April 19, 1995 was one of the darkest days in Oklahoma City's history. On that day Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was attacked by Timothy McVeigh, subsequently killing 168 people. The site contains two parts, the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and the museum itself. Inside the museum, you will see 168 empty chairs; one for each innocent victim, 19 of which included children. The most endearing tribute, however, is the part of the fence that has been left over from the makeshift memorial that stood here for five years after the attack. Today, visitors will see letters, photos, flowers and other precious sentiments left by survivors and visitors. Also prominently featured in the memorial is the Survivor Tree, it has become a symbol of hope to the people of Oklahoma City.
Located on the grounds of the State Capitol and managed under the auspices of the Oklahoma Historical Society, this museum takes visitors on a journey through the state's exciting history. Many know the mythic story of the Land Run of 1889, but the exhibits here go back even further. Some of the most popular displays focus on Native American culture, the Oklahoma oil boom, the state's impressionist painters and they also have some interesting online exhibits.
Science Museum Oklahoma is a center for learning with its Planetarium and a massive 70-foot (21 meter) diameter Dome Theater in addition to other hands-on, interactive galleries. Some of the museum galleries include the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame, the Kirkpatrick Air and Space Museum and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. The Air and Space museum has one of the most complete collections of historic aviation memorabilia in the country. In addition to displays, the museum is available for birthday parties, corporate events and it even hosts several excursions and day-camps for students throughout the year.
The American West in all its glory and grandeur is captured in this 220,000 square feet (20,439 square meter) museum. There are hundreds of sculptures and thousands of paintings, photographs and artifacts from the Old West. The newest addition is the Joe Grandee wing, which features more than 5,000 artifacts. There is a life-size reproduction of a frontier town, a rodeo gallery, a cowboy gallery and a frontier soldier gallery. You will also see the largest collection of works by contemporary western artists, as well as the famous paintings of Frederick Remington.
The Myriad Botanical Garden is a green oasis that offers space and serenity within the concrete urban sprawl of Oklahoma City's downtown. The gardens are spread across 17 acres (6.9 hectares), and the horticulturists often offer educational classes and workshops as well as just a place to relax. Upon entering, the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory contains more than 2000 species of plants and in addition to permanent species, the gardens display rotating exhibits such as orchids and more exotic plants throughout the year. The Grand Event Lawn in the outer gardens and the Water Stage on the lake are frequently used for events like concerts, theater and movie screenings year-round.
The only skeleton museum in the United States, the Museum of Osteology is a great place for people of all ages to learn about phlanges, metatarsals and carpals. With over 400 skulls and 300 complete skeletons on display, the museum gives valuable insights into the skeletal makeup of humans as well as animals. Visitors can enjoy some hands-on learning at the Explorers Corner, where you can handle bones from various North American mammalian species. On your way out, the gift shop is a great place to get someone something unique.
This Dutch Colonial mansion of 12 rooms and 14,000 square feet has been the home of the governor since 1928. There is an Oklahoma room with a carpet featuring the state seal. The Phillips Pavilion was added on the grounds for larger parties, because the inside dining area was only able to seat 60 for dinner. The new pavilion also features a gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs and Made-in-Oklahoma items. Guided tours are offered on Wednesdays. Admission is free.
Overlooking the Civic Center, this downtown urban park is a hub for cultural and leisure activities. Bicentennial Park with its lovely water feature and raised stage is not only a place to gather but also a performance space and the home of the annual Starlight Supper.
For more than a century, this downtown cathedral has served the Catholic community in Oklahoma City. St. Paul's suffered significant damage as a result of the Murrah bombing, but has since rebuilt, dedicating one of the new structures to those who died on April 19. Guests are invited to attend one of three Sunday services at the cathedral, or visitors can come to its quiet sanctuary to pray and pay their respects to bombing victims.
Located in Downtown Oklahoma City, [Artspace] at Untitled helps to promote the local art scene through exhibitions featuring up-and-coming local artists. A non-profit organization, all shows here are completely free. The works on display here use a variety of different mediums, including photography and ceramics. The gallery also hosts a variety of one-time events where artists talk about their work in depth.
Bluff Creek Park is an ordinary yet well equipped park of the city. With trimmed lawns and well maintained trails, the park is an ideal place for your family outings. You can plan to spend a day here as they provide for picnic shelters, grills and a perfectly made trailing path. The park also has open fields, for any kind of sporting events of the city.