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.
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.
This zoo in OKC is consistently rated as one of the best zoos in the United States, home to nearly 3,000 animals, it definitely is one of the largest. Some featured exhibits include the Cat Forest and Lion Overlook, in which you can see lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards. The 'Great Escape' showcases gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and other primate life. One of the zoo's most popular attractions is 'Aquaticus', an aquarium extravaganza that features a dolphin and sea lion spectacle. The zoo is also very active in the community, it provides nature classes, labs, tours and 'Zoomobiles' for all ages. At the end of the day, guests usually catch the show under the stars at the Zoo Amphitheater.
Paycom Center 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 Paycom Center has something for everyone.
The Oklahoma River is an offshoot of the Mighty Mississippi hundreds of miles away to the east. Thankfully, it is still a viable river perfect for recreation and leisure on its banks. The asphalt trails on both sides of the river cover 13-miles, however there is no way to cross from one side to the other! To access the north trail, start at Regatta Park and to access the south, there is an entrance at SW 15th and Sheridan. One other note, the OKC Parks Department does not allow motorized vehicles, only pedestrian and cycling activity.
The Will Rogers Park & Garden Center contains the Ed Lycan Conservatory, the Charles E. Sparks Rose Garden, the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum and the Will Rogers Exhibition Center. The entire park is truly a sight to behold with its lush green fields that cover over 130 acres and tons of botanical wonders spread throughout its trails. Visitors and residents are always here on balmy summer evenings to watch the sunset or to take a leisurely stroll. For more sporty activities, the park also contains a Frisbee-golf course and it is the location for the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
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.
Regatta Park is a great recreation center for the locals of Oklahoma City. Located in the heart of Downtown, the park is used by locals for hosting a number of events, parties and sporting events. The annual Oklahoma River Fest also takes place at the park and draws a lot of people from all over the city. The event includes a number of games and activities for the kids as well as the adults including bicycle races, boat races and live music.