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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spooktacular Schmoozing

Do you like your Halloween happenings to have no tricks, only treats? Then head on over to the State Fair Park’s Travel and Transportation Building for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s SchmoozaPalooza Trade Show on Thursday, Oct. 30, from 4-7 p.m.

A $10 admission, which includes a drink ticket, will give you a preview of the latest products and services (which means free stuff!) from Chamber member exhibitors while enjoying live music, networking activities, food tastings from more than 20 restaurants and caterers and door prizes. So put on your Halloween best and bring your friends.

Text “GHOST” to 71441 to win prizes and to be added to the Schmooza VIP list, or purchase tickets and see a video from last year’s event at www.okcchamber.com/schmooza.

food, live music, networking, business
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Not-So-Spooky Celebrations

Let’s face it, not everyone wants the socks scared off of them this Halloween. For our squeamish friends, how about sipping apple cider while enjoying an old-fashioned hayride, making some new furry friends at one of the many petting zoos or picking out that perfect pumpkin at a pumpkin patch as a way of celebration? We're certain you can find plenty of fall-ish fun, but here are a few suggestions from our team of experts:

TG Farms – petting zoo, pumpkin picking, hayrides, hay maze, naturally grown fruits and vegetables available for purchase, pony rides.
Newcastle location – Interstate 44 south to exit 108. Continue 1 mile and TG Farms will be on the south side of the road. Hours: 9 a.m. – dark, Monday-Sunday.
Norman location – I-35 South to Exit 106, State Highway 9 west for 1.5 miles. Call 405-387-9222 for hours.
Admission: $8+tax, walking age and above, Monday through Friday during school hours; $10+tax after school hours and weekends

Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch – corn maze, pony rides, petting zoo, hay rides, fun fort, picnic areas, fun games, pumpkin picking.
Located at 720 Henney Road in Arcadia
Open Thursday, 1 p.m.- 6 p.m., Friday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m.
Admission price: $8 per person

Orr Family Farm – corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides
Located at 14400 S Western in Oklahoma City
Open Oct. 1-31, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. -9 p.m., Sunday, 1-6 p.m.; Nov. 1, 8 & 15, 10a.m. -6 p.m.
Admission: Farm Pass $10 (Monday – Thursday), $12.50 (Friday – Saturday); Farm Pass Plus $15 (Monday – Thursday), $17.50 (Friday – Saturday); Hayride, Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze only, $10 per person

kids, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Scary Skirvin Stories

Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel, beloved by all, is also the heart of one of Oklahoma City’s most controversial ghost stories. Frequenters of the Skirvin, from professional athletes to hotel staff, claim to have experienced inexplicable cries and unexplainable activity while being in the hotel. But is the ghost story fact or fiction? Read on for more about the ghostly legend and decide for yourself.

The Skirvin first opened in 1911 under the ownership of its namesake, William Balser Skirvin, and soon became the Oklahoma City hotspot of business and political life. Legend has it that a hotel maid named Effie became pregnant after an affair with the widowed Skirvin. To protect his reputation, Skirvin locked the maid on the 10th floor of the hotel and forced her to remain there, even after she successfully delivered her baby. Driven mad by the isolation and unable to escape her prison, Effie is said to have thrown herself from her room’s window, holding her infant child in her arms as they plummeted to their deaths.

This story, whether it is just a legend or otherwise, was largely forgotten until recent years. In 2010, after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, the Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry of the New York Knicks told the Daily News that they partially blamed their loss on a rather restless night at the Skirvin. Weeks later, Chicago’s Taj Gibson claimed that his bathroom door mysteriously slammed shut in the middle of the night. Later in 2013, a player on the Phoenix Suns team said he awoke to find his bathroom door closed and the tub inexplicably filled with water. Even sports writers have been the victims of Effie’s pranks, with ESPN’s Bill Simmons hearing a crying baby near the window of his room.

As long as Effie haunts the opponents of the Thunder, it can’t be that bad, right? As the New York Times puts it, Effie is the Thunder’s apparitional sixth man. There’s only one problem with this theory: there is no record anywhere of a maid named Effie working for the Skirvin, and no recorded suicide of a woman from the Skirvin’s rooms. Even the accounts of her supposed death have shifted over the years, with different accounts of room numbers, hotel floors and even differing names of the maid being circulated. So is this ghostly tale true or not? Let us know in the comments.

oklahoma city history, history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 28 - November 3, 2014

Tuesday, October 28
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Brick-or-Treat; 4 to 7 p.m.; Bricktown, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Event is free.

