If you have not made the trip to Turner Falls with kids in Davis, Oklahoma, it is an area to add to your family travel list! About a 3.5 hour drive from Wichita, Turner Falls is located in the Arbuckle Mountain region and such a fun family spot full of sightseeing, nature, and kid-friendly hikes.
Turner Falls Park with Kids | Davis, Oklahoma
The major recreational areas in this region are: Turner Falls Park, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and Lake of the Arbuckles.
We have personal experience with staying at The Artesian in Chickasaw Country, located in Sulphur, OK. We highly recommend as it is a short walk from the hiking trails and a short drive to Turner Falls. Plus there are nearby shops and restaurants, making it a wonderful overnight or weekend getaway! But there are also VRBOs in the area that would be fun for families as well.
Turner Falls with Kids | Davis, Oklahoma
It is hard to believe this waterfall and swimming hole is in Oklahoma! Turner Falls is one of Oklahoma’s tallest waterfalls, dropping 77 feet into a natural swimming pool. There are beautiful scenic views all along the park, fun hikes great for kids, a sandy beach area, 3 caves, and even a castle to explore. The best part is you can swim at the base of the waterfall – such a fun memory!
Overall, this is a really fun spot to visit with kids.
Depending on the time of year as well as if you go on a weekday or weekend, the falls can be quite crowded. We went during the week and went first thing in the morning, so the crowd wasn’t too bad!
Parent Tip: Kids under 12 must have a life jacket, and we think water shoes are helpful because some of the areas can be pretty rocky. Also, we recommend packing a cooler because there are some great spots in the park to have a picnic!
Chickasaw National Recreation Area Oklahoma
We wrote about our experience in this area a few years ago, and you can read about that here. About 20 minutes from Turner Falls, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a nearby place to explore nature trails and enjoy the great outdoors with kids. And if you are staying at the Artesian, this area is only 1 mile from the hotel.
Antelope Spring Trail: About 1 mile round trip and with small elevation, this is a great walk/hike with kiddos and has springs and water on the route.
Travertine Creek Trail: is longer and 3 miles round trip and has parking available at both ends of the trail. This is another great one for kids, and you can easily turn around making the hike shorter. Strollers and pets allowed along this path.
The Travertine Nature Center straddles Travertine Creek near the northeast boundary of the park and serves as the park’s main visitor center. The nature center contains a variety of exhibits, as well as live reptiles, amphibians, fish, and an interactive learning area for visitors of all ages. It features rock work and architectural lines modeled after the style of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Bison Pasture Loop: this one is a longer, more moderately challenging trail, but you can sometimes spot bison!
Nearby Eats & Drinks
The Rusty Nail Winery (Sulphur, OK) – this adorable spot in a historic building (older than the state of Oklahoma) is a winery, but the Bistro serves all ages and is family friendly! We brought our daughters, and they even had board games to borrow. We had a light dinner, drank some wine, and played games into the early evening.
The Bedré Cafe (Sulphur, OK) in the Artesian Hotel – this cute little diner had burgers and shakes and was a perfect spot for kids.
Sweet Swirlz (Sulphur, OK) – also part of the Artesian, this cute little shop was a kiddo’s dream with old fashioned candy and frozen sweet treats!
77 Grill (Davis, OK) – this mom and pop, family-owned grill is open for breakfast and lunch and has daily specials…and homemade pies!
Burger Land (Davis, OK) – apparently has great burgers! They do not have a website, but you can check out their menu here.