Last weekend, we packed up our SUV, left the big city and headed east to Gore, Oklahoma for a mini family getaway at Marval Resort. Marval Resort is a family campground located in the foothills of the Oklahoma Ozarks alongside the lower Illinois River. Since it’s situated below the Lake Tenkiller Dam, trout fishing is a popular recreation at Marval Resort. I didn’t fish since I didn’t get my license in time, but some of our group did.
As a campground, Marval Resort has tent and RV sites as well as cabin rentals. We stayed in a small cabin and we fit two families in it. The cabins are stocked with appliances, dishes and cooking utensils, and you bring your own food and supplies. Also, you provide your own linens and towels. The cabins came with TVs and DVD players, and you can check out family friendly movies from the Activity Center on site. Since we took this family getaway with my sisters-in-law and their families, plus my mother- and father-in-law, we rented two cabins right next to one another. There was a fire pit between the two cabins, so we were able to set up our lawn chairs around the fire together. The kids loved getting to play outside freely with their cousins and roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
In addition to fishing, there are many other recreational activities at Marval Resort. Our kids enjoyed playing on their new playground. The equipment was clean and nice, and it provided great entertainment for the little ones in our group. It had several climbing walls, slides, ropes and netting. It also had a little music area with a simulated keyboard, which was a unique and fun element. As you can see, the “big kids” enjoyed the playground as well.
As I mentioned, there is an Activity Center at Marval Resort where you can rent movies, play games, make crafts, rent bikes and play mini golf. Our group enjoyed the bike rental, which was really pedal carts instead of bikes. We also played several rounds of mini golf, and we took advantage of the free crafts, too. The bike rentals and mini golf were not free, but they were cheap which is a major plus for a family getaway.
The little kids mostly enjoyed just getting to run around and play. We brought bubbles, balls and water balloons, which are more precious than gold to the under 5 demographic. They had a blast blowing bubbles and tossing/chasing the ball. Rory Man really enjoyed going up and down the stairs to the cabin, ad nauseum. He had trouble figuring out how to climb down at first, but his sister was sweet to help him learn. By the end of the weekend, he was navigating those stairs like a pro.
Overall, it was a great family vacation. Oklahoma offers many unique family getaways like Marval Resort, and I hope we can explore more of them throughout this summer. I’m glad our kids got to have this experience with their cousins, and it’s my desire that we can do family getaway weekends like this regularly for them as they grow. It was so refreshing to get away from the city for a couple of days. The vista over the river was serene and peaceful, and I wish I had taken greater advantage of sitting by the water and enjoying it. As the parents, Ryan and I were exhausted by the end of the weekend, and I am glad we have a long weekend ahead of us to help recover from the traveling we’ve done over the past two weekends.
What are some of your favorite Oklahoma family getaways?
Photo credit for most of the photos goes to my talented sister-in-law. Check her out on Facebook.