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The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City offers a range of educational field trip opportunities. Spark your students’ interest and augment your teaching plans with the Museum’s dynamic programs. Involve your students in engaging, discussion-driven tours that encourage them to observe, investigate, and explore the Museum’s galleries.

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Docent facilitated tours for students are offered Monday through Friday. The following guided programs are available. Each experience is designed to last 60 minutes unless noted otherwise.

Animals in Western Art
Grades PK – 1

Animals in Western Art

Introduce young learners to the world of animals through the fascinating lens of Western art. Students engage in a series of activities using verbal clues, tracks and fur to identify different animals and explore their depictions in art

Tour Outline

First Peoples
Grades 2-6

First Peoples

Before it was “West,” this land was the ancestral home of many indigenous communities. Their culture is reflected in how they live and the types of dwellings they inhabit. The migration of European immigrants brought about the loss of land and lifeways, but introduced trade and new materials that were utilized in everyday life. This tour explores how the First Peoples persevered and are working to reclaim and advance cultural continuity.

Tour Outline

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Oklahoma as the West
Grades 3-4

Oklahoma as the West

The frontier was settled by rugged, versatile pioneers from around the world. They moved into the new frontier for many reasons and Oklahoma was no exception. Students compare and contrast life in the state for its Native American population and turn-of-the-century settlers, analyze the role of the military including the Buffalo Soldier, explore life in a recreated turn-of-the-century frontier town and how it relates to their lives today.

Tour Outline

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The Cowboy
Grades 3-6

The Cowboy

What is a cowboy? Where did cowboy traditions come from? In this program students learn about the origins of the cowboy and what their daily lives looked like. Explore common myths popular culture has taught us and discover the rich diversity that makes up what we know as the cowboy today.

Tour Outline

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Best of the West
Grades 3-8

Best of the West

The frontier was home to many indigenous tribes and settled by emigrants from across the globe. During this program students compare and contrast Native American and non-Indian lifestyles, explore the legend of the American cowboy, analyze and interpret premier Western art using visual thinking strategy inquiry and identify how artifacts and artwork help communicate the story of the West today.

Tour Outline

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Signature Tour
Grades 9-12

Signature Tour

From Albert Bierstadt’s glowing landscape Emigrants Crossing the Plains to pieces by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, see some of the finest Western art in the country. View ethnographic material from Native Americans and mountain men and learn about frontier military life. Round out the tour with a look at the evolution of the working cowboy, from the range to their portrayal in film and pop culture. Walk away with a better understanding of the diverse cultures that have shaped the West.

Self-Guided Tours
All Grades

Self-Guided Tours

Teacher-directed tours are welcome anytime. Think about the Museum as an extension of your classroom. Create your own lessons, scavenger hunts, and self-guided field experiences or utilize one of the Museum’s inquiry-based gallery guides to explore. When you schedule your visit, staff can provide suggestions.

Space is limited for Special Programs; reserve a spot for your class at (405) 478-2250. Space provided to eat lunch.

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Group Size and Chaperone Requirements

A minimum of 15 students is required for all group visits. The group leader is responsible for the entire amount due at the time of check-in and group members may not pay individually. Large parties paying individually do not qualify for discounted group pricing. Payment may be made with cash, check, credit card, or purchase order. Coupons or discounts cannot be used with the group rate. One chaperone for every seven students is admitted free of charge. Additional adults over and above this ratio will be charged admission.

Admission Rates
Grades tax exempt taxable
Pre-K to 6th $3.50 $3.75
7th to 12th $4.50 $4.75
Additional Adults $10.00 $10.75
Free or Reduced Admission and Bus Transportation Stipends for School Groups

Often schools pass on the cost of field trip admission to students. With 62% of Oklahoma students receiving free or reduced lunches, admission cost can be a large hurdle. The Museum may be able to provide free or reduced admission for Oklahoma schoolchildren in grades K – 12, including public, private, charter, or home school groups. One chaperone for every seven students is admitted complimentary.

The Museum may be able to offset the expense of bus transportation too. A limited number of bus vouchers are available.

Preference will be for teacher workshop participants and those schools with 50% students on free or reduced lunches.

Contact us at (405) 443-3742 about free or reduced admission and bus stipends to offset transportation expenses for your students.

Lunch Facilities

The Museum’s Annie Oakley Society Event Center is available for school lunches. Reservations are required. Groups without a reservation are not guaranteed a space to eat. All food or drink must be provided by the group.

The Museum Grill can prepare lunch for your group (assorted sandwich trays); to make arrangements, call the Museum’s Visitor Services Manager at (405) 443-3742. The Museum Grill is open Monday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

How to Schedule your Visit

Book now! Reservations are required for all group tours and are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. To receive reduced or free admission you must schedule your visit in advance with the Museum. Admission fees, if applicable, are payable on the day of your visit.

  • Phone – Call the Museum, Monday – Friday at (405) 443-3742, three weeks in advance of your desired date and time.
Museum Etiquette Rules/Chaperone Responsibilities

We strive to provide a valuable, educational and fun experience at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. In order to do so, we ask teachers to share the following museum etiquette with students and chaperones prior to their visit. Upon arrival, a staff member or volunteer will greet the group to review the rules. Teachers and chaperones in the group are responsible for following and upholding these guidelines.

  • Backpacks, purses and other parcels larger than 15″ x 10″ x 9″ will not be allowed in the galleries. These items will need to be left on the bus or at the Visitor Services Desk.
  • Be respectful of other museum visitors
  • Use your inside voice
  • Do not run to protect yourself and our collections
  • Stay with your assigned group
  • Follow the photography signs posted in each gallery space
  • Do not eat or drink in the galleries to help us keep out pests
  • Leave your backpack at Visitors Services or with the lunches
  • Do not touch art and artifacts to help us preserve them
  • Enjoy the gardens, but remember to leave the flowers and foliage for other visitors
  • Remember to ask questions, explore, and have fun!
  • Turn off, silence or refrain from using cell phones during tours.

Students gain more from their visit when adequately supervised. To ensure the safety of the group, as well as other Museum visitors, we require that teachers and chaperones be with students at all times. Students left unsupervised will be brought to the front entrance by a Security Officer and asked to wait until their adult leader returns. Please be aware that unruly groups will be asked to leave the Museum and no refunds will be given.

Canceling your Visit

If you must cancel a tour, please leave a voice-mail message with the at (405) 443-3742,  48 hours before of your scheduled visit. A cancellation fee of $30 will be billed to the business office of those groups failing to make a cancellation. (This does not apply to weather related cancellations.)

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