All across Oklahoma, small towns and large cities alike have impressive parks that offer big family fun for a fraction of the cost.
Everything from lakes stocked with fish and miniature train rides to swimming pools and small amusement parks can be found at Oklahoma’s best city parks and playgrounds. While some of them may be a little off the beaten path, these places are great destinations for visitors of all ages.
The city of Bartlesville offers two great parks in one. Johnstone Park has been an oasis for families since the early 1900s. Today, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of amenities including a walking trail along the river, tennis courts, a skate park, a baseball stadium, a playground, picnic facilities and even a restored depot with old style locomotives. Make your stay longer and bring your camper to the mini RV park outfitted with electrical hookups.
Johnstone Park is also home to Bartlesville’s amusement park, which opened in 1947. Geared toward boys and girls ages 12 and under, Kiddie Park is an inexpensive way to spend the day. The whole family can take a train ride around the park together, or the kids can enjoy solo trips on the Ferris wheel, carousel and bumper cars. Open from May through September, Kiddie Park even has a concession stand for tasty snacks when you need a break from all of the excitement.
One of Elk City’s biggest and best attractions, Ackley Park transforms into a wonderland of adventure as the weather warms up. Ackley Park’s 220 acres are filled with tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic areas and even a sand volleyball court. Bring along your skateboard and rollerblades for the skate park, your swimming suit for the pool and your fishing poles to cast a line in the stocked pond.
As an added bonus, there are other family friendly, seasonal activities open during the spring and summer. Relish a train ride around the lake and enjoy a round of mini golf during a memorable afternoon in the sun. The most popular attraction in the park is a gorgeous all-wooden carousel, which features 36 hand-carved horses and two chariots that have all been individually painted. It is a sure bet that the kids will want to experience the carousel more than a few times during a trip to Ackley Park.
With state-of-the-art facilities and a popular water park, Crystal Beach Park is one of Woodward’s top attractions. Spend the morning along the walking trails or head out on the nearby lake in a paddle boat. When afternoon hits, play a game of tennis before enjoying lunch at one of the park’s scenic picnic areas. Don’t forget to bring your clubs for a round of golf at the on-site course, or enjoy the whimsical size and relaxation of a round of mini-golf.
Crystal Beach Park also features a large playground, train rides during the warmer months, baseball fields and even a band shell for concerts. During the summer, a trip to Woodward wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the nearby Crystal Beach Aquatics Center. The toddler’s area and miniature slides are perfect for smaller swimmers, while teens and adults can cool off by getting soaked under the dunking bucket or sliding down the covered water slide.
If you’re taking a road trip down famous Route 66, make a stop in Oklahoma City to stretch your legs at Route 66 Park. Take a walk through the surrounding wetlands on boardwalks or let the kids climb around on the playground, which is the largest in the city. Take in a great view of Lake Overholser from the Cyrus Avery Observation Tower before heading to the Route 66 Skate Court for some roller blading and skate boarding. Make an afternoon of it with a picnic under a pavilion or at one of three nearby ponds.
Located in Duncan’s Fuqua Park, Kiddieland is all about making the most out of your summer break. Join the hundreds of other families who line up to experience the amusement park atmosphere each year in southern Oklahoma. For over half a century, children have been excitedly taking a spin on the tilt-a-whirl, hopping aboard the miniature train and spending the day riding the merry-go-round. Between rides, fight the summer heat with a trip to the sno-cone stand for a delicious seasonal treat.
The playground at Acme Brick Park in Clinton has an interesting history. Local children helped design the features of the playground, which was then built by volunteers. It resembles a castle with tall wooden towers across the front and plenty of places for climbing, swinging and sliding. The park also features softball fields, 15 soccer fields, batting cages, fishing ponds and a nature trail that winds through some of its most scenic areas.
If you’re stopping by on a rainy day, there is a recreational complex that offers racquetball, ping pong tables and billiards. The huge pavilion provides the perfect place for a snack or lunch no matter the weather. During the summer months, visitors are welcome to take a seat on a replica 19th century train for an exciting ride around the park. It even goes through a dark tunnel and over the park’s lake on a bridge.
Biking and fishing are popular at Meadowlake Park in Enid, as well as the kiddie rides, Ferris wheel, miniature golf course and carousel that are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. If you’re looking to break a sweat, the tennis courts and baseball diamond provide space to run and play sports. The horseshoe area, playground and picnic shelter offer a more low key way to enjoy the park’s numerous amenities. End the day with a train ride around the lake to take in a beautiful Oklahoma sunset in a unique way.
Redbud Park in Marlow is a charming, small town park perfect for an afternoon of family fun. The Western themed playground known as “The Hideout” is made of wood and covers an impressive 13,000 square feet. The Marlow Outlaw Centennial Monument and “Outlaw Cave” reference the town’s Old West past, as does the nearby Redbud Chapel, which was built in 1904 and moved to the park nearly 100 years later. The park also features a swimming pool, baseball diamonds, picnic areas and horseshoe courts for hours of entertainment.
Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Wintersmith Park in Ada has been a family destination for decades. Located near the idyllic campus of East Central University, this 150-acre park includes a peaceful lake and public swimming pool, a beautiful CCC-built stone amphitheater and courts for basketball, softball, volleyball and horseshoes. Wintersmith Park is a major draw for locals, but its fantastic amenities and natural beauty make it well worth the drive for those who live outside of the region as well.
Come explore Wintersmith Park’s 1.5-mile lighted nature trail, or enjoy a picnic at one of the park’s eight pavilions. Kids can wear themselves out at the well-maintained playground and Kiwanis amusement park, providing hours of fun for the young and the young at heart. Wintersmith Park is also steeped in history, featuring a preserved one-room school house built in 1907 and a log cabin representing the town’s early pioneer days. Come to Ada and see what makes this city park gem a truly special destination.