When discussing museum options with my daughter, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History rose to the top of her list of must-see places.
It did not disappoint!
We began our visit in the Orientation Gallery where the museum explains how specimens are cleaned, obtained and preserved. Our visit to Museum of Osteology the day before helped layer knowledge in this area.
The Hall of Ancient Life was probably my kids favorite in the museum. There was so much to see here, and so much of it was huge!
Homeschooling definitely has its benefits, and one of those benefits is that museums like this are often empty during the day. Volunteers stationed around the museum are free and happy to pass along more information and to answer questions.
In this hall, the museum proudly displays the world's largest Apatosaurus skeleton, and the largest skull of any known land walker, that of a Titanoceratops.
We looked through a couple of non permanent exhibits next. The first was a fine collection of art created by the Americas' Native peoples.
The second was a small exhibit dedicated to Shakespeare's First Folio, a book printed shortly after William Shakespeare's death and containing 36 of his most known and cherished plays. My daughter squealed with delight when she noticed the book was opened to Hamlet's "To be, or not to be..." It's a quote she often utters when Shakespeare or theater are discussed in our home.
Toward the back of the museum was a kid's area with all sorts of hands on activities. My daughter had picked up a short page at the front desk of the museum that had a scavenger hunt of items to find in the museum, and it was in this kid's area she turned her sheet in for a small prize.
When we went upstairs, we made sure to take a "Dinovader." These glass-backed elevators give a fun view of two of the larger dinosaur specimens. We had to take both elevators, of course. Once upstairs, we meandered through both the Hall of Natural Wonders and the Hall of People of Oklahoma.
The University of Oklahoma is a little bit of a drive out of Oklahoma City, but Sam Noble is a valuable museum full of rich exhibits and natural wonders and is well worth the drive. It shouldn't be missed!
Cost: $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 kids 4-17, 3 and under free; OU students free
Distance from downtown Oklahoma City: about 23 miles, or 30 minutes
What to see: Hall of Natural Wonders, Hall of Ancient Life, Orientation Gallery, Hall of People of Oklahoma, Kids Discovery Room and several other non permanent exhibits