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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Who needs Oregon Trail?

Sick of being stuck inside playing Oregon Trail because of all the diseases, bad hunting, and grueling pace? Fear not, intrepid urban navigator. You can easily fashion yourself the Lewis and Clark of our real-life lakes, creeks, rivers and concrete on the Oklahoma City trails system. It all began in 2002 with the completion of the Lake Hefner trail loop. Today, the system sports more than 66 miles of titillating trails throughout the city (with dozens more magnificent miles coming soon as a result of the trails component of the MAPS 3 projects). So press return to size up the cycling, running, walking, in-line skating and strolling situation. It’s all here, friend, and without the dangers of running into any those nasty wild buffalo stampedes or typhoid fever outbreaks along the way. Get on out there, you modern-day metropolitan pathfinder you, and pedal, step, or roll your way into the history books. And then perhaps indulge yourself in some chocolate-incorporated trail mix for good measure. Go ahead, fair explorer.

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



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Discover Downtown

If you’re looking to check out some of downtown’s awesome sites, but don’t want to hoof it the whole way, we’ve got just the answer for you – the Downtown Discovery. This terrific transportation used to be offered in the form of a downtown trolley (if you’ve been in OKC long, you probably saw them on the streets) but when the city discovered that those traditional trolleys were no longer manufactured, it was out with the old and in with the new. And we sure do like the new. You know what else we like? They’re free. Yup, you can ride around downtown for the same price as you can walk around downtown. So when you’re downtown and looking to save your steps, look for the green buses and hop on.

downtown, family-friendly, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Swim, Run, Play at the YMCA

Summer is on the way. And if you ask us there’s no better time than now to get plugged in at the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. Looking to get in shape for days spent poolside? They have multiple locations, a variety of fitness classes and state-of-the-art equipment to help you get in tip-top shape. Want to find activities to keep your kids busy during the summer months? They have camps, classes and activities to help your kids stay active. So, go on. Join the YMCA today!

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



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Welcome Home

From sleek, modern condos to sprawling acreages, Oklahoma City has a variety of options for even the pickiest of home-seekers. With single family homes ranging from $60,000 to $359,000, and condos and townhomes from $65,000 to $300,000, Oklahoma City is also gentle on the wallet. Too good to be true, you say? Well, we are about to sweeten the deal - with our average commute time at about 20 minutes, you can choose to live anywhere in the city and still be at work in record time. Yes, we are bragging.

So what are your choices? We are glad you asked. If you want tree-lined streets and historic charm, neighborhoods like Crown Heights, Mesta Park or Heritage Hills might be for you. Want to be in the heart of the action? We suggest the Bricktown or Midtown area. Need wide open spaces for your growing brood? Northwest Oklahoma City has plenty of options, with average home prices at just around $233,209. And if you just can’t make up your mind, perhaps renting first is the best choice. No matter what you choose, we can guarantee one thing – you won’t be disappointed.

community, family-friendly, housing
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Especially Eggscellent

It’s that time of year. The time when kids (and adults) get all hopped up on sugar thanks to the sweet treats gathered at Easter Egg hunts. If you’re looking for a place to take the kiddos for an eggscellent time, we suggest the annual Myriad Gardens Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. until noon (ages 2-5 at 10:30 a.m. and ages 6-10 at 11:15 a.m.). It’s prime egg-seeking time for kids ages 2 to 10, and at just $10 per child ($5 if you’re a Myriad Gardens member), it’s an inexpensive way to get your kids’ egg fix. The only downside? Registration is limited so we suggest you score your spot today! 

And since the Gardens are one of OKC’s top-notch places for all things spring, you should go ahead and make plans for a return visit on Sunday, March 31, for Family Easter Brunch. This mouth-watering meal starts at 11 a.m. With tasty treats on the menu like fruits, eggs, Belgian waffles, bacon and more, we’re going to be dreaming about brunch for the rest of the week. Mmm mmm mmm.

downtown, family-friendly, food, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Calling all Cowboys

Spring has sprung (or at least it will, on March 20 – the first official day of spring!), which means it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy some milder weather! And if you’ve been stuck inside all winter with your little angels (or little hooligans if you prefer to call them – hey, we won’t judge!), you are probably more than ready to get out and about. We suggest you take your kiddos down to the 3rd Annual Cowboy Round-Up at the Oklahoma History Center on March 23. What better way to welcome spring than with chuck wagons, trick ropers, medicine man shows, music and activities for the kids? There will be ample opportunities for all little cowboys and cowgirls to run off their pent up energy. And the best part? The event is free.

family-friendly, museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Nurturing your Nature Side

Nestled on 144 acres on Oklahoma City’s northwest side, Martin Park Nature Center is what we like to call a “hidden gem.” Yes, we’ve talked about it on here before, but we just can’t say enough about this park that is home to birds, fox, reptiles, and even the city’s first observation bee hive. Kids just can’t keep their hands off in the hands-on education center. And those ready for something more adventurous will enjoy the 2.5 miles of kid-friendly hiking trails.

