dating back to 1840, and another signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Wheeler Ferris Wheel

The Wheeler District is a growing area of businesses and recreational activities. In 2016, a ferris wheel was brought here from Santa Monica, Los Angeles, becoming one of the most recognizable places in the city.

unique things to do oklahoma city - okc sign

This is also where you can go to see the big “OKC” sign and get a good view of the downtown Oklahoma City skyline behind it.

The neighborhood also has pop-up shops, art nights, live music, farmers markets, and more special events.

Museum of Osteology

Here’s another unusual facility: The Museum of Osteology, which collects skeletons of wild animals and puts them on display together in one large room.

osteology museum - unique things to do in oklahoma city

If you cared to count them all up, you’d find more than 300 skeletons here.

Thanks to some clever museum employee, the best skeleton on display is the raccoon. Even dead raccoons can’t stop eating trash!

raccoon-skeleton

You’ll be shocked at just how many skeletons are on display, including whales, elephants, kangaroos, monkeys, frogs, turtles (yes, the shell is part of the skeleton), lemurs, salamanders, ostriches, and many more.

In the gift shop you can purchase your own skeletons. Get your porcupine skulls here… only $125. Yes, that’s one hundred and twenty five dollars.

porcupine-skull-for-sale

Factory Obscura

Many cities have an immersive art experience these days, and Factory Obscura is that place in Oklahoma City.

This space, formerly owned by Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips psych rock band, was transformed in 2018 into a multimedia center full of lights and music and sensory overload.

In addition to the eye-popping visuals, Factory Obscura hosts special events, such as a recent Deerhoof concert and open-mic nights.

Bricktown Public Art Murals and Buffalo Statues

Bricktown is the trendy OKC neighborhood, and you should spend a lot of time here.

As a huge indie rock fan, I headed straight for the intersection where a certain local rock band has its own street, next to the street of a certain Hall of Fame baseball player.

flaming-lips-alley

Only in Oklahoma City can you stand at the intersection of Flaming Lips Alley and Mickey Mantle Drive!

Bricktown has a ton of shops, restaurants, bars, and other attractions. It’s also the home of the Banjo Museum, the water taxi, and several of the items on this list.

This neighborhood has some cool public art murals, and the sidewalks are home to several buffalo statues, as part of the Spirit of the Buffalo series. They range from UPS workers to tie-dye colored beasts.

buffalo-statues-okc

OKC was actually ranked in the Top 10 for best U.S. cities for street art by USA Today, so wander around and see what you can find!

Ride the Bricktown Water Taxi

Bricktown didn’t even have a canal until 1999, but now that waterway has become one of the big draws of the neighborhood.

Hop aboard the Bricktown Water Taxi to see the murals, notable buildings, and points of interest from water level.

This is a pretty touristy activity, but it’s affordable, and it definitely qualifies as a unique Oklahoma City activity.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was the site of the 1995 bombing by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 people at the federal building.

oklahoma-city-memorial

This attraction is not fun or silly. It’s somber and moving, as it should be.

The land has been turned into a tasteful memorial, as well as a museum documenting the act of domestic terrorism and the city’s response and perseverance after the blast.

bombing-memorial-sign

The centerpiece of the memorial is a reflecting pool. It’s surrounded by the Survivor Tree, the Survivor Wall, and the Rescuers’ Orchard.

The most powerful feature might be the Field of Empty Chairs. Each chair represents someone killed in the attack, and each has an actual victim’s name etched on it.

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The 19 smaller chairs among the group represent the children who lost their lives.

The weeping statue across the street sums up the feeling of the city on that tragic day.

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Outside the memorial stands a fence adorned with personal items from victims, their families, and others who just want to pay tribute.

Explore the Underground Tunnels Downtown

I knew about Houston’s network of underground tunnels downtown, but I didn’t realize Oklahoma City had the same kind of thing.

Known as The Underground, the network is about a mile long and runs underneath 20 city blocks. It’s open during typical business hours Monday through Friday.

The vibrantly-colored tunnels feature artwork, shops, and restaurants. You’d never know this space was here if you didn’t purposely seek it out!

Pops Soda Ranch

Have you ever heard of peanut butter & jelly soda? Or bacon & chocolate soda? Or buffalo wing soda?

soda bottles

In the suburb of Arcadia comes one of the most fun places in the OKC area: Pops Soda Ranch! The building even has a giant pop bottle art piece to welcome visitors.

pops soda ranch

This store has a collection of hundreds of different kinds of bottled soda, including flavors you couldn’t even imagine.

