“If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change,” Will Rogers said.
Like all Oklahoma weather, winter in McCurtain County can be unpredictable. It’s January, which means it might be 60 degrees or 16 degrees—rainy and overcast or breezy and sunny—you never know. Advanced forecasts show that January highs could be anywhere between 35 and 55 degrees, which is great hiking weather, but mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for chilly thrills. Dad’s idea of a perfect morning might be a brisk twilight jog through Beavers Bend, but that doesn’t mean mom or the kiddos will find the same fulfillment.
Luckily, McCurtain County has enough indoor activities for adults and children alike to make everyone happy, regardless of where the thermostat rests. Here are five to bank on.
1. Cut a rink
Grab an extra pair of socks, stretch those calves and hamstrings and get ready to glide the night away under the gleaming strobe of a disco ball and all the hottest tunes of yesteryear (probably the ‘90s). McCurtain County has not one but two indoor roller skating rinks: Rocket Roller Rink in Idabel, and The Corner Loop in Broken Bow. Both entertainment centers feature a plethora of fun activities beyond roller skating, like pool tables, video games, snack stands and private party rooms. If games are your thing but you prefer a more stable footing, hit the American Legion for a rousing game of Bingo or Hochatown Escape Games to discover why everyone is freaking for escape rooms.
2. Try the local drink
You might not guess it, but McCurtain County is home to a handful of locally produced libations, with wineries, breweries and a distillery open at various times for tours and tastes. For the oenophile, Broken Bow is home to the whimsy of Girls Gone Wine, the elegance of Vojai’s Winery and the fly-fishing fanatics of Fish Tales Winery & Vineyards—the latter which offers the unique experience of vino tastings coupled with angling expeditions. Meanwhile, beer geeks can taste the fresh grains of Mountain Fork Brewery by touring the taprooms and lounging with a cold brew and a fantastic slice of pizza on their expansive patio (weather permitting); or the hardcore hophead can taste a variety of seasonal and year-round ales at Beavers Bend Brewery. Finally, if the spirits move you, you can taste the best local, handcrafted liquor in Southeastern Oklahoma while learning how they make it at Hochatown Distilling Company in, you guessed it, Hochatown.
3. Nourish your inner intellectual
Readers seeking refuge from inclement weather can while away an afternoon in the company of literary heroes dead and living at one of several libraries in McCurtain County—Broken Bow Public Library, the Martha A. Johnson Public Library in Idabel, and the Mattie Terry Public Library in Valliant—while cinephiles can escape for a day into movie magic at the McCurtain Cinema in Idabel.
4. Eat artisan pizza and fudge (Cuz why not? You’re on vacation)
Here’s a novel idea: when in doubt, eat delicious things. The Grateful Head Pizza Oven & Taproom is nestled in the Ouachita Mountains in Broken Bow, and features mind-blowing artisan pizza, icy mugs of Oklahoma-brewed beer (or root beer for the teetotaler), and has a fun, casual atmosphere perfect for family-friendly indulgence. Mountain Fork Brewery, mentioned above, also makes a fantastic pie to go along with their local brews. Afterwards, make your kids’ (or your inner kid’s) year by swinging by the Whippoorwill Fudge Factory & Sweet Shoppe for a truly magical selection of fresh-made cream & butter fudge, or hit We Fudge a Little and Coffee a Lot for a killer combo of gourmet fudge and java.
5. Just chill in your cabin
While we strongly endorse all of the super fun times to be had above, we also have to be honest: the luxury cabins in McCurtain County are killer, and you might not want to leave. And that’s OK! Honestly, these sprawling, fully furnished caves are all rustic charm and woodgrain, and feature all the creature comfort amenities you could desire. Cook for yourself in the state-of-the-art kitchens, binge on Netflix with one of the large flatscreens (yes, the cabins come equipped with WiFi), bond as a family over board games in one of the spacious entertainment rooms, or soak for a spell in a roiling hot tub. Whatever you do, we recommend ending the night with a blazing campfire in one of the nearby fire pits, regardless of the temperature.
Book your cabin and plan your trip to McCurtain County today.