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.
This is OKC's primary destination for visitors seeking restaurants, bars, museums and places to entertain themselves. The historic district was formerly a place filled with warehouses and storage depots along the Bricktown Canal, however this industry has now departed and the buildings have been rehabbed and refurbished into stylish lofts and businesses. Highlights in the district include the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the Tapwerks Ale House and it is just steps away from the Cox Convention Center and Chesapeake Arena. One of the coolest attributes of the neighborhood is the mode of transport; the water taxis zoom up-and-down the Bricktown Canal and drop visitors off at several stops along the way.
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 Chesapeake Energy Arena is the premier venue in Oklahoma City for large events and entertainment. It is primarily known as the home of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, but it holds all kinds of other events as well. From major concerts with famous artists to arena shows like Disney on Ice and Walking with Dinosaurs, the Chesapeake Energy Arena has something for everyone.
This home was built for one of the Oklahoma City's most beloved benefactors, William Overholser. Now nearly a century old, this residence that's reminiscent of a French chateau gives visitors a glimpse into Oklahoma's early development. Overholser was a successful businessman and the first president of the city's chamber of commerce. The interior of the home retains its original antique furnishings and some of the other highlights include imported rugs and decorative stained glass windows. Tours are given every hour starting at 10.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has more than 3000 works from 19th and 20th-century American artists. The highlight is a gallery that focuses on modern American art from the 1950s and 1960s, which includes work by Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Indiana. Additionally, this art museum attracts wonderful traveling exhibits that are a must for connoisseurs. Guided tours are available for groups with ten or more people as long as the reservation is made two weeks prior to visit.
The Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall combines historic elegance with cutting-edge technology. The building was made in limestone, stainless steel, and it features authentic art-deco chandeliers. The electronics and acoustics are state-of-the-art and here you can find more than 250 shows a year. The venue hosts everything from ballet to Broadway as well as public and private gatherings, weddings, receptions, parties, and more.
Freede Little Theatre is an auditorium located inside Civic Center Music Hall. The dome shaped structure is among the few classical setting structures in the country. The auditorium hosts musical shows, classical plays, poetry recitals by local artists, screening of movies and corporate seminars. The all in one theater is an ideal space for any of your private events and parties. Contact the performance venue to stay in tune with the upcoming shows, films and events.