Easy Weekend Getaway for Wichita Families – Visit OKC!

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A big thank you to Visit OKC who mapped out an itinerary with a long weekend jammed packed with extra-special Oklahoma City attractions and eateries. Visit OKC provided this all-expense paid trip, but all opinions are my own. Our family of four, including a five-year old and seven-year old, know this is an itinerary so many families would LOVE! 

Our Accommodations in OKC:

Both chic and cheeky, the 21c Museum Hotel was a perfect hotel for our family weekend. Built in an old Ford Motor Company assembly plant, 21c OKC features gorgeous rooms with thoughtful details – hello, high ceilings, plush robes, and a rubber ducky for the bathtub! The main floor features an art gallery that is open 24/7 (worth a stop even if you aren’t staying the night). And, if you followed along with my Instagram take over you saw, I also managed to sneak up to the spa for a nice sit in the sauna. We will definitely be seeking out other 21c boutique hotel properties and can’t wait to revisit this one in OKC.

Night One in OKC:

Three words: rooftop, patio, pizza. That’s a recipe for perfect night. We started at The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen and devoured every bite from appetizers to dessert all while enjoying Midtown at sunset. We appreciated that they offer single slices of basic pizzas for pickier eaters, while the rest of us could enjoy the more adventurous options. Our whole crew highly recommends Quinn’s Burrata appetizer and Sunday Lunch (smoked brisket with a jalapeño garlic cream sauce) pizza. Bonus: just across the street from the restaurant is a bocce ball park- one of our family’s favorite yard games, made even more fun with the skyline, people watching, and horse drawn carriages being pulled through Midtown.

pizza mural okc ginny
halls pizza okc ginny
halls pizza okc ginny
ginny okc pizza graham

Before calling it a night we headed to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is quite moving. I wasn’t much older than my oldest son is now when the bombing occurred; walking through the outdoor space with our boys at night allowed us to start having a conversation about the events of April 1995. While I chose to go back to the museum on my own the next day for my first visit, I do anticipate a time when it is both appropriate and important for my kids to visit as well; this was a good introduction.

Day Two in OKC:

You had me at ‘waffles.’ We loved the sweet and savory options at Waffle Championto fuel us for a day of exploring. It is a hip, conveniently located, and delicious breakfast option- with several Insta-worthy photo ops! Additionally, they have a Gluten Free waffle and a variety of lighter options.

Speaking of Insta-worthy photo ops, our next stop was stroll through the 16th Street Plaza District to check out the Plaza Walls. This addition to our itinerary would delight any public art loving soul! With dozens of amazing murals, we found it impossible to pick a favorite. We’ll definitely go back to see the changing art and explore the cool shops and restaurants in the Plaza District.

The number one new OKC attraction we were looking forward to seeing was our next stop: Scissortail Park! Opening the September 2019, this amazing, free public green space on the southern edge of downtown is the next great destination park in the region to add to your list. We spent a couple hours enjoying the KidZone at the Children’s Playground, playing in the splash pad fountains, refueling at food trucks, and paddle boating. With nearby parking and a dedicated Streetcar stop, you can’t not visit Scissortail! Phase 2 (the “lower park”), over the now iconic I-40 spanning Skydance Bridge, opens in 2021.

Our next stop was the Wheeler District and a ride in the oh-so-fun Ferris Wheel. Bought off eBay from the historic Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel has new life in this emerging neighborhood featuring bike paths, food trucks, and pop-up markets like the one I shopped at while my boys played yard games and engaged in some hammock relaxing on the riverfront plaza. We loved the views of OKC from the wheel and the boys loved that we could see it in all its glory shining at night from our hotel room at 21c.

 

One foot into Iguana Mexican Grill and I felt at home. It is funky, filled with delicious Mexican food, and serves an A+ version of my favorite cocktail, the Oklahoma Paloma. As far as eats, the Loaded Queso, fajitas, and jalapeño cornbread were amazing!

Next door is another OKC new addition that was on my art loving heart’s bucket list: Factory Obscura’s new permanent exhibit, Mix-Tape. It is a fully immersive, interactive, and outrageous fun house. My family spent nearly an hour walking, crawling, and sliding through the 6,000 square foot Mix-Tape installation. Whether you’re an art-lover or just a fun-lover, Mix-Tape should be on your OKC plans.

That afternoon, we split up for a couple hours so that I could experience the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum on my own. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of fun distractions for kids nearby. My husband and kids headed to Myriad Gardens. The Crystal Bridge is beautiful in every season and not only is the children’s garden fantastic, it is also open to the public at no charge!

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okc heyday arcade ginny
okc heyday ginny

I wish I had a picture of the smile on my husband’s face when we walked into HeyDay Entertainment and he spotted the size of the television screens in the bowling alley. Does it get any better than bowling, an impressively huge and delicious menu served lane side, and larger than life sports on the big screens? Thanks HeyDay, you’ve ruined bowling (and dinner out TBH) for him anywhere else. After dinner we played our hearts out in the small upstairs arcade. This is a Bricktown must for families!

Day Three in OKC:

After checking out of our hotel we headed down the street to Sunnyside Diner. Everyone got their favorite breakfast dishes in this cheery neighborhood hot spot.  You must order a cinnamon roll; you’ll thank me later.

And, finally, the stop my boys had been looking forward to for months: the Oklahoma City Zoo! While we had been before, this was our first visit to Sanctuary Asia which opened in 2018. We were blown away by this new addition. Our other highlights were petting and feeding the stingrays and watching the hilarious Sea Lion Presentation. I would absolutely recommend the ‘Zoo-it-All’ pass which allows for the fun extras like the train, carousel, animal experiences, and more!

Can you go to Oklahoma without eating BBQ? I think there’s a law against that. Bedlam BBQ was the perfect spot for a quick and delicious patio lunch after a full morning of zoo fun.

Our last stop before hitting the road was a visit to the 45th Infantry Division Museum. My boys explored this free museum and their impressive outdoor collection of military vehicles. History buffs and fans of awesome vehicles should add this to their next trip.

Less than two and a half hours later we made it back home with an abundance of sweet family memories and a handful of new favorite must-return spots in our favorite city for a weekend getaway! Our long weekend was chock full of art, animals, and uniquely OKC attractions.

I’d love to know, where are you sure to visit on your next trip to Oklahoma City?

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Ginny Ellis
Ginny Ellis is a hometown girl who happily resides in East Wichita with her husband, two young sons, two rowdy dogs, three boring fish, and one spoiled tortoise. Together they enjoy taking part in all our city has to offer, especially if it involves being outdoors, supporting the arts, or is particularly delicious. She is a WAHM who serves as WMB's Events Director as well as holding volunteer positions in Junior League of Wichita, on her neighborhood elementary school's PTO Board, and for United Way of the Plains. Ginny is a podcast enthusiast, laundry folding procrastinator, and insatiable reader who loves the Shockers, theme parties, and her margaritas on the rocks.