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School Programs & Tours

Scheduling a Visit

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City offers many educational field trip opportunities. Ignite your students’ curiosity and enhance your classroom curriculum with one of the Museum’s interactive programs. Engage students through lively, inquiry-based conversations that challenge students to examine, explore, and share throughout the Museum.

Student Tours

Schedule a Student Tour

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.

Teacher-directed tours are welcome anytime.

Best of the West (Grades 3 – 12): The frontier was home to many indigenous tribes and settled by emigrants from across the globe. During this program students will 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.

First Peoples (Grades 2 – 6): 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 will explore how the First Peoples persevered and are working to reclaim and advance cultural continuity.

The Cowboy (Grades 3 – 6): What is a cowboy? Where did cowboy traditions come from? In this program students will 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 today as the cowboy.

Oklahoma as the West (Grades 3 – 4): 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 will 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 make comparisons to their lives today.

Animals in Western Art (Grades PK-1): Track different animals in art and explore their habitats using verbal cues, animal tracks and fur. After a 30-minute tour, children have the opportunity to explore animal tracks through art activities for an additional 20 minutes.

Teacher-Directed Museum Visits: 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.

Special Programs

Schedule a Special Program Now

Space is limited for Special Programs; reserve a spot for your class at (405) 443-3742. Space provided to eat lunch.

Encore Oklahoma Heritage Concert
February 16, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Watch Oklahoma history come to life at the National Cowboy Museum with stage performances by Rodeo Opry. This interactive program teaches Oklahoma history, music and culture with an emphasis on roads, trails and travel and the special exhibitions, Santa Fe Trail and Mother Roads. Follow up the concert with self-exploration of Museum galleries. Suitable for older elementary through high school students. Email education@nationalcowboymuseum.org or call (405) 443-3742 with questions.

Living History Performance – Bass Reeves
April 20, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Discover the life of legendary lawman Bass Reeves, one of the first Black men to be named deputy U.S. marshal in Indian Territory in this Living History presentation by actor Ernest Marsh. Explore the traits and characteristics that made Bass a hero to so many. From being born into slavery to apprehending more than 4,000 outlaws and becoming, perhaps, the greatest lawman of the wild West era. Program runs about one hour, including time for questions. Bring a sack lunch to enjoy after the presentation, then embark on self-exploration of Museum galleries. Suitable for third grade through high school students. Admission may be free for students and chaperones (one per seven students). Ask about a bus travel reimbursement. Preregistration is required by April 15. For registration, call (405) 443-3742.

Somos Americanos. We Are All Americans.
Encore Viewing Available

If you were unable to join us on September 21 for Todos Somos Americanos, We Are All Americans, a recording of the performance is now available. Join in a celebration of the rich and varied cultures of North, South and Central America. Enjoy musical performances and dance from local cultural groups representing countries of origin from all over the Americas. Discover the vast diversity of the American West. And no matter where you’re from, there’s a good chance your ancestry is part of that diversity. Suitable for Grades K – 12. For registration, call (405) 443-3742.

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 a 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.

Online – Schedule a Student Tour  or Special Program Now

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 even students is admitted complimentary.

The Museum may be able to offset the expense of bus transportation too. A limited number of bus 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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Education Sponsor:


The Museum’s 2021 – 2022 school programs are made possible, in part, through
support from Allied Arts, Arvest Bank, BNSF Railway Foundation, Kerr Foundation and
Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation.

Adventure District
Adventure Road
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