My Five Favorite Tulsa Parks
The redbuds and tulips are blooming, my allergies are killing me, and Admiral Twin Drive-in is open for the season. It must be spring! Allergies aside, who doesn’t love spring? One of my favorite parts of spring is getting outside with my grandkids before the summer heat makes the pool the only tolerable outdoor destination. The place we most often head to enjoy the perfect spring days is one of Tulsa’s great parks. Like most people, I have an area of town I tend to stay in, so the list of my five favorite parks will not be inclusive. I would love to hear about parks from people who live in other areas of town.
1. Gathering Place
You know I couldn’t make a list of parks without including the fabulous, world-acclaimed Gathering Place. What can be said about this place that hasn’t already been said? It has everything! Special events, adventurous play equipment, seasonal water features, bathrooms, several food venues, and plenty of benches to rest your weary self. We try to beat the crowd and get there early. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, you can avoid the parking hassle by taking the free shuttle from 10 a.m.. until 9 p.m. from the downtown TCC location.
2. Lafortune Park
Lafortune Park is between 51st and 61st on Yale. It has picnic tables, play equipment, a 3.2-mile walking trail, a golf course, tennis courts, a seasonal swimming pool, and bathrooms. We go there fairly often because it’s close to our house, there is always plenty of parking, there are enough people to feel safe, but few enough to feel uncrowded. And did I mention bathrooms? That’s a pretty essential amenity for kids during the potty training stage and grandmothers who need to use the facilities frequently. Unfortunately, car break-ins have been reported in the parking lot, so make sure you don’t leave valuables in the car.
Manion is what I consider our neighborhood park. It’s located on 56th Street between Lewis and Harvard, right beside Eisenhower Elementary School. I love so many things about Manion. There are trees, a walking trail, tennis courts, a seasonal splash pad, fun play equipment, and an outdoor circuit gym. There is only one thing that keeps Manion from being perfect. There is NO restroom! It’s an insignificant detail until you need it, and then it’s a big deal! I don’t know what the solution is, but I wish the Tulsa Parks Department would consider the addition of a bathroom.
Whiteside is located on 41st Street between Harvard and Yale. I’ve only recently become more enamored of Whiteside Park upon discovering all their programs for kids and adults. Sylvia and I have been going to Bikes and Balls for toddlers on Wednesday mornings. Then, depending on her need for a nap, we head to the playground. They also have a walking course, tennis courts, and a recently remodeled junior pool. I’m anxious to visit the pool with my grandkids when it opens in the summer. There is also a complete recreation center, including restroom facilities.
5. Hunter Park
Hunter Park is located at 5804 East 91st; Hunter Park has a walking trail, children’s playground, restrooms, a disc golf course, and restrooms. It also has a dog park within the park, Biscuit Acres. Please note that children under 16 are not allowed in the dog park area.
Tulsa has an abundance of beautiful parks. I could list many more such as Woodward Park, the Riverparks playground at 41st and Riverside, and the one on 17th and Riverside. The City of Tulsa has 135 parks and trails. Please take a look at the list and have fun exploring all that Tulsa has to offer. Take along a picnic, slide and swing, fly a kite, or simply go to enjoy being outside. Just make sure you take your allergy medications before you go!