It seems like every family you know is heading to Disneyland or Disney World for the upcoming winter break. And who can blame them, you wonder, as these popular family destinations offer warm weather, plenty of sunshine, and lots of fun and activities for the kids — and adults. This year, you want to take a meaningful family vacation, one that the entire family will remember and happily reflect on for years to come. At the top of your list is a place that offers diversity and numerous activities for the whole family, which is why you ultimately decide on Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Country.
Whether you’re craving sweets, an afternoon of history, or an action-oriented outing, there are many diverse activities for the family in the area. Start at the Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center in Davis. A “Best Family-Friendly Venue” finalist in the “Best of Chickasaw Country 2014” awards, the center is conveniently located near the southwest corner of Interstate 35 and State Highway 7 in Davis. Swing by the welcome center to pick up travel information about the surrounding area and the state itself, including printed brochures that suggest historic, cultural, and recreational places. Kids can play on the center’s playground area, but take some time to bring them into the 5,000+ square foot center, which features original Chickasaw and American Indian artwork. When you’re ready, head across the street to the Bedré Fine Chocolates Factory. Chocolate is a part of Native American culture, and the Chickasaw Nation is currently the only tribe offering luxury chocolates with natural ingredients. Bite into a dark chocolate mint meltaway or try out unique flavors, such as the milk chocolate potato crisp bar.
After a revitalizing chocolate break, escape the heat with a visit to Exhibit C, the newest art gallery and retail space in Bricktown. As part of the area’s tourism organization, the large facility offers an art gallery with authentic artwork handcrafted by Chickasaw artists. A new artist is featured every four months. You can also purchase everything from paintings and clothing to jewelry and pottery. The expansive Chickasaw National Recreation Area contains Veterans Lake and Lake of the Arbuckles, both of which are popular swimming and fishing spots, along with educational tours for visitors of all ages. Kids can even learn how to become a Chickasaw junior ranger, whose primary goal is to respect and care for this park and others.
Fun and games are an essential part of any kid’s life, but adults will find it hard to resist these fun attractions. The Lazer Zone Family Fun Center (winner of this year’s “Best Family-Friendly Venue” in the Best of Chickasaw Country 2014 awards) features a 24 lane black light bowling alley, two-story laser tag arena, three station batting cages and an arcade, and lots more. Another must-see for any family is the Air Donkey Zipline Adventures. Here, you can get a mile-long view of the stunning Arbuckle Mountains. The longest zipline extends 1800 feet, likely securing a title of the longest zipline the state has to offer. For families with children at least 10 years old, the canopy tour combines thrill with history, giving everyone a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area.