18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love

When you think of Oklahoma, you may not think it’s a state that has a lot of entertainment and attractions — but this article is going to change your mind. When looking for things to do in Tulsa, you’ll find there is so much — it may be hard to choose.

With plenty of art deco architecture, museums, water parks, zoos, gardens, and entertainment districts, we assure you — there’s plenty to entertain you here.

Looking for the best things to do in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Let’s get started!


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love

The main campus of the Philbrook Museum of Art stretches across 23 acres of land in Tulsa. The home of oil pioneer Waite Phillips and his wife, Genevieve, was converted into an art museum back in 1939.

Expect to be wowed and delighted by this museum — there is just so much to see and do. The Philbrook has permanent collections on display that feature everything from antiquities to modern and contemporary art. The museum is well known for having amazing exhibitions of art that are ever-changing, so you’ll never see the same thing twice. Take a guided or self-guided tour, to learn more about the artwork displayed here.

One of the greatest things about a visit here is that you can also explore the magnificent Philbrook Gardens. The 25-acre gardens were recently named “the most beautiful place in Oklahoma” by House Beautiful Magazine, and rightfully so.

These outdoor gardens are perfect for observing nature, letting little ones roll down the green hills, or finding the Secret Garden. (One of the most popular things to do is visit with the two cats that live in the garden!) You’ll want to pack a picnic to eat here, or grab something from the onsite restaurant, Kitchen 27.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Tulsa Zoo

The Tulsa Zoo is an 85-acre non-profit zoo in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s located in one of the biggest municipal parks in the entire United States, Mohawk Park.

Animals you might see at the zoo are African lions, African painted dogs, Arctic foxes, chimpanzees, Arizona black rattlesnakes, and many other animals.

You’ll find penguins in their naturalistic habitat, and you can even visit seas lions in Sea Lion Cove. The Lost Kingdom exhibit allows visitors to roam through Asian inspired gardens, and the Tropical Rainforest exhibit is a 15,000 square foot immersive walkthrough experience that will make you doubt you’re even in Oklahoma. There’s also a playground for the kids, so they can act like little animals themselves.

If you’re looking for an educational experience revolving around animals, the Tulsa Zoo is a must-visit location.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love

If animals aren’t your thing, and you’re instead interested in the sciences, you may want to check out the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. When it comes to things to do in Tulsa, this museum is one of Tulsa’s crowning achievements.

Their exhibits include cockpit training, demonstrations, simulated space voyage experiences, aircraft on display, and flight simulators, amongst other things. You and your whole family will get a kick out of the museum, and they won’t want to leave. Make use of their discounts if you can — they offer them to students, militaries, seniors, and groups.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Woody Guthrie Center

The Woody Guthrie Center is a publicly-accessible museum and archive located in the Tulsa Arts District. This particular museum was erected to pay homage to Woody Guthrie, the famous singer-songwriter and folk musician.

You’ll find permanent exhibits here, including a 15-minute film about Guthrie’s life, an interactive timeline wall, a Music Bar so you can listen to his songs, the original handwritten lyrics of “This Land is Your Land,” some of his musical instruments, and so much more. Visiting exhibits can also be found here.

This center is in a great location — right across the street from Guthrie Green, an urban park where you can sometimes catch concerts and festivals. Within walking distance of amazing restaurants, shops, art galleries, hotels, The Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and Oneok Field — it’s easy to add a stop here to your itinerary.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy Tulsa Botanic Garden

When it comes to nature and botanical gardens, you can’t go wrong with the Tulsa Botanic Gardens. These gardens stretch across 170 acres of land, and they feature beautiful lotus pools, terraces covered in floral delicacies, and other fantastic visuals that will make you scramble for your camera.

The botanic gardens also offer events and other attractions to entice all members of your family. Experience the 3-acre ornamental garden that holds over 350 varieties of plants, or check out the amazing water features here.

