Explore & Imagine
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Explore & Imagine Education Programs

Explore & Imagine at Gathering Place 

The Explore & Imagine program sponsored by American Electric Power Foundation and supported by Public Service Company of Oklahoma offers a wide variety of free educational opportunities for students, educators, and families throughout the region. Ranging from free field trips for Title 1 schools and professional development sessions for educators, to performances in the Park and large-scale community events, Explore & Imagine is intended to increase equity and access to engaging educational experiences for our community.

Explore & Imagine Field Trips

Have your next Field Trip at Gathering Place, made possible by AEP and PSO! 

Gathering Place offers field trip options with Oklahoma academic standard-aligned curriculum for groups during the school year and extended learning during the summer. Teacher-led field trips are available Monday-Friday during the school year. Summer teacher-led field trips are available during June and July. These field trips offer teachers and chaperones a chance to lead their own students through an engaging, educational lesson at Gathering Place and are available any weekday. Reservations are now open for both teacher-led and guided field trip opportunities.

Click HERE to book an Explore & Imagine teacher-led field trip. You will be provided with curriculum to lead your own group through an incredible learning experience at the park!

Click HERE to learn more about Explore & Imagine guided field trips and request a guided experience for your class. 


Transportation reimbursements

Transportation reimbursements for field trips to Gathering Place are reserved for Title 1 public educational institutions within the PSO service region that engage in Explore & Imagine educational activities and/or curriculum while visiting the Park. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Email fieldtrips@gatheringplace.org with any inquiries, and please allow up to 72 hours for a response.

Explore & Imagine Professional Development for Educators

Join us in ONEOK Boathouse for free Professional Development courses on Teacher-led Field Trips at Gathering Place! Educators will receive grade-level specific curriculum and training to ensure you feel confident leading your students on an educational adventure through the Park.

Each professional development session includes an in-depth explanation of the lesson plan while you enjoy refreshments, a guided half-mile tour through the Park, and helpful information on booking field trips. Participants will also learn about upcoming education programming at Gathering Place. Educators will leave the session with free classroom supplies for the Pre-and Post-field trip activities.

Registration is first come, first served, and limited to 30 public school educators at a time. Registration opens 30 days before the course date. Please email education@gatheringplace.org to reserve your free spot!

Dates for 2022 include:
  • Pre-K-2nd grade Educators: Wednesday, February 16, 4-5:30PM
  • 3-5th grade Educators: Thursday, February 17, 4-5:30PM
  • 6-8th grade Educators: wednesday, March 2, 4-5:30PM
  • 9-12th grade Educators: thursday, March 3, 4-5:30PM

Explore & Imagine Education Programming

Explorer Packs

Discover new adventures in the Park with our free Explorer Packs! Available at Guest Services Welcome Center in Williams Lodge.

Explorer Pack themes include Geology, Engineering, and Nature Exploration. Each Explorer Pack is filled with prompt cards, hands-on activities, educational games, and toys. Guests may check out Explorer Packs by leaving their ID with a Guest Services representative at the Welcome Center in Williams Lodge. 



This pop-up program gives visitors a chance to interact, learn, and play with a variety of materials relating to themes of Science, Sustainability, Art, Sports and Movement, Nature, Culture, History, and Music—all on a mobile cart! Exploration Stations will rotate through themes and supplies and be stationed in a variety of locations throughout Gathering Place. Be on the lookout for new engaging activities! 


Explore & Imagine Educational Events

Spring break

March 14-18, 2022

Families from all over the country travel to Gathering Place to celebrate springtime with five fun-filled days of new adventures and educational activities for all ages to enjoy. From live performances, activities focused on nature and art, to sports programming and STEAM education, there is something for everyone!

Imagination celebration 

Coming in October 2022

Meet us on the Reading Tree lawn to celebrate a love of learning at this fall festival promoting family-focused education and entertainment. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, free family photos, face painting, balloon animals, seasonal hands-on activities, story times with special guest readers, fall arts and crafts, and free giveaways throughout the event!


Kids Take The Stage 

Coming in November 2022

Join us for an awe-inspiring performing arts-focused event, providing a platform to showcase the talent of local children. Performances and activities will range from dance and singing, to circus arts and instrumental performances, allowing children to take center stage in front of a live audience!

Have a child age 5-18 that would like to showcase their skillset on our stage? Email education@gatheringplace.org and let us know!