Wednesday, October 29
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd St.; 602-6664; Ticket prices vary

Thursday, October 30
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
SchmoozaPalooza; 4 to 7 p.m.; State Fair Park, Travel & Transportation Building; $10 admission (includes a drink).

Friday, October 31
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Carne Diem; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Street in front of VI Marketing and Branding, 125 Park Ave.; $10 per person.
Trick-or-Treat Our Streets; 4 to 7 p.m.; The Outlet Shoppes, 7624 W. Reno; 787-3700; This event is free.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Free.

Saturday, November 1
Pumpkin Harvest Craft Festival; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Dr.; 350-8937; Admission is free.
National Weather Festival; 10 a.m.; National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd.
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Iowa Wild vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, November 2
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; 2 p.m.; Reduxion Theatre Company, 1613 N. Broadway; 651-3191; Ticket prices vary.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; 2 and 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
Iowa Wild vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 4 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, November 3
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.
Huun Huur Tu: Tuvan Throat Singers; 2:30 p.m.; Midwest City Library, 8143 E Reno; 732-4828; Event is free.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Need to Be a Halloweenie

Don’t be scared, costumed compatriots—the Halloween parade is back! Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. marks the return of downtown’s observance of All Hallow’s Eve festivities. But this year, the Oklahoma City Halloween Parade & Costume Party will stay on the straight and narrow right down Broadway, starting at N 13th  Street and ending at N 4th Street. 

Without any of those pesky turns to worry about, organizers have set the viewing stand at N 8th Street and Broadway Avenue, and have also added an after-parade-party with local favorites My So-Called Band playing only the best ‘90s hits (tickets to the “Zombie Ball” after-party are $10, but parade viewing is free). Another thing that is different about this year’s parade is that it’s modeled after the New York City event that supports the arts community, and will have parade MCs! Yep, it’s Hammer Time, parade people. Hey, speaking of the ‘90s and costumes, anybody got any of those parachute pants? Those things are too legit to quit…

More info: http://www.okchalloweenparade.com/

live music, nightlife, parade, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Halloween History

What a weird holiday, eh? Dress up, go door-to-door, demand candy under threat of some sort of vandalism, go to next house, repeat. Sounds a little like extortion to us. We here at TBL HQ decided we’d do some research on this wild and weird tradition.

What we found out is you’d better put down that devil costume! It turns out Halloween, or as you may have seen it spelled, “Hallowe’en,” has its roots in a religious observance known as “All Hallows’ Eve” or “Allhalloween.” What does this mean? Basically, “All Hallows Eve” means “The Evening Before All Hallows’ Day,” or, in other words, “The Evening Before All Saints’ Day.” All Saints’ Day is celebrated in many churches in the west on Nov. 1 in honor of all the unknown and known saints in heaven (Shakespeare and others have used the term “Hallowmas” to describe All Saints’ Day / All Hallows’ Day). Oct. 31 is the day before All Hallows’ Day, hence, Hallowe’en or Halloween.

But what about the trick-or-treating? In England and Ireland, (possibly going as far back as the Middle Ages), a tradition developed on the day before All Saints’ Day wherein children and the poor would go door-to-door asking for “soul cakes,” small cakes filled with appropriately-timed fall spices and nuts and topped with a cross, all while singing and saying prayers for the dead, an activity known as “souling.” In Scotland and Ireland, this practice morphed into “guising,” where kids in costumes or “disguises” went around asking for fruit, cakes and coins. “Guising” made its way to North America by the early 20th century (the first recorded mention was 1911 in a Canadian newspaper), and before you know it, we’re over here trick-or-treating until our feet give out. So, go easy on the house that didn’t have any candy for you. Maybe they’re just at church!

history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Ghouls, Goblins, Ghosts and Fun

Halloween falls on a Friday this year so things are bound to get spooky and maybe a little wild. While there are a ton of great neighborhoods for your classic door-to-door trick or treating, we’ve compiled a list of some family-friendly haunts to enjoy. Of course we can’t list everything. If you know about a cool Halloween event, list it in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

