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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reign in your Excitement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

equine, horse show
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



It’s the Great Pumpkinville, OKC!

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

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

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

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

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

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

day-trip, family-friendly, oklahoma, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: September 30 - October 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yukon: “Czech Capitol of Oklahoma”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

festivals, music, Tuttle
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Get Your Kicks on Route 66

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Choctaw: The oldest charted town in Oklahoma is home to Old Germany Restaurant and the Oktoberfest.
  • Harrah: Held each September, Harrah Day is a celebration of all things Harrah. Live music, a hot dog eating contest and more are topped off with an amazing fireworks display.
  • Prague: On the first Saturday of each May, Prague hosts the world-famous Kolache Festival. The festival is a fun and unique celebration of Czech culture.
festivals, food, music, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: September 23 - September 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time to Get Moving

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

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

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

family-friendly, free, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



New Areas to Explore

The current MAPS 3 projects will add more than 200 miles of trails throughout Oklahoma City over the next few years. Once all of the trails are complete, everyone will be able to travel through Oklahoma City’s neighborhoods between the lakes Hefner, Overholser and Draper and the Oklahoma River and back safely again along trails. The West River Trail is expected to be completed this year and will connect Lake Hefner to Oklahoma River. The three-phase plan is expected to continue for the next several years, so look for the number of outdoor recreational activities in Oklahoma City to multiply exponentially. MAPS 3 will also add new sidewalks throughout the city making daily travel easier for pedestrians.

family-friendly, maps, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Crankin’ in the Country

For bicyclists who love hitting the road to feel the wind in their hair and pavement under their wheels, Oklahoma offers a variety of landscapes. The Oklahoma Bicycle Society’s “Crankin’ in the Country” series offers a unique perspective to explore our state. From the Tecumseh Loop, Sulphur Loop, Lake Overholser to El Reno, Indian Point, Tribbey Loop, Hilly Ride, Norman to Paul’s Valley and Hinton Loop, riders will have an opportunity to learn about the state’s history while enjoying a great workout.

Those who enjoy walking and running have a number of excellent choices for recreational areas in the Oklahoma City metro including Dolese Youth Park, Eldon Lyon Park J.L. Mitch Park and Hafer Park (Edmond), Joe B. Barnes Park (Midwest City), Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser, Martin Nature Park, Chisholm Trail Park (Yukon) and Earlywine Park.

cycling, family-friendly, outdoor recreation, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Fun with Friends

There are plenty of groups to help you explore Oklahoma City. By bike or foot, these groups will keep you moving. The Oklahoma City Land Runners, a group of local running enthusiasts, hold weekly training sessions all over town. From the Boathouse district to Lake Hefner, Mitch Park and more, the Land Runners explore Oklahoma City on foot each week. While memberships are available; anyone can run for free with this group.

The Oklahoma Bicycle Society also holds weekly rides for all skill levels. Don’t be afraid to join the group. They have a “no-drop” policy, meaning that no matter what your speed, someone will stay by your side to make sure your ride is enjoyable (and that you don’t take a wrong turn). Their weekly donut rides give a brief introduction to the group. True adventure seekers can join the OKC hiking and outdoor fun meetup. This group explores Oklahoma through thrill-seeking hikes and multiple other outdoor adventures.

By foot, bike or wheel, fall is a wonderful time to get out and explore all the beauty our state holds.

cycling, outdoor recreation, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: September 16 - September 22, 2014

Tuesday, September 16
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Sandi Patty; 7:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Community College, 777 S. May; 682-1611; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, September 17
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Art Moves- Jon Martindale; Noon.; Robinson Renaissance, 119 N. Robinson, Free.

Thursday, September 18
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Shop Hop; 6 p.m.; Automobile Alley; Free.
The Mustache Bash; 6 p.m.; Shop Good, 3 NW 9th St.; 702-0517; Admission is free.
Zoo through History; 7 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington; 424-3344; Regular Zoo admission.

Friday, September 19
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Summer’s End Dinner on the Terrace; 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical, Meinders Garden; 445-7080; Ticket prices vary.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row; Free.
Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, Bricktown; 601-6276; Ticket prices vary. 

