Summer Guide: Chickasaw Cultural Center and National Recreation Area let guests connect with culture and nature

Chickasaw Cultural Center features an exhibit center, theaters, art galleries, a traditional Chickasaw village and activities. (Chickasaw Cultural Center / provided)

Chickasaw Cultural Center features an exhibit center, theaters, art galleries, a traditional Chickasaw village and activities. (Chickasaw Cultural Center / provided)


Read more of Oklahoma Gazette‘s Summer Guide stories here.


Families looking to discover more about Native American culture in Oklahoma this summer should look no farther than Chickasaw Cultural Center. Visitors can enjoy the Chickasaw Poya (“We are Chickasaw”) Exhibit Center, which features the Spirit Forest, stomp dance demonstrations, a mosaic room, Council House Orientation Theater, the Removal Corridor and art galleries.

The Aapisa’ Nachi Chickasaw Quilt Exhibit showcases quilts made by Chickasaw elders and runs through June 30.

Visitors can also explore the campus grounds to see outdoor statues, the Aaholiitobli’ Honor Garden, the Kohcha Aabiniili’ Amphitheater and the Aba’ Aanowa’ Sky Pavilion.

Sure to delight kids and families alike, the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Itti’ Inchokka’ exhibit focuses on treehouses and runs May 26-Sept. 3.

Every Saturday evening, the center shows family-friendly movies on its four-story screen. Adult tickets are $3 and tickets for children age 12 and younger are $2, or there a is a $5 combo ticket that includes admission, popcorn and a drink.

Chickasaw Cultural Center also offers several summer events, such as its June 18 Father’s Day Weekend celebration. A June 24 Children’s Festival showcases elements of Chickasaw culture in fun and kid-friendly ways, featuring a language booth, films and Chickasaw cultural make-and-take activities. Visitors can also play traditional games such as stickball and chunkey.

Guests can use a newly constructed bridge that connects Chickasaw Cultural Center to Chickasaw National Recreation Area in the Arbuckle Mountains, which features natural springs, the Lake of the Arbuckles and Little Niagara Falls as well as nearly 10,000 acres of land. Travertine Nature Center has informative exhibits and a bookstore. A lecture on pollinators threat to solutions is 7 p.m. Thursday. Call 580-622-7234 for more information.

For those who want to camp this summer, Turner Falls Park is located about 15 miles from Chickasaw Cultural Center and features a 77-foot waterfall. Visit turnerfallspark.com.


Chickasaw Cultural Center

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday

867 Cooper Memorial Drive, Sulphur

580-622-7130

Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center admission: Free-$10


Print headline: Chickasaw Cultural Center and National Recreation Area lets guests travel through time and get closer to nature

Ian Jayne

This article was written by an Oklahoma Gazette contributor. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story's headline in your subject line.

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