Tulsa Children’s Museum – Creating Playful Family Connections

dad and child at tulsa children's museum

Looking for a playful, connecting family activity? Try a Children’s Museum. Tulsa has it’s very own museum for families with young children to middle school age children. Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab has interactive exhibits for active play and engagement. The three main current exhibits are:

Tulsa Tape & Tunnels – a 30 foot slide and bridge made from packing tape

child on packing tape slide at tcm

Make Shop – creating activities that explore sound, electricity, robots, etc. These activities change weekly.

make-shop at tcm

boys make shop at tcm

Toddler Area – active play and exploration for babies and toddlers / young children.

toddler area at TCM

Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab

560 North Maybelle, Tulsa OK  (in Owen Park, northwest of downtown)

Monday – Saturday     9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sundays     11:30 am – 5:00 pm

$5.00 Admission ( Under 2 Free)

Contact Number: 918-295-8144

Website: www.tulsachildrensmuseum.org

The museum exhibits are changed out 2-3 times a year. There are three main areas in one large room.  In addition, classes are offered for children 1st grade – 6th grade. Check out their website for current listings. Spring break classes are currently listed.

Tulsa Children’s Museum promotes the program STEM, which promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. And is partnered with the RECESS program which provides Health & Wellness Programs.

This is a wonderful Tulsa treasure and has such wonderful opportunities to play and connect with each other as a family; plus learn and grow. It is all win – win. So if you have not discovered this Tulsa gem, give it a try!  Your children will love you for it.

Note: If you do not live in Tulsa, check out your own community for a Children’s Museum.

Reading Together – A Couple or Parent / Child Activity to Connect Intellectually and Emotionally

Reading together is a wonderful way to connect with your loved ones, whether it is with a child, a significant other or a spouse. In our high-tech age, we don’t always think of this kind of activity. On a winter’s day or evening it can be great when outdoor activities are not possible.  Or when it is raining or really for any time that you need to slow down a bit. It is a way to add interest and new things to consider and discuss with one another. Basically a way to connect intellectually and emotionally, a double win!  Below I have shared some possible variations of how “reading together” might be done.

couple reading by fireplace

As a Couple . . .

  • Consider selecting a book that is of interest to both of you. Buy two copies, one for each of you. Or of course you can share or check it out from the library. Read a chapter and discuss.
  • Another possibility is to take turns on selection of which book you read together. This is a bit more adventuresome, but it does mix it up a bit and makes both people stretch. You could read a certain amount and then talk about.
  • You each read your own book but stop at intervals and tell each other what is going on with your book and what you think about it and have a conversation about it.
  • Instead of a book, you could do an article from a magazine, newspaper, something on-line, etc. Again discussion following.
  • One of you reads to the other. This is especially nice when one of you is ill.  Sometimes this can be spontaneous when one of you finds something of interest that you feel your loved one might find of interest.

As a Family . . .

  • Drop Everything and Read Time. Some folks call this DEAR time. Everyone can read whatever they like and then after a certain amount of time each person can share a bit of what they were reading. Questions can be asked or discussions can develop. And maybe as you do this you can have a snack together. You can have a regular time you do this as a family or set it up when you feel it is a good fit for your family to do.
  • Select a book to all read at the same time and to discuss. Maybe one chapter at a time.
  • Read Aloud Time: Family members take turns picking something to read to their family. This could be a very short story or a poem or a chapter of a book or a quote. This might be done on family night or be done as part of Family Meeting Time. It could be done where only one “read aloud” happens per time or each person does a short read aloud. Discussion can follow.

family reading together

As a Parent / Child Activity . . . 

  • Let your child choose a book and you take turns reading it together. You can talk about what each of your thoughts are afterwards.
  • You read to your child. Invitation for discussion afterwards.

Hope you will have lots of cuddle up time soon to do some reading together. You won’t be sorry you did!

Connecting Through Co-Creating Your Family Picnic

Picnics are not just for summer! The fall leaves and weather is so mild here still in OK. Consider a picnic in which you co-create it with your family. Instead of Mom (or in some cases Dad) making up and preparing the picnic basket or back packs, consider the family doing this together. I had a recent experience in which I was preparing everything and one of my family members said, why don’t you let everybody just make their own picnic lunch. I was thinking, “I like that idea!” I could have just put everything out on the table and said have at it. Instead, I decided to make some food stations to make it a bit more fun and make it easier to find everything. I created the following stations:


Sandwich Making Station

Fruit Station


Cut Up Your Own Veggie Station


Trail Mix Station

Drink Station

I had a variety of things to choose from at each station. I think this is the part that makes it fun, having some choices.  Everyone in the kitchen together, cutting and chopping veggies and folks making their own brand of trail mix, etc. has a very connecting feeling to it. Of course you can adapt this food making adventure to the age of your children. It is a great opportunity to be together and interact, while creating your own unique and personalized picnic lunch.  So much better than one person doing it. And a nice message to all the family members that everyone can contribute and have fun!

I would suggest you have a sack for each member to put their “creations” in. This can prevent confusion over whose food is whose.

