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Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

#1 in Best Things To Do in Oklahoma City

9:03 picture in Oklahoma City
Courtesy the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Key Info

Details

  • Monuments and Memorials, Museums Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

April 19, 1995, was one of those days in America's history when time stopped. A bomb decimated the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at 9:02 a.m., killing 168 people including 19 children in its blast. This museum and memorial were raised in honor of the people affected by the domestic terrorist attack. The museum offers visitors a chronological self-guided and interactive tour separated into 10 chapters, starting with the history of the site all the way through the bombing's lasting impact and what it means for our country's future. Along the way, you'll see archived news footage, hear survivors (and surviving family members) tell their stories, and see artifacts recovered from the event, including Timothy McVeigh’s getaway car. 

Outside the museum, you'll find a memorial honoring the victims, survivors and rescuers sitting on the grounds where the building once stood. There are many features to the outdoor memorial, but the Field of Empty Chairs is perhaps the most moving, according to recent visitors. Located on the footprint of the Murrah Building are 168 chairs made to represent all the lives lost that day. Each chair details the name of a person, as well as the floor they were on. There are 19 small chairs to represent the children who perished in the bombing.

Recent visitors were very impressed with the sobering memorial and the interactive museum, saying both were well-done and offered emotional tributes to those affected by that day. Reviewers suggested visiting the memorial after dusk when lights illuminate the Gates of Time as well as the Field of Empty Chairs. 

You'll find the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum downtown on North Harvey Avenue. Admission to the memorial is free, but entrance to the museum costs $15 for adults, $12 for students between the ages of 6 and 17, and is free for children 5 and younger. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the memorial and museum's website

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#1 Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum April 19, 1995, was one of those days in America's history when time stopped. A bomb decimated the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at 9:02 a.m., killing ... Read more » Courtesy the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

#2 SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology If you and your family have an interest in biology or osteology (the study of bones and skeletons), you'll want to add in a stop to this museum. One ... Read more » nodigio / Flickr

#3 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Founded in 1955, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum contains an expansive collection of western art and artifacts, including works by Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and James Earle Fraser. Along ... Read more » We travel the world / Flickr

#4 Bricktown Bricktown's red brick buildings first appeared at the turn of the 20th century as warehouses. Now, in the 21st century, this area is a bustling entertainment district with restaurants ... Read more » Courtesy of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber & CVB

#5 Science Museum Oklahoma Founded in 1958 and spanning more than 8 acres, Science Museum Oklahoma offers an interactive look at a variety of science fields, from engineering to aviation and even art. Start ... Read more » Courtesy Science Museum Oklahoma

#6 Myriad Botanical Gardens Situated downtown, the Myriad Botanical Gardens sprawl across 17 acres and feature outdoor and indoor spaces for year-round fun. Among the gardens' many paved paths are two interactive water features ... Read more » Carl Shortt Jr / Myriad Botanical Gardens

#7 Oklahoma City Museum of Art According to recent visitors, a stop at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a must if you're a fan of artist Dale Chihuly. That's because this museum ... Read more » Pat M2007 / Flickr

#8 Oklahoma City Zoo Part zoo, part botanical gardens, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a hit with recent travelers for its large size, manageable layout and variety of exhibits. You'll find the usual ... Read more » Dustin Gwin / EyeEm / Getty Images

9:03 picture in Oklahoma City
Museum of Osteology picture in Oklahoma City
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum picture in Oklahoma City
Sunset at Bricktown picture in Oklahoma City
Science Museum Oklahoma picture in Oklahoma City
Myriad Botanical Gardens picture in Oklahoma City
OKC Museum of Art picture in Oklahoma City
OKC Zoo picture in Oklahoma City
9:03 picture in Oklahoma City
Museum of Osteology picture in Oklahoma City
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum picture in Oklahoma City
Sunset at Bricktown picture in Oklahoma City
Science Museum Oklahoma picture in Oklahoma City
Myriad Botanical Gardens picture in Oklahoma City
OKC Museum of Art picture in Oklahoma City
OKC Zoo picture in Oklahoma City

Part of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, which includes the Gates of Time. The east gate represents 9:01 a.m., the minute before the infamous blast on April 19. The west gate represents 9:03 a.m., one minute after the bombing when everything changed. Courtesy the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

nodigio / Flickr

We travel the world / Flickr

A cruise along the Bricktown canal is one of the best ways to enjoy this area in downtown OKC, according to recent visitors. Courtesy of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber & CVB

The Science Floor sits at the center of the Science Museum Oklahoma and offers hundreds of interactive activities for visitors. Courtesy Science Museum Oklahoma

The star attraction at the Myriad Botanical Gardens is the Crystal Bridge Conservatory, which features 750 varieties of plants, a waterfall and a sky bridge. Carl Shortt Jr / Myriad Botanical Gardens

You'll find Dale Chihuly's glass works in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Pat M2007 / Flickr

You'll find the usual suspects here, including bears, lions and giraffes, but the Oklahoma City Zoo also boasts an exhibit unique to the area – Oklahoma Trails. Dustin Gwin / EyeEm / Getty Images

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