We’re almost a month into spring, which means that your kids are probably itching to play outside every single day now. Whether you’re a local trying to shake things up a bit, or are just traveling with your family and need a safe place to let the kids spend some energy for a while, the following list will surely give you some really good ideas about where to stop and give your children some outdoors time.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite playgrounds and parks in Oklahoma City that will have the whole family active and entertained throughout the day, and all of them hold their own on repeat visits so you don’t have to change venues every single day. Do you like vast open spaces? How about animals? A lake, perhaps? There’s good variety here, so everyone’s taste should be accounted for. Plan your day accordingly and enjoy yourself!
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Offering over 15 acres of green, blossoming beauty right in the heart of Oklahoma City, the Myriad Botanical gardens are one of the most beloved natural spaces in the downtown area. More than a simple piece of land with some grass on it, the MBG houses a children’s garden, picnic area, dog park (no leash required in this area!), jogging trails, and even its own restaurant. You can even attend concerts at the Crystal Bridge Conservatory and the Bandshell, and if you have a little more time to spend, there are several programs on horticulture for both children and adult. It’s a box of surprises for the whole family and one of the best parks in Oklahoma City!
Oklahoma City Zoo + Botanical Garden & Aquarium
Covering 119 acres and housing over 1900 animal, the OKCZ features a number of exhibits starring many of their most famous residents, such as a herd of Asian elephants, two different troops of gorillas, a family of orangutans, all sorts of big cats, a butterfly garden, Galápagos tortoises and many, many more. A children’s zoo is also available for kids to explore and play alongside flamingos, goats, monkeys, and birds, and they can explore a gentle play stream while doing so. The OKCZ is an Oklahoma City institution, and you’ll realize why it’s called a living zoo by many once you set foot inside.
Hefner Lake & Park
If you prefer open spaces without too much hassle, the serene shores of Lake Hefner and the lovely park on the eastern side of it has plenty of great picnic spots to spend a quiet family afternoon. There are many clean, safe walking and biking trails, some of which go all around the 10-mile shoreline, which is not something you’d expect to find in Oklahoma (the lake is man-made, so don’t be surprised to learn that their quaint lighthouse is a replica). You’ll also be able to find delicious restaurants surrounding the area, so you don’t have to carry a ton of snacks with you along your walk. Finally, if you’re an avid golfer, you’ll be happy to know there’s a golf course close to the water offering great views of the area.
Will Rogers Park
If you’re visiting Oklahoma City around Spring, you should definitely set some time apart to enjoy Will Rogers Park, a delightful park and something of a hidden gem in the city. WRP is perfect for taking a nice, quiet stroll with the kids while you stop to enjoy the pond with geese, ducks and koi fish, which make for a fantastic photo opportunity. Around this time, of the year you’ll find it blooming in all sorts of color while the many bodies of water are teeming with life. There are also, of course, plenty of picnic tables and areas where you can stretch for a bit and maybe play some frisbee with the kids, making this one of the best playgrounds in OKC.
Wheeler Ferris Wheel
Overlooking the Downtown Oklahoma City skyline, the Wheeler Ferris Wheel is a 100-feet tall ride located in the Santa Monica Pier near the Oklahoma River. The view alone is worth the visit, and it can be enjoyed best around sunset or at night when the OKC skyline is at its most breathtaking. After the ride, you’ll want to walk along the river or enjoy some food from one of the many street vendors around the area. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a slow-paced evening without going too far from the city nor ending up too tired at the end of the day.
Oklahoma City is home to many beautiful parks and playgrounds which the whole family can enjoy, and you won’t even have to worry about neglecting spring cleaning if you know who to call. Go out there, have some fun and re-discover your love for this amazing city.