Turner Falls Park is home to the largest waterfall in Oklahoma, as well as gorgeous hiking trails, wild wading spots, a Depression-era castle, and fresh mountain air with lovely scenery. Naturally, this area offers the perfect respite from modern daily life. Book a stay at a vacation rental in Turner Falls Park today. Check out the top kid-friendly activities in Turner Falls Park.
1. Swim at the Base of a Waterfall
To cool off on a hot day, head to the natural swimming hole at the base of Turner Falls. Enjoy the view of the falls as you splash with your toddlers, or challenge your older kids to a race to the falls to get a little exercise. Don’t forget to bring along your life vests. Turner Falls Park requires all children 12 and under to wear Coast-Guard-certified flotation devices while in the water.
2. Explore a Rock Castle
For an afternoon adventure, visit the remains of the historic Collings Castle. Mostly hidden amid lush greenery, the castle was built during the Great Depression as a summer home for the family of Ellsworth C. Collings, a professor at the University of Oklahoma. The castle showcases both English and Spanish architecture with lots of authentic details mimicking castles of the medieval era. Kids love exploring the crumbling grounds of the castle as well as the main building, which is still intact. For a splendid view of the surrounding area, take the narrow, twisting staircase up to the top of the main tower.
3. Visit a Natural Cave
The trails above the falls offer easy access to several natural caves. Bring a flashlight to better see in the underground darkness. Try to spot sleeping bats and other wildlife that call the caves home, but don’t disturb their slumber. Help your little ones shine their flashlights on the cave walls to search for crystals.
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4. Take a Creek-Side Hike
A rambling 3.5-mile trail through Turner Falls Park takes you alongside many mountain streams suitable for dipping your toes. Bring along water shoes in the summer or rubber boats in the spring or fall to hike right along the creek bed.
5. Speed Down a Water Slide
Turner Falls Park offers a variety of swimming options for kids of all ages. If you have older kids or teens, head to the Blue Hole Pool to swim in deeper water. Meander down the twisty water slide to drop into the water at a leisurely pace, or opt for a speedy entry with the steep, straight slide. This pool also has a diving board for making bigger splashes or practicing your best diving techniques.
6. Go Tubing
Pack up your inflatable inner tubes, and take a relaxing ride down Honey Creek, the mountain stream that feeds Turner Falls, or if you have thrill seekers in your family, take the short drive south to Lake Murray State Park for the excitement of tubing behind a motorboat. The Lake Murray State Park also offers jet ski and kayak rentals, providing a variety of options for getting out on the water. Alternatively, you can bring along your own kayak and store it at your vacation rental.
7. Visit a Chocolate Factory
The Bedré Fine Chocolate factory in Davis is a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon. Watch tasty treats being created through floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a great view of the factory operations. Take your time browsing the selection of chocolates on display in the shop. Don’t forget to buy some extras to take home for savoring later and sharing with family and friends.
8. Zoom Down a Zipline
Companies such as 777Zip and Air Donkey Zipline Adventures offer a variety of zipline opportunities for seeing the Arbuckle Mountains from the air. The 777Zip ride starts near Collings Castle and gives riders a super view of the falls. This two-seat ride is great for a parent and child to take together. Air Donkey Zipline Adventures provides a classic zipline tour that includes a total of six ziplines and a skybridge where riders get to check out the interior of the canopy as well as enjoy the views. Check on height and age requirements before going to make sure your little ones aren’t disappointed.
9. Pet a Llama at the Arbuckle Wilderness Park
Watch exotic animals from the comfort of your vehicle on the Safari Road Drive, and then head over to the petting zoo where your little ones can touch and feed the more friendly animals. Finish your trip with a visit to the reptile house for a close-up look at snakes and lizards from around the world.
10. Step Back in Time at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum
From Native American artifacts to vintage clothing from the 19th century, the Davis branch of the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum has exhibits to open your children’s eyes to the past. Located in a restored 1907 Sante Fe Depot on the train tracks, this museum brings you close to history inside and out.
11. Learn About Geology at the Arbuckle Anticline
Show your kids the inside of the Arbuckle Mountains at the Arbuckle anticline. This land formation provides an inside view of the layers of rock and the folding process by which the mountains were formed. Drive along Route I-35 or U.S. Highway 77 to find public parking areas where your family can view the anticline. Stone markers and posters provide information to help you explain the rock formation to your children.
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