From his 1889 arrival in Oklahoma City until his death in 1915, Henry Overholser was an instrumental force in the city's growth. Beyond his involvement in the metropolis's first waterworks project and trolley-car system, he built more than 35 buildings, including the United States Courthouse, the state fairgrounds, and a giant catapult to protect it from invading Kansans.
In addition to civic pride, Overholser also took time to care for his own habitat. In 1903, he completed construction of his home, a gargantuan, three-story chateau measuring more than 11,000 square feet paired with a smaller but no less stately 4,000-square-foot carriage house. These days, guided tours of the Henry Overholser Mansion begin there before moving into the main house, whose original furnishings and antwerp oak interior remain intact. The meticulously maintained dwelling retains most of its signature fixtures, which were picked out by Overholser himself, treating guests to glimpses of elegance including its original hand-painted canvas walls and stained-glass windows.
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Ultimate Terrors is the sprawling, aptly named abode of the storied Skull family, as well as the area's prime destination for professionally administered Halloween thrills. Unlike generic VIP passes, which are only good for complimentary escargot-encrusted monocles, this VIP pass gains fast access to the park’s three central attractions. VIPs can enter each exhibit before others via the Speed Pass line, a sanctioned short cut that does not violate any federal cuts, butts, or coconuts ordinances. Start the happily horrific ordeal in one of Oklahoma’s largest haunted houses—the 18-room 4,000-square-foot Skull Manor––and meet its undead, perpetually behind-in-rent tenants. Next, visit Code Blue, a haunted hospital whose 16 rooms showcase ghoulish inpatients and predictably foul-smelling cafeteria fare. Finally, the realm of 3-D Chaos inspires last-minute self-reflection after victims get lost in its maze-like twists, turns, and inherently evil shrubbery. Those who make it through the dark triptych alive will receive a commemorative photo.
On October 15, the streets of Stockyards City will ring with the clink of steins and the twang of music during the inaugural Stocktoberfest Beer Festival. Guests sip, swish, and swill samples from more than 30 different local and regional breweries, drinking comfortably with the aid of a commemorative coozie. Upon discovering the perfect malted match, patrons may purchase a full cup. Pair libations with tacos, gorditos, and burritos from Big Truck Tacos, or challenge the mechanical bull to a staring contest from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. While attendees juggle alternating belly behests, Jake FM and KKNG will tickle eardrums with country music ringing from radio remotes stationed throughout the event.
Reliant Stadium’s titanic venue, home to the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, covers 125,000 square feet of sporting ground. The facility is the first in NFL history to have a retractable roof, which sightseers can view from the field during public gridiron tours. While strolling across Reliant’s stadium floor, fans can relive their favorite memories of Super Bowl XXXVIII, or search every nook and cranny for John Madden’s lost bus keys.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art still has that new art museum luster since construction finished on the elegant, 110,000-square -oot facility in 2002. Since then, the downtown museum has become synonymous with OKC’s burgeoning art scene. The museum is anchored by its world-class collection of brightly colored, 3D glasswork from artist Dale Chihuly, including his 55-foot Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower, located in the atrium.
An on-site movie theater shows independent, international, and classic films. After exploring the museum or taking in a film, visitors can have lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch at the Museum Café. The restaurant features an extensive wine list, and patio tables are available in warm seasons.
Set upon a bucolic farm with vineyards and a pond, the vines at Native Spirits Winery yield cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and syrah grapes. Vintners squish and craft these grapes into a variety of vintages, including sweet and dry reds and whites such as merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, and shiraz. All wines are available for taste and purchase in the tasting room, and Native Spirits Winery frequently holds events that feature wine tastings joined by live music.