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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Adventures in Oklahoma City

For those of you with school-aged kids or school-related jobs, it’s time to start planning your Spring Break adventure so you can make the most of the time off. Oklahoma City-area attractions offer all kinds of ways to entertain your little ones, whether with visits or longer-term camps. This week, we’ll offer some ideas to visit with your children, entertain them while you work or just to explore by yourself. Consider this your own personal Spring Break Book of Lists.

First, for an extensive list of things to do at any time, dive into the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website, visitokc.com. For this blog, we’ll give you a snapshot:

attractions, family-friendly, kids, museums, spring break
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Sign up for a Spring Break camp

If you have to work over Spring Break, you’ll find all kinds of ways to let your children pursue their interests during that week, whether they are artists, adventurers, chefs, scientists or something else. Here is a sampling:

For more, check out the resource at Metro Family Magazine.

camps, kids, spring break
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Check out state parks and other outdoor places

If you want to get away from the city for Spring Break, many of Oklahoma’s State Parks are just a short drive away. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s website, TravelOK.com, has a list of state parks that you can explore by selecting your areas of interest. Want a state park that offers archery and an RV hookup? Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman is your place. What about hiking in a state park off of Interstate 40? Try Red Rock Canyon State Park in Hinton (about an hour from Oklahoma City), Foss State Park in Foss or Lake Eufaula State Park in Checotah. Yes, the options get that specific.

You can plan your perfect getaway based on your interests. The range of activities offered at state parks includes golfing, disc golf, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and even cave exploring (Alabaster Caverns State Park near Freedom).

Some areas of interest worth exploring that aren’t on the state parks’ list include the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service near Lawton, Quartz Mountain Nature Park in southwest Oklahoma and the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve operated by the Nature Conservancy.

Get a move on, and enjoy Spring Break in Oklahoma.

oklahoma, outdoor recreation, parks, spring break
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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More information for parents

If you are a parent and you need help finding activities and childcare for your little ones, check out A Better Life OKC for a list of childcare centers, schools and more.

Regular readers of A Better Life’s blog know that you can find all sorts of information about things to do around the Greater Oklahoma City area and beyond, but dive into the site itself, and you’ll learn even more. Search the topic you’re interested in, and share with your friends who are moving to Oklahoma City or who have just landed here.

family-friendly, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: February 24 - March 2, 2015

Tuesday, February 24
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 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; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, February 25
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Regular Museum admission.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, February 26
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Brown Bag Lunch Speaker Series: “Eat Local, Be Local”; Noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 2nd Floor Conference Room; 445-7080; This event is free.
Dustin Lynch; 9 p.m.; Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern; 677-9169; Tickets are $19.

Friday, February 27
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  
OKC Midtown Rotary Spelling Bee(r); 6 p.m.; The Paramount, 701 W. Sheridan; Tickets are $20 or $40.
Marvel Universe LIVE! 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
San Antonio Rampage vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, February 28
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Marvel Universe LIVE! 10 a.m., 3 & 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Camelot; 2 & 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.
San Antonio Rampage vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, March 1
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Marvel Universe LIVE! 1:30 & 5:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Camelot; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, March 2
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  
Dr. Seuss Pajama Story Time; 7 p.m.; Almonte Library, Program Room; 606-3575; Admission is free but please register.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hop in to Shop

Located just north of downtown on Broadway Avenue, what used to be the primary location for the city's car dealerships is known today as Automobile Alley –home to some of OKC's great local dining and specialty shops. We love the vibe of Automobile Alley during the day, but we get downright giddy during the district’s Shop Hop event held on the third Thursday of each month.

We can’t wait to bottle our very own Italian Moscato as part of "Carboy of the Month" event at Waters Edge Winery during this month’s Shop Hop. You’re not going to have to twist our arm to sample the Neapolitan-style pizzas and Italian wines while we’re at it.  

While you’re in the area, check out these businesses during Shop Hop for special discounts one-of-a-kind finds.

automobile alley, festivals, restaurants, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Works of Art

While we love our retail therapy (who doesn’t, right?) we also appreciate the finer things in life – like great art, live music and fantastic food. That’s why we love Live on the Plaza and First Friday in the Paseo District.

