Last weekend with the kids on spring break I took thursday and friday off so we could be tourists like a normal American family. That's what you do! Part of what inspired this trip is we've talked about going to Disney World but I keep wondering if it's worth it. Can Olive, age almost five, endure a whole day of fun? Especially when she thinks it's really special to just go to the playground two miles from our house? Then I realized there might be fun stuff within driving distance that we haven't gone to, maybe try that first and spend a few hundred dollars on a trip before we spend thousands. Good call.
Day 1: Went to Enid since it's sort of on the way to Oklahoma City to see the Leonardo's Children's Museum. Admission: $9 per person. Time spent: Easily four hours. It was a nice day so we spent a lot of time at this crazy outdoor castle they have. It's not all science museum per se, they have arts and crafts and a "town" setting, Olive loved the tiny grocery store. I liked the giant lite-brite. In the middle there's a big indoor playground/climbing structure with little ball pit balls you can send flying around through hamster maze kinds of setups, I was impressed. Definitely worth it. Olive wanted to go back. We could have spent more time there.
We drove to Oklahoma City and I figured the kids would pass out but NOPE, Olive was back there talking and singing with extra energy. How? I have no idea. I think Josie might have drifted off.
We got to our hotel. We were staying at the Hilton Home2 Suites by Tinker air force base. I liked the occasional fighter jet overhead. We got a great deal on the room and it was huge with a couch and refrigerator and everything. They cut back on housekeeping, like they don't change out your sheets every day, to me this is a perfectly great way to save some energy and money in a total. There's a tiny indoor pool that we hung out at for a while, then we ate dinner at a Volcano Sushi Bar & Hibachi. I thought it was great but it wasn't our typical hibachi setup where you sit around the grill, it was just table service like a normal restaurant, so not as fun for the kids but good food.
Day 2: Woke up and went to Science Museum OKC. $16 for adults, $13 for kids. Totally worth it. We were there all day. The cafe line gets super long so I'm glad we ate lunch a little early — that'd be my advice, stagger meals so you don't get caught in the rush. I'm not even sure we saw everything. We spent most of our time in the middle and Curiosity — the nice huge playground like exhibits where everything is new and amazing. But we also found weird old corners with, like, giant model battleships. They have a hall full of airplanes with cutaway engines, a floor of giant games, an art gallery with an origami exhibit, a train with old pullman sleeper cars, it's really hard to describe the scale of this place.
We had talked about doing a second museum that day but nope.
We ate dinner at louie's grill downtown. Olive was complaining that we didn't go to McDonalds. She had a meltdown at the science museum cafe too, ordering one thing then seeing someone else with different food and freaking out because she didn't get what they had instead.
Driving around downtown Josie spotted a makerspace! That's a conditioned kid, right? Prototek OKC was right around the corner. We love makerspaces so I'd actually emailed them the week before to ask for a tour but got no response, so after a second email and a facebook message I gave up, but when we knocked there were two people in there who were happy to show us around. They have a ton of space and a great wall of screens for presentations.
Day 3: We tried out the Skeleton Museum because Olive likes skeletons. $10 for adults, $8 for kids. It was neat, and we got to see some skeletons that the girls really loved like tiny mice and birds and giant rhinoceroses. But it's kind of just one big room and after about an hour we were done. Probably not worth the price compared to the other places we'd been, like Leonardo's, if they'd add something more fun for the little kids to climb around on or build it would occupy more time. So we went back to Del City towards our hotel to Ray Trent Park. It's three great little playgrounds and a big rocket they can climb in. I'd been wanting to find cool playgrounds, they're hard to search for since they're not advertised, Marc saw this one driving by so I'm glad we went back.
Overall it was a great weekend. Josie definitely has the energy for all day museum and activities, Marc got tired before she did. Olive is okay but needs a very good night's sleep and I wish she'd outgrow the food breakdowns, because food on the road is expensive and stressful. I'm glad we checked out some stuff three hours away before we went further out, for sure. It was totally worth the drive and hotel to see just the big science museum. We'd originally had the botanical gardens on our plan but didn't get time — so if I changed anything, that would be our day 3. Next time!