Explore OK {Bartlesville Kiddie Park & Woolaroc}

So the next stop on my little Explore OK tour is the Bartlesville Kiddie Park and Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve. Both are about 15 minutes from Osage Hills State Park, so they make for a fun day trip or evening activity.

The Bartlesville Kiddie Park is open from 7-9pm and is geared towards the toddler age. I admit, it makes no sense to me the hours and the age…those ages need to be in bed at that time, at least in this house! But, it is a great special treat. The rides are all $.50 each. My oldest really only liked the bumper cars and my short seven year old was actually too tall for several. It was perfect for my 3 & 5 year old (and Little One too).

Her favorite ride was…naturally…the Little Fireball roller coaster. He only rode once – love his face in this one.

Little One liked the rides too much…she let everyone in the park know how upset she was each time she had to get off a ride. We stuck to the swing for a while.

The next stop in this area of the state was Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve. The last time I had visited my oldest was just a baby. The kids all agreed that this was their favorite stop of the whole vacation. This boy said it was better than Disneyland. He’s never been to Disneyland, but he knows he likes animals.

Woolaroc is a museum and wildlife preserve…and it includes numerous other features. We packed a picnic lunch (and a cooler full of smoothies for Little One) and spent the day exploring.

FireCracker would match her sister everyday if I would let her. This is also the girls current favorite pose.  ~ My boy and a bison skull.

A scenic overlook at the lodge. The boys were talking and dreaming about what it must have been like to be Frank Phillips and own this land.

I’m often asked for tips on getting group shots of kids. I have no tips to give. This is what happens when I try.

On the land there is a “Mountain Man Camp”. It was like the icing on the cake for my kids. The two men working explained so much of what life was like back in the 1840s. They showed us tools, weapons, bedding, etc. It was all things the boys had studied this year, making history come to life instantly for them.

And they got to throw tomahawks. Chris and I became the world’s greatest parents in that moment. The vacation was a winner.

Little One was such a trooper throughout the day. She kept taking her shoes off and wanting to run barefoot everywhere…not so great with horses around!

The museum, roaming wildlife (bison, elk, longhorn cattle, water buffalo, llamas, etc), children’s barn, short hikes….it all made a huge impression on all of my kids. They are already asking to go back. We went on a day that it was pretty much empty, so I am sure that made things even better for us. If I were planning a visit again, I’d call ahead to ask about when the least busy days are during the week. I also recommend packing a picnic lunch. There is a concession area for purchasing food too. Woolaroc was a big hit for us.

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  • Angela A - Thank you for these posts! I had planned to go to this area in August with my family, camping at Osage Hills and then day trip to Woolaroc and the Tallgrass Prairie. My husband and I went pre children, so it is great to see that this is an area my kids will LOVE.

  • Molly - love love love this little series! my husband and i have very similar vacation standards as you do. i want vacations where we explore and learn while having a great time! we have so many places where we want to go and now oklahoma is definitely on the list! my husbands grandma (who passed away in feb.) grew up in Oklahoma and always spoke fondly of it. we have been discussing a trip to visit for awhile so this series is awesome!

    and looks like y’all are having a great time!

  • Misty - Ahhh – Little One is exploring her belly button in that one picture! I love when kids “find” their belly buttons 😉

  • Susan Blunden - Love the photo of your eldest son…very handsome!

  • angie webb - Ok, first of all biggest brother’s photo is SO good. He’s so handsome. I cannot believe how much he’s grown since I started following your blog. And second, the photo of all of them where Little One is playing with her belly button – I die! How cute is she?!

  • Katie T - I have to admit, as a diehard Coastal person Oklahoma never really existed in my mind as more than a song (kind of like Omaha has always been a type if insurance, not a place to live), but you have got me seriously thinking that I need to take a couple trips inland soon….

  • keisha - Honestly, that is one of the main reasons I never took my almost 6-year-old son there – the hours are not kid-friendly, especially considering that it’s 30 minutes away from us. Gonna have to just suck it up and do it at least once… it’s summer vacay, after all! PS Your kids are adorable, and I love the pic of the sisters with their arms raised. Precious.

  • Necole@seriouslysassymama - I lived in Oklahoma when I was little, and there was always a ton of history like thing to do. We loved it. I am working on some places her in Texas for a quick day visit for my girls and I to visit. We will see.

  • Alice H - Thank you for doing these posts!!

