Fun Things to Do in Broken Bow and Beavers Bend Oklahoma with Kids

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Fly fishing and kayaking are popular activities to do on the river. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

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.

Here are 12 of our favorite things to do when we’re there.

1. Hiking at Beavers Bend State Park

The entrance sign at the Friends Trail in Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma
Friend Trail is our favorite hiking trail to hike with kids. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

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 stop 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!

SheBuysTravel 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.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Don’t forget to grab some ice cream on your way out!

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 Mountains 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

ATV trail riding, one of the things to do in Broken Bow OK
Trail riding is such a fun way to explore the Broken Bow and Beavers Bend Oklahoma area. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

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.

SheBuysTravel Tip: I recommend packing an external battery for your phone. This is my favorite one that can be purchased from Amazon.

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.

SheBuysTravel 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 for vacationing families. I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the Hochatown Escape Games but reviewers 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 

Girls hiking, one of the things to do in Broken Bow OK
Hiking with our kids is one of our favorite things to do when visiting Broken Bow, OK. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

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. 

SheBuysTravel Tip: The Glover River is where you go if you’re looking for untamed waters and a real thrill. It is not recommended for younger kids.

Experiences Just for Mom

Girls Gone Wine Winery

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.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Give yourself enough time to not only do a tasting but also to shop their sassy gift shop!

Body Harmony Day Spa

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!

SheBuysTravel 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

Shrimp tacos at Buffalo Grill in Broken Bow, Ok
The best shrimp tacos at Buffalo Grill Photo credit: Breeze Leonard.

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:

Grateful Head Pizza Oven & Tap Room: They have delicious brick oven pizza and occasionally they’ll also have live music making it a fun night out with the family. 

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!

AbendigosThis 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!

Adam & Eve Coffee: I have priorities and one of those is coffee! This is the perfect place to stop by and grab your morning cup of coffee.

Okie Girls Coffee & Ice CreamThis is where you go for the best ice cream!

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

cabin rental in Broken Bow OK
Cabin rentals in Broken Bow can be booked through VRBO or a local cabin rental company. Photo credit: Breeze Leonard

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! 

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Broken Bow and Beavers Bend with kids?

A: The best time to visit is in the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer is also a popular time to visit, but it can be hot and crowded.

Q: Are there any kid-friendly restaurants in the area?

A: Yes, there are several restaurants in the area that are kid-friendly. Some of our favorites include The Blue Rooster, Grateful Head Pizza, and Abendigo’s Grill & Patio.

Q: Is there a grocery store in the area?

A: Yes, there are several grocery stores in the area, including a Walmart Supercenter and a Homeland grocery store.

Q: What is the closest airport to Broken Bow and Beavers Bend?

A: The closest airport is the Texarkana Regional Airport, which is about 90 miles away. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is also an option, but it’s about a 3-hour drive from the area.

Q: Are there any indoor activities for kids in the area?

A: Yes, there are several indoor activities for kids, including the Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum, the Forest Heritage Center Museum, and the Choctaw Casino. There are also several arcades and indoor play areas in the area.

Breeze Leonard is a travel enthusiast and the affiliate manager for SheBuysTravel. A marketing and advertising specialist, she is also a social media strategist and travel writer, with several years’ experience writing for digital media. A Texan born and raised, Breeze left a corporate career to fulfill her passion for seeing the world with her three little girls. Their adventures have taken them across the globe, spanning visits to favorite Caribbean isles and motoring cross-country in an RV through some of America’s most beloved national parks. She believes that no adventure is too small and that every memory made, good or bad, is part of the family’s story.
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2 responses


  1. I’m from 15 miles north of hochatown and didn’t know about some of these things. Of course when I was growing up in the late 90s and early 2000s there were only a few things around because the tourism boom hadn’t started. I’m not sure if you know about it but a bowling alley is nearing completion by the Rolling Fork, just past Grateful Head.

    1. Thanks! We’re glad you learned something new and will definitely keep an eye out for the upcoming bowling alley.

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