Live on the Plaza, the district’s monthly block party is held rain or shine on the second Friday of each month and showcases the talents of wonderful Oklahomans. The artists and outdoor market changes for each event and complements the districts’ premiere art galleries, photography studios, retail shops and restaurants. From Tango workshops and fashion shows to poetry readings and works from local artists, there’s sure to be something that piques your interest. While you’re exploring the Plaza District, don’t forget to take in a Broadway-caliber show in the heart of downtown OKC at the Lyric Theatre.

Paseo, Oklahoma City’s historic arts district, also holds a monthly art walk and music festival. Expect to see paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, fine crafts and photographs by more than 60 artists in 20 galleries and experience opening receptions for new exhibits each month. Bring your appetite and try the Green Lantern from Sauced on Paseo or the Chicken Saltimbocca from Paseo Grill.

shopping, theater, arts and culture, festivals, paseo district, plaza district, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A piece of history

Did you know that OKC’s Film Row is the last remaining film exchange district in the U.S. and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007?

At the dawn of the film age, Hollywood studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fox Films had operations in the 42-block area between Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue along Sheridan Avenue where theater owners came to view and lease films. Today, you can catch a flick at an old Paramount Pictures distribution warehouse, Paramount OKC, or grab a glass of wine and gourmet pizza in an old film exchange building at Joey's Pizzeria. Each month during Premiere on Film Row, the streets are packed with Oklahoma Citians excited to see the live music, films and more.

This month, enjoy the inaugural Ralph Ellison Festival. The event will feature a wine and jazz reception, festival book fair, readings from international touring poet Lauren Zuniga and live music from Gregory Jerome and others at several venues throughout Film Row.

festivals, film, film row, live music, music, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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H&8th

As we get closer to warmer temperatures we are also nearing the return of the ever popular H&8th in the Midtown District. With more than 25,000 people attending the monthly food festival, H&8th has quickly become the country's largest food truck event and a gathering place for people who love OKC and love food. We can hardly contain our excitement as the March 27 date nears. Seriously, who doesn’t love picking out their favorite delicacies, whether it’s the 5th amendment from Big Truck Tacos or chicken and waffles? This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with the addition of a shopping bazaar as part of the festival.

Get out there and explore OKC at any of these monthly festivals. It’s a great, inexpensive way to see more of what OKC has to offer. Don’t worry, you can thank us later. 

festivals, food, midtown, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: February 17 - February 23, 2015

Tuesday, February 17
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, February 18
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Riversport Run; 6 p.m.; The Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Event is free.

Thursday, February 19
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Into to Horticulture Series: Tool Care Workshop; Noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members and $5 for nonmembers.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, February 20
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
Ralph Ellison Festival; 6:30 p.m.; Film Row; All events are open to the public.
Adirondack Flames vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Pixar in Concert; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, February 21
Friends of the Library Book Sale; 9 a.m.; Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, Oklahoma Expo Hall; 606-3763; Admission is free.
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Adirondack Flames vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Pixar in Concert; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, February 22
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Friends of the Library Book Sale; 9 a.m.; Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, Oklahoma Expo Hall; 606-3763; Admission is free.
Texas Legends vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 2 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, February 23
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  

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



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine’s Day Shopping

Can you feel it? Love is in the air! That’s right, Valentine’s Day is this week in Oklahoma City (and presumably everywhere else that loves love). We spend 365 days a year telling you the great places to go in OKC. We’ve also written about Valentine’s Day a lot so if you want suggestions on where to eat and what to do simply type in Valentine’s Day on the Better Life search bar or just read about all the cool places we write about. I mean if a place is great on the other 364 days a year it is probably pretty swell on Saint Valentine’s Day (as they call it in the old country).

Going out is the easy part of the day. Today we want to help you out with the hard part. The stressful part that gnaws at you each passing day until Valentine’s Day arrives. What do you get the person in your life that shows them just how swell you think they are?

Luckily, OKC has some amazing local retailers were you can find that unique, one-of-a-kind item for your soul mate. Or it can be for a friend, dog or even a lizard if you are into that sort of thing. Of course we can’t mention everyone so leave some other great local retailers in the comments below!

