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Activities to Do in Tulsa
Activities to Do in Tulsa

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Activities to Do in Tulsa: Complete Guide

When it comes to unique experiences and family fun, Tulsa has got you covered. Maybe we’re a little biased, but we think you’ll agree when you come to see us. Most places have pride in what they have to offer, but there is something special about the way Tulsans love their city. At Discover Tulsa, we are those citizens that take pride in where we’re from, and we love sharing that with you. 

Because of the continued growth and community we share, attractions continue to pop-up around the city. From Tulsa’s first food hall, the Mother Road Market, to our first nationally recognized park, The Gathering Place. There is no shortage of things to do in this small city with a big heart. 

Tulsa Zoo

Nestled on 85 acres, the Tulsa Zoo brings a world of wildlife to Tulsa’s front door. Since 1927, the park has been delighting kids and adults alike with its impressive facilities and animals from around the globe.

In 2017, the zoo opened The Lost Kingdom, an impressive new exhibit showcasing some of Asia’s rarest species, including Malayan tigers, Komodo dragons, red pandas, and snow leopards. 

Beyond that, the zoo has a long history of conservation, supporting more than 360 conservation projects since 1997. Its calendar is also filled with school outreach, camps, and classes throughout the year for all ages. With 1500 animal species to its name, the Tulsa Zoo is a place for the whole family to enjoy & cherish. 

Oklahoma Aquarium

In 2003, the Oklahoma Aquarium took land-locked Tulsans under the sea. A passion project of its founders, the aquarium was built along the Arkansas River in Jenks to the delight of the city.

There are several areas to explore, including exhibits on Oklahoma species, invertebrates, Ozark habitats, coral reefs, and — a crowd favorite — sharks!

For Tulsans and visitors, the aquarium is an escape to a part of the world we rarely see. With interactive exhibits and a variety of species, make sure to check out the Oklahoma Aquarium the next time the ocean calls. 

Safari Joe’s H20 Water Park

When June and July roll around, there is only one place to go – the water park! Escape the hot Oklahoma sun and cool down at Safari Joe’s H20 Water Park. Opened in 2015, the park took the place of Big Splash Water Park, a Tulsa landmark for over 30 years. Alas, Tulsans were ready for something new.

Safari Joe’s namesake, Joe Estes, stepped in to purchase the park, renaming it and starting renovations. The park has everything, with everything from park staples like a wave pool and lazy river, but Estes added a different twist – animals! The park even includes Reptile World, where you can get up close and personal with several species of reptiles. 

Tulsa Driller’s

Take me home to the ballgame in Tulsa! Since 1977, Tulsans have been enjoying the sounds of spring, complete with the crack of the bat and the smell of grilled hot dogs.

The Tulsa Drillers are a minor-league baseball team that plays at ONEOK Field, where they have spent season after season playing America’s favorite game. In 2010, ONEOK Field became the new home of the Drillers. Located in the historic Greenwood District, visitors will get a glimpse of Tulsa’s thriving downtown shops and restaurants. Their schedule runs April through September, giving you ample time to catch a game next time you’re in town!

The Gathering PlaceActivities to Do in Tulsa

All Tulsans have a favorite spot. Maybe it’s the Tulsa Arts District, Utica Square, or Philbrook… or maybe it’s the 100 acres on Riverside Drive that now houses The Gathering Place.

The story begins with the George Kaiser Family Foundation’s dream to create a park to bring people from all over Tulsa together. In 2014, after many generous donations, the City of Tulsa broke ground and the dream came to fruition. 

Four years later, after much anticipation, The Gathering Place opened its doors. The excitement hasn’t stopped since. For kids, the Chapman Adventure Playground includes towers, a water park, climbing features, and slides, all the while shaded by trees giving relief from the summer heat. Adults can enjoy the Williams Lodge, complete with indoor lounge spaces, a cafe, and beautiful views of the park. Check out Discover Tulsa’s guide to The Gathering Place here.

