What are you looking for in your next vacation? Weekend getaways in Oklahoma can be as varied as the people and places within the state. Here you can grab an oar and raft down world-class white water rapids, relax in a rustic cabin at the edge of the wilderness, circle the Conestoga wagons during a farm stay, and immerse yourself in a vibrant arts scene.
Oklahoma is known as the Crossroads of America, as it’s in the middle of the United States. Interstate highways 35 and 40 intersect in Oklahoma City and run through the state. That makes it an easy drive from many places. If you are in a neighboring state of Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas, all of these Oklahoma vacation ideas are just a few hours away.
Oklahoma City is home for us and we explored all over the state. I am always looking for fun places to go with kids near me. I have written about many Oklahoma family vacation ideas but decided to put them here all in one place. Here you’ll find 6 great Oklahoma getaways for a weekend or beyond.
If you haven’t been to Oklahoma City lately, you need to plan a visit. The city is in the midst of a revitalization and it is BOOMING! Today you will find award winning attractions, live events, great restaurants, and outdoor adventures throughout the city.
Families seeking adventure will want to don their swimsuit and grab an oar to raft the Riversport OKC white water rafting course, climb converted grain silos at Climb Up indoor climbing gym, or cycle along the miles of city trails. For an educational weekend getaway, there are interactive, hands-on exhibits at the Science Museum Oklahoma, Museum of Osteology, and Firefighters Museum. In Bricktown you’ll find the plenty of local eateries, live entertainment and street art/murals. The other various city districts offer great shopping, more great food, and family friends attractions.
If you want to find places steeped in Western history, Duncan is the place to go. Duncan is a town made famous by the Chisholm Trail, a route stretching from Kansas to Texas that cowboys once used to drive millions of cattle to market. Today it is home to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, one of the top western museums in the country. Here you’ll also find one of the last remaining steam locomotives at Rock Island 905 Railroad Depot & Museum. The museum hols several annual events that any train fan will want to attend. In nearby areas, there are other fun family destinations like the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Oklahoma has enjoyed a revival recently with a thriving music scene, world-class art museums and, of course, some of the greatest sports teams in the region. Norman, Oklahoma’s quintessential “college town,” is no exception and would be a great place to enjoy a weekend.
If the state’s third largest city is on your itinerary, consider visiting during the second weekend of the month to get the most bang for your weekend buck. The second Friday of each month boasts the Second Friday Art Walk in downtown Norman featuring live music, food trucks, local art and more. Early evening is a great time for families to enjoy the vendors and interactive activities sprinkled throughout the former empty lots turned gathering places. Once the sun goes down, drink specials and bands are easily stumbled upon up and down Main Street in the newly named Walker Art District.
After a lively, artistic Friday night, spend your Saturday exploring one of Norman’s gems, the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. This Norman must-see hosts a number of traveling exhibits but perpetually pleases dinosaur lovers young and old with their permanent Hall of Ancient Life. Visitors interested in learning about Oklahoma’s rich Native culture will love the Hall of People of Oklahoma, another permanent exhibit showcasing the 300,000 year history of Native people of this region, including artifacts and contributions from my family!
With no shortage of cultural immersion, artistic endeavors, culinary dreams and sporting events for days, Norman is an easy spot to fill a weekend with fun and family!
Enid is probably one of the best kept secrets in Oklahoma. The running joke is that during severe weather television forecasts, you won’t see roads leading to Enid. But it’s there and it offer a wide range of activities and attractions for people looking for family fun in Oklahoma. Some of our favorite attractions are the Leonardo’s Children’s Museum that was created by a local educator that wanted to provide a fun, educational space for all ages. The other site you MUST see is Simpson’s Old Time Museum. This is a working western movie studio with complete set scenes, vintage memorabilia, and pictures. Enid is also the closest town to Gloss Mountain State Park.
While this is one of the smaller parks in Oklahoma, Gloss Mountains are one of my favorite
destinations. A steep set of stairs zigzag to the top of Cathedral Mountain and once you’re up
there it’s like you’re on your own planet.
The area gets its name from the reflective selenite gypsum exposed in the ground. It’s especially pretty at sunrise or sunset when the sun catches the crystals just right and they sparkle. The collared lizard, the Oklahoma State reptile, can be spotted here and almost always there are buzzards circling in the sky, riding air currents in lazy circles. It manages to feel very isolated and peaceful, even with cars going by on the highway below.
There isn’t much to do besides climb the stairs and explore the top of the mesa but it’s worth
the drive all on its own. I really love this area; it’s stark and beautiful and so different from
anything near Oklahoma City. And if you’re planning a day trip this is a perfect spot to head towards. The walk up and around the mesa takes about an hour if you’re in a hurry but it’s worth it to slow down and enjoy the view. There’s a spot to picnic and rest after you’ve come down too. Just keep in mind that the stairs are steep and to bring water with you.
St. Francis of the Woods in Coyle, Oklahoma, is the perfect destination for a family that
is looking to slow down and find some quiet. One part spiritual retreat center, one part
working farm, St. Francis of the Woods has cabins of all shapes and sizes, and each
cabin has a working kitchen. There is no WiFi or TV, but there is an abundance of
peace and quiet.
For entertainment, there’s a library and a walking trail, and guests can go see the farm
animals or feed the ducks at the pond. The retreat center is also actively involved in
prairie restoration projects, and it’s a great place to see a little bit of Oklahoma
wilderness just outside the city.
Though it’s not the sort of place with a flashy sign or big attractions, St. Francis of the
Woods offers attendees the opportunity for some quiet time and connection. If you’re
looking for a place where you can get away from screens and enjoy the company of
your loved ones. While many artists like to visit as a way to retreat and dig deeper into
their work, it could easily be the perfect spot to slow down and reconnect with family
over board games or books read aloud.
New to Oklahoma City are the Conestoga Wagons at Orr Family Farm in South OKC. Settle in for a glamping experience in Oklahoma City complete with smores and a campfire.
If you are looking for Oklahoma day trip ideas, check out:
- Toy and Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley
- Riversport OKC in Oklahoma City
- Best Places to go Kayaking in Oklahoma – various locations
- Turner Falls – Sulphur
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