Oklahoma Field Trips for Homeschoolers
Oklahoma, whose name comes from the Choctaw words, okla and humma, and was originally known as the Territory of the Red People, has a deep Native American heritage and is dressed in beauty everywhere you go—impressive mountain ranges, gorgeous lakes and waterways, prairie land, and awe-inspiring forests in the east. The Sooner State boasts some of the most interesting and diverse landscapes and attractions in the country.
From the underground mystery of the Alabaster Caverns in Freedom, to the myriad attractions along the historic Route 66, your family will enjoy countless learning adventures in the Sooner State. So pack a picnic lunch, grab your kids, and explore some of Oklahoma’s greatest treasures!
To start planning your field trips, use this printable map of Oklahoma. You’ll also find free Time4Learning lesson tie-ins that you can download at the end of this post to help supplement your homeschool field trips in Oklahoma. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Silver State.
Field Trips in NW (Red Carpet Country) Oklahoma
- Alabaster Caverns State Park, Freedom – This 200-acre gem of a state park will rock your homeschool science curriculum. This park is home to the largest Alabaster cavern in the world that allows tourists an up close and personal view of this rare form of Gypsum. The cavern is also home to thousands of bats of four different species, a variety of amphibians, and lizards. And, that’s not all. Grab your cave-explorer caps and go spelunking in one of four caves up to 1,600 feet long.
- Leonardo’s Children’s Museum – The museum “offers the opportunity for open-ended exploration and allows families to grow stronger together through interactive play and educational experiences.” Hands-on science never felt so good. Leonardo’s will captivate your children with its Critter Clubhouse overflowing with lizards, snakes, and ferrets, its awesome life-sized Lite Brite board and Operation Game, its Tinkering Exhibit, and Nanotechnology Exhibit. Oh and make sure you don’t miss Leonardo’s Adventure Quest, a three-story wooden castle and also the world’s largest community built playground with bridges, slides, swings, a maze, and more. Wow!
- Black Mesa State Park and Nature Preserve, Kenton – Black Mesa State Park is named for the black lava rock that covers the top of the mesa. Inside the nature preserve, visitors who hike all the way up to the top of the plateau, Oklahoma’s highest point, will enjoy the impressive view. The park is also home to some rare beauties—23 plants and 8 animal species. Stargazers will be awestruck at the amazing view once the sun goes down—many gather here for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower in August.
- Railroad Museum of Oklahoma, Enid – All aboard! Railroading history comes alive when you step through the doors of this museum, which is housed in the old Sante Fe freight warehouse. Considered one of the biggest railroading exhibits in the United States, the museum boasts more than one million items of railroad memorabilia as well as an outside yard which is home to historic locomotives, cars, and cabooses.
Field Trips in NE or Green Country Oklahoma
- Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve, Bartlesville – Longtime oil industrialist and philanthropist, Frank Phillips, created Woolaroc in 1925 as his personal retreat. The preserve encompasses 3,700 acres and is home to American Bison, elk, longhorn cattle, llamas, deer, Water Buffalo, and more. The museum is filled with an extensive collection of Western art and artifacts—view one of the most extensive collections of Colt firearms as well as Native American handiwork such as baskets, blankets, pottery, and art. And, view Mr. Phillips’, Woolaroc Airplane, the winner of the Dole Flight Race, proudly displayed in the Airplane Room.
- Oklahoma Aquarium, Jenks – Located along the Arkansas River, the Oklahoma Aquarium will wow you with some of the most unique residents—a 120 year old Alligator Snapping Turtle, prehistoric Paddlefish, two 300-pound Loggerhead Turtles, and a dazzling Electric Eel. Marvel at “some of the strangest, but most beautiful fish” in the Marvels and Mysteries exhibit. Explore watery habitats and get an up close and personal view of sharks and stingrays—visitors can actually pet the sharks and feed the stingrays. The Oklahoma Aquarium makes a grand finale to a unit study on The Sooner States aquatic life. So come on, make a splash!
