The Gathering Place is a child’s dream playground. It definitely makes Tulsa, Oklahoma a destination spot. Cristina, a friend of mine from high-school, lives outside of Tulsa and she posted they went here. I was able to talk to her about it before we went and she kept telling me how big it was. I didn’t appreciate how big it was until I got there. Tulsa was on the way for us when we moved from Missouri to Arizona.
Initially we were only planning on spending an hour at the playground before dinner on the way to the hotel. However, once we arrived we realized it truly is a dream playground and spent way more than an hour. There is just so much to do. Even after a few hours we felt like we had more to do so we spent the next morning at the playground as well. We left only because we needed to continue our move out west.
I told my sister and brother in law who were living in Kansas at the time that they HAD to make a weekend trip and plan for at least a whole day at the gathering place. My brother in law is a landscape architecture and apparently the design of the Gathering Place was on his radar. Even though it’s a playground it’s beautifully done so adults and children love it. There are tons of walking paths and so many things to look at.
For the end of the school year, I put together an Escape Room Party for my kids. Since school is cancelled due to the Coronavirus, we made our own end of school party. We decided to have gourmet sandwiches for dinner. The highlight for the kids was getting their pick of chips (Doritos Cooler Ranch, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and Kettle Brand Pepperoncini) and Izze’s.
After dinner my daughter had a game for us. This included a series of stations that took us from room to room where we had tasks to complete. She designed it all by herself and we had a lot of fun. Then my husband took the kids into a room while I set up our escape room. I think my escape room was a hybrid of an escape room and scavenger hunt. My kids have never done an escape room before.
We love Disney and I knew I could quickly come up with a story if I used the broad Disney theme rather than one specific Disney movie. I’ve always loved the story from Fantasmic and how Mickey is in a nightmare and you see all of the Disney characters. I thought it was clever how they were able to involve the whole cast. Mickey’s nightmare was the basis for my story. My husband didn’t know any of the clues. I told him he would have to help the kids.
We had the most magical weekend in San Diego with our kids. We were living in Phoenix at the time so we took a labor day weekend getaway to San Diego. San Diego is just a five hour drive from Phoenix. I picked Matt up from work and we drove straight to San Diego. By we driving straight I mean Matt drove and I sat next to him for moral support (if someone sleeping next to you counts as moral support). He likes to drive and I don’t so it works out pretty well. Who drives in your home?
Since Matt grew up in California and we still have extended family there I feel like it’s a place we will always go back to. I don’t feel the need to see everything. It was a relaxing weekend but we still did a lot and there are still things in San Diego I want to do when we go back.
First, we knew we didn’t need to go to the San Diego Zoo for this trip. Matt and I have both been to the San Diego Zoo. We were “zooed out” from living in St. Louis where the zoo is free and having recently been to the amazing Omaha Zoo. I want to see Mission Beach in San Diego. According to another hotel guest, “Mission Beach is the most crowded beach that he’s been to.” We found some less crowded beaches for this trip. At some point I want to see large beach crowds. Matt told me the most crowded beach he’s seen was in Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.
After looking through these photos and thinking about everything we did, I wanted to nail down what made this trip magical for me. I wanted to know so that I can recreate it in the future. I’m glad that this trip wasn’t out of the country because we definitely couldn’t go out of the country frequently. Could this magical type of weekend be recreated in a cold location or was the fact that this trip was in Southern California where temperatures are temperate all of the time be the key?