  • Haunt the Zoo: Haunt the Zoo turns 31 this year so you know it must be doing something right. Running from Oct. 26-31 at the Oklahoma City Zoo, this annual tradition features candy, mascots and a Halloween trail through the Zoo. Tickets are $7 at the door and $6 in advance.
  • Halloween Train: Tour the Oklahoma Railway Museum and take a spooky train ride. Admission varies depending on age but children under 3 are free.
  • Haunt the Harn: A little something for everyone: trick-or-treating (mostly treats we are told), marshmallow roasting, hayrides, pumpkin bowling and much more. Children are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Up to two adults may accompany a child for free. This year’s Haunt the Harn will be Oct. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Museum of Osteology Halloween Bash: There simply isn’t a more perfect place to celebrate Halloween than a place dedicated the study of bones. This takes place on Halloween from 6 to 9 p.m. Plenty of candy and hands-on activities (in a bone museum that takes on a whole new meaning) for just $3.50 per person.
  • Haunt Old Town Moore: On Oct. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. (do we really need to say p.m.? Are any of you celebrating Halloween at 4 a.m.? Never mind don’t answer that.) the streets will be shut down for family-friendly fun. Everything you could ask for in one place: face painting, exotic animals, food trucks, live music and even clowns (hopefully not the scary kind).
family-friendly, kids, museums, zoo, adventure district
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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App Attack

We know, we know. Your current phone is filled with apps you download and then never use. The slogan “There is an app for that” is now literal. However, we want to introduce you to a couple new apps that we think you’ll love (and hopefully use).

The first is OKC GOV. While a city government app usually doesn’t sound overly thrilling, this one is. By downloading this app you can create positive change in our community. The app is actually pretty simple. You can upload pictures and descriptions to report code violations such as graffiti, potholes, weeds and illegal parking. You don’t even have to know where you are (although we do recommend general whereabouts awareness) as the global positioning in your phone will report the location of the code violation.

The app also connects you to general city information such as pet adoption, bus schedules, ward maps and more.

The only thing more plentiful than apps on your phone is food trucks. We aren’t complaining mind you; there are some great meals to be had out of trucks in OKC. The problem is the food truck scene in the metro has grown so quickly in such a short time in can be daunting to keep track of your favorite food truck and what is near. That is where the app truckitokc comes into play.

Like most apps the idea and interface are simple. Just open the app and it will tell you what food trucks are near you and how long they will be there. You can also pull up a menu and even tweet the truck through the app.

government, nightlife, oklahoma city, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 21- October 27, 2014

Tuesday, October 21
Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd St.; 602-6664; Ticket prices vary
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, October 22
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
An Inspector Calls; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre, 1727 NW 16th; 524-9313; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, October 23
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Haunt the Haurn; 6 p.m.; Harn Homestead, 1721 N. Lincoln; 235-4058; $3 in advance and $5 at the door.
Walking with Dinosaurs; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Strange and Scary Oklahoma; 7 p.m.; Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker; 631-4468; Admission is free.

Friday, October 24
Pumpkin Carving at the Zoo; 9 a.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington; 424-3344; Regular Zoo admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Haunt the River; 5 to 10 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; Prices vary.
Walking with Dinosaurs; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Texas Stars vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, October 25
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Walking with Dinosaurs; 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m..; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Spooksville; 1:30 p.m.; Yukon Community Center, 2200 S. Holly; 354-8442; Admission is $3 per person.
Zombie Ball; 4 p.m.; Automobile Alley, 8th St. and N Broadway; $10 for general admission.
Haunt Old Town; 4 p.m.; Old Town Moore, NE 3rd St.
Oklahoma City Halloween Parade and Costume Party; 7 p.m.; Automobile Alley; Free to attend.
A Salute to Sgt. Pepper; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, October 26
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Gatewood Home and Garden Tour; Noon; Gatewood Neighborhood; Tickets are $10 in advance.
Walking with Dinosaurs; 1 p.m., 5 p.m..; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington; 424-3344; Regular Zoo admission.

Monday, October 27
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paws-itvely a Blast

The air in Oklahoma City is getting a tad more brisk as October rolls on, but the great thing about OKC is the sun still shines. In fact, the sun shines 350 days a year in the Sooner State. The ample sunshine means the metro is the perfect place to take man’s (and woman’s) best friend outdoors for some fun in the sun.