There are also a variety of classes – many of them free! And you know you will be the coolest mom (or dad!) in town when you take your kid to something as unique as the “Beginning Snake Keeping” class, just one of the Nature Center’s many offerings. Here are the details, and a few other unique options you won’t want to miss:

March 23, 3 - 4 p.m.
Coyote the Trickster
FREE
Why does the Coyote get such a bad rap in mythology and folklore? For his wild and wily ways. Come learn what behaviors give this crafty canine the reputation of the court jester of the animal kingdom.

April 6, 3-4 p.m.
State Symbols from Nature
FREE
Oklahoma's official State symbols borrow a lot from nature. Come learn about these varied and unique symbols, and what they mean to our state.

April 13, 3-3:45 p.m.
The World of Invertebrates
FREE
Did you know the majority of animal species are spineless? We'll take a look at some of these creatures and talk about what makes them so special.

April 20, 3-4 p.m.
Trees Have Names, Too
$2 per person
Ever wonder how trees got their names? Is it from the bark, or leaf shape, or fruit? Join naturalists at Martin Park as we hike through the woods and look for clues as to how different tree species got their names. We'll then collect items from the forest floor and use them in a piece of nature art. Registration required: 755-0676.

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

Looking for some outdoor fun but it’s still just a tad too chilly outside? Look no further than the Myriad Gardens. On Wednesdays during the month of March, they are offering a Reading Rainforest in the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. Children can listen to a story in the balmy comfort of this indoor conservatory, which includes 13,000 square feet of plant displays. The story is followed by a craft and a short hike. Or, if your youngsters would rather explore on their own, enjoy free admission to the Crystal Bridge on the 25th of every month (in honor of the Gardens’ 25th anniversary) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out www.myriadgardens.org/event-calendar for a full schedule of events.

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Take me out to the Ballgame

Hot dogs, cracker jacks, fresh air and the chance to catch a fly ball or two – does anything say spring better than a baseball game? The Oklahoma City Redhawks, a Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros baseball team, kick off their season next month at home on April 12 vs. Memphis. Tickets start as low as $7, so bring the whole family! And your kids will love the post-game fireworks show. Can’t make it to the first game of the season? Don’t worry, the fireworks show will happen every Friday night home game of the season.

Bricktown, downtown, family-friendly, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Take a Picture Ė Itíll Last Longer

Glorious galleries, fine dining, amazing art, afternoon tea, art classes, film screening, a treasure-filled gift shop and more – the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is big on activities, culture and fun. And their latest exhibition is something that simply cannot be missed.

Photorealism Revisited features approximately 60 amazing works of art from some of the world’s best photorealist artists. If you find yourself asking, “What is photorealism?” you’re not alone. According the OKCMOA’s site, it was “the first modern movement to assert reliance on photography as a crucial part of the artistic process.” Open now through April 21, 2013, the exhibit focuses on aspects of urban and suburban landscapes. You’ll see trucks, motorcycles, cars and roadside eateries.

And while you’re there checking out the photorealism exhibit, why not explore the rest of this downtown gem? Each year more than 125,000 people come through the doors of the museum to explore collections covering five centuries of European and American art, not to mention a growing collection of contemporary art and a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.

Photo credit: Robert Bechtle (American, b.1932). ‘68 Cadillac, 1970. Oil on canvas, 22 x 24 in. (55.9 x 61 cm). Private Collection, Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York. © Courtesy International Arts®

arts and culture, downtown, family-friendly, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Family-Friendly Art

Expressing creativity is good for OKC-ers of all ages. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has a number of programs that will make the art of creating a fun-filled family activity.

Let your child flex his or her creative juices on the weekends with “Drop-In Art” from 1 to 4 p.m. With a different theme each week, kids have the opportunity to paint, glue, draw, rip, scissor and generally let their inner Picassos fly. “Drop-In Art” is free with paid museum admission.

