Family– Friendly Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow, located just southeast of Tulsa, is one of the fastest growing communities in Oklahoma. And it’s no wonder. Judging from our Facebook fans comments alone, Broken Arrow residents love their city for its great schools, quality of life, small-town atmosphere and family-friendly environment.

According to the U.S. Census, Broken Arrow’s population grew from 58,043 residents to a 2010 population of 98,850, to rank as the fourth largest city in Oklahoma.

Broken Arrow schools, which include Union Public Schools in part of the district, enjoy strong parental support, a key ingredient to student success. With three pre-K centers and several elementary schools, families have close connections to their neighborhood schools. High school students enjoy access to AP and honors courses, in addition to a robust athletic, band and fine arts curricula at both Broken Arrow and Union High Schools. Students also have opportunities for technology training through Tulsa Technology Center, which has a large Broken Arrow campus. Several private schools also make their home in Broken Arrow, so parents who choose that option don’t have to drive to Tulsa.

Families also have some unique shopping and entertainment areas to enjoy in Broken Arrow. The Stone Wood Hills District around the Bass Pro Shop is a popular destination with its many dining options, shops and services.

Active kids can go skating at the Skating Rink, bowling at Broken Arrow Lanes, skate boarding at Neinhuis Park skate park, or walking, jogging and biking at one of the many trails and parks. Broken Arrow is also home to the Blue Bell Ice Cream plant, which offers tours, complete with ice cream samples! Learn the history of the city at the Broken Arrow Historical Museum or take in a play at the community playhouse.

Recently, Broken Arrow has been in the process of refurbishing its downtown area. The newly branded Rose District is located in the middle of Broken Arrow, and is attracting new restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. The historic downtown area gets its name from early residents planting rose bushes to beautify the town. Travelers nicknamed Broken Arrow the “City of Roses,” so current city leaders adopted the name “The Rose District.”

“We are seeing tremendous growth, activity and interest in the Rose District, which is exactly what we aimed to do,” said Lisa Frein, director of downtown development in Broken Arrow. “It was spurred by a nearly $4 million streetscaping project designed to create a true entertainment district.”

Some of the changes include widening sidewalks to create a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Other district enhancements and amenities will include planters and landscaping, adopting the Rose District theme, decorative street lighting and traffic sgnals, and an underground electrical system for special events,” Frein said.

The Rose District currently has shops and restaurants, many of which offer specials and entertainment on Thursday evenings. New restaurants such as the Bruhouse Grill, In the Raw and retail stores such as Southern Magnolia and others are finding the Rose District to be a great place to locate. Visitors to the district will also find salons and spas in addition to the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center, which brings in high-quality entertainment throughout the year.

This month, visit Broken Arrow. Spend Thursday evenings enjoying music and specials at the Open Late Til 8 nights. Fiesta Mambo has the local band Crystal Clear on Thursdays, and The Main Street Tavern has a wine and jazz evening, perfect for a date night. On the Corner Gifts, Gallery & Décor will have a grand re-opening on Thurs., Sept. 5, and the Main Street Tavern will offer Brunch in the Rose District on weekends in September.

We asked our Facebook Fans who live in Broken Arrow what they love about their town.

Here are some of the responses.

Kim Davis said “The small town feel.”

Nikki Flake said “I can live in the country where it’s quiet and peaceful. But, I can be in the city in less than 10 min! It’s the best of both worlds!

Kayla Fullen said, “It’s where I grew up! There’s a wide range of housing so anyone can live there. We have all the stores we need, it’s close enough to either highway to get int Tulsa pretty quickly, and I love Broken Arrow schools. It’s safe. It’s home!

Meisha Finney Hall said, “I love the small town feel, but having access to shopping and restaurants within minutes. I love raising my kids in a town where they feel safe.”

Jill Hobbs said, “Awesome family activities year around. My favorites include Rooster Days, the Halloween Parade and the Mommy/Son Luau.

Lisa Sexton-Smith said, “I feel safe letting my daughter go outside and play with the neighborhood children. It has a small town feel but has most everything you need.”

Krystal Johnson said, “love the close-knit, small twon feel of BA. Great place for family. BA Police do a wonderful job keeping order. Great shops, especially on Main Street.

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