An Oklahoma Summer can be a beautiful thing, once you get past the heat.
Growing up in the 90’s, my summer was always spent playing with the kids on my street in a mean game of kickball or 4-Square, jumping on trampolines, slumber parties, sprinklers, TP wars, ding-dong ditch, and so much more. We stayed out until the street lamps came on, and sometimes, even later.
Ah, the nostalgia.
Now, as a parent, I love all the things we can do with our kids during the summer! So, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling some of my favorite summer activities, although this is by no means exhaustive.
Oklahoma Day Trips
For those days when you just want to get out of the house, and take a little drive, there are still so many fun things to do!
- Pops 66 – with a tall and colorful soda bottle feature, with more soda flavors than you could dream of, Pops is a fun place to drive for a meal, snap some cute pics, and head back home.
- Oklahoma Aquarium – a great way to beat the heat, and an easy little trip up the turnpike. We love going to the Aquarium; we see something new every time!
- Arbuckle Wilderness – so this is on my bucket list, but we haven’t actually been! It’s mostly in the car, but there is also a petting zoo, reptile center, and some small rides. I’ve only ever heard great things about it!
I’m going to be honest – I’m not much of a festival person. But if you are, there are several options this summer! Here are a few that caught my eye.
Blackberry Festival– Find all sorts of blackberry items including cobbler, sodas and more. There will also be live music, a parade, a pageant and fireworks for you and your family to enjoy. The festival runs July 7th & 8th.
Red Earth Festival – At the Red Earth Festival, enjoy a variety of both traditional and contemporary artworks will astound as you move through the exhibits featuring some of today’s most celebrated Native American artists. June 2-3.
Libertyfest – Take in the all-day activities in Edmond this July Fourth. Check out the parade, festival activities, food, music and more throughout the day, and wrap your night up with a brilliant display of fireworks over the UCO campus.
Rush Springs Watermelon Festival – Who doesn’t love watermelon in the summer? Visit Rush Springs on August 12 as they celebrate the watermelon harvest with seed spitting contests, arts and crafts, live entertainment, carnival rides, FREE watermelon and more.
We all know the point of summer is to go swimming. At least, that’s what my kids think. Of course, you have your community and neighborhood pools, which are great! But, if you are looking for other options, OKC doesn’t disappoint:
- White Water Bay…. or is it Hurricane Harbor now…? This is THE place to go. It’s fun. It’s crowded. You get scorched feet walking to all the different slides and pools. It’s the absolute best.
- Lakes & Rivers – Part of growing up an Okie is swimming in the lake! Travel Oklahoma was kind enough to put together a nice list of Oklahoma’s Top Swimming Holes.
- Water-Zoo – Okay, this is another one of our family’s bucket list items. I’ve never been, but I’ve wanted to take my kids! It’s in Clinton, OK, and is an indoor water park. All the fun without the sun? Sometimes in the middle of July, that’s what we’re looking for!
This list might be a little longer than the last few, because this is such a fun one!
- Camping – Travel Oklahoma has done it again, and given us a list of 10 Great Places to Camp in Oklahoma. As a kid, the summers we went camping were some of my favorite summers! There’s just something about sleeping in a tent next to the lake that is good for the soul.
- Broken Bow – speaking of good for the soul…if you haven’t made it down to Broken Bow, you are missing out. While it can be an expensive trip if you get a cabin, it’s honestly one of my favorite vacations! We try to make this an annual trip. It’s a beautiful little tourist spot, geared for more outside activities.
- Salt Plains – Another item on my bucket list…the Salt Plains. I’ve had some friends go, who all had a great time! Apparently you get to dig around for salt crystals?! My three year old loves any activity solely focused on digging in the dirt, so um…sign us up.
- Float the Illinois River – This is a blast and is such a good vibe. You can choose the distance you want to float, but plan for it taking the whole day. With camping and cabin options around, it’s a great way to spend the weekend. Just a word of advice though – take more sunscreen than you think you need, and apply it every hour. I may or may not be speaking from experience here…ha!
This is honestly what you make it – what does your family love to do together?!
- Movie Nights in the Park
- Sno Cones from Cotton Eyed Joes
- Game night at Main Event
- Catch a Dodgers Game
- Frontier City or Riversport
- Quiet nights in the backyard
- Check out our Ultimate Guide to FREE Family Fun in OKC here
For all you mommas planning out the “best summer ever”, don’t forget to enjoy it! There really is something so beautiful about an Oklahoma summer (even through the heat), that makes me excited for its arrival.