Since the museum is filled to the brim with amazing art, why not use it as the source of your inspiration? Once a month, the museum hosts “Drop-In Drawing” where instructors provide basic instruction to help you along the path to creating something wonderful.  “Drop-In Drawing” is free with paid museum admission and materials are provided.

family-friendly, museums, arts and culture
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Time for Some Off-Roading

With warmer temps in the forecast this week, it’s a great time to get out and stretch those limbs that you’ve had bundled up this winter. Even in this booming metropolis we call home, there are still plenty of places to get your adventure on. So why not head out for a little off-road adventure? If you enjoy mountain biking or hiking, head on over to the northwest side of town and check out the Bluff Creek Trail. This single-loop trail is 3.5+ miles of multi-use track with thick trees and quick turns to let your outdoor spirit roam free. Or if you’re looking for a less rugged experience, take a stroll on the 1-mile of sidewalk available.

outdoor recreation, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Animal Kingdom

Let the good times ROAR! The Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden is home to more than 2,000 animals, including 50 endangered or threatened species. Oh, and it’s where you’ll find Malee, the first ever baby elephant born at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Born in August 2011, she’s not the wee thing she was at birth (by wee, we mean 300 pounds), but even at more than 700 pounds, her cuteness hasn’t waned.

At the Zoo, you can discover the state-of-the-art Elephant Habitat Malee calls home, as well as the Great EscApe, Cat Forest and Lion Overlook, and the Children’s Zoo. What’s not to love? And to further entice you to visit (maybe for the second, third, fourth, umpteenth time), the Zoo is offering free admission every Monday through Feb. 25, 2013. If Mondays don’t work for you, the zoo is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You should also check out ... Science Museum Oklahoma, which just happens to be right next door to the Zoo! It’s the place for hands-on, science-related family fun with activities and exhibits focused on aviation, space and so much more. Their calendar for 2013 is jam-packed with great events and activities for kids of all ages.

Photo credit: Melissa Willis

family-friendly, museums, zoo, Adventure District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting 2013 on the Right Foot

It’s January 2, 2013. Do you know what that means? It means you’ve still got 363 days (OK, fine, 362.25 days) left to complete those New Year’s resolutions you set. You did set some, right? If not, go ahead and set them now – better late than never.

To help you on your quest to fulfill those pesky goals, we did a little research to find out what some of the most common resolutions are (thanks, Health.com and USA.gov). We’ve picked five of the most common resolutions, and now we’re here to help you see how they best fit into this better life we live in OKC.

clientuploads/blog/GirlonLaptop.jpg

Resolution: Save money
If saving money is at the top of your list this year, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Throughout 2012, OKC found itself at the top of many lists in terms of annual earnings growth, personal income gains and more. And when it comes to cost of living, we consistently rank low – as in we have one of the lowest costs of livings out there. So lucky for you, OKC gives you the perfect opportunity to live it up for less.

So let’s all start 2013 on the right financial foot. Grab a pen and paper (or, if you’re like us, make a handy-dandy spreadsheet) and work up a budget with a fantastic plan that balances both fun and savings. There are tons of online budget tools available out there on the world wide web if you need a little assistance getting a good plan going. Then stick to it.

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Resolution: Volunteer to help others
Oklahoma City is famous for its friendly people and vibrant community spirit. That spirit resonates throughout the year as OKC’ers rack up nearly 25 million volunteer hours. During 2011, OKC ranked No. 22 of the 51 largest metro areas in terms of number of residents who volunteer. It’s no wonder – OKC has so many great groups around town that could benefit from your time.

Wondering where you can help? We suggest you check out the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. Also, many of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s more than 5,000 members are non-profits. So check out the Member Directory to find one you can help!

clientuploads/blog/StudentsatSchool.jpg

Resolution: Go back to school
Did you know that there are 18 colleges and universities and two community colleges in the OKC metro area? It’s true. Maybe you’re looking to finish your degree; or pick up some new skills; or just keep your brain sharp. No matter what your goals are, there are incredible education choices at your fingertips in Greater Oklahoma City.

