Philbrook. Its name is as rooted in Tulsa’s history as the oil and gas industry of the Roaring ’20s. The museum and gardens are an art-lover’s delight, but there is so much more to Philbrook than what many Tulsans realize. Yes, meandering the halls of the former-mansion-now-museum and beholding paintings like William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s “The Sherperdess” is surreal. And strolling through the lush gardens is the closest thing to Versailles you can find in Oklahoma.
But Philbrook has a vast array of ongoing events and opportunities for everyone, beyond the typical “looking at art and walking through the gardens.” So I’ve come up with a few ideas and event suggestions that may spark your interest. Enjoy!
8 Things To Do at Philbrook:
8) Study. OK, maybe I’m weird, but Philbrook was my favorite study spot in college! And Philbrook offers not just a student discount, but free admission for most university students from local colleges. Find your favorite painting or a bench under a tree in the gardens, and you can be flexing your cranium for hours in one of the loveliest atmospheres in Tulsa!
7) Exercise. Yoga, pilates, walking, Tai Chi. What more beautiful, relaxing place to get in touch with your “inner self” than the Philbrook Gardens? Some of the events are members only, so be sure to check out the calendar for details.
6) See a movie. My VERY favorite thing to do in Tulsa all summer long is to see a Movie on the Lawn at Philbrook. Last summer, my husband and I saw “Paris When It Sizzles” starring Audrey Hepburn in the middle of July. The movie was not the only thing sizzling in the middle of July…so was the audience in the 90+ degree heat, even though the movie didn’t start until after 9 p.m.! But it was well worth it. Plus, guests are welcomed to bring coolers, blankets, and lawn chairs. Philbrook also offers wine for purchase. For the rest of the 2012 summer season, Philbrook has 2 more movies remaining: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” on July 20 and “Shakespeare in Love” on July 27.
5) Get Shakespearean. The only thing potentially better than seeing a movie in the atmosphere of the lush Philbrook gardens is seeing a play. And not just any play; mind you — Shakespeare! Philbrook features a few “Shakespeare on the Lawn” nights each summer. The 2012 season will feature “A Comedy of Errors” on August 3-4 and 10-11.
4) Make a family day of it. For free. The second Saturday of every month, Philbrook offers free admission to everyone. Yes, everyone. Astronauts, animal trainers, air balloonists, and even Average Joes. The museum even offers free family-friendly art activities, tours and scavenger hunts for kids of all ages.
3) Eat. La Villa Restaurant, located inside the museum, offers fine dining withan elegant ambiance. An organic herb garden located in the Secret Garden supplies herbs for the preparation of entrees. La Villa’s $22 Sunday brunch buffet is a steal, featuring a carving station, salads, cheeses, fruits, deserts and seafood.
2) Be an artist. The museum offers classes for both adults and children, everything from life drawing to homeschool art classes for Philbrook members.
1) Volunteer. If you love the culture and art Philbrook offers Tulsa, why not give back by volunteering your time. A number of volunteer opportunities are available year-round. Plus, it’s pretty cool to be able to say you’re a museum docent in your free time.
Philbrook is a real treasure to Tulsa, and hopefully you will find some time in the near future to explore the museum and gardens in a new and fun fashion!