You know those times when you're on a road trip with the kids and you're driving by Oklahoma and you're thinking, "Is there anything fun to do here?" Well, we're here to tell you that yes, there're actually some pretty cool things to do in Oklahoma with kids! From hands-on museums to outdoor adventures, Oklahoma has some hidden gems to keep your loved ones entertained.
In this blog post, we're gong to explore the best family-friendly activities and attractions to plan an awesome stopover or weekend getaway. Trust us, the whole family will have a blast! Whether you're stopping by or staying for a couple days, we've got you covered with the inside scoop on the most exciting things to do in Oklahoma with kids.
Outdoor Activities for Kids in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has plenty of open spaces perfect for families.
- One of the top spots is the Oklahoma City Zoo. This massive zoo is home to over 2,000 animals including elephants, gorillas, and tigers. Kids enjoy a giant jungle gym and a scenic train ride.
- For adventure, head to the Whitewater Rafting Center in Tulsa. Families can navigate Class I and II rapids together while enjoying gorgeous scenery. If you prefer to stay dry, the center also offers zip lining, rope courses, and some giant swings.
- During summer, Schlitterbahn Waterpark is a must-visit. With over 40 waterslides and attractions including massive wave pools, lazy rivers, and splash pads, kids won’t want to leave. Cabanas and picnic areas provide space for relaxing between rides.
- The Chickasaw National Recreation Area is ideal for hiking, swimming, and camping. Trails lead to waterfalls, streams and lakes perfect for swimming, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding. Rent bikes to explore over 9,000 acres of woodlands and prairies. Campsites and cabins make this an easy getaway.
With lakes, mountains, Oklahoma river, and amusement parks like Frontier City, Oklahoma offers outdoor adventures for kids or adults alike. So go explore them - possibilities for families are endless!
Best Oklahoma Children's Museums
Oklahoma is home to some world-class family attractions that both kids and parents enjoy.
Interactive Science Museum Oklahoma
A trip to the Science Museum Oklahoma is a great way to teach kids about the beauty of science. With over 300 interactive exhibits on 4 different floors, there's something for all ages.
This interactive science museum in Oklahoma City is an ideal spot to take curious kiddos. With hundreds of hands-on exhibits in art, science, and culture, there's something for every interest. Even featuring an outdoor science playground! Kids could design their own robots, launch rockets, watch giant dinosaurs and even star in their own movie. General admission tickets are budget-friendly at only $15.95 for kids and $20.95 for adults.
Jasmine Moran's Children Museum
Close by is the Jasmine Moran Children's Museum, a magical place where kids can role play in a miniature town, climb a giant spider web, or go on an adventure in an enchanted forest. This museum is ideal for kids 10 and under.
Both museums are very hands-on and encourage discovery. Your small Einstein's and curious explorers would have a blast at these Oklahoma City attractions. The good news is admission to both places is budget-friendly. Other options include Oklahoma's Museum Of Osteology as well as your National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum featuring a variety western art.
Family-Friendly Festivals and Events
Oklahoma has no shortage of family-friendly festivals and events to keep the kiddos entertained during family vacation. Many are offered annually, often celebrating Oklahoma’s western heritage and Native American roots.
- The Oklahoma City Arts Festival features live music, art activities for kids, and over 200 local artists. Held each spring, it’s a perfect weekend outing for art-loving families.
- For a taste of the Wild West, head to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Chuck Wagon Festival. Kids will love the pony rides, rodeo clowns, and live music. And the food - beef stew, cornbread, and peach cobbler cooked over an open fire - can’t be beat.
- The Cherokee National Holiday celebrates Cherokee heritage and culture. Families can experience traditional Cherokee dancing, stickball games, storytelling, and crafts like basket weaving and pottery making. There’s also a kid’s carnival and parade.
- Oklahoma's State Fair Park hosts the Oklahoma State Fair each September. With carnival rides, livestock shows, fried food galore, and free entertainment, the fair is a rite of passage for Oklahoma families. Kids of all ages will love the giant Ferris wheels, bumper cars, and prize-winning giant pumpkins.
- For an educational yet interactive experience, take the kiddos to the Science Museum Oklahoma. This massive museum has over 300 hands-on exhibits in art, science, culture, and history. Families could easily spend an entire day exploring the museum's kid-friendly attractions.
Oklahoma's events offer plenty of family fun opportunities.
Best Parks and Playgrounds
Oklahoma offers many kids' parks that offer playgrounds, hiking or walking trails, ponds, and creeks to explore, and spaces to play. Two of the best:
- Just 15 minutes from Oklahoma City, Lake Arcadia is a great spot for outdoor recreation. It has playgrounds, swimming beaches, hiking and biking trails, and paddle boat rentals on the lake.
- The Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City span over 15 acres and have themed gardens, an interactive children’s garden, and one of the largest playgrounds in the city with climbing structures, swings, and a splash pad. Admission to the park and playground is free. The children’s garden and splash pad are open seasonally, so check their website for current hours.
Oklahoma’s parks offer family adventures for all ages. Bring your sense of adventure and be ready to explore all the natural beauty the Sooner State has to offer.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants and Treats
When the kiddos become hungry in Oklahoma, there's plenty of family-friendly options to satisfy their appetites. Here are some top kid-approved picks:
Ted’s Cafe Escondido Restaurant
Ted’s is a local Mexican chain serving up quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos and more. They have a special kid’s menu with meals like quesadillas, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler Diner
This 1950s-style diner is all about burgers, fries, and shakes. Kids will love the classic cheeseburgers, french fries, and old-fashioned chocolate and vanilla shakes. There’s also a mini golf course outside to work off some of that energy after the meal.
Braum’s is an Oklahoma staple for ice cream, burgers and fresh dairy products. Take the kids for a burger, then top it off by letting them choose from over 70 flavors of Braum’s homemade ice cream, sundaes or shakes for dessert. With indoor and outdoor seating and lots of sweet treats, Braum’s is a perfect family outing.
Hideaway Pizza has been an Oklahoma tradition for over 50 years. Kids will enjoy their hand-tossed pizzas, wings, salads and Hideaway’s original “Munchers” - pizza crust pieces topped with cheese and spices. The relaxed, casual atmosphere with arcade and party rooms makes Hideaway Pizza ideal for families.
Oklahoma has no shortage of kid-approved eateries to satisfy even the pickiest of appetites. Treat the kids to a fun meal out at one of these family-friendly spots, and make memories to cherish for years.
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