odessa

23 Best & Fun Things To Do In Odessa (TX)

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Odessa is one of the best vacation and weekend spots in Texas you should visit to have a fun and exciting vacation and timeout.

Odessa is a city in Ector County, Texas, the United States famous for its Ben Jack Rabbit Statue and other attraction sites.

Odessa offers a packed vacation for you filled with entertainment, exploration sites, natural parks, museums, and other engaging sites to make this your best vacation.

This guide explores the 23 best and most fun things you can do during your vacation in Odessa.

Best and Fun Things To Do In Odessa

1. Visit Ellen Noël Art Museum

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Visiting Ellen Noel Art Museum should be on your checklist of fun things you can do in Odessa.

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In the Ellen Noel Art Museum, you’ll find different artworks in all shapes and forms, and you’ll see the best artworks in Odessa.

You can take a walk through the museum’s collections and galleries consisting of various exhibits including the wedding dresses exhibit which you’d love.

You’d also see a section for photography, an artistic sculpture garden with an appealing look among other sections.

There is also a little old-fashioned gift shop in the museum so you can get souvenirs to remember this experience.

2. Visit the Globe Of The Great Southwest

The Globe of the Great Southwest is a duplicate of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London and it’s a popular attraction site in Odessa.

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You can find this site on the University’s campus on the south side of Odessa.

You can watch theoretical films like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, classics like Romeo and Juliet, and contemporary films such as  Beauty and Beast in this theater.

You can attend the Shakespeare festival hosted here every year and also watch many other production plays.

You can also visit a clone of the house of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway lived when she was younger.

A visit to the Globe of the Great Southwest should be on your checklist of fun things to do during your stay in Odessa.

3. Visit Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center

The Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center is located at the University of Texas, Odessa, and it’s one of the best places to visit to watch local performances in Odessa.

You can attend musical concerts, tutorials, programs, and lectures with large symphonies and large country bands organized by this theater.

Visit this theater so you can get tickets to listen to great melodies and watch live exciting performances.

4. Visit The Presidential Museum And Leadership Library

This Presidential Museum in Odessa is a museum that displays information on the offices of past presidents who governed the United States.

You can find this museum at 4919 East University Boulevard but formerly it was located in the downtown area of Odessa.

You’ll find vast collections in this museum of related campaign documents including signatures, commemorative items, memorabilia, portraits, and hilarious political cartoons of presidents and vice presidents.

You’ll find different sections in the museum such as the Library of Presidents sections which contains more than 4500 volumes of journals, newspapers, repository periodicals, and documents related to the presidency.

Another section of the library is the “We shall overcome” section which centralizes its goals on the civil rights movement.

An interesting collection in the museum includes the exhibit known as presidential hopefuls which are memorabilia of candidates defeated in the election and who could not win the Presidency.

You’ll also see a replica of the oval office used by President Harry S. Truman and other amazing artifacts.

You should visit this museum during your vacation in Odessa, Texas.

5. Visit Stonehenge Replica

The Stonehenge Replica is located at the University of Texas and it’s one of the tourist attraction sites in Odessa.

As a visitor, this is one of the best areas to visit during your stay in Odessa.

This place has big monolithic rocks that look like the main Stonehenge and you can touch the stones to feel their texture.

You can come here to meditate and reflect on yourself, or just relax in a peaceful environment.

You should come with your camera to take beautiful pictures of the beautiful art pieces and views in this area.

6. Visit The Odessa Meteor Crater

The Odessa meteor crater site is one of the impact crater sites in Texas and you can find it in the southwestern region of Ector County. 

You can visit the museum close to this site to see a 70 pounds sample of the meteorite that is about 630,000 years old.

At the meteor site, you’ll see the crater’s formation, the impact of thousands of tetrahedrites, and thousand of meteorites.

The museum is a known member of the National natural landmarks and a visit here should be on your checklist of the best things to do in Odessa.

7. Bowling At Cinergy Odessa 

The Cinergy is a state-of-the-art complex for a fun night filled with activities during your stay in Odessa, Texas.

This facility has a theatre dining room, event specials room, outstanding gaming center, and many recreational and game options you can choose from.

You can come and experience fun in this facility’s mini escape room, bowling alley, and art arcades.

The bowling alley in this facility features 18 lanes of upscale bowling with top-notch seating and architectural design.

