Bison Bonanza: register today for a Spring Break family sleepover at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

Where OKC parents find fun & resources

Bison Bonanza: register today for a Spring Break family sleepover at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

by Callie Collins

Oklahoma City family fun comes in leaps and bounds, the same way children grow.

Spring Break is just a few weeks away and this page has all the resources a family could need, between camps, classes and activities, besides day trip and ideas for fun about-town. There is also the possibility of taking a break and just disconnecting from everything.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is hosting a new event: a family sleepover on Friday, March 15, for kids ages 4 and up. Bison Bonanza is the event’s theme, which matches up with the museum’s “Ancient. Massive. Wild. The Bison Exhibit” showcase.

I like the concept of this event. I am not really a fan of private sleepovers but public ones are something I would like to try with my child. We’ve never actually attended anything similar, even though I see more of these events around in our area, between stargazing opportunities and planetarium experiences and park camp-outs.

Here are three reasons to register for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Family Sleepover:

  • Check out the new bison exhibit: Whether your child really loves nature or you just want to teach him or her about the state we share, learning about conservation is an important part of visiting. Animal facts, relevance to Oklahoma’s history and what’s being done now to help bison herds flourish are all part of the displays. The most important part, though, isn’t what you’ll see; instead, it’s the hands-on activities for kids. There are areas where kids can touch pieces of bison horn and fur and sinew. We can talk about the value of STEM but until a child really has some relevance for veterinary science, biology or other professions in the same line of thought, there isn’t a connection. So even though your child isn’t in school during Spring Break, learning will happen there, the kind that kids bring up later.
  • See live bison too: Learning by doing is almost always part of any science experiment and the museum’s staffers will further inspire kids by leading them in the creation of enrichment snacks for MaryAnn, one of the bison at the Oklahoma City Zoo. After the sleepover, kid and parent pairs will go see MaryAnn on-site. Zookeepers will feed her while kids observe and have a look around at the real life examples of the art and history they’ve just seen.
  • Make those memories: One of the aspects of parenting I struggle to get right is creating quality experiences in a one-on-one way. I’m raising four children so I suppose that’s part of the equation but even when I had just two, I felt like it was a challenge to make sure each got unique experiences that were more like a parent/child outing to form a relationship that’s not just based on everyday needs, reward and punishment. The sleepover could be that experience. Siblings can register too, as in you can take more than one child, but I like the idea that it could be something different for a parent and a kid. The Thunder’s own Rumble will be there, a documentary about bison is part of the evening and there’s a bison-themed bedtime story called “Buffalo Dreams” that a staffer will read aloud. Then you can huddle into your sleeping bags and settle in for the night to get some rest before heading to the Oklahoma City Zoo. I have no doubt that’s an experience kids can talk about after they come back from Spring Break.

There’s always a lot to plan for breaks from school but it sounds like the logistical issues are taken care of with this sleepover event, which is a valid reason for you as a parent to sign up too. Every family needs something to look forward to; it’s probably going to be the highlight of the spring season for a lot of families.

If you’re wondering about details, click here for the full info and to register. The $55 parent/child cost is reasonable for an evening of fun together that leads to a memorable morning too.

No matter how you spend your Spring Break, I hope it’s fun and restful, a terrific experience before all our kids outgrow us. Go try the sleepover, which is sure to be both. We just might see you there!