Even better (especially for your four-legged friend), Oklahoma City is home to one of the best dog parks in the country, Paw Park. Located at 3303 NW Grand, we would describe Paw Park as a sort of Disneyland for canines on two acres. That is just not our sense of local pride taking over either. Both Southern Living and Dog Fancy have named Paw Park to their “Best Dog Parks in the U.S.” list over the years.

“What makes Paw Park so special?” you might ask. The park features a duck pond for your buddy to cool off on the warmer days. Anyone who has a dog that likes to swim can attest that it is the most fun their pet has that doesn’t involve food or chasing cats.

The park is also sectioned off into two areas: one for smaller dogs and the ones who don’t get around as well as they used to, and one for larger dogs. Water stations, trees and lots of room to run make Paw Park just short of heaven for your dogs. Also, the park is completely free, but donations are much appreciated.

outdoor recreation, parks, pets, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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More Fun than You Can Shake (or throw) a Stick At

While we love to talk about Paw Park and all the fun it provides for our furry friends, the metro is filled with great parks. Here are just a few that you should check out.

  • In addition to the newly-renovated Myriad Gardens’ features for humans, the park also boasts an off-leash dog area so your pup can enjoy OKC’s finest as well.
  • Bickham-Rudkin Park in Edmond has half an acre of off-the-leash fabulousness for Fido. Take the opportunity to upload a YouTube video of your dog doing the “Edmond Shake” after he or she avails him or herself of the park’s lake access.
  • Ray Trent Park in Del City sports the awesomely-named Wiggly Field Dog Park. The park has equally awesome features, like agility equipment, fire hydrants (what a relief) and even lights for night use.
  • Griffin Community Park in Norman has two acres of off-leash fun for pets as well as owners – the first few holes of the disc golf course are part of the dog area! A hole-in-one while your dog runs freely about? That’s enough to make you say, “Whoomp, there it is!”
  • Midtown Mutts Dog Park is the newest dog park on the scene. Located in Midtown between NW 10th and 11th Streets and west of Hudson, the park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., giving you and Rover plenty of time for roaming.
parks, pets, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Central Oklahoma Humane Society

While you are a great owner who cares for their pets and is now going to take them to one of the great dog parks in OKC, there are still lots of animals in Central Oklahoma who need care and a loving home. Since its founding in 2007, the nonprofit Central Oklahoma Humane Society has found homes for more than 14,000 cats and dogs. Equally important, they have spayed more than 60,000 pets (Bob Barker would be pumped about that).

As you can imagine, with numbers like that, the Central OK Humane Society needs as much help as it can get. The next time you want a new pet, consider adopting here. If you don’t have room for a new fuzzy friend, consider donating; every dollar helps OKC’s furry population. 

pets, volunteer, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Lend a Helping Hand

The City of Oklahoma City is also trying to do its part in making our city as friendly to pets as possible. The city runs a Pet Food Bank for those who are having difficulties caring for their pets, among other services. You can adopt pets and post if you’ve lost or found an animal. You can even volunteer your domicile to serve as a short-term foster home for animals that need it. The city also offers free spaying and neutering for residents’ pets, and there are no income guidelines. So whether it is through donations, volunteering or adoption, consider helping to make sure Oklahoma City is a safe place for all our furry friends.

pets, volunteer, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 14 - October 20, 2014

Tuesday, October 14
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
An Inspector Calls; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre, 1727 NW 16th; 524-9313; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, October 15
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Pandas the Journey Home IMAX; First showing at 10 a.m.; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St; 602-3760; $6.95 for kids and $8.95 for adults.
Drama, Death, Dirge: Fredric Remington’s American West; Regular museum hours; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman; 325-3272; Regular museum admission.

Thursday, October 16
Third Thursdays; 10 a.m.; Gaylord Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen; 235-4458; Admission is $3.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
6 Degrees of Bacon; 7 p.m.; Downtown OKC, 1114 N. Harvey; 235-3500; General admission tickets are $35.

Friday, October 17
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Chomp and Stomp; 10 a.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo,  2101 NE 50th; 424-3344; Free with Zoo admission.
Monster Mash; 6 p.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N Blackwelder; 606-7003; Admission is $25 for the first child and $15 for siblings.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
Texas Stars vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, October 18
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.
Komen Race for the Cure; 7 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Bigfoot and Werewolves; 3 p.m.; Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W. Memorial; 755-0676; The event is free but please register beforehand.
San Antonio Rampage vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, October 19
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.

