When it comes to summers in Oklahoma, you need options. This state’s weather has everything from heat and humidity to beautifully balmy summer nights, high winds to warm gentle breezes, quiet showers to torrential downpours. You never know what you’re going to get—you just know you have to have something to do.
Luckily, Oklahoma City and the Tinker Air Force Base area have plenty to offer. Whether you have kids or dogs, you’re a family or flying solo, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, even if it’s not always Mother Nature.
1. Go golfing
Tinker Golf Course. This championship 18-hole course is open to active-duty and retired military as well as reservists, civilian employees, family members, and guests. Tinker Golf Course features practice putting and chipping greens, a driving range, rental clubs, equipment repair, and a pro shop. Sign up for adult and junior lessons or join one of the men’s or ladies’ leagues.
Midwest City Golf Course (Hidden Creek Family Golf Course). Hidden Creek is a 1900-yard 9-hole course that is easily walkable, accommodating everyone from junior golfers to senior players. It’s considered one of the best places in the state for players new to the game and offers special weekday greens fees for military members. You can also play foot golf here—golf played with a soccer ball!
Trosper golf course. One of Oklahoma City’s fastest playing and most player-friendly courses, Trosper Golf Course recently underwent a bunker redesign project to reduce the number and size of bunker complexes, making it even more playable. Take advantage of their special sunset fees and walk-up play 9 specials.
Lincoln Park Golf Course. OKC’s flagship course actually features two championship courses, the East course and the West course, both of which are always maintained to tournament standards. Lincoln Park Golf Course is accessible for all ages and skill levels, boasting a great collection of par 3s, excellent design variety, and good conditioning.
James Stewart Golf Course. Just 3 miles east of downtown, James Stewart Golf Course is a nine-hole course that plays in less than 1.5 hours. This gem welcomes golfers of all ages and skill levels and boasts a driving range and practice putting green as well as a full-service restaurant (a local favorite) that serves breakfast all day. James Stewart Golf Course is also a partner course with the Metropolitan First Tee of Oklahoma City.
Less traditional golfers can also try out:
Disc golf at one of Oklahoma City’s 8 disc golf courses, 7 of which have 18 holes or more. These are long Mach 2 and Mach 3 courses with challenging holes and terrain. With 5 leagues and 2 disc golf stores, you’re sure to find some great friends and good equipment.
Lunar Golf, located inside the Quail Springs Mall in OKC. Putt your heart out at this glow-in-the-dark mini golf course illuminated entirely by black lights. Lunar Golf offers military discounts and party packages.
Bricktown Mini Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course located inside Brickopolis, a three-story entertainment venue on the Bricktown canal in the heart of the district’s shopping and dining. The fun goes all night here, thanks to an illuminated course.
2. Take the leash off
Your pups deserve some summer fun at one of the Oklahoma City area’s 7 off-leash dog parks, including:
PAW park, a membership-based 2-acre dog park near Lake Hefner with a swimming pond, separate enclosures for large and small dogs, water stations, and benches and shaded areas for humans.
Fred Quinn Happy Tails Dog Park in Midwest City, 3 acres of doggy delight including a concrete water feature pond for swimming.
Wiggly Field Dog Park at Ray Trent Park in Del City, a fenced in 3-acre dog park with agility equipment, a pond, lights for night use, turf and grass.
Well-maintained off-leash dog parks in the heart of downtown at Midtown Mutts, Scissortail Park, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, and the Deep Deuce.
Make both dogs and their people happy at Solo’s Park & Pub, a member’s only dog park and bar in Chisholm Creek boasting a full restaurant and on-site bar, dog-sitting, chaperoned dog park, dog wash stations, special events, and dog training.
And, keep your eye out for Bar K set to open in the Boathouse District and featuring a bar, restaurant, event space, and dog park, including an indoor off-leash play space.
3. Visit Downtown OKC
Downtown Oklahoma City is in the midst of an urban revitalization, and there isn’t a corner of the city where you won’t find great night life, plenty of attractions, live music and performing arts, parks, and food trucks, not to mention regular events. Explore one of the area’s many districts, including:
- Paseo Arts
- Stockyards City
- Uptown 23rd
- Deep Deuce
- Arts District and Film Row
- Automobile Alley
- Western Ave.
