The Oklahoma Aquarium is located in Jenks, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa. We were in Tulsa for a wedding and decided to stop by the aquarium on our way home to Kansas City. We roamed the wide variety of exhibits they have on display and got lost for a couple hours in the wonders of the water world.
So what kinds of exhibits does the Oklahoma Aquarium contain? They have the Aquatic Oklahoma, an exhibit where everything inside is found in the native waters nearby. So you could very likely run into one of these fish or turtles if you visit a local lake or river. The Hayes Family Ozark Stream contains the local mammals from the area, like beavers, raccoons, and otters. Both of these exhibits were of particular interest to us because Kansas is so close to Oklahoma, and many of the species will be found in our area as well.
The Oklahoma Aquarium also houses a Coral Reef area, an Invertebrate section, and will soon house a Sea Turtle exhibit.
But our favorite exhibit by far was the Shark Adventure. A walk-thru tunnel allows you to feel like you are swimming with the sharks and if you time your day right, you can see the shark feeding. It looks like the schedule for feedings currently (but please verify before going) are Mondays and Thursdays in the early afternoon. Shark feedings are obviously a very popular attraction, so plan ahead to get a good spot as the tunnel space is limited.
We were there on a weekend therefore did not see the shark feeding. However, we did happen to arrive at the Hayes Family Ozark Stream just in time for the beaver feeding. An adorable beaver came right out front and center and began munching on fruit like grapes and apples (as seen in the first pic above). As the only other beaver we have seen was quickly swimming up a river, this was quite fun for us to get to see one for an extended time.
We also spent some quality time in the “feel” zone where you could put your hands in the pools and feel some of the smaller creatures on display. It was fun to feel whether they were solid and spiky like the starfish, or squishy and slimy like the sea cucumber. It would be a perfect place to entertain the kids for awhile, or adults like us. Just make sure they respect the animals and don’t injure them during the session.
The Oklahoma Aquarium is open year-round, from 10am-6pm. Prices are just over $15 for adults and $12 for children. It is the perfect place to spend a cold winter day or take shelter from the heat during the blazing summer we have in the Midwest. And since we are landlocked here in the middle of the U.S., it will be the only place to see sharks and saltwater fish for miles around.