    I don’t know if you have ever been to Turner Falls, but that was my favorite place to go when I was younger. You can go to Arbuckle Wilderness while there also. (http://www.turnerfallspark.com/)

    Another idea of places around is a place called Blue Hole Park in Salina OK or Flint Creek (they have a water slide).

    I am waiting to hear about that place where you found hourglass sand.

  • Alice H - Sorry me again…one more place that is a little less than 2 hours away but not in Oklahoma. This place was FREE for the ZOO! It has a really neat park and you can ride the train for I believe 50 cents and the carousel for a quarter, they also have mini-golf for $1. When we went in the beginning of May the pool wasn’t open but it looked like a lot of fun that we are hoping to make it back one day this summer.

    It is in Independence, KS and called the Riverside Park and Ralph Mitchell Zoo


  • Karen - This is such a neat idea. We have some frined from church who homeschool also and a couple of years ago they were studing about Lewis and Clark. So they went on a Lewis and Clark field trip and traveled the same route that they did. It was so neat to see the pictures from there trip.

  • Ang - Oh my goodness, Ash. That shot of your oldest. Wow. Caught me off guard to see up close how much he has grown up. Still praying for him.

  • Jacci in Ohio - Aw, these are great! Love that you had such terrific time away together 🙂

  • Georgia - I love Woolaroc, too. I also stood on that overlook and dreamed what it would be like to live there!

  • mel - this is my new favorite blog. i can’t believe it took me this long to find it! i love oklahoma (having lived in kansas for 6 years) and your heart, your home and the joy you share with your kiddos is both inspiring and touching. i love your heart for the Lord and adoption. you’re livin’ life for real, girl, and it is so cool to see the moments you’ve captured along the way.

  • Nicolle - Your oldest is just so handsome. All your children are adorable! Love the photos you get of them.

  • Stoich91 - Beautiful! 😀

  • Brooke - Totally random comment, but I happen to be from BA as well (I think you have said that you live here) and we just found out (via the water company after inquiring into the cause of our very low water pressure) that we are on a boil water alert in BA and we are not supposed to use the water to clean veggies/fruits, brush teeth, or give little ones baths among other things and I thought I would pass that along since we would not have known had we not called and I’m not sure how any one would know if they didn’t look on the website or call. The rest of the info is here:


    Your family is just beautiful : ) Thanks for doing these exploring OK posts : )

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, those group shots…. loving them!

  • Shauna - Just laughed at your comment that you have no tips on how to get group shots of kids…and then Little One has her shirt up touching her belly button. My girl does exactly that right now. She is a belly button girl. Have to make sure that I get a shot of her showing her belly button for the SnapShot class.

  • Eva - What a great place. They all looked like they really enjoyed themselves. I know two other kiddos that would love it as well. Gotta love it when they’re crawling on the floor acting like tigers when we’re trying to go through customs. lol.

  • Lori - I grew up in Bartlesville so I love this post!! Sweet pictures. My kids now also love these 2 places.

  • elizabeth H - this place looks AWESOME!! esp for families w. young kiddos ~ i’m definitely filing this post for the future…
    “OK. tourism 101” ~ keep em coming!!

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - This looks like it was great fun and I love the photos even if all the kids are looking in opposite directions!

  • Ashley - I love these Oklahoma tourism posts! I lived in Oklahoma the first 23 years of my life and Ive been homesick ever since.
    My dad used the be an AWANA commander and he organized trips for the kids every summer to Woolaroc. I have so many memories exploring that place! Our favorite “attraction” was the buffalo with a vacuum in his mouth near the picnic tables. We LOVED shoving all of our trash in his mouth…kind of gross now that I think about it :-/

  • Mrs. H - Cracks me up every time I see a child lift their shirt for all the world to see just to fiddle with their belly button. So funny.
    I took my teenage niece to Woolaroc last summer. Both of us enjoyed it very much.
    Alice mentioned the park and zoo in Independence, KS. I lived in Indy from 2008 until Nov. of last year. She’s right about the cheap cost. The carousel costs only 5 cents per person. Also, there’s a Little House On The Prairie museum just south of Indy, as the Ingalls family lived there for a short time.
    On your way to/from Indy, check out all the great antique shops in Dewey, OK. I stopped there a lot.

  • Mrs. H - Oh, maybe I’m wrong about the carousel price…I just noticed that Alice wrote 25 cents for the carousel.