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- Broken Bow and Beavers Bend with Kids
- 1. Hiking at Beavers Bend State Park
- 2. Train Rides for the Family
- 3. Year-Round Fly Fishing
- 4. Boating on Broken Bow Lake
- 5. Horseback Riding
- 6. ATV Trail Riding
- 7. Hochatown Petting Zoo
- 8. Go-Kart Racing and Miniature Golf
- 9. Rugaru Adventures Zipline
- 10. Cedar Creek Golf Course
- 11. Hochatown Escape Games
- 12. Kayaking and Canoeing
- Where to Eat In and Around Broken Bow, Oklahoma
- Where to Stay When Visiting Broken Bow and Beavers Bend
Broken Bow, Oklahoma is one of the fastest-growing areas for vacation rentals in southern OK. It’s easy to see why when you discover all the fun things families can do in the area. A short distance from both Texas and Arkansas, it’s a great vacation destination for families within driving distance to McCurtain County, Oklahoma.
Broken Bow and Beavers Bend with Kids
There are so many reasons why Broken Bow and Beavers Bend have become popular family getaway spots especially for those of us within driving distance to the area. Broken Bow is located in southeast Oklahoma and very near both the Texas and Arkansas border.
My family and I live in Northeast Texas and we’ve been visiting Broken Bow and Beavers Bend for more than 20 years. So many things have changed in the area! It used to be that the only lodging available was either camping at the state park or a hotel room at the Choctaw Casino. The number of vacation rentals has increased significantly, which is further proof of the area’s growing popularity as a family vacation destination.
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Here are 12 of our favorite things to do when we’re there:
1. Hiking at Beavers Bend State Park
As long as I’ve been visiting this area of Oklahoma we’ve enjoyed hiking at Beavers Bend State Park. Our favorite hiking trail is the Friends Trail. Our kids think it’s really fun to walk along spotting wildlife, then stopping for photos down by the river.
The easiest way to find good hiking trails for your group is to download the app AllTrails. It will let you find trails nearby and it rates them so you’ll know ahead of time if it’s an easy, moderate or hard trail. You can also sort to find trails that are kid-friendly, wheelchair friendly and dog friendly. We use this app every time we travel!
TravelingMom Tip: When hiking inside the Beavers Bend State Park, take your kids for a walk through the Forest Heritage Center Museum. Our kids always enjoy exploring the 100-year-old cabin.
2. Train Rides for the Family
This is a must-do if you have little ones! Head to the Beavers Bend Depot and Trail Rides and catch the train that runs two times every hour. The ride lasts a toddler-friendly 15 minutes and takes you through the Beavers Bend State Park game reserve.
Our kids loved looking for wildlife along the ride and I enjoyed taking in the beautiful scenery.
TravelingMom Tip: Don’t forget to grab some ice cream on your way out!
TravelingMom Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we're traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.
3. Year-Round Fly Fishing
If anyone in your family loves to fish, they’ll be excited to know that fishing and fly fishing in the Lower Mountain Fork River is available year-round. You can even hire a fishing guide to meet you on the river. This is a very popular fly fishing destination in the state; there are more than 12 miles of trout water. The backdrop of the Ouachita National Forest makes it a beautiful fishing spot. While hiking with our kids, we’ve seen many who were enjoying their time at river.
You will find these species of fish at the Lower Mountain Fork River: Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Brown Trout and Walleye. Anyone age 16 and older needs a fishing license in Oklahoma.
4. Boating on Broken Bow Lake
If you’re planning a visit during the summer months you should consider going out to Broken Bow Lake. This 14,000-acre lake is a natural beauty and is a great place to enjoy some water sports. The Beavers Bend Marina rents jet skis and boats. It’s a fun way to spend a hot day. Everyone in our family, from young to old, enjoys a day on the lake! We’ve made some incredible memories relaxing on this lake, soaking in the views.
If you’re looking for additional ways to explore the lake without having to rent a boat you can book a tour with Broken Bow Lake Tiki Boat Tours.
5. Horseback Riding
My family loves to go horseback riding while on vacation; it’s an activity we can all agree on. We love riding in the Broken Bow area because we get to ride in the foothills of the Glover River and Kiamichi Mountains. This experience is offered at the Beavers Bend Depot and Trail Rides area of the Beavers Bend State Park.
It’s one of my favorite ways to take in the scenery!
6. ATV Trail Riding
An ATV trail ride through the Ouachita National Forest is my new favorite thing to do in Broken Bow, OK. Our kids are between the ages of 7-12 so they are also able to enjoy these rides with us.
On our last visit, we rented an ATV from Bandits ATV rentals. We planned this experience last-minute but it worked out great. Not only did the company have a 5 seater ATV for us to rent, but it came with a trailer for us to haul it. This was by far the highlight of our trip. You will run out of time before you run out of trails! (Note: There are trails near the rental office. But if you want to explore farther afield, you need to have a vehicle like our truck that is equipped to tow a trailer.)
To find the trails and to have a map on your phone when trail riding, download the Avenza Maps app. We used it the entire time.
