NOTE: This is a re-upload of an article that was published near Spring Break of 2019, but don't let that stop you from taking some great ideas for a stay-cation here in town!
Spring Break is about breaking free from the usual routine and going on adventures, so it’s understandable that your first impulse is to shell out for plane tickets or fill up the gas tank. But what if we told you that there’s a treasure trove of novel experiences here in Shawnee, Oklahoma? So, don’t stress about the logistics of travel or the damage to your budget this year—stay close to home and view it with a new perspective. How is that possible, you might ask? Here are four ways to get started.
Kick off your stay-cation by booking yourself a little home-away-from-home at one of our city’s lovely hotels. You will find the hotels on the north side of town accommodating to all visitors, many of which feature fitness centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and free breakfast, not to mention all the usual accoutrement. You can also stay at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort, where entertainment options are always available, including specialty restaurants including Soto Sushi, Flame Brazilian Steakhouse & more.
You may not realize that Shawnee is home to not one, not two, but three museums full of fascinating curiosities and engaging exhibits. Start at the Mabee-Gerrrer Museum of Art, where you can see art and artifacts from the world over. Then work your way over to the Santa Fe Depot, where the Pott. County Museum puts the interesting history of the county on display. After that, you can finish up your day at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) Cultural Heritage Center, where you will be moved by the story of their people through their adversities and triumphs.
Speaking of the CPN, did you know that they have an Eagle Aviary, one of only seven like it in the nation? Home to over a dozen bald eagles and several other bird species, the Eagle Aviary provides a permanent home for eagles (and other birds) that have sustained injuries serious enough that they cannot live in the wild—but you’ll note how lively and majestic they are despite this. They were also the first aviary of their kind to successfully release an eagle back into the wild, and you’ll be surprised to see everywhere the bird has flown. If you’re interested in visiting the aviary, make sure you call at least two weeks in advance—the eagles are in high demand.
If the weather turns out poorly, or you’re simply looking for a bit of indoor fun, Shawnee is home to several bowling alleys and arcades. Visit the lanes at Shawnee Bowl or FireLake Bowling Center—both locations will accommodate bowlers from beginner to expert levels of skill. Shawnee Bowl’s party packages, concessions, and $1.50 games after 9:00 pm Sunday through Thursday will make for a fun and casual evening, while FireLake features a bowler’s pro shop for those looking to step up their game, and glow-in-the-dark bowling every Friday and Saturday night. If bowling isn’t your thing, you’ll find a variety of fun games in the PAC-MAN Café at the Shawnee Mall, or at the Bell St. Retro Arcade.
Excited to have your stay-cation yet? If you want to find more things to do here in Shawnee, you can head on over to our website at www.visitshawnee.com, or pick up a brochure from our visitors’ center at 231 N. Bell.