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Tulsa Museums well reflect Tulsa's reputation as being Oklahoma's cultural capital. While the city may be small in size compared to Oklahoma City, there's a wealth of heritage and art on offer here, making a visit to the Tulsa Museums one of the must-do attractions of the state in general. What's more, these museums are widely inexpensive, which makes them a perfect day out whatever your budget.
The Philbrook Museum is one of Tulsa's headlining cultural attractions. Housed in a romantically ornate Italianate villa, it offers an extensive permanent art collection featuring big names and local artists alike, and more than the odd temporary exhibit too. One of the great things about the Philbrook Museum is that it is more than just an art gallery; 23 acres of expertly cultivated gardens await the visitor here, which means you can take a pleasant stroll having taken in all the art on display. The Philbrook Museum is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. There is a reasonable entrance fee, unless you come on the second Saturday of the month, when entrance is free.
Insofar that it also combines art with beautifully-kept gardens, the Gilcrease Museum Tulsa can be likened to the Philbrook Museum. Situated just northwest of the city's downtown district, among pleasantly rolling hills, the Gilcrease Museum Tulsa is another place to spend a whole day or more (if you have the time). Here you'll find the world's largest collection of art and artifacts from the American West, along with 460 acres of tranquil themed gardens. If you want to learn about the art on display, the Gilcrease Museum Tulsa proves a well-equipped place: audio guides are on offer in English and Spanish, and a tour of the grounds starts everyday at 2 p.m. Tours, workshops, events, and lectures also run throughout the year.
For something a little more scientific, the Tulsa Air Museum (also known as the Tulsa Air and Space Museum) offers a large exhibition space dedicated to manmade airborne machines. Highlights at the Tulsa Air Museum include an aircraft carrier containing an F-14 A Tomcat Fighter Jet and a Spartan C-2 (which is one of only two left in the world today). Exhibits here focus on The Golden Age of Flying, Hot Air Balloons, and Space Aviation. The Tulsa Air Museum also includes an impressive Planetarium, where programs about the night sky are projected onto a dome 50 feet in diameter. If that sounds a little grown up for your child, you could always try the Tulsa Children's Museum, which is specifically designed with kids in mind.
Once you've exhausted all the Tulsa museums, there are plenty of other worthwhile museums across Oklahoma to peruse. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is one such place. Here you can find a range of permanent exhibits featuring the museum's impressive collection of American and European art. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is also established on the international scene, ensuring it attracts big-name temporary exhibits during any given calendar year. Aside from these exhibits, the museum proves a mainstay of the local community, running numerous educational programs for one and all.
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