RoadTripFilter- I Need Toddler-Friendly Attractions/Stops Along I-40
March 9, 2013 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm on a big road trip with my 2-year old. I'm taking the I-40 between AZ and TN. I'll be going through Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville. I would love any suggestions for things a toddler would like along the way. Museums that have hands-on exhibits geared to toddlers, great parks and playgrounds, water he can play or splash in and waterfowl of all kinds is always a hit. He's also happy just running around at a rest stop obviously, but if I can make stops he really likes he complains less about the time in the car.
posted by Mozzie to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Explora and The Museum of Natural History (known as the Dinosaur Museum to my nephews) in Albuquerque.
posted by pickypicky at 9:35 AM on March 9, 2013

The Science Museum (Omniplex) in OKC is great for kids.
posted by hilaritas at 10:16 AM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cadillac Ranch west of Amarillo is on a farm and will give you guys a nice opportunity to stretch your legs and let him run around a bit. It's on the South side of the interstate so it's easier to hit going east on I-40.

Once you get to OKC, there are some opportunities right off of I-40. Does your toddler like cupcakes? There's a gourmet cupcake store called Pinkitzel just off of I-40 in Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City; if you exit at Shields Blvd it's a straight shot up at the corner of Reno and EK Gaylord. After grabbing a cupcake, you can head back west on Reno a couple of blocks and check out the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge tropical conservatory. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is also nearby and has a wonderful Chihuly collection.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2013

The Crown Railroad Café in Flagstaff has a model train that winds its way around the whole restaurant, which my inner toddler thought was pretty cool. It has been many years but I remember the breakfast I had there as being good, too.
posted by usonian at 2:37 PM on March 9, 2013

Children's Museum of Memphis. And we have a really good zoo with pandas. The zoo is in Overton Park, which is not far off the interstate and a great place to drain off some toddler energy. It's also in my neighborhood, so memail me if you're planning to stop! We also have a very nice park on the river that would be easy to quickly access for a nice outdoorsy stop.
posted by raisingsand at 3:46 PM on March 9, 2013

There's a zoo in Albuquerque--don't know how it is though (loved the Flying Star restaurants there, BTW). If he particularly likes dinosaurs, there's an outstanding dino museum in Tucumcari, NM (Mesalands), but they only have a handful of things to touch/do. There's also a zoo in Little Rock with a carousel.
posted by wintersweet at 6:44 PM on March 9, 2013

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