It’s time to get out of the heat and into the A/C!
Here’s the deal, folks. It’s only June, and it’s insanely hot in Tulsa already. The “feels like” temperature has climbed up to 110 or hotter several times already. And when you’re nearly 7 months pregnant, your “feels like” temperature is automatically 10 degrees hotter than what the “feels like” temperature for everyone else is. Therefore, my summer resolution is to experience the Great Indoors!
Won’t you join me while I seek out adventures I can have in the Tulsa area this summer while enjoying the glorious invention that is A/C?
8 Indoor Adventures to Have in Tulsa This Summer:
1. Check out the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
Occupying Tulsa’s old Union Depot Building (the train station) is a hub jiving with the sounds of jubilant trumpets, sassy saxophones, and melodious guitars. Capturing both the rich history of Tulsa’s jazz past and welcoming an entourage of new musical talent, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is an entertainment mecca full of musical adventures.
The Jazz Depot hosts a weekly event that is perfect for downtown workers who need some time away from the office: Lunch and Jazz. Admission is free, so bring a brownbag lunch and prepare to hear some music for the soul, every Friday from noon to 1 p.m.
If you can’t hit up the free jazz on Fridays at lunch time, never fear; the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame also offers “Depot Jams” every Tuesday from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., a free jazz jam session open to the public.
2. Go to a cheap movie.
Who can afford to pay $10 every time per person to go see a movie? I just can’t justify it, seeing as how I know that in a few months, I’ll be able to see that movie for a $1.50, or better yet, free, thanks to Redbox or Netflix. But I’m all for going to cheap movies!
Have you been to Village 8 Movies? This is the old “dollar theater” at 68th and Memorial, but it’s under new ownership since late 2015 and looks and smells a lot better! Movies there are just $2 for kids 12 and older and seniors 60+, and $2.50 for everyone else.
If you’ve got kiddos in tow this summer, Starworld 20 has $3 kids’ movies on Tuesday and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 12:30. This handy link has all the details.
3. Explore one of Tulsa’s many museums.
There certainly isn’t a shortage of museums in Tulsa, and great news: They’re all air-conditioned!
I recently learned that Philbrook offers free admission to people under the age of 18 every day! (and also to college students with a valid student ID from a local university). Pretty sweet deal if you’ve got kiddos/teens. Another budget-friendly, family-friendly event at Philbrook is the free Second Saturday. Visit on the second Saturday of each month for free family-friendly art activities, tours and scavenger hunts for kids of all ages.
Gilcrease is also worth checking out and offers one of the best collections of Native American art in the country. Gilcrease also has free admission to anyone under the age of 18.
While Philbrook and Gilcrease are the two mainstay museums in Tulsa, there are tons of other museums to scope out. The Brady Arts District downtown offers a number of different museums and galleries, including the Woody Guthrie Museum, Philbrook Downtown, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa. You could easily spend most of a day wandering to each of these creative venues.
This summer, I intend to check out the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. I’ve heard that the Planetarium, which provides an exciting educational experience by pairing stunning high-definition visuals with state of the art technology in a theater, is truly amazing.
Other local museums worth visiting include the Tulsa Children’s Museum, Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, and Woolaroc in Bartlesville.
4. Get Your inner granny on and go mall walking.
OK, don’t mock me. I am an avid runner, and not being able to run at this point in my pregnancy is a real drag. So I’ve been getting my mall walking on. I’m sure you all know about Woodland Hills Mall and Promenade Mall, but have you been around Tulsa long enough to know the secret of Eastland Mall (now known as Eastgate Metroplex?). When I was a kid, there was actually a mall at 21st near 145th E. Ave.
Nowadays, that mall has been transformed into a bit of a business complex. However, the mall is still more than half unoccupied, so it’s the perfect place to mall walk in the A/C without having to trample over teenyboppers! While you’re there, you can also grab a drink or a bite to eat at Kaffe Bona or Subway.
5. Have a cultural experience.
Nam-Hai at 11528 E 21st St. opened a new location a year or so ago that is definitely worth checking out! They have all things Asian! Anytime I’ve needed to cook with a special Asian spice or vegetable, or that one time in high school when I was desperate to find ube, a special yam-based ice cream from the Philippines, Nam-Hai came through for me! It’s also just really fun to walk around and experience a different culture (or your own culture, if you are Asian!).
Another culture worth exploring is the Hispanic culture! Tulsa has a number of Hispanic shops and restaurants scattered around town. Many are in the vicinity of 21st and Garnett. Also in that area you will find the Martin Regional Library, which has the largest collection of Spanish materials in Tulsa. If you have kids, the Martin Regional Library is a great place to take them to help encourage a bilingual future! Another Hispanic hub in town is on Lewis around Highway 2-44. There, you can find my favorite Hispanic bakery, Pancho Anaya.
6. Go bowling.
So apparently, kids can bowl free over the summer at Andy B’s at 87th and Lewis. Sounds like a great activity to keep the kiddos occupied! Here’s the link with all the details.
7. Get all kinds of fun on at Main Event.
Have you been to Main Event in Tulsa Hills yet? There is so much to do there, and it’s all indoors! YAY! You can climb the ropes’ course, bowl, play laser tag, play arcade games, or eat! I’ve been wanting to go there on a Monday night, when they have Monday Night Madness. You can choose from three specials: all you can play activities for $9.95, unlimited video game play for $9.95, or a $20 FUNcard good for food and fun.
8. Visit the Oklahoma Aquarium.
The Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks is a real gem, and it’s awesome that it’s located right in Tulsa’s back yard! During your visit there, you can see local aquatic life like catfish, but also aquatic creatures from all over the world, like sea anemones, jellyfish, and best of all… sharks! I absolutely love the Shark Tunnel at the Aquarium! The sharks will literally swim right over your head! It’s a hoot.
The Aquarium also has a little restaurant if you need to grab lunch there. Speaking of grabbing a bite to eat, it’s fun to watch the critters getting fed! Check out the feeding schedule so you can schedule your visit properly. I would think that with the release of Disney’s “Finding Dory” this summer, the Oklahoma Aquarium will be a very popular destination for families!
Did I leave anything out? What are your favorite things to do INDOORS in the Tulsa area?