Work downtown and want to take some classes? Check out the OKC Downtown College. This consortium of five colleges and universities offers convenient classes whether you’re looking to pursue a college degree, improve professional skills or just take a fun class.

https://asoft6162.accrisoft.com/abetterlifeokc/clientuploads/blog/MountainBiking.jpg

Resolution: Take a trip
Everyone needs a vacation every once in awhile. But no one said you have to travel to Timbuktu to get away from it all. If you’re looking to stick with two resolutions in one (save money AND take a trip), we suggest a lovely staycation. Get some help planning something spectacular and relaxing with VisitOKC.com. This fantastic tool has great suggestions for things to do, places to stay, where to eat and more. Who knows – you might just discover a hidden gem right in your own backyard.

https://asoft6162.accrisoft.com/abetterlifeokc/clientuploads/blog/reduce-reuse-recycle.jpg

Resolution: Reduce, reuse and recycle
Looking to be a little greener in 2013? The City of Oklahoma City makes being a good environmental steward easy and convenient with weekly curbside recycling. Just get a little blue recycling bin, fill it with your permitted recyclables and leave it out the same morning as your regular trash service.

You can also try your hand at composting. We did a post on this fantastic green act last fall so check it out and get started!

But being green goes beyond recycling bottles and cans. With an influx of Christmas gifts, there are likely things around your house you are ready to part with to make room for the new loot – but what’s the green way to “dispose” of those? Well, for starters, don’t put them in the garbage if you think someone else might want them. For instance, unwanted books (and periodicals, videos, cassettes and CDs), can be donated to the Metropolitan Library System. All you have to do is drop them off at any of the MLS’ 18 libraries. Your donation is even tax-deductible! If there are other housewares or furniture that are cramping your style, consider having a garage sale or donating those items to an organization like Goodwill.

family-friendly, community, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ring It in Right!

It’s the shindig of the year, literally. You don’t need Times Square, and certainly not Ryan Seacrest, to ring in the New Year right. Opening Night is Oklahoma City’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza, an array of music, dancing, roller derby, theater, magic, family fun and fireworks. Hosted by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, the annual party is also family-friendly, boasting a scavenger hunt, children’s area (at the Cox Convention Center) and more. Admission wristbands are $8 in advance and $10 at the event. Children ages 5 and under are free. You can purchase them beforehand at 7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma, metro Homeland stores, Science Museum Oklahoma and MidFirst Bank locations.

festivals, music, theater, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grown-Up Greatness

Looking for a great way to celebrate the holidays with friends? We’ve got some great suggestions for you!

Enjoy a relaxing day or night out with friends and experience some of OKC’s holiday hoopla. Open through Christmas Eve, the Pop Up Shops at the Myriad Botanical Gardens are a great place to grab those last minute stocking stuffers and gifts. And with its proximity to the Devon Ice Rink, we suggest you lace up some skates and go for a turn on the ice.

Then head over to Bricktown to grab a bite to eat or a drink. But on the way, be sure to check out the incredible lights that abound. You can even check them out via Water Taxi – for free. Or hop on up to Automobile Alley and the 9th Street District for more lights and other great shopping and dining options.

Myriad Botanical Gardens, nightlife, outdoor recreation, shopping, downtown, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Kid-Friendly Adventures

If you’ve got kids (or maybe you’re just a kid at heart), then these great activities are not to be missed!

With just one week left before Christmas, there’s still time to take the kiddos to see Santa. Thanks to a little Christmas magic, you can find him all around town, but one of our favorite places to spot Jolly Old Saint Nick is at the Devon Energy Center. He’ll be making one final appearance this Saturday, Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. While there, don’t miss the chance to play in snow flurries on the lawn, visit life-sized snowmen, listen to a holiday story from Mrs. Claus and more!

Now that you’ve gotten that checked off your list, head over to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark for a giant adventure. Chesapeake Energy’s snow tubing is one of the most popular events during Downtown in December and your kids (heck, even you) will be thrilled as you tube from the upper deck all the way down to the field.

Let the adventures continue down on the Oklahoma River. Santa’s Adventures on the Oklahoma River are adding zip to the holiday season in OKC. They’ve got something to feed your kid’s adventurous spirit – the 200-foot SandRidge Santa Zip zipline, Polar Paddle, various holiday bounce inflatable toys, mechanical surfing machine, candy cane rock climbing wall and Rudolph’s Launch extreme air jumper.

All that fun is sure to leave your kids with a grumbling stomach. So why not check out one of these great options for a tasty treat?

downtown, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Date Night Dandies

The holidays are a time to be with loved ones. So why not show that special someone a great date filled with holiday magic?

