Discover the cities, attractions and organizations that make central Oklahoma a great place to live!
What are the three top reasons the Oklahoma City area is a top choice for raising a family? We posed that question to OKC Mayor David Holt, father of two, for his perspective:
“The number one reason OKC is a great place to raise a family is that you can actually be with your family! Thanks to a family-first local culture and relatively low traffic for a large city, the city’s work-life balance favors family. Our cost of living allows families to live a higher quality of life at home and enjoy more attractions and dining around the city. And OKC is a great place to raise a family because of the ever-growing number of family-friendly attractions. The Oklahoma City Zoo, RIVERSPORT, Scissortail Park, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, First Americans Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma Contemporary and Science Museum Oklahoma are just a few examples of a city that families can enjoy year after year.”
At MetroFamily, we know families are the backbone of our community — and that by developing strong families, we in turn create a strong, resilient community. In addition to providing local parents helpful resources around education, mental and physical health, child development and community engagement, we’re also committed to highlighting the best the metro has to offer in family fun because joyful play is a crucial element of family wellness.
In our first Great Places Guide, you’ll be introduced to our favorite area municipalities, attractions and organizations that make Oklahoma City “great!” We encourage you to learn more and take advantage of experiencing and exploring these places with your family.
The City of El Reno offers a small-town community feel with big amenities such as a historic downtown with a trolley, fun family events, historic homes and large new housing developments, all located close to OKC. Their upcoming Fried Onion Burger Day event on May 7 is a great opportunity to get to know El Reno. elrenook.gov
Midwest City is full of athletic opportunities, trails to explore, spacious parks and fun events year-round! This summer, splash around at the Reno Swim & Slide or enjoy music and movies in the park. Find more family-friendly fun at MidwestCityOK.org
The City of Yukon is known for its wonderful family events, including the upcoming Festival of the Child on May 7 and Freedom Fest on July 3 & 4. The active parks department, vibrant downtown and high-ranking schools make Yukon a great place to live, play and shop. yukonok.gov
Edmond Parks and Recreation not only offers an extensive array of outdoor fun opportunities through their 26 city parks, they also host farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the spring and summer; skill-building classes for kids and adults; and other family fun events such as movie nights and outdoor skill classes. edmondparks.com
Edmond’s Arcadia Lake provides water recreation fun, fishing, disk golf, pavilions, beaches, miles of walking, biking and equestrian trails, camping, picnic areas and more. Events such as their Storybook Forest trick-or-treat trail in October and Eagle Watch in January give families many reasons to enjoy this lake area. edmondok.gov/338/Arcadia-Lake
Family fun abounds through the City of OKC Parks Department with their extensive park system, 100 miles of trails, nine recreation centers, nature preserve, five pools and/or aquatic centers, 17 spray grounds and numerous events and activities offered for kids and youth. okc.gov/departments/parks-
With several branches in the metro area and Chickasha, Guthrie and Stillwater, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City creates community around helping people of all ages enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Among their offerings are before- and after-school care for kids, summer day camps, sports leagues, swim lessons and Miracle League baseball for kids with special needs. ymcaokc.org
The two library systems in our area enhance families’ lives with quality programming, the encouragement of reading and learning and much more.
- Pioneer Library System serves Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie county residents through their 12 branch libraries and other amenities. The Maker Mobile provides hands-on STEAM instruction to all ages, plus classes and storytimes are held often for all ages at no cost. pioneerlibrarysystem.org
- Metropolitan Library System connects the diverse communities of Oklahoma County with resources and experiences to educate and enrich the lives of its residents. Visit any of the 19 library locations or 24/7 kiosks to browse books and other materials and attend programs such as storytimes and book clubs. The Belle Isle Library at 5501 N. Villa Ave. has recently reopened after an extensive remodel and upgrade, including the addition of a makerspace. metrolibrary.org
The central Oklahoma area is fortunate to have many cultural and arts attractions that enrich families’ lives — and we know our readers appreciate the value they provide.
The award-winning Myriad Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place for families to enjoy nature. In addition to exploring the grounds of this urban park, check out their many seasonal events. The popular Children’s Garden Festival will be held June 3-12 with the theme A is for Art celebrating the books The Day the Crayons Quit, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Dot and Aaron Slater, Illustrator. myriadgardens.org
Oklahoma Hall of Fame not only helps kids and parents learn about the Oklahomans who have shaped our state through their leadership, it also provides many free family-friendly events that provide additional hands-on learning and fun. Enjoy games, crafts and storytelling at Summer Thursdays, to be held through June and July starting at 10am. oklahomahof.com
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
provides world-class Western and Native American art, history exhibits and even active learning fun for kids through their outdoor kids’ area, Liichokoshkomó (Let’s Play), and events such as the Annual Chuck Wagon Festival scheduled for May 28-29. nationalcowboymuseum.org
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, including Chihuly Then and Now: The Collection at Twenty, set to open on June 18. The museum is always free for kids ages 17 and younger. okcmoa.com