Get an in-depth understanding of the natural world at this extensive university-based museum, which has a collection of approximately 10 million artifacts.
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a wide-ranging natural and cultural history museum on the University of Oklahoma campus. Spanning five galleries, the museum presents numerous objects and specimens telling the story of Oklahoma’s life, earth and social sciences. Explore over 50,000 square feet (4,600 square meters) of exhibition space, where 500 million years of history are displayed.
The museum’s collection dates back to 1899, but today it is displayed in a spacious 21st-century museum. Investigate the Hall of World Cultures to discover the museum’s remarkable ethnology collection. See a Japanese samurai warrior’s full suit of armor, Mayan textiles, Roman antiquities and a Tibetan ceremonial apron.
The Hall of Natural Wonders showcases Oklahoma’s extraordinary biodiversity, which includes Ozark highlands, limestone caves, prairies and black mesa peaks. Pass through the immersive dioramas and note the different plants and animals that live in each habitat.
Visit the Hall of the People of Oklahoma and learn about the state’s 30,000-year Native American history. See the oldest painted object in North America: a 10,000-year-old decorated bison skull. Learn about the Native American experience throughout the centuries. The past tumbles into the present at the Hall of Ancient Life. Prehistoric life is uncovered in this exciting gallery, which shows detailed dioramas, dinosaur skeletons and creatures from the Ice Age.
Allow extra time to explore the museum’s temporary exhibits. Special displays might include pieces selected from the museum’s collection or touring exhibitions. Visit the café and gift shop in the museum lobby.
Head outside to trace the history of Oklahoma’s oil industry at the Conoco Oil Pioneers of Oklahoma Plaza. A stroll around the plaza’s bronze plaques will introduce you to some of the people who pioneered the state’s oil and gas industry.
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is located on the southern border of the University of Oklahoma campus. It is open daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. There is an admission fee, which is discounted for seniors, military and children. Children under the age of 17 have free admission on the first Monday of the month.