Staycation Ideas in North Central Oklahoma

Staycation ideas in North Central Oklahoma

Sometimes when you live in a small town staycationing means taking day trips to locations within a couple of hours of you. The town we live in doesn’t have any big attractions or sites that draw tourists but we’ve found several fun (and affordable) activities that we can take day trips to in the North Central Oklahoma and Southern Kansas area.

Oklahoma City Zoo

When you have little kids, the zoo is a must on the summer staycation list. We made a couple of trips to Oklahoma City Zoo last year and used their list of free/discount days to get in free and almost free. Every Wednesday in July and August you can get in for $1 each. Or if you give blood with OBI during certain months this summer you’ll receive two free adult admission tickets. Even if you don’t live in Oklahoma, be sure to check out your nearest zoo’s website to see what sort-of discount days they offer.

Staycation ideas in North Central Oklahoma

Another perk of the Oklahoma City Zoo is the little river in the children’s zoo area made for kids to wade in. Come prepared for your kids to get wet and to not want to leave. You might even want to pack swimsuits or a change of clothes.

Salt Plains – Jet, Oklahoma

If you live in Northern Oklahoma or within a couple hours of Jet, this is something you need to do at least once! Plan your trip for a cooler day or arrive as early as possible because there is no shade. Beware that the salt plains are in the middle of nowhere so pack plenty of food and water for drinking. You’ll also want to bring gallons of water for rinsing off your hands and arms before you get back in the car to head home.

Staycation ideas in North Central Oklahoma

You will spend the day digging on a salt plain trying to find selenite crystals. Bring tools for digging. Both big shovels to start the holes and small shovels or objects to scrape the walls with. However, to find the most crystals be sure to dig around on the sides of the hole with your hands after you’ve attacked the ground with a shovel. Our first hole was a dud, but in the next one we found dozens of crystals.

Kiddie Park – Bartlesville, OK

Most evenings during the summer this little park is open and you can go on one of 18 rides and attractions for 1 ticket each (tickets are just 50 cents)! Granted, this isn’t going to be anything super fancy or have big rides but it could be a fun and affordable evening especially if you have younger kids. If you are looking for something else to do during the day before you head to the Kiddie Park, check out the next staycation idea.

Woolaroc – Bartlesville, OK

Adult tickets are $10 but children under 11 are free. Woolaroc is a wildlife refuge and as you head onto their property to the lodge and museum you might see one of the many wild animals that make that land their home. We went here several times growing up and enjoyed walking through the museum, but for us kids our favorite was a picnic outside on the grounds and the petting zoo.

Botanica, The Wichita Gardens – Wichita, KS

Staycation ideas in North Central Oklahoma

We went here for our first time last month and we all enjoyed it more than I thought we would. There are beautiful flowers for the adults and the 3 and 6 year old we had with us enjoyed it as well. They had a blast in the children’s garden playing on the structures, watering flower beds, banging on large instruments and didn’t mind wandering around the rest of the garden either. 2 and under are free, kids cost $5, and adults $7. If you live close enough that you think you might be able to visit to more than once, be sure to check out the family membership for 2 adults and all the kids under 18 in your house.

Exploration Place – Wichita, KS

This is a science and discover center we spent hours and hours at and the kids could have stayed even longer. There were sections our just turned 3 year old loved and other sections that were great for older kids. Our daughter loved playing in the castle, sitting in the airplanes, and splashing at the water table.

Staycation ideas in North Central Oklahoma

This is another location that if you think you might go to it more than once during the year you will want to buy the family membership. You can pack a lunch and eat at the picnic tables inside of the museum. Another great thing is that there is a park out behind the museum if your kids have even more energy to burn at the end of the day.

What are your favorite things to do for a staycation? Have you traveled in northern Oklahoma before?

Linking up to these fun parties!



17 thoughts on “Staycation Ideas in North Central Oklahoma

  1. Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook

    Great list! I grew up in Bartlesville and enjoyed a few of the Kiddie Park’s rides through my teens–and it was fun to watch the little kids enjoying rides I loved when I was smaller. Woolaroc is great, and another thing to do there is rock climbing: the hill below the lodge has rocks arranged for easy climbing by kids over 6 or so.

    I went to the salt plains a couple of times. Another fun thing to do there is run! You can go really fast in that flat, empty space!

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Ooo! I’ll remember the rock climbing! I don’t know that we did that when we were kids and it kind-of surprises me. 🙂 The salt plains are just so cool and unique – I love them.

  2. Leslie

    I’ve seen the salt plans on Pinterest and they seem so cool. I might have to add it to my bucket list. I hope your having a great Thursday!

  3. Natasha in Oz

    I’ve never been to Oklahoma but would love to visit there one day. Thanks for sharing your insider tips!

    If you have a minute to spare I would be thrilled if you could share your post at this week’s Say G’Day Saturday party. It has just started and this would be a great addition.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Oklahoma is a pretty nice place to live. Not super exciting or big, but I guess it has it’s nice things. 🙂 Thanks for sharing about your party. Sounds like lots of fun – I’m going to remember to stop by and visit!

  4. Kathy Gossen

    What a great post idea! Fabulous ideas! I haven’t tried the Kiddie Park in Bartlesville–that sounds totally fun. We are going to have to add that to our to-do list. Thanks for sharing on T2T! I’m definitely saving this one for later!

  5. Stephanie Kay

    The Salt Plains look like a lot of fun. I’m sure my kids would love to go there! The closest we’ve gotten to Central, OK is visiting family in NW AR. Right now we’re working on a project called R is for Rhode Island. Basically it’s our own alphabet book filled with quintessential RI activities and places. It’s a lot of fun being a tourist in your hometown!

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Arkansas has some really pretty areas! My sister’s husband went to school at John Brown University in Siloam Springs and they now live in Bentonville. We love visiting them. Ooo, that sounds like such a great idea. I’ll have to do that when Kenna gets a little older.

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