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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

If you are a regular reader of this blog (if you aren’t you should be) then you know 2014 was a pretty big year for OKC.  2014 marked the 125th anniversary of our great city’s founding. Yes the town born in a single day (true story) celebrated its Quasquicentennial. Oh, and what a 125 years it has been. From land runs and rugged wildcatters looking for oil to the Oklahoma City Thunder and construction of the 50-story Devon Tower, our fair city has seen some things. While the city continues to evolve in dynamic new ways, one thing stays the same: the people. The original settlers of the city claimed their lands on April 22, 1889, and did so with an independent and entrepreneurial streak that lives on in the citizens to this day. With the land run, Oklahoma City has a history and a founding that is truly unlike any other city. People from around the country gathered on one day to take a chance, start a new life and work together to build a city from scratch. That wildcatter spirit and sense of teamwork is still at the heart of OKC 125 years later.

So as 2014 draws to a close, we wanted one last chance to look at some of our favorite history posts from the past year. These posts help tell the story of our city but there are many chapters yet to be written. You can also access the history posts on your own here.

history, oklahoma city history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.

125 Reasons We Love OKC from Greater OKC Chamber on Vimeo.

As you can tell, we have been pretty fired up to celebrate OKC’s 125th birthday all year long. You’ve heard of birthday parties and even birthday weeks, we made it a birthday year. In fact, we came up with 125 reasons we love Greater OKC and put them in this little video. Give it a look and be sure to share with your friends, family, peers, pets or even that weird neighbor next door. Help us spread how awesome of a city we live in. Of course, OKC is so awesome there are a lot more than 125 great things to talk about. What do you love about OKC? Leave it the comments or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter. We want to hear from you!

attractions, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Public Service Reminder

The holidays are here! Still last minute shopping? Still looking for that perfect gift for that special someone who has everything? Why not sign them up to our blog? Okay it might not be as exciting as a diamond ring, Teddy Ruxpin or a pony but it will cost you a lot less. For the low cost of just no cents a day you can get great ideas for things to do in and around Oklahoma City each week.

New to OKC? The blog was designed just for you. We want you to get to know your new hometown as quickly and well as possible. Our goal is to make you feel like a local pronto. We want you screaming your head off for Thunder while enjoying your favorite restaurant in your favorite local district with the 405 tattooed across your belly. Okay, maybe that last part was a little too much civic pride even for us (or maybe not).

Yeah, but what if you’ve lived in OKC for a long time? Don’t fret: The blog is still very helpful. There is nothing we enjoy more than introducing or re-introducing locals to new events, hotspots or general OKC-goodness. No matter how long you lived in OKC it is never a bad time to fall back in love with your home town.

Signing up for the blog is easy; just enter your info on our main page. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We would love to hear any ideas or thoughts you have. Act now and we will even throw in a big “Thank You” for no extra charge. You couldn’t beat this deal with a stick.

oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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OK-LA Dodgers

The Dodger Dog is headed to the big O-K-C. What are we talking about? If you’ve been living under a rock the AAA baseball team in Oklahoma City (formally the Redhawks) is now an affiliate of the historic Los Angeles Dodgers and will now be called the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

The Dodgers are one of the most recognizable brands in all of sports. The franchise has won six World Series titles as well as 21 National League (NL) pennants.

The uniform and logo also have made the Dodgers unmistakable across the world. The Boys in Blue, as they are called, have had virtually the same uniforms for going on 70 years now. The best part is, they have incorporated the logo and color scheme into the new uniforms for Oklahoma City, and we think they look pretty swell. The merchandise is available now in the team store and makes a great holiday gift. We here at Better Life HQ might have already picked up a hat or two (maybe three).

baseball, dodgers, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 16 - December 22, 2014

Tuesday, December 16
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, December 17
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Event is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Dave Chappelle; 7 p.m.; Rose State College Performing Arts Theater, 6420 SE 15th St.; 733-7673; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, December 18
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
2014 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Shop Hop; 6 p.m.; Automobile Alley, 1015 N. Broadway; 488-2555; this is event is free.

