9 straightforward highway journeys from Tulsa

T.Here are so many kid-friendly attractions within driving distance of Tulsa. Here are eight suggestions for a stress-free road trip! Most of these locations are close enough for an easy day trip, but a couple may be better suited for an overnight stay.

* Please note that the hours may change due to COVID-19 or other factors. Presale tickets may also be required. Check the websites to confirm all the details!

1. Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Less than an hour from Tulsa, Bartlesville is the perfect day trip! The Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve is perhaps the main attraction in Bartlesville, but the Price Tower Arts Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is also worth a visit! In the summer, Bartlesville Kiddie Park is an affordable option for families with young children.

  • Bartlesville Kiddie Park (Open seasonally. Closes August 29 for the 2020 season), 205 N. Cherokee Ave., Bartlesville, kiddiepark.net. Hours: Open on Fridays and Saturdays from May 1st to the last day of school from 7pm to 10pm. After school closes, the park is open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Price Tower Arts Center, 510 Dewey Ave., Bartlesville, pricetower.org. Hours: Gift shop open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Exhibition area closed on February 16, 2021 for renovation work.
  • Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd., Bartlesville, wollaroc.org. Hours: Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. Bentonville, Arkansas

In addition to miles of hiking and biking trails, Bentonville, Arkansas has both an incredible art museum and a popular children’s museum! Check out this Bentonville article for more suggestions!

Photo by Jen Kerckhoff

  • Crystal Bridges Art Museum, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR, Crystalbridges.org. Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-6pm; Monday, 11 am-6pm; Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed on Tuesday.
  • Scott Family Amazeum, 1009 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR, amazeum.org. Hours: Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12pm to 2pm and from 3pm to 3pm; Wednesday-Friday, 9 am-11 am, 12 pm-2 pm and 3 pm-5 pm (COVID hours)
  • The moment, 507 SE St., Bentonville, AR, themomentary.org. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-7pm, closed on Monday
  • The Walmart Museum, 105 N. Main Street, Bentonville, AR, walmartmuseum.com. Hours: Open daily by appointment only from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (COVID hours)

3. Dallas, Texas

Don’t try to do Dallas in a day. But be sure to add this vibrant city to your road trip bucket list! Plus … they have an IKEA!

  • Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas, dallasarboretum.org. Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Big Wolf Lodge, 100 Big Wolf Dr., Grapevine, greatwolf.com. Hours: Open 7 days a week. Great Wolf is both a water park and a hotel so you can stay the night!
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy, Grapevine, dallasfw.legolanddiscoverycenter.org. Hours: Varies. See schedule here.
  • Nasher Sculpture Center, 2201 Flora St., Dallas, nashersculpturecenter.org. Hours: Closed Monday to Wednesday; Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science2201 N. Field St., Dallas, perotmuseum.org. Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10 am-5pm; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday to Wednesday.

4. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Known for its artistic community, downtown Eureka Springs is a joy to explore. Look for popular landmarks like the Rainbow Stairs and Humpty Dumpty! For more travel ideas, check out Tara Rittler’s blog post “8 Reasons to Love Eureka Springs”.

  • Christ of the Ozarks, 935 Passion Play Rd., Eureka Springs, greatpassionplay.org. Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Onyx cave park, 338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, onyxcaveeurekasprings.org. Hours: Call for hours (479.253.9321)
  • Dornkronen Chapel, 12968 Hwy 62 West, Eureka Springs, thorncrown.com. Hours: Details can be found here.
  • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, Eureka Springs, turpentinecreek.org. Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

We are always amazed at how much there is to do in Oklahoma City! In addition to some of their incredible museums, allow some time to explore OKC’s shopping districts, including the Paseo and Plaza neighborhoods!

  • Countless botanical gardens301 W. Reno Ave., Oklahoma City, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. Hours: The outdoor area is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City, nationalcowboymuseum.org. Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr., Oklahoma City, okcmoa.com. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 am-5pm; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Oklahoma Science Museum, 2020 Remington Pl., Oklahoma City, sciencemuseumok.com. Hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7th St., Oklahoma City, scissortailpark.org. Hours: Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

6. Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Have you visited the pioneer’s mercantile yet? If not, Spring Break could be the perfect opportunity! We recommend arriving early for breakfast as the pancakes are delicious! After breakfast, visit Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, where the street is often surrounded by buffalo and other wildlife.

  • Osage Nation Museum, 819 Grandview Ave., Pawhuska, www.osagenation-nsn.gov/museum. Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Tallgrass Prairie Preserve15316 Co Rd. 4201, Pawhuska, nature.org. Hours: Open every day from morning to evening
  • The Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum, 201 E. 6th St., Pawhuska, facebook.com/benjohnsoncowboymuseum. Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The pioneer mercantile, 532 Kihekah Ave., Pawhuska, themercantile.com. Hours: Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 7 am-8pm, closed on Sunday.

7. Springfield, Missouri

When our web editor took a day trip to Springfield, she was impressed with how easy the drive was. Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium was voted Best New Attraction of 2018 by USA Today readers, but there are other things to do in this fun city too!

You can even do a shark dive at Wonders of Wildlife!

  • Springfield Discovery Center, 438 St. Louis, Springfield, Discoverycenter.org. Hours: Closed Monday-Thursday; Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (COVID hours)
  • Fantastic caves4872 N. Farm Rd. 125, Springfield, fantasticcaverns.com. Hours: See website for details.
  • Wonders of the Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, 500 W. Sunshine St., Springfield, wunderofwildlife.org. Hours: See schedule here

8. Stillwater, Oklahoma

If someone in your family is attending OSU, a quick visit to Stillwater can also be a fun trip back in time. Try the Original Hideaway or Eskimo Joe’s!

  • The Botanical Garden at OSU, 3300 W. 6th St., Stillwater, botanicgarden.okstate.edu. Hours: November-February, 6 am-6pm; March-October, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

9. Wichita, Kansas

2 hours and 45 minutes from Tulsa, a visit to Wichita can work better as a two-day excursion. Popular dining and coffee options include: Milkfloat, Reverie Coffee Roasters, Cocoa Dolce and Old Mill Tasty Shop.

  • Botanica, 701 Amidon St., Wichita, botanica.org. Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • You have been examinedThen placement, 300 N. McLean Blvd., Wichita, Exploration.org. Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. Thursdays.
  • Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd., Wichita, oldcowtown.org. Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sedgwick County Zoo5555 W. Zoo Blvd., Wichita, scz.org. Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This article was originally published in February 2020. It was updated in February 2021.

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