Summer break is a great time to dedicate warm afternoons to learning new things at museums in the area. Take a few hours or an entire day, schedule a tour or just take a look around. Either way, new experiences are waiting.
Tour a 12,000 square foot historic mansion located on the northwest corner of Hudson and Northwest 15th Street. Everything inside and outside the Overholser Mansion is well-maintained and true to the early 20th century era.
The home was built by Henry Overholser, who is known as the founder of Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Historical Society maintains the home while admission fees support the maintenance efforts. The home is open to guests Tuesday through Saturday, and tours begin on the hour 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The experience costs between $5 and $10 depending on age. Keep a look out for special events such as mystery tours.
Another free location to visit is the 45th Infantry Division Museum. Learn about World War II, historical weaponry and look at artifacts from Nazi Germany. The museum has 11 well-constructed exhibits featuring commanders, battles, infantry and auxiliary.
Tours are available and recommended for guests who schedule an appointment. With 27,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 15-acre park, it’s important to schedule enough time to explore both indoors and outdoors.
The only banjo museum in the world is located in the Bricktown district of Oklahoma City. View hundreds of twangy stringed instruments, listen to audio of famous players and songs, and learn about the evolution of the banjo. On April 12, a new Roy Clark, America’s Super Picker, was made famous for his appearances on Hee Haw.
Other exhibits feature banjos from every decade since the late 1800s. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The admission fees range between $5 and $8 depending on age.
Tour the National Weather Center and learn about the latest weather technology in the epicenter of tornado activity. Three times a week, 12 people can spend up to two hours learning about the National Weather Service.
Tourists can visit the observation tower where meteorologists watch storms come in, learn how scientists forecast weather each week (including severe weather) and grab lunch at the casual cafe — The Flying Cow.
Late fall, the National Weather Center also hosts an annual weather festival with storm chasing vehicles, helicopters, local meteorologists and response teams in attendance. The center offers free tours but must be scheduled in advance.
Learn about bones at the Museum of Osteology located at 10301 S. Sunnylane Road. This relatively small museum is packed with more than 300 skeletons from various animals such as dinosaurs, bears, alligators, wolves, monkeys, mice, bison and fish.
Interactive exhibits make the learning experience dynamic and engaging. Admission is $7 for ages 4-13 and $8 for ages 13 and older. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Visit the Oklahoma State Firefighters museum. It’s home to Oklahoma Fire Service exhibits, artifacts from the London Fire Brigade, and a dozen restored fire trucks dating back to the early 1900s.
In March, the museum announced an upcoming $5 million expansion that will include new interactive exhibits to better engage young visitors and double the square footage. Admission is $3 for children 6-12, $6 for 13 and older, and $5 for visitors 55-years-old and older.
Bird lovers can explore the American Pigeon Museum and Library located at 2300 NE 63rd Street. Answer any question about pigeons by visiting this museum. Learn about the history of pigeons, hold and feed birds on site.
This museum features an extensive collection of historic pigeon equipment, paintings, photographs, and a collection of WWI and WWII army pigeon corps equipment. The museum is only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.