When our family took a Route 66 trip earlier this year, one of the stops we made was at the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler, Oklahoma. This very unique Route 66 center is housed in a restored 1937 Armory and definitely worth seeing.
What to see
What makes the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler so different from other museums is that its an interactive video attraction. Instead of wandering through galleries and looking at exhibits, visitors to this museum get comfy in refurbished vintage car seats that are scattered throughout the hall to watch video clips.
It’s really a clever concept! One of the first sets of car seats we jumped into were Mustang seats from the 1960s. The short video clips that accompanied these seats were about traveling Route 66 in the 1960s and later. Once we moved to Model T seats, we were treated to a video clip about the Dust Bowl years. There was also a double mattress in the middle of the hall where visitors can recline and relive unique lodging experiences with a “virtual” hotel room.
We didn’t watch all the video clips available (and there certainly were lots of them) but did enjoy seeing how the road looked in its heyday and viewing clips about iconic roadside attractions and signs. There was also a small theater to the side where we watched “Oklahoma Rising” made for Oklahoma’s Centennial.
Along with video clips, there are a number of photographs worth seeing and a great little reading area. We also found a great selection of Oklahoma visitor’s guides specifically for Route 66 travelers.
Things to know
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors. The museum has seasonal hours which we recommend verifying before dropping in. It’s basically open from 10-5 Tuesday to Saturday year round, closed on Mondays, and closed on Sundays during the winter and spring.
On site is a nifty little gift shop and clean restrooms. There’s also plenty of parking.
As far as time planning, our family spent nearly 90 minutes here watching the various movie clips and looking at the building itself. An average time for many of the other families we saw during our visit seemed to be about an hour.
For visitors who are interested in the history of Route 66, the Route 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler, Oklahoma should be on your list of “must see” attractions. For more information about this unusual museum, check out their website at Route 66 Interpretive Center.org
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