- The Boathouse District
Get anywhere you want to go on the newly installed streetcar, which takes you from Midtown to the north down to Scissortail Park and Bricktown, with stops in every district. Track arrivals and stops using the streetcar app and ride all day for just $3. Reduced fares for children 7-17, seniors over 65, and passengers with a qualifying disability are available, and kids 6 and younger ride free.
4. Get out of town
Dallas-Fort Worth. In a little over 3 hours straight down I-35, you could be a world away. Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) is a cultural and international delight, with everything from exceptional dining, next-level shopping, and fine and performing arts to botanical gardens and historical sight-seeing. Tour the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, spend the day at Six Flags over Texas, and make memories at the Great Wolf Lodge in nearby Grapevine.
Wichita, less than 2 and half hours away straight north on I-35. Here you’ll find the world-class Sedgwick County Zoo, the seventh largest in the U.S., as well as a “hopping” local craft brewing scene, eclectic dining and shopping, and arts and entertainment you’d never expect to see in the heart of the Midwest, including the renowned Wichita Symphony. Venture a little further out of city limits to the salt mines at 650 ft underground, or the Tanganyika Wildlife Park, where you can get up close and personal with animals that definitely aren’t native to Oklahoma.
Tulsa. A short 1.5 hours down I-44 East takes you to T-Town and some of the state’s best live music and performing arts, historical and cultural experiences, and the Tulsa Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Tulsa is also home to the award-winning Gathering Place, a 100-acre river-front park with a plethora of activities from boat rentals and events to playgrounds, skate parks, and horticultural stations.
5. Spend the summer in school
Expand your education at Rose State College, a public 2-year institution less than 1 mile from Tinker Air Force Base. Roste State College has an “open-door” admission policy and offers more than 60 academic programs taught in a variety of formats, including on campus, online, or FLEX, a combination of live instruction on campus, Zoom, and online.
They even have something for the younger students in your life, with summer academies and camps for grades 1-12, introducing them to fields like aerospace, meteorology, rock climbing, archery, movie making, and more.
6. Get wet!
Pool, water park, splashpad, it doesn’t matter—you definitely won’t want to stay dry at any of these area hot spots!
Riversport OKC. Riversport OKC is an urban adventure project committed to promoting outdoor activity. With central hubs in the Boathouse District, as well as at Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner, Riversport OKC provides equipment and opportunities for everything from flatwater kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding to skate parks, bike parks, and high-speed slides and ziplines. Their state-of-the-art water sports facility along the Oklahoma River gives adults and kids alike the chance to race in the whitewater rapids, raft, tube, and surf.
Six Flags’ Hurricane Harbor (formerly Whitewater Bay), 25 acres of water fun with slides and rides for all ages, a lazy river, and family-friendly play areas, as well as the 6-story-tall Mega Wedgie slide. Check their website for military discounts.
Frontier City Theme Park, a Western-themed amusement park that includes access to the rides, slides, and splash pad in their Wild West Water Works in the admission price.
Eagle Harbor Aquatic Center in Del City, the city’s public aquatic center featuring a shallow play area, lap pool, spray ground and splash pad, 1m and 3m diving boards, and concessions.
7. Visit a museum
Art to animals, military history to Oklahoma lore, there’s something for everyone. Here are some local favorites.
Museum of Osteology. This is a small private museum that packs a punch. Devoted to the study of bones and skeletons, the Museum of Osteology is filled with more than 40 exhibits, over 800 specimens, and 350+ skeletons on display of animals from all over the world. The museum also hosts events like their monthly Forensic Night.
First Americans Museum. Newly opened and highly-touted, the First Americans Museum is a stunning 175,000 sq ft homage to the collective histories of 39 distinctive First American Nations in Oklahoma. As part of their mission, the museum is committed to promoting the awareness and education of the diversity of Oklahoma’s First American Nations.
Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame. The Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame is nationally renowned as one of the nation’s most extensive collections of American western memorabilia. The museum also recently added a permanent 100,000+ sq ft exhibit called Liichokoshkomo’ for immersive, hands-on learning about Oklahoma’s history, culture, and peoples.