If you happen to be around in December, make sure to check out the spectacular Garden of Lights, as presented by the Bank of Oklahoma. Colorful lights shine along the backdrop of the venue, and you and your family can listen to holiday tunes, roast s’mores over fire pits, and generally experience a magical holiday evening with your loved ones.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of The Golden Driller

One of the most unique attractions on this list, The Golden Driller, is a popular topic of conversation in Tulsa. When it comes to things to do in Tulsa, you must go visit this statue. It stands at 75-feet-tall, and it was erected back in 1966. 

You may not believe this, but it’s the 6th tallest statue in the United States, and it is the tallest free-standing statue! It features an oil worker, and it weighs nearly 45,000 pounds.

This statue sits in front of the iconic Tulsa Expo Center, which is located near the famous Route 66. It’s a state monument as of 1979, and people in Tulsa cherish being watched over by this tall statue.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Oklahoma Aquarium

The Oklahoma Aquarium is a great place that you and your family will love. Existing within a 72,000-square-foot location, it’s been a popular attraction for locals and tourists since it opened back in 2003.

The aquarium is located in one of Tulsa’s many suburbs, Jenks, and it counts as the largest aquarium in the four-state area. You can see hundreds of sea creatures and other aquatic species, and if you are just perusing, it will only take you about 90 minutes to see the whole area. Feel free to meander longer and see everything that the aquarium has to offer!


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Gilcrease Museum

Oklahoma is an area that is rife with museums and art history. As such, it is also home to the famous and world-renowned Gilcrease Museum. This museum’s full name is the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art.

Located in downtown Tulsa, Gilcrease holds one of the largest collections of American West art, and in recent years, it’s also expanded to include work from South America and Central America, as well. The Gilcrease Museum also has an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts, documents, maps and historical manuscripts.

If you have an interest in art and the Americas, this is a museum that you will have to explore.

Note: Gilcrease Museum is currently closed while undergoing reconstruction and remodeling.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Johnny Trang

With a title like “Center of the Universe,” you may think that this tourist attraction is extremely popular and always booked up. Although that may happen sometimes, it is a niche, little-known facet of Tulsa.

The “Center of the Universe” is a mysterious spot where, if you stand there and make noises, you will find that they are echoed back to you at a much louder volume. It’s an acoustic mystery!

This is a fun, quirky spot that lets you tell others you’ve been to The Center of the Universe!


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Blue Dome Entertainment District

As you might guess from the name, the Blue Dome District is a large stretch of attractions that are meant to entertain and delight the average tourist. This district stretches across nine square blocks, and – outside of its inherent entertaining nature – it is also an architecturally significant location.

As it stands, even if you’re more into the entertainment instead of the architecture, you won’t be disappointed. From arcades to bars to restaurants and a bowling alley, this district is meant for fun.

Considering this district is also near Route 66, it’s a very popular spot for locals and tourists alike.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Utica Square

Utica Square is an upscale shopping center that you’re going to love! It was the first suburban shopping center that opened in Tulsa.

You’ll find large chain stores, small independent shops, spas, restaurants and more here. Events are held here throughout the year.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Safari Joe’s H2O Water Park

Safari Joe’s H2O Water Park is the place to cool off in Tulsa! And believe me, sometimes you’re really going to want to cool off.

This water park is an award-winning attraction in Tulsa, and it includes water park attractions such as pools, sports courts, water slides, playgrounds, swimming pools, and more. They have the Tiny Turtle Lagoon for the littlest ones in your group, and Reptile Rush for the older ones.

Many entertainment options are held here throughout the year, such as live music, magic shows, mermaids (!), movies and more. There’s also a snack shop and gift shop here.

Included with your water park admission is gate admission to Reptile World. At Reptile World you can walk through and experience live, rescued animals such as emus, donkeys and snakes.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art

The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art is one of the premier venues when it comes to showcasing Jewish history through art and exhibitions. It was founded back in 1966, and has made a name for itself in the art world in the intervening years.

When it comes to art in Tulsa, many people go for the larger museums, but if you do so, you’ll truly be missing out on some phenomenal and unforgettable collections. The types of Jewish art that are showcased here include classical art and modern art, so you’ll get a great variety.

