Sep 12, 2011

Hands-on Natural History

There are so many neat places in Oklahoma that I want to show my son, but I've been waiting for him to get old enough to interact and enjoy each new experience. He recently had his three-year birthday, and while I know he's still too young to remember all the places we go, I took it as a sign it was time to explore.

One drawback of traveling with a young child is that there's always a possibility you will fork over lots of money for an experience and then they have a meltdown, forcing you to go home early. Luckily, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman has found a way to share their great exhibits with minimal risk.

The museum offers free admission every first Monday of the month, making it the perfect time to check out this wonderful facility while not feeling bad if you can only stay a short while. We went on Labor Day and the place was busy, but not so packed that you couldn't enjoy yourself.

Grayson is too young to read the exhibit signs and information, but he loved seeing all of the dinosaur bones and every display seemed to have an interactive element that he could touch or move. He would pull my hand in excitement as we walked from room to room and we discovered something interesting around every corner.

Once we toured each gallery, we made our way to the Discovery Room which was designed just for kids and has lots of hands-on activities. I'd recommend building in plenty of time for this room if you have children because there's so much to touch and play with in this part of the museum.

After exploring all of the indoor exhibits, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and walked through the trails behind the museum. Here's a view from the grassy field just south of the museum:

Grayson at the entrance to the Hall of the People of Oklahoma exhibit

The Hall of Ancient Life takes you on a tour of more than 4 billion years of Oklahoma's prehistory - from the formation of the planet through the last Ice Age.

 The Discovery Room was definitely Grayson's favorite part.

Grayson practicing his archaeology and excavation skills in the Discovery Room.

We also did leaf rubbings with crayons and he spent a good bit of time playing at the dinosaur table shown below.

As we were leaving the museum, my husband grabbed an application for museum membership. I'd say that was a good sign it was a hit with the whole family. Luckily, we live close enough to visit often and we had so much fun I know we'll be back!

If you're interesting in seeing more photos and a video gallery, or to print some discount coupons, click here.

1 comment:

  1. What a great story Lindsay, I love that you had such a wholesome experience! Enjoy your membership!