My husband Kevin and I have lived in Edmond almost the entire time we’ve been a family and my husband grew up here when major thoroughfares were nothing more than gravel roads and the city that expands before us now was just a charming small town north of Oklahoma City.
That is how fast the Edmond transformation has happened. I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and knew that once I was married with children, this would be our home.
With around 95,000 residents, Edmond is a constantly expanding, vibrant place to live and we are smack dab in the middle of a child-rearing love affair with our favorite suburb.
In my last 10 months as Mom Around Town, I’ve found even more reasons to adore this friendly, happy town and I’m always ready to venture out and see what new things we haven’t experienced yet. This column brings my time as your bi-weekly source of mom ramblings to a close, but the moments I’ve had sharing my words with you have been some of my favorites. For my final act, I wanted to recap some of my personal picks for an essentially Edmond experience. By no means exhaustive, these choices are purely our own and a jumping off point for creating your own “best of Edmond” list. Thank you for trusting my compass and all the crazy ways it has pointed.
Downtown Edmond is enjoying what can only be called a renaissance of sorts. The original hub of Edmond, the area was established in 1887 as a railroad station for the Santa Fe Railroad Line. Known as a place to stop and eat because of its city dining, that much has not changed. We love coming to downtown Edmond for many reasons, not the least of which is the old school charm that can only be found on these historic streets.
Shopping is plentiful downtown with lots of unique, locally owned boutiques that make for the perfect afternoon of strolling and snacking. Last weekend, we cleaned up at the sidewalk sale at Native Summit (100 N. Broadway, 405-513-5050; edmondsummit.com) — a top stop if you’re shopping for an outdoor adventure, whether you hike, camp, ski — or just want to look like you do. (I get all my favorite sunglasses here.) Our children love an evening at Othello’s (1 S. Broadway, 405-330-9045; Othello.us) with its drippy candles and overfilled plates of carb-tastic pastas. I always order the award-winning coconut cream pie as soon as we are seated so they don’t sell out before dessert is served. New restaurants like the Mule and the awesome new Edmond Railyard development, and drink spots like Ellis Island are diversifying the dining landscape and making the district a true entertainment hotbed. Paired with the monthly Citizens Bank of Edmond Heard on Hurd festival with food trucks and live music (the first one this year is March 21), it’s hard not to find diversions downtown.
Edmond is one of the prettiest places to get outside and move and there’s so many great options to play outdoors close to home.
We live right by the amazing Arcadia Lake and its 26 miles of shoreline and recreation, and E.C. Hafer Park (1034 S. Bryant) is the closest big city park to our house and an ideal location for us to relax and get out our wiggles. Hafer Park spans 121 acres and is home to the children’s fishing pond — one of our favorite spots. Refurbished playgrounds make this park a standout and we love to explore the miles of walking trails looking for unusual leaves or the picture-perfect walking stick.
Across town, the expansive Mitch Park (1501 W. Covell Rd.) is a hub of outdoor activity and we love to make the short trek from our home in East Edmond to the mecca of play that awaits just northwest of Covell and Kelly. The trail loop at Mitch is one of the prettiest around with its meandering curves and gentle hills that weave in and out of the treed terrain. The 280 acres includes five miles of trails, in addition to playgrounds, a skate park, a disc golf course, two basketball courts, and even an outdoor amphitheater. The park hosts outdoor happenings throughout the year including summer performances at the amphitheater, regular community 5Ks, and classes like kayaking and fishing. The onsite Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) offers community classes and summer camps. We had a chilly blast last December at the Luminance light displays and the outdoor ice-skating rink. With future renovations on tap for Mitch grounds and facilities, things are only on the rise for this suburban oasis.
Family fun is never far away in this city that caters to the minivan and snack pack set.
Our crew loves the indoor playgrounds and we can’t go a month without heading to a birthday party at Sky Zone (2525 S. Broadway, 359-1631; skyzone.com) trampoline park (we love the blacklight parties). Cool things to do inside are an easy find around here. Downtown Edmond’s new rock climbing venue — Blocworks (104 S. Broadway; climbblocworks.com) — has us excited to head to Main Street and belay our day away. The indoor climbing gym offers open climbing as well as weekly classes. The Miller Five love an escape room and Clue Quest Escape Rooms (151 E. 33rd, 405-625-3706; cluequestok.com) is an interactive experience that the whole family can be a part of (scenarios are designed for 12 and up, but the littles are welcome and still have fun).
I love that we can start our day with one local adventure and end it with another. And whether we feel like being active and outdoorsy or low-key and lazy, there is plenty to do in our number one suburb on any given day. We live here. We work here. We play here. In every kind of way, Edmond is our home. No city is ever perfect, but this one is perfect for us.