Bowling in the Cinergy top-notch bowling alley is one of the fun things to do in Odessa.

8. Explore Floyd Gwin Park

The Floyd Gwin Park covers over 21 hectares of land and consists of playgrounds and playing areas for your children.

There are lots of fun activities your children can participate in including swings, soccer courts, volleyball courts, and basketball courts.

You can relax in its well-constructed and shaded environment while your children play around in this park having a fun time.

 Exploring Floyd Gwin Park with your children should be on your checklist of fun things to do in Odessa during your vacation.

9. Visit Altitude Trampoline Park

The Altitude Trampoline Park is a park in Odessa that you need to add to your checklist of the most fun things to do in Odessa.  

You’ll have fun jumping on these trampolines and then going high up and falling face down, this massive trampoline park will give you a lot of fun experiences.

You can participate in other exciting activities in this Trampoline Park such as the trapeze swing, the battle beam, the foam pad, the tumble tracks, and the dodgeball.

You should also try racing on their Olympic-sized trampoline with your children in this park.

10. Visit Kellus Turner Park

Kellus Turner Park is a dog-friendly park where you can see different kinds of dogs during your vacation in Odessa. 

You could feed the ducks and other birds in the lake inside this park, and participate in other fun activities.

You can just come to this park to relax and it should be on your checklist of the best things you can do in Odessa.

11. Visit Sibley Nature Center

The Sibley Nature Center occupies over 49 acres of land and it’s one of the best, most fun places you can visit in Odessa with your children.

You can find this center in Hogan Park, Odessa and it includes the southern Llano Estacado, Edwards Plateau, and Transpecos Regions.

The Sibley Nature Center has a taxidermy collection of animals from the area and it’s very entertaining and educative for children.

The center also offers guided tours for younger children, storytime, and gardening playtime.

There are so many activities for you and your children to engage in as you could also hike on the exciting trails in the Sibley Nature Center.

You can visit the Sibley center with your children from Mondays to Saturdays during your vacation to have a fun-filled experience.

12. McKinney Park Spray Ground

McKinney Park Spray Ground is an old-fashioned and fun-filled playground that your children will love to visit during their stay in Odessa.

You can find this playground at Main Park, but it’s only open to visitors during a specific time of the year.

The park has a fun water fixture situated at points to spray water repeatedly, and at the main water region, there’s a big water bucket that tosses water at you.

Visiting this playground is one of the best and most fun things you can do with your children during your vacation in Odessa.

13. Golf At Ratliff Ranch Golf Links

The Ratliff Ranch Golf Links covers about 6,849 yards of golf and it’s a popular attraction for both locals and visitors who love golfing.

If you live golfing or you want to learn, then you should visit this ranch during your stay in Odessa.

If you’re an amateur golfer, this is a great place to play and have fun because it has an 18 hole long course.

You can also rent a cart or stop at the golf shop to get golf accessories, kits, and equipment.

14. Tour George W. Bush Childhood Home

George W. Bush Childhood Home covers about 1400 square feet and it’s on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

You can go on a tour around the President’s childhood home from Tuesdays to Sundays during your stay in Odessa, Texas.

George Bush’s childhood home was where two Presidents, two Governors, and a First lady lived with their families.

You’ll tour this notable house and have an insight into the life of the Bush family, career, and legacy.

Touring this home is one of the best informative things you can do you make your vacation in Odessa an unforgettable experience.

15. Tour The White-Pool House

The White-Pool House is a historical landmark and one of the top tourist attractions in Odessa that you should tour during your stay in Odessa.

The White-Pool House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Texas Archaeological Landmark.

A family of Indiana built this house in 1887, and during the tour, you’ll see exhibits that display various times in the history of Odessa.

You’ll get to see this two-story red brick home, a windmill, water tank, Eclipse, a barn replica, and outbuildings.

You’ll see what ranching and ranch houses were like in the past in Odessa, so it should be on your top list of things to do in Odessa.

The historic house offers guests the opportunity to view what ranching in the past was like in the town.

16. Visit Parker House Museum

The Parker House Museum was the home of the rancher Jim Parker when he lived with his family in the early 1900s.

This rancher’s home was transformed into a great tourist attraction that displays exhibits and artifacts of ranchers.

You can visit here to have a view of the early lives of ranchers and see memorabilia and photos of these ranchers displayed in the museum.