Friday, December 19
Winter Shoppes; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Band Shell; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
2014 Under Armour All-America High School Volleyball Match; 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, December 20
Devon Saturdays with Santa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; Crystal Bridge; 445-7080.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Santa’s Adventure on the Oklahoma River; 1 to 8 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; $35 for an all-day pass.
2014 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship; 6:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Kevin Fowler; 7 p.m.; Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern; 677-9169; $15 at the door.
Rockford IceHogs vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, December 21
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Rockford IceHogs vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 2 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Red Dirt Rangers Kid Christmas Show; 2 p.m.; The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley; 524-0738; Admission is $5.

Monday, December 22
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whack-a-Mall

OKC’s malls are certainly popular shopping destinations for many, especially during Christmastime, and for good reason. But if the food court freaks you out, the kiosks are confusing and parking lots induce panic, check out some of the pop-up retail locations around downtown and shop where no one has shopped before! Except for, well, the last couple years or so… Anyway, the Holiday Pop-Up Shops at Midtown feature a rotating mix of retailers every Thursday through Sunday until December 21st. Learn more at their website. Likewise, the Winter Shoppes at the Myriad Gardens are open Thursdays through Sundays, as well as Monday the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd. Check out their retailers and more deets at their website. Shop local boutique-style, and enjoy some of the downtown OKC holiday festivities while you’re at it.

downtown, local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Nothing but the Best, Clark

We compiled a list of places to look at Christmas lights and décor so you can check out the competition and see how big you need to go next year. Gotta check every bulb, Rusty.

What are your favorite neighborhood displays? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter or Facebook and help us get the word out.

family-friendly, holiday, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Make Your Breaks

Ahh, Christmastime. Snow, lights, Santa, candy canes, carols, and fudge. Mmm, fudge... Sorry. We just really like fudge. Anyway, for you parents out there, all this merriment can mean maybe just a little too much time with your little snow angels now that they’re out of school for a while. But before you go taking numerous nips from the nog in an attempt to deal, check out some of the winter break options to keep those kiddos from being cooped up in the house too much over the holidays.

  • Thunder Youth Basketball Camp – fundamentals and fun for all skill levels. December 29 & 30, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., ages 5-16. An alternative to playing ball in the house!
  • Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center – camps include instruction in different mediums / skills depending on age (5-8 or 9-12). December 18-19 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Let ‘em create art here instead of their bedroom walls.
  • OKC Zoo Safari Day Camps – ages 4-12 can hit the zoo December 30, 31 and January 19. Kids will connect with animals and nature instead of your last nerve. Advance registration and payment required.
  • Holiday Magic Drama Camp at NW Optimist Park – campers sing, dance and learn some classic holiday numbers culminating in a family performance. December 22-23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 405-297-1437 for more info ($50 per camper). Now they can be dramatic about something other than that present they won’t shut up about.
  • Soccer City Winter Break Camp – let your kids get their kicks by taking out their frustrations on a soccer ball instead of the furniture and/or their siblings. Ages 4-15 are welcome and will be divided among age, ability and flopping potential (kidding!). December 22-24 and 29-31.
  • Santa’s Adventures at RIVERSPORT – not really a camp per se, but the Rudolph Launch, Candy Cane Rock Wall, Snow Bounce and more are open for riverside fun from 1 – 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through January 4th. Note that this includes the SandRidge Santa Zip, where you drop a wrapped package into a chimney target as you fly down the zip line. Picture that for a second, and just try to tell us it doesn’t sound AWESOME.

What camps are we missing in our list? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added!

theater, zoo, arts and culture, basketball, camps, kids, oklahoma river, soccer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Baby, OKC’s Cold Outside

Need a place to cuddle away from the winter chills? We put our suggestions to music.

I really can't stay
(But baby it's cold outside)
I've got to go away
(But baby, OKC’s cold outside.)

This evening has been
(The tropics we could go in)
So very nice
(I'll hold your hands, while we skate on ice.)

