Exploring Northeast Oklahoma with Children - MetroFamily Magazine
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Exploring Northeast Oklahoma with Children

by Jennifer Geary

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

There are so many ways to have fun in northeast Oklahoma that you could spend weeks traveling from place to place and still not see it all. Here are four places to visit to make the most of your trip. You can pick one to visit for a day or pack a suitcase and take a week—either way, you’ll see some of the best sites Green Country has to offer! Here are four thrilling day trips to northeast Oklahoma.

Bartlesville

The Bartlesville area is home to some of the state’s most memorable family travel destinations. Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, the country ranch of oilman Frank Phillips, spans more than 3,700 square-feet. Keep your camera ready as you look out for wildlife! The 50,000 square-foot museum houses everything from paintings and sculptures to antique dolls and even real shrunken heads! You can also visit the Phillips family’s lodge, which was used to entertain many of their famous guests. Children will also want to check out the Animal Barn and the play area.

Back in town, you can tour the Frank Phillips Home, the 26 room mansion where Frank and Jane Phillips lived and entertained many rich and powerful people. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home has 90 percent of its original 1909 furnishings. Guided tours are available to fill you in on all of the personal stories about the home and its famous residents.

The Price Tower Arts Center is the only skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that was ever built. Restored to its original state, the tower is now home to an arts center and hotel. Families can view the art exhibition or take a guided tour of the tower. If you head up to the outdoor terraces, you will get an incredible view of the Bartlesville area and beyond!

No summer trip to Bartlesville is complete without a stop at the Kiddie Park. Open since 1947, the park contains rides that are built for younger children, but there are also enough attractions older kids can ride that it’s fun for the entire family. All rides are just 50 cents, but bring cash to purchase your tickets as the park does not accept credit or debit cards. Also keep in mind that the park is closed on Sundays and Mondays and isn’t open during the day; its hours of operation are 7 p.m. to dusk. There is also a snack bar with very reasonable prices.

If you’re in Bartlesville, you may also want to take the time to visit nearby attractions such as the Tom Mix Museum in Dewey and Prairie Song, an old west town just outside of Dewey.

Muskogee

Muskogee also has a wide variety of places to visit. Your music lovers will definitely want to stop at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, which features Oklahoma musicians from every genre of music, from Woody Guthrie to Carrie Underwood. In addition to the large collection of memorabilia, there is a children’s area that will entertain your little ones while helping them learn about music.

History enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to see the USS Batfish War Memorial Park and Military Museum. The USS Batfish gained its place in history during its service in World War II and is now open for tours. Visitors can also view an army tank, missiles, cannons and other military memorabilia.

The Five Civilized Tribes Museum offers visitors a blend of art and history. There are several permanent displays that share the history of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole tribes both before and after their moves to Oklahoma. Traditional and modern artwork is also on view and changes periodically. Admission is $3 per person but children under age 5 are admitted without charge.

One of Muskogee’s most beautiful locations is Honor Heights Park. Home to the Azalea Festival each spring and the Garden of Lights each December, the park features fishing lakes, nature trails, an arboretum, playgrounds, a splash pad and picnic areas. Be sure to bring your camera to capture some memories of this beautiful park!

Claremore

Oklahoma’s most famous son is celebrated at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore. Home to local artifacts and memorabilia, the museum also has a children’s area to help youngsters learn more about this famous Oklahoman. Just about 20 minutes away in Oologah is the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch, the home where Rogers was born in 1879. The ranch still has animals and visitors can tour the home and the barn area.

The Belvidere Mansion is another historic home in Claremore that is open to the public. Completed in 1907, this 9,000 square foot home also features a tea room and gift shop. Check their website for special themed events throughout the year.

Even if you’re not a weapons enthusiast, the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum will have something to interest you. Home to the largest private gun collection in the world, the museum also features cowboy memorabilia, German beer steins, Native American history and unusual collections.

Grove

If your family loves the outdoors, a day in Grove is the perfect trip for you! The Honey Creek Area of Grand Lake State Park is located in Grove and features a boat ramp and dock and fishing, or just enjoy the beautiful scenery with a walk on one of the park’s trails. Honey Creek also has play areas, picnic tables and even an outdoor pool.

Also located on the shores of Grand Lake is Har-Ber Village Museum, which features 116 buildings full of artifacts related to the history of northeast Oklahoma. While this may not sound very kid-friendly, it’s not your typical museum where visitors must be quiet and walk slowly. Paths between the buildings provide plenty of space for kids to explore and some of the most unique exhibits will definitely capture their attention. The new Kids Cabin and other hands-on displays will entertain and educate, too!

Lendonwood Gardens is another place to enjoy nature in Grove. The six acre botanical park is home to more than 1,200 different kinds of plants, arranged into six different themed areas. This is a great place to snap some family pictures with a beautiful backdrop!

Whether you visit one town or all four, you’re sure to make great memories with your family in northeast Oklahoma!
Happy travels!

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