  • Shop Good- Located off Automobile Alley on Ninth Street, Shop Good offers clothing and home goods with a local spin. Plus they donate part of their profits to local charities.
  • Plenty Mercantile- A great shopping destination in Automobile Alley with an eclectic variety of goods you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Red Dirt Emporium- Its mission statement is simple; introducing locals and visitors alike to the best Oklahoma has to offer. Everything from clothes to music, art and more. Red Dirt Emporium is located in Bricktown.
  • Painted Door- Located in the heart of Bricktown the Painted Door has been a staple of local shopping for more than 20 years in OKC.
  • On a Whim- On a Whim is located in Classen Curve and offers one-of-kind clothing, housewares and gifts for all ages.
holiday, local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Flower Power

What does Valentine’s Day mean for a lot of people? Flowers. Yes, flowers are a perfect way to say “You’re kind of cool” with pretty colors and lovely fragrance. Why don’t you give one of these reputable flower peddlers a call and your business? They will be happy to help you come up with just the right arrangement. And don’t forget that flowers are good for days other than Valentine’s Day. Send someone you care about flowers for no reason and thank us later.

Really want to kick it up to 11 in the flower department? If you’re looking to escape the chilly winter weather and see some fabulous flowers, don’t forget about the Myriad Botanical Gardens Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. With indoor temperatures ranging from 62 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll keep warm while you enjoy the 2,000 different plant varieties.

holiday, local goods, Myriad Botanical Gardens, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Sugar High

The Cookie Monster might be a little bit of a psycho, but he kind of has a point, right? Cookies and sweets are pretty good. Bathing suit season is just around the corner so many people are trying to avoid those extra calories. That is why Valentine’s Day is so awesome. It is a built-in excuse to rage on some sweet, sweet sugar.

Where do you get your sugar fix in OKC? Well good thing you asked. OKC has some great bakeries and candy companies who can’t wait to hook you up. We only have one request: don’t be selfish. Be sure to remember your significant other on Valentine’s Day and get them a sugary treat.

food, holiday, local goods
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Valentine’s Day on a Budget

So we’ve talked about some great things to buy for Valentine’s Day. You might be sitting at home thinking that all sounds great, but I’ve got a budget. Who has the money to really show that special someone just how special they truly are? Well, good thing you live in Oklahoma City. Unlike many metros, OKC is affordable. I mean, you can live in NYC, but can you really LIVE in NYC?

Did you know that if you made $35,000 working in Oklahoma City that is the equivalent of only making $14,500 in Manhattan? What kind of witchcraft did we come up with to figure those numbers? Check out our Cost of Living Calculator. It couldn’t be easier. Simply type in a base salary and pick two metros to compare.

The tool gives you an in-depth breakdown of what basic living goods cost in each city and most times you will see Oklahoma City always comes in more affordable. Were you thinking of cooking your special someone a nice spaghetti dinner for Valentine’s Day? Good thing you are in OKC. Parmesan Cheese is currently running at $7.16 in Manhattan. Here in the 4-0-5 you can get it for just $3.60. Oklahoma City: where living on a budget can still lead to caviar dreams and champagne wishes.

holiday, oklahoma, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: February 10 - February 16, 2015

Tuesday, February 10
Tinkering Tuesdays; 6 p.m.; Midwest City Library, Family Place; 732-4828; This event is free.
Glen Miller Orchestra; 7:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May; 682-7576.

Wednesday, February 11
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Riversport Run; 6 p.m.; The Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Event is free.

Thursday, February 12
Prairie Classic Quarter Horse Show; 8 a.m.; State Fair Park; 984-6800.
Creative Writing Workshop; 6 p.m.; Ralph Ellison Library, Meeting Room B; 424-1437; This workshop is free.
The Central Jazz Jam; 7 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab, 100 E. Fifth St.; 359-7989; Event is free but donations are accepted.

Friday, February 13
Prairie Classic Quarter Horse Show; 8 a.m.; State Fair Park; 984-6800.
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  
Murder Mystery at the Museum; 6 p.m.; Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd.; 814-0006; Admission is $50 per person.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; Free.
Bart Crow; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan; 601-6276; Tickets are $8.

Saturday, February 14
Prairie Classic Quarter Horse Show; 8 a.m.; State Fair Park; 984-6800.
Bart & Nadia Sports Experience 2015; 9 a.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; This event is free.
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Riversport RUNderground: 12:30 p.m.; OKC Underground; Registration is $25 for adults and $12 for kids.
Monster Jam; 2 & 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, February 15
Prairie Classic Quarter Horse Show; 8 a.m.; State Fair Park; 984-6800.
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Monster Jam; 2 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Romeo and Juliet; 2 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; (918) 596-7109; Ticker prices vary.

