Our first field trip season has begun! We will try to visit a local educational site of interest every week and write a blog post detailing what we experienced. Last week, we visited one of our favorite field trip locations that we frequent quite regularly – the Oklahoma City Zoo (which we absolutely love). This week, we wanted to take a closer look inside those same animals and explore their skeletons.
Of all the places in the world, did you know that Oklahoma City is home to the first and one of only two skeleton museums in America (the other is in Orlando)! I had heard of the Museum of Osteology several years ago, but I never did get around to checking it out.
I saw that Groupon and Living Social both were having deals for admission tickets, so I snagged tickets for $8 total for myself and my oldest child (children younger than 3 are free). Tickets are normally $8 for individuals 13 and older and $7 for children ages 3 to 12.
We decided to make our visit on a Friday around lunchtime, so when we pulled into the parking lot of a rather unimpressive-looking building, there were maybe 5-10 other cars. We pretty much had the place to ourselves, besides maybe 3-4 other groups of visitors.
As you enter the museum, you are greeted by a massive whale skull. Also, don’t miss the beetle exhibit in the front area of the museum on the opposite wall from where you pay. My daughter was instantly drawn over to the sight of thousands of tiny flesh-eating beetles cleaning off a skull of a fox. It’s rather creepy, while also intriguing.
Once you go through the double doors into the main exhibit hall, be sure to grab a scavenger hunt sheet hanging on the wall to the left. These are grouped by various ages. It will help keep the kids engaged and might help make your visit more informative. I’ve also read that you can get a prize if you complete it, but I didn’t find out about this until after we left.
What I also found out is that you are supposed to start by going counter clockwise through the exhibit hall. We didn’t do that and later found out that it would have made more sense. So head to the right after you grab your sheet.
We were just so amazed and enthralled by the impressive whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, the enormous elephant structure, and just the vast array and variety of animals on display throughout this space. From tiny little hummingbirds to gigantic whales and everything in between, it was truly amazing to see the inner skeletal structures of creatures of every kind. Even the baby was “ooing” and “ahhing” at what she saw!
There is also an upstairs portion with even more skeletons on display. The kids were starting to get a little restless at this point, so we didn’t get to look as intently at the specimens on that level.
For the kids, there is a little exploration area on the second level with books to read, postcards to color, skulls to touch and explore, puppets, puzzles, and video clips. My kids really enjoyed getting to do something interactive and had fun playing for a little bit.
Since it is rather small, it may only take a couple hours to see everything. We spent about an hour or so but could have easily stayed a little longer if the kids were older.
Overall, we were truly impressed with this museum and recommend it to all families looking for a unique and interesting experience.