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Oklahoma parks, museums offer respite from cold-weather blues



For those who can't stand sitting in the house waiting for the winter months to go away, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department recommends state parks that feature cabins.

"Whether they are state park cabins or private cabins, sitting in front of a fireplace in the woods is very romantic," said Ron Stahl, marketing director for the state parks. "They are also not as full in the winter, and it is easier to get the times you want than in warm weather."

There are 15 state parks with cabins scattered across the state:
" Beavers Bend Resort Park
" Boiling Springs
" Great Salt Plains
" Greenleaf
" Hugo Lake
" Keystone
" Lake Murray
" Lake Texoma
" Lake Wister
" Osage Hills
" Robbers Cave
" Roman Nose Resort Park
" Sequoyah Bay
" Tenkiller
" Western Hills Guest Ranch/Sequoyah.

"Wildlife watching is a big wintertime activity, especially those places that are home to wintering eagles," Stahl said.

Another outdoor activity that remains strong during winter is trout fishing. Beavers Bend and the Lower Illinois River near Gore are considered top spots.

Museums also are not as crowded during the winter compared to other times of the year.

Debbie Humphrey, visitor services manager for the Omniplex Science Museum, said, "Our attendance for the spring, fall and winter typically runs about half compared to our summer attendance numbers," Humphrey said.

Over at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, attendance averages around 12,000 a month throughout the year.

"Certainly, winter impacts attendance," said Leslie A. Spears, the museum's communications manager. "We do better in autumn and spring "¦ but have always lagged in January and early February." "Scott Cooper

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