Are you burnt out on the normal weekend hangouts? We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 things to do around OKC that get our motors running on all 8 cylinders. We hope that you enjoy them all as much as we do!
It’s time to strap in and push your boundaries! Climb Up OKC is a set of 90 foot repurposed silos jutting out from the southern tip of our downtown skyline. Coated in an iconic mural painted by local artists Tanner Frady and Rick Sinnett, this behemoth towers next to I-40 and calls for the adventurous spirits of OKC. As you walk in, you’re greeted by a knowledgeable staff and a fully stocked pro shop. This isn’t the type of place where they hand you a harness and let you make a go of it. For first time climbers; $27 will land you a climbing pass, harness, shoes, Belay Training and a Full Orientation of all the information you will need to start your adventure in climbing.
Climb Up also offer camps, classes for adults and kids, and even one-on-one training for those willing to go the distance. Whether you want a better date night than the movies; or your heart beats for the next thrill, Climb Up has you covered. Emily and I are by no means expert climbers, but we like to flex our skills at the gym every now and then. It’s a fun alternative to the treadmill. Pro tip: make sure your fingernails and toenails are trimmed short, and remember… The shoes are SUPPOSED to fit tight!
200 SE 4th St.
OKC, OK 73129
Dust Bowl Lanes/Fassler Hall
Put on your best polyester pantsuit and walk into a 1970’s bowling alley right in the heart of Midtown. Dust Bowl Lanes is a 12,000 square foot facility with 12 lanes and a VIP room accommodating 2-4 lanes. Plan a party, or walk in with your crew and let those balls roll! After 8 PM, Dust Bowl becomes 21 and up. So, grab a drink from their plush bar and cut loose. They also have a full menu of tasty treats. I’ve heard the Xtreme Tots are a force to be reckoned with. When you need to give your bowling arm a break, head upstairs to Fassler’s Hall and experience one of their fine imported beers in a glass that’s bigger than your head. Grab a brat and head out to the beer garden to enjoy stunning views of downtown.
421 NW 10th St.
OKC, OK 73103
Does OKC traffic get you down? Do you feel the need for speed? Well, we have the answer. Pole Position Raceway allows you to hug those corners and leave your buddies to smell your burnt rubber; all without the buzzkill of traffic tickets. These races are great for dates, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties or for the lone racer needing to shave one more second off their lap time.
Arrive and Drive rates are $19.95 for adult non-members, $17.95 for youth non-members, and $11.95 for kid non-members. While one race is better than no races, Emily and I prefer to go all out. Get a group of your friends together and pony up for the Grand Prix Group Package. The price of $60 per person covers three races. A practice run, a Qualifier, and the Main Event; with the Winner getting bragging rights for at least the next 2 hours. Check their Events Calendar for upcoming races and clinics.
2905 NW 36th St.
OKC, OK 73112
Chae Modern Korean
After moving back from Pittsburgh, we have been missing the amazing Korean food that we had grown accustomed to. Chae has finally filled that void in our hearts. Bone-in short ribs served family style will make you wonder why this hasn’t been a part of your life until now. The atmosphere is clean, bright, and welcoming; and the food was created by a passionate chef. Chae is perfect for a quick lunch; yet even better when a whole crew samples the wide variety of family style dishes. As far as libations go, their fully stocked bar of cocktails and fine beers won’t leave you hanging. As the drink menu suggests: “Stay Strong: get a shot of Jameson with a kimchiback.” The Oxtail Soup is out of this world and the Softshell Crab Bun might be our new nomination for President.
1933 NW 23rd St.
OKC, OK 73106
Lost Highway is the perfect dive bar to wet your whistle. The brainchild of Chris Simon (Hilo Club) and Scott Pepper, this drinking den perfectly marries a touch of class with an edge of rock n roll. A quote on their Facebook page summed this up with a bow on top, “this place is caviar on cool ranch doritos.” The bar itself is stunning to say the least. The craftsmanship that went into curating this room is hands-down some of the best in the city. Art graces almost every angle of this room, and the north wall is guarded by a bear with horns and a split tongue; gracefully dubbed, “The Beast.” If Bukowski and Joe Strummer were still alive, I would imagine they’d be bellied up and pleased to call this their neighborhood haunt. Bonus: Guns N Roses Pinball while you wait for the restrooms. Cheers!