Monday, October 20
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
An Evening with Francis Ford Coppola; 7 p.m.; Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May; 682-1611; Ticket prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Get away from the city without leaving it

If you love the Oklahoma City life but occasionally want to get away from it, there are places to escape while staying close by.

Later, we focus on two true retreats inside Oklahoma City limits– Martin Park Nature Center and the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.

But you can also enjoy:

  • Spectacular views of the sunset at Lake Hefner, or biking, roller-blading, skateboarding, walking or strolling along its Hefner Trails that circle the lake.
  • More than 2,000 plants and a 35-foot waterfall that make visitors feel they’re at a tropical getaway inside the 244-foot-long Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
  • Fishing at any number of Oklahoma City’s parks, ponds, lakes and rivers.
  • And, a little farther away, the views, trails and wildlife at Arcadia Lake, located on the Deep Fork River, east of Edmond.
Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, water sports, Arcadia
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Visiting Martin Park Nature Center

For hiking, nature and wildlife, visit Martin Park Nature Center at 5000 W Memorial Road, an oasis of calm by the busy John Kilpatrick Turnpike. The area features 2.5 miles of kid-friendly hiking trails cut through woods and grasslands of the 144-acre park. Visitors can see many species of animals, as it is home to different species of birds, butterflies, squirrels, foxes, reptiles and even the city’s first observation bee hive.

Younger visitors will like the “Pollinators’ Playground” near the main park creek. Guided hikes and group tours are available for all ages.

Others might enjoy an education program or hike – these cover topics like knot-tying, orienteering, nocturnal animals and even – for those with a preteen sense of humor – animal poop. Coming up at 3 p.m. Oct. 18, “Bigfoot and Werewolves and Chupacubra, Oh My” will address Oklahoma animal myths in a free family event and “haunted” night hikes are on Nov. 1. Find out more or register on Martin Park’s programs page.

If you go, be sure to stop by Martin Park’s hands-on education center that shows off Oklahoma’s reptile and insect species.

In addition to the trails, the park’s playground and visitor’s center are accessible to visitors in wheelchairs, too.
For information, go to http://www.okc.gov/Parks/Martin_Park/index.html and check out Oklahoma City’s other parks at http://www.okc.gov/parks.

kids, outdoor recreation, parks, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Lakes and trails at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

Want to get closer to nature in Oklahoma City? Visit the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, located at the north end of Lake Overholser at NW 51 and Stinchcomb Ave.

The refuge is a pristine area of 1,000 acres that has remained unchanged since before statehood.

Hiking the area will put you in close contact to whitetail deer, beaver and egrets and beautiful views of lakes, bottomland forest and marshlands. The refuge is surrounded by a hardwood forest of oak and sycamore trees and swamps and marshes.

The refuge’s trails can accommodate bicyclists or hikers. You can also rent kayaks or canoes and explore the North Canadian River/Oklahoma River through the refuge, as well as fish. Enjoy Lake Overholser while there, too. Find out more by searching “Stinchcomb” at www.travelok.com, or call 405.297.3882.

family-friendly, fishing, outdoor recreation, water sports, cycling
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The person behind the name: Lake Overholser

If you’re just relocating to Oklahoma City and heard about Lake Overholser for the first time, it might not even occur to you to ask for whom the lake was named  – or who is behind the names of any of the city’s other places.

But if you are wondering, or even if you’re not, we’ll tell you.

Edward “Ed” Overholser was elected Oklahoma City’s 16th mayor in 1915 and served until 1918. From 1922-1927, he also was president and general manager of the Chamber of Commerce, the organization that is now named Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and that sponsors The Better Life blog.

He initially moved to Oklahoma City in 1890 to manage the Overholser Opera House but ended up in a public service career.

Among Overholser’s accomplishments in various roles, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society’s digital archives:

  • He completed the city’s waterworks system.
  • He established town sites at Stroud, Wellston, Luther and Jones when the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad was built between the city and Stroud.
  • He had a long-distance telephone line built from Oklahoma City to Stroud and Shawnee.
  • He and his father, Henry Overholser, built 23 business buildings, including restaurants and hotels, in Oklahoma City.
  • He enabled the purchase of a site for the State Fair and served as that association’s first secretary.
oklahoma city history, history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Are you an entrepreneur? Join us at a Summit

Focused on growing innovative small businesses in Oklahoma, the nonprofit i2E will hold its free annual Entrepreneurial Summit from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17.