Monday, February 16
Jewel Orchids: Treasures of the Rainforest; 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free for members, regular bridge admission for nonmembers.
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Edmond

Here at the Better Life we know Oklahoma City is a lot more than the OKC city limits. In fact, we like to think of it as Greater Oklahoma City. There are many great communities just outside of our city that help add entertainment and housing options to our region. Every once in a while we like to take a look at some of these communities. Today we will look up north beginning in Edmond.

Edmond is our neighbor to the north and is actually the state’s sixth largest city with a population of just over 81,000. Edmond is hard to beat for a suburb. We aren’t just blowing smoke as CNBC ranked it No. 1 on its “10 Perfect Suburbs” list.

Arcadia Lake is a great place to catch some outdoor fun. The fishing at Arcadia is great as you can catch bluegill, catfish and bass year around. Wait … year around? “Who wants to fish in the frigid temperatures of January?” you might be asking. Well, the lake has a heated, covered dock for just that type of occasion. Arcadia is one of the youngest lakes in Oklahoma, as it opened in 1987. You can also swim, boat, water ski and play disc golf. The lake also has some quality trails for hiking, biking and horse riding.

Are you into the performing arts? You can catch a variety of great shows in Edmond starting with an event at the Armstrong Auditorium.  It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season.

Edmond is also home to University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Every week the lab features live entertainment with food and drink of course. 

This is just a small taste of things to see and do in Edmond. What are some other can’t miss events or attractions in Edmond? Let us know in the comments.

mountain biking, music, outdoor recreation, water sports, ballet, concerts, cycling, Edmond, fishing, live music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Kingfisher

Just slightly northwest of Oklahoma City you will find Kingfisher. First and foremost, cool name right? Kingfisher is named after an early resident name King Fisher. Want another fun fact about Kingfisher? Walmart founder Sam Walton was born there in 1918.

Kingfisher was located right on the Chisholm Trail, over which millions of cows were driven from Texas to Kansas. This was right after the Civil War so when we say driven we don’t mean by semi-truck. You can learn all about this fascinating time in America’s history at the Chisholm Trail Museum. The museum features one-of-a-kind artifacts from that time period including Native American, farm and pioneer implements.

The grounds of the museum is also home to a pioneer village that features five original buildings from the late 19th century, including a one-room school house and the first bank established in Kingfisher.

So in short, Kingfisher is a great place to take a quick drive to and learn more about a unique time in Oklahoma history.

history, kingfisher, museums, native american, oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Rounding Home

There are two more communities to the north that are well worth a day-trip when you want to explore. We’ve already talked about them previously so be sure to check out some of our past blogs for more in-depth info.

  • Guthrie- The great state of Oklahoma’s first capital (for the full story click here), Guthrie is located just 35 minutes due north of OKC. Downtown Guthrie is a must-visit destination on your check list as it feature many buildings from the late 19th century and is even designated a National Historic Landmark.
  • Stillwater- Head just a little further up I-35 and you’ll hit Stillwater. The town is home to Oklahoma State University so it’s a great chance to catch some college sports. You can also visit the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for more on the history of one of the world’s oldest sports. Downtown Stillwater offers a classic main street and there are three lakes in Stillwater that offer aquatic fun.
guthrie, history, museums, stillwater, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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VisitOKC

As we’ve said time and time again, it is hard for us to hit on every hot spot and exciting event Oklahoma City and its surrounding communities host. However, if you are interested in learning more about the communities we talked about this week or any of the great cities around OKC, you should check out www.VisitOKC.com.

VisitOKC is the official website of Oklahoma City’s Convention and Tourism Bureau so they know a thing or two about where to visit in our region. The site is easy to use and allows you to search for fun times by interest. You can search for interests from History and Heritage to Family Fun and everything in between.

The website is a handy resource for when you want to explore Oklahoma City and even includes suggested itineraries based on your interests. Want to hit all the must-see places in OKC? They’ve got you covered but with that much to do it might take more than a day. Heck, why not create your own itinerary? It is super easy.

So before your next outing to explore Greater Oklahoma City, hit up www.VisitOKC.com to maximize your entertainment and minimize the cool stuff you might miss.

attractions, oklahoma city
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: February 3 - February 9, 2015

Tuesday, February 3
Tinkering Tuesdays; 6 p.m.; Midwest City Library, Family Place; 732-4828; This event is free.
Academy Award Nominated Live Action Shorts Films; 7:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive; 236-3100; Tickets are $9 for adults.

