TULSA, Okla. (KNWA) — This summer we are taking a look at places you and your family can explore in the region that are within a day’s drive of Northwest Arkansas. In part two of our special digital series, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner takes you to the Gathering Place in Tulsa.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation transformed nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s iconic waterfront along the Arkansas River into the Gathering Place.
The world-class park opened in September 2018 and has seen more than one million visitors.
“They say if you build it, they will come,” said Tony Moore, Executive Director of Gathering Place. “That’s not always right if you build it, they will come. If you build it right with the right components, the right quality, and the right mix, they will come. It started out as a small, humble park and grew to an over $465 million park.”
There are more than 100 unique experiences to be enjoyed at Gathering Place. With countless activities, unique programming, special events, and multiple dining options, you will be sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience.
“There’s a lot to be done here,” Moore said. “And, when we say over 100 unique experiences in one day, that makes the park a repeated experience, because you absolutely can not see it in one day.”
Gathering Place is entirely free to the public. There are costs associated with food and drink, sports equipment rentals and retail.
“The George Kaiser Family Foundation and over 80 donors gave generously to make this a free experience to the families of Oklahoma and anyone who will drive in to see this,” Moore said. “And, so, it’s privately funded. It’s listed as the largest private donation for a public park in the history of the United States.”
Gathering Place is a park for everyone. It is built to full ADA compliance and is committed to providing a safe and fun space for all guests. The park was recently named the best new attraction in the country by USA Today.
“This is a nationally recognized park, and so it’s validation,” Moore said. “We are very excited about it and we certainly want to share that the Midwest and Oklahoma is no longer just a flyover state. Come on down and visit us.”
The Gathering Place is open every day from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. You can learn more about the park here.