Saturday, September 20
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Mesta Festa; Noon; Mesta Park; Admission is free, $15 donation for wine and beer tastings.
It’s Cider Time! All about Apples; 2 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room; 445-7080; $8 for members and $10 for members.
Garden Games; 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Lawn; 445-7080; Admission is $25, Must be 21 or over.
Fairy Ball; 7 p.m.; The Paseo Green Space; 525-2688; Admission is free.

Sunday, September 21
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.

Monday, September 22
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
An Evening of Nostalgia “Get to Know Your Districts”; 7 p.m.; DC on Film Row, 609 W. Sheridan; $5 admission.

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



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Step Right Up for Fair Fun!

[Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma State Fair]

From Sept. 11-21, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City will be bustling with the Oklahoma State Fair and all that it entails. An annual extravaganza stretching back 107 years, the Oklahoma State Fair offers a little something for everyone, from deep-fried culinary delights (sign us up!) to ice-dancing Disney princesses. Read on for our can’t-miss fair favorites.

  • The City of AGtropolis – The Oklahoma State Fair has its roots in agriculture, and this hands-on learning experience presents Oklahoma’s agricultural history with interactive exhibits and demonstrations throughout the Oklahoma Expo Hall. This event is perfect for kids or adults formerly obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie series.
  • Centennial Frontier Experience – In case you aren’t quite done celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run, the Centennial Frontier Experience at 14 Flags Plaza will take you way back to Oklahoma’s Wild West days. Don’t miss two of the rootinest, tootinest western performers, Loop Rawlins and Lynn Payne, in the Wild West Showcase.
  • Disney on Ice – Called “the ultimate celebration of celebrations,” Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! with its usual vibrancy and flair. Check out ticket prices and show times here.
  • Free concerts on the Chickasaw Entertainment Stage – Gather smack-dab in the middle of the fairgrounds each evening to enjoy jazz, alt rock, country, oldies and even hick-hop (yes, that’s a thing).
  • Fair food –You may already have your go-to favorite, but the roster of fair food has 20 new additions this year. Heads up – almost half of those foods include bacon as an ingredient. Start prepping your digestion now.   
concerts, family-friendly, food, live music, state fair park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Oklahoma State Fair, a History

[Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society]

When it comes to partnership, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the State Fair of Oklahoma go together like mac ‘n’ cheese, especially if that mac ‘n’ cheese is covered in batter and deep fried.

When a young Oklahoma City had the opportunity to host the Farmers National Congress in 1907, city leaders were determined to do everything they could to make the convention a success. There was only one stipulation from the convention organizers: They wanted a fall fair so their delegates could see the achievements of agriculture in the new state.

Oklahoma citizens pushed for an annual fair as early as 1892, recognizing the impact that the fair could have on the new territory. Convinced of the potential, a coalition of business leaders gathered in the offices of the Chamber on Jan. 18, 1907, to organize a state fair association. After months of planning, the first State Fair of Oklahoma celebrated its opening day on Oct. 5, 1907. Since that time, the Chamber has continued to support the fair as a natural extension of its long history of economic and community development.

history, oklahoma city history, state fair park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Take to the Skies

You have probably already heard about Oklahoma City’s aviation history, but an upcoming event at Will Rogers Airport will give you the chance to experience it. The Commemorative Air Force is bringing their AirPower History Tour to Oklahoma City from Sept. 18-21.

Attendees will be able to tour aircraft and experience a ride-along on one of four aircraft, all from the WWII era: Fairchild PT-19, Boeing Stearman, C-45 Expeditor and a B-29 Superfortress. The B-29, named FIFI, was the premier bomber of WWII and the last one still flying. Admission is $10 per person, with discounted admission for children younger than 18 and free admission for children under the age of 10. Visit the website for more information.

aviation, history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 9 - September 15, 2014

[Photo courtesy of Carl Shortt]

Tuesday, September 9
Aziz Ansari; 7 p.m.; Rose State College, 6420 SE 15th St.; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.
Art Moves- Rose Rock String Quartet; 11:30 a.m.; Devon Tower, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.; Free.

