Explore America's Campgrounds
Lawton, in southwest Oklahoma, has a population of almost 100,000 people and was founded in 1901. Lawton sits near the Wichita Mountains, which contains the popular Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge attraction, as well as many lakes and parks. All this -- plus plenty of indoor attractions -- makes Lawton an ideal place for families with children to visit.
The Comanche Nation Waterpark is an outdoor waterpark that has water slides and tube slides, plus three different pools, including a kiddie pool for smaller children and a large Breaker Beach wave pool. There's also an arcade room, and older kids have the opportunity to rent an inflatable tube and glide down a giant slide. Fuqua Park in Duncan, about 25 minutes from Lawton, is home to Kiddieland, a 50-year-old amusement park with old-time rides. Attractions include a merry-go-round and a miniature train that circles the park. The park is also available for rent for birthday parties and other special events.
Laugh Out Loud is a family fun place where children can enjoy mini bowling, laser tag, a ball house and plenty of inflatable slides. LOL also has a skating rink and three different birthday party packages to choose from for your child's next special day. Thunderbird Lanes bowling regularly runs special offers for children, such as free bowling or discounted menu specials. Family Nights are also scheduled on Tuesday evenings, with special prizes and $1 corn dogs on offer.
At A Pigment of Your Imagination, children can create art by painting on different surfaces like pottery or canvas. Children under 4 years of age can enjoy themselves painting mugs, plates or tiles and then apply their own hand print or foot print -- plus their names and date -- to their creation. There is also a Mom and Me Paint class where children can create art alongside their parents. The South Star Dance Academy offers dance camps for children as young as 3 years old. Children will learn routines to different themes such as Enchanted Garden, Disney Mania and My Dolly and Me. Kids can also take tap and jazz lessons or attend performances set at the school.
The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to see a variety of wildlife, including prairie dogs, elk, deer and buffalo in their natural habitat. Miles of hiking trails, rock climbing and mountain biking make this an ideal place to visit at different times of the year. Plus, families can also enjoy a picnic or try camping within the refuge. The visitor's center offers numerous interactive displays to help kids learn about the area's flora and fauna. Lake Lawtonka is a man-made reservoir with great beaches for swimming, boating, waterskiing and fishing. The lake also offers camping and picnic areas for families to enjoy.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.