Posted by: Tricia | August 13, 2011

For the love of bones

What does one boy’s interest in a whale skeleton + google + a super cool dad willing to make said boy’s dreams come true equal?  A trip to Oklahoma City to visit the Museum of Osteology!!!  Yes, you heard me right.  Elliott loves skeletons!  And, a few months ago after coming across this awesome place while looking at pictures of skeletons online you can imagine how excited Elliott was when David said that perhaps we could pay it a visit one day soon.

We thought taking the trip with Nonnie to Oklahoma City would be the perfect way to spend the weekend after Elliott turned 4!  We arrived in OKC, got settled into our hotel, then headed out for some fun a Chuck E. Cheese…mostly because there was little else we could find to do on a whim.  The kids had a blast!

After grabbing a bite to eat we went for a swim in the hotel pool.

Elliott showed off his swimming skills!

The next morning we were off to the bones museum!  Elliott could hardly contain his excitement!!

We entered the lobby of the museum to find this gigantic whale’s head skeleton!  (I can’t remember which type of whale)

Also, they had these bones of a beaver, coyote, and otter that were being cleaned by beetles.  Awesome!  Just like in the show, Bones!

Before going into the museum we read the rules and made sure Elliott understood them.  I love that the sign says to use “inside voices” and that “the museum is not a playground”.  Perfect language for a very excited 4 year old!

We had seen pictures online but when we opened the doors we were amazed at what we were looking at!  Even Jude said “Oooooo”.  There were skeletons everywhere!  The room was not that big there were over 300 skeletons packed into it.  Hanging from the ceiling was a humpback whale (Elliott’s favorite), a killer whale, and a manatee.  In the center of the room were some of the other larger land animal skeletons including an elephant, a giraffe, a rhinoceros, and a hippopotamus who died in the 1980s due to drought conditions in Africa.

It was so neat that they allow you to touch any of the skeletons on display.  Isn’t it interesting that elephants only have one eye socket?

And, did you know that giraffes have only 7 bones in their long necks…the same number as humans?

The way the bones were positioned was amazing!  Check out this raccoon and his box of milk duds!  Clever.

We looked at all of the bones on the bottom floor first.  Elliott had fun trying to guess the identity of the skeletons.  Some were pretty easy.

And, some, like these penguins, were more difficult.

Nonnie’s favorite was the sea lion.

I was amazed at how unique these seal teeth are.  It’s hard to tell in the picture but they are shaped like flames, designed to aid in catching fish.

Then we headed upstairs to check out more bones!  I think the view of the hanging skeletons was even better from here.

We were all surprised to see that the giraffe’s “fluffy” spot on his head is actually bones.  I always thought it was just hair.

This bat has 5 fingers on each “hand” just like us!

The snake skeletons were so cool.  I can’t imagine reconstructing these.  It would take lots of patience!

Finally we headed over to an area of the museum where you could pick up different bones.  Again, it was so neat that they allow guests to do this.  It made the experience even cooler.

This place far exceeded our expectations.  It’s only 1 year old but it’s already famous.  It was clean, the staff was welcoming, the exhibits were meticulously constructed, and we learned a lot, too.  I love that Elliott knows what he likes and that it isn’t always what you would expect a 4 year old to enjoy.  We would definitely recommend making a stop at the Museum of Osteology if you’re ever in Oklahoma City!



  1. That place looks so neat and fun! I can see why Elliott would like it! Next time we’re up that way, we’ll have to take our boys.

  2. Where do you come up with this stuff? LOL! I had no idea what osteology was let alone the fact that there is a museum dedicated to it!

  3. Elliott is so cool! (and so are his parents) Great post!

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