Myriad Botanical Gardens#6 in Best Things To Do in Oklahoma City
Situated downtown, the Myriad Botanical Gardens sprawl across 17 acres and feature outdoor and indoor spaces for year-round fun. Among the gardens' many paved paths are two interactive water features popular with little ones, including the Thunder Fountain, which mimics a thunderstorm with light and noise. But the gardens' star attraction is undoubtedly the Crystal Bridge Conservatory, which houses thousands of tropical and desert plants across its 13,000 square feet.
Recent visitors used phrases like "hidden gem" and "city jewel" to describe the gardens. Reviewers suggest bringing a lunch to make a day of your visit. Travelers also say the fee to see the conservatory is completely worth it, calling it a beautiful oasis.
You'll find the gardens between the Devon Tower and Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City. Visiting the outdoor grounds is free, but entrance to the conservatory costs $8 for adults and $5 for children between the ages of 4 and 12. The gardens and outdoor grounds are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; the conservatory is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the garden, including seasonal events, visit its website.
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#1 Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
April 19, 1995, was one of those days in America's history when time stopped. A bomb decimated the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at 9:02 a.m., killing 168 people including 19 children in its blast. This museum and memorial were raised in honor of the people affected by the domestic terrorist attack. The museum offers visitors a chronological self-guided and interactive tour separated into 10 chapters, starting with the history of the site all the way through the bombing's lasting impact and what it means for our country's future. Along the way, you'll see archived news footage, hear survivors (and surviving family members) tell their stories, and see artifacts recovered from the event, including Timothy McVeigh’s getaway car.
Outside the museum, you'll find a memorial honoring the victims, survivors and rescuers sitting on the grounds where the building once stood. There are many features to the outdoor memorial, but the Field of Empty Chairs is perhaps the most moving, according to recent visitors. Located on the footprint of the Murrah Building are 168 chairs made to represent all the lives lost that day. Each chair details the name of a person, as well as the floor they were on. There are 19 small chairs to represent the children who perished in the bombing.
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