7. Hochatown Petting Zoo
This is another fun local activity that younger kids enjoy. The Hochatown Petting Zoo is full of animals that kids can pet and feed, including rabbits, donkeys, pigs, goats and horses. Because the Hochatown Petting Zoo is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center, you get to see animals you wouldn’t normally find at a petting zoo, like raccoons and skunks.
The guides share fun facts and help the kids as they enjoy this one-on-one experience with animals.
8. Go-Kart Racing and Miniature Golf
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon away from your cabin, check out Hochatown Amusements (closed during the winter months). We like to spent the afternoon racing the go-karts and competing in miniature golf.
TravelingMom Tip: This is a popular place during Spring Break and the summer months, so visit on a weekday if possible.
9. Rugaru Adventures Zipline
We haven’t tried this one yet, but it sounds like fun for families with an adventurous crew. The Rugaru Adventures Zipline tour starts in the forest and ends with some breathtaking views over Broken Bow Lake. The tour consists of 6 zip lines and lasts about 2 hours.
The weight requirements are 70 to 250 pounds, so this is an activity for older kids.
10. Cedar Creek Golf Course
About nine miles north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, is the public Cedar Creek Golf Course. This is one of the most beautiful courses in the state as it’s located on the shores of Broken Bow Lake in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains. My family doesn’t play golf, but views alone might make this course worth a try.
11. Hochatown Escape Games
Escape rooms are the hot attraction in vacation destinations. I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the Hochatown Escape Games but reveiwers on Google rave about it. Up to 10 guests at a time can spend an hour looking for clues and solving puzzles to hopefully ESCAPE! There are 4 scenarios so this is something you could return to do again and have a totally different experience.
If you’d rather not leave your cabin, there is a mobile escape room called the Pirate’s Code Just go to the website and select the time that best fits your team’s schedule and book it. You can pick up the escape game at Hochatown Escape Games and you will have 3 hours to play and return it. We may try this the next time we visit if we get a rainy afternoon!
12. Kayaking and Canoeing
Our family is full of outdoor enthusiasts so we enjoy canoeing, kayaking and cruising around in paddleboats when we visit this area of Oklahoma.The Mountain Fork River is not only popular for fly fishing it’s also a great place for finding Class I and II rapids and some fun waterfalls. The river also has calmer waters lined with stunning bald cypress trees making for a relaxing and tranquil experience.
You can find places in the area that offer canoe, paddleboat and kayak rentals.
TravelingMom Tip: The Glover River is where you go if you’re looking for untamed waters and a real thrill. It is not recommended with younger kids.
Experiences Just for Mom
There are several other wineries and distillery in the Broken Bow area but for sure you need to give mom a break and send her to a tasting at the Girls Gone Wine Winery! This winery, started by three friends, has become one of the most popular places to visit in the area. Broken Bow is a very popular girls’ getaway destination and so Girls Gone Wine is always filled with groups of women out having a good time.
TravelingMom Tip: Give yourself enough time to not only to do a tasting but also to shop their sassy gift shop!
Treat yourself to a massage at the Body Harmony Day spa! It’s one of Oklahoma’s top day spas with award-winning spa treatments. I personally have not visited Body Harmony, however, I’m excited to add it to my list of must-dos on our next visit. We typically venture off to Broken Bow for a long weekend of rest and relaxation with a little outdoor fun sprinkled in, so a visit to the spa might be perfect after a day of kayaking on the river!
TravelingMom Tip: If you’re looking for a good gift shop to get some souvenirs check out Janet’s Treasure Chest. Just look for Bigfoot out front!
Where to Eat In and Around Broken Bow, Oklahoma
When we travel we spend half of our time eating all the things! We try to avoid any chain restaurants and stick to supporting the local businesses. The food options in Broken Bow are plentiful. Here are a few you won’t want to miss:
Buffalo Grill: You won’t find better shrimp tacos anywhere else! Our entire family is always excited to dine here. The kids love their ribs!
Stevens Gap: If you’ve been on the lake or river all day and find yourself craving some fish, Stevens Gap has delicious fried catfish!
Abendigos: This southern steakhouse has all the things that make for the perfect laid-back dinner. You can enjoy live music on an open patio while biting into a delicious steak!
Mountain Fork Brewery: If you have a night out without the kids check out this local brewpub offering house-crafted beers and pub grub.
Where to Stay When Visiting Broken Bow and Beavers Bend
Cabins are the most popular lodging option in the area. Whether you’re looking for a small cabin or a large luxury cabin to house a large group–they have it all! There are several reputable cabin booking options but you can also find some great deals searching VRBO and Airbnb.
This is the cabin we stayed at during our last visit and we adored everything about it! You can also use this map below to find cabins and hotels to rent in the area:
We hope you enjoy your stay when visiting Broken Bow and Beavers Bend, Oklahoma! It’s been a destination our family has visited many times over the last 20 years and we’ve been excited to see its growth and expansion into a popular destination for families. Let us know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below or reach out to us on Facebook!
Read More: Here are a list of 9 Things to do in Southern Oklahoma with Kids and Free Things To Do In Oklahoma City & Oklahoma Road Trip Ideas