Wednesday, February 4
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Riversport Run; 6 p.m.; The Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Event is free.
Sip & Sketch; 6 p.m.; IAO on Film Row, 706 W. Sheridan; No fee to enter but BYOB and supplies.

Thursday, February 5
Chocolate Decadence on Automobile Alley; 6 p.m.; Hudson-Essex Building, 825 N. Broadway; 618-8820; Tickets are $60.
Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers vs. Springfield Express; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Metamorphosis; 8 p.m.; Burg Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 208-5227; Tickets are $12.

Friday, February 6
An Affair of the Heart; 9 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd.; 632-2652; Admission is $7 and good for all three days.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Tartuffe; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; (918) 596-7109; Admission is $20 for adults.
Canadian Brass Concert; 8 p.m.; Petree Recital Hall, 2501 N. Blackwelder; Tickets are $35.

Saturday, February 7
An Affair of the Heart; 9 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd.; 632-2652; Admission is $7 and good for all three days.
Dr. George Washington Carver and the Amazing Peanut; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room; 445-7080; Admissions is $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers.
Harlem Globetrotters; 2 & 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Romancing the Zoo; 6 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $50 for members and $55 for non-members.

Sunday, February 8
An Affair of the Heart; 9 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd.; 632-2652; Admission is $7 and good for all three days.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; Noon; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Knights & Princesses; 2 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2264; Tickets are $90.

Monday, February 9
Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder; 606-7003; Tickets prices vary.  
Mother Goose on the Loose; 5:30 p.m.; Almonte Library, Program Room (A); 606-3575; This event is free.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Get Carded at the Library

Hey, how about reading something other than the back of the shampoo bottle for a change? If you feel like you don’t know your volcanoes, vivisection, or Vietnam War (among other topics) like you should, the Metropolitan Library System has you covered. If you live or own property in Oklahoma City or Oklahoma County, just bring two forms of ID (one showing proof of residence) to your nearest library and get hooked up like a tow truck with your very own library card. But if your county is Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie, you still oughttocomeandsee– the Metropolitan Library System has a reciprocal service agreement with the Pioneer Library System, HQ’d in Norman. (This means MLS cardholders can do the same at any Pioneer Library). Yes, there are virtually no limits to the things you can learn as a card-carrying member of the library. Lather, rinse, repeat, and then get yourself there!

community, family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The Library Makes You Better

As fun as it is to “Like” everything that comes across your feed, we all know those captions on your friends’ Instagram photos aren’t making you any smarter (and don’t even get us started with the Facebook, Twitter, or ::gasp:: Snapchat). So if you’re interested in self-improvement or learning something new, what to do?

Well, we’ve got good news for you Curious Carols and Wondering Williams. As a brand-new MLS card holder (congratulations!), you may not be aware that the Metropolitan Library System offers enough activities to choke a camel. From local art to LEGO robotics to live concerts to learning about email and ebooks, your library’s the place to gain knowledge, explore, study, and improve yourself. Check out just some of the activities in which you can participate in the next few weeks:

Chess Club
GED prep
Internet basics
Tai Chi
Concerts
Children reading to dogs
Quilting Club
LEGO Robotics
Movie Night
Book Club
Healthy Pregnancy
Teen Service Team
Adult Education and Literacy Classes
Anime Club
Art Class
Gaming Club
And more!

For a full list of activities and events, just point your way over to metrolibrary.org’s calendar page.

family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Ralph Ellison’s Visible Legacy

(Photo: © United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.)

Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in 1914 (or 1913 – there is some debate on the date). Oklahoma City’s most notable literary figure and the author of Invisible Man, Ellison grew up in the Deep Deuce neighborhood and loved music (jazz as well as classical). He began playing the cornet at age 8, eventually majoring in music at the Tuskegee Institute after graduating from Douglass High School in 1932. But it was a meeting with writer Richard Wright after moving to New York City in 1936 that directed his path toward authorship. He published many reviews, short stories and essays from 1937 to 1944. Invisible Man was published in 1952, winning the 1953 National Book Award. Ellison then traveled and lived abroad (including in Rome) for a few years before returning to the U.S. in 1958 to teach at Bard College. In 1964 he began teaching at Rutgers and Yale before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and becoming a permanent faculty member at NYU in 1970. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1975, and continued teaching and publishing essays, receiving the National Medal of Arts in 1985 and publishing a collection of essays, Going to the Territory, in 1986. He died in 1994.

