Brent and I moved home to Oklahoma from Washington, D.C. (aka the land of a museums). As part of our ongoing saga to learn about and love where we live we set a goal of visiting three new (to us) museums this summer. Museum #1 on the list was the Museum of Osteology, which touts itself as "America's Only Skeleton Museum." It is brought to you by the good folks at Skulls Unlimited International, Inc. (You may have seen them on Dirty Jobs.) Brent, our resident Biologist, has been wanting to go for years and was SO glad to finally make the trip.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun we had. The kids asked great questions and stayed engaged with the displays for a long time. Apparently they are growing up!
The museum is mostly comprised of one large two-story room with an open center that features larger skeletons hanging from the ceiling.
All along the walls the skeletons are arranged by category complete with helpful (and sometimes humorous) signage. (See above caption of a mouse in the "cat" exhibit.)
It was wonderful that they allow kids to touch the skeletons that are out of cases and roam around at will. Here is E getting in on the action with some help from his big brother.
As you can see, it is very hands on in the center of the first floor! It isn't a jungle gym and they do ask that you not climb on the skeletons, but you can touch all you like!
There were plenty of people milling around and everyone seemed to be having fun. The museum provides a few scavenger hunt sheets for slightly older kids that seemed very popular. We had to keep reminding our kids not to bang on the glass cases, but generally we had a great time.
Brent loved explaining about all sorts of different skeletons and answering all their questions. He did feel that mammals were somewhat over represented, but was somewhat placated by a case dedicated almost entirely to snakes and their relatives (ick). The museum took us about an hour to wander through, which made it the perfect size to see for a quick outing. I suspect we'll be back in a year or two for a more indepth discussion about bones and biology when the kids are a bit older.