Uncertainties surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic are likely influencing many families’ summer plans, vacations included. If you are looking to adjust your travel plans, Oklahoma has plenty of wide-open spaces for families to enjoy and still practice social distancing. Here are some inspiring ideas for your socially distance Oklahoma road trip!
Editor’s note: Due to COVID-19, attractions around the state have adjusted or closed some of their amenities. Call ahead to verify availability. Please consider your safety and that of others through adhering to state and city recommendations, social distancing and not traveling when sick.
Head for a hike
Despite the boring stereotype, Oklahoma has diverse variety of terrain including towering pines, granite mountains, glistening lakes and rivers and expansive prairies, offering families a varied outdoor palette to explore. Here are some the best hiking destinations around the Sooner state:
Casting a line
Fishing is a great way for families to reconnect with nature and spend time together outdoors. Since Oklahoma allows kids 16 and under to fish for free, fishing is an affordable option for family fun. And, to add even more to the “lure” (yes, pun intended!), Oklahoma has thousands of miles of shore line to go around.
Here are six kid-friendly fishing spots in Oklahoma. Plus, you can extend the fun by hitting a fishing trail that explores the best of Oklahoma fishing. And, if you prefer to stick closer to the metro, here are some close-to-home fishing options around the metro.
Canoeing and kayaking
Expend some cooped up energy by cruising a waterway in your own self-propelled watercraft! An early morning canoe or kayak trip with a midday swim make for a great way to spend a summer day, and keep easily keep your distance. This article by a mom of two and former park ranger outlines the basics of canoeing and kayaking with kids and scenic Oklahoma trips.
RIVERSPORT Adventures is reopening their attractions in phases and first up was their kayaking and stand-up paddle board rentals in the Boathouse District and at Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner.
Summer time and water play go hand and hand in Oklahoma. But, if you’d prefer to skip your local community pool for a few more weeks, consider a trip to a close-to-home beach destination and one of these four can’t-miss lake trips perfect for families!
Gaze at the stars
Twinkling stars, faraway planets and other celestial objects dance their way across the night sky in a captivating light show, offering families a front row seat to a spectacular sight that doesn’t require expensive equipment to enjoy! Check out this how-to advice from a local expert and five remote locations perfect for stargazing.
Caves are exciting and a bit mysterious but they are also a great way to escape the summer heat! Here are the two best places to explore caves with kids in Oklahoma.
Families can also get an up-close look at curious cave dwellers. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation hosts special events in July where the public can watch over a million bats take flight into the night sky. Mexican free-tailed bats return to northwestern Oklahoma each year to raise their young in the protected Selman Bat Cave. Registration begins May 26 and only a limited number of participants are permit for each viewing. Admission to the Selman Bat Watch is $14 for adults and $8 for children ages 8-12. Children must be 8 years of age or older to attend.
With the longest stretch of Route 66 in the country, Oklahoma is home to many roadside oddities. Landmarks and attractions began to pop up along the Mother Road back in its heyday and many are still around today. As you travel this summer, incorporate some of these famous roadside oddities.
Explore Prehistoric Oklahoma
Travel back in time to explore Oklahoma’s ancient history. Destinations like the Spiro Mounds archeological site, the dinosaur tracks near Black Mesa State Park or fossil spotting at Lake Texoma encourage families to get on with learning.
For even more Oklahoma travel ideas, visit our extensive collection of articles focused on exploring Oklahoma with kids.