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Saturday in the City: The Myriad Botanical Gardens.

When I think about things to do in downtown Oklahoma City, Bricktown springs to mind. Over the past decade, it seems like Bricktown has been the focal point of downtown entertainment, but as OKC grows and changes, so do our entertainment options.

Having kids, my criteria for a destination can be limiting. I’m looking for a place where they can play freely, and by “play freely,” I mean “run around like mad-women.” It also helps if we can find entertainment and sustenance in one spot. We spend our lives trying to avoid unbuckling and re-buckling into our car seats. And if those criteria are not limiting enough, we love to take our kids to local restaurants and to places that inspire creative play. We ask so little.

We asked for it, and downtown OKC has answered. Enter the Myriad Gardens. Years ago, the Myriad Gardens consisted mostly of the glass encased gardens that visitors could pay to tour. Having endured renovations, they now have much more to offer.
imageWe started our afternoon eating lunch at the Ice House, an order-at-the-window burger house with patio seating. Our kids are always on board for patio seating, but even better, this particular patio is accompanied by a splash fountain that extends the length of the patio. Only a few inches deep, the girls were able to splash around in their dresses without getting too wet, although Claire did her best to drench her entire body anyway. A much better meal-time entertainment option than our typical coloring books and crayons. Plus, I drank an entire iced tea in peace while they splashed. It’s the little things. The same patio is also bordered by Park House, a nicer restaurant offering a casual lunch menu, with a patio overlooking the public one where we ate. Even better, the splash patio is bordered by grassy areas where families were eating picnic lunches on blankets.

After lunch we walked to the southwest side of the gardens to the children’s garden, a park open to the public. Entertainment and sustenance in one spot? Check! And what a park! This is not your typical swing-set and slide affair. It includes a maze made from hedges, a turf hill to climb and slide down, and a kiddie-size observation deck. A destination inspiring creative play? Check! We have been to the park before, but even since our last visit, it has expanded to include a winding garden, complete with pond, of course, and a covered porch. The children’s garden is the perfect mix of things to play on and spaces to explore, and we did plenty of both!

image Even the walk from lunch to the children’s garden provided plenty to see and do – bridges to run on, ducks and geese to observe, and greens spaces galore to explore. The children’s garden offers different activities for kids all summer long, including movies on the lawn. Word on the street is that Frozen is playing July 9!

Thanks for meeting all of our demands – we love you, Myriad Gardens! I have a feeling we will be seeing you again soon.

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