My mother will start to worry
(On the carousel you look blurry)
My father will be pacing the floor
(We can visit the igloo stores.)

So really I'd better scurry
(To The Nutcracker let’s hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more
(Be charitable while they pour.)

The neighbors might faint
(Baby there are Broadway’s lights out there)
Say what's in this drink
(And water taxis to be had out there.)

I wish I knew how
(They turned the canal lights on now)
To break this spell
(On Western & 63rd, the CHK lights look swell.)

At least I'm gonna say that I tried
(There’s a bunch of snow on that slide.)

I really can't stay
(Those pinecones are both silver and stout)

(Both):
Baby it's cold outside.

holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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50% Lion + 50% Eagle = 100% Enemy of the Barons

As of this writing, the red-hot OKC Barons are sitting on top of the West division standings. And you have two, count ‘em two, chances this weekend to see your team on the Cox Center ice against those pesky Griffins (well, not really griffins, but hockey players wearing a picture of a griffin on their jersey) of Grand Rapids. It’s hockey time in OKC on Friday and Saturday (December 12 and 13) at 7:00 p.m. They may have rapids that are grand, but we’ve got Hamilton, Williams and Derrick the Mountain Lion (well, not really a mountain lion, but a guy wearing a mountain lion furry. But still!). For ticket info, head over to okcbarons.com and cheer on our Barons!

family-friendly, hockey, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 9 - December 15, 2014

Tuesday, December 9
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 10
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Event is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Thursday, December 11
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Cleveland Cavs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Texas Legends vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Friday, December 12
Winter Shoppes; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Band Shell; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; Free.
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, December 13
Devon Saturdays with Santa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; Crystal Bridge; 445-7080.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Santa’s Adventure on the Oklahoma River; 1 to 8 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; $35 for an all-day pass.
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, December 14
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Tribute to Woody Guthrie; 8 p.m.; The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley; 524-0738; Tickets are $20.

Monday, December 15
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Give back on #GivingTuesday

As the holiday season kicks off, we’ve given thanks for our blessings and shopped the best deals on Black Friday in person and Cyber Monday online. Now it’s time to give something back.

In recent years, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become known as Giving Tuesday, or #GivingTuesday as it’s tagged on social media sites. It is a reminder that there are lots of organizations that need our help, especially during the holidays. It’s a global movement that we and our families can join at the local level and start a new holiday tradition of generosity.

And so, in honor of #GivingTuesday today, Tuesday, Dec. 2, let’s talk about some of our local nonprofit organizations.

If you don’t know where to start, click here to find all the Chamber members that are nonprofits.

But we’ll give you some ideas here:

  • Adopt-a-Family during the holidays from Upward Transitions to provide them with specific needs. Upward Transitions operates two programs – Travelers Aid and the Homeless Assistance Center, which is a community outreach program that helps needy and homeless clients by providing basic needs.
  • Buy something from the wish list of Infant Crisis Services, Inc., which provides formula, food, diapers and other needs to babies and toddlers in crisis.
  • Give a matching gift to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma – Chesapeake Energy Corp. and the Cresap Family Foundation will match all donations to the Food Bank between now and Jan. 15 up to $1 million, a gift that would provide 10 million meals for chronically hungry children. Or, sign up your family to volunteer in its warehouse.
  • Donate to Allied Arts, the area’s umbrella organization for central Oklahoma’s cultural groups, and get a chance to win one of 10 prize packages, including a $250 gift certificate.

Oklahoma has more than 17,000 nonprofit groups in the state, so there are many ways you can get involved. Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is always a great resource for the state’s nonprofit groups.

holiday, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Give to the United Way of Central Oklahoma

If you are overwhelmed by the number of causes to which you can contribute your time or money, take a look at all the good that the United Way of Central Oklahoma does in the community.

This organization has formed partnerships with more than 60 organizations that contribute to the area’s health, safety, education or economic well-being of families, according to the United Way’s mission. A donation to the United Way will help fund these valuable programs that are held accountable by the United Way.

