An Oklahoma Thanksgiving: Things to Do with Family Over the Holidays

Showcase Oklahoma’s diversity and charm for out-of-town visitors with visits to the state’s top attractions, Thanksgiving-themed food and treats, and some of the best Black Friday shopping destinations.

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Enjoy Thanksgiving-themed eats from bakeries across Oklahoma, like this pecan pie from Two Frogs Grill in Ardmore.
Photo Credit: Lori Duckworth/Oklahoma Tourism

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Thanksgiving is a time for coming together with loved ones, enjoying a delicious meal and getting started on holiday shopping. For many, it also means hosting family for an extended weekend. Let us guide you to the best places to take out-of-towners, restaurants that are open for Thanksgiving dinner and where to go for the best deals during the Black Friday shopping rush in Oklahoma.

Places to Go Over Thanksgiving Break

• Anchored by the famous 18-foot “End of the Trail” sculpture by James Earle Fraser, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is a must-see for its internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts.

• Known as one of the most family-friendly zoos in the country, the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden offers hours of entertainment, from the Sanctuary Asia area to the Great EscApe exhibit.

• Aptly referred to as a mini-Smithsonian, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa is home to over 250,000 American Indian and Western objects, as well as 10,000 works of art that include 18 of Frederic Remington’s 22 bronze sculptures. Take a stroll through the museum’s 11 themed gardens to enjoy some crisp fall air.

• Home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Dale Chihuly art in the world, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art showcases a 55-foot-tall glass tower that makes for a great photo-op with family.

• Visit Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art, a 72 room mansion-turned-museum that houses art from all around the world, including American and European masterpieces, in an Italian villa setting.

• Pay tribute to those who were killed and those who were forever changed by the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

• Journey to the Tulsa Zoo where you can roam among 84 acres of exotic animals. Must-see exhibits include the Giraffe Experience, the Chimpanzee Connection, the Penguin Exhibit and the Helmerich Sea Lion Cove.

• Take a journey through the universe at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum’s Planetarium. In addition to the 50-foot dome, you’ll also learn about Tulsa’s rich aerospace history and see locally built planes.

• Other must-see attractions across Oklahoma include the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton.

Thanksgiving Eats in Oklahoma

• Thanksgiving doesn’t exactly bring to mind Italian food, but Ti Amo Ristorante Italiano is out to change that. Their Thanksgiving buffet, which runs from 10:30am to 3pm, features prime rib, turkey, ham, lasagna, potatoes and tons of sides. This special is available in their south Tulsa location only, so call and get your reservations ahead of time.

Elevate your Thanksgiving meal with gourmet, chef-prepared fare and unbeatable atmosphere at the Tellers Thanksgiving Feast. Make your reservations early to enjoy a 3-course prix-fixe meal featuring wood-fired heritage turkey with sausage-chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry mostarda. While you enjoy the food, be sure to notice the details of this renovated Great Banking Hall within the renovated National Hotel in Oklahoma City. Guests will spot former banking teller windows, hand painted murals and a soaring ceiling with domed skylight.

• For just two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, head to The Mule in Oklahoma City for the amazing Tryptophantastic. It’s a mouthful to say and to eat, as it combines all of your Thanksgiving favorites - turkey, cranberry sauce and even dressing – piled high on a sandwich.

• For a festive Thanksgiving feast that you don’t have to lift a finger to prepare, pre-order your Thanksgiving meal from Oklahoma City’s Rococo’s Restaurant & Wine Bar. Available as a family meal or in a single serving size, this traditional fest will include roasted turkey, glazed ham, and classic side dishes like green bean casserole and mac and cheese.

Black Friday Shopping in Oklahoma

Oklahoma City is home to three major shopping malls: OKC Outlets, Penn Square Mall and Quail Springs Mall. Enjoy upscale retail stores coupled with reduced prices at OKC Outlets, anchored by stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nike, J Crew and Tommy Hilfiger. Head to Quail Springs for three levels of name-brand stores and a 24-screen movie theater, or Penn Square for shops like Macy’s, Williams-Sonoma, See’s Candy and Oklahoma City’s only Apple store.

In Tulsa, Black Friday shoppers can head to Woodland Hills Mall, Promenade Mall and Utica Square for great deals. Save big at Promenade Mall, conveniently located only two miles south of the Tulsa fairgrounds, or head over to Woodland Hills Mall for over one million square feet of popular stores from Banana Republic to Brighton. Utica Square offers upscale retail and exceptional restaurants all within an elegant outdoor village setting, making it the perfect location for a more relaxed shopping experience.

If you’re looking for some Oklahoma souvenirs to send home with your guests, these are a few places that can’t be beat.

• In Tulsa, Made: The Indie Emporium offers an assortment of handcrafted, Oklahoma-themed apparel, jewelry, stickers, coasters, throw pillows, mugs and glasses.

• Stock up on Oklahoma-shaped chocolates at the Bedre Chocolate Factory in Davis.

• The Ida Red Boutique in Tulsa’s Brookside District will get you outfitted with Tulsa t-shirts and postcards.

• In Stillwater, stop in for world-famous Eskimo Joe’s gear and collectible t-shirts at the Eskimo Joe’s Clothes World Headquarters.

• If college football’s your game, swing by Blush in Norman for OU gear, or head over to For Pete’s Sake in Stillwater to load up on OSU memorabilia.

The Gourmet Gallery in Edmond specializes in Made-in-Oklahoma food items such as gourmet salsas, Oklahoma cheeses and artisan chocolates.

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