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#FamilyFunDay: Alabaster Caverns

 

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by Carey Sue Vega in #FamilyFunDay

The #FamilyFunDay series is an opportunity for us to share our adventures, tips, and ‘manners used’ for making the most of your day if you choose to take a similar adventure of your own.

Alabaster State Caverns is about 2.5 hours from Oklahoma City in Northwestern Oklahoma close to the town of Freedom. We arrived at the park around 12:30pm so we were able to eat our picnic lunch before the 1:00pm tour.

The park has a really nice picnic area and we were glad we packed our own lunch as there were not too many food options.  In the small town of Mooreland there was a nice (clean) convenience store with some food options.  At the entrance to the State Park, there was a cafe but it wasn’t open the day we were there (we went on a Sunday).

You’ll want to take two pairs of shoes for everyone in your group. One that you don’t mind getting muddy and dirty. And don’t forget to bring a plastic bag to put them in after, if you want to keep your car clean. Then you’ll have your clean pair for the ride home.

#FamilyFunDay Alabaster Caverns

The tour took about 45 minutes and winds up and down stairs and through narrow passageways. The pathway was very muddy and slippery. No one fell, but I could see how it could happen easily. There were handrails on the path that were helpful for those tight and slippery spots. The cave was a cool 55-60 degrees inside so it was a welcome respite from the triple digit heat and hot Oklahoma sun.

Our guide was very knowledgable and had great information to share. She pointed out the several types of alabaster found in the cave, including pink, white, and the rare black alabaster that is found in only three veins in the world, one each in Oklahoma, Italy and China. She told us how the Smithsonian came to the caverns to collect a sample of the black alabaster and it is now on display at the Musuem in Washington, DC.  There were some amazing natural formations that were pretty impressive. The kids were excited to see a few bats, itty-bitty frogs, and possum tracks inside.

If you have little ones under the age of five, you may want to wait until they’re a bit older before you visit.  We had some smaller children in our group who needed to be carried and I’m not exactly how the mom did that without wiping out. Also, towards the end of the tour there is a section where the guide turns out the lights so you can experience ‘total darkness’ for one minute. Let’s just say that one minute was even a bit uncomfortable for some of us adults in the group.

#FamilyFunDay Alabaster Caverns Freedom Oklahoma

While we were there we saw a Boy Scout troop returning from a ‘wild caving’ adventure. They had helmets, headlamps, gloves and were covered from head to toe in mud and soaking wet. Needless to say they also had huge smiles and said they were having a blast.So I guess it looks like we’ll be returning one of these days for our Cub to go ‘wild caving’. I’ll be excited to hear all about it from his perspective because that’s going to be a bit off the charts for my adventure list.

Manners Used: (great talking points to share with your kiddos as you head out on your adventure.)

  • respect the park guide
  • listen to the park guide (don’t talk while he or she is talking)
  • follow directions (no you can’t climb on the rocks off the guided trail.)
  • eye contact and a genuine thank you to the guide at the end of the tour
  • and of course car ride manners for the 2.5 hour outing (5 hours round trip) (Here’s an idea to help ward off the ‘are we there yet?’ questions.)

 

We would love to hear if you do, please leave us a comment and let us know about your #FamilyFunDay Adventure.

– Carey Sue

#FamilyFunDay Alabaster Caverns with the Hub and Cub

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