Don’t want to garden in this weather? Why not go to a museum over the Thanks- giving holiday instead? Introduce your extended family to Bricktown and the revitalized downtown area. Mi Familia decided to visit the Oklahoma History Center for the first time last weekend, and we were entranced. The center consists of five galleries with hands-on interactive exhibits. It looks like someone finally discovered what makes the Science Museum Oklahoma (f/k/a the Omniplex) so popular. I especially liked the video presentation by a woman from Corn, Oklahoma, who explained the history of her personal family quilt collection. We also heard dances and music recorded from the Choctaw, Cherokee, Osage and many other American Indian tribes. The Chinese Americans living in Oklahoma were represented in their own exhibit. Great human stories mixed in with history. It doesn’t get much better than that. When you depart, you get to see real oil wells, along with the fourteen national flags that have flown over Oklahoma.
If you’re not in the mood for history, how about art? The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is hosting an exhibition of Fernando Botero. It continues through December 2nd. They also have a permanent collection of Dale Chihuly glass. We went to the OCAM a few months ago to see an exhibit on the art of Napoleon. I studied Napoleon at OU, so I thought it was great. My children were not so enthusiastic, but what do they know?
For the boys in your family, or girls who like the military channel (like me,) how about the 45th Infrantry Museum? You can bundle up and see the outdoor park area which has “more than 40 military vehicles, aircraft, tanks and trucks set on more than 12 acres of land.” There are also indoor exhibits which “include firearms, original uniforms, World War II cartoons and rare artillery pieces. One highlight of the collection is the display of artifacts acquired from Hitler’s apartment when the 45th Infantry Division captured it.”
Or, if you have wild west buffs in your family, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum might just be the ticket. I’ve toured it many times, and I’ve been to a lot of events there, but I could always see it again just to view the recreated western town. It brings back memories of school field trips, the best school days in my opinion. On December 11th, they are decorating the town for Christmas. Should be fun. Another event planned for the Christmas season is Michael Martin Murphey’s Christmas Ball (labeled a concert for the entire family) on December 14th. We may have to check that out.
Willing to venture a short drive down I-35? Then, go visit the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Like the science museum, kids especially like this one because it has full-sized dinosaur skeletons, including an Apatosaurus which can be seen eye to eye from the “dinovator.” Oklahoma is one of the oldest places in the United States, and many of the dinosaur skeletons were found here.
If you can think of any others I’ve missed, please feel free to comment. I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your time together. And, if you get tired of feasting, watching football, or playing a game of touch football in the yard, take in a museum. I think your family will thank you, and maybe you’ll learn something too.
Thanks for the shout out about two of the most famous art museums in Tulsa. I plan to go on a garden road trip to Philbrook. Look for that post next summer.
I didn’t know about the art center at the OKC fairgrounds. I’ll have to try it sometime. No, I don’t think any museums are open on the actual Turkey Day. However, when Bill’s sister and family come to town, we turn it into a family weekend, and I was thinking more of Friday or Saturday.
I hope your holiday was bountiful. Come back and visit real soon.
We love the Cowboy Hall of Fame (its old name) and recently took German visitors there. They were impressed by the people who settled Oklahoma.
Since we live in Muskogee, we are members of the Gilcrease and Philbrook in Tulsa. They both have good restaurants that are worth trying if only for dessert and coffee to gain the strength to see more art.
In OKC at the fairgrounds there is an art center that has great shows and pottery sales. It is connected with Oklahoma Visual Arts Commission.
Are any of these institutions open on Thanksgiving?