The Gathering Place is a park in Tulsa that was opened in September 2018. Since then, It has quickly become known as one of the country’s best parks. It offers something for everyone, from fun attractions to restful lounging areas and beautiful walking trails.
The Gathering Place offers so many varieties of entertainment that it’s easy to miss some of the best aspects. We’ve created an ultimate visitor’s guide to ensure that you don’t miss out on all that the park has to offer.
Activities at the Gathering Place
The sports courts are across Riverside Drive on the banks of the Arkansas River. Tulsa’s sports enthusiasts will love this spot. There are basketball courts, soccer courts, and more. The courts are well lit, maintained, and make the perfect place to bring your A-game.
The skate park sits on the banks of the Arkansas River offering skaters and bikers a haven of ramps, pipes, and anything else a skater could want. This area is usually hopping with activity as skaters show off their skills and spectators gather to watch.
Swing Hill overlooks not only the Gathering Place’s interior attractions but also the Arkansas River. It offers a nice comfortable place to watch your child and tends to be less crowded than the Chapman Adventure Playground. It has a large number of swings spread over a unique, squishy, landscape.
Slide Vale is much like Swing Hill, except instead of swings, you have numerous slides to choose from. This is one of my personal favorite attractions in the park. It seems to be a little bit more private compared to the playground area, plus it offers a spectacular panorama of the rest of the park.
Mist Mountain is located near Williams Lodge, towards the back of the park. This is the place to be on a hot Tulsa day; this attraction offers mist areas, water cannons, and water fountains. Mist Mountain provides easy access to Williams Lodge for changing areas, restrooms, and dining options. This attraction is opened all summer long, so make sure you take time to enjoy it!
Peggy’s Pond is at the center of the park, offering a serene nature feel in the midst of the unique architecture and spectacular playground structures. The pond offers many lounging options along its banks for people to sit and enjoy the water.
At the ONEOK Boathouse, which borders the pond, you can check out a kayak or paddle boat to take out on the water. This can be a nice romantic activity, or get the kids involved and have a fun family affair.
Chapman Adventure Playground
The Chapman Adventure Playground seems to be the main attraction at the Gathering Place. There are all sorts of playground structures for kids to go crazy on, from the Spiral Connector to The Land of the River Giants and the Skywalk Forest.
For the toddlers, the park offers play areas like Fairyland Forest and Volcanoville. There is easily enough found in this park to keep your kids entertained for hours, and to keep them begging to go back for more.
Ramble Sensory Garden
Ramble Sensory Garden lays on the outskirts of Chapman Adventure Playground. The garden creates the ambiance of a far-off land filled with enchantment and wonder. The garden’s purpose is to offer hands-on educational activities to amaze.
Feel your way through the mirror maze or sing a song with the natural instruments; either way, this garden is almost as popular as the playground with the children and it offers a nice breath away from the crowds.
Dining Options at the Gathering Place
The Patio offers an affordable eating option near the Chapman Adventure Playground. It’s your typical concession food except with top-quality taste. Stop here to get an easy bite for the kids and to enjoy the natural surroundings.
The Redbud Café is found on the bottom level of Williams Lodge. This café has sweet treats to enjoy, from ice cream and pastries to all different kinds of coffee. This is a fantastic place for a date or for dessert; you choose.
Vista at the Boathouse
Vista at the Boathouse is the newest addition to the dining options at The Gathering Place. It is a refined yet affordable restaurant found in the ONEOK Boathouse. It’s eloquent cuisine and beautiful views make you feel like you’re dining at a fancy restaurant.
Lounging Options at the Gathering Place
The ONEOK Boathouse has a lot to offer, one being the modern-designed lounge area overlooking the pond. The lounge area is a covered patio on the second floor of the boathouse. The unique architecture in the natural surroundings allows for tranquil relaxation.
The Gathering Place not only offers many opportunities to play but also to learn. Inside the levels of the ONEOK Boathouse are educational displays of art and history. Lounging is provided throughout these displays, leaving the ambiance of a grand museum masterpiece.
QuikTrip Great Lawn
The QuikTrip Great Lawn is where The Gathering Place hosts numerous concerts and events throughout the year. When it’s not entertaining the crowds, it offers itself as a place to relax and toss a frisbee.
Williams Lodge is a beautiful building erected in the heart of the Gathering Place. The lodge offers a place of peace and quiet, yet still allows the ambiance of the park to leak in through massive floor to ceiling windows.
Williams Lodge has uniquely-designed furnishings and architecture, keeping up with the architectural ingenuity found throughout the rest of the park.
Willow Beach is a relaxing haven that happens to be found right in the middle of Tulsa, thanks to the Gathering Place. The beach overlooks Peggy’s Pond and offers seating and firepits to enjoy.
It can be hard to imagine feeling sand between your toes when you live in Oklahoma, located 1500 miles from the coast. Now, you have the opportunity to enjoy the beach vibes offered by Willow Beach.
Rules to Be Aware of at the Gathering Place
There are some rules and regulations to be aware of when visiting The Gathering Place. The park has put certain laws in place to help keep the park clean and the visitors safe.
It’s important to know that no dogs are allowed in the park except for on designated dog-days, which happen to be most Wednesdays. However, dogs are allowed on the Riverside Trail and Midland Valley Trail which runs along the banks of the Arkansas River.
Bicycles, skateboards, lime scooters, and other alternate forms of transportation are only allowed in certain areas. There can be large crowds of people, and adding these modes of travel can add unnecessary risk.
While there are quite a few cool rock structures and architectural formations, it’s important to know which ones you can and cannot climb on. There are certain structures designated specifically to fulfill that climbing itch while others are purely for architectural appeal.
There are some other important rules to be aware of. To check out the complete park rules list for The Gathering Place, click here.
Parking Options for the Gathering Place
There are parking options all along Riverside Drive designated specifically for The Gathering Place. When the city can expect more influx of visitors, they set up parking areas in the fields near the park or arrange for free shuttles from certain areas to the park.
The Gathering Place has got to be the greatest phenomenon that’s ever graced Tulsa; this park has easily made some lists for being the best new park in America.
Tulsa is a great city located in Northeastern Oklahoma. It’s growing population and its contribution to the arts and modern culture has made it a hotspot for young families and entrepreneurs. If you’re interested in moving to the area, I would recommend reading our article, 10 Reasons You Should Move to Tulsa.