The Gardens at Science Museum Oklahoma

SMO Gardens

Escape to the SMO Gardens! Explore native plants, meet the museum's bunnies and koi fish, learn about horticulture during 'What's Growing On?' events, play yard games, and much more.

The Gardens at Science Museum Oklahoma are made up of native and Oklahoma-proven plants. You'll find a kids’ garden, herb garden, native plants garden, a Monarch Waystation, a vegetable garden and orchard, a water garden, a Japanese garden, a hobby greenhouse, lawn games, spacious picnic tables, miniature excavators, a bunny hutch that demonstrates permaculture and aquaculture, and a whole lot more!

The gardens at SMO are a typically a serene escape with picnic tables and four lawn spaces perfect for a lunch or lawn games. The gardens are often an ideal location for sensory-sensitive guests who may need a quieter, more predictable environment. The gardens can be accessed through Pavlov's Cafe or through the doors on the south central side of the Science Floor.

What's Growing On at Science Museum Oklahoma

Learn how our (and your!) garden grows! During SMO's regular What's Growing On? programs, guests will learn about gardening techniques, maintenance, and follow along as gardens and grounds staff take care of the SMO Gardens.

Events are included with general admission unless noted and take place at 11 a.m. on select Saturdays. Check out the dates and activities below:


Throughout August

Fossil Atmospheres with the Smithsonian

Join us at any What's Growing On? in August to learn how you can contribute to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's study of climate change using ginkgo trees!

In order to understand how well the features of ginkgo leaves reflect the climate they grow in, Smithsonian researchers are studying leaves from trees growing in many different climates. Ginkgos are the perfect plant for this. While their natural range is restricted to China, ginkgo trees can now be found all over the world, transported to new places by humans. Ginkgos also have a rich fossil record dating back to the Jurassic Period, meaning researchers can apply what we learn about reconstructing climates from today's ginkgos to the past hundred million years through beautifully preserved fossil leaves.

SMO has submitted a sample from our own ginkgo tree. At What's Growing On? we'll show you how to collect, preserve, and package a sample from a ginkgo in your yard or neighborhood and if you need it, provide the cardboard and newspaper necessary to mail it to the Smithsonian. Learn more >>

Aug. 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fall Vegetable Gardens

Join the SMO Gardens team to seed leaf lettuce, carrots, and radish as we talk about fall vegetable gardens.

Aug. 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tufa Pots

Join the SMO Gardens team to make a tufa pot! The lightweight, rock-like containers can be molded and shaped. Supplies are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that this project involves cement mix which includes fine powders - dust masks will be available. Adult supervision is required.

Aug. 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Summer Walking Tour

Time to get your steps in! Take a guided tour of our gardens with our horticulture experts. Come with questions about your own garden or ask questions about ours.


Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

NASA GLOBE Mission Mosquito

Citizen scientists needed! Scientists from the University of Oklahoma and Southern Nazarene University are conducting research to help fight mosquito-borne disease in Oklahoma and they need help from citizen scientists (that's you!) of all ages in the Oklahoma City metro area. At this "Mission Mosquito" What's Growing On? you'll learn about the project and how you can participate.

GLOBE Mission Mosquito is co-led by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, working in collaboration with The GLOBE Program. Learn more >>

Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fall Vegetable Planting

Check out our fall vegetable garden! The SMO Gardens team will plant the seeds they sowed in August for a fall harvest.

Sept. 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fall Container Garden Design

Follow along as the SMO Gardens team replants the three (huge!) hanging baskets from the museum's entryway. Learn the elements of a combination container and the best things to put in your own containers at home.

Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tinkerfest presented by Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR

Tinkerfest isn't just inside — it covers the entire museum and grounds! Join SMO staff and volunteers in the gardens for hands-on tinkering activities and lessons in sustainability. Learn more >>