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:

September

11 a.m., Sept. 1

Fall Vegetable Planting

Follow along as our gardens team plants our fall vegetable garden! They'll plant the seeds sown in August for a fall harvest — lettuce, cucumber, lima beans, winter squash, carrots, radish, cabbage, and broccoli. Included with general admission.

11 a.m., Sept. 8

End-Of-Summer Garden Tour

Time to get your steps in! Take a walking tour of the gardens with our grounds team and learn all about what’s growing on! Included with general admission.  

11 a.m., Sept. 15

End-Of-Summer Garden Tour

Time to get your steps in! Take a walking tour of the gardens with our grounds team and learn all about what’s growing on! Included with general admission.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 29

Tinkerfest

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 about Tinkerfest.

October

10:30 a.m. Oct. 9 and Oct. 13

Storytime Science

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

Painting Pumpkins

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

Storytime Science

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.