Dave Berkus, speaker, author and early-stage private-equity investor, will give the keynote address in the Renaissance Ballroom at the Cox Convention Center, 10 N Broadway Ave. He is considered one of the most active angel investors in the country and is past chairman of Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States.

The Summit also will offer a panel on local funding sources and business resources that are vital to assisting entrepreneurs in starting, growing or expanding their business.

The event concludes with a networking luncheon with entrepreneurial college students who will be participating simultaneously in the annual “Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur” workshop.

Register

entrepreneur, free, networking, business
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 7 - October 13, 2014

Tuesday, October 7
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pandas the Journey Home IMAX; First showing at 10 a.m.; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St; 602-3760; $6.95 for kids and $8.95 for adults.

Wednesday, October 8
Drama, Death, Dirge: Fredric Remington’s American West; Regular museum hours; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman; 325-3272; Regular museum admission.
Full Moon Bike Ride; 8:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Band Shell; 445-7080; Suggested donation of $5 per rider.

Thursday, October 9
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.
Roots of African-American Music; 1 p.m.; Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker ; 631-4468; Free.

Friday, October 10
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Friday Art Walk; 6 p.m.; Downtown Norman; Free.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; Free.
Motley Crue; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Haunt the River; 8 p.m.; Departs from Exchange Landing; $35 for adults.

Saturday, October 11
Naga Southwest Grappling Championships; 8 a.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Tickets prior to event are $10.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Cemetery Symbols; 1 p.m.; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive; 521-2491; Free with museum admission.

Sunday, October 12
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Eras of Dance: Hip-Hop from Yesterday and Today; 6:30 p.m.; UCO, 100 N. University; 974-2000.

Monday, October 13
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reign in your Excitement

We know that both the greenest city slicker and the most seasoned ranch hand alike can appreciate Oklahoma City’s equine culture. As the “Horse Show Capitol of the World,” Oklahoma City is home to more national and international equine championship events than any other city in the world. No matter your riding style, fall is the perfect time to experience Oklahoma City’s equestrian side at one of the many horse shows that call Oklahoma City home.

Grand National Morgan Horse Show
Oct. 11-18
www.morgangrandnational.com

U.S. Team Roping Championships
Oct. 25 – Nov. 2
www.ustrc.com

American Quarter Horse World Championship Show
Nov. 7-22
www.aqha.com

National Reining Horse Association Reining Futurity
Nov. 27 – Dec. 6
www.nrha.com

World Barrel Racing Futurity
Dec. 9-13
www.barrelfuturitiesofamerica.com

Oklahoma Paint Horse Club Holiday Classic
Dec. 28 – Jan. 3
http://www.oklahomaphc.net/

horse show, equine
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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It’s the Great Pumpkinville, OKC!

For the third year, Oklahoma City can enjoy a pumpkin paradise thanks to Myriad Gardens and OGE Energy Corp. Pumpkinville, presented by OGE Energy Corp., is an enchanting celebration of all things fall that includes more than 3,000 pumpkins filling the Children’s Garden from Oct. 10-31. Admission to Pumpkinville is $5 per child and $3 per adult (unless you are a member of Myriad Gardens, in which case admission is free).

In addition to fall fun in the Children’s Garden, Myriad Gardens will also host the Pumpkinville Halloween Party: Garden Monster Bash on Oct. 25 from 6-8 p.m. This ghoulish party will be more friendly than frightening, so have no fear about bringing your children or skittish friends. View the admission prices and RSVP for this event by Monday, Oct. 20 to reserve your spot!

family-friendly, kids, Myriad Botanical Gardens, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The Road Less Travelled

One of the best ways to appreciate the changing seasons is by experiencing Oklahoma’s scenery. We guarantee that you will want to break out the apple cider and cozy sweaters once you see all the autumnal beauty that Oklahoma has to offer.

The Talimena National Scenic Byway is one of the state’s best bets for amazing vistas of eastern Oklahoma’s landscape – rolling hills that are ablaze with fall foliage every year. This winding 54-mile drive follows along the crest of the Rich Mountain and Winding Stair Mountain in the Ouachita (pronounced Wash-i-tah) National Forest. The drive takes a little more than an hour to complete, but there are plenty of attractions along the route that invite you to take it slow, including hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails.