The cool thing about picnics is they can be a part of many different settings: on nature trail walks, at the park, at the zoo, in your back yard OR even in the middle of your living room floor on a blanket!

Remember you can do a picnic any time of the year. Of course, I suppose fall, spring and summer have the most appeal. Even a mild winter’s day might be fun. So enjoy your co-created picnic lunch wherever you live and no matter what season it is!

Fill the “Buckets” of Your Loved Ones and See Happiness Grow

good feelings bucketI ran across the children’s book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud  just recently while at a local bookstore.  I have another book for children on this topic, but really liked how this one was done. For those of you who are not familiar with the “Bucket” concept, this is how it works. Please note that this is for all ages!!!

  •  Everyone has an invisible bucket (this is how this particular author explains it to children). The bucket is to hold your good thoughts and feelings about yourself.
  • You feel happy when it is full and sad when it is empty.
  • We need each other to help fill our buckets.
  • To fill a bucket you simply show love to someone (for example a hug or kiss), say or do something kind, or make someone feel special.
  • You can also be a “bucket dipper” by taking out some good feelings by saying hurtful or mean things, being critical, making fun of someone, etc.
  • You feel good when you fill someone else’s bucket

I might add I feel it is also important to let children know they can help to fill their own buckets by using “positive self talk”. What we say to ourselves is crucial in how we feel about ourselves. Our thoughts can add or take out good feelings from our buckets. 

I also think it is helpful to let children know that it is ok to tell your family that your bucket it low. And that you can help to fill it. This is ditto for couples too!

Family or Couple Bucket Activity:

One fun way to make this concept concrete is to have a bucket for each person in your family. Family members can write each other notes of love and appreciation and put them in the buckets. Everyone might even decorate their own bucket and put their name on it. This could be a fun family activity. Or even for a couple this would be a nice concrete way to show your love for each other.

Good luck in filling those buckets!

Family Night or a Couple’s Date Night at Admiral Twin Drive In- Tulsa’s Outdoor Movie Theater

admiral twin drive in logoI recently had a chance to take in a movie at the Tulsa’s Admiral Twin Drive In. This is Tulsa’s old-time outdoor movie theater.  It was fun! Thought I might pass the idea on to you as a potential Couples Date Night or as Family Night Out.  As this is a seasonal activity, I decided to go ahead and write this piece while they are still open.  When asked how long they stayed open? We were told that last year they were open from March 1st until December 1st.  It sounded like they had not made a decision for this year yet.  In a recent Facebook post they noted that they would close when the weather made them close.  So . . . you may want to consider doing this here at the end of the summer or  fall if you are interested. If in doubt just check their Facebook page or call them. Starting September 6, they are only open on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.

Admiral Twin Drive In, Tulsa, OK

Phone    918-392-9959

Email      information@selectcinemas.com

Website     http://www.selectcinemas.com

A double feature is played each evening with two screens playing. Their Facebook info page indicates you cannot switch screens. We were also told this upon entering.

Sound comes through your radio speaker. You must have an FM radio to get the sound. Movie goers are allowed to sit outside of their cars with their lawn chairs or blankets if they wish. We noticed many folks opted to do this.

Animals allowed on a leash. Not allowed in restrooms or concession stands.

Admiral Twin operates a grill / concession stand. It was noted on Facebook that at times they have Food Trucks also as an option. I would check Facebook if you want to know on this.

Movie Times are listed on their website www.selectcinemas.com  or http://www.admiraltwindrive-in.com can be gotten by calling them  918-392-9959 or you can locate this information on their Facebook page.

Prices: 12 and up is $7:00 and 3 – 11 is $3:00.

They are located 7355 East Easton, Tulsa, OK.

admiral twin drive in acutal view of from distance

Special Note: As always, it is important to do  your homework if this is a family outing as to movies that are showing and determining if they are appropriate for your age of children.  Even though you can stay for both movies as it is a double feature, you do not have to. It appeared they try to do some family movies and some more adult type movies too.

If you’re in the mood to try something a bit old-fashioned and think your honey or family might like this kind of venue, it may be worth checking out.

Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa’s “Imagination Days” Third Saturdays – FREE

imagination days arts and humanity council tulsa ok“Imaginations Days” is sponsored by The Arts & Communities Council of Tulsa at the Hardesty Arts Center every third Saturday in 2013. These events are open in conjunction with the regular AHHA gallery hours.  This FREE family activity time is inspired by the current gallery exhibit.  The theme and exhibitions are changed frequently to provide new experiences.


Arts & Humanities Council Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA)

101 East Archer Street

Tulsa, Oklahoma 

In the Brady Arts District, at the corner of Boston & Archer. 


Third Saturdays, 2013

August 17 

Note: This month’s activity revolves around the Fiberworks exhibit.

ahct hardesty arts center fiber arts exibit

September 21

October 19

November 18

Open from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (This is during regular AHHA gallery hours.)

And it is FREE to the public!