The United Way picks its partner organizations according to five identified “Focus Areas”: Strong Families, Successful Kids, Healthy Citizens, Independent Living and Community Preparedness. In 2013, the organization raised more than $22 million to help fund these nonprofit agencies’ programs.

If you’re interested in finding ways to volunteer for these organizations, check out the United Way’s Volunteer Center.

The United Way has been serving the community for more than 90 years, and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber is proud that it had a role in its creation decades ago.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Help those in need keep warm

As we launch into full winter mode here in OKC, there are plenty of people who will need coats and other gear to keep warm. Here are some ways to help:

  • The Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) district already has distributed more than 5,000 new coats to children in need through a partnership with the national nonprofit organization Operation Warm. The organization accepts monetary donations, and then OKCPS buys the new coats to distribute to students in need this winter. Although OKCPS is wrapping up the campaign for funds that began this summer, it is still accepting donations to help and still identifying students’ needs. To donate, send a check or money order with the words “OKCPS Coat-A-Kid project” in the memo to Operation Warm, P.O. Box 822431, Philadelphia, PA 19182-2431 or donate online.
  • For more than 30 years, those in need have been able to “shop” for Christmas gifts and other supplies and clothing in a department store setting where all the merchandise is free. Although it started out as a seasonal nonprofit organization, The Christmas Connection has developed into a service agency that provides support throughout the year through five programs: Christmas Shopping Days, School Connections, Crisis Relief, Senior Shopping Days and General Shopping for basic needs. It only takes $20 to give a child a winter coat. Donate funds online, or donate items by dropping them off at Christmas Connection, Inc., 5728 S May Ave., or at one of four Quik Print locations, 3403 Northwest Expressway, 7206 N Western Ave., 406 NW 23 or 10633 N May Ave.
  •  Infant Crisis Services, Inc., is in need of coats for its littlest clients.
  • Give to Brad Edwards’ Warmth 4 Winter coat drive, which goes to the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command for distribution. Among other locations in central Oklahoma, you can drop off items in Oklahoma City at KFOR-TV NewsChannel 4, 444 E Britton Road; The Salvation Army – Oklahoma City, 1001 N Pennsylvania;  Earlywine Park YMCA, 11801 S May; and The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, 7624 W Reno Ave. , #380.  Also, participating Jersey Mike’s restaurants are giving away Philly Cheese subs to those bringing in a new coat for donation through Dec. 21. Find more information on the Warmth 4 Winter website.
community, nonprofit, volunteer, weather
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 2 - December 8, 2014

Tuesday, December 2
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
WWE Smackdown; 6:45 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Utica Comets vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Wednesday, December 3
Dodger Day; 11 a.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle; 218-1000.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Myriad Gardens Annual Jingle Mingle; 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby; 445-7080; Members are free and admission is $20 for non-members.

Thursday, December 4
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Kathy Mattea-Songs of the Season; 7:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 South May; 682-1611; Ticket prices vary.
UCO Symphony Orchestra; 7:30 p.m.; Mitchell Hall; 974-3375; $10 for adults.

Friday, December 5
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 p.m.; Paseo Arts District; 525-2688; Event is free to attend.
Family Night with the Birds; 6:15 p.m.; Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane; 814-0006; $20 for children and $10 for adults.
Justin Timberlake; 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, December 6
Devon Saturdays with Santa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; Crystal Bridge; 445-7080.
Deck the Halls at the Oklahoma History Center; 10 a.m.; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491; The event is free with museum admission. 
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Drop-In Art: Word Art; 1 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Included in museum admission.

Sunday, December 7
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Children’s Book Fair; 2 p.m.; Full Circle Books, 50 Penn Pl.; 842-2900; Event is free.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra; 3 and 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, December 8
OKC125; All day; Downtown OKC Underground; 990-2448; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The most wonderful time of the year

The holidays are quickly approaching and there’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than downtown Oklahoma City. Whether you love the twinkle of holiday lights, meeting Santa, the thrill of finding the perfect one-of-a-kind gift or getting your sweat on, Downtown in December offers an activity for everyone.