1613 N. May Ave.
OKC, OK 73107
Rockford Cocktail Den
Can’t get enough of that 70’s vibe? We can’t either. If you’re into all things swanky, the Rockford Cocktail Den has your poison. Whether it’s the $5 beer and shot special, or if your palette yearns for hand crafted cocktails; look no further. We love the layout of this place. All of the furniture is hand-picked Mid Century Modern pieces and they are arranged in a manner to promote conversation and engagement.
Every Wednesday Night is Boozy Bingo; with drink specials, cash prizes and surprises. Keep an ear to the ground, because soon Rockford will have Retro Movie Night and Vinyl night for all of you cinephiles and hi-fi buffs. Make sure to try the Singapore Swing! Bonus: if you plan a night out and want to arrive in style, The Rockford offers a complimentary chauffeur service (book 24 hours in advance). Keep an eye out for Burt Reynolds!
317 NW 23rd St.
OKC, OK 73103
Hilo Club – Lost Empires & Don’t Make Ghosts – July 29, 2016
Center of the Universe. Standard Bearer for all Bars. These are just a few of the monikers that the Hilo has earned. The Hilo Club has been in operation since 1956, and has taken on a soul of its own. Hands down, the Hilo’s staff are known as some of the best in the business and won’t disappoint. A quote from their website: “If Freddy Mercury, Mae West and Che Guavara had a love child, she and her girlfriend would come here.” This Friday, July 29th, local metal-powerhouse Lost Empires and up-and-coming rockers Don’t Make Ghosts will push the limits of space, time and beer busts. Feel free to cut loose and hug a stranger. $5 at the door. 21 and up.
1221 NW 50th St.
OKC, OK 73118
Pawnee Bill’s Ranch
Once the showplace of Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show, the ranch now offers public tours of Pawnee Bill and his wife May’s 14 room mansion. The mansion is fully furnished with their original belongings and original art. The grounds still include a 1903 log cabin, blacksmith shop, indian flower shrine and a large barn that was built in 1926. The ranch is also called home by a herd of bison, longhorns and draft horses. At a short drive of 92 miles, a touch of the wild west is still alive in Oklahoma and is open for exploring eyes. Bonus: each June, the staff recreates the Original Wild West Show. Don’t miss out on this incredible piece of Oklahoma history.
1141 Pawnee Bill Rd.
Pawnee, OK 74058
Red Rock Canyon State Park
56 miles west on I-40 lies Red Rock Canyon State Park. One of the closest getaways for outdoor adventure seekers, Red Rock Canyon is a picturesque wonderland for hikers, climbers and campers alike. Emily and I took a day trip out there last year. Upon entrance to the park, we learned very quickly that the main road leading in is extremely steep and unforgiving. We had to help an older biker pick his motorcycle up on the steep, gravely shoulder! That said, stay aware as you drive in! RV sites, tent sites and picnic areas line the drive through the canyon.
The highest point in the canyon is 80 feet tall and offers spectacular views as well as prime time rappelling. Make sure to bring your own climbing gear and BE SAFE!! There are 2 nature trails in the the park itself, or more strenuous and rocky hiking trails that will lead to the top of the canyon. During summer months, the park operates a swimming pool and a bathhouse; which will be a welcome respite after all that hiking, climbing and rappelling.
116 Red Rock Canyon Rd.
Hinton, OK 73047
Roman Nose State Park
Are you looking for great hiking or maybe a guided horseback ride? Roman Nose State Park has that and then some. Just 75 miles Northwest of OKC, Roman Nose holds two no-wake lakes, Lake Boecher and Lake Watonga. Although swimming isn’t allowed in the lakes, visitors can rent kayaks, canoes and paddle boats to explore the water. Miles and miles of hiking and mountain bike trails criss cross the landscape with stunning views of a breath taking area of Oklahoma.
The park also houses an 18-hole golf course, a swimming pool, and a general store with miniature golf. And let’s not forget the Mid-Century Modern design of the 22-room lodge, where you can also rent one of 11 on-site cabins. There is no way to see or do everything in one day, so plan to spend a few days getting back in touch with nature or getting back in the saddle on the equestrian trails. Pro tip: Pack sunscreen for those long hikes!
3236 S. Highway 8A
Watonga, OK 73772
There are so many things to do around OKC, yet we barely scratched the surface in this article. As a result, we hope that you will find entirely new adventures. When you do, please, email us about them!