Your lovely lady dropped hints for weeks and unfortunately, you were a little slow picking up on them. Sadly, the Oklahoma City Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker” has completed its run for this year, but we’ve got some ideas to get you out of the dog house.

Head over to the Plaza District, for Lyric’s “A Christmas Carol” presented by Devon Energy. Shows will run through Dec. 31 so there’s plenty of time to work this into your holiday happenings. If a play is not really your thing, we know what is. You don’t want to miss the last Continental Resources Free Movie Monday of the year. Start your New Year’s Eve date right with a showing of “Home Alone” at Harkins Theatres in Bricktown. These showings have been a hit all season so get your registration in early!

What’s a date night without getting all dolled up? The Skirvin Holiday Celebrations are a great way to enjoy a lovely holiday meal in a beautifully decorated setting. With various options including a Christmas Eve dinner and several choices for Christmas Day, you’ll have time to enjoy a meal with the one you love amid the holiday rush.

family-friendly, movies, restaurants, theater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City

Holiday happiness has taken over downtown Oklahoma City. With so many lights and sights to see, we’ve created a little guide to ensure you don’t miss any instance of the bright lights filling this great city.

For a grand site, we suggest you start off at the Devon Energy Center where super-sized ornaments have taken over the lawn and the outside of the Colcord Hotel. Venture inside the rotunda (it’s open to the public, remember) and glance up to see the giant (seriously, giant) silver pine cones hanging from the ceiling. If your tour finds you here on a Saturday, be sure to check out Devon’s Saturdays with Santa. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 22, you can meet Santa and his friends, write letters to the North Pole, create holiday crafts and enjoy holiday musical entertainment. Aravalli, the coffee shop located at the Devon Energy Center will be open to offer a family friendly menu to fill your stomachs before you continue your journey.

Now back to the holiday extravaganza . . . Head across Sheridan into the Myriad Gardens to check out the OG&E Garden Lights. The 17-acre park is perfect for wandering and enjoying the holiday lights. And while you’re in the gardens, you might as well strap on some skates and take a turn around the Devon Ice Rink.

Next we’ll take this holiday adventure over to Bricktown for more festive follies. Did you know that through the end of the month on Thursdays through Sundays from 6 to 9:30 p.m. you can take advantage of free Water Taxi rides? It’s true! And there’s really no better way to experience OneMain Financial’s Bricktown Canal Lights. Once you’ve hopped off the Water Taxi, we suggest you head up the stairs to the corner of Reno and Mickey Mantle Drive to see the SandRidge Christmas Tree. Then head across Reno to Lower Bricktown for even more holiday lights thanks to Stonegate-Hogan. Who knew there were so many great lights in OKC?! And we’re not done yet!

Hop on a Spokie (or you can get in your car if it’s nearby) and head up to Automobile Alley. All along Broadway Avenue between Northwest 4th and Northwest 10th Streets you can enjoy seeing the historic buildings of Automobile Alley all lit up for the holidays. So ho-ho-hop to it and experience the bright lights of this winter wonderland!

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Downtown in December

December brings cooler temps, hot cocoa and the magic of the holidays. What you may not know, is that is also brings one of Oklahoma City’s most beloved events – Downtown in December! This 40-day series of holiday events takes place Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, and features one-of-a-kind winter experiences.

You can start your downtown in December adventure with a spin around the Devon Ice Rink in Myriad Gardens. Next you may want to cruise down one of the country’s largest manmade snow tubing slopes at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. If you head downtown on Saturday, you can enjoy holiday crafts and entertainment, and even get a free photo with Santa Claus himself. These events take place in conjunction with free water taxi rides, free admission to the Crystal Bridge and varying museums on Sundays and beautiful holiday lights. There are many, many other exciting events happening (way too many for us to name them all) so check out www.downtownindecember.com to find your favorite way to celebrate the holidays downtown.

downtown, family-friendly, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Standing Out Among the (Capitol) Crowd

Here in Oklahoma, we don’t like the status quo – we are always looking for ways to stand out. So while the Oklahoma State Capitol is one of many capitols around the country, we added a few Oklahoma touches to make it our own. Did you know that the Oklahoma State Capitol is the only one in the U.S. with a working oil rig on its grounds? But that is just one way Oklahomans have put their unique stamp on their capitol (ok, so we can’t take credit for the oil, but we can take credit for the rig). Oklahoma’s Capitol is also unique for the amount of artwork adorning its hallways. From sculptures to murals to paintings, visitors can peruse the art while learning about Oklahoma history.