The official kickoff of the holiday season takes place during the Tree Lighting Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday when Mayor Mick Cornett lights the Christmas tree for the season. Local musicians will provide live entertainment and guests can feast on popcorn and cookies, courtesy of Nonna's Euro-American Ristorante. Little tikes will even be able to meet the jolly big guy himself and have works of art painted on their adorable faces. Festivities also include the Holiday River Parade as boats of all shapes and sizes adorned with holiday lights float along the Oklahoma River.

Enjoy the lights of the season throughout Oklahoma City. More than 4 million lights will adorn an eight-block area around the campus of Chesapeake Energy Corp. at NW 63rd Street and Western Avenue. The historic buildings of Automobile Alley offer an unforgettable experience as more than 180,000 colorful lights drape structures. A stroll down the Bricktown Canal offers a festive atmosphere for dining, shopping and enjoying time with family and friends. During the holiday season, water taxi rides are free each Thursday through Sunday.

oklahoma river, downtown, festivals, food, free, holiday, live music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Retail therapy

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Downtown in December offers a plethora of opportunities for retail therapy. The Deluxe Winter Market in Leadership square will feature more than 60 vendors with local and handmade goods, crafts, home decor, art, food and other specialty items.

More than 30 Oklahoma-owned shops and an urban Christmas tree will be showcased at the holiday pop-up shops in Midtown. Shops rotate weekly through a set of geodesic domes at NW 10th and Harvey, next to Bleu Garten. The holiday shopping village is open each weekend, beginning this Friday.

The Winter Shoppes at Myriad Botanical Gardens offer a complete family experience including on-site ice skating, a selection of boutique-style vendors and the breathtaking views of the gardens and Crystal Bridge. You can even enjoy a carousel ride while you’re here. The Myriad Botanical Gardens is hosting a variety of holiday-related events from scavenger hunts to wrapping parties.

Of course, Oklahoma City offers shopping options that are incredibly diverse. From high-end shops at 50 Penn Place, Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall or Classen Curve to funky local shops on Western Avenue or in the Plaza District, OKC offers more than you might imagine. Check out a listing of local retailers here.

shopping, downtown, family-friendly, holiday, midtown, outdoor recreation, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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In search of Santa

Santa is calling in reinforcements as he visits Oklahoma City this year. From the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who to the Gingerbread Man and even live reindeer Sven and Idina, Saturdays with Santa is sure to be a memorable experience for the youngsters.

  • Bass Pro Shop will have free photos with Santa, free crafts for kids, games and activities to celebrate the season.  Photos with Santa are available weekdays, 3-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Whole Foods features a tasty morning treat! Grab the kids, bring your camera and enjoy free pancakes with Santa. 9-11 a.m.

Keep an eye out for Santa as he tours downtown events and delivers goodies for both kids and kids-at-heart alike this holiday season. Follow @downtownokcinc on Twitter to learn when and where Santa will be.

family-friendly, free, holiday, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A need for speed

One of our favorite holiday traditions is cruising down one of the country’s largest manmade snow-tubing slopes at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Seriously, where else can you snow tube when it's 50 degrees? No matter the weather, sledders of all ages can enjoy the slopes with a separate slide and smaller snow tubes available for the tikes.

If you require more of the type of speed furnished by your own two legs, prance through the streets and explore downtown Oklahoma City as part of the annual Santa Run. The event includes a 5k race, a 1-mile fun run and a free Santa Claus Kids' Dash. Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls will be on hand to get all runners pumped up for the event. Or for thrill seekers, check out Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare which challenges participants to race 138 flights of stairs through the north and south towers of Leadership Square and the Oklahoma Tower. The 138-floor race is open to people of all ages and there’s even a Firefighters Division – racing in full gear of course!

family-friendly, fitness, holiday, outdoor recreation, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A work of art

There are plenty of indoor activities to get you in the holiday spirit as well. Check out the following family-friendly performances throughout the season.

ballet, holiday, music, theater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Stay in the know on all things OKC…

If you’re an area communications professional and you would like to know more about what’s happening throughout the city, attend the quarterly meeting of the OKC News Bureau. The group will meet at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Von Maur in Quail Springs Mall. To RSVP, contact Carrie Snodgrass, csnodgrass@okcchamber.com or 297-8971.

Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 25 - December 1, 2014

Tuesday, November 25
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, November 26
Free Day at the Zoo; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50th St.; 424-3344; Admission is free.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, November 27
OKC Turkey Trot; First race starts at 8 a.m.; Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner; 297-2756; Race day registration is $30.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Friday, November 28
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
SandRidge Tree Lighting Festival; 5 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 235-3500; the event is free. 
Holiday River Parade; 6 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 231-9012; Admission is free.
New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Los Angeles Lakers (D-League) vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, November 29
Devon Saturdays with Santa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Drop-In Art: Winter Watercolors; 1 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Included in museum admission.
Jason Boland and the Stragglers/Cody Canada; 7 p.m.; Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern; 866-977-6849; $19 at door.

Sunday, November 30
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Austin Toros vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 2 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, December 1
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Bakersfield Jam vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blades of Glory

The chill is definitely in the air in Oklahoma City and that means fall is in full swing. However, don’t act like a bear and disappear until the thaw of spring. There is still boatloads of fun to be had in OKC when the temperature drops, including the yearly Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The opening of the Devon Ice Rink is the unofficial launch of the colder seasons for locals.

Open until Feb. 1, the Devon Ice Rink gives you a chance to channel your inner Bonnie Blair or Brian Boitano in Downtown OKC. On weekdays the rink opens at 3 p.m., and runs until 9 p.m. During the weekends, the rink opens at 11 a.m., and closes at 11 p.m. (if you want to get wild).

Really want to get your figure skate on? Each Friday night is Rock N Skate night. From 6 to 9 p.m., a DJ will provide the soundtrack and all you have to provide are the moves (and a small entry fee).

Garden members skate for just $7, while nonmembers pay $12, including skate rental. Own your own blades? First off, that is awesome, and you only have to pay $8. Food and drink will also be available both indoors and outdoors.

So work on your axel jumps and free dances and we will see you on the ice.

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thundering Up and Onwards

Really looking to stay warm for the next couple of months? There is no place better to heat up than the Chesapeake Energy Arena during a Thunder game with 18,203 of your closest friends. If you are new to Oklahoma City, you don’t have to hang around long to realize the Thunder have taken the city and whole Sooner State by storm.

The 2014-2015 season just tipped off and it marks the seventh season of Thunder basketball in Oklahoma City. And what a seven years it has been. The Thunder has made the playoffs five straight years, including a trip to the NBA finals and three trips to the conference finals. The franchise will also be attempting to win their fifth-straight Northwestern Division Championship (Northwestern makes sense right?).  

The Thunder are led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant (better known as KD) is the reigning MVP of the NBA (seriously check out his MVP speech) and has made the All-NBA first team 5 times in his seven-year career. KD is not nice and is the baddest.

Westbrook (who we like to call Russ) is a three-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection. Russ also makes headlines off the court for his unique fashion style.

In all honesty, we could ramble on all day about the Thunder, Rumble, Ibaka and one of the best home court advantages in all of the NBA so we’ll stop. Just do yourself a favor, check out the home schedule and grab some tickets. You won’t be disappointed.

basketball, family-friendly, live sporting events, thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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You’re My Boy Blue

A new addition to the metro’s landscape this year is the Oklahoma City Blue. After residing in Tulsa since 2005, the Thunder’s D-League affiliate will play this season in OKC at the Cox Convention Center.

Not familiar with the D-League? Here is a quick primer. The D-League is short for the NBA Development League, an 18-team league that serves as a development league for the NBA. The Blue are owned by their parent team, the Thunder, and serves as a place where young players can develop. So in short the Blue will offer a great chance to preview the NBA’s up-and-coming players. Not a bad way for hoops junkies to spend a night.

basketball, family-friendly, live sporting events, thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Don’t Like the Weather? Wait a Day.

