8 great day trips from OKC for the whole family! Hop in the car and go find some fun things to do in Oklahoma! From crystal-digging to a drive-through safari, there is an Oklahoma attraction for everyone!
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We’ve lived in Oklahoma City for over a decade now, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of what the great state of Oklahoma has to offer in terms of travel! There are so many fun things to do in OKC, but, sometimes, it’s exciting to take a day and go explore other parts of the state!
All of the places on this list are within a 2 1/2 hour drive from OKC. We’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some of them ourselves. The rest are on our Oklahoma Bucket List.
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Great Salt Plains State Park
Great Salt Plains State Park is on our Oklahoma Bucket List! It will take you less than 2 1/2 hours to drive to this Oklahoma “gem”. Yes, that was a pun! You can dig for your own hourglass-shaped selenite crystal, which can’t be found anywhere else in the world in this unique shape! The park is open for digging from April 1 to October 15 each year.
There are lots of other activities to enjoy as well. Take a dip in Great Salt Plains Lake, go fishing or boating, ride your horses, or hike along one of the beautiful nature trails. In the winter, you may even spot an eagle!
My cousin, Josh, and his family recently took a day trip from OKC to visit Great Salt Plains State Park and shared these great photos with me! You can find more of their fun family adventures over on their blog, Us Living Life!
The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile and Lodge
We visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma last spring on our way home from New Life Ranch. It’s less than 2 1/2 hours from OKC, but you may want to start your day early if you want to shop and eat at The Mercantile, explore Pawhuska, eat again at Ree Drummond’s P-Town Pizza, have dessert at Charlie’s Sweet Shop, and drive out to The Lodge (where The Pioneer Woman is filmed).
The Lodge is a good little drive out into the country. When I say “a good little drive”, I mean you drive, and you drive, and you drive some more. This is a working ranch. There are only dirt roads. Don’t wash your car before you go. But it’s totally worth it! You’ll want to check the website before you go since tickets for The Lodge tours are only available on certain days.
The Gathering Place
The Gathering Place in Tulsa is one of the most popular new venues in Oklahoma! It’s a public riverfront park that is a destination all by itself. Your kids can play on the giant structures. You can picnic on the lawn while taking in a concert. There are sports courts, a skate park, bike and jogging trails. You’ll find local art and educational experiences throughout the park.
The Gathering Place is on our Oklahoma Bucket List, and we hope to get there soon! Everyone we know who has been there just raves about it!
Here’s a great video of the Woods family from Us Living Life having a super fun day at the Gathering Place!
We visited the Oklahoma Aquarium back in 2016. We were trying to adopt a child at that time, and we had our first family visit there. Sadly, we weren’t able to complete that adoption. Maybe I’ll share that story with you at some point. But because of that day, the Oklahoma Aquarium will always hold a special place in my heart.
At just over 1 1/2 hours from OKC, the Oklahoma Aquarium will bring you face to face with both saltwater and freshwater creatures. From sharks and sea turtles to the native fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals of Oklahoma, this is the best display of aquatic wildlife in the state!
Here’s another Oklahoma Bucket List destination for us! At just about a 1 1/2 hour drive from OKC, Medicine Park was Oklahoma’s first resort town. Shop and dine in the quaint town. Enjoy a hike on the Lawtonka Trails to view the Wichita Wildlife Refuge or Mount Scott. Spend an afternoon swimming at Bath Lake or fishing and boating at one of the other area lakes.
Some of our friends took a day trip from OKC to Medicine Park recently and shared their photos of this amazing landscape with us!
Braum’s Family Farm
Less than an hour from OKC, you can see where the Braum’s magic happens! We took a homeschool field trip to the Braum’s Family Farm back in 2014, and it really made me proud to have them in our state. You can see the care they take in every part of the process. From the cows to the bakery, Braum’s truly takes pride in their family business. It’s a fascinating tour!
Tours run Monday-Friday and start at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Advance reservations are required and they book up quickly, so make sure you plan this trip out several weeks before you want to go!
Chickasaw Cultural Center
We drove down to the Chickasaw Cultural Center (about 1 1/2 hours from OKC) back in 2018 when my great-niece and nephew were staying with us for a few days. It was such a neat experience! We ate authentic Native American food in the cafe, then we set out to explore the cultural center. We enjoyed walking through the living village where we were able to interact with the cultural demonstrators, watch stomp dances, and play stickball.
The museums and shops are outstanding, and the grounds are stunning! This is a must-do for every Oklahoman!
I went to Arbuckle Wilderness as a kid (drove up for a day trip from Texas), but I haven’t had the opportunity to take my own family yet…it’s on that Oklahoma Bucket List. However, our friends made the 1 1/2 hour drive recently and were kind enough to share photos of their sweet kids feeding the animals!
The drive-through safari is the star of the show at Arbuckle Wilderness! Your family will love having the animals come right up to the windows of your car to say hi (and have a snack!). You can get out of your car to visit the petting zoo, ride camels, go for a paddleboat ride, and much more. These activities are only available seasonally, so check the website before you go!
So there you have it…8 Great Day Trips from OKC! Make sure you visit the websites of each location before you head out for hours, costs, etc.
Of course, these are just a handful of ideas for day trips from OKC. For more ideas, visit TravelOK.com!
What ideas for day trips from OKC can you add to this list?
This post was proofread by Grammarly.
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heather J Jandrue
We have not been to Oklahoma. These are some great things to do. The Gathering Place looks so much fun!
These are wonderful Oklahoma destinations! I grew up in Tulsa and live now in Joplin, Missouri. I have family in Tulsa still so visit often. I want to check out the Gathering Place! I love the Philbrook museum gardens too!
We go on vacation to Oklahoma every year and we haven’t done any of this! It is time to do more!
Oh, I’m so glad you’ll have some new things to do!
This looks like a great few choices to explore! Very cool to see it through your eyes!
I’ve never been to Oklahoma. Love that I could make OKC the base camp and visit all these fun places on day trips!
Yes! And there are so many awesome things to do in OKC, too!
I haven’t made it to Oklahoma yet… but it looks amazing! That hike definitely caught my eye! What a view!
It really is a beautiful state!
Thank you. Sure didn’t know about Braums Dairy Farm. I certainly know every Braums location from here to Kansas and Texas.
The Braum’s Farm is really a lot of fun, Letty! It’s also very interesting. Seeing their process first-hand gave me a lot of confidence in purchasing their products. Nothing is wasted, and everything was so clean!