If you want to learn about Oklahoma’s role in American military history, then head down to the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City!
In our effort to highlight all of the best museums in Oklahoma, we spoke with Michael Gonzales, the Curator of the 45th Infantry Division Museum, to share what makes this museum special, why you should visit, and what you need to know before you go.
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Everything You Need to Know to Plan Your Visit to the 45th Infantry Division Museum
Here’s what you need to know before you visit!
Where is the museum located?
The museum’s address is 2145 NE 36th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73111.
What topics does the museum cover?
Military History of the state of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma’s Citizen Soldiers.
What is your museum’s claim to fame?
We are the largest military history museum in Oklahoma, and one of the largest state operated military history museums in the nation.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?
We possess the largest collection of Bill Mauldin’s original WWII Willie and Joe cartoons in the world.
The Reave’s US military firearms collection is the third-largest in the world, superseded only by the West Point Museum and the Smithsonian’s collection (The Smithsonian’s collection is not on exhibit).
We have the largest collection of artifacts once the personal property of Adolf Hitler, on public display anywhere in the world (there are larger collections but they are in private hand and so not on public exhibition).
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
We annually hold two special events, our Veterans day and Memorial Day ceremonies.
Soon to open will be a special exhibit, “Treasures in the Collection” wherein we will highlight those artifacts seldom seen by the public.
Are there guided tours available? What topics do they cover, how does someone sign up, and what languages are they held in?
Guided tours are not something we regularly do. However, special considerations are possible. Tours are offered in English only. Please call and set an appointment.
How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?
Depending on your level of interest you can spend anywhere from one to four hours in our galleries and another hour and a half in the Military park that surrounds the museum.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?
Bring a strong desire to learn. No animals, please. Backpacks, brief cases and other packages should be left in your car. No firearms are allowed.
Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?
Yes. Without flash.
How can one purchase tickets and how much do they cost? Can guests use credit cards?
The Museum is entirely FREE. The museum store accepts cash, visa, master card, dinners club, American express, and eBay credit and debit cards.
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum? What is there for kids to do?
Children must be under positive parental control at all times. Touching or climbing on the exhibits, indoors and, out is strictly forbidden.
Our exhibit on the liberation of the Concentration Camp at Dachau contains some very graphic photographs, parents of small children should avoid this gallery.
There are no special areas for small children.
Is the museum accessible?
We are in compliance with the ADA.
The Museum is not on a military installation, so no special ID is required.
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
Our hats and T shirts have proven very popular. Personally, I find our wide selection of books very impressive.
We also offer several toys for our younger visitors.
What’s the tastiest thing for sale in the cafe or snack stand?
Eating in the museum is forbidden.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
Tues through Fri, 9:00 am to 4:15 pm. Sat, 10:00 am to 4:15. Sun, 1:00 pm to 4:15 pm.
The Military Park is closed not later than 5:00 pm.
~We are closed on Mon.~
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance.
Children under the age of twelve must be accompanied one adult to every four children. Between the ages of twelve to seventeen, one adult for every six.
The adult supervisor must remain with their group at all times while visiting the museum.
What else should a visitor know before visiting?
No food, drink, back packs, large bags, or briefcases are allowed in the museum.
No weapons are allowed in the museum, this includes knives. The use of tobacco products, of any kind, is prohibited inside or outside of the museum facility.
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Stephanie is a born-and-bred Oklahoma mom and travel expert who has been to over fifty countries. After living in Eastern Europe for four years, she has moved with her family back to Oklahoma to write about her favorite places growing up: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, & Route 66!