Two Great Spring Break Trips from KC
Spring break is a great chance for a family getaway. Sometimes it’s nice just to slip away for a few days and take in some sights. These are two of our favorites for a simple and fun weekend getaway—and both sneak in a little education too!
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma is one of our friendliest border states, making a great weekend or spring break getaway for affordable family fun.
Oklahoma City’s Must-See Attractions for Families:
Where to Go for Adventure:
Riversport Adventures in the Oklahoma Boathouse District (800 Riversport Dr., Oklahoma City, OK, 405.552.4040). Our family rates this as one of the coolest attractions we’ve ever experienced. Oklahoma, a neighboring land-locked state, has created a new attraction in their Boathouse District that is a state-of-the-art outdoor adventure. The adventure park is home to amazing whitewater rafting and kayaking courses. They also offer adventure courses, zip lines, slides and playgrounds. The SandRidge Sky Trail is our family’s favorite and is the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world. The structure is 80 feet tall and offers six levels of challenges. Adventurers are harnessed into a seat and climb from one level to the next, daring to try various rope and balance beam challenges. Once you reach the top, you may exit via zip line, a 72-foot Sky Slide or an 80-foot Rumble Drop, a free-fall jump experience! The park also features children’s attractions, gigantic slides and climbing walls. Tip: Visit RiverSportOKC.org/adventures for prices and height/size requirements for attractions before planning your trip.
Where to Go for Only-in-Oklahoma Experiences:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City, OK, 405.478.2250). There is no better place to learn about the state’s cowboy history than this museum. The huge complex features Western art galleries, Native American history exhibits and exhibits paying homage to cowboy history and entertainment, including film and rodeo celebrities. Children especially enjoy Prosperity Junction, a replica Old West town that allows families to explore old buildings and listen to dialogue depicting life for early Oklahomans. Plan to spend three to five hours exploring the museum.
Museum of Osteology (10301 S. Sunnylane Rd., Oklahoma City, OK, 405.814.0006). Oklahoma City is home to the only museum of osteology (the study of bones and skeletons) in the world. Displaying more than 350 skeletons of animals from all over the world, this museum is fascinating. Visitors are provided with an I Spy or trivia game to play as they go through the exhibit. From the smallest birds and mammals to a 40-foot humpback whale skeleton, exhibits showcase not only the skeletons of various species but also explain the animals’ anatomy and physiology.
Where to Take the Kids:
Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl., Oklahoma City, OK, 405.602.6664). Our family makes it a point to visit hands-on museums whenever we travel, but this science museum was hands-down one of the best we’ve ever seen. The museum features a variety of hands-on exhibits, many of which are truly unique. We started in CurioCity, a 20,000-square-foot exhibit with various neighborhoods where children learn through play. The girls loved the giant hands-on playground and whimsical treehouse play area. We spent four hours, and that was not enough! The Science Floor is a huge open gallery with hundreds of hands-on exhibits. My favorite was learning to drive (included with admission) on their Segway Course. From weather exhibits, to the human body, space exploration, to physics, intriguing options let you easily spend hours exploring. Tip: Science City Kansas City members receive free or discounted admission to this partnering museum.
Where to Go for a Ride:
Bricktown Water Taxi (111 S. Mickey Mantle Dr., Oklahoma City, OK, 405. 234.8263). Bricktown is Oklahoma City’s thriving downtown district with a variety of restaurants and entertainment options. The centerpiece of the district is a canal, reminiscent of San Antonio, where you can enoy water taxi rides. The rides include a tour of the area with a bit of history and humor.
Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK, 405.424.8222). My husband loves trains—and that means we visit every train museum or attraction we can when we travel. What I love most about these attractions is that they’re typically operated by enthusiastic and caring volunteers, and this museum lived up to my hopes for friendliness and enthusiasm—and then some! Many train rides are inaccessible to wheelchairs because of the antique nature of the trains, but this museum is accessible! We enjoyed a 45-minute round trip train ride and a tour of the museum. The collection is vast, with freight cars, passenger cars and a steam engine.
Just a little more than three hours away, Omaha is the perfect weekend getaway for Kansas City families. Search “Omaha” on KCParent.com for even more tips for this trip!
Where to Take the Kids:
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo (3701 S. 10th St., Omaha, NE, 402.733.8400) is reason enough to visit Omaha. Walk on the wild side in the Lied Jungle and marvel at the Scott Aquarium with a 70-foot-long underwater walk-through tunnel with sharks, stingrays and ocean life. Both Bear Canyon, home to four different types of bears, and a butterfly garden thrilled our girls. The aquarium, desert exhibit and prairie dogs are additional favorites. Be sure to catch zookeeper chats and shows to add to your experience. All of the exhibits at the Henry Doorly Zoo are extremely well done. Tip: KC Zoo FOTZ members get 50 percent off admission! You may bring a picnic (no glass bottles or alcohol).
Omaha Children's Museum (500 S. 20th St., Omaha, NE, 402.342.6164). The target age for this museum is preschool and early elementary, and all exhibits are hands-on, interactive fun. The Super Gravitron, a massive ball machine with pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical sections is the hands-down favorite. This unbelievable exhibit is a blast for all ages! We also enjoyed many of the free workshops and programs. We attended a science workshop on weather, and the kids participated in experiments to make lightning, a tornado in a bottle, clouds and even watched fake snow. The museum offers concerts, short plays and workshops throughout the day (included with admission) and these really enhanced our visit.
Where to Go for an Only-in-Omaha Experience:
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum (28210 W. Park Hwy., Ashland, NE, 402.944.3100). This museum houses hundreds of aircraft, from mammoth airplanes to smaller single-pilot aircraft. They offer free two-hour tours of the museum with knowledgeable tour guides who share the history of the various aircraft throughout the museum. This tour, extremely interesting and educational, truly completed the visit to the museum.
Lauritzen Gardens (100 Bancroft St., Omaha, NE, 402.346.4002) is a 100-acre botanical garden with much to explore, including a railroad garden. While you’re there, don't miss Kenefick Park. Two of the great locomotives sit at the southwest point of the property: the Centennial No. 6900, the largest and most powerful diesel-electric locomotive ever built, and Big Boy No. 4023, the world's largest steam locomotive.
Kristina Light enjoys planning weekend getaways for her family of six.