PERFECT PLAYGROUNDS: Martin Park Nature Center

If your kids are anything like ours, you know that a great playground is just as good as ice cream. The key to this trickery is that the playground has to be unique and special.

Living in Northwest Oklahoma City, I have passed Martin Park Nature Center at least 200 times, but had never been there. That changed when I needed a place to kill a short amount of time with my toddler and decided we would go for a walk on the trails at Martin Park. What we found was amazing and unexpected.

Built to look like it has been carved out of a hollowed out tree, this playground is one of OKC’s hidden gems. It’s not the largest structure and it doesn’t have the most features, but what it does is spark imagination and adventure into my kids. We have spent hours climbing up into the tree trunk and sliding down the two slides, and it never gets old. The playground also features a small climbing structure, mushroom stepping stones, and a spinning monkey bar apparatus.

The adventure doesn’t stop on the playground either! The trails here span over 2 miles, and there is a learning center with animals you might encounter in the park, including fish, turtles and even a prarie dog. We found that the boardwalk by the pond was our favorite place to journey, and we spotted some massive snapping turtles in the water and large cranes resting in the trees.

Martin Park Nature Center is open year round, and you can check their hours on their website.

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