Exploring Tulsa with Children - MetroFamily Magazine
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Exploring Tulsa with Children

by Jennifer Geary

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

We all want to have a little fun in the summer; but unfortunately, sometimes our budgets don't match our dreams. For a trip that's heavy on the fun but light on your wallet, head to Tulsa! T-Town is full of family friendly fun that's affordable and in some cases, free. Here are seven seriously inexpensive ways to have fun in Tulsa.

Free for the Whole Family!

  • The Philbrook Museum of Art and Gilcrease Museum are some of the best known museums in the state and your entire family can visit for free. Philbrook offers free admission for the entire family on the second Saturday of each month as part of their continuing Second Saturdays program. Gilcrease also offers free admission to all visitors on the first Tuesday and the third Sunday of each month. If those dates don't work for your family, at the Philbrook children 17 and under and at the Gilcrease children 18 and under are always free, so you can still see the works of world famous artists without an expensive trip to a faraway museum!
  • Tulsa's River Parks are one of the best places in town to enjoy the outdoors in town. There are paved trails that follow the east bank of the Arkansas River (from 11th Street to 101st Street) so you can bike, jog or roller blade. There are several playgrounds along the way, including the 41st Street Plaza, which has interactive water features, too.
  • Oxley Nature Center is the place for nature lovers in your family. The center, located near the zoo in Mohawk Park, has almost nine miles of trails, many of which are stroller and wheelchair friendly. The Interpretive Center has interactive exhibits to help you learn more about the wildlife you may see while you're out and about.  You can also download trail maps on the Oxley website now. On weekends and holidays during April through October Mohawk Park charges a $2 fee (cash only) per car, but it is free otherwise to visit the nature center.
  • The Linnaeus Teaching Gardens in Woodward Park is another free way to enjoy nature! The volunteers there are happy to share their knowledge and love of gardening with visitors, and you can also check out a free audio tour of the gardens. Kids in pre-school through second grade can enjoy the free story time every Thursday in June, July and August. The gardens also offer special Under the Stars story times in the Spring and Fall. Visit www.tulsagardencenter.com for more information and a list of story time themes.

Family Fun at a Discount!

  • If you haven't been to the Tulsa Zoo lately, don't wait any longer. There are several buildings that have been updated recently and through August 31 you can visit the special Zoorassic Park 2  exhibit (for a small extra fee). This exhibit has 11 different animatronic dinosaur species, including a 40 foot long Tyrannosaurus Rex. If you have a membership at the Oklahoma City Zoo, you can get half off your admission to the Tulsa Zoo.
  • The Oklahoma Aquarium is the best place in the state to see aquatic animals from all over the world and all kinds of bodies of water. There are several areas with free touch tanks and some that even offer feeding opportunities for a small extra cost, so you can get up close and personal with some of the animals! Use MetroFamily's Kids Pass for $2 off general admission for up to four people.

Family Friendly Restaurants

  • Ollie's Station Restaurant: This train-themed restaurant is fun for the whole family. Watch the ten model trains pass overhead as you enjoy your meal. The food is yummy and reasonably priced, too.
  • Joe Momma's: The best pizza in T-Town is at Joe Momma's. They have every kind you can imagine and it's absolutely delicious–even their gluten free pizza. If you eat there, be sure to get an order of the Momma Bread.
  • Dilly Deli: If you arrive in town early, have breakfast at Dilly Deli in downtown. They also serve delicious soups and sandwiches for lunch and they have a huge outdoor play area for the kids.

Looking for more information to plan for your trip to Tulsa? Check out our Guide to a Fun Family Weekend in Tulsa and another MetroFamily writer's favorite Tulsa spots.

Enjoy your time in Tulsa!

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