In the middle of all the holiday hubbub, sometimes it’s nice to just take a day away from it all and make some new memories together as a family. There are plenty of places locally where you can do that, but why not branch out a little and explore some new venues? Stillwater is best known as the home of Oklahoma State University, but this prairie town offers family fun of all kinds and for all ages! Here are five reasons why it makes the perfect day trip for your family this holiday break.
There probably isn’t a restaurant in the state that’s as well known as Eskimo Joe’s (507 W. Elm St., www.eskimojoes.com)— in fact, Eskimo Joe’s shirts are some of the most popular collectibles in the world.
Located just a few blocks south of the OSU campus, Eskimo Joe’s is easy to find and has ample parking. Over the years the restaurant has expanded its original building so that your wait for a table won’t be any longer than at other places. The staff is friendly and accommodating and even though Eskimo Joe’s began as a bar, it’s very family friendly today. Don’t forget to try their famous cheese fries while you’re there! When you’re finished eating, stroll next door to the Eskimo Joe’s store, where you can get all the gear you need to remember your Stillwater trip.
You’ve probably seen—and even visited—some of the many Hideaway locations in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas, but the original Hideaway (230 S. Knoblock, www.hideawaypizza.net) opened in Stillwater in 1957. Located immediately south of the OSU campus on Campus Corner, the Hideaway is known for its tasty pizzas, but also offers sandwiches, pastas, and soup and salad combos Come hungry—between the appetizers (be sure to try their famous fried mushrooms!) and the generously-sized pizzas, you’re going to need a big appetite!
The Oklahoma Wondertorium
Located just north of the Stillwater High School campus, the Oklahoma WONDERtorium children’s museum (308 W. Franklin Ln, www.okwondertorium.org) is home to a number of educational and interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. Try your hand at cow milking on the farm and then buy your supplies at the general store, or visit Mt. Fuji and serve up some sushi to your friends and family. You can also visit the medical center, water table, art center, ball area and block center.
The Sheerar Museum
Take a step back in time with a visit to the Sheerar Museum (702 S. Duncan St, www.sheerarmuseum.org). Dedicated to preserving the history of Stillwater and Payne County, this museum began 39 years ago as a way to house the amazing button collection of Mrs. Lena Sheerar. It has since grown to include a modest collection of antiques and items of historical significance to the area, all arranged by themes such as education, home life and the electrification of the area. Your kids may balk at the idea of spending their break at a historical museum, but The Sheerar Museum is small enough that they won’t get bored—and big enough that you can spend a nice hour or so looking around. The museum staff is happy to tell you more about the items if you have any questions.
For decades, the OSU Cowboys (www.okstate.com) have dominated their opponents on the basketball court. There are several chances for you to see a game and get in on the heart-pounding action of OSU basketball in December. The Cowboys play at Gallagher-Iba Arena, which has been called the “Madison Square Garden of the Plains.” Basketball is a great sport to enjoy with your children because the game is fast-paced and fairly simple for them to follow. And, since the games are inside, there’s no need to worry about the weather interfering with your family fun! Ticket prices vary, so check the Oklahoma State Athletics website for information and pricing. All of your young fans will need a ticket for the men’s games, but if you attend a Cowgirl game, children under two do not need a ticket. Strollers and car seats are not allowed in the arena and bags must be small enough to fit under the seat, so make sure you’re prepared if you’re bringing very little ones with you.
Stillwater is just an hour north of Oklahoma City, so you can make a full day of it without spending half your time on the road. Just head north on I-35 and take exit 174 for Stillwater. This will put you on OK-51 (also known as West 6th Ave) which will lead you right into town. Stillwater may not be a big town, but it offer so many unique and exciting places for your family to enjoy and make wonderful memories.