What are you planning to do Sept. 29?
Go to a museum, of course!
Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! is an opportunity for two of your family members to visit a local museum for free.
Just click here to sign up for two free tickets to visit a participating museum anywhere across the nation. If you know you’re going to be in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29, you could print your tickets now and visit a Smithsonian Museum!
No worries if you’re going to be in Oklahoma, though. There are several state museums participating in this fun event:
- Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, Duncan
- Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman
- Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa
- Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee
- Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City
- Pawnee Bill Ranch & Museum, Pawnee
- Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa
- Philip Foster Farm National Historic Site, Eagle Creek
- Sam Noble Museum, Norman
- Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
- Three Rivers Museum, Muskogee
- Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, Tulsa
- Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Claremore
This opportunity will allow you to enjoy your favorite museum or explore one you’ve never visited.
It’s easy to print your tickets. I just did!
So, see you at the museum!
- Linda Lynn
Follow me on Twitter: @OKNewsResearch
Here’s some news from the Oklahoma City Zoo:
The Zoo’s Education department is offering a mother’s day out program beginning in February. The program will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nature Explorers Mother’s Day Out Program will run from Feb. 15 to May 26 and is for children ages 3 and 4. (Child must be 3 or 4 on or before September 1, 2010.)
The program will promote interaction skills, self direction, language skills, intellectual growth and environmental awareness.
For more information, including a program handbook, tuition costs and registration forms, go to http://zoofieldtrips.publishpath.com/explorers.
Toddler Programs: Come experience nature in a safe and happy environment! Your toddler will delight in our animals through crafts, activities, discovery stations, animal visitors and guided zoo excursions. Ages 2-3 and 4-5. Call for dates and times.
School’s Out Safari Day Camps: Monday, Jan. 17
Looking for a unique adventure for your children while they are home on school holidays? Join us for a day loaded with arts, crafts, games, zoo tours and animal encounters. Offers flexible drop off and pick up times.
- Meet 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Zoo’s Education Building
- Cost per child per day is $35 and each additional sibling is $25
- Require advance registration (space is limited) and payment
- Snacks provided but children must bring their own lunch
- Ages 4-12 years
Saturday, Jan. 15 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Ages 3 and up
Brr! Tired of the cold weather? Our cold-loving animal friends aren’t! Join us for a cool afternoon of animal fun that is sure to warm your heart.
Oh, Pooh Bear!
Thursday, Jan. 20 or Saturday, Jan. 22 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
It’s a Pooh party! Celebrate 84 years of this willy-nilly bear. Enjoy crafts, snacks and a meet-n-greet with Pooh’s woodland friends.
Get Ready and Draw Art Classes
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10:30 a.m to noon
Pooper Bowl Party
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This interactive program will give families the scoop on poop through games, crafts, stories, songs, treks and other hidden surprises.
Habitat Box Teacher Workshops: Saturday, Jan. 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (tundra, rainforest & grassland) and Saturday, Feb. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (wetland, temperature forest and desert)
Back by popular demand! These teacher make-n-take workshops allow you to create your very own set of classroom “Habitat Boxes”. Each box includes items, artifacts and curriculum specific to each habitat. You may sign up for one or both sessions. This workshop is appropriate for formal, non-formal and homeschool educators.
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
It’s a wild, wild world! Come explore some of our wild things while earning your “Sharing Your World with Wildlife” Bear Cub Achievement! (Bear Cub Scouts: 3rd grade)
You’ve Got the Whole World in Your Hands
Saturday, Jan. 29 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Our earth is in trouble and only you can save it! Join us to learn how you can help while earning your “Your Living World” Wolf Cub Achievement! (Wolf Cub Scouts: 2nd grade)
All programs require pre-registration. Call 405.425.0218 for more information or to register.
As you might know, I’m a big fan of Bass Pro Shops. They always have something fun and FREE going on for the kids and I always take full advantage.
My favorite is their Christmas Wonderland. They pack December full of free crafts, fun displays, games and a FREE studio-quality 4 X 6 photo with Santa. So skip the expensive mall Santa photos and head down to Bass Pro.
Crafts are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. (while supplies last) and include:
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 4 & 5: Snowman Suncatcher ornament
Dec. 7 – 9, 11 & 12: Wooden ornaments
Dec. 14 – 16, 18 & 19: Reindeer ornaments
Dec. 21-23: Cookie decorating
From now through Dec. 12, Santa photos are 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
From Dec. 13 to Dec. 24, photo hours are extended to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and Christmas Eve.
All games and activities are available during store hours. These include toy trains, slot car racing, laser and soft gun arcades, remote control trucks and video games.
Also, this year, Bass Pro is giving away free “Santa Bandz” to the first 150 children on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Bandz are different each week.
For more information about Santa’s Wonderland, click here.
