Looking for some fun things to do in Tulsa with kids? We recently took a 3 day weekend trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to visit family. Even though we stayed a short time (and had 2 rainy days), we had a great visit!
Tulsa is really growing and I was happily surprised to find so many family friendly things to do there. We had four kids with us ranging in ages from 3 to 10.
Check out the list at the end of all the places we went, along with a fun 15 page FREE Road Trip Printables for Kids Activity Pack for you to download! It’ll be perfect to keep your kids busy while on the road!
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Check out our family’s 3 day itinerary to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Family visit time was our first priority, so you could easily add in more Tulsa attractions than this, depending on your interests and the weather.
DAY ONE- FAMILY ROAD TRIP TO TULSA
The first day surprised us with nice weather, so we went to the Gathering Place– Tulsa’s new, massive 100 acre riverfront park. There is so much to do there and it is just gorgeous! In good weather, you could literally spend days in this park.
There are several play areas for different ages (great for toddlers on up!), a sensory garden, skate park, sport courts, several splash/water play areas, boathouse to check out a paddle boat, kayak or canoe, indoor eating/relaxing spaces, several educational, picnic and performance areas, and more!
This is only Phase I, and there are two more phases planned for the future. No matter how old your kids are, you’ll be able to have a lot of family fun here!
For dinner, we enjoyed some amazing bar-b-q from Albert G’s BBQ Restaurant. EVERYTHING we had there was top notch- we really enjoyed were the chopped brisket, Tulsa style ribs, sweet potato waffle fries, and Little J proclaimed the mac n’ cheese to be one of his favorites (he has a top 5 list, lol).
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DAY TWO OF TULSA FAMILY FUN
The second day was too rainy to do the outdoor things we had planned. We met family for breakfast at the amazing Dilly Diner restaurant. They serve their full menu all day and the food was so delicious! The four kids in our party all loved it too!
Afterwards, we went to the Oklahoma Aquarium. They have a huge variety of sea and underwater life, along with some wildlife who live along the banks.
Our kids found all of it so interesting! The extreme fish, otters, sea turtle island, and the shark tunnel exhibits were there favorites. Little J actually took the close-up of the sea turtle below, what a friendly guy!
A beautiful accessible playground was recently added outside with separate play spaces for kids 2-5 and 5-12, a new octopus exhibit opened in spring 2020, and they’ve began building a new clownfish and jellyfish exhibit! Plan to be there about 2 hours to see it all, or more on busy days.
For a big family dinner, we tried a local favorite- Hideaway Pizza. We splurged and along with our pizzas, got two appetizers since they all sounded delicious!
The fried mushrooms and garlic knots were definitely a winner! Too bad we were too full to finish off the pizzas. Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of the food, only our leftovers box and cute cup my drink came in. Give them a try if you’re in the Tulsa area- they also have other locations in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
DAY THREE OF OUR FAMILY VISIT TO TULSA
Our last day was also a rainy one, but thankfully we visited the Discovery Lab and had hours of indoor fun! It may be a little small, but they pack a lot into that space!
An animation exhibit greeted us first, teaching the kids the process of making a story animated. They went through the basics of making a storyboard, how to add sound effects, and even make stop motion movies on a board or with themselves in a large photo booth.
Here’s one of the animations Little J made with some help from dad.
Other areas in the hall include a place for younger kids and toddlers to play, a musical instrument made from PVC pipes, and a circle of fans where large pieces of fabric are sent flying upwards.
But, the biggest attraction is an indoor obstacle course with sections of tunnels and slides made from…packing tape!!
Another hall had an exhibit about insects, including live insects, and interactive models of insects. A play area had insect costumes the kids could wear and climb around in a big beehive. The kids really got a kick out of it.
A small workshop at the back has rotating hands-on projects with a staff member there to assist. A few were geared toward older kids, but younger kids could participate too. That day they had several stations inside that dealt with light.
A kids’ playground with a splash pad is also out front, which is great for kids to splash around in when the weather is nice. The exhibits change regularly, so check their website for current exhibit information and the field trip outlook for the week- then you’ll know what day(s) won’t be as busy.
They recently added a brand new 50,000 sq ft museum after we left too! We can’t wait to go back!
Afterwards we stopped at Magic City Books downtown and bought a couple of books. (Little J really wanted Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel. A silly, but hilarious book!) It really does have a magical feeling to it inside the store. There’s a little cafe and a seating area.
Magic City Books offers many neat and often unique events including story time and author visits. Check their calendar for details and you might be able to add it to your vacation schedule while your family visits Tulsa.
We ended the day at our favorite place to get ice cream- Braum’s. Their burgers are pretty good too, but their ice cream is amazing! Little J loves the soft frozen yogurt, which to him tastes just as good as the ice cream. Since we don’t have a Braum’s where we live, we had to stop by for our “fix.”
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Want some help planning your next trip? Check out our printable 32 page Travel Planner in the shop & get started planning your next vacation today!
Kid-Friendly Places to Visit in Tulsa
Here’s a handy list of the fun places we visited with our kids in Tulsa.
- Gathering Place (Twice! We worked in a short stop before we left.)
- Oklahoma Aquarium
- Discovery Lab
- Magic City Books
Next time we hope to check out a few of these other Tulsa family attractions:
- Center of the Universe (free)
- Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
- Tulsa Zoo
- Tulsa Geoscience Center (by appointment only)
- Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park-especially the Linnaeus Teaching Garden & Butterfly Garden.
- The Philbrook Museum of Art and the Gilcrease Museum– may be enjoyed more by older kids.
- Shuffles Board Game Cafe– Looks so neat! This may be best suited for kids who are a little older, but it says it’s for all ages.
- A movie theater with an indoor play place for little ones? Yes please! Check out screenPlay!
- Pose with the Golden Driller Statue, Buck Atom- Space Cowboy, or the Blue Whale of Catoosa (right outside of Tulsa, in Catoosa, OK).
Event Centers in Tulsa, OK
Check these event centers in Tulsa online before you go, you might find something you’d like to attend:
- BOK Center
- Guthrie Green
- ONEOK Field– Catch a ballgame along with some fun activities for kids!
- Cain’s Ballroom– While there may not be a show there that’s family- friendly, there’s a lot of musical history in Tulsa that’s touched on here.
- Other great resources of events are TulsaKids Magazine and the Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau. There might be some events going on that you’d like to plan a family roadtrip around, or other events that you’d like to avoid (like those creating extra traffic and crowds), so it’s smart to check!
Recommended Tulsa Restaurants
Here’s a helpful list of the restaurants in Tulsa that we visited (the first 4), and others that are highly recommended by our family in Tulsa:
- Albert G’s BBQ Restaurant
- Dilly Diner
- Hideaway Pizza
- Braum’s (You may have one near you- I wish we did!)
- Hurts Donut (You may have one near you.)
- Burn Co. BBQ
- Brownies Hamburgers
- Bread and Butter Kitchen and Bakery
- Charelston’s (You may have one near you.)
- Mother Road Market Food Hall
Check all restaurant hours and possible restrictions before you go. A place we planned to go was closed, so we learned our lesson. There are so many wonderful Tulsa restaurants though, I’m sure you won’t go hungry!
Don’t forget to sign up for your FREE Printable Road Trip Activities for Kids pack! There are travel games, coloring sheets and more to keep their attention!
Are there other places in Tulsa or Oklahoma that you’d recommend visiting with children?