Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma: You Won't Believe How Amazing This Riverfront Park Is for Kids & Adults by Mike Prochaska
Recently, we decided to take a family road trip to Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Gathering Place is the most amazing park I have ever been to. The more we explored the more we all fell in love with this place and wanted to go back. There is so much for children and adults to discover here.
Gathering Place started with the George Kaiser Family Foundation and an extraordinary dream to transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s iconic waterfront along the scenic Arkansas River into a dynamic, interactive environment. Tulsans needed a welcoming, natural space where members of our diverse communities could come together to explore, learn and play.
Chapman Adventure Playground
One of my children’s favorite part of Gathering Place was Chapman Adventure Playground. The playground has a huge castle for the kids to climb and explore. The castle also has lookouts that my kids loved looking through – and checking out the rest of the park. I had just as much fun as the children exploring all the ins and outs of the castle. It was like a maze with hidden rooms and areas to explore.
Kids can let their imaginations run wild at the playground’s signature towers, slides, climbing features, play gardens, sand lot and water areas. Chapman Adventure Playground contains elements to engage children at various developmental levels and with different physical abilities. The playground has many shady areas, and I love that all the bathrooms are family bathrooms.
Located next to Adventure Playground, Skywalk Forest takes adventure to new heights. From thrilling slides to unique net climbing structures, the play opportunities are sky high. Skywalk Forest pathways float 20 feet above the ground level, and one even crosses above the sidewalk to Caterpillar Bridge.
Fairyland Forest is a special section of Adventure Playground that brings fairytales to life. In this area they have a banana-shaped slide that my kids found hilarious.
Charlie's Water Mountain
Charlie’s Water Mountain is one of many elements within the park that has been designed specifically to provide an exciting and active way to beat the heat. Located next to Picnic Grove and the Adventure Playground, this play feature is the perfect way to cool off during a summer day. Charlie's Water Mountain includes a spray area, mist area, tunnels, dams and streams, a water lab and the water plaza.
What we loved the most in the water area was the spray pad. Someone has to rock the toy back and forth to make the water shoot out of the spray pad. Different speeds of rocking back and forth make the water come out differently. We spent hours here in the afternoon because by then it was really hot.
Parking is easy to find at Gathering Place, but I would recommend you bring a wagon or stroller because the parking lot is far from the playground – it’s a long walk for little kids after playing for hours. Also, there are many places to sit down and eat and snack as well as three restaurants with kid-friendly food at an affordable price if you don’t want to pack lunches. They even sell adult drinks for Mom and Dad!
Gathering Place is located at 2650 S. John Williams Way E, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114.
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