If your interest is piqued, we suggest setting up a tour. Self-guided tours are available every day of the week, or you can get a tour from a trained volunteer Monday through Friday (check online for times). Just make sure you leave ample time to explore – the Capitol has 650 rooms and nearly 11 acres of floor space.

arts and culture, family-friendly, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Start Your Day with Kris Kringle

Who says that Santa only eats cookies? We have it on good authority that he is a big fan of breakfast, too. And your family can dine with the jolly fellow himself at Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 16. Two sessions are available at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. The cost for each adult is $25 and $20 for each child. Each child will receive a gift and a photo with St. Nick. Reservations are required by Dec. 11, so make them soon (and make sure you are on the nice list).

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Night Out with the Thunder

So, you’re headed to downtown Oklahoma City to watch the No. 1 sports franchise in the world (according to ESPN The Magazine). Where do you eat? When do you arrive? We’ve got you covered with a few suggestions to give you the full Thunder NBA experience.

Start in Bricktown to grab a bite to eat. Bricktown offers tastes (and sips) for all palates, from casual bars to more upscale dining. After you get your fill, head down to Love’s Thunder Alley on Reno Ave., just north of Chesapeake Energy Arena for some pre-game entertainment. And don’t leave the kids at home – Thunder Alley includes games, music, face painting and much more. By 6:30 p.m., you’ll want to think about finding your seat. You definitely don’t want to miss all the pre-game entertainment and excitement before the Thunder players take to the court.

After a rousing Thunder victory, you may not be quite ready to go home. No problem! Head back to Bricktown for a nightcap and appetizer at one of the many restaurants or bars, all within walking distance. If the weather is nice, there are several rooftop patios to choose from. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear your orange and blue so you can be properly attired to THUNDER UP!

Thunder, downtown, family-friendly, live sporting events, music, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tighten Those Laces

That lovely fall breeze is ushering in one of our favorite times of the year in OKC – Downtown in December. You’re probably thinking, “Hey now! It’s only November!” And you’re right. But we all know that the holiday festivities kick off as soon as we finish washing those Thanksgiving dinner dishes.

In its second season, the Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Botanical Gardens will kick start the winter wonderland festivities by opening Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. From then until Feb. 3, 2013, you can skate to your heart’s content seven days a week. So grab your friends and family (and some money for hot cocoa) and head down to the Myriad Gardens and get your skate on. And be sure to be on the lookout for more info from us about the other Downtown in December festivities that will be happening in OKC this year.

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Drumroll, Please

This Saturday, Oct. 27, the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team will take to the gridiron as they tackle a storied opponent, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While you might not be able to make it to Norman for this historic match-up, we’ve got another opportunity for you to check out the Irish. On Friday evening at 5:30 p.m., the Band of the Fighting Irish (aka Notre Dame’s Marching Band) will be on the stage of the Grand Lawn at the Myriad Botanical Gardens at 5:30 p.m. for a free performance. You don’t want to miss this. And while you’re in the Gardens, be sure to check out Pumpkinville. We told you all about it a couple weeks ago!

family-friendly, football, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Halloween-ish Happenings

With just a little more than a week until Halloween is upon us, there are plenty of Halloween festivities happening in Greater Oklahoma City. Whether you’re up for being spooked or have your treat bag at-the-ready, we’re certain you’ll find an activity worth screaming about. Here are a few of our suggestions:

Storybook Forest – Hayrides, campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows, children’s aloud book readings and trick-or-treating in the not-so-scary forest from Storybook characters.
Location: Arcadia Lake’s Spring Creek Park, 2.5 miles east of I-35 on 15th Street, Edmond
Dates: Oct. 23-31 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $5 per child Monday through Thursday; $7 per child Friday through Sunday. Adults enter for free with the purchase of a child’s ticket.