A visit here will leave you in wonder because it’s very informative and engaging, add this to your list of best things to do in Odessa.

17. Watch A Football Game At Ratliff Stadium

The Ratliff stadium is one place you should watch football games during your vacation in Odessa for an amazing experience.

The Ratliff stadium has a seating capacity of over 19,000 and has been featured in movies like a football action movie in 2004 titled “Friday Night Lights”.

You can watch American football games of Odessa and Permian High Schools in the Ratliff stadium. 

You can also attend track and field events, high school graduations, soccer, and band contests held in the Ratliff stadium.

Watching a football game at the Ratliff stadium should be on your checklist of fun things to do in Odessa especially if you love football.

18. Eat Delicious Donuts At Southern Maid Donuts

A vacation city isn’t complete without mouthwatering, delicious donuts and in Odessa, Southern Maid Donuts is the place to taste donuts that are out of this world.

The donuts prepared here are prepared with love and it results in perfect, delicious, tasteful donuts that after you take a quick bite that leaves you craving for more.

You can order different donut flavors such as chocolate, blueberries, maple, strawberries, orange, and lemon donuts.

Its highly recommended that you eat the fluffy, delicious Cherry Donuts which will leave you wanting more.

The donuts are sold at affordable prices, so eating here should be on your list of the best things to do in Odessa.

19. Eat Mexican Dishes At Rosa’s Cafe And Tortilla Factory

At Rosa’s Cafe and Tortilla Factory, you can try out their Mexican delicacies and tortillas during your stay in Odessa.

ThisTortilla factory offers you the best tortillas in the city and you can also order nachos, burritos, and fajitas from their menu.

You can eat breakfast here with your family as the environment is friendly and try out the chorizo, sopapillas, cake carrot, and other delicacies on the menu.

Eating these Mexican dishes should be on your checklist of the best things to do in Odessa.

20. Take Photos With The Jack Ben Rabbit Statue

The Jack Ben Rabbit Statue is an eight-foot-tall statue and a popular historical landmark and tourist attraction site in Odessa.

This statue was erected in 1962 by John Ben Shepperd when he was the president of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.

The statue was named Jack Ben Rabbit in memory of Odessa’s Jackrabbit Roping Competition which is held every year at the Odessa Rodeo.

On the statue’s neck is a medallion and the words Odessa and Texas, so it’s a good spot to take photos with Jack Ben and post them on your social media accounts.

 This is one of the fun things to do in Odessa and should be on your checklist of the best things to do in Odessa.

21. Visit Permian Playhouse

If you enjoy live plays and performances then you should add a visit to the Permian Playhouse to your checklist of the best things to do in Odessa.

You can watch varieties of theatrical displays like plays, comedies, and musicals that are acted on the Playhouse stage.

You could also bring your loved ones here to have an excellent time and watch live performances but you have to book the tickets on time.

There are also many burger spots and food stores close to the Playhouse for when you get hungry.

Visiting Permian Playhouse is one of the fun things to do in Odessa.

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22. Pay Respects At Chris Kyle Memorial

This place was built in memory and honor of Chris Kyle, a renowned military sniper and US veteran for his bravery and stewardship.

This amazing monument shows Chris Kyle holding a flag, and it’s breathtaking when you look at it and walk around the monument.

You’ll be inspired to show stewardship in the area you serve and you’ll also see heartfelt and loving messages on a plaque written by the family of Chris Kyle. 

You should visit this site during your vacation in Odessa to be able to reflect on the selfless services and sacrifices men and women in the military and navy services go through to keep us safe.

23. Watch The Light Display At McKinney Park

The light display in McKinney Park is a display you should add to your list of fun things to do in Odessa, TX.

You should visit during the nighttime when the fairy light displays in the park are magical and the light shines through the dark sky with pure pigments of yellow, blue, red, and lots more.

You can also bring your pets and children to the McKinney park because there are fun things for children to do like playing with swings.

If you love sports, you could also visit the park on regular days to play basketball and baseball on the court.

Planning A Trip to Odessa, Texas

Odessa is a special vacation place with a lot of attractions to make your stay fun, exciting, and adventurous.

With lots of tourist attractions, museums, entertainment centers, and natural parks in Odessa, it should be your next vacation destination with your children, friends, and family.

Start planning your trip to Odessa and use this guide as a checklist for the best and most fun things you can do during this vacation in Odessa, Texas.

Have a great day.

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