Tulsa needs a children's museum

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So says Steve Roemerman after visiting the one in Indianapolis, and he's right. He's right about this, too:

Instead of trying to convert into something else, Tulsa should hold fast to the things that are uniquely Tulsan. [Councilor Chris] Medlock believes that Tulsa should focus its strengths, and I believe he is right. I have always been impressed with Tulsa; how it uniquely combines family values, with art and culture. What better way to express those strengths, than with an excellent children’s museum?

There have been a couple of attempts -- Hands On, which was in FlightSafety's old building on 38th Street west of Memorial back in the early '90s, and the Harmon Science Center at 41st and Hudson. We never visited the Harmon Science Center -- they publicized the fact that the center was only open to school groups and since our only child at the time was younger than school age we never got to go. Within a few years the doors were shut.

There are some great children's museums and museums with kid-oriented exhibits within a short drive of Tulsa. There's the Omniplex in Oklahoma City, the Sam Noble museum on the OU campus, and the Jasmine Moran Museum in Seminole. Wichita's Exploration Place -- which is on and partly in the Arkansas River -- has a fantastic room devoted to aviation and another devoted to weather. Little Rock has a good kids museum covering science, history, art, and nature, next to their River Market.

The Tulsa Zoo, the Oklahoma Aquarium, and the Tulsa Air and Space Museum each provide some hands-on exhibits in their field of expertise and they try to present exhibits in a way that is accessible and interesting to children, but it would be nice to have a museum that brings different fields of learning together under one roof.

For all the focus on attracting and retaining young professionals -- and that is important -- Tulsa should build on its strengths, too. Many of my contemporaries spent their twenties and thirties on one of the coasts, but when it came time to raise a family, they swam upstream back to Tulsa.

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W. Author Profile Page said:

The City Museum in St. Louis is the best children's museum I've seen, bar none. And I'm not the only one by a long shot who has that opinion.


Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Having lived in Indianapolis, I can attest to the Childrens' Museum there. What a great idea it would be to turn one of the empty buildings downtown into a full scale children's museum. I'm not talking about a building on the fringes of downtown. I'm talking about a building right in the middle, on Boston or Main. So many empty buildings.

great idea.

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