Haunt the Harn – Trick-or-treating, children’s craft projects, face painting, cupcake walk, pumpkin bowling, hayrides, marshmallow roasting and more.
Location: Harn Homestead, 1721 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Date: Oct. 25 from 6 - 9 p.m.
Admission: Children are $3 in advance or $5 at the door; up to two adults may accompany a child for free; No cost to museum members

Haunt The Zoo – Fantasy-themed booths where children can collect treats, party pics.
Location: Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50 Street
Dates: Oct. 26 - 31 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Admission: Children are $6 in advance or $7 at the gate; Adults (ages 18 and older) may accompany children for free

Halloween Train –Tour the museum, ride the Halloween Train.
Location: Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand Blvd.
Date: Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. – Train leaves the depot at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Admission: $15 for guests 13 years and up; $13 for guests 13 and up in costume; $5 for guests ages 3 to 12; Free for guests under 3

Haunt Old Town Moore – Extreme animals petting zoo, scary karaoke, costume contest, haunted room, bingo, hayrides, food and fall picture taking.
Location: Old Town Moore, 101 W Main, Moore
Date: Oct. 27 from 4 - 7 p.m.
Costume Contests Information: Ages 0-2 at 4:30 p.m.; Ages 3-4 at 4:50 p.m.; Ages 5-7 at 5:10 p.m.; Ages 8-11 at 5:30 p.m.; Ages 12-15 at 5:50 p.m.; Ages 16+ at 6:10 p.m.

Pumpkin Palooza – Pumpkin decorating contest, arts and crafts, flashlight pumpkin hunt (bring your own flashlight) and more.
Location: Edmond Multi-Activity Center, 2733 Marilyn Williams Drive, Edmond
Date: Oct. 27 from 5 - 8 p.m.
Admission: Free for all ages; Food and drinks available for purchase

Pumpkinville Halloween Party – Trick-or-treating, fun games, monster mash music and more.
Location: Pumpkinville in the Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W Reno
Date: Oct. 27 from 4 - 8 p.m.
Admission: Free to members; $10 per person or $35 per family (2 adults and 2 children) – each additional child is $5.

Museum of Osteology Halloween Bash – Games, activities, door prizes, free candy, safe and educational trick-or-treating
Location: Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd
Date: Oct. 31. from 6 - 9 p.m.
Admission: $3 per person; Kids 3 and under are free with a paid adult

family-friendly, festivals, museums, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Get Pumped for Pumpkins

Starting this Saturday, head down to the Myriad Gardens and celebrate all things fall! Pumpkinville will run daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Oct. 31, and is filled to the brim with fall fun for all – crafts, a pumpkin village, hay bale maze, pumpkin decorating, cider pressing, tasty treats, gourds, ghosts and scarecrows, pumpkin fairy houses, storytelling and more!

If you're a Myriad Gardens member, your admission is free – woo hoo! For the rest of you folks, admission is $5 per child and $2.50 per adult.

Here's a glimpse of what's on the docket for this Saturday, Oct. 13 at Pumpkinville!

  • Cider Pressing
    Top-of-the-hour action – loading, grinding and pressing . . . then tasting!
  • Magnetic Jack O Lantern
    Make a pumpkin's face using magnetic pieces!
  • Crafts Beneath the Pavilion
    Burlap Sack Wreath – scrunch strips of rustic burlap onto a frame and decorate it with pompom pumpkins, colorful fall leaves, and a variety of decorations.
    Autumn Crown – weave together strands of raffia and charming leaf decorations for a topper that's as individual as its maker!
  • Ghostly Grove
    Salt dough ghosts come to life in the Grove, with a little help from you.
  • Pumpkin Decorating
    Members receive a free pumpkin and all the fixings to gussy it up, including sequins, paint, feathers and markers. Non-members can purchase a pumpkin for $5 and decorate to their hearts' content.
  • Under "Tree" Fort Amphitheater
    Story times are 10 a.m., noon and 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Lots of stories will be read and they'll all have Halloween/Fall/Pumpkin themes.
  • Pie Making by Pie Junkies OKC
    Enjoy classes at10 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Classes last for an hour and a half and are free to members. Nonmembers may attend for $5.
  • Ghost Stories in the Grove
    Just spooky enough tales told at twilight from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The fall festivities continue through Oct. 31 so be sure to check their website for activities taking place.

downtown, family-friendly, festivals, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall for Fall

Throw on your favorite cardigan, slide on those boots and head over to OSU-OKC for a fall event you do not want to miss. It's time for the OSU-OKC Farmers Market Fall Harvest Celebration and Customer Appreciation Day. And who doesn't enjoy being appreciated? We sure do!

