Why You Need to Visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The Trail of Tears Statue
The End of the Trail by James Earle Fraser

Disclaimer: We have partnered with The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, to share what makes them unique to our community.

headdressWhen was the last time you visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum? Has it been a couple of years or have you never had the chance? If you haven’t visited lately or its been awhile, you are missing out! The museum has changed incredibly over the last couple of years. It’s no longer a place that’s just about cowboys. It has become a place to learn about all different types of cultures and backgrounds that make up western heritage. Plus they have added multiple exhibits and programs for kids so the museum is a place that families will love to visit.  From kids to grandparents, everyone can enjoy their trip to the Museum. Let me take you through some of the fun things to do this fall and over fall break!

The exhibits are always changing but currently one of the most interesting exhibits at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is their Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains exhibit. These fantastic displays show actual headdresses that different Native American chiefs used to wear. When the chief wore the headdress, he believed he embodied whatever the headdress was representing. From the sun to a comet, each headdress is unique and beautiful.


Along with the headdress exhibit are different examples of ledger art. These were art displays that depicted different ceremonies and battles, and only the most accomplished artists and interpreters from the tribe would be allowed to paint or draw these scenes.

As cool as all of this is, kids really learn by doing. Luckily the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum knows this and have planned some awesome activities for kids! These activities are free to members or offered with daily admission and run from 10:00- 2:00 every day of Oklahoma City School Fall break. So if you are looking for something to do, look no further!

  • October 10- Native American Dance Troop Performs at Noon and 2:00. You will also be able to explore hands on artifacts to learn about Native American life.
  • October 11- Beadwork Technique: Loom Your Own Beadwork and Bracelet. Kids will be able to see how beadwork was originally done and then make their own.
  • October 12- Ledgar Art and Battle Scenes. They can learn different ways of communicating and then make their own art and scenes.
  • October 13- Hide Painting and Bonnet Imagery. Make hide painting using a traditional feather and bonnet imagery.
  • October 14- Quiltwork Rosettes. Look at quills and quilt work and then create your own.

What kids wouldn’t have fun doing these activities. Plus moms will love it because they are actually learning! Win win!

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum also have free activities on the first Saturdays of November and December called Saturday for Kids! Adults and kids are free! These activities are ideal for ages 4-14.

  • On November 5th, Saturday for Kids- Native Expression 10:00- 12:00. Make your own friendship bracelet and learn about people and traditions from the American West. Reservations are encouraged. You can call 405-478-2250 ext 264 for any other questions.
  • On December 3rd, Saturday for Kids- Holidays at the Museum. 10:00-12:00. Make your own Western-inspired ornament to take home for the holidays and create old time favorites such as bird feeders. There will be a scavenger hunt throughout the museum. You can also meet historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Sacajawea and Annie Oakley. There will be face painting and you can learn about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa too! Bring your Christmas List because Santa will be here!

Besides these great programs going on at the Museum, an every day visit is great for the whole family too! Explore the old western village and see banks, doctors offices, barns and store in the area called Prosperity Junction. This is one of my favorite parts of the museum!


You can also head out back where there is an entire kids building. There’s horse saddles to ride on, western clothes to get dressed up in, puzzles to solve and so much more! This is where every kid will want to play for the rest of the day.

Saddles in the kid's room
Saddles in the kid’s room

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is probably not what you expecting. There is so much to do and explore. This is definitely a place you need to plan on taking your kids too. They will love it and you can’t beat free!!! Make sure your next outing include this museum and you wont be disappointed!

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I grew up in Tennessee, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri but came to Oklahoma Christian University (OC) for college. That's where I met my husband, and we decided to stay in OKC. Oklahoma City now feels like home. We have a 16 month old daughter who keeps me on my toes. I got my bachelors's degree from OC in Biochemistry and my masters as a Physician Assistant from the University of Oklahoma. I have worked in a rural ER and in a county jail as their medical provider but now mainly work for an Urgent Care in Oklahoma City. I love traveling, working out and anything DIY, especially transforming junk furniture into something great. I am also a contributor for the blog Splendry - a collection of all things splendid (www.splendry.com) where a lot of my furniture DIY projects are shown.


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