Spring is a great time to hit the road on a new family adventure. We’ve rounded up 10 Oklahoma day trips within 100 miles of Oklahoma City to keep the whole crew entertained.
Eighty-five miles west of Oklahoma City, you’ll find The Route 66 Museum in Clinton. Many different exhibits will walk you through the decades of the Mother Road from its dirt beginnings in the 1920s until now. Through photos, videos, music and replicas, your kids will have plenty to touch and explore as they learn about the history of Route 66.
Water-Zoo Indoor Water Park in Clinton is just the ticket for your winter blues! Kept at 82 degrees year-round, this is the perfect place to let your kids burn energy and have a blast doing it. There are multi-level play structures, a lazy river, 500 feet of slides, a wave pool and even an area just for toddlers. Free tubes, free parking and free life jackets are on-site, so bring a towel and prepare to swim the day away.
In nearby Weatherford, visit the Stafford Air & Space Museum to see many top-notch air and space exhibits and learn about astronaut Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford who was born right in town! Afterward, stop by Lucille’s Roadhouse for some tasty food in a fabulous retro setting.
About 100 miles southwest of the metro you’ll discover the stunning Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Take the three-mile paved
drive that winds up and around Mount Scott and enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of the Oklahoma landscape. Farther into the refuge, you’ll find herds of bison, elk, deer, longhorn cattle and adorable prairie dogs on an open range. Also, be sure to check out the visitor’s center that provides children of all ages a fantastic hands-on historical and cultural experience and explore some kid-friendly hiking trails or fishing spots. With no shortage of fun, plan to stay awhile!
Stop off in the quaint artisan town of Medicine Park for some fun food and shopping on your way back home. Or, head into Lawton itself, where you’ll find Burgess Grill (617 S.W. C Ave.) which has been locally-owned since 1962 and offers a large variety of burgers at family-friendly prices.
Situated 75 miles northeast of the metro near Watonga is Roman Nose State Park (3236 S. Highway 8A). Nestled in a beautiful canyon with gypsum rock cliffs and natural freshwater springs, this state park opened in 1937 and is full of fun family activities. Some of these include an 18-hole golf course, mountain biking, swimming pools (late May to early August), tennis courts, a volleyball court, hiking trails, two lakes, trout fishing (November through March), miniature golf, a general store, canoeing, paddle boats, horse stables (spring to fall), pony rides and hayrides. The recently renovated mid-century lodge also boasts a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some activities and hours are seasonal, so call the park ahead of time at 580-623-7281 to make the most of your visit.
On your way back to the metro, swing over to Eischen’s in Okarche for some of the best fried chicken you’ll ever eat. The kids and adults will love the arcade games and the delicious food and the down-home Oklahoma atmosphere. Eischen’s is open Monday-Saturday and accepts cash or check, though there is an ATM next door if you need it. Established in 1896, it’s a history lesson all its own!
4. Ponca City
Head north about 100 miles and you’ll reach Ponca City, a town with a unique beginning mirroring the pioneering tale of Oklahoma itself. Explore the area’s rich history at destinations such as the Marland Family Mansion, Standing Bear Museum and Education Center and Pioneer Woman Museum. The Marland Mansion offers self-guided tours of the elaborate estate and the beautiful grounds which houses the first indoor swimming pool built in Oklahoma. Just down the street from the mansion is the Pioneer Woman Museum that celebrates women whose influence has helped shape the development of our state and showcases pioneers in various fields on a state and national level.
Standing Bear Museum and Education is a 63-acre park honoring the Ponca chief with a 22-foot bronze statue, walking trails, a peaceful memorial grove, pond and an outdoor interpretive center. Inside the museum, see displays of artwork and educational materials focused on the diverse Native American heritage and cultures.
Other popular stops are the Conoco Museum and Cann Gardens. The gardens feature color-coordinated beds and a lilly pond with fish you can feed. Brace Books & More is a fun stop for families. The independent bookstore has fun toys, gifts and, of course, books for all ages.
Travel 100 miles northwest of the metro to find Enid, located on the historic Chisholm Trail. To learn more about the area and the largest land run in history, head over to The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center. You’ll find exciting exhibits about Oklahoma throughout its history and you can even walk through a living history village on the grounds of the museum to explore original buildings built at the turn of the century!
After that, head over to Leonardo’s Children’s Museum to get all the wiggles out. The museum features an outdoor playground with a three-story wooden castle, mazes, slides, swings, a water table, tot area and a dinosaur dig. Inside you’ll find tons of great hands-on learning exhibits that your kids will love. From the critter clubhouse to the medical clinic and tinkering exhibit, there are hours of fun to be had here.