- Pensacola Dam, Disney and Langley – The Pensacola Dam, also known as the Grand River Dam, is the world’s largest multiple-arch dam. Visits begin with a video, then a knowledgeable tour guide will take you on a fascinating tour of both the outside and inside of the dam. You will learn about the history of the dam, fascinating facts about the Grand Lake, and get to observe the six giant hydro-electric generators in action!
- Zena Suri Alpacas, Jay – Enjoy an up close and personal view of the Alpacas in a myriad of colors. “Meet the friendliest Alpacas you can dream up!” as your family wanders among these unique creatures as they move freely around this 78 acre ranch. Feed them as you learn about their personality, habitat, nutritional needs, and general care. Watch out for Carmel Sundae—she might sneak into your car when you’re not looking!
Field Trips in Central (Frontier Country) and Southcentral (Chickasaw Country) Oklahoma
- National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City – Yeehaw! Saddle up for an authentic western adventure amid the internationally renowned collections of Western Art and artifacts. See what an actual turn-of-the-century western town really looked like and learn about the American cowboy, rodeo life, Victorian firearms, Native American culture, and the military during frontier days with the museums fascinating interactive exhibits. Prepare for your visit by visiting the museum’s website and clicking on the many featured videos about the chuck wagon, barbed wire, the significance of the Native American drum, the cowboy’s horse, and more. Be sure to stop by the museum store before you leave and peruse the extensive variety of western apparel, jewelry, artwork, books, and gifts.
- Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma City – The vision of the Oklahoma City Zoo is to provide “A world where people, wildlife, and wild places thrive.” Learn about a wide variety of animals as you explore the zoos many different habitats: Cat Forests, Lion Overlook, the Great EscApe, the Herpetarium, Island Life, Hoofed Animals, Bears, Marine Mammals, and Sanctuary Asia. Explore the eleven distinct life zones of Oklahoma in the zoo’s amazing Oklahoma Trails Adventure, where 100 different indigenous animal species make their home. Wow! Participate in unique field trip experiences through the zoo’s on ground and outreach programs.
- Tucker Tower at Lake Murray, Ardmore – Tucker Tower is hailed as the most identifiable structure in Oklahoma’s state park system. Built in the 1930’s, the tower, which sits on a cliff overlooking the beautiful Lake Murray, now serves as a museum showcasing native plants and animals, fossils, and an amazing 288 pound meteorite. Relax on the patio level overlooking the lake or climb up to the top level of the tower where a wrap-around walkway offers gorgeous views.
- Bedre Chocolate Factory, Davis – Mmmmm, satisfy your sweet tooth and get a glimpse into the wonderful world of chocolate making through the floor-to-ceiling windows at Bedre’s beautiful manufacturing center. Bedre,a Norwegian word meaning better, is owned by the Chickasaw Nation. After you’ve watched the talented chocolatiers create their fine chocolates, shop for some sweet treats to take home—choose from a variety of chocolate bars, chocolate covered treats, chocolate coffee, and Bedre’s unique Southern Flair chocolates in the shape of Oklahoma and Texas.
- Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur – Oklahoma has a rich Native American heritage—”Built on the ideas, imagination, and creativity of Chickasaws from all walks of life, this center incorporates nature, history, heritage, and life ways to tell the ongoing story of the Chickasaw people.”Enjoy Chickasaw Renaissance, a short introductory film about the center. Then, explore and learn about this vibrant culture through performances and reenactments, demonstrations,and interactive exhibits. Become one with the Chickasaw and join in the daily Stomp Dance.
Field Trips in SE (Choctaw Country) Oklahoma
- Endangered Ark Foundation, Hugo – Home to eleven Asian Elephant residents, the foundation was created in the 1930’s by the Miller Family to preserve the heritage of this amazing species, some of whom are retired circus performers. The current herd consists of eight females and three males who range in age from three-year-old, Dori Marie to sixty-three year old,Susie. Tours give visitors a unique peek into the wonderful world of these Asian beauties as well as a better understanding of general elephant care. Guests can even participate in the unique opportunity to take an “Elephie Selfie”!
