Commemorating America’s accomplished history in space travel and aviation, the Stafford Air & Space Museum houses more than 20 historic aircraft and several gravity-belittling exhibits, including an F-16 Fighting Falcon, a full-size replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, and a V-2 rocket engine](http://gr.pn/mET6EN). Visitors can glide through 40,000 square feet of exhibition space and examine replicas of early airplanes, two of which the Wright brothers famously designed after abandoning their initial design of an umbrella attached to three seagulls. Awe-inspiring NASA vehicles such as the Titan II rocket and the Gemini spacecraft serve as gargantuan reminders that humankind is no longer bound by the laws of gravity. The lunar curious can get an up-close look at a moon rock from the Apollo 17 space mission or inspect the full-scale replica of the Apollo program's command module.
In 1972, when most other 7-year-olds were building their baseball-card and bottle-cap collections, Jay Villemarette began collecting skulls. His lifetime hobby evolved into a full-time vocation in 1990 after he opened Skulls Unlimited, a one-of-a-kind bone-replica shop that earned the limelight on popular TV shows such as Dirty Jobs and Ripley's Believe It or Not!. By 2010, Jay's widespread success led him to establish the Museum of Osteology, which currently houses the largest privately held collection of osteological specimens in the world, with more than 300 skeletons and, most importantly, zero zombie sightings to date.
Education abounds throughout the 7,000-square-foot space as visitors investigate rare species, skulls, and skeletons from all corners of the world. The form and function of the skeletal system weave a common thread through each of the museum's exhibits, which showcase topics such as adaptation, locomotion, and specific categories of animals, including marsupials, birds, and reptiles. After exploring displays and begging skeletons for their teeth-whitening regimen, interim osteologists can visit the gift shop, where souvenirs, toys, and replicas of museum models are available to start personal collections.
Originally home to Mr. William Fremont Harn, his wife Alice, and their sassy talking cow, the Harn Homestead was built during the 1889 Land Run and has since become a first-rate museum that gives visitors a hands-on experience of Little House on the Prairie–time simplicities thanks to interactive exhibits and costumed re-creationists. Bring G-rated pioneer fantasies to life with an educational romp around the Homestead's seven historic buildings. Visit a one-room schoolhouse, tour the graceful Victorian dwelling, or pack a picnic to enjoy on the grassy promenade.
Science Museum Oklahoma's 70-foot-diameter Dome Theater has a 36,000-watt digital sound system that makes any movie a full-body experience, like skydiving or donating half a liver. Climb to your comfortable theater seat to watch professional climbers ascend to the world's greatest theater seat in Everest, a 40-minute film about scaling the world's most daunting peak. SMO's other feature film, Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag, follows Captain John Stratton in his F-15 Eagle as he participates in combat training exercises for the U.S. Air Force.
In the months after the bombing, then-Mayor Ron Norick commissioned a 350-person task force to explore ways to remember those who had died in the horrific terrorist act. Visitors will be taken on a powerful chronological tour of the complete story, including a background on terrorism, a history of the site, an audio recording of the blast, and a look at the chaos that ensued. As grim as the experience can be, the museum concludes with an uplifting showcase of hope that explores rebuilding efforts and the city coming together in support. The museum also includes a classroom and children's area for younger museumgoers.
Aesthetes and anthropologists can devour an eyeful of wide-ranging cultural artifacts and extensive fine art collections at the Mabee-Gerrer. The permanent collection of Egyptian art claims Oklahoma's only mummy that's not living, and the antiquities section features sculpture and pottery from ancient Greece, China, and Mesopotamia. Visitors can also set their sights on a broad sweep of American works, including timeworn Aztec textiles housed in the Arts of Ancient America collection, present-day paintings by Oklahoma artists in the Contemporary Art section, and the unpainted canvases hanging in the museum's 23rd-century collection.