April 7, 2014
10 Oklahoma Favorites
When we moved from California to Oklahoma two years ago we didn't have much notice. As a result we missed our opportunity to check out some of the sights we really wanted to see before we left, like Lake Tahoe, Alcatraz and Big Sur.
This time around we have enough notice that I'm putting together a list of favorite sights and trips we still need to take before we leave Oklahoma for good this summer.
Sam Nobel Museum- This is a natural history museum on OU's campus in Norman. There are dinosaurs galore, and everything is so kid friendly. Don't miss the elevator ride if you go!
Rattlesnake Roundup- This year will be our 3rd time at the Mangum Rattlesnake Derby, fondly referred to as the Rattlesnake Roundup. There's a few of these events around our area, but this one is huge and worth it for the people watching alone. You can get up close to the snakes, go on a field trip to learn about their habits and environments with the rattlesnake wranglers and even eat fried Rattlesnake if you want! (I just stick to funnel cakes, thank you very much!)
Remnants of the Dust Bowl- The Sod House Museum is built around the last surviving "soddy" built by an Oklahoma homesteader in 1894. These were the standard "house" built by settlers as they pulled up the sod in an attempt to farm the prairie. The Dust Bowl covered this area in the 30s and 40s and after the small dust storms we've had in the last 2 years of the current drought I'm fascinated (and horrified) at what the early settlers went through. The Ken Burns documentary is good, but the book The Worst Hard Times by Timothy Egan is much better. The picture at the top of this post is actually of the first line of trees built by the US government to try to create a wind break and stop the storms from gathering so much dust as they moved.
Pinkitzel Cupcakes- Friends took me to this adorable cupcake and candy shop a few months ago when we had a girls night in Oklahoma City but I haven't taken the boys back.
Oklahoma City Zoo- One of my favorite zoos that we have visited. It's huge, and no matter how many people are there it never feels crowded. The staff are fabulous too, and have happily chatted with my kids and answered lots (lots!) of their questions.
Science Museum- Conveniently right next to the zoo, this museum is all for children. It's another massive museum, so give yourself lots of time. There are airplanes, fish, experiments and a giant treehouse. It's fabulous.
One last family picture on the top of Mt. Scott-The tallest peak in the Wichita mountain range and the site of many a family selfie. On a clear day it really gives you an idea of just how vast the plains really are!
Meers- Once a thriving mining town, Meers is now known almost exclusively for the Meersburger, an enormous grass fed beef burger that is one of the best burgers out there. The barbeque and desserts are equally delicious and the building is an experience unto itself.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge-Right next to Meers and Mr. Scott outside of Lawton, OK is the wildlife refuge. Not only is the museum a great break for little kids to run around and explore when it's 110 outside (with great bathrooms to boot-always an important topic when you have preschoolers!) but where else could you drive around or hike and see herds of buffalo and long horn cattle...and even the occasional tarantula on migration?!
Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra- A little bit of culture out here goes a long way. I've been to a few concerts and they haven't disspointed once-this group of musicians wiped out all my stereotypes about an orchestra in the middle of nowhere. There's one more concert before we leave and I'm hoping we'll be able to catch it.