JollyRoger.jpg

The Jolly Roger, a five-bedroom luxury cabin in Broken Bow, has a 30-foot pirate ship play structure in the backyard. Book at beaversbendcreativeescape.com.

Broken Bow, Oklahoma 

3.5 hours from Tulsa 

Growing in popularity over recent years is Broken Bow’s assortment of luxury cabins in the wooded areas surrounding Broken Bow Lake. A search on AirBnB or VRBO points to accommodations from simple to sprawling, and some cabins even have “kid” themes such a pirates or mermaids, as well as backyard playgrounds. Fire pits and hot tubs are fairly standard for Broken Bow cabins, and fall is the perfect time to utilize both.

airbnb.com, vrbo.com

beavers-bend-sp_ld_7715.jpg

Beavers Bend State Park

Hiking, mini golf and boating are just a few activities to enjoy at Beavers Bend State Park, 4350 S. Highway 259A. Don’t forget your fishing license and poles: Trout streams are stocked year-round, and the park features two catch-and-release areas for trophy fish. travelok.com/state-parks/beavers-bend-state-park

The whole family will enjoy horseback riding at Beavers Bend Depot, 290 Beavers Bend Loop. Wildlife sightings are common on guided trail rides. Children ages 5 and up ride their own horse; younger children ride with an adult. If trains are more your speed, hop on a ride through the woods conducted by “Loco Joe.”

facebook.com/trainandstables

Oklahoma City

less than 2 hours from Tulsa 

TP0821_BCL_OrrFamilyWagon.jpg

Orr Family Farm

Autumn weather calls for camping (or glamping). At Orr Family Farm, 14400 S. Western, visitors can stay overnight in teepees or Conestoga wagons on the farm’s 108 acres. Make memories at a complimentary campfire with s’mores. Camping guests receive after-hours access to farm attractions like its hayrides, pumpkin patch and corn maze, open from late September to early November. Day passes also are available.

orrfamilyfarm.com

Active families will gravitate to RiverSport OKC, which offers a range of outdoor adventures, including high-speed slides, ziplining and paddle boarding at 800 RiverSport Drive. Many attractions have height and weight requirements, but there’s something for everyone here. With adult supervision, even young children can jump into the fun with various trampolines and kayaks. riversportokc.org

Oklahoma weather is fickle, so don’t let rain or heat ruin your vacation. Bubba Play Indoor Playzone, 13429 N. MacArthur Blvd., offers three levels of jungle-themed play for kids of all ages and adults up to 250 pounds. Obstacles, slides and ball pits — all sanitized several times per day — will keep the whole crew busy for hours. bubbaplayokc.com

St. Louis

less than 6 hours from Tulsa 

TP_0821_Riverboats_1.jpg

St. Louis riverboats

Located in a century-old downtown warehouse, City Museum,750 N. 16th St., is an explorer’s dream. In fact, there are no maps — on purpose. Miles of tunnels, slides, caves, secret passages and more invite children and adults to make their own adventures among the 10 stories and 600,000 square feet. citymuseum.org

Giant anteater, polar bear and zebra are just three of the 500 species to see up close at St. Louis Zoo, 1 Government Drive, one of the few free zoos in the nation. “Dinoroarus,” an engaging exhibit of animatronic and stationary dinosaurs, plus a fossil dig site, is open through Oct. 31 for a fee. Zoo reservations are required. stlzoo.org  

See the famous Gateway Arch from a new perspective: the mighty Mississippi River. Riverfront cruises by Gateway Arch Riverboats,50 S. Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd., are narrated by a captain or National Park Service Ranger. Choose from a one-hour daytime cruise or a two-hour skyline dinner cruise on select Fridays and Saturdays through November.gatewayarch.com

Branson, Missouri

3.5 hours from Tulsa  

SDC_Photo_Press15.jpg

Silver Dollar City's Mystic River Falls

Branson is known for family attractions, the king of which is Silver Dollar City Theme Park, 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway. Craftsmen demonstrate trades of the 1880s, such as pottery, blacksmithing and candymaking, while shows and musical acts entertain. Rides are plentiful for all ages; the newest one, Mystic River Falls, is an epic group rafting experience through Ozark waterways. silverdollarcity.com

Vacation can be fun and educational. Walk with 50-60 species of butterflies from around the world at Butterfly Place and Rainforest Adventure,4106 W. Highway 76. Navigate a forest-themed mirror maze and the Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure, which mimics the roots of rainforest trees. Critter encounters at the Living Rainforest Science Center allow guests to pet or feed reptiles and amphibians. thebutterflypalace.com

Thrill-seeking teens and adults will loveBranson Mountain Adventure’s Runaway Mountain Coaster and Flyaway Ziplines, 935 State Highway 165. Race your family or friends on the new high-speed Flyaway Quad Ziplines, or choose your thrill level on the individual coaster carts — all while taking in breathtaking views of the Ozarks. bransonpinemountaincoaster.comtp

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.