The biggest city in the state of Oklahoma and also the state capital, Oklahoma City is the 27th most populated city in the United States, well-known for its impressive skyline and enormous livestock industry. The city is located right in the center of the state of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma County, and covers an area of around 620.34 square miles. It is located in the Central Time Zone and has an estimated population of around 643,000 people, with over 1.3 million living in the surrounding metropolitan area. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Elevation of Oklahoma City
3.Climate and Things to Do in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Elevation
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Attraction Spotlight: National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum
Located in Oklahoma City, the National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum is truly a national treasure, home to an abundance of history and cultural significance.
Since it was founded in 1955, the National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum has been the premier location for preserving and exploring Western history. Located in the middle of Oklahoma City, the National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum has been recognized for having a variety of art, which truly shows what life was like in the West.
In addition to the abundance of art, the museum recognizes a variety of historical societies, such as the Annie Oakley Society. The National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum also partners with a few corporations to make a positive impact on local businesses and the overall economy.
Like most museums, the National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum has permanent and special attractions. The permanent attractions are comprised of purely prized artifacts that the museum is fortunate enough to own.
The Jack and Phoebe Cooke American Cowboy Gallery occupies approximately 8,000 square feet of the museum, and is regarded as the gallery with the richest history in the museum. This gallery is full of artifacts that have intricate detailing and descriptions, which makes it easy to learn about the dense history. One of the highlights of this attraction is the abundance of equipment that is found here, such as saddles and spurs.
The Weitzenhoffer Fine Firearms Gallery is sponsored by Ackerman McQueen, and is home to over 100 historic firearms. Each firearm has a different mechanical structure and design. The variety of firearms tells a story about what life was like in the West, and how owning a firearm was like a style statement.
The Lynn Hickey American Rodeo Gallery transports visitors to what a historical rodeo would feel like. This interpretive attraction occupies approximately 6,500 square feet, and acts as a fun and exciting way for people to explore the history of what was the most popular sport in the West.
Halls of Fame serve as areas where the influential men and women of the West are truly honored and memorialized. Visitors will feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and motivation while walking through the Halls of Fame and learning about the people who impacted history.
Unfortunately, some of the museum’s attractions are only displayed for a certain amount of time. Since special attractions are continuously being added and taken away, it’s ideal to check the Current Exhibitions calendar on the museum’s website. So, you can get a taste of what the museum has to offer, here are some of the current special attractions.
Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains demonstrates the historical significance and development of Native American headdresses. While the headdresses are absolutely gorgeous, many people don’t know that they were created with special uses in mind, such as war and ritual. This special attraction has a variety of headdresses, art, and photographs that will be on display until May 14, 2017.
Lowell Ellsworth Smith: My Theology of Painting shows the meanings and processes of the artwork from the late Lowell Ellsworth Smith (1924-2008). Smith was known for his breathtaking watercolor paintings that captured the true essence of what life was like in the West.
Education is extremely important to the National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum. The museum actively works to ensure that everyone, regardless of their age, can extensively learn about art and the West. For school children, the museum offers a variety of field trips such as; self-guided, guided, and specialized. If traveling to the museum isn’t an option for children, the museum can come to them through the various online units and the Traveling Trunks program. The online units are geared towards middle school students, and provide material that is related to the museum and curriculum relevant. As for the Traveling Trunks program, a teacher can rent a trunk that is full of artifacts, learning materials, and interactive materials. Thus, pieces of the museum travel to various classrooms to provide children with a remarkable experience.
As for adults, the National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum provides a variety of educational opportunities that are educational and fun. While the specifics of the events are always changing, typical educational events include; book clubs, seminars, wine & art history events, and lunch events.
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1700 Ne 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, Phone: 405-478-2250
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Attraction Spotlight: Oklahoma City Zoo
In the heart of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, visitors will find the Oklahoma City Zoo. The Oklahoma City Zoo provides visitors with a one of a kind experience that showcases the beauty of some of the world’s most magnificent animals.
Since it was founded in 1902, the Oklahoma City Zoo has maintained a mission of providing excellent habitats and care for the plants and animals that call the zoo home. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, as well as the American Alliance of Museums, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a living museum and a botanical garden. Between the personal and loving care that the zoo’s employees give to the plants and animals, as well as the world-class facilities, the Oklahoma City Zoo is of the most renowned zoos in the country.
While the Oklahoma City Zoo’s website gives little information about the zoo’s history, visitors can learn about the zoo by visiting the Patricia and Byron J. Gambulos ZooZeum. Located in the Oklahoma City Zoo, the ZooZeum is a museum dedicated to the zoological and botanical history of the zoo. No other zoo in the country has an on-sight museum like this. By walking through the ZooZeum, visitors will get to learn about the beginning stages of the zoo, and how it has evolved into the renowned zoo it is today.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is home to approximately 12 attractions, which provide in-depth exploration and learning opportunities.
Bears houses only two species of bears, but is one of the most heartwarming attractions in the zoo. Currently, a combination of grizzly bears and black bears call the Bears exhibit home. Visitors often see the bears floating happily in the water.
Cat Forest is home to a variety of carnivorous cats. This exhibit includes a variety of terrain, such as forest trails and glass enclosures, which makes it extremely easy to view the various cats. Visitors can expect to see snow leopards, tigers, and bobcats among the various cat species.
Elephants is home to a family of Asian elephants that can determine the longevity of the species. According to the zoo, there are only 30,000 Asian elephants worldwide. This is due to the increased activity of poaching and environmental destruction. Thus, visitors are given a chance to see a special and intelligent family of elephants.
