9 Family-Friendly Activities & Things to Do in Norman

Lake Thunderbird in Norman, OK

One of Oklahoma’s most desirable communities to both visit and live in is Norman, which is located in Cleveland County, just south of Oklahoma City. Norman is just 20 miles south of downtown OKC, making its quaint community, full of parks and cafés, very accessible for day trippers.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Norman, you’re in luck as we’ve highlighted many of the city’s best attractions below. To learn more about the locations listed, click the provided link to the business’ website.

#1 Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is on the University of Oklahoma’s campus and has 50,000 square feet of display space featuring five galleries and exhibits that take you on a journey through the state’s history. Within the 12 collections, museum goers have over seven million items and specimens to view and learn about. It is one of the biggest university-based natural history museums in the world thanks to an act by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature, which established the collection in 1899. Its current structure was completed in 1999.

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#2 Lake Thunderbird State Park

Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman, Oklahoma

Lake Thunderbird State Park is a state park in Norman that has a total of 1,874 acres to be explored. It’s just off of State Highway 9, 12 miles east of Norman, Oklahoma. This park attracts more than 500,000 visitors annually. Each year it costs over $1 million to run and makes approximately $500,000 from activity fees. The park gives people access to Lake Thunderbird for recreation. At the lake, there are two marinas, nine boat ramps, and a place for swimmers to wade in the water. There are more than 200 spots to park RVs in the park, 30 of which have full hookups. There are also bathrooms, primitive campsites, and a restaurant that is open during the summer.

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#3 Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art

Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art in Norman, Oklahoma

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma has more than 20,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection. The museum features works by French Impressionists, American painters and sculptors from the 20th century, traditional and modern Native American art, art from the Southwest, ceramics, photography, modern art, Asian art, and prints from the 16th century to the present day.Oscar Jacobson, an art professor at OU, started the Oklahoma University Museum of Art, which later became the Fred Jones Jr. Museum. He was the museum’s first director and stayed in that job until he retired in 1950.

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#4 Moore-Lindsay Historical House Museum

Moore-Lindsay Historical House Museum in Norman, Oklahoma

The Moore–Lindsay House is a historic Victorian in the style of Queen Anne. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a museum is now in it. William and Agnes Moore began building the Moore–Lindsay House in 1899. At a time when most new houses in the Oklahoma Territory cost around $400, the couple spent $5,000 to build their “Princess Anne” style home. The museum is now run by the Cleveland County Historical Society, which was founded in 1967. Every week, from Tuesday through Saturday, the museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In an upper storage area of the museum, the historical society has a collection of some 5,000 rare books, pictures, and artifacts.

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#5 Native Spirits Winery

Native Spirits Winery in Norman, Oklahoma

A family-owned winery called Native Spirits is committed to creating wines in Oklahoma from the best grapes in the world. They offer a selection of award-winning wines from grapes gathered from all over the globe. These wines are blended, fermented, aged in oak barrels, racked, filtered, and then packaged in our Norman facility. Along with participating in several events throughout the year, Native Spirits Winery also hosts local artists every Friday night as part of our Wine Night Out event. Private gatherings including business meetings, birthday parties, and wedding showers are frequently held here. Visit the Events page on their website to see what’s upcoming.

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#6 National Weather Center

National Weather Center (NWC) in Norman, Oklahoma

A coalition of federal, state, and academic entities collaborate at the National Weather Center, located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, to better understand events that occur in the Earth’s atmosphere across a variety of time and space scales. Applying this knowledge to the creation of better observation, analysis, assimilation, presentation, and prediction systems is something the NWC partners pay equal attention to. The National Weather Center is an authority in numerical modeling, hydrology, local and regional climate, and weather radar. Unfortunately, at the time of this post, the NWC is not conducting visitor tours; however, they intend to resume them and encourage people to check their website for updates.

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#7 Westwood Family Aquatic Center

Westwood Family Aquatic Center in Norman, Oklahoma

The Aquatic Center in Norman, which has enough space to accommodate 860 guests at any given time, employs staff members who are trained and qualified as lifeguards. Parents or guardians are obligated to keep an eye on children who are under 15 of age and must maintain physical proximity to kids seven and younger at all times. Before you visit The Westwood Family Aquatic Center, familiarize yourself with the policies and rules of the facility. Visit their website to see open times and fees.

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#8 Discovery Cove Nature Center

Discovery Cove Nature Center in Norman, Oklahoma

Exhibits of Oklahoma’s native snakes and fauna, as well as artifacts and furs, are on display at the Discovery Cove Nature Center. Throughout the course of the year, The Cove hosts a variety of events and activities, some of which include fishing lessons, how to cook using a Dutch oven, trail treks, and even how to track wildlife. Outside the park, group activities led by Park Naturalists are available to book. Depending on the time of year, the nature center is usually open five days a week.

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#9 Jacobson House: Native Art Center

Jacobson House Native Art Center in Norman, Oklahoma

The home that had belonged to the Jacobson family now serves as the location of the Jacobson House Native Art Center. A legacy that was started by the Jacobsons and their Native American artist friends is being carried on at the Jacobson House in the form of ongoing art exhibits, cultural activities, lectures, workshops, and educational events that are open to the public. The museum acknowledges the significance of art as a form of human expression, one that is capable of embodying our beliefs and ethos while also having the ability to communicate these things to other people.

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