Pops is one of the most unique places to visit in Oklahoma City. Don’t miss the chance to try some of these weird flavors that you won’t find anywhere else!

American Pigeon Museum

Here’s yet another strange and odd museum. The American Pigeon Museum is dedicated to those urban birds that can be annoying at times but have also served a purpose during historic battles.

Open on Fridays and Saturdays only, this small museum has an exhibit detailing the history of passenger pigeons used to send messages during war.

You can also learn about the different kinds of pigeons, and read about pigeon racing competitions — who even knew that was a thing?

State Capitol Building Warrior Statue

Visiting state capitol buildings is always an interesting way to learn about a community. And the buildings themselves usually have an interesting quirk or two.

oklahoma city capitol building

The Oklahoma City capitol is one of the coolest in the country, because of the striking Native American warrior atop the dome.

Interestingly, the statue does not depict any particular Native American hero. It’s meant to represent all of the state’s indigenous peoples who lived here before European settlers came along.

You can go inside the Capitol to see a mini-version of the statue up close.

The Museum of Women Pilots

The Museum of Women Pilots chronicles the aviation adventures of female flyers, dating back to the 1920s, when Amelia Earhart began making a name for herself.

This museum is heavy on Earhart material, with lots of items about her famous journeys. A display case features shelves of personal Earhart memorabilia, including her scarf, hear leather gloves, and a five dollar bill she carried on a flight from Hawaii to California.

Plenty of other women made noteworthy contributions to the world of flight, and they’re honored here too, including Marion P. Jayne, Louise Thaden, Phoebe Omlie, and astronaut Jerry Cobb.

Arcadia Round Barn

arcadia round barn

In 1898, a local farmer constructed a large round barn in the suburb of Arcadia. Now, all these years later, that barn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a gift shop and museum.

Why is the Arcadia Round Barn so popular? It’s larger than it looks from the outside. It has some cool Oklahoma-themed gifts for sale.

It has exhibits and photos showing how the barn was restored from its dilapidated condition in the late 1980s. And it’s free to visit, although a small donation is requested.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Whether you’re an admirer of the cowboys of the Old West, or you’re simply interested in the culture thanks to Beyonce’s new country album, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a truly unique attraction.

cowboy museum

See exhibits about the history of the American West, plus topics like rodeo, spurs, cattle brands, and even barbed ware fences.

I learned a lot from the cowboy museum. It was like experiencing a completely different culture, even though it’s totally American.

Land Rush Historic Marker

The town of Luther has a historic marker for the “Land Rush” event of 1889.

oklahoma land rush sign

This was the starting line. At noon sharp, the government let everyone start racing out west to claim land. Whoever got there first was allowed to claim it.

Tens of thousands of people took off on their horses and made a dash for the open terrain. It’s wild that such an event really happened!

Myriad Botanical Gardens

Not many cities have a 17-acre botanical garden right in the heart of downtown. Myriad Botanical Gardens has plants, sculptures, a waterfall, a reflecting pool, and the Crystal Bridge Conservatory.

The best part about Myriad Gardens is that it’s not just a place to look at pretty flowers. It hosts lots of events year-round, including photography workshops, yoga classes, walking tours, biodiversity presentations, and children’s story time.

They even had a recent event that provided instruction on how to create the best salad bowl garden.

Abandoned Gas Station on Route 66

In the nearby town of Edmond, find the abandoned gas station on historic Route 66.

unique places okc - luther gas station

The century-old gas station is still standing, sort of. The roof is gone, but you walk inside and explore what remains of the building.

This place served as a gas station for motorists, and a kerosene station for residents, who used the fuel to power their homes.

Other Interesting and Offbeat OKC Attractions

Scissortail Park is another fun place to spend time. You can kayak on the water, take in a concert, and enjoy 70 acres of outdoor space.

Or catch a minor league baseball game. The Oklahoma City Baseball Club is the AAA affiliate of the LA Dodgers.

okc baseball

OKC has still more interesting museums: The First Americans Museum, Jim Thorpe Museum, Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum, and Oklahoma Railway Museum may be worth adding to your itinerary.

Other unique things you can do in OKC: Explore the shops of Automobile Alley, see the funky murals in Plaza Walls, check out a Thunder NBA basketball game, visit Orr Family Farm, see the wildlife at Oklahoma City Zoo, try an ice cream flight at Boomtown Creamery, or browse the western shops of Stockyards City.

I visited Oklahoma City after spending time on a Kansas road trip. On this trip, I found an Airbnb host, so at least I didn’t have to sleep in a hotel parking lot or sleep in my vehicle!

Can you suggest any other offbeat or unique things to do in Oklahoma City to add to our list?