When you pile the family in the car and hit the road, you hunger for unique thrills and experiences that will satisfy your family’s ingrained sense of curiosity. Intelligent, clever and perceptive, your family is the first in line for genuine, tried and true locales that will keep the kids entertained while providing a wide-eyed sense of wonder. Get off the main highway, take the first exit to adventure and let your imagination run wild. Unearth what makes Oklahoma special, and let your inquisitive nature show you the way.
Travel back four billion years and come face to face with colossal dinosaurs, gigantic bugs and ferocious reptiles at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman. Traverse 50,000 square feet of exciting exhibits and walk-through nature dioramas while discovering Oklahoma’s prehistory. A delight for young and old alike, this museum will transport you to a time before the last Ice Age and will speak to your inner explorer. Become an archaeologist in the museum’s Discovery Room or stand before two Jurassic giants engaged in battle. View the 10 ½ foot skull of Pentaceratops, which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest skull, or ride a glass “dinovator” and look the world’s largest Apatosaurus in the eye! Travel to the Hitching Post Bed & Breakfast and Ranch in Kenton and pose next to the replica dinosaur bone that marks the spot where the massive Apatosaurus was unearthed.
Make your way south to Davis and let Arbuckle Wilderness provide your family with an exhilarating animal adventure. Nestled amongst the Arbuckle Mountains, this exotic animal park features over 400 acres of wild and rare animals, free to roam as they please. Hop onboard a Safari bus or remain in the comfort of your own car, but have your camera at the ready and tap into the untamed as they approach your car for a meal. Have your family’s passports handy for a trip south of the border and travel to the tropical rainforest exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum. Walk along a jungle floor through live tropical vegetation and experience life under a beautiful rainforest canopy. Observe birds flying freely around and come face to face with black howler monkeys, anacondas, piranhas and ferocious jaguars. With over 1,500 animals on 78 acres, Tulsa's zoo will delight your family’s thrill-seeking spirit. Dive into an atmosphere of sea creatures and ocean waves at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Walk through underwater viewing tunnels and surround yourself with fearsome sharks or check out the popular touch tanks to feel the slippery skin of a stingray or the rough texture of a small shark. Either way, the Oklahoma Aquarium will leave your family overwhelmed with wonderment.
Put your cowboy hats on, shine up your spurs and pony up to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan. Immerse your family in the life of the American cowboy and learn what it was like traveling along the Chisholm Trail while herding cattle. Pop into the Experience Theater and be amazed as you smell bacon, see lightning, feel your chairs shake and even get splashed during the movie. With a complete interactive area for children, the center will have your kids creating their own brands, learning how to rope a steer or even taking an interactive journey on the trail itself.
Enjoy the annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children’s Cowboy Festival in Oklahoma City during May and watch your kids fill their day with hands-on activities. Learn skills such as weaving and rope making, take a ride on a stagecoach or fill your growling bellies with cowboy staples such as biscuits, stew and yummy cobblers. Take in an Old West show on the entertainment stage or walk up to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum when the afternoon sun reaches its peak. View galleries of cowboy art, stand next to the famous 18 foot End of the Trail sculpture or explore an impressive 14,000 square foot recreation of a turn-of-the-century Western town. Whatever path you choose, your family will undoubtedly dream of cowboy adventures and life on the open plains.
Head on over to POPS in Arcadia and put your daring taste buds to the test. With over 500 soda flavors to choose from, POPS is a Route 66 attraction that packs a punch. With thousands of bottles lining glass shelves, POPS features soda flavors from kiwi to blue bubble gum and everything in between. Whether picking out a unique bottle or sticking with a tried and true favorite, POPS will provide a colorful and tasty vacation memory. Stick around until after the sun goes down and see the giant 66 foot soda bottle outside light up with a rainbow of LED colors.