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Science Museum Oklahoma

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If you grew up in Oklahoma, chances are you went on a field trip to the Omniplex at least once, if not three or four times during grade school.  Today, the name has changed—it’s now the Science Museum Oklahoma, a name that, frankly, everyone who grew up visiting the Omniplex hates.  However, the museum still features the same great interactive science experiments and displays, the planetarium, the special displays, and more.The lower level of the museum is filled with great interactive science lessons.  Kids can learn how the earth rotates by watching the huge pendulum slowly knock blocks over as the day progresses.  In another area, they can talk into a microphone to learn about how sound travels.  A giant periscope lets museum visitors check out what’s going on around the area, even letting them look over into the neighboring Oklahoma City Zoo.  One of my personal favorites is the mirror maze.  I loved wandering through it as a kid and seeing all those reflections of myself.

Upstairs is devoted to historical exhibits and is more adult-oriented.  Here, you can see gowns worn by many of Oklahoma’s first ladies, check out Admiral Crowe’s world hat collection, and walk through the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame, which includes actual aircraft and models of spacecraft and controls from NASA.

Heading outdoors, guests can stroll through the gardens and the greenhouse, which has a number of very pretty flowers and plants.  There’s also a Zen rock garden to check out.  Back inside, you can visit one of the newer additions to the museum, the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.  Here, adults will enjoy reading about the gymnasts in the hall while children will love playing on the various gymnastic equipment available. 

Want more?  A visit to the planetarium is always entertaining!  It’s another one of my favorite places in the museum.  Outside the dome, you can stand on scales that tell you what you’d weigh on the moon, on Mars, or on Pluto.  Inside the planetarium, the huge star machine and the planetarium guide take guests on a magical journey into space. 

In addition to the very cool exhibits that Science Museum Oklahoma normally offers guests, there are also a number of seasonal events and visiting exhibits.  Every Christmas, for example, a large space upstairs becomes home to a forest of Christmas trees, each one decorated with a different theme.  The visiting exhibits have included items recovered from the Titanic, an exhibit on dinosaurs, and currently, the museum is hosting Our Body: The Universe Within.  This interesting exhibit features actual human bodies that have been arranged so visitors can see muscles, organs, and learn about the inner workings of humans. 

There’s much, much more to Science Museum Oklahoma that I can discuss here, but you can find out more about what the museum offers on its website at http://www.omniplex.org/index.htm.  The many different exhibits, events, and displays will take visitors a good day to go through, although you might not want to see everything.  Adults may not be as interested in some of the hands-on displays, while children probably don’t care about the photography area or some of the artwork. 

While it might not be called by its traditional name any longer, Science Museum Oklahoma still features everything that made me love it as a kid, and it just keeps getting better and better.  If you’re looking for something fun and educational, you can’t go wrong here.

Tags: Only in OKC       

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