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.
Originally home to Mr. William Fremont Harn, his wife Alice, and their sassy talking cow, the Harn Homestead was built in 1904 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.
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.
Set upon a bucolic farm with vineyards and a pond, the vines at Native Spirits Winery yield cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and syrah grapes. Vintners squish and craft these grapes into a variety of vintages, including sweet and dry reds and whites such as merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, and shiraz. All wines are available for taste and purchase in the tasting room, and Native Spirits Winery frequently holds events that feature wine tastings joined by live music.
Reliant Stadium’s titanic venue, home to the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, covers 125,000 square feet of sporting ground. The facility is the first in NFL history to have a retractable roof, which sightseers can view from the field during public gridiron tours. While strolling across Reliant’s stadium floor, fans can relive their favorite memories of Super Bowl XXXVIII, or search every nook and cranny for John Madden’s lost bus keys.
The Storytelling Festival heightens the act of listening with evening performances and afternoon workshops that teach patrons to build communication skills and thrill audiences with well-spun words. On Friday, festival-goers can learn how to wax poetic on family memories, what makes certain stories funny, and techniques to artfully express personal yarns. A quartet of storytellers entertains crowds early in the evening before Donald Davis and Beth Horner chill spines with their late-night ghost stories and frozen cummerbunds. Saturday’s festivities find the power of words with workshops on true-life and historical figures, and a family matinee whisks children to their own inner wonderland before the workshop-leaders’ evening performance toys with the soul using dramatic cliffhangers. Festival attendees unable to find sustenance by reading old take-out menus can purchase lunch on-site with meals provided by The Lunchbox and The La Luna taco truck.
While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100—a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans—as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
The Voodoo Bayou has proven to be Trail of Fear's most intense experience, where ghastly creatures dart from their swampland dens to spook trespassers and ask directions to the nearest zombie hoedown. Elsewhere, a maniacal ringmaster oversees the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, and malformed test subjects rise from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites. Laughter and gasps join the chorus of screams at the Crispy Family Carnival, where performers inject dark humor into their classic sideshow acts, which can be viewed at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.