The National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City is a must do if you are a lover of the West or an art lover in general. I am not a big museum fan however, I am so glad I put this on my itinerary for my recent day trip to Oklahoma City. It is full of western history including American Indian artifacts and costumes, a full-scale indoor old west town known as Prosperity Junction and a beautiful sculpture garden.
The museum is open Mon.-Sat 10am-5pm and Sundays noon-5pm. Admission is $12.50 for adults with a senior discount of $9.75. I spent a good two hours exploring the interior galleries as well as strolling through the outdoor sculpture garden. The garden has a lovely shaded walking path with a Koi filled, stream running through it and beautiful sculptures nestled throughout the landscape. There are also the gravesites of some famous horses of the past and a huge sculpture of Buffalo Bill. Being an outdoorsy girl this was my favorite part but I was really impressed with the entire museum.
The galleries are chock full of gorgeous paintings representing every aspect of the West. Many of the paintings are actually for sale; way over my budget, but it gave me an appreciation for the hard work and talent that goes into the art. In addition to the walls and walls of paintings, you will also find lots of artifacts as well as the life-size “Prosperity Junction”. You can’t go in the buildings but it is a complete town with a school, bank. saloon, hotel and several other buildings. Best of all, it was indoors, as in air-conditioned!
As with any great museum, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has a nice little Museum Grill, serving sandwiches, salads, burgers etc. The grill is open Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a nice place to take a little break as the museum is actually quite large and covers a lot of square footage especially if you add in the gardens. At the entrance is also a large museum store which has an online store with everything from books and souvenirs to western fashions and home decor. It is fun to wander around even if you don’t need anything.
When you visit or are just driving through Oklahoma City, be sure to take the time and check out this museum in addition to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial reviewed in this post. One thing you need to know, the National Cowboy Museum is not downtown. It is actually about 20 minutes northeast of town off I-35 so give yourself a little extra time to get there and try to plan it so you are out of there before rush hour, especially if you are heading back into town.