North of Broken Arrow, Tulsa is a built-up, beautiful Oklahoma city sprawled alongside the Arkansas River. Home to 20th-century architecture, historic landmarks, and a thriving downtown arts scene and nightlife, Tulsa is a fabulous and engaging city to visit. You'll find many family-friendly activities and fun things to do in Tulsa. Plus, activities are often educational and quite entertaining!
Tulsa is a centered city, with the Arkansas River to one side, and gorgeous forests, natural mountains, and lush parks in the surroundings. However, if you venture into the city, you will find a slew of self-proclaimed foodies, as Tulsa has some of the most diverse, dynamic restaurant options in the nation.
From cheap eats, to quick snacks, to fine dining experiences, there are over one hundred Tulsa restaurants to sample!
Fat Guy’s Burger Bar is a top-ranked Tulsa favorite for locals and a real treat for hungry travelers. Simple, classic, and delicious, the restaurant serves up heaping portions of American must-haves, like ginormous bacon cheeseburgers, fresh-cut fries, homemade ranch dressings, and a selection of homemade ice creams. Their ordering system is unique, as each patron is given a pen and paper to write down their own order and submit it to the kitchen.
Some of the other top restaurants on the 'must try' list include Kilkenny's Irish Pub and Eatery, Charleston's (American Bar and Grill), Andolini's Pizzeria, White River Fish Market, and Burn County BBQ.
The Tulsa Zoo, one of the most popular zoos in the country, is an 85-acre, non-profit zoo that pours donations and volunteer hours into the preservation of animals. Family-friendly and great learning fun, the zoo offers a maze of over 100 animal exhibits, including elephants, Chinese alligators, penguins, chimps, Snow Leopards, giraffes, and sea lions—to name a few.
There are concession stands around the park, but you can also bring in a picnic to enjoy under one of the shaded, designated picnic benches.
Ride the Safari Train, get to know baby goats and ponies at the petting zoo, and learn the ins and outs of rain forest with a real area of zoo-made rain. Other must-sees include the classic carousel, boat ride, and donation-operated gift shop with tons of animal-themed souvenirs, like stuffed, plush animals, necklaces, key chains, and mugs.
Love an awe-inspiring arts scene that spans generations? Take a stroll through the exhibits of the Gilcrease Museum. This gallery specializes in Native American and Western World artworks and artifacts. Considered the largest collection of American Western masterpieces and memorabilia in the world, the museum has been around since 1943, and their collections continue to grow. Bring a good pair of walking shoes because the average guest spends 3 hours weaving from one exhibit to another.
Of course, each artwork or artifact is accompanied by informative, educational plaques to better explain the art period, artist, findings, and date of creation or discovery. Stop by the gift shop on the way out for poster reproductions of your artsy favorites. Or, book a Sunday brunch for yourself and your family at the on-site restaurant. This is a family-friendly museum with plenty of interactive things to do and see for kids.
For families with children of all ages, there’s the Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab. The interactive exhibits are educational and fun with a science base that teaches kids the basics of things like weather, natural disasters [i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes], and human anatomy.
There are play zones, dress-up areas, and DIY craft stations—all perfect for kiddos of every age, from toddlers to young teens. Many past guests and TripAdvisor reviewers cite the interactive, instructor-led science experiments as the best part of the Discovery Lab.
Tulsa is the kind of city where you could spend a week!
Stay for a week and still find fun things to do in Tulsa when you return. That said, there are several fantastic, top-rated hotels in Tulsa—including Fairfield Inn & Suites Tulsa Downtown, Hyatt Regency, The Mayo Hotel, and The Campbell Hotel.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Tulsa Downtown
Centered alongside North Main Street, Fairfield Inn & Suites Tulsa Downtown is a TripAdvisor award winner and a local favorite for Oklahoma natives and travelers alike. The perfect location for those seeking a stroll through Tulsa’s downtown nightlife, the hotel provides a sleep-in sanctuary after an evening of good drinks, great fun, and casual conversation through the city.
Seated in the Brady Arts District, the Tulsa hotel boasts an eclectic , cozy atmosphere, with homey, comfortable amenities, such as a heated swimming pool, a fitness center, free parking for guests, free hot daily breakfasts, and dry-cleaning services.
Catch a show at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center in your down time, but call ahead or go online to check show schedules and performance times.
The Hyatt Regency
The Hyatt Regency, built alongside East 2nd Street, is a pleasant, luxurious hotel with soft beds, free high-speed internet, and quite a view over the city. The top-floor balconies are super-popular for their scenic sights across Tulsa, where guests can admire both the local architecture and the surrounding river and forests.
Other hotel features include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa services [i.e. manicure, pedicure, and massage], shuttle bus services, and an on-site restaurant with a bar and lounge. For quirky entertainment, traverse the Center of the Universe, less than a half-mile from the Hyatt.
The Mayo Hotel
On West 5th Street sits The Mayo Hotel—a boutique hotel experience, awarded the prestigious Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor in 2017. This hotel provides both luxury and homey comforts. For entertainment, you can climb to the sky bar on the rooftop, where you can dance, drink, and mingle the night away. Or, retire to your room for a plush queen-sized bed, plump pillows, and a cozy atmosphere—all conducive to a fantastic night’s sleep.
Another boutique hotel in Tulsa, The Campbell Hotel on East 11th Street features 26 spacious, unique rooms—each beautifully decorated with antiques and comfortable furnishings.
Renovated in 2011, the hotel features modern accommodations with spa services, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge, a business center with internet access and meeting rooms, laundry services, shuttle bus and airport transportation, and free parking for guests.
Take a mile drive to The Golden Driller for a look at a towering statue that has been featured in dozens of Oklahoma-set movies.
Come to Tulsa and discover great hotels and attractions. You'll be glad you did! Book now. Save now. TravNow!