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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jam on in Bricktown

Whether you're into music, food, or just enjoy a lively afternoon of people-watching, the Bricktown Reggaefest is for you. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to bring their blankets and lawn chairs and come and sample delicious Caribbean food and a continuous stream of live reggae music.

This year's line-up
Friday

100 Bones 4:00 - 5:15
Sunnyside up 5:30 - 6:45
The Suspects 7:00 - 8:30
Watusi 8:45 - 10:15
The Ark Band 10:30 - 12:00

Saturday

100 Bones 2:00 - 3:15
Sunnyside up 3:30 - 5:00
Sam and the Stylees 5:15 - 6:45
Melody Memory 7:00 - 8:30
Ugly Lion 8:45 -10:15
Local Culture 10:30 - 12:00

Beer, soft drinks, t-shirts and beads will be available for purchase. But be sure to leave Fido at home – and in addition to your pets, remember to not bring any of these other prohibited items: outside food/drink, coolers, video cameras and weapons.

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



Beat the Heat

As the temperature goes up, you may think that the number of options for free outdoor fun start to dwindle. Luckily, the Parks & Recreation Department has just the thing to keep your kids nice and cool – and entertained – on those hot summer days. Kids of all ages will love splashing their way through one of the 17 spraygrounds available throughout the city. With options as far north as NW 122nd St., and as far south as SW 74th St., there is sure to be an option close to you. Spraygrounds are open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sept. 3. So grab your swimsuit and your sunscreen, and get ready to beat the heat at one of these locations:

Douglas Park, 901 N. Frederick Douglass Ave.
EB Jeffery, 4432 NW 16th
Harvest Hills Park, 8235 NW 104th St.
Lippert Park, 5500 S. Shartel
Macklanburg Park, 11700 N. Stratford
McCracken Park, 425 SE 64th
McKinley Park, 1300 North McKinley
Melrose Park, NW 5th and Council
Memorial Park, 3600 N. Classen
Minnis Lakeview Park, 12518 NE 36th
North Highland Park, 301 NW 81st St.
Reed Park, 1217 N. May Ave.
Schilling Park, 537 SE 25th St.
Sellers Park, SW 82nd and Villa
Taylor Park, 1113 SW 70th
Wiley Post Park, SW 17th and Robinson
Youngs Park, SW 44 and Youngs

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



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Melodic End to the Weekend

Long summer hours mean even more time to enjoy the weekend. Delay the whole "getting ready for Monday" ritual with the Sunday Twilight Concert Series at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Presented by Devon Energy, the concert series has been rocking since June, but there's still plenty of time for you to enjoy the musical magic. So come Sunday evening, grab your picnic basket, blankets, lawn chairs and head to the Myriad Gardens