Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum#1 in Best Things To Do in Oklahoma City
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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#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 of just two osteology museums in North America (the other is in Orlando), this museum spans 7,000 square feet and houses more than 300 complete skeletons, as well as more than 400 skulls. Skeletons range in size from an enormous humpback whale to the tiniest hummingbird. As you walk through the museum and learn about the vertebrate kingdom, you'll have the option to touch some of the skeletons on display and learn more about adaptation and locomotion, or how animals evolved to better survive their environment and how that impacted their skeletal system.
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