Wednesday, September 10
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, South Lobby; 445-7080; Free.
The Art of the Brick; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St.; 602-3760; Regular museum hours.
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.

Thursday, September 11
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Macbeth; 8 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Myriad Gardens Water Stage; 235-3700; $15 for general admission.
Astronomy Night in the Garden; 8:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Lawn; 445-7080; Free

Friday, September 12
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; 367-9403; Free
Full Moon Bike Ride; 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Band Shell; 235-3700; Free.
Bluegrass River Cruise; 7 p.m.; Oklahoma River Cruises, 1503 Exchange; 702-7755; Prices vary.
Old Crow Medicine Show; 8 p.m.; Rose State College, 6420 SE 15th St.; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, September 13
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Hoof’n It: 5K, 10K & Family Fun Trot; 9:45 a.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 641-6585; $30-35.
Ed Roberts Book Signing; 3 p.m.; Full Circle Books, 1900 NW Expressway; 842-2900; Free.
Friends & Lovers; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2264; Price vary.

Sunday, September 14
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Wiggle Out Loud; 11 a.m.; Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch; Free.

Monday, September 15
Oklahoma State Fair; All Day; State Fair Park; 948-6800; $10 for adults, $7 for children at the gate.
Barre3 Free Community Class; 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, the Pavilion; 445-7080; Admission is free.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Go Climb a Rock

It’s not just for extreme sports enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies, sherpas and Captain Kirk. That’s right, faithful The Better Life reader – rock climbing is for everyone. And you can make your way up 110 feet of sheer face as close as downtown at Rocktown Climbing Gym.

Housed in a former grain silo, Rocktown features both indoor and outdoor climbing, auto belays, bouldering, and even multi-pitch routes, among others. It’s a unique place – so much so that it was featured in the recent Coolist documentary on OKC by filmmaker Seamus Payne, who commented, “it’s one of the most inventive examples of urban reuse I’ve ever seen.” First-timers just need to head to one of the orientation classes and they’ll be good to go up. So the next time someone tells you to “go climb a rock,” you’ll know right where to go in OKC.

 

Rocktown Climbing Gym
200 SE 4th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
405.319.1400

Current Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 2-10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: 1-6 p.m.

First Time Climber Orientation Class
Monday – Friday: 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m.

family-friendly, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Trails Without Tribulations

Caloi Supra 2008

You see that thing over there in the corner, gathering dust? All of lithe, delicately engineered lines of chain, rubber, gears and a formerly shiny steel (or aluminum or carbon fiber) frame? Yep, that’s your long-neglected mountain bike, and now that fall is almost upon us, it’s calling you to put some air in the tires, some grease on the chain and go for a ride.

Sure, you should wear a helmet, and yes, shorts with ample padding in the buttocks area are just about a necessity. But it’s hard to find a more exhilarating hobby that doesn’t involve something illegal is quite so accessible. Here in Oklahoma City, in addition to the paved trails system you’ve heard so much about, there are also plenty of places to put the “mountain” back into a mountain bike ride (or something akin, at any rate). There are trails to discover from Edmond to Norman of varying levels of difficulty, and recently Continental Resources gave $175,000 to help expand the trail system and add other fitness amenities at the Bluff Creek trail.

If you want to get out of the metro and explore a little bit on two wheels (perhaps as part of a weekend camping adventure), the Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship has a nifty map, and our friends over at Travel OK have some more ideas for you. We think it’s high time for you to shake the dust off and get some time in the saddle of your trusty steel steed.

cycling, mountain biking, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Mixing Air and Water

If you’re in the mood to get up, up and away, we have some ideas to put some literal littoral air between your feet and the place where the water meets the land.

You’ve heard it’s windy in Oklahoma? Well, that’s hard to deny, but one of the good things about that fact is that OKC makes a great place for wind-plus-water-related action sports. “Kite Point” or “Kite Beach” on the east side of Lake Hefner is a great place to kiteboard, windsurf, parasail, and other associated action-water-sport activities. If you need to get started, a number of area companies offer lessons and places to buy gear.

