Philbrook Nature Walk and Summer Highlights
Joss’s summer vacation is coming to an end, so it’s time to squeeze in some end-of-summer fun. I asked him if there was anything he hadn’t gotten to do this summer that he would have liked to do, and he responded, “take a vacation.” Oops. He’s right, we’ve stuck around town all summer. He’d really like to pop on over to Pops 66 soon, so maybe we can do that this weekend? Read on to learn about some of our favorite summer routines and the Friday nature walk at Philbrook.
Our New Summer Routines
But regardless of our failure to leave Tulsa, we’ve had a very full, very fun summer. Joss did camps at Philbrook, Discovery Lab, Living Arts and through TPS, and he wasn’t able to pick a favorite. “What if I liked them all equally?” This was such a nice change of pace after last summer, when the TPS camp was offered at an unfamiliar school with teachers and students he didn’t know. That didn’t go well, and had me nervous heading into this summer. I’m hoping the fact that he had such a good experience all summer long diminishes some of the back-to-school anxiety.
In addition to camps, we developed some fun semi-routines. Walking around the neighborhood or to Utica Square for a Starbucks cake pop and Pokémon Go. (We even befriended a fellow Pokémon Go player and his dad one time.) Doing more tae kwon do classes, since he graduated from the kid program and is now in class with all ages. The classes are up to an hour long, and we’ve been trying to go three times a week. So that’s been great!
We’ve also started going semi-regularly to Dragonslayer Games on Saturday and Dice Addiction on Sunday for Pokémon card battles.
We’ve gone to Chimera several times for healthy food and sweet iced tea.
So yes, it’s been a good summer. And hopefully we will keep some of these routines going through the new year because they’ve been relaxing and fun.
This isn’t a specifically summer routine because we go year-round. But we have gone to Philbrook several times, especially on Fridays when they’re open late. Joss has yet to tire of the swings in the gardens, and I find it such a peaceful place to go. And with our membership, it’s free!
Philbrook Family Nature Walk
Friday, we took advantage of a morning free from camp to finally do their Friday Nature Walk + Nature Fun Friday. Every Friday morning, Philbrook offers a 30-minute Nature Walk from 10-10:30, followed by a nature-themed art activity.
We loved the nature walk. Even Joss did, although he was hot and tired at the beginning. But the employee leading the walk was so knowledgeable and good with kids, that after a bit he started asking questions and showing more enthusiasm.
And we learned a lot, too, about the various plants, flowers and insects found in the gardens. It’s hard – OK, maybe impossible – to see from the photo below, but the leafy thing Joss is carrying is commonly called “fish on a pole.” All the kids loved carrying their “fish” around.
Joss ended the walk with a giant sycamore walking stick and a small bouquet of flowers, so it was definitely a hit all around.
Nature Art Activity
The nature activity of the day was painting pieces of sycamore bark with concentrated watercolors. So first the kids gathered the bark, and then got to choose their colors and paint them. Once painted, a staff member superglued the bark to pieces of stiff paper and made a loop of raffia(?) so they can hang on the wall.
It was a nice, open-ended activity, and Joss was very pleased with his finished works. I had fun with it, too.
New Realms: Art Lab
Although we didn’t have time today, if you visit Philbrook before September 17, be sure to check out their New Realms: Art Lab exhibition. It’s very interactive, and there’s even a large room FILLED with cardboard boxes for kids to build with. We’ve spent some quality time here.
Life is not not-stressful at the moment. So even though our summer wasn’t super exciting, I appreciate these small routines. And I think Joss does, too.