A community-built science-and-art museum, Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse entertains young minds and inspires creative thought with numerous educational exhibits. As it pays tribute to the famed artist, musician, architect, inventor, engineer, botanist, and Tony-winning choreographer Leonardo da Vinci, the discovery warehouse offers a balance of art, biology, and engineering stations to stimulate both sides of the developing brain. Kids can explore a rainforest environment and meet live animals, strap into a space-shuttle flight simulator, dig for ancient fossils in an excavation pit, and create masterpieces in an arts-and-crafts studio. Directly outside of the museum is Adventure Quest, a three-story wooden castle filled with imagination-fueling bridges, slides, mazes, and swings.
Curated by the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center preserves the borderland’s multifarious history with a research center, a theater, and five sprawling exhibit galleries. Visitors pore over the center’s collection of firsthand accounts, oral and video histories, period photographs, and 10,000 artifacts, including the first portable drilling rig and the first stationary pogo stick. The Land & The People Gallery houses a life-size model of a settler’s sod home, and the Thelma Gungoll Phillips University Gallery displays the varsity uniforms and marching-band regalia of the state’s first private university. Temporary exhibits keep each visit fresh, with Going Places (on display through August 14) investigating modes of transportation in the 1800s and tracking the evolution from horse-drawn carriages to horseless autos to horse-shaped hovercrafts.
Splash Zone submerges guests in a safe, lifeguard-supervised aquatic romping ground, encouraging swift gliding down a fleet of water slides and enjoyment of water-infused land activities such as volleyball. The Drop Zone features two side-by-side slides, where waternauts can perch atop a sled or hogtied friend and dart down into a refreshing pool. Little thrill seekers can splash about in Kiddie Cove, which brims with shallow-water attractions, and adults have the escapist option of grabbing a comfortable plastic tube and riding the water around a slow-paced river, relatively free of splashing water and children repeatedly shouting "Watch this!"