Herpetarium was built in 1928, and houses various reptiles and amphibians. With over 65 habitats, there is an abundance of diverse animals in this building. Some of the animals include the; king cobra, Mexican beaded lizard, and Kaiser spotted newt.
Hoofed Animals is a mixture of hoofed animals that live in a habitat that is an exact replica of what life is like in the Savannah. Many of the animals showcased in this attraction are endangered. These animals include; Grevy’s zebra and Grant’s gazelle.
Island Life takes you through a tour of animals that are home to a variety of locations, such as the Caribbean, Madagascar, and the Philippines. A few of the highlighted animals of this exhibit are; Galapagos tortoises, Caribbean flamingos, and Komondor dragons.
Lion Overlook is home to three lions; Tia, Bridget, and Hubert. Although Tia and Bridget are among the favorite animals of the zoo, Hubert steals the show. Hubert is a male African lion who came to the zoo after the male lion, Aslan, passed away in 2012. Hubert can typically be seen playing with the other lions, or perched on his favorite spot of Lion Overlook, which is on the very top of the hill.
Noble Aquatic Center: Aquaticus is one of the most popular attractions in the Oklahoma City Zoo. Aquaticus is home to over 1,500 aquatic animals from a variety of regions. Some of the highlighted animals are California sea lions and upside down jellyfish.
Oklahoma Trails Adventure allows guests to explore and learn about various animals while experiencing what life is like in Oklahoma’s different terrain. This attraction showcases over 100 native Oklahoma species, as well as 800 other animals. There are 11 different zones, which each showcase a different category of animals. Visitors can expect to walk across a suspended boardwalk, travel across rolling hills, and view an exact replica of Turner Falls.
The Oklahoma City Zoo has a variety of educational opportunities that allow guests to explore and interact with the species and nature around them. Like any other zoo and museum, the Oklahoma City Zoo offers specialized tours for schools. Aside from educational tours, the zoo offers camps and overnight stays, which provide children with a truly interactive and educational experience.
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2000 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, Phone: 405-424-3344
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Attraction Spotlight: Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum honors the victims and survivors of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, offering an outdoor symbolic memorial and interactive indoor museum. The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which claimed the lives of 168 people and injured more than 680, is the deadliest single domestic terrorist attack in United States history.
The explosion, which occurred on April 19, 1995, was carried out via truck bombing at the city’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and destroyed the building’s entire north face, approximately one-third of its total square footage. More than 324 buildings within a 16-block radius of the bombing were also damaged, making the event the deadliest and most destructive terrorist event on United States soil until the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Following the attack, Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick created a committee for the establishment of a permanent city memorial to the bombing’s victims. The committee settled on the idea of creating a dual memorial, consisting of a symbolic outdoor memorial and an indoor public museum. A design contest for the memorial received 624 designs, with the winning design by Hans and Torrey Butzer of Butzer Design Partnership chosen in July of 1997. In October of that year, the memorial was designated as a unit of the National Park Service, and $29.1 million in funds were allocated for its construction. The outdoor memorial was dedicated in April of 2000 as part of ceremonies for the fifth anniversary of the attack, and the museum was opened the following February.
Permanent Exhibits and Collections
Since 2004, the Oklahoma City National Memorial has been overseen and operated by the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation nonprofit organization, with additional support and services provided by the National Park Service. More than 4.4 million people have visited the memorial since its 2000 opening, with an average of 350,000 attending each year. The memorial is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, commemorating its historic location at the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, designed by architect Sven Berg, is located in front of the Murrah Building’s footprint along NW Fifth Street, designed as a free-admission public place of quiet reflection to honor the bombing’s victims. The memorial evolved from the collection of makeshift memorials left around the bomb site’s perimeter in the days and weeks following the event, particularly the 10-foot chain-link fence erected around the area for security, which became a nationally-recognized site for hanging mementos of remembrance such as keychains, badges, and tags. As part of the symbolic memorial’s construction, a 210-foot portion of the Memorial Fence was integrated into the memorial’s west side as a canvas for visitors to continue leaving mementos. The 3.3-acre memorial is framed by a Gates of Time entrance sculpture, featuring twin bronze gates framing the exact time of the bombing. A Field of Empty Chairs represents the 168 victims of the bombing, while a Survivor’s Wall section preserves the north and east walls of the Murrah Building. An American elm tree that survived the blast has been incorporated into the memorial as a symbol of resilience, known as the Survivor Tree. A Reflecting Pool and Rescuer’s Orchard provide quiet reflection spaces, and a Children’s Area features over 5,000 hand-painted tiles sent by children from throughout the United States and Canada.
Within the Memorial Museum, 10 chronologically-arranged exhibits comprise a self-guided tour of the events immediately surrounding the bombing, utilizing interactive multimedia elements to illustrate the process of justice and recovery following the event. The 10 exhibits are classified as “chapters,” beginning with a short orientation film, “A Day Like Any Other,” and a brief history of the Murrah Building and its surrounding neighborhood. Archival footage from the day of the bombing is available for visitors, including audio recording of the bombing itself, helicopter news footage, and recordings and interviews with first responders. The national and international reaction to the event is chronicled, along with personal stories from survivors and artifacts and evidence from the investigation and trial against the conspirators.
Ongoing Programs and Education
In addition to standard museum admission, group tours of the museum are available for small groups and organizations of 15 or more participants, including curriculum-incorporated tours for elementary and secondary school groups. An Uncover-Discover Lab multimedia program is also offered for middle and high school students, encouraging students to explore STEM-related concepts and careers. An annual Student Essay Contest is held in March, encouraging submissions from students in grades 5-12.
620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Phone: 405-235-3313
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