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10/9/2013 8:52:00 PM
WONDERtorium celebrates two years
The human body where children can play at being doctor and nurse is one of the WONDERtorium’s most popular exhbits. Photo provided
The human body where children can play at being doctor and nurse is one of the WONDERtorium’s most popular exhbits. Photo provided

The Oklahoma WONDERtorium, a Stillwater-based children's museum serving north central Oklahoma will celebrate its second successful year of operation throughout the month of October.

The museum officially opened on October 15, 2011, but the staff considers the whole month of October a chance to celebrate. The month kicks off on Friday, October 4th with "WONDER Jam," an afterhours musical event for the whole family. An instrument petting zoo, interactive song singing, instrument making, giant keyboard and drum circle finale are included in the festivities from 6 to 8 p.m.

Local Stillwater business, Kicker, is sponsoring "WONDER Jam." Tuesday, October 15th through Friday, October 18th offers a number of family-friendly programs and events including "Tricked-Out Trucks" all week long! Fire trucks, trash trucks, construction equipment and even an ice cream truck will be on-site for children and grown-ups to explore.

Near Halloween on Friday, October 25th the WONDERtorium presents "Frankenstein Friday" - a FREE members-only event. Members are encouraged to come in their Halloween costumes and experience a night of activities and exhibits including flesh-eating beetles, deformed frogs, a costume contest and much more.

Along with all the entertainment opportunities, the museum's calendar is packed with educational events and activities throughout autumn. Regular programs include Tot Time & Story Time, Science Tuesday and Developmental Screenings on Tuesdays, Homeschool Day (open to homeschoolers and the public) on the fourth Wednesday of October and November, and a number of afterschool classes and clubs including Plaster Master, ASTEK-Architecture Students Teaching Elementary Kids, and Safe Sitter Training to name a few.

"Our staff is so excited about our success and the enthusiasm from our members and guests that they've packed the month of October with activities and events that will appeal to all ages," commented Ruth Cavins, Executive Director.

"Most of the schedule is free to members or with admission to the museum - in this way, it's a giant celebration and thank you from us to the families of north-central Oklahoma."

A look back at two years After almost a year of intense fundraising beginning in 2010, designing and fabricating exhibits, and facility renovation, the museum opened its 10,000 square foot facility at 308 West Franklin Lane, Stillwater, in fall 2011.

The WONDERtorium includes 14- plus interactive, hands-on exhibits for children from 0 to 12 years of age and their grownups, multipurpose rooms for parties and meetings, a gift shop and offices.

The museum's exhibits include a multiroom medical office where children can see inside a replica of the human body and take its plastic organs apart, a Forest Playground with a climbing wall and double slide, a barnyard area complete with collectable eggs and "milkable" cow plus additional hands-on exhibits and activity areas that rotate on a monthly basis.

Initial projections for attendance at the WONDERtorium were 13,500 visitors per year, yet today, the museum has welcomed over 92,000 visitors - tripling the yearly estimate. Additionally, the Oklahoma WONDERtorium has been recognized by the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce as "Not for Profi t Business of the Year" in 2012, awarded the prestigious 2013 "Redbud Award" by the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association as "Outstanding New Attraction," and honored as "Outstanding New Attraction of 2013" by Frontier Country Marketing Association.

The WONDERtorium is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Monday. Admission is $7 per person for nonmembers.

Information on membership can be found on the museum's website and at the museum's front desk.

The WONDERtorium is located at 308 W. Franklin, Stillwater - just north of the Stillwater High School football stadium. For specific information on all the October activities, visit the museum's website at www.okwondertorium.org/ calendar or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ okwondertorium or call the museum offices at (405)533-3333.

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