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Stillwater is an Oklahoma town for all ages

WONDERtorium is a new children's museum in Stillwater
BY SANDY PANTLIK, For The Oklahoman Published: June 2, 2012

Whether it is world-acclaimed cheese fries and T-shirts from a “jumpin' little juke joint,” a lively college strip that served as the launchpad to superstardom for Garth Brooks, or the 1832 campsite for famed American writer Washington Irving, as he explored what is now the central swath of the United States, the city of Stillwater seems to have a knack for creating legends.

If you usually reserve road trips to Stillwater to attend an Oklahoma State University sporting event or get a regular fix from tried and true establishments like Hideaway Pizza or Eskimo Joes, keep it up. However you might want to save at least one getaway to check out this central Oklahoma community's list of growing attractions and events.

Newest to the Stillwater scene is Oklahoma WONDERtorium, a hands-on children's museum full of plenty of opportunities for “investigative play,” as described by the facility's executive director Ruth Cavins.

The museum opened in October 2011 and is already in the throes of fundraising for an even larger facility. Attendance at WONDERtorium to date has been almost double of what was expected, speaking to the museum's quality and commitment “to inspire curiosity to learn through play … for a lifetime.”

WONDERtorium was the brainchild of a group of Stillwater moms who visited the country's most popular children's museums and brought the best of the best back to their hometown. Their inspiration comes to life in WONDERtorium where kiddos can climb on, touch and crawl through 14 colorful exhibits built for discovery and fun.

A favorite for the 12-and-under set during my visit was “My Medical Center,” complete with an operating room (plastic patient with removable organs included) and a newborn nursery. Other exhibits include a general store, barn, waterworks station, tree house, arts center and Japanese-themed area in honor of Stillwater's sister city, Kameoka. A quieter, less rambunctious corner is set aside for the youngest visitors.

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