A few days back, I loaded up my truck full of little girls and one toddler boy and we headed north towards the wilds of Woolaroc. Woolaroc is the former ranch of oil tycoon Frank Philips and is part wildlife sanctuary, part fine art museum. Tucked into the rural landscape of Osage County near the Kansas border, it’s a beautiful patch of ‘wild Oklahoma’, complete with roaming buffalo herds and unusual variety of elk, deer, cattle and even ostriches.
A word of advice when you’re heading to Woolaroc– don’t trust your GPS when you get to the end of the journey on HWY 23. You’ll end up on a rutted out rural country road trying to ‘turn right’ where there is no place to turn. Ask my how I know 😉
We took our little day trip with some friends from home school—- and since we were able to pack up and go on a rather chilly friday morning, we basically had the run of the entire place. And since children under 11 are free, I was the only one who had to pay to get in— so it was well worth the price of admission!
The kids had fun roaming the play area and seeing the animals that are in the petting barn area (chickens! Goats! mini donkeys! Must pet them all!) and they also enjoyed the museum. I loved seeing all the beautiful fine art paintings, but the kids most of all enjoyed the area full of antique toys, including a massive electric train set.
And even though its the middle of winter and the landscape is quite bare compared to the rest of the year— it was still beautiful; the leafless trees were gnarled and dark against the gray sky, and the prairie grass was a beautiful golden wheat color. It was amazing too to see the buffalo and the deer and wapiti elk grazing and lounging all together, unaware that somewhere not too far away is a modern city full of cars and concrete. Time stands still out there in Woolaroc.