Oklahoma Nature February 22, 2016
10 Things You Can’t Do In Oklahoma Anymore…But Wish You Could
Many places and things in Oklahoma might be gone, but surely not forgotten. And of all the places in Oklahoma’s past, there are a few that hold a special place in the heart of Oklahomans. Here are 10 things you can’t do in the Sooner State anymore…but wish you could.
1. Spending a day at Wedgewood Village Amusement Park in Oklahoma City.
The park was originally open in 1955 by Maurice Woods and located at May and 63rd, where it was known as Duffys Golf. Maurice started to notice that wives and children were sitting in their cars while their husbands used the driving range. Thus, the idea was to place a few kiddie rides to keep them occupied. The rides became so popular that Maurice decided to acquire the land at 63rd and N.W. Expressway. Here he built Wedgewood Village. It closed in 1969.
2. Or Bell's Amusement Park in Tulsa.
Bell's Amusement Park was an amusement park located in Tulsa's Expo Square, part of the Tulsa County Fairground. It operated for 55 years before closing in 2006. The park was forced to relinquish its position at the Square when the county did not renew its lease. The park was especially known for its large wooden roller coaster, called Zingo.
3. Going to the one and only Doe Doe Park in Lawton.
The park opened in August of 1945 and was home to one of the largest pools in America which held 880,000 gallons of water and was touted as being filled with "pure Artesian well water.” The pool closed in 1967 and the rest of the park shut down in the early 1970s.
4. Indulging in Mexican food at Casa Bonita.
The first Casa Bonita restaurant was opened in Oklahoma City in 1968. By the mid-1970s, the chain had expanded to other locations and they became known for "all you can eat" beef or chicken plates and offering sopapillas—small squares of fried bread served with honey—with every meal. The Tulsa location opened in 1971 near the intersection of 21st and Sheridan.
5. Having a blast at Springlake Park in OKC.
From 1924 through 1981, Springlake was Oklahoma City's premier place for fun for everyone around the state. The owner expanded the park with the addition of many rides acquired from the defunct Bell Isle Park and construction of a ballroom. In 1929 he added the Big Dipper roller coaster, which would be a fixture in the park for the next 50 years. The park was popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s and it attracted many of the top entertainers of the era.
6. Shopping at the ever so popular Kress Stores.
S. H. Kress & Co. was the trading name of a chain of "five and dime" retail department stores in the United States, established by Samuel Henry Kress, which operated from 1896 to 1981. In the first half of the twentieth century, there were Kress stores with ornamented architecture on "Main Street" in hundreds of cities and towns. Oklahoma had over 7 Kress stores statewide.
7. Creating memories at Crystal's Pizza & Spaghetti.
Crystal's opened in 1975 and quickly became a favorite spot for hot pizza, lavish decor and live
entertainment. Everyone will remember "Whiskers the Clown," a favorite clown that provided live entertainment for diners. Crystal's closed its doors after 20 years
8. Swimming at the Blue Whale in Catoosa.
The Blue Whale of Catoosa is a waterfront structure, located just east of the town of Catoosa, and it has become one of the most recognizable attractions on old Route 66. Hugh Davis built the Blue Whale in the early 1970s as a surprise anniversary gift to his wife who collected whale figurines. The Blue Whale and its pond became a favorite swimming hole for both locals and travelers along Route 66 alike. Originally, the pond surrounding the massive Blue Whale was spring fed and intended only for family use. However, as many locals began to come to enjoy its waters, Davis brought in tons of sand, built picnic tables, hired life guards, and opened it to the public. The park closed to the public in 1988.
9. Watching the musical Oklahoma! at Discoveryland.
This outdoor theater was open for almost 40 years in Sand Springs, with performances of "Oklahoma!" and "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers." Everyone who visited Discoveryland remembers the starry night sky.
10. Eating at Molly Murphy's House of Fine Refute.
Do you remember any of these places? Which one do you miss the most? Share your memories with us in the comments below.
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