Moving south to the Oklahoma River, the unique SandRidge Sky Trail (above) offers 80 vertical feet of rope bridges, balance beams, and other cool climbing obstacles. The higher you go, the more challenging! We know, it sounds scary, but don’t shy away, friends – you’re safely harnessed in. And the best part? Once you’ve made it to the top, you don’t have to climb back down. Simply take advantage of America’s tallest slide, the Sky Slide, or the Rumble Drop free fall experience.

Oh, and one more thing…

The new SandRidge Sky Zip. This is really all we have to say, but we’ll go ahead and say some more: Yes, it’s a 700-foot zip line. Across the river. And back. Yes, you need to do this.

Fall Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1 – 8 p.m.

family-friendly, oklahoma river, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Mat Hoffman and The Birth of Big Air

OKC’s own Mat Hoffman is an unparalleled pioneer in the sport of freestyle BMX. At the tender age of 13, Hoffman was the youngest rider to join the freestyle BMX circuit in 1985, going pro by 16 and inventing many of the tricks you see riders using today. He is especially known for clearing 26.5 feet from a 24-foot quarter pipe ramp (after being pulled to speed using a dirtbike and ski rope), and landing a no-handed 900 in competition, the only person to have done so. Hoffman’s impact on the action sports world is difficult to do justice to in a blog entry, but Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine produced a fantastic film on Mat for ESPN’s acclaimed 30 for 30 series, The Birth of Big Air. The highly acclaimed film kicked off Oklahoma City’s own deadCENTER film festival in 2010 in an amazing ambiance outdoors, with Jonze and Hoffman in attendance.

Appropriately, Oklahoma City named its new action sports park for Mat in 2005 with the opening of the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park. The park features both a bowl course and a street course and was named one of the top 10 skateparks in the U.S. by National Geographic Travel Guide. The park is open from dawn to 11 p. m., and it’s free!

film, movies, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 2 - September 8, 2014

Tuesday, September 2
Oil and Wood: Oklahoma Moderns George Bogart and James Henkle; Regular museum hours; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave, Norman; 325-3272; Regular museum admission.

Wednesday, September 3
The Art of the Brick; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St.; 602-3760; Regular museum hours.
Art Movers- Mid America String Quartet; Noon; OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; Free.

Thursday, September 4
On the Lawn;5 p.m.; 62nd & Western Ave.; Free.
Poetry Reading; 6:30 p.m.; Full Circle Books, 1900 NW Express Way; 842-2900; Admission is free.
Urban AG Coalition Film Series: “Growing Cities”; 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room; 445-7080; $5 per person.

Friday, September 5
Red Dirt Rangers Family Concert; 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Free.
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 p.m.; The Paseo District; Free.
Live Music on the Canal Festival; 7 p.m.; Bricktown, Free.
Bart Crow Concert; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, Bricktown; 601-6276; Ticket prices vary. 

Saturday, September 6
Septemberfest; All day; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zudhi Dr; 521-2491; Admission is free.
Confluence Conference; 8:30 a.m.; Lyric Theatre, 1727 NW 16th St.; 475-3761; $49 for full conference, $25 for live stream.
Chess Saturdays; Noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Meinders Garden; 445-7080; $3 donation suggested.
Parker Millsap Concert; 8 p.m.; The Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley; 524-0728; Tickets are $20.

Sunday, September 7
Phantom of the Opera; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker; 297-2264; Ticket prices vary.
2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival; 4 p.m.; The Zoo Amphitheatre, 2101 NE 50th St.; 602-0683; Ticket prices vary.
Arts Council of OKC’s Sunday Twilight Concert Series- Justin Young Band; 7:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Band Shell; 445-7080; Admission is free.

Monday, September 8
Knitting Club; 5:30 p.m.; Southern Oaks Library, Study room B; 631-4468; Event is free.
Yoga at DNA Galleries; 8 p.m.; DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St.; 525-3499; Suggested donation amount of $10.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

There’s a kid in all of us

Everyone knows there’s no shortage of fun family activities in the Oklahoma City metro area, but every now and then, even adults need to get away from the hustle and bustle. Thankfully, Oklahoma City offers a multitude of venues for adults to cut loose and have a great time.

