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.
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:
10:30 a.m. Oct. 9 and Oct. 13
During this special Storytime Science we’ll read “Fly, Monarch! Fly!” by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. On Oct. 9, we’ll learn a special song with Okies for Monarchs. Weather permitting, this Storytime Science will be held in the SMO Gardens. In the event of inclement weather, please ask a staff member for the location of Storytime Science.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 13
Paint pumpkins in the SMO Gardens! Pumpkins are available while supplies last and are included with general admission. One pumpkin per person, please. This activity uses acrylic paint which will stain clothes — watch where you put that brush, or wear clothes that can get messy!
11 a.m., Oct. 20
Bulb Planting and Monarch Butterfly Education
- If you want tulips in the spring, fall is the time to plant! Join the SMO gardens team to learn the ins and outs of where and how to plant bulbs for spring color.
- What do North America’s monarch butterflies do in the winter? Learn about the overwintering habits of monarchs, how you can help in their wintertime migration, plus contribute to “Follow the Monarchs,” an art installation coming to SMO’s GadgetTrees exhibit in November!
11 a.m., Oct. 27
Hanging Baskets and Monarch Butterfly Project
- Follow along as the 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.
- “Follow the Monarchs” is coming to the GadgetTrees exhibit in November – personalize a butterfly to leave your mark on our monarchs!
10:30 a.m. Oct. 30
During this special Storytime Science we’ll read “Gotta go! Gotta go!” by Sam Swope and learn about the North American monarch migration. Weather permitting, this Storytime Science will be held in the SMO Gardens. In the event of inclement weather, please ask a staff member for the location of Storytime Science.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3
"Follow the Monarchs" Grand Opening
Join SMO as we debut an installation of 1,000 paper monarch butterflies on the Champion Tree in GadgetTrees as part of "Follow the Monarchs," coordinated by The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma and local artist Christie Hackler. Events will include special hands-on activities, monarch butterfly education, and more!
11 a.m. Nov. 10
Join the SMO Gardens team to learn proper pruning techniques as well as the tools required for pruning.
10:30 a.m. Nov. 13 and Nov. 17
Storytime Science: "Monarch Butterfly" by Gail Gibbons
Join us for a special gardens-themed Storytime Science! We'll read "Monarch Butterfly" by Gail Gibbons on the mezzanine (second floor) near GadgetTrees and the monarch butterfly installation.
11 a.m. Nov. 17
Decorate your Thanksgiving table! Make a turkey using pinecones and a variety of craft items.