Here's the low-down. This Saturday, Oct. 6, it would be wise if you found yourself at the Horticulture Pavilion on OSU-OKC's campus between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.. Why? Because that is where you'll find the fun – door prizes, live music, free popcorn and free horse-drawn carriage rides. And what would a farmers market be without fabulous food? The OSU-OKC Farmers Market has it all – fresh foods, seasonal produce, certified organic products, a variety of handmade skincare and craft items – all from more than 30 vendors featuring Oklahoma-grown and made products.

And perhaps you're in the market for some lovely fall plants to spruce up your home or garden. Once again, OSU-OKC has you covered. As part of their extravaganza, the Farmers Market will be hosting its three-day Fall Plant Sale. Just head over to the John E. Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center Greenhouse on campus at any of the following times and pick out that perfect fall plant: Thursday and Friday, Oct. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And just a tip, Farmers Market vendors and the folks at Agriculture Technologies (aka the plant-selling people) only accept cash or checks.

family-friendly, farmers market, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Spooky, Scary, Fallish Fun

While fall represents the season when sports enthusiasts huddle together to celebrate football, there's more to fall than the excitement of pigskin. October is also a time when pumpkins are seen in abundance and ghosts, goblins and other mysterious creatures take over Greater Oklahoma City.

For the next few weeks, spook-chilling festivities will fill calendars of residents throughout Greater Oklahoma City, leaving all OKC'ers with plenty of fun-filled entertainment. OKC has a little bit of everything going on this time of year – opportunities for sipping apple cider while enjoying an old-fashioned hayride, making some new furry friends at one of the many petting zoos, picking out that perfect pumpkin at a pumpkin patch, experiencing the thrill of a haunted museum and everything in between.

We're certain you can find plenty of fallish fun, but here are a few suggestions from our team of experts:

TG Farms – petting zoo, pumpkin picking, hayrides, hay maze, naturally grown fruits and vegetables available for purchase, pony rides.
Newcastle location – I-44 south to exit 108. Continue 1 mile and TG Farms will be on the south side of the road.
Norman location – I-35 South to Exit 106, Highway 9 west for 1.5 miles.
Both locations open 9 a.m. to sundown, Monday through Sunday.
Admission: $8+tax, walking age and above, Monday through Friday during school hours; $10+tax after school hours and weekends; Season pass available for $29.95

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

Orr Family Farm – corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides
Located at 14400 S. Western in Oklahoma
Open Monday - Thursday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday - Saturday from 10 a.m. -9 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Admission: Farm Pass $10 (Monday – Thursday), $12.50 (Friday – Saturday); Farm Pass Plus $15 (Monday – Thursday), $17.50 (Friday – Saturday), Corn Maze $10 per person

Haunt The River with Oklahoma River Cruises – Adults-only Halloween-themed with hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, costume prizes and more on the Oklahoma River from Oct. 6-27.
Departs from Regatta Park, 725 S Lincoln
Departs Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m., boarding begins 15 minutes before scheduled departure
Admission: $35 per person

But don't worry. The fun doesn't stop here. Keeping coming back to the blog for even more fall fun happening in Greater OKC!

family-friendly, farmers market, Oklahoma River, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You Gotta Regatta

Much like the Oklahoma River itself, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival has progressed from relatively humble beginnings in 2004 to a fun, free, family-friendly, full-on four-day flabbergasting function featuring fantastic fast-floating finishers for 50,000 folks. Phew!

Anyway, this year's festival runs from Thursday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 30 and is sure to be a great time for everyone. College, masters and corporate rowers, kayakers, dragon boat racers, runners and even stand-up paddle boarders will all be racing their oars off while live music, a children's area, food from some of OKC's best restaurants, and a wine garden rages. Thursday and Friday will feature racing under the lights at the ever-popular OGE NightSprints, one of the most unique events in the world of paddle sports. Saturday's docket includes the first of two days of Head of the Oklahoma racing, the Olympic & Paralympic Experience, the Regatta Run, and the blu VIP Party. Sunday concludes the Regatta with—you guessed it—racing, racing, racing! What's that, you say? You haven't been out to the river before? Well come on out and see what all the fuss is about, in this fun-filled, fantabulous, first-class, free… OK, OK. We'll see you there.

Oklahoma Regatta Festival & OCU Head of the Oklahoma
Sept. 28 - Sept. 29
Regatta Park on the Oklahoma River
725 S Lincoln
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Phone: 552-4040
Free admission

Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, running, family-friendly, festivals, fitness, food, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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