A night out at Dave & Busters will have you feeling like a kid again in no time. Enjoy a variety of adult beverages—the strawberry mango snow cones are our personal favorite – great food and an overall fun environment. There’s no shortage of games to keep everyone busy including billiards and shuffleboard, Fruit Ninja, Whack and Win and so many more. And with plenty of specials each week including Taco Tuesday, 1/2-price games Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday you can have a fun night with friends without breaking the bank.

For a more intimate setting, discover the beautiful Oklahoma River aboard an Oklahoma River Cruise. A variety of trip options are available from four boarding locations - Regatta Park, Bricktown Landing, Exchange Landing and Meridian Landing. Special themed cruises including luau, bluegrass and haunt the river offer an exciting way to discover the Oklahoma River and enjoy a relaxing evening.

nightlife, oklahoma river
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Something for everyone

Lower Bricktown offers countless ways to enjoy a night out with a group of friends or that special someone.  Catch the final home game of baseball season as the Oklahoma City Redhawks take on the Albuquerque Isotopes at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark Wednesday, Aug. 27. Watch the summer’s hottest movies at Harkins Theater or enjoy a beautiful Oklahoma evening with a ride down the Bricktown Canal. RedPin offers a unique bowling experience you won’t soon forget.

For live music enthusiasts, there’s no shortage of talent in OKC. The fifth annual Live Music on the Canal will take place Sept. 5-6. The event showcases the talents of more than 200 Oklahoma singers and songwriters on five stages in lower Bricktown. Music will be performed along the canal including the Main stage in front of Harkins Theater; Jazmo’s Bourbon Street Café, which will feature both indoor and outdoor venues; and the green space next to Wanda Jackson Way on the canal level.

While you’re exploring Bricktown, don’t forget the many wonderful restaurants. We have a hard time deciding where to go – as lower Bricktown is home to so many wonderful places. From Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse to In the Raw, KDs Southern Cuisine, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and so many more, there’s certain to be something that whets your appetite.

bricktown, live music, live sporting events, movies, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A work of art

Art lovers rejoice! The 36th annual Arts Festival Oklahoma will take place Aug. 30 - Sept. 1 at Oklahoma City Community College. One of the top juried fine art and craft shows in the Southwest, AFO features works by hundreds of artists from 11 states who will be on-site to answer any questions you may have. With everything from hand-crafted jewelry to ceramics, photography, paintings, sculptures and more, there is sure to be something that piques your interest.

While you’re here, take in the sights and sounds as Oklahomans showcase their dance and musical talents throughout the festival. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra will even hold a free public performance as part of the event. And no festival would be complete with scrumptious fare including funnel cakes, foot-long corn dogs, Mexican, Greek, German and other ethnic specialties.

Art lovers can kick off the weekend each Thursday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Art After 5. Enjoy a beautiful ambiance and spectacular view of the Oklahoma City skyline from the Museum’s roof terrace. Live music is provided each week. The price of admission includes all museum exhibits, so be sure to check out Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris featuring 140 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The museum also features its permanent collection of Chihuly glass in Illuminations: Rediscovering the Art of Dale Chihuly. The exhibit contains more than 80 pieces of unique artwork, making it one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in the world.

No matter what your interests are, Oklahoma City offers something for everyone. Get out and explore each of the city’s districts; we promise you won’t be disappointed.

arts and culture, food, live music, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: August 26 - September 1, 2014

Tuesday, August 26
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Albuquerque; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket vary.
Tasty Tuesdays; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free.

Wednesday, August 27
The Art of the Brick; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St.; 602-3760; Regular museum hours.
Art Movers- Mid America String Quartet; Noon; OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; Free.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Albuquerque; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.

Thursday, August 28
Formed in Stone: The Natural Beauty of Fossils; Regular museum hours; Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauaugua, Norman; 325-4712; Regular museum admission.
Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts Paris; Regular museum hours; OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Acoustic Thursdays; 6:30 p.m.; Ice House Plaza; 445-7080; Free.

Friday, August 29
Photo Fridays; 10 a.m.; Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Free.
Reckless Kelly; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon, Bricktown; 601-6276; Ticket prices vary. 
Tony Lucca; 8 p.m.; The Blue Door, 2805 McKinley; 524-0738; Tickets $20 in advance.

