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My trip to Gathering Place in Tulsa, OK

Gathering Place lodge entrance
February 10, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Gathering Place in Tulsa, OK is a great budget-friendly place to visit on a sunny day

Gathering Place sign

Photo of Gathering Place sign. Project Manager: Jeff Stava; Park Planner and Designer: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Buildings Designer: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects; Construction Manager: Crossland Construction

People who live in Tulsa have a new reason to call themselves proud Tulsans! Gathering Place is Tulsa’s newest main attraction and was designed by architectural firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with input from various Tulsans. My first trip to Gathering Place was on a bright sunny day in the winter and I decided to take some photos of my own!

Everyone at the park was respectful and friendly. I experienced a nice warm vibe from all the people during my visit at Gathering Place. I’ll definitely be visiting Gathering Place again when it’s nice outside.

Gathering Place is free to all

If you haven’t been to Gathering Place in Tulsa, OK yet, you should definitely invest a couple hours of your time on a nice sunny day and pay this place a visit. With free parking, Gathering Place is open from 9 AM to 8 PM and is free to visit, so it’s a nice and cheap activity to enjoy with your family or friends to kill some time. Kids love the place, so if you have kids, it’s a must visit!

Gathering Place is a new bragging right for Tulsans

Gathering Place lodge building

Photo of the Gathering Place lodge from atop the pond patio

Gathering Place brings a new positive vibe to Tulsa and is something to brag about in comparison to other cities. Located on about 100 acres of land directly across the street from the Arkansas River, Gathering Place has been deemed “America’s Best New Attraction” by USA Today. As the largest private gift to a community park in United States history, Gathering place weighed in at a hefty $465 million dollars to create and was financed by a plethora of donors. I assume costs will continue to climb over the years for regular maintenance, but with so many enthusiastic donors, I doubt Gathering Place will have a problem keeping up with costs.

Kids love Gathering Place for its wide variety of activities and events

Gathering Place park photo

Photo of children’s play area at Gathering Place in Tulsa, OK

There are many events held at Gathering Place for children such as weekly story time. I found Gathering Place to be primarily focused toward children’s activities, but there is a cozy and exquisitely crafted lodge equipped with sandstone and a two-story fireplace for studying, business meetings, or just plain old relaxation. The lodge is a great place to visit on a cold day and the staff at the lodge are extremely friendly and eager to help.

Upon walking into the lodge, I noticed a pleasant wood-like smell and the volunteer staff member told me the floor is made of sandstone. The smell of the lodge is enough reason alone for just hanging out and having a cup of coffee on your lunch break because it’s just so pleasant and relaxing. Next to the lodge is vending where you can purchase drinks or food after you’ve worked up a sweat from the curvy trails.

There are plenty of trails to hike for the physically active Tulsans

Gathering Place walking trail

Photo of part of the walking trail at Gathering Place in Tulsa, OK

If you’re an avid hiker, the trails are right up your alley, however, dogs are off limits. For all the dog lovers out there, you’ll have to leave your furry friends at home unless you have a service animal. Of course, there are rules at Gathering Place and they should be respected because the creators and investors of Gathering Place made this park for the community to appreciate, not destroy with litter and dog remains. On a positive note, all of the trails in the park are accessible by wheelchair, so even handicapped people can enjoy the park trails. I recommend viewing Gathering Place’s FAQ’s page if you have any concerns about your visit to the park!

Get out and do some exercise at Gathering Place in Tulsa, OK

Gathering Place Peggy's Pond

Photo of Peggy’s Pond at Gathering Place

One of my favorite things about Gathering Place is that it encourages people to be active and live a healthier lifestyle. As many Oklahomans know, we rank in the top 3 in the nation for obesity and we are indeed in a major health crisis. People in Tulsa need to move around more and Gathering Place is helping with our health crisis. With walking trails, sports courts, a skatepark, canoeing, and more opportunities for physical activities, Gathering Place is a great place to get your exercise in during the day. Simply walking the trail around the park a few times a week will help improve your overall health.

Gathering Place will continue to be one of the best things to happen to Tulsa for decades to come.

Gathering Place Peggy's Pond

Photo of Peggy’s Pond at Gathering Place

At nearly a half a billion dollars, you have to wonder why the financiers of Gathering Place cared so much about investing in the park when they receive hardly any monetary gain on their investments. I think the great people who helped create Gathering Place truly love Tulsa and want to see it thrive along with its people because it’s one of the best things to happen to Tulsa in a long time. With booming infrastructure, parks, tech industry, and an increasing population, Tulsa is well on its way to becoming a great city of the midwest that truly cares about its citizens.

You can learn everything you need to know about Gathering Place by visiting their website at https://www.gatheringplace.org. I can’t wait to visit Gathering Place again!

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