National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Children’s Museum

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Conceptual Planning

National Cowboy And Western Heritage MuseumHands On! is riding into the world of hands-on history at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Formerly the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, NCWHM chose Hands On! to rethink the way it introduces children and families to the history of the American West.

Hands On! has been working with staff and board members from the museum to create a concept plan for a new 4,200 square foot Children's Museum at NCWHM. Our plan centers around two dramatic, highly accessible themes—Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and the Oklahoma Land Run. Each theme is rich with opportunities for hands-on exploration, from building a buckboard to playing the role of the famed Annie Oakley in a game of marksmanship. Role-playing abounds throughout the gallery, with children taking on the roles of campfire storytellers, buckaroos and Native American dancers. A stage invites Wild West performances, while the "Try Your Luck" game underscores just how tough it was to stake a claim in the territories. Amazing images, film, lighting and audio treatments will immerse young and old visitors in a uniquely interactive experience that captures the energy and imagination of this fabled period of American history.


"With high levels of energy, enthusiasm and excitement, the Hands On! team has partnered with the Annie Oakley Society to help reinvigorate the Children's Museum at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. From our lively and fun 'visioning' sessions to the actual tweaking of the proposed projects, their input, guidance, knowledge and creative outside the box thinking has jumpstarted our plans to ignite the imaginations of children in the Western tradition. Together we are turning dreams into reality and the Children's Museum will reflect that!"

Cathy Keating
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Board Member
and Chair of The Annie Oakley Society
First Lady of Oklahoma 1995-2003


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