Saturday, August 30
Chess Saturdays; Noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Meinders Garden; 445-7080; $3 donation suggested.
Chicago/REO Speedwagon; 7:30 p.m.; Downtown Air Park, 1701 S. Western Ave.; ticket prices vary.
Gala of the Royal Horses; 7:30 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; ticket prices vary.

Sunday, August 31
OCCC’s 36th-annual Arts Festival Oklahoma; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma City Community College; 682-7576; Admission is free.
Film at OKCMOA: “Dancing in Jaffa”; 2 p.m.; OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; $9 for adults.

Monday, September 1
OCCC’s 36th-annual Arts Festival Oklahoma; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma City Community College; 682-7576; Admission is free.

 

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Affordability of housing in OKC no longer a secret

We in Oklahoma City have known for a long time that people can afford to live and buy homes here and that they can get a better house for their dollars than in most places.

Now our secret is out, and you should know it, too.

In a recent Page 1 story, The New York Times noted that people are moving to Oklahoma City, the 12th fastest growing city in the nation last year, in part because of the low cost of living.

“Newcomers in Oklahoma City have traded traffic jams and preschool waiting lists for master suites the size of their old apartments,” reporter Shaila Dewan wrote in “Affordable Housing Draws Middle Class to Inland Cities.”

Read the story, and find out more about housing here and here.

housing
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Downtown OKC offers “new urbanism” for living

In recent years, Oklahoma City has seen a boom in downtown housing development.

So many people are choosing to call downtown home – nearly 7,450 downtown OKC residents these days – that the population has fueled demand for a new school in the area. John W. Rex Elementary School, a $14 million investment in the heart of downtown, is welcoming its inaugural classes this Fall.

If you want to live downtown, you’ve got plenty of choices and more to come, ranging from $784 to $2,250 per month for a one-bedroom housing unit; to $1,100 to $3,100 per month for a two bedroom/two bathroom unit.

So far there are nearly 3,000 housing units in the greater downtown Oklahoma City area, which includes the Oklahoma Health Center complex, and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber estimates that there are nearly 2,000 more planned or under construction.

Downtown residents are within walking distance or very close to all kinds of arts, culture, fitness and sport opportunities, including the Chesapeake Energy Arena where the OKC Thunder plays, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and home of the Oklahoma City RedHawks, Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma River/Boathouse District, Bricktown, Red Earth Museum, American Banjo Museum, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Myriad Botannical Gardens, Cox Convention Center and home of the Oklahoma City Barons, Oklahoma River trails, Downtown Library, Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum and area parks nearby.

And there are more venues in the works, as well as ongoing infrastructure improvements, like a 70-acre downtown park, a new convention center, whitewater rafting facility, modern streetcar system, 50 miles of trails and senior wellness aquatic centers.

Welcome to the neighborhood. You’re not alone in finding OKC’s vibrant downtown appealing.

Find out more about downtown living here and Oklahoma City’s housing market here.

downtown, housing
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Housing Types

While we’ve talked about downtown housing, there are plenty of other kinds of housing – and areas – for you to consider throughout the metro area.

If you like older homes on tree-lined streets in Oklahoma City’s core, you could move to one of the city’s more historic neighborhoods, like Crown Heights-Edgemere Heights just north of downtown;  Edgemere Park, developed in 1926, or the Paseo neighborhood surrounding the Paseo Arts District, among others.

Suburban neighborhoods to the north, west and south Oklahoma City offer a variety of schools and a mix of older and newer homes. You can live in the suburbs and still take advantage of the city’s low commute times and its action.

And if you are into bigger lots and more room to roam, look at the pastoral neighborhoods to the west, in far northwest Oklahoma City, in Surrey Hills, Piedmont and Deer Creek; or to the east east at Midwest City, Choctaw, Jones, Nicoma Park and Lake Aluma.

And of course, here’s more about Oklahoma City’s urban neighborhoods, which include downtown.

Explore more about Oklahoma City’s housing on A Better Life OKC’s housing website.

housing
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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