Oklahoma City’s Ralph Ellison Library was first dedicated in his honor in 1975, and in 2012 artist David Phelps unveiled a sculpture honoring Ellison at the library. As part of its Literary Arts series, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 91-cent stamp honoring him on Feb. 18, 2014, and on March 6, 1914, a portrait of Ellison was hung at the State Capitol on the fourth floor. The Ralph Ellison Foundation was also founded in 2014 to highlight “the accomplishments of the acclaimed author Ralph Waldo Ellison” and to empower “the lives of others through his philosophy, talents, and writings in the areas of Literacy, Music, and the Arts.” You can “check out” many of his works at your local branch of the Metropolitan Library System.

More info on Ralph Ellison:
-Library of Congress
-Interview with The Paris Review (Spring 1955)
-PBS’ American Masters
-Journal Record article on Ralph Ellison Foundation

history, library, oklahoma city history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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No Soothsayers Necessary: Sequoyah Voting Begins Soon

Beware the ides of March, kids, because you’ll no longer be able to vote on the Sequoyah Book Awards. While a previous blog post gave some info on these awards, we thought we’d let you know that voting for the different categories will be open soon, from February 1st through March 15th. Children in grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 who have read at least three books from each masterlist can vote on their favorite for the Children’s, Intermediate, and High School Sequoyah Book Awards, respectively. Watch the Oklahoma Library Association site for more info.

kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: January 27 - February 2, 2015

Tuesday, January 27
Edgar Cruz; 2 p.m.; Belle Isle Brewery; 843-9601; Admission is free. 
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, January 28
Bringing Books to Life; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, January 29
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Erie BayHawks vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Christopher Titus; 7 p.m.; UCO Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N. University Drive; 974-3375; Tickets are $25 apiece.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, January 30
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Lake Erie Monsters vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Event is free.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 31
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 4 & 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Lake Erie Monsters vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Academy Award Nominated Live Action Shorts Films; 8 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive; 236-3100; Tickets are $9 for adults.

Sunday, February 1
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Varekai by Cirque du Soleil; 1:30 and 5 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, February 2
Quilting Club; 11 a.m.; Ralph Ellison Library, Meeting Room A; 424-1437; The event is free.
Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Get artsy in The Paseo

In recent years, we in Oklahoma City have loved seeing the development of defined districts with their own flavor and happenings. And a lot of those have emerged around historic neighborhoods that formed decades ago, in the early days of the city. This week, let’s explore some of them, starting with The Paseo Arts District and its history that dates back to the 1920s.

This thriving district, located mostly between Walker and Lee avenues and NW 30th and 28th streets, features Spanish revival architecture with original stucco buildings. Its clay tile roofs are still intact, and The Paseo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to The Paseo District’s website.

The Elms, an art gallery and studio built in 1920 at 2810 N Walker, was home to the first Oklahoma City artist studio and gallery and is an art gallery today, JRB Art at the Elms. After several years, small businesses and jazz clubs were added to the district. The Paseo transitioned into an arts district in the ’70s and held its first Paseo Arts Festival in 1977. The festival continues the tradition over Memorial Day weekend annually. In 1987, the City of Oklahoma City designated the Paseo neighborhood as its first neighborhood revitalization project, and it’s been a thriving cultural scene ever since. The Paseo Arts Association helps foster this artistic vibe.

If you go, you can tour art galleries, take art classes, shop, eat or mix with artists on a regular basis. Or, you can stroll through the entire district during the Paseo’s First Friday Gallery Walk. More than 60 artists from about 20 galleries participate in this event, from 6-10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, and it includes themed exhibits, refreshments, guest artists and other entertainment.

arts and culture, paseo district
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Embrace Midtown as it develops

To see OKC’s renaissance in action, you don’t have to look any farther than the Midtown District, centered around Walker Avenue and 10th Street, near St. Anthony Hospital, the city’s first hospital. This now-bustling hub attracts restaurants and bars, retail stores and restaurants. It continues to develop for people who want to live, work and play in the heart of Oklahoma City, and it includes housing, retail, night life, hotels and history, with many of its original buildings being brought back to life.

Specifically, the Midtown District extends from NW 13 south to 4th Street and from one-half block east of Robinson and west to Classen Boulevard. More than 10,000 people live within one mile of 1100 N Walker Ave.