- Robbers Cave State Park, Wilburton – Robbers Cave State Park is named for the secret cave tucked into its steep and jagged sandstone hills and cliffs, an infamous hideout for old west outlaws, Jesse James Belle Starr, and the Dalton Gang. It’s definitely a must see for history buffs. Get some fresh air and exercise, too! The park has hiking and horseback riding trails, paddleboat rentals, caves for exploring, and cliffs for climbing and rappelling. Enjoy gorgeous scenery if you visit in the fall!
- Beavers Bend Resort Park, Broken Bow – Beautiful Beavers Bend, tucked in between Broken Bow Lake and Mountain Fork River, will tickle your nature lovin’ fancy with its five nature trails and twelve miles of hiking trails dotted with majestic pine trees, meandering creeks, a variety of terrain, Broken Bow Lake dam, and the awe-inspiring, but challenging Skyline Trail (for experienced and physically fit hikers, only). The park is also home to Forest Heritage Center and Museum showcasing fourteen unique dioramas displaying Prehistoric Forests, the Caddo Indians, southern papermaking, and more. Be sure to check out the museum’s chainsaw creations, and the 100-year-old log cabin.
Field Trips in the SW (Great Plains Country) OK
- Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, Clinton – Route 66, often referred to as The Mother Road, was created to link the midwest with the Pacific Coast as part of America’s first federal highway system. Many immigrants, fleeing from the Great Depression, traveled Route 66 in hopes of a brighter future out west. You can relive the heyday of popular Route 66 at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum—step back in time and “visit” favorite stops that once echoed with cheers for soldiers returning home from war, family dinner conversation at old-time diners, and Big Band tunes.
- Museum of the Great Plains, Lawton – The museum, whose motto is “Explore the human history of the Great Plains.” offers visitors many unique, hands-on and interactive activities. The main gallery showcases exhibits for all ages—learn about the Wichita Mountains and the Kiowa Five. Get to know the Plains Indian culture through the Tingley Collection—a 3,000 plus exhibit of artifacts. On the upper level, children can discover the vastness that is the Great Plains on a GIANT map, dig up a mammoth, experience a tornado, and get an up-close-and-personal view of Bison guts. Outdoors, visit the Red River Trading Post staffed by talented reenactors, step inside the 1902 Elgin Train Depot, and discover what the inside of a one-room schoolhouse is like.
- Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, Fort Sill – Fort Sill, a military history buff’s paradise, is made up of three museums—the National Historic Landmark & Museum which shares the story of the original fort, the Field Artillery Museum and the Air Defense Artillery Museum. See a reproduction of a US Cavalry fort, hundreds of weapons from the revolutionary era to present day, a Native American graveyard with memorial to Apache warrior, Geronimo, so much more. Take advantage of the museum’s free, self-guided audio tour to supplement your visit.
- Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center, Lawton – With the help and advice from Comanche tribal elders, the museum seeks “to provide communities with programs and exhibits that deepen the understanding and appreciation of Comanche history,culture,and fine art.” Learn about the Comanche Tribe through the museum’s extensive artwork collection of paintings, drawings, textiles, sculptures, and a sixteen-foot teepee, listen in as skilled Comanche code talkers worked to defeat Hitler, and explore their faith through the Native American Church exhibit. Be sure to follow up your visit with a lesson in communication—visit their website media page to hear authentic Comanche translations of many common English words.
OK Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.
Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experiences at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins for each one.
You might add Natural Falls State Park. Just off Highway 412 near West Siloam Springs, OK. The movie “Where the Red Fern Grows” was filmed there.
Thanks for making sure our readers know about that one, Tammy! 🙂