Tulsa Summer Family Friendly Activities
Written by Sarah Coffin, owner and founder of Tulsa Family Doulas, work at home mom and entertainer to 3 children.
This summer has been insane. No really, like pack the house up to move, keep building a business because it's all up to you, oh yeah, you have 3 kids out of school, insane. So in between my inherent need to honor the inner night owl that welcomes my second wind at 9:00 PM and telling my children to shut my bedroom door and enjoy Netflix, yogurt and granola bars when they wake up at 6:30 AM, I have to balance working and mothering and home (box?) keeping.
Many days are spent with Jason, my other half, leaving before the sun even rises, and I am not the type of wife that wakes up to cook him up some eggs with love and stand at the door giving him a smooch as he leaves. He's a big boy, and my gosh, THE SUN IS NOT UP! If there isn't a woman moaning through her birthing waves at 4:30 in the morning with me by her side, my hiney is snug in bed.
So the kids are old enough to entertain themselves for a few hours at a time, there is just some clean-up that is generally required from the mud-ball battles (no, I'm not joking, it's what you think it is), fort-building, train track creating and general kid-tastrophes that happen when kids play and use their imagination. But, there are days when we all need to get out of the house.
We've had some great adventures lately, and I wanted to share some with you all in hopes of giving you some alternatives to the summer lazies that tend to take over right about now. Because, it's hot, y'all. HOT.
We went to Whole Foods on Yale last Friday evening for dinner and were reminded when we got there that every Friday evening in July, from 5-8 PM, they have hot dogs and snow cones on the patio! We even had some lovely acoustic guitar and vocals entertaining us. The hot dogs were yum, but the real hit was the preparation of and the consuming of the snow cones. They were happy to tell us that they used locally sourced fruits (you could see the fruit bits!) and real, normal sweeteners. No high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors here!
I think Isaac and Chapman got every flavor option they had and Camille went with a simple orange and cherry. I was smitten with the strawberry and cream myself and we loved every last slurp of them!
One thing I love about Whole Foods is they put in the effort to go back to the basics of simple food and simple joys. We really enjoyed our time on the patio and in the shade, even if one of the children spilled some of his 6 year old snow cone. It happens.
I know, you're saying, it's too hot! But they have buildings, with animals, and air conditioning! Our first stop is hitting up the chimpanzees and then heading through the Wild Life Trek. The Tulsa Zoo has always been one of the kids favorites and I like going when the rest of Tulsa isn't there as well.
Pack some extra water, take lots of breaks in the many building they have and stop by the The Grille and you may just have one of the free-roaming peacocks join you for lunch. No, we didn't feed him. That would be cannibalism. I think one of Chapman's life goals is to pet every bird he comes across. While he didn't achieve that this time, his day was made, my friends.
Yes, another outdoor adventure! Take water and some snacks! If you haven't made it out to Turkey Mountain with your kids, you are missing out. It is a wonderful getaway that puts you smack dab in the middle of raw nature right in the middle of town.
They have several trails you can choose to follow. Probably one of the kids favorite parts of the trek is finding the trees marked with the color of the trail that was chosen and following the arrows to know which way to go. We chose to go on the blue trail. It was a 1.5 mile trek almost straight up the mountain. My kids were bred with the desire to climb rocks, this was heaven for them.
It took us about 1 hour total, as we paused at the top to watch an excavator be unloaded from a flat-bed trailer. I have 2 boys, that was just as much of an adventure as the climb.
If you are concerned about bugs, spray ahead of time. We didn't have any bother from them this time and almost the whole blue trail was under the shade of the canopy of trees. It was a pretty easy time even in the early afternoon.
Your friends are going through the same things you are. Feeling spent and needing entertainment for their littles. Call them! Get together, go to a pool, better yet, have friends watch your kids while you are with a postpartum doula client. (See what I did there.) Check this out, this is one of my dearest friends' 4 kids and my 3. That is a whole lot of little kid energy in one space. Thankfully, Carrie is a godsend of loving and managing many kids (didn't I tell you she has 4). Friends are one of the best resources for the summer that is left. Pick up the phone, send a text and make some fun for your kids while you can still hug them at noon and before they go off to school again.
Not Many Summers Left
How many summers do you have left with your kids before they leave your house for good? I have less than 8 with Camille. What are your favorite spots in Tulsa to take your littles? Share in the comments so other moms can benefit from your Tulsa summer fun too!