Philbrook Museum of Art

If you’re looking to step back in time, look no further than the Philbrook Museum of Art. A former 1920’s villa, it was the home of Oklahoma petroleum businessman, Waite Phillips. In 1938, Phillips donated the home to the city of Tulsa, and it was turned into what we now know as the Philbrook Museum of Art.

In 1939, the museum opened its doors and has been thriving ever since. The museum’s collection includes, American, European, Native American, Modern and Contemporary Art, Asian, Antiques, and African art. No matter your taste, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

In addition to the art, architecture lovers will delight in the Italian Renaissance style. The house features 72 rooms decorated with fireplaces, fountains, and ornate ceilings, all reminiscent of the villas Phillips loved. For nature lovers, be sure to check out the 25 acres of gardens surrounding the museum. 

Gilcrease Museum

As you’re headed downtown, why not make the journey a little farther to Gilcrease Museum. Housing the world’s largest collection of art of the American West, the museum stays true to its Oklahoma roots. The museum is named for Thomas Gilcrease, the oilman and connoisseur of the arts who founded the museum in 1949.

His collection includes Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and Joseph Henry Sharp, all on display in the American West Gallery. Just as impressive, the museum holds over 350,000 items in its collection, representing hundreds of indigenous cultures and over 350 years of American art. In addition to its art collection, Gilcrease includes 23 acres of gardens to explore. 

Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

At first look, Tulsa might not look like an aerospace hot spot, but you’d be wrong. In fact, Tulsa has a long history of aerospace and the Tulsa Air and Space Museum is setting out to keep that story alive. In 2005, the museum opened at its current location, along with the James E. Bertelsmeyer Planetarium.

Since its opening, the museum has attracted 600,000 visitors. With stories from history, unique aircrafts, flight simulators, demonstrations, and the planetarium, kids and adults will be sure to enjoy seeing the world in a different way. 

Utica Square

If you’re up for a day of shopping, head to Utica Square, located in the heart of midtown. Opened in 1952, it was Tulsa’s first shopping center, and its popularity has been steady ever since. The village design is inviting and cozy, blending in with the historic homes nearby.

Shopping includes stores like Anthropologie, Coach, Athleta, LOFT, and Madewell. If you get hungry, there are restaurants for every taste, including P.F. Changs, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, and cafe’s like The Wild Fork and Stonehorse Cafe. The center hosts live music, art shows, and annual events, with seasonal celebrations in the summer and at Christmas.

Woodward Park

Looking for a quiet place to relax after shopping at Utica Square? Head to Woodward Park, a 45-acre park, botanical garden, and arboretum just down the road. Known for its beauty, the park’s real claim to fame is the Tulsa Rose Garden, complete with 9,000 roses to admire. The former David R. Travis mansion is now the Tulsa Garden Center. The 21-room house was added to the park in 1954 when it was bought by the city. It is now used for weddings and seasonal events. You can even learn a little bit about Tulsa’s history at the Tulsa Historical Society. Add Woodward Park to your itinerary for a little bit of everything!

Tulsa Arts District

If you love food and art with a view, head downtown to the Tulsa Arts District. In the past decade, downtown Tulsa has experienced a renaissance, and arts districts are flourishing, complete with art galleries, restaurants, apartments, and retail.

The Tulsa Arts District is an older section of the city and houses the historic Cain’s Ballroom and The Tulsa Theater. What used to be a street of empty warehouses now reflects an emphasis on arts and culture, right in the heart of Tulsa. 

Activities in Tulsa

With its charm and character, Tulsa is a unique destination. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, you and your family will be sure to enjoy what this city has to offer. Come enjoy world-class museums, parks, and shopping, all the while enjoying the small-town feel in a big city setting. There’s so much to do in Tulsa, so we hope you’ll come and explore our corner of the world for yourself!

If you’d like to keep reading, you can go here for more things to do in Tulsa!

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