Science Museum Oklahoma. One of the largest science museums in the country, Science Museum Oklahoma is located in the city’s Adventure District and is home to the Kirkpatrick Planetarium and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
8. Chill out with a good book
With locations throughout the metro area (the Midwest City branch is closest to Tinker Air Force Base), you’ll have access to technology services, Chromebook for check out, and experience passes for Oklahoma City attractions. The library also offers programming for kids, teens, and adults as well as summer reading challenges and weekly literacy programs like story and play times.
9. Live large at the lake
Enjoy fishing, boating, water sports, mounting biking, and camping at:
Lake Stanley Draper, between Midwest Blvd and Post Road in OKC. You’ll find 34 miles of shoreline as well as a motorcycle and ATV area on the north side of the lake, a model airplane flying field, and picnic areas.
Lake Thunderbird State Park, just east of Norman off HWY 9. With two marinas, nine boat ramps, 2 swim beaches, and over 200 RV sites, Lake Thunderbird is a local favorite.
Arcadia Lake in Edmond. You can also swim here, play disc golf, and take in the scenery of the Deep Fork River on the numerous hiking and equestrian trails.
Lake Overholser on the west side of the city. Nearby Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, located on the grounds of lake teems with wildlife. Humans can have their own fun at the lake’s Riversport OKC boathouse and the Route 66 Family Park, complete with a playground, duck pond, nature trail, soccer field, and tennis courts.
While swimming and water sports are restricted at Lake Hefner in northwest OKC, the urban reservoir is a haven for fishermen, who can fish all year round on the enclosed heated fishing dock, and one of the city’s most picturesque place, thanks to the East Wharf’s lighthouse, gorgeous sunsets, and healthy population of sailboats. The lake makes a beautiful backdrop for exceptional dining experiences, multiple playgrounds, and picnic areas as well as softball and soccer fields, a golf course, and a model airplane field. Bert Cooper Trail surrounds the lake, providing pedestrians and bikers with more than 9 miles of paved trails.
Also be sure to check out the smaller kids’ lakes and fishing ponds dotted throughout central Oklahoma.
10. See a state park—there are 35 of them!
Some of your closest ones are:
Roman Nose State Park, Lodge, & Golf Course, located in Watonga, just an hour and 20 minutes northwest of Tinker Air Force Base. One of Oklahoma’s seven original state parks, Roman Nose boasts 12 lakes with flatwater activities like canoeing and paddle boats; canyon and gypsum rock cliffs; natural springs; and an 18-hole golf course. Stay the night at the park’s lodge, rent a cabin, camp under the stars, or—for a real treat—reserve one of the park’s life-size replica teepees.
Fort Cobb State Park is a similar jaunt, about an hour and half to the southwest. Fort Cobb State Park borders Fort Cobb Lake, where you can enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, water sports before popping into the Sunset Cove Marina. There’s also a golf course and cabin, RV, and primitive camping.
Other favorite places to explore include the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, Robber’s Cave State Park, and Beavers Bend.
11. Amplify your amusement at some of favorite local attractions, like:
Top Golf OKC. Located near all the action at Memorial Road, Top Golf OKC takes golf to a whole new level with 3 floors housing 102 climate-controlled all-weather hitting bays (all outfitted with HDTVs), bars, and a rooftop terrace.
Altitude 1291 in Midwest City. Named after the Tinker Air Force Base’s elevation, Altitude 1291 has it all close to home–bowling alley, laser tag, rock wall, arcade games, bumper cars, virtual reality, and a full bar and restaurant.
Planet Bowl, a 24-lane bowling alley in Midwest City where you’ll find youth and senior leagues, summer leagues, a full bar and grill, and regular events like cosmic bowling.
12. Enjoy a home “stay-cation” at Liberty Creek Village’s luxury apartments!
With resort-style pools, outdoor entertaining spaces, and luxurious clubhouses, life at Liberty Creek Village is a ready-made vacation. There’s fun in the sun for everyone right outside your front door. Find out more about our kid- and pet-friendly amenities—both indoor and out—here!