If you are feeling inspired to explore the rest of Oklahoma’s scenery this fall, check out TravelOK’s suggestions for enjoying autumn in Oklahoma and their list of best destinations for fall foliage.

family-friendly, oklahoma, outdoor recreation, day-trip
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 30 - October 6, 2014

Tuesday, September 30
Pandas the Journey Home IMAX; First showing at 10 a.m.; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St; 602-3760; $6.95 for kids and $8.95 for adults.
Music of the Dust Bowl; 6:30 p.m.; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491.

Wednesday, October 1
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.
Chess Club; 3:30 p.m.; Nicoma Park Library, 2240 Overholser Dr.; 769-9452; All skill levels welcome and participation is free.
Gov’t Mule; 7 p.m.; Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern; 677-9169; Admissions is $29 at door.

Thursday, October 2
Mother Goose on the Loose; 10 a.m.; Downtown Library, 300 Park; 231-8650; Free.
Oklahoma Regatta Festival; 6 p.m.; Oklahoma River, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040.
Foster the People/Fitz and the Tantrums; 7 p.m. ; OKC Downtown Airpark, 1701 S. Western; 364-3700; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, October 3
Day Out with Thomas; All day; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; $16.
Oklahoma Regatta Festival; 6 p.m.; Oklahoma River, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040.
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 p.m.; Paseo Arts District, 3022 Paseo; 525-2688; Free.
ARTonTAP; 8 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; $45 for members and $50 for non-members.

Saturday, October 4
Zoo’s Annual Pumpkin Drive; All day; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington; 424-3344; Free admission if you bring a large pumpkin.
Day Out with Thomas; All day; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; $18.
Yukon Czech Festival; 10 a.m.; Yukon Czech Hall, 205 N. Czech Hall.
Oklahoma Regatta Festival; 10 a.m..; Oklahoma River, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040.
Repticon Oklahoma City Reptile & Exotic Animal Show; 10 a.m.; Oklahoma State Fair Grounds, 3001 General Pershing; $10 for adults, $5 for children (5 and over).

Sunday, October 5
Day Out with Thomas; All day; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; $18.
Oklahoma Regatta Festival; 8 a.m..; Oklahoma River, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040.
Repticon Oklahoma City Reptile & Exotic Animal Show; 10 a.m.; Oklahoma State Fair Grounds, 3001 General Pershing; $10 for adults, $5 for children (5 and over).
Yukon Czech Festival; 10 a.m.; Yukon Czech Hall, 205 N. Czech Hall.
Pistol Pete’s 91st-Birthday Celebration; 2 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington; 424-3344; Regular Zoo admission.

Monday, October 6
Roots of African-American Music; 1:30 p.m.; Almonte Library, 2914 SW 59th; 606-3575; Admission is free.
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yukon: “Czech Capitol of Oklahoma”

Here at the Better Life Headquarters we are dedicated to showing you everything that is awesome and fun about Oklahoma City. If you’ve read our blog before you know the good times don’t stop at the OKC city limits. Greater Oklahoma City (as we like to call it) has a bevy of cities and communities that each offer unique events, attractions and histories that are definitely worth exploring.

We’ll start our tour just west of OKC in Yukon. Yukon is the hometown of music superstar Garth Brooks and was officially founded in 1890. Yukon was a popular stop on the historic Chisholm Trail long before the city formed. In fact, if you know what you are looking for, you can still find deep ruts left behind from wagon tracks and watering holes for the cattle. The Chisholm Trail and Crawfish Festival is held every year in Yukon.

Yukon is also known as the “Czech Capital of Oklahoma” and hosts the Czech Festival on the first Saturday of October. The festival kicks off with a parade followed by singing and dancing at the Czech Building. The festival also features a carnival and the royal coronation ball at historic Czech Hall. More than 2,500 dozen kolaches are baked for the festival each year. Take our word for it and taste as many different flavors as you can.

Speaking of Czech Hall, you can check out the historic building (built in 1899 and on the National Register of Historic Places) every Saturday night for the Czech dances. The dances have been held every week since 1925.