This museum is open during normal business hours. If you’re looking for things to do in Tulsa, don’t miss this gem!


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love

Tulsa River Parks features a popular biking/running/walking trail that stretches along the banks of the Arkansas River. Along the road, you’ll see beautiful gardens and fountains, as well as playgrounds and wildlife sculptures.

The path here stretches across 26 miles, so if you and your family want to see all of it, you may want to do so over a few days. When it comes to things to do in Tulsa, this is one of the most picturesque.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Gathering Place

Gathering Place is a special kind of park. Located along the Arkansas River, it was built to create community — and it’s succeeded. This park features awesome attractions and fun programming throughout the year, at no charge.

Known as Tulsa’s Riverfront Park, Gathering Place features the awesome Chapman Adventure Playground, which young kids (and old ones!) will adore. Visit the Spiral Connector — seven towers that encourage physical play and feature climbing structures, slides, suspension bridges, puzzles and more. See the Land of River Giants and watch your children’s imaginations take flight as they slide down a Blue Heron or climb in and out of Paddlefish.

Seek new heights at the Skywalk Forest. You’ll find climbing structures and suspension bridges that are 20 feet above the ground. The Ramble Sensory Garden is where the principles of STEAM education take the lead. In the summer months, cool off at Charlie’s Water Mountain — an area that features a spray area, tunnels, dams and streams.

Rent a boat, bring a picnic, and get ready for fun in the sun. Gathering Place: Tulsa’s Riverfront Park is a must-visit destination.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love

The Tulsa Arts District is home to… well, art! There are iconic red-brick warehouses as far as the eye can see, and the area houses famous venues, dance halls, and theaters.

This is a great area to visit and chill, as it features cafes, breweries, and other delicious restaurants. Sit down and take a load off while taking in the ambiance of this stunning location. Culture and poise in one location…could anything be better?


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Note: The Jazz Depot is the home of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and currently under renovation. It’s currently closed to the public.

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit organization in Tulsa that focuses specifically on the history of gospel, blues, and jazz musicians. If you’re interested, you can take classes, experience history and concerts, and also explore other arts programming events.

It’s located in the Union Depot (a historic area of Tulsa), and it’s another area that gives off great vibes and ambiance. If you want to go to a place that exudes a feeling of the heart of Tulsa, this is the place to go.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love

Although it may seem odd for a road to be famous, Route 66 is the most famous road in all of the United States. When people talk about Route 66, they think of the old west, rustic imagery, and Mom and Pop stores. Tumbleweeds and the desert feature in the imagination, and a little kernel of excitement will ignite in your heart when you think about it.

This is one of the many reasons that Tulsa is considered a great destination spot. It’s near Route 66, and many of its most famous landmarks border the famous road as well.


18 Awesome Things To Do in Tulsa Your Family Will Love
Courtesy of the Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park

Woodward Park, just 3 miles from downtown Tulsa, is a great place to go and experience the beauty of this Oklahoma city.

The park is made up of 45 acres and is surrounded by neighborhoods established during the 1920s and 1930s. The Woodward Park and Gardens Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s home to The Mansion at Woodward Park, a 1919 Italian Renaissance-inspired villa, and the Tulsa Garden Center.

The two most popular areas of Woodward Park are the Upper and Lower Rock Gardens, and the formal terraces of the Tulsa Rose Garden. Explore the gardens, visit the arboretum, let the kids run at the playground, and enjoy this awesome place.


What is Tulsa known for?

Tulsa is well known for its Native American culture and history, and it was once known as the oil capital of the world.

How should I spend a day in Tulsa?

There are plenty of ways to spend a day in Tulsa, including visiting the Philbrook Museum of Art, seeing the animals at the Tulsa Zoo, exploring Woodward Park, taking the kids to The Gathering Place, or posting for pics with the Golden Driller.

What is there to do in Tulsa at night?

There are a lot of great ways to spend an evening in Tulsa, including catching a movie at Circle Cinema, enjoying some retro bowling and drinks at Dust Bowl Lanes u0026amp; Lounge, or experiencing some seriously amazing drinks at Valkyrie.



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