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The Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks displays thousands of specimens in over 100 exhibits. Photo by Elaine Warner


Frontier City offers rides for all ages. Photo courtesy of Frontier City


Red Dirt Dinos are visiting Leonardo’s through September. Photo courtesyof Kock Communications


Summer’s scootin’ and in no time the kids will head back to school. There’s still time to plan a special outing and Oklahoma has plenty to offer. Here’s a sampling of across-the-state options.


1


Oklahoma City Zoo


Welcome to a great zoo—and botanical garden.


The plantings provide beauty and shade on a hot Oklahoma summer day. Public Relations Director Tara Henson says, “Try to come in the early morn- ing or a few hours before closing. The animals are more active during these times of the day because it’s often cooler. Great cooling-off spots are the misters located around the Zoo campus, the stream and splash pad in the Children’s Zoo and a visit to Stingray Bay is a must!” The zoo covers 119 acres; save some walking with the Safari Tram which makes several stops. Tickets are good all day—or take the boat from Aquaticus to the Elephant Pavilion. Zoo admission is $8 for adults (12 to 64), $5 for


seniors and kids 3 to 11. Rides, shows and conces- sions are extra. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic—just no glass, alcohol, plastic lids or straws. Saturday and Sunday Keeper Connection talks are free. Regular zoo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but until August 24, the zoo will open at 8 a.m. and, until August 30, will stay open on Saturdays until 8 p.m. Check the zoo website for show schedules, discounts and more: www.okczoo. com. TIP: On Wednesdays during July and August all admissions are $1.


14 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP 2


Oklahoma Aquarium


There’s a world of life in the water and this is a good place to explore some of na- ture’s most unusual creatures. From waving sea anemones to massive sharks, kids are fascinated with the variety at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Okla. “Our shark tank is the largest of its kind in the country with 500,000 gallons of water and we have the largest bull sharks in cap- tivity anywhere,” Executive Director Teri Bowers says. “One of the most popular ex- hibits is the Extreme Amazon which has tunnels kids can crawl through to reach acrylic bubbles looking up from under the water’s surface. It’s as close as you can get to being in the water without getting wet.” Admission prices range from $11.95 for youngsters 3 to 12 to $15.95, adults. The aquarium is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and until 9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Last ad- mission is one hour before closing. Check the website www.okaquarium.org for the daily feeding schedule. TIP: The 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday feeding of


the archerfi sh is a cool treat. Attendants put bits of food on the side of the aquarium and the little fi sh spit water to knock them down.


3


Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge


This is truly the home where the buffalo roam, which is why many visitors stay in their cars for a visit here. A favorite sport is count- ing bison, longhorns, deer and even elk. The prairie dogs don’t stay still long enough to be counted. The Refuge is near Lawton, Okla. The drive from one side of the reserve to the other on Highway 49 is about 15 miles, but there are lots of smaller roads leading to little lakes or scenic spots like Mount Scott, great for ex- ploring. The visitor center, mid-refuge, is a good place to stop to watch a short movie about the refuge, check out biologic, botanic and geologic exhibits, buy a book or souve- nir, and use the clean restrooms. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping, rock climbing, bird watching and photography are among the other activities guests enjoy here. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily. The Visitor Center is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. TIP: Pack bathing suits for a cool splash in nearby Medicine


Park’s Bath Lake which harks back to the “ole swimmin’ hole” of days past.


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