Best. Day trip. Ever.
Recently, the kids and I embarked on an adventure to see my sister and her girls in Tulsa.
That Saturday just happened to be opening day of The Gathering Place, a new riverfront park Tulsan’s have been anxiously awaiting since they broke ground in 2014.
It was absolutely worth the wait.
If your family has a day where you can escape to Tulsa, a measly hour and a half drive down the Turner Turnpike, you should DO THAT and I promise not one person in the entire family will regret it.
The park is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is 66.5 acres of whimsical adventure for anyone and everyone and the best part is… it is ALL FREE! No joke. Even kayak rental from the ONEOK Boathouse is FREE.
This once in a lifetime project is the brainchild of George Kaiser, a Tulsa native, who has stated he hopes we all become united in our love for the community. I feel like we have all been given a gift that will touch Oklahoman’s lives and memories for many years to come.
My sister and I had five children we were responsible for so we mainly stuck to the five acres known as Chapman Adventure Playground.
Here are some of the amazing attractions we got to see, and we can not wait to go back and see some more.
Slide Vale– We just stumbled upon this part and were so shocked to discover that this is not even included in the five-acre park area – it is just bonus fun. Our kids LOVED it and were adamantly refusing to leave until we explained this was not even the park part.
We then walked down and found the stage where they were setting up for the show later. The FREE show that is! In celebration of the opening of the park, they are hosting 100 days of free concerts. My kind of people right there.
Then we curved around the path and were directly in front of the new ONEOK Boathouse which is insanely pretty.
Right past the boathouse you cross over a bridge to enter the Chapman Adventure Playground, and if your children are anything like mine you may never emerge again.
Sky Pods – These were a huge hit and like every other section of this playground it was a battle to get them to move on to the next area.
The Spiral Connector -This includes seven towers that are connected by a series of climbing structures, slides, suspension bridges, puzzles, and instruments designed to allow children to play while stimulating the imagination.
Land of the River Giants – Children can ride the slides of the Blue Heron and climb all over the giant Paddle-fish like my little man did. My four year old loved this area.
Fairyland Forest – This playground was designed for preschoolers in mind. With tiny houses for pretend play, a banana slide, sand, and water features this section is full of interactive activities for the curious younger minds.
Ramble Sensory Garden – This garden is a maze of STEM education and definitely peaked the curiosity of our entire crew. The tornado tube and mirrors were a lot of fun.
Volcanoville -This is a padded play area specifically for children 6 months – 24 months of age and is designed to increase their cognitive abilities while learning through play.
We did not have any kids that young with us so we just passed by it on our way to the Lodge to find some much-needed snacks.
The Lodge was so much nicer than I had anticipated, and was such a great rest for my sister and I. It is two stories with a restaurant outside on top and one inside located on the bottom floor. We went to the restaurant, The Patio, and were so pleased to see nothing over ten dollars on the menu. We noticed while trying to find a table that they have a play area actually connected to the patio. It was glorious!
It was a great break for my sister and I and you know what else they had…
BEER!! I do not drink often but after the day we had, it was so nice to just sit, relax, and visit with my sis while enjoying a cold brew.
I am pretty sure this was the best day trip the kids and I have ever taken. The Gathering Place far exceeded my expectations and I am almost positive it will do the same for you. So load those kids up and head to Tulsa! It is SO WORTH IT.
Has your family already visited The Gathering Place?
What is your favorite day trip destination?