Activities start in the American Electric Power Foundation/Williams Family Studio, which is located in AHHA’s second floor next to the Loft Gallery. For more information you can call the Arts and Community Council at 918-584-3333. You can also follow this link to find out more information about the Imagination Days.  ahct.org/programs/imagination-days/

The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa’s HARDESTY ARTS CENTER  is not only a wonderful opportunities for families to enjoy art together but it is also would be a great outing for a couple. Go to their website www.ahct.org to find out more about the gallery and the upcoming exhibitions and also about the many programs that they offer for adults, teens and children.

arts and humanities council of tulsa hardesty arts center

Its Pow Wow Time – An OK Cultural Experience for your Family

Powwow_DanceaPow Wow of Champions

August 9, 10 & 11, 2013

Oral Roberts University, 7777 S. Lewis

The ORU Mabee Center

– A smoke and alcohol free environment –

$7. Per Person (5 yrs & under free) – Weekend Wrist Band $15. Per Person

This weekend the Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa hosts the 36th annual Pow Wow of Champions. This is a wonderful opportunity for your family to experience together an OK Cultural event. Many times we overlook some of our own states special cultural events.  You of course would want to consider what parts of the program would most fit for you and your child’s or children’s ages and plan accordingly. I think it always works best not to over stay an event that we are not ready to handle.

For specific information event you can call 918-378-4494 or 918-838-8276 or go to their website:  www.iicot.org/   There is a schedule of events and times on their website. You will need to click on the flyer within their website to get this information.

You and your family can experience dance, drum music and song from tribal nations across the country. Over 300 native dancers will compete. In addition, native american crafts and food will be available for purchase.

This event is billed as a family event, but could also be a fun couple’s activity.  Hope you will consider taking advantage of this educational and entertaining OK weekend event.

Daily “Feeling Check In” to Stay Connected


We all know ideally we should connect on a deeper level on a daily basis with our loved ones. We really want to connect, but sometimes we get busy or tired or distracted and it just does not happen. Putting a FEELING CHECK IN as part of your routine can help.

I have found it can  help with connecting if we can set up a structured time to do a FEELING CHECK IN with each other. Here is what this might look like:

  • Ideally, this would be daily. But if not daily this could be done whenever you can. You might consider a weekly check in if your family is really busy and you think this might be more likely to happen.
  • This can be done as a couple or as a family or as a parent / child activity (If you have more than one child this could be done individually with each one of them privately.)
  • If you connect your FEELING CHECK IN  to another daily activity it is more likely to happen. For example: At the dinner table every night or with your child as part of their bedtime ritual.
  • The format can be structured in a variety of ways and you can decide what works best for you and your loved ones. Some possible FEELING CHECK IN formats are listed below. You can of course come up with your own unique FEELING CHECK IN format that best fits your own unique family. You are the expert on your family!
  1. Tell me about your least favorite part of the day. What about your most favorite part of your day?
  2. What was the most exciting part of your day? What was the most boring part of your day? What about what made you feel happy today? Any sad things that happened to you? Or things that made you angry? Things you really feel proud of? (You can mix this up or do the same each day. Plus, you can decide for yourself what feelings you most want to highlight and how many you want to include). You will not want this to come off as an interrogation or as invasive. Teens may be particularly sensitive. One of the briefer formats may work best for them.
  3. On a 1 to 10, with 10 being the best how was your day today? What made it that way?
  4. What feeling did you have the most today? 
  5. Tell me your top three feelings you had today.

 If you are doing this activity as a family you will want to consider the ages of your children and what they will understand and most be able to relate to. 

If you do this activity as a whole family (or as a parent / child or even as a couple) I feel care should be taken to protect privacy and need to not share, meaning someone should always be able to pass and not be pressured to reveal something they are not ready to share. Letting your children know they can always pass is important. We want to encourage sharing,but not force sharing. 

Last of all when your loved one shares their feelings with you, be respectful with full attention and focus; acknowledging and reflecting without giving advice and questioning. They will love you for this unconditional, loving response!  ♥ ♥

Playhouse Tulsa’s “Little Women” This Weekend


For those of you who are fans of the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott you may want to check out this weekend’s performances of Little Women done by Playhouse Tulsa’s Summer Stage Festival. This is an original adaptation written by Cody Daigle and commissioned for Playhouse Tulsa. 

This play is based on the classic book which tells the story of the March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. This is set in America Civil War times. Themes of friendship, love and family. It timeless tale.

This would be a wonderful activity for a mother and daughter, family or couple. It is all about relationships. A wonderful opportunity for lots of discussion afterwards.  Hope you will consider this play as part of your weekend activities.

Little Women

SummerStage Festival

July 12-13 at 7:30 p.m.; July 13-14 at 2 p.m.

John H. Williams Theatre, Tulsa PAC, 110 E 2nd

Tickets 918-596-7111 or www.tulsapac.com

“We Love and Appreciate You!” Birthday Book

“We Love and Appreciate You!” Birthday Book

This last week was my birthday and my family presented me with a Birthday Book filled with notes of love and appreciation from my family and friends. This is something I have put together for a number of people in … Continue reading