The first hints of fall are finally making themselves known, and that means all the wonderful things that come along with fall are just around the corner. Among these wonderful things is, of course, the amazingly crisp fall weather. After a long, hot summer, this weather is more than welcome, and most Oklahomans will be doing whatever they can to take full advantage of it.
This is fabulous because, as we all know, the more time we spend outside, the better off we’ll be. Sunlight improves vitamin D levels, running through the backyard improves physical health and focus (while also helping get rid of stress), and plenty of fresh air is a wonderful way to improve mental health.
Obviously, heading to the backyard is great during these weeks of gorgeous weather, but wandering away from home is also a nice change of pace from time to time. Besides, exploring is how children learn, and an outdoor field trip in one of the best types of exploring there is.
For this reason, we encourage you to explore your state this fall by visiting some of the following educational outdoor areas and soaking up all that is wonderful about fall.
#1: Harn Homestead
How can you stay close to home while also traveling over 100 years back in time? Visit Harn Homestead, of course! This awesome educational historical attraction puts students right in the middle of the action. Visitors will have the opportunity to attend school in an old schoolhouse, do chores around the farm, and more.
While there are scheduled tours available for individuals and families, these are relatively run-of-the-mill. Instead of a public tour, gather a group of homeschool friends for a field trip to this amazing place! Be sure to call ahead to schedule your field trip and learn any additional details your group may need to know.
#2: Martin Park Nature Center
Most people living in or around Oklahoma City have visited Martin Nature Center at one point or another. Still, this is an awesome, quick, and free field trip for those days when you want to get out and enjoy the weather at the last minute.
The park features a small nature museum and many hiking paths. It is home to lots of local wildlife, making it a great place to watch for birds, squirrels, or other animals. There is also an amazing playground at this park to round out the field trip experience.
#3: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
For those willing to stray a bit farther from home, there are all kinds of amazing things to see. For instance, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is an absolutely beautiful place that offers opportunities for hiking and viewing incredible animals, including the American Buffalo.
Visit the onsite museum to learn all about the efforts to protect this magnificent animal, drive to the top of Mt. Scott, and be sure to grab a bite to eat in the cute little town of Medicine Park.
#4: Alabaster Caverns
Even farther from home—but well worth the drive—is Alabaster Caverns State Park. This park features all the usual things you would expect from a state park with one defining feature: an amazing gypsum cavern. This cavern is the largest of its kind that is open to the public, and it is truly incredible to see.
Guests who wish to see the cavern will be required to join a guided tour. This does cost a small fee, but is quite educational and exciting.
#5: Great Salt Plains
Last but not least, we must mention the Great Salt Plains. This place is located about 2.5 hours north near the town of Jet. It is hauntingly empty, white, and beautiful, and the perfect place for bird watching.
The main attraction however are the salt crystals, which can be easily found and dug up even by children. As you might imagine, this activity has filled many a young heart with glee, and the fact that you can take your findings home makes it all the more exciting and wonderful.