I don’t know if it was the spring weather or the fact that we haven’t gone anywhere in almost a year, but I was itching for a little getaway. I didn’t want anything too crazy, because let’s be honest, traveling with a toddler is not relaxing. I once heard someone say it perfectly…it’s just parenting in a different, less convenient location!
So once I heard about the Oklahoma Aquarium near Tulsa, and a hotel with toddler friendly water features, I figured it was perfect for my Finding Nemo-loving son. We hit the road and about three hours later arrived at our destination.
The Oklahoma Aquarium is a great size for little ones – we made the loop around the facility twice in about two hours. There’s so much to see! My son kept asking for Dory while staring at the tank with dozens of Nemos. There are also several interactive exhibits where you can touch stingrays and starfish or watch workers feed the sharks and piranhas. My son also spent tons of time watching the turtles, jellyfish and a giant eel that looked more like a cross between a dinosaur and monster!
There’s a snack bar, but there’s also a grassy area outside that’s perfect for a picnic. Also not far down the road is part of the Tulsa Riverwalk. We didn’t make it over there, but the Riverwalk has shops, restaurants and walking trails. We’ll definitely check it out next time.
Once we wore out our little guy at the aquarium, we headed to our hotel. We stayed at the Wyndham Tulsa, near the airport. It’s about 20 minutes from the aquarium. We chose this because of its pool, which I found on Groupon. My 21 month old loved sitting in the splash pad area watching all of the kids play on the slides and obstacle type thing. I’d say it’s perfect for toddlers up to age 10. The hotel is right across the street from a grocery store, which is great to grab milk or whatever else you need. It’s also surrounded by several restaurants.
Overall, we all had a great time and it was surprisingly a bit relaxing! My son actually slept past 5:30 a.m., which was a vacation enough in itself! We must have really worn him out.
We’ll be back because there’s much more to see in Tulsa than we made time for, like the zoo, children’s museum or the Big Splash Water park. But for now, it was just the getaway we needed.
Travel tip: If you have memberships to things like the Sedgwick County Zoo or Exploration Place, make sure to ask at out of town attractions about member discounts. Our memberships didn’t qualify at the aquarium, but it never hurts to ask. Also try online coupon searches, I found one for discounted admission to the aquarium.
Do you have any quick and easy getaways planned?
*This article was originally written April 2015