Tulsa with Kids: A Perfect Family Day

by Jessica Colburn, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Sep 24th 2010 07:47 PM

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Tulsa with Kids: A Family Vacation

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Tulsa is a gem in the state of Oklahoma. While the locals will sometimes lament what they see as a lack of entertainment, a little digging will reveal copious amounts of fun waiting to be had. You're sure to have a great day in Tulsa with your kids if you visit these wonderful spots.

Morning

Family vacations in Tulsa get off to a great start with breakfast at Brookside by Day. This restaurant is also just down the street from our first attraction, so it's a prime spot to start your day. BBD, as it's often called, has been around long enough that most of us cannot imagine a world without it. The restaurant serves a full menu, but it is their breakfast that has made them a local favorite. My personal favorite is the spinach omelet. Fluffy eggs cooked to heavenly perfection and fresh spinach make for a great adult breakfast, and there is a fabulous selection of more child friendly fare as well. There is a great view of the Brookside district to keep you and the kids entertained while you eat, and you won't ever have to ask for a refill on your coffee or juice since the service is top notch.

Brookside by Day
3313 South Peoria Ave
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74105
(918) 745-9989



Afternoon

The Philbrook Museum of Art is free on the second Saturday of every month. Located in a beautiful area of Tulsa, the museum features gorgeous landscaping that offers just as much enjoyment as many of its exhibits. The Philbrook boasts an impressive collection of art in several mediums from all around the world. Whether it's Native American pottery, Japanese paintings, outdoor sculptures or modern and contemporary art, the exhibitions at this museum are glimpses into a wide world of art and discovery. By visiting this museum during your Tulsa family vacation, your kids can foster an appreciation for the rich heritage of art and kick start a lifetime of fascination and intrigue. Second Saturdays are geared toward families, so you and your children can take part in art projects, go on scavenger hunts, and even join My Museum. This program allows your family to be an active member of Philbrook and is completely free. It also includes an artist tool kit for which your kids will receive new items each month. Be sure to check the Philbrook's website for exhibit schedules and much, much more.

Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 South Rockford Rd
Tulsa, Oklahoma
(918) 749-7941
Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat-Sun 10AM-5PM, Thu 10AM-8PM, closed Mon
Tickets are $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors and students, and free for kids 18 and under. All admission is free on the second Saturday of each month.



Evening

The Circle Cinema is located at 12 South Lewis in Whittier Square. This little theatre is a great example of a piece of Tulsa tradition that has gone through a few renovations since its completion in 1928 and certainly has had its share of darker periods where closing business was a real threat. Through community involvement and their incredible variety of films and events, The Circle has remained a treasured landmark in the city of Tulsa. The Circle Cinema has partnered with Journeys in Film, a program started in 2003 to encourage cultural understanding and civic responsibility among kids who are middle school age. The Circle provides interactive discussion and education while entertaining. That is far more than most theatres can claim. The lobby is a visual treat in itself, complete with fun cardboard cutouts and vintage movies posters. There is also fun Circle Cinema merchandise for sale. I managed to live my entire life up until the age of 26 without ever seeing George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It was thanks to the Midnight Movie at the Circle that I finally righted that grievous error!

The Circle Cinema
10 S. Lewis Ave
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104-1615
(918) 585-3504
Check event listings online or call the box office.



If an afternoon exploring the museum fails to sedate your rambunctious family, travel to yet another historic area and catch a lively minor-league baseball game. Oneok Field in the Greenwood District has been open since April 2010 and is home to the Tulsa Drillers. While we were all a bit sad to see the closing of the old ballpark, Oneok has definitely made a wonderful impression. The stadium seats 18,000 people and, even though it certainly stands out as a new structure, the architects and designers made an effort to ensure they included the art deco touches that locals love so dearly. Pocket schedules for the baseball games can be picked up free at any Quik Trip location and will provide you with all the information you need to make sure the family has a memorable day at the game. Sunday in particular is a good day for a family outing, as it is Family Fun Day. Sundays promise free food for kids under twelve, and lots of family oriented fun. If your little ones are hoping to see some fireworks, make sure to check your schedule! We are fond of our pyrotechnics in Tulsa, and we take several opportunities to show off our skill during summers with the Drillers!

Oneok Field
201 North Elgin Ave
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74120
(918) 744-3267


Visiting Tulsa with your kids doesn't have to be boring. There is a lot to explore in the area; you just have to look hard to find it. The areas and venues I have discussed here are places that are genuinely educational yet manage to be fun for everyone, regardless of age. Places like the Philbrook are so much more than the activities they offer; they are visual feasts for the eyes and invaluable lessons in history and local culture. Even if your kids are on summer vacation and the idea of learning is not appealing to them at all, these places offer intellectual stimulation and fun that I promise they will not protest. So, pack up your family and travel to our little corner of Oklahoma!
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