Public and private investments have created a thriving district of diversity within its 387 acres. Midtown includes the city’s first grocery store and kindergarten, surviving territorial Victorian homes and a strong restaurant and night-life scene.

Find out more.

midtown, nightlife, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The commercial district that became Automobile Alley

Developed in the 1920s as a commercial district north of downtown, the revitalized district now known as Automobile Alley has its own vibe as restaurants and retailers return to it in droves. The area along Broadway Avenue once housed the city’s car dealerships – 52 of the Oklahoma City’s first 76 auto dealerships, by some accounts. It is now characterized by those dealers’ buildings and their neon signs – as well as a colorful light display each holiday season.

These two- to three-story commercial buildings were identifiable by their brick look and large expanses of glass on the front and large garage doors. Before it became the center of Oklahoma City’s auto business, Victorian homes built in the 1890s and 1900s lined the streets designed for horses and wagons.

Today, visitors can dine there, shop there, work there or partake in a variety of services, all within walking distance. They can also experience all of the district’s flavor with extended shopping hours at the Auto Alley Shop Hop on the third Thursday of every month.

See for yourself – take a tour of some of Oklahoma City’s oldest and most interesting places outside of downtown.

automobile alley, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: January 20 - January 26, 2015

Tuesday, January 20
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Riversport Run; 6 p.m.; The Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Event is free.
Tinkering Tuesdays; 6 p.m.; Midwest City Library, Family Place; 732-4828; Event is free.

Wednesday, January 21
Bringing Books to Life; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby of the Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Juggling Club; 4 p.m.; Belle Isle Library, Rooms A-B; 843-9601; Event is free.

Thursday, January 22
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Family Story Time; 6:30 p.m.; Edmond Library, Room C; 341-9282; Event is free.
Todd Barry; 7 p.m.; ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan; 974-4700; Tickets are $20 in advance and $24 at the door.

Friday, January 23
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
60th Annual OKC Boat Show; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; State Fair Park, Cox Pavilion & Centennial Building; 948-6704; $7 at the door and children under 12 are free.
Canton Charge vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Professional Bull Riding; 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 24
60th Annual OKC Boat Show; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; State Fair Park, Cox Pavilion & Centennial Building; 948-6704; $7 at the door and children under 12 are free.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Professional Bull Riding; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Austin Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Bleu Edmonson; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan; 601-6276; Tickets are $6.

Sunday, January 25
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Tickets are $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
60th Annual OKC Boat Show; Noon to 5 p.m.; State Fair Park, Cox Pavilion & Centennial Building; 948-6704; $7 at the door and children under 12 are free.
Professional Bull Riding; 2 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, January 26
Art Moves- Gaye Leblanc; Noon; Downtown Library; Event is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Follow Then Lead

If you really want to get to know a town and stay on top of the comings and goings, Twitter is the perfect tool. However if you are new to a city or new to Twitter the Twitterverse can be a tad overwhelming and intimidating. I mean what is a parody account? In attempt to help your transition to full-fledged Oklahoma Citian and/or Twitter expert here is a good beginner list of accounts to follow. Of course this is not an exhaustive list. If there is anyone you feel we’ve left out put them in the comments below for all to see.

General news, info and events
@BetterLifeOKC – Get the 4-1-1 on the 4-0-5
@okcchamber – Greater OKC Chamber
@VisitOKC – Oklahoma City CVB

Sports
@okcthunder – Oklahoma City Thunder – NBA basketball
@OKCBarons – Oklahoma City Barons – AAA Affiliate of the NHL Edmonton Oilers
@okcblue- Oklahoma City Blue – NBA Development League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder
@okc-dodgers – Oklahoma City Dodgers – AAA Affiliate of the MLB Los Angeles Dodgers
@EnergyFC – Oklahoma City Energy – OKC’s USL Pro soccer team, affiliate of MLS Sporting KC

City stuff
@cityofokc – City of Oklahoma City
@MickCornett – Mayor of Oklahoma City

Media and Blogs
@AboutOKC – About.com’s OKC guide
@JournalRecord – Daily business news
@NewsOK – Daily news
@OKCBiz – OKC business monthly
@OKGazette – OKC alternative weekly news
@OKCTalk – Local message board
@OklahomaRock – Local music news, shows, bands, more
@YelpOKC – What’s good in OKC

networking, oklahoma city, social media
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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