Even though I have lived in Oklahoma for almost 2 years, it’s still hard for me not to consider myself “new” to OKC. I still raise my eyebrows when waitresses tell me they don’t have sweet tea, “home” still feels like Cary (North Carolina’s equivalent of Edmond except with much stricter rules about signage), and I miss the proximity of a beach. But as August 25th, the anniversary of my arrival in Oklahoma, draws ever so nearer, it’s safe to say that I am no longer new and perhaps know a thing or two about nerdy things to do here. So if you’re new to OKC or just need things to do, this list is my gift to you. Enjoy.
- Play trivia
Fact: 100% of nerds love trivia. There are actually many places you can play trivia around OKC, but since we have seem to have developed a rapport with these guys, it seems disloyal almost to tell you to play trivia at anywhere but trivia brought to you by The Lost Ogle. Every Tuesday-Friday, there’s trivia at 51st Street Speakeasy (Tues, near I44), Local (Wed, Norman), Yucatan Taco Stand (Thurs, Bricktown), and Buffalo Wild Wings (Fri, NW Expressway). Check @TLOTriviaNight for updates, team names, cool things, etc. And be sure to pay attention to our Meetup schedule for when we come out to play…. although with a table full of girls, it’s not that hard to find us.
- Read comics and play games (Y’know, the usual)
Do I really need to tell you that nerds love comics and games? I don’t. And fortunately, if you’re new in town and need to get your comics and games fix, there are places a’plenty for you. Be sure to check out Empire Strikes, Wizard’s Asylum, New World Comics & Games, All-Star Comics, and Atomik Pop.
- Enjoy art (and cool parties!)
OKCMOA is one of my absolute favorite places in downtown. There’s always a fantastic exhibit in town and a permanent Chihuly exhibition to boot. They show films, have parties (Cocktails on the Skyline, anyone?), and generally have a lot of awesome events. Did you know they just started a new young professionals group called Moderns? Kickoff event is July 31st! My membership to OKCMOA has been a wonderful investment as there is always something going on at the museum. Always.
- Support your local independent book store and/or public library
Book junkies, OKC has plenty of options to satisfy your addiction. If you want to spend some time in the best independent book store, get thee to Full Circle(ry) on NW Expressway across the street from Penn Square Mall. Any book lover can easily spend hours in here. But if you want to check out books before purchasing, the Metropolitan Library System has several branches around town.
- Meet coders, hackers, and more
Want to get involved in the tech community beyond Nerdy Girls Code Club? Does OKC have some options for you! Check out Techlahoma and their list of tech-oriented user groups. From Python to MySQL, there’s all sorts of options for those wanting to explore and expand their technical repertoire. And if you’re really lucky, you also might run into Nerdy Girl and Code&&Friends author, Amanda!
- Watch a surprise movie screening and discuss the film afterwards
Each month, a bunch of people get together at The Parish in the Plaza District the first Tuesday of the month to watch a surprise screening. Yes, surprise. The night’s film is not announced until you’re there and waiting for it to start. Really want to get nerdy? Stay afterwards and engage in a discussion about the film you just watched. We CAN discuss films at length, even if some of us have left our liberal arts degrees behind! Be sure to follow @OKCFilmClub on Twitter to stay updated with the group.
- Thumb through vinyl records
Music nerds, rejoice: vinyl is alive and well in Oklahoma City. Guestroom Records has locations in both OKC and Norman with in my opinion, some of the most well-organized stock I’ve ever seen. There’s also Size Records and Trolley Stop Record Shop if you need to bounce around from store to store to make sure you have every Talking Heads record like…someone…may have done. Ahem.
- Hang out at a makerspace
Prototek is a membership-based makerspace that recently opened its new location in Midtown. They have an open shop every Tuesday night from 7-9pm for folks to come check out cool things like 3D printers and robot arms. And say hi to Nerdy Girl Code Club extraordinaire, and organizer, Kendall while you’re there!
- Learn about (and drink!) beer
Have you ever wanted to know more about the process behind the brewing of beer? For $5, you can take a tour of Roughtail Brewing Company in Midwest City. The tour also includes your own take-home souvenir glass! Blaine and Tony are pretty chill dudes and gave the Nerdy Girls a great tour back in April. They have tours every month, but private tours for groups of ~20 can be arranged! Thanks to these guys, I now know that hops and cannabis are “cousins.”
- Learn about bones
One of our more interesting museums is all about bones: the Museum of Osteology, brought to us by Skulls Unlimited. You can see the skeletons of over 300 species that are currently living at this museum. And if you’re into this sort of thing, you can even purchase a human finger bone in the gift shop.
So if you’re a new nerd in town, hopefully this list, while not all-encompassing, will help you get started on finding things to do. In the meantime, hang out with the Nerdy Girls, and we’ll do all sorts of fun, nerdy things together!
And feel free to holler at me in the comments or @NerdyGirlsOKC if you think I overlooked something especially nerdy in OKC.