If you’re a sort-of country dweller like me, you don’t really have a good reliable neighborhood to trick-or-treat in this year. So how do you make the most of Halloween when you can’t do the traditional door-to-door candy quest? Here are some really great (and I’ve been to most of these) activities in the metro you can do with your kids this week to get in the spooky spirit:
Haunt the Zoo: We go every year. You can’t beat the Oklahoma City Zoo for Halloween. You won’t see animals, but you will see folks standing along a pumpkin-lined path handing out some yummy treats. Neat displays are set up along the way, perfect for pictures. Haunt the Zoo is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting tonight and ending Sunday. Tickets are only necessary for the kids, and they’re $7 each. Click here for more information.
Storybook Forest: Spring Creek Park at Edmond’s Arcadia Lake turns into a book of fairytales as kids can walk through a forest of stories. Characters and scenes from children’s favorite books are brought to life, along with treats, hayrides, carnival games and a campfire for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Storybook Forest is open 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily through Sunday. Admission is $5 per child during the week, $7 on the weekend. Adults are free. Click here for more information.
Halloween Train Ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum is a real train ride for kids wearing their costumes. Departure times Saturday are 10 and 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for age 15 and older, $5 for ages 3 to 14, and kids younger than 3 are free. Click here for more information.
Haunt the Harn at the Harn Homestead. Includes trick-or-treating, hayrides and more. Event is Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for nonmembers, free for members. Click here for more information.
The Metropolitan Library System also has a list of free events this week:
- Bethany Library: 10 to 10:45 a.m. on Thursday is ”Halloween Fun for Little Ones” for ages 3 to 6. From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, it’s hosting “Spooky Spook Halloween” for grades 1 to 5.
- Capitol Hill Library: From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday is “Halloween @ the Haunted Hill” for all ages.
- Downtown Library: From 1:30 to 5:40 p.m. Sunday is the “Classic Horror Film Marathon” for all ages.
- Ralph Ellison Library: “Pumpkin Carving for Teens” is 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. The library’s fall festival is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday for all ages.
- Warr Acres Library: “Dress Up Party for Preschoolers” is tonight from 6:30 to 7:30. Kids should be in costume.
Be sure to check wimgo.com for more Halloween event listings and have a great, safe week!
It may not be fair weekend yet (just another week to go!) but there are some fun things to fill up your weekend with the kiddos.
- When: Sept. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Governor’s Mansion and Oklahoma History Center (Click here for map)
- What: A free, fun, family-friendly, and hands-on event. Visitors get free admission to the museum all day long. The governor and first lady will read stories to children. There also will be dancing, entertainment, puppet shows, inflatables, clowns, face painting and much, much more.
- For a full description and schedule of events, click here.
Pass it on Kids
- When: Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Where: Church of the Harvest, located between 33rd and 15th streets off Western Avenue in Edmond.
- What: A consignment sale for fall and winter’s kids’ clothing. Half-price on select items on Sept. 11.
- For more information, go to www.passitonkids.com
34th annual Western Days
- When: Sept. 10-11
- Where: Downtown Mustang
- What: A festival including a carnival, rodeo, parade, magic show, music, car show and more.
- For more information, click here or call 376-2758.
103rd annual Cleveland County Free Fair
- When: Now through Sept. 11
- Where: Cleveland County Fairgrounds, E Robinson St., Norman
- What: A fair that has animals, a petting zoo, carnival rides, a midway, celebrity cow milking and much more.
- For more information, click here.
- When: Now through Sept. 11
- Where: Choctaw’s Creek Park
- What: German food and goods, live entertainment for all ages, dancing, crafts and activities for kids. Admission is $3 for age 12 and older. Kids younger than 12 are free.
- For more information, go to www.choctawfestival.org or call 390-8647.
If you know of any other great family-friendly events this weekend or coming up, please post them below or e-mail me.
Have a great weekend!
Looking for one more weekend of lake fun with the kids before summer is officially over? Then head down to the Discovery Cove Nature Center at Lake Thunderbird State Park. They have packed the long holiday weekend full of activities. Classes are:
Saturday, Sept. 4
9:00 a.m. - Bird Walk. Call 321-4633 or e-mail email@example.com for details or to sign up.
11:00 a.m. -Birds of Lake Thunderbird. Enjoy a slide presentation of birds that live around the lake.
1:00 p.m. - Animal Clay Sculpture. Sculpt an animal out of clay. Ages 4 and older. $1.00 fee. Call or e-mail for a reservation.
2:30 p.m. -Oklahoma Reptiles: Snakes and Lizards. Learn about these reptile groups and meet the nature center’s “resident representatives.” All ages.
3:30 p.m. - Oklahoma Turtles. Meet seven kinds of turtles and watch some of them being fed.
Sunday, Sept. 5
1:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. Learn all about what these insects eat, how they breathe, and other facts, at this special presentation.
2:00 p.m. - Plaster Casts. Make plaster of Paris casts of animal footprints. Ages 2 and older. Fee is 50 cents. Casts require one hour to set. (This is my son’s personal favorite!)
3:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. Repeat of 1:00 p.m. program.
Monday, Sept. 6 (aka Bug Day)
10:00 a.m. - What did that? Kids can become nature detectives and look for clues that insects and small animals leave behind. Ages 5 and older.
11:00 a.m. - Oklahoma Insects. Learn about insects and see many of the kinds found in our state. Ages 4 and older.
1:00 p.m. - Bug Bookmarks. Decorate a one-of-a-kind bookmark. Fee is 50 cents. Ages 3 and older.
2:00 p.m. - Aquatic Insects. See above for description.
3:30 p.m. - How many legs? Get to Know the Arthropods. Learn about other “bugs” besides insects. Ages 4 and older.
Discovery Cove Nature Center is located off State Highway 9, almost one mile down Clear Bay Avenue, almost to the boat ramp, across from Turkey Pass Campground For more information, call 321-4633 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education programs abound at the Oklahoma City Zoo. And as a Zoo Friends member, I enjoy as much of these with my 4-year-old as I can. It’s a great perk for members and nonmembers alike so get ready for some fall fun with the kids!
Toddler and preschooler programs include a live animal presentation, craft, story time, songs and more. Classes are 10 to 11 a.m. and cost $12 for a child with adult Zoo Friends member, or $15 for child with adult nonmember. Additional fees apply for siblings.
Age 2: Mother Goose, Sept. 2 or 4
Age 3: R is for Rhino, Aug. 19 or 21
S is for Sea Lion, Sept. 16 or 18
Ages 4-5: Flying High, Aug. 28
Billy Goats Gruff, Sept. 25
School’s Out Safari Day Camps
If you would like somewhere fun and educational your child can enjoy during fall break or other fall days off from school, the zoo has you covered. Classes are for ages 4-12 and meet from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the zoo’s Education Building. Cost per day is $30 per child, siblings $20 each. Advance registration and payment are required, and spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Snacks will be provided, but children must bring their own lunch.
Dates are: Sept. 6, 7 and 24 and Oct. 21 and 22.
An upcoming family program is “Sink Your Teeth into Sharks!” and is Aug. 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. Your family can learn all about the world of sharks. Adults are free with paid child registration. Cost per child is $15 for zoo members, $18 for nonmembers. Program is for children ages 4-12.
Have any little artists in your family? Then come join local artist Lance Kelly and learn to draw animals. Basic drawing concepts are reviewed, followed by live sketching of zoo animals. Class meets in the education building and is $20 per class for one person, $5 for each additional family member. Classes are for ages 7 and older and meet from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Class dates and animal topics are:
Sept. 25: Grizzly Bear
Oct. 23: Bison
Nov. 13, Turkey
For more information or to register for any of these programs, go to okczoo.recware.com or call 425-0218.
Thomas the Tank Engine is chugging into Oklahoma City and tickets are on sale for this very fun event. According to the event website, Day Out with Thomas is in its 15th year, and as always, the Oklahoma Railway Museum will be hosting Thomas’ arrival.
Besides getting a train ride with Thomas, children can enjoy other activities such as arts and crafts, storytelling, playing with toy trains, meeting characters and getting a look at the history of Thomas, who is turning 65 this year.
Get tickets soon, as this tends to sell out. Dates of the event are Sept. 24-26 and Oct. 1-3. Tickets cost $14 to $18 each. When you order tickets online, you can choose which train you’d like to sit in. Pay extra attention to which train car you choose. Some are air conditioned, some only have sliding windows, and others are completely open. Also, I suggest picking an early morning ride to avoid high temperatures.
Two years ago, I mistakenly chose the 2 p.m. time slot and the car with only the sliding windows. Since some of the cars are so old, some windows won’t open. That was our window. September was especially hot that year, and my then-2-year-old son was completely decked out in his Thomas overalls, Thomas polo shirt, Thomas conductor hat, socks and shoes. We couldn’t bring our drinks on board, but it’s a 30-minute ride. No big deal.
About two minutes after we pull out of the station, my son starts screaming and crying. He’s sweating, he’s red in the face, he’s hot as can be. I didn’t know what to do and we couldn’t get off the train. We were starting to get some mean looks from other paying passengers. He cried the entire ride. People were upset with us, asking employees for their money back and just generally being more than annoyed.
About a year later, I was talking to some parents at my son’s day care about how Thomas the Train was back in town. All of a sudden, one parent starts talking about this screaming child on her train car last year … decked out in Thomas overalls, polo and conductor cap. She described my son to a T - an entire year later. She was on that car. She was one of the parents demanding a refund. Yikes.
Me: ”Oh, we didn’t get to go last year … how awful … why would his mom dress him in such hot clothes in the middle of summer? … “
So please take my advice. Choose the air conditioned car. Get an early time and don’t dress your child like a conductor. After all, it’s September in Oklahoma.
For a schedule and tickets, click here.
Here’s another chance for families to get out of town for a day or two and enjoy some of Oklahoma’s natural beauty …
I think this might be something I’d consider taking my son to this summer. Any chance to expose kids to nature is a chance every parent should take. If you go, tell me all about it here or by e-mail.