Yukon is also home to some great museums, shopping and a Main Street that is part of historic Route 66. Find more fun things to do in Yukon here.

food, museums, Route 66, Yukon, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream

Just outside of Oklahoma City to the Southwest is Tuttle, home to the Braum’s Dairy Farm. Why is that important? Because Braum’s means ice cream and who doesn’t love ice cream? The people of Tuttle sure do as every May they host the Ice Cream Festival.

You might be asking yourself, “What does the Ice Cream Festival entail?” Well if you guessed lots and lots of ice cream, then you are correct. That really is all you need to know. Mark it on your calendar.

Need more of a hard sell? The festival has something for everyone: a parade, live music, pageant, car show, ice cream eating contest (brain freeze from Hades) and a homemade ice cream contest. If Tuttle is not now on your list of places to visit, I’m not sure we can be friends.

music, Tuttle, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Enjoy shopping at local boutiques on picture-perfect, small-town main streets? Take a quick jaunt to Bethany (located on the west side of OKC). The historic downtown features unique and charming stores you can’t find anywhere else.

Bethany’s main street has the added bonus of being part of historic Route 66. That’s right. The millions of travelers who have made the journey from Chicago to California have gone through Bethany. Each May, the town hosts the Bethany 66 festival to honor the historic roadway. The festival features live music, food, antiques and classic cars at the Diffee Motor Car Show.

Bethany also is home to one of the best Fourth of July celebrations around, the Bethany Freedom Festival. The festival takes place each year at Eldon Lyon Park and is one of the largest digitally mastered fireworks displays in the Sooner State.

festivals, food, music, Route 66, shopping, Bethany
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Quick Hits

We are just going to be honest, Central Oklahoma has so many cool towns and communities we can’t even begin to touch on them all (although we will try our best throughout the year). A great resource (besides our blog of course) is TravelOK.com, the official site of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department. 

While we can’t mention all of our favorite places and things to do, here are a couple more quick hits:

  • Choctaw: The oldest charted town in Oklahoma is home to Old Germany Restaurant and the Oktoberfest.
  • Harrah: Held each September, Harrah Day is a celebration of all things Harrah. Live music, a hot dog eating contest and more are topped off with an amazing fireworks display.
  • Prague: On the first Saturday of each May, Prague hosts the world-famous Kolache Festival. The festival is a fun and unique celebration of Czech culture.
food, music, restaurants, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 23 - September 29, 2014

Tuesday, September 23
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.

Wednesday, September 24
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby; 445-7080; Free.
Art Moves- Stuart Asprey; Noon; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; Free.

Thursday, September 25
ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships; All Day; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd.; 552-4040.
Macbeth; 8 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Myriad Gardens Water Stage; 235-3700; $15 for general admission.

Friday, September 26
Day Out with Thomas; All day; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; $16.
Manhattan Short Film Festival; 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100.
ZooBrew; 6:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington; 424-3344; $35 for members, $45 for non members.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Free.

Saturday, September 27
Day Out with Thomas; All day; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; $18.
Heritage Hills Historic Homes Tour; 2 p.m.; Heritage Hills Neighborhood; Tickets are $15.
Manhattan Short Film Festival; 5:30 & 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100.
2014 Plaza District Festival; Start at noon; Plaza District; Admission is free.

Sunday, September 28
Day Out with Thomas; All day; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; $18.
Manhattan Short Film Festival; 2 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100.
Heritage Hills Historic Homes Tour; 2 p.m.; Heritage Hills Neighborhood; Tickets are $15.

Monday, September 29
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time to Get Moving

Break out your tennis shoes—yes, the ones sitting in the corner of your closet collecting dust—and get ready to explore Oklahoma. Fall is a great time to get outdoors and explore our state. Thankfully, there are so many trails, parks and outdoor activities that you can become one with nature in no time.

No matter what part of OKC you live in, there’s sure to be a park or trail nearby to aid in your exploration of the Sooner state. Explore the flora and fauna at the Hefner-Overholser Trail, which roughly follows the water diversion canal between the two lakes. Other local trails include the Earlywine Trail, Katy Trail, Lightning Creek Trail, Oklahoma River Trails, Overholser Trail, South Grand Trail and Tinker-Draper Trail.

And the best part? These trails are free from motorized vehicles. That’s right, all of you walkers, runners, roller-bladers, skateboarders and cyclists can experience the beauty without the interference of four-wheelers, motorcycles or other speedy machinery.

free, outdoor recreation, parks, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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