Visiting Woolaroc with Kids
What you need to know to make the most of your visit.
I have fond memories of visiting Woolaroc as a child, but have never been as a mom. Which is a completely different thing. So, I decided last Saturday was the time to do it. And I'm just so happy that I made that decision.
First, if you're not familiar with Wooloaroc, I'll just tell you (via the Woolaroc website, it's not like I've memorized all of this – that would be kind of creepy.).
So, Woolaroc was established in 1925 as the ranch retreat of oilman Frank Phillips. The ranch is a 3,700 acre wildlife preserve, home to many species of native and exotic wildlife, such as buffalo, elk and longhorn cattle. Woolaroc is also a museum with an outstanding collection of western art and artifacts, Native American material, one of the finest collections of Colt firearms in the world.
When we pulled in, we went straight for the museum towards the back of the ranch because we had to use the restroom, of course. Since we were there, we just decided to tour the museum.
A little back story, I'm Osage and my maiden name is Mashunkashey. In the museum, they have a section featuring the Osage tribe with relics and photographs. My great x4 Grandfather just so happens to be in one of the photos. As I was telling my children this, I'm quite sure the people next to me thought I was making it up, but it's true. I promise.
The museum is perfect for kids. Perfect meaning it's quite large and they can't break anything.
And the museum is very visual. Which, all museums are, I suppose, but with wild animals, old vehicles, an airplane, etc. it's more visually pleasing to a younger age group. There's more "mom, look at this!" and less "when's lunch?"
Our next stop (after getting rock candy suckers at the gift shop, of course) was to the Mountain Men Encampment (they're there Spring Break through Labor Day). I mean, it was just the greatest. The Mountain Men helped the kids (yes, even the two-year-old) throw Tomahawks, practice on bow and arrows, explained what exactly a mountain man did and we even got to feed some baby crows that were abandoned by their mother. The set up, in general, is just gorgeous. It reminded me why I've really got to keep buying the Powerball tickets so that I can have my very own "county retreat" like Frank Phillips.*Fingers crossed.
Next, we went back to the museum area for lunch. Again, it's just a perfect set up for children. I'm more of a pack-a-p-b-and-j kind of gal (much to my children's angst), but you can also buy food there. It's right next to the fully-functioning bathrooms, picnic tables and playground. I'm not making this stuff up.
I actually SAT DOWN and ENJOYED my lunch while the kids played. And since I have a gift for knowing when it's time to go, we decided to pack it up. We took one final loop around the ranch to make sure we saw all of the animals, then hit the road. The kids were asleep in five minutes and I got an hour to listen to Car Talk on NPR while enjoying the most beautiful drive in our area. Which reminds me, don't you dare take HWY 75 the whole way! The drive via Skiatook is gorgeous.
Here are the other need-to-knows:
- The admission donation is $10 for guests ages 12 through 64, $8 for ages 65 and older. Children age 11 and younger are free.
Operating Schedule: Woolaroc is open year-round for guest visitation; Regular Schedule: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and closed Monday and Tuesday.; Summer Schedule (begins Labor Day) : Woolaroc is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday and closed only on Monday from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Enjoy! We certainly did.