100 Things to Do in Rogers #2: Daisy Airgun Museum

A Christmas StoryI have to confess that before I visited the Daisy Airgun Museum, the only thing I really knew about BB guns was what I learned from "A Christmas Story," one of my favorite holiday movies. Little Raphie wanted nothing more than an official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred-shot range model air rifle. Unfortunately everyone, including Santa, told him, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid". Now that my boys have been introduced to the classic Red Ryder, I have a feeling it will show up on a wishlist soon... which leads me to your next assignment for the 100 Things to Do in Rogers series: #2 visit Daisy Airgun Museum in downtown Rogers. As I mentioned in assignment #1, I like history, so you'll probably get quite of bit of it here on the blog. Isn't history fun?!?

Little Bit of History...Daisy Airgun Museum

Rogers has been home to Daisy and its historic airguns since 1958 when the company relocated its corporate offices to northwest Arkansas. The company is celebrating its 131st anniversary this year so you can imagine the evolution of airguns over that length of time! I think it's fitting the museum resides in the brick-paved historic sector of downtown Rogers in a building that dates back to 1896. So while you are perusing the impressive collection of antique airguns, some of which date back to the 1600s, be sure to enjoy the atmosphere and architecture surrounding you in the museum.

Inside the Daisy Airgun MuseumAirguns, Airguns & Other Fun Stuff

When you step inside the museum, you step into a antique-filled maze of airguns, packaging, advertising and other memorabilia. The airguns are chronologically presented to visitors, defining periods in Daisy history as you travel through the museum. You don't have to be a Daisy collector or airgun enthusiast to appreciate the museum. While my husband, whose first gun was a Red Ryder, was more interested in the transformation of the airgun, I spent most of my time enjoying the progression of Daisy advertising over the years, and realized my favorite decades were the 1950s and 1960s. You'll probably find your favorite, too.

As we made our way through the maze, we found ourselves in the midst of the 1980s, which is when "A Christmas Story" was released. To my amusement and delight, and apparently my 3-year-old's as well, was a display about the movie and the Red Ryder's starring role as the must-have Christmas present of one Ralph "Ralphie" Leg Lamp!Parker. The leg lamp was clearly a hit, as was the display with everyone!

Before leaving, be sure to browse the museum gift shop where you can find some fun keepsakes. You can fill special commemorative tin cans with BBs or even buy your own Red Ryder. My boys really wanted to take home their own Red Ryder, but that will have to wait a few more years. They didn't leave empty handed though. As a token of their first trip to Daisy, they each took home their own collector's medallion. Daisy designs a new one each year, so they thought that was pretty cool!

Museum Information  

You can visit the museum Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 202 W. Walnut St. in Rogers. The museum charges $2 per person, which includes an audio tour. Kids 17 and under are free! Visit the Daisy Airgun Museum website or give them a call at 479.986.6873 for more information.

Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match

Daisy Nationals One more thing...the Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match is held in Rogers each summer. Each year bout 45 coaches bring 7-member, 4-position, 5-meter BB gun teams (5 shooters and 2 alternates) to the Daisy Nationals. Kids competing for this honor are between 8 and 14 years old. The public is invited to attend and cheer on the participants, so mark your calendars to visit Rogers around Independence Day every year. You can learn more about the match and where and when to attend by visiting the official website.

Jenn