Guthrie is a quick 32 miles north of the metro and full of amazing state history. Bring your young historians to The Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library to learn all about the land run, early life in Oklahoma Territory and its journey to statehood. The museum is a fascinating snapshot of what daily life in the area would have been like during Oklahoma’s territorial days.
Just down the street is the Territorial Capital Sports Museum. This museum houses a huge collection of sports artifacts and memorabilia and will delight the little (and big) sports fans in your family. It is a great place to learn about Oklahoma’s athletes and teams, featuring football, baseball, golf, rodeo, Olympics, women’s athletics and more.
For a unique view of this historical town, hop on the First Capital Trolley for a 45-minute tour that will immerse visitors in the town’s history and colorful characters. Kids adore riding around on the trolley and the recorded narration of historic stories and buildings will fascinate the adults. Catch it at the corner of 2nd & Harrison on Saturdays at noon or 2 p.m. year-round.
Just 65 miles north of Oklahoma City is Stillwater, where you’ll find the Oklahoma State University Botanic Garden. The vignettes through the gardens offer families a variety of places and plants to examine. The children’s play area features a playhouse and tree swing and the Tree Walk Village encourages creative play. On the first and third Saturdays of the month, from 10 a.m. to noon, children can enjoy varied activities in the Model Train Garden, which features a running train.
For kids who love insects, OSU’s Insect Adventure is a must. This is Oklahoma’s only live bug petting zoo and it is open the first and third Saturday of every month. Just past the OSU campus, visitors can find a large collection of beautiful arachnids, insects and other arthropods to delight your little bug-lovers. A knowledgeable staff is on-site and ready to answer any questions from curious little visitors.
For lunch, head to Eskimo Joe’s, a Stillwater staple since 1975. Grab some cheese fries and pick up Joe’s shirts for the whole family to remember their Stillwater outing! Then, swing by and see the Optimus Prime (2207 E. 6th Ave.) or BumbleBee (5104 W. 6th Ave.) Transformer statues that stand outside the two G&M Body Shop locations on the west and east side of Stillwater. They’re sure to dazzle young spring breakers!
8. Davis/Pauls Valley
Head 75 miles south to Turner Falls, a beautiful place to swim, fish, hike and play. You’ll find a 77-foot waterfall, a natural swimming hole, caves, a rock castle to explore and plenty of trails to meander along. Picnic areas and restrooms offer convenience to families year-round and the scenery is sure to refresh all.
A short distance away is the Arbuckle Wilderness Park, which kids are sure to love. Drive your car through winding roads and meet exotic and native animals all along the way! Food pellets are available to purchase and the animals will readily snatch them up from your car window, which is sure to make little visitors squeal with excitement.
Want to see how things are made? Visit the Oklahoma-made Bedre Chocolates manufacturing facility to watch through floor-t0-ceiling windows as delicious chocolates, and chocolate-covered treats, are created.
While you’re in the area, visit the Toy & Action Figure Museum located in Pauls Valley. It is packed with more than 13,000 action figures and hundreds of drawings. Kids and collectors alike will be thrilled with the displays.
About 100 miles northeast is Tulsa, a bustling metro with plenty to offer. The Oklahoma Aquarium is a great place to take kids to get a glimpse of the underwater world. Parents love the huge tanks, touch ponds, playful otters and the shark tunnel that makes kids feel like they’re swimming along! Starting this month, a brand new three-level sea turtle exhibit will enhance the fun.
The Tulsa Air & Space Museum is another stop you’ll definitely want to make. This museum has every era of Oklahoma aviation on display and many hands-on activities for the kids. Plus, the price of admission includes an experience in one of the many full-dome planetarium shows that run throughout the day. Your little aeronauts and astronauts will be over the moon!
No Tulsa visit is complete unless you swing by and say hello to the Golden Driller (4145 E. 21st St.). He’s a massive 76-foot statue that has stood proudly at the fair grounds since 1966. One of the tallest free-standing statues in the country, he is the official Oklahoma state monument!
Tucked away about 55 miles east of Oklahoma City in the city of Seminole is the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum. This beloved Oklahoma fixture began 25 years ago and has since grown to include 42,000-square-feet of interactive exhibits for children. Outside, find a Castle Maze, a half-mile train ride and plenty of playground equipment for kids to enjoy. Well worth the trip to Seminole, kids are sure to want to return again and again!
If you are looking for more Oklahoma day trips, check out our vast collection of Sooner State getaways.