When your family has an open day on your calendar to explore the best of OKC, how will you spend it? Use these parent-vetted recs for inspiration! Three metro families share their favorite metro spots for family fun and local eats.
with the Brown Family
With the weather warming up and the end of school, my family and I have been planning all the fun things we want to do this summer. A day out at Lake Arcadia is a summer go-to for us. With its well-maintained beaches and roped-off waters, it is a safe place to relax and let the kids play. Afterward, we love grabbing dinner from Smoked Out BBQ on NW Expressway just west of MacArthur. It always hits the spot!
I also plan to make sure we get back to some of the cultural experiences that we’ve been missing due to the pandemic. We can’t wait to go with our family to our first Powwow in what seems like forever and enjoy awesome Indigenous programs and resources at Culture Hub by We the People Consulting.
Of course, since I’m a librarian, we’ll be enjoying the offerings from our local library and participating in the summer reading program. With tons of take-home kit options, virtual programs and outdoor programs coming back, there will be so much to keep my whole family entertained. Plus, we love earning points so we can win free books as prizes.
Sarah Brown, adult librarian for the Downtown Library, loves to read and pass on traditional Choctaw ways to her children. She and husband Steven are parents to Aislinn, 10, and Rowan, 12.
Fall & Winter
with the Evans Family
My husband’s job is to wine and dine. OK, that’s not included in his official job description, but it’s slowly become a primary function of his role. As a medical marketer, he’s tasked with meeting doctors and physicians while closing deals over a warm, medium-rare steak. Chrystian, our sweet 4-year-old daughter, and I can always count on Daddy Chris to introduce us to the latest family-friendly restaurants. Dinner with the Evans crew usually includes warm bread at Moni’s Pasta and Pizza, drinks with close friends at Frida Southwest and family gatherings at Cheever’s Cafe. Living in Deer Creek offers my family quick access to the turnpike with entertainment, shops and good food at every exit.
Our Saturday morning routines are quite simple: roll out of bed, reach for the phone and join the digital waitlist for Hatch or Neighborhood Jam. We’re a family of foodies and brunch is always a top priority. Jam has something for everyone. When I’m on the occasional diet, I reach for the avocado toast. It’s soft, delicate and full of flavor. While at Hatch, our entire table fights for the last tumbler. These crispy hash browns aren’t your mom’s recipe. They’re loaded with bacon and cheese and served with a side of smoked cheddar hollandaise.
Pre-COVID, my daughter’s favorite hang-out spot was Bubba Play Indoor Playzone, especially perfect on cold days. I am over 6 feet tall so my playtime usually includes a loud “have fun, baby” while sitting. But Bubba Play encourages parents to join the fun. Chrystian and I climb, jump into ball pits and breeze down huge slides that raise our smiles in the wind. Bubba Play is for the active parent and child and will completely change your idea of quality time with the kiddos. No matter where our day takes us, it’s comforting to know that we’ll always have the three of us to enjoy great laughs over great food.
Lance Evans, director of communications for Variety Care, husband Chris and 4-year-old daughter Chrystian are foodies who love trying new-to-them eats and family fun in the metro.
with the Tran Family
A perfect spring day for my family of three consists of being somewhere outdoors where my 18-month-old daughter can play and explore. The adventure is followed by a nap, then a meal somewhere with an outside seating area. Our day revolves around our daughter’s nap schedule, so our outings are usually around Oklahoma City and within 20 to 30 minutes from home.
The perfect day begins after breakfast when we drive a short distance to Bluff Creek Trail. We love strolling the trail while enjoying the scenic view, and we often run into wildlife here. Many times we see a family of deer crossing the trail to find food or a single deer zipping through, then quickly disappearing into the woods.
After our walk, we head home for lunch then nap time. After our little one is well rested, we head out for an early dinner. We like visiting Chisholm Creek where there is a nice play area for kids, many restaurants and fabulous dessert options. Chicken Foot’s outdoor seating area is next to the waterfront, and steps away from the patio, there is turf-covered space for playing cornhole. For dessert, Dominico has great ice cream and coffee.
We are thankful our city has grown so much, providing a variety of adventures without having to drive too far. We can be close to nature and enjoy a city vibe all in one day.
Le Tran and husband Van, both nurse practitioners, love to eat out and explore parks and outdoor spaces with their young daughter Evelyn.