Family Trip: Fun Things to Do in Tulsa with Kids
Fun things to do in Tulsa with kids on your next family trip. If you’re trying to decide where to go for your next family trip go ahead and add Tulsa, Oklahoma to the list. Tulsa is fun, affordable, and full of history and culture.
Why should I visit Tulsa
When I first posed the idea of going to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a family trip, the hubs and the kids gave me a blank stare. I’m here to tell you, Tulsa is way more than tumbleweeds. It has interesting architecture, rich history, a thriving art scene, and so many fun things for kids to do. By the end of the trip everyone was saying how much fun they had. Not to toot my own horn or anything –but momma be knowing!
If you live in North Texas, then Tulsa is about a four hour drive, so it makes for a good family road trip. If you decide to fly there is a major airport in Tulsa.
Best hotels for families to stay in Tulsa
I recommend staying in downtown Tulsa, so you can be near most of the attractions. There are lots of hotels in the area, and parking in and around downtown is free on the weekend.
We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott, Tulsa Downtown. The Courtyard Marriott is in a historic building in the middle of downtown. The first floor lobby had unique ceilings and felt very old world. However, the actual hotel is modern and up to date. Our room was spacious and clean, and the staff was friendly and offered great suggestions for dining options in Tulsa.
The hotel has a bar that had a limited food menu at the time of our stay due to COVID restrictions, but generally features bar food. There was also a small coffee shop where you could get coffee and light breakfast. I also noticed that all of the hotel staff wore masks.
Fun Things to Do in Tulsa with Kids
I wanted this trip to be a mixture of fun activities and some education, while exploring the history and culture of Tulsa.
Greenwood District, Tulsa
I couldn’t visit Tulsa without exploring the Greenwood district, formerly known as Black Wall Street. Our first stop was at Greenwood Rising , a museum that has interactive exhibits, and guided tours detailing Tulsa race massacre and the rich history of Black Wall Street.
The subject matter is heavy, but the exhibit is well done and it created lots of opportunities for conversation with the kids. For reference, our kids are 9 and 6 years-old at the time of this trip. The guides in the museum gave warnings for the exhibits that may be too heavy for kids, and allowed the parents to decide if they wanted to proceed.
We learned about the migration of Black Americans to Tulsa, how they built their own township, and even how they rebuilt after the massacre. It was both humbling and extraordinary.
You need to make a reservation to visit Greenwood Rising.
Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa
I’m a big museum person, and I like visiting them whenever I’m in a new city. The Philbrook Museum is tucked away in a beautiful neighborhood with sprawling estates. The museum was actually a home that has been transformed into an art museum.
The property is beautiful. We happen to be there during an exhibition featuring Black female artists. The first floor had an interactive area where we all got to design our own buttons to take home as a souvenir. The kids really had fun doing this craft.
There was also an exhibit of Salvador Dali’s paintings of Alice In Wonderland. We try to get the kids involved when we visit art museums by asking them what they think of the paintings, which they enjoy.
You must visit the gardens before you leave Philbrook. We got some great pictures outside when we explored the property.
The Philbrook has a restaurant onsite where you can grab lunch during your visit. You can purchase tickets online or in person at the Philbrook. They have a Freda Kahlo exhibit coming in 2022 that I would love to visit.
The Gathering Place, Tulsa
If you visit Tulsa with kids you MUST (sorry to yell but this is important) visit the Gathering Place! Trust me on this one. The Gathering Place is a huge outdoor area that features several different playgrounds—it’s like mini parks within a park.
Each playground has a unique theme, play structures, and activities for kids to enjoy and immerse themselves in outdoor play. There is a Zipline, a pirate ship, a splash pad area, a whole section for water play, and even a lake where you can rent paddle boats.
We had so much fun and had to drag the kids away when it was time to leave. There is an indoor area where you can grab a bite to eat and cool off. You can also bring your own water and snacks, which I recommend. The best part about it, is the Gathering Place is free and there is plenty of free parking.
Best family restaurants in Tulsa
Albert G’s Bar-B-Q, Tulsa
Bar-B-Q was top of my list while in Tulsa. So our first stop was at Albert G’s. It’s a laid back spot near downtown Tulsa. They have a kids menu, a pickle bar, and TV’s to catch whatever game is on.
I recommend: The brisket, potato salad, and the kids enjoyed the mac and cheese.
The Tavern, Tulsa
I wouldn’t say this place screamed family, because they don’t have a kid’s menu, but there were items on the regular menu that our kids enjoyed, and the portions are big enough for sharing.
The décor is dark and moody and there is a library theme going which made it interesting. There is a full bar and a great wine list. Momma definitely needed a drink at dinner!
I recommend: the fish and chips, the burger which came with thyme and rosemary fries (so good!).
Beatrice Ice Cream Co., Tulsa
A short walk around the corner from Tavern, is the cutest ice cream shop. Beatrice has unique homemade flavors like black berry macarons (my fave). They offer a lot of gluten free and vegan options too. The flavors change seasonally. I can’t wait to see what they’re whipping up for Fall.
Dilly Diner, Tulsa
A proper brunch was a must before we left Tulsa. We enjoyed pancakes, iced coffee, veggie frittata, and French toast at Dilly Diner.
There were so many places on our food list that I wanted to try but didn’t get to, which just means I need to go back! Some places I didn’t get to try but came highly recommended are: BurnCo Barbeque, Wild Fork, and Wanda J’s.
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Accommodations/ Restaurants Mentioned
Items listed with a (*) have been discounted or provided gratis. I have not been compensated to provide a positive review. My thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own! I always strive to provide my readers with an honest review.