Oklahoma City family fun might just be in your own backyard.
Science Museum Oklahoma is nearby but we don't go as often as we should. My family and I have only visited twice since we moved to Oklahoma more than a decade ago, which is odd, given that we love science. It's only about 15 minutes from our home but my sons are still more likely to head outside to play on a Saturday than to go out to a local family fun venue.
Making the effort to get everyone out of the house really enriches regular, unstructured play days like that, though. I think at this point in the school year, we're all trying to get used to a new routine and just keep it simple. However, I think starting out the academic year well and fostering purposeful downtime don't have to be mutually exclusive concepts.
Here are three reasons to visit Science Museum Oklahoma soon:
Don't miss "Backyard Bugs: An Oklahoma Insect Adventure:" When I asked my kindergartner what he liked best at Science Museum Oklahoma, that was the area he chose. A large mechanical butterfly and praying mantis give the display a surreal quality that had my toddler wondering what was real. Kids can crawl through a giant honeycomb, piece together an insect that's bigger than they are and find out about the life cycle of local insect species. The area is hands-on throughout and it's only at the Musuem through Sept. 6 so catch up with those bugs before they're gone.
Let them run: Rainy out? Too hot? It isn't fall quite yet. The GadgetTrees area is a treehouse where kids are free to run and play. It's an indoor playground filled with different areas that use ordinary objects in unusual ways, along with an incredibly tall slide, a teeter-totter area and room to roam.
Explore an interest: Sometimes, I get the feeling science isn't a popular subject in school but some aspect of the field actually is. My sons only recently put two-and-two together and found out robotics, space and even "Star Wars" are based in scientific study. Classroom time may be spent on concepts more than application so we go see why those theories, formulas and laws to memorize have a practical purpose. My fifth grader is starting out the year with the science of cooking in mind after two chef camps this summer. Cooking is chemistry but we just don't think of it that way. Planning a visit was worth going to me because of that connect-the-dots factor.
If you haven't already seen "Bodies Revealed," find our recent post about that here. I'd recommend it for kids and adults of all ages. Touring it together has brought up a lot of health and safety questions I wouldn't have anticipated.
For now, what's old is new again as we get used to preschool, kindergarten and fifth grade. An afternoon in a third space that isn't home or school can be refreshing.
See you around town!