Much is made of the Oklahoma climate, and while we are prone to somewhat sudden changes in temperature the weather is actually pretty pleasant year-round. It is getting a little colder outside, but the average high temperature, in November is actually 62 degrees. In December, the average drops to a brisk 51 degrees, just enough chill to break out the hot chocolate and blankets.

Even though Oklahoma’s weather is often sensationalized, it never hurts to be weather aware. Luckily for Oklahomans, the National Weather Center is located in Norman, just south of Oklahoma City. The center is home to the most technologically advanced weather equipment in the world and does an amazing job of monitoring not only the weather in central Oklahoma but of the world. Are you the type that likes to plan ahead? The City of Oklahoma City offers winter weather resources, like snow routes and preparation tips.

weather
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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VeloCity

Want an easy way to share Oklahoma City’s amazingness with your friends, family and peers? Check out VeloCity, a digital magazine designed for just that purpose. It is stocked full of great success stories on what makes OKC so special. The magazine is fully-interactive with great videos and pictures to enhance your experience.

A new issue was just released, so head on over to VelocityOKC.com to read up on how Oklahoma City is becoming America’s new energy headquarters. Also check out the archive to browse past issues and be sure to share it with everyone so they can see why our city is making headlines across the country.

oklahoma city, velocity
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 18 - November 24, 2014

Tuesday, November 18
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, November 19
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Event is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Thursday, November 20
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Shop Hop; 6 p.m.; Automobile Alley, 1015 N. Broadway; 488-2555; this is event is free.

Friday, November 21
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, November 22
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Historic Thanksgiving Day Celebration; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room; 445-7080; $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, November 23
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, November 24
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Your Mom Goes to College

As a regular reader of this blog, you’re keeping up to date on all the things to do and see in OKC. As you can tell, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. But what about the rest of your day? After all, all leisure all the time can’t be good for anybody (just look what it’s done to Garfield the cat). So if you have a hankerin’ for hustle in the form of college credits, you’re in luck – there are 125,000 students just like you here, and 18 public and private colleges and universities in Greater Oklahoma City from which you can choose.

Fancy a law degree? You’re covered, counselor. Medical school? The laughter we get from the question is the best medicine. Musical theater? We sing a six-second affirmative (with full orchestral backing and maybe even a twirl and jazz hands). Liberal arts? No fancy analysis necessary. Veterinarian? You vet your can. Want to do research? Get a Ph.D. and be smarter than that can of Dr. Pepper. We’re running out of ridiculous ways to respond to these questions, but rest assured, whatever you want to do in the world of higher education (even if it’s “become a rock star”), you can probably do justice to your diploma dream here in OKC.

To learn more about the opportunities in higher education in Oklahoma City, check out the Universities section of this website and our “OKC At a Glance” publication.

college, education, school
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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125k to Stay

With 125,000 college students in Greater Oklahoma City, we at the Chamber understand that keeping those educated, talented folks in the fold after graduation is important. That’s why we launched the Greater Grads program in 2006.

There are two main components to the Greater Grads program – a career fair featuring Oklahoma employers (held this year on March 15, 2015) and the InternOKC Internship Program, a five-week series of lunches where interns get to know their future peers and discover why Oklahoma City is the perfect place to live, work and play.

Both programs are great ways for students and employers alike to network, make valuable business connections, and help contribute to the entire community’s future success.

Greater Grads is an initiative of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s Education and Workforce Development division. Greater Grads works to build Oklahoma City’s talent base by connecting Oklahoma graduates – a vital component of the City’s future workforce – with employers in the Oklahoma City region. These connections will help Oklahoma City’s flourishing economy, creating even more opportunities in the years to come.

To learn more, check out www.greatergrads.com or contact Elisa Milbourn at 405-297-8951 or emilbourn@okcchamber.com.

education, internship
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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