Oklahoma City has been on our minds this summer after June's tornadoes, and this capital city deserves your consideration for a family vacation visit, too. Read on for family friendly activities that will bring big smiles and won't blow your budget.
1. Have an outdoor adventure right in the heart of the city: Martin Park Nature Center covers 144 acres and is home to creatures as small as butterflies and as large as deer and armadillo. Take advantage of 2.5 miles of well-maintained hiking trails, and be sure to stop by the Nature Center to enjoy a range of kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits: the observation beehive is sure to be an especially big hit.
2. Oklahoma has a rich railway history, and it's all on display at the Oklahoma Railway Museum. Explore a restored railroad locomotive, a 19th century depot, and more: admission to the grounds is free, and visitors of all ages will enjoy wandering about. Big train fans in the family? Check the museum's schedule to see when they're offering rides on a real, working train.
3. If there's one thing I love, it's a good zoo that doesn't cause me to dip into my kids' college fund, and the Oklahoma City Zoo fits the bill. Named one of the top 100 zoos in the country, the OKC Zoo is the Southwest's oldest. Check out a menagerie of exotic animals, visit special exhibits like Cat Forest and the Aquatic Center, and take part in a rotation of special events and shows. As for the admission? Kids under three are free, kids are $5, and adults are $8: not bad at all!
Accommodation Tip: The Best Western Plus Saddleback Inn and Conference Center has all the good things you'd expect from a BW, and even offers free shuttle service downtown.