Visiting the Tulsa Children’s Museum


Last week the girl and husband both had some time off, so we headed to Tulsa for what ended up being about a day trip. We learned two things:

  1. We can add large inflatable Halloween decor to the list of things the girl is afraid of
  2. The Tulsa Children’s Museum is fun and does not decorate for the holiday

(The short story version is we drove over Monday to go to the aquarium because it was raining. There was a giant inflatable skeleton right inside the door. Girl starts screaming, refuses to go in, claws her way out of the place. We go to the Children’s Museum because it’s raining, luckily no decorations and have a good time. We stay the night and plan to go to the zoo in the morning, but she’s convinced they’ll be decorations at the zoo so she doesn’t want to go and we drive home. Fun.)

The museum opened earlier this year and we hadn’t made it over yet. It’s basically two rooms in what I guess used to be a gym or something (it’s in a park and there’s a great looking playground, too, should you visit when it’s not raining) and right now the main room is dominated by exhibits on animation from Cartoon Network.

I didn’t really get great pictures, but right inside the door was a drawing tool where you could trace stencils and have the image come out on the other side that she really enjoyed. There were screens to play with stop motion animation, and one of her favorites, a place where you could jump around and it takes pictures and makes a stop-motion film of you. She did that one three times, I think. tulsa children's museum toddler area

She loved the toddler area, which was full of blocks, cars, and tubes on the wall to drop balls through. We spent a lot of time in this area, too.

There were lots of interactive exhibits that she wasn’t all that interested in but would be great for older kids, I’m sure. tape slide

Oh, and there was the tape slide. This was her favorite of all. All around the big room there’s a 30-foot series of tunnels ending in a giant slide, and all of it is made of packing tape. Seriously. It freaked me out a bit — I’m afraid of falling and it’s made out of clear tape so I didn’t go in — but she loved climbing in, running around and sliding down. Witness on my tiny sideways iPhone video:

This is pretty much the only thing she mentions about the trip if you ask her.

tulsa children's museum
Using a spinning plate with metal discs.

The second room was a lot of hands-on stuff. There’s a giant trampoline for balls in the center, and air tubes that allow you to shoot the balls back into the trampoline or onto the wall where there are more tubes for them to roll down. She loved that, too.

There were other exhibits that played with air and movement and all sorts of cool stuff. There’s also a workshop where kids can take junk parts and turn them into new toys. The girl didn’t go in there but I wanted to play!

All in all it was not the trip we expected, but I was glad we got some fun in.

If you happen to be in Tulsa, the museum is at 560 North Maybelle and is open from 9:30 to 5:30 Monday through Saturday and 11:30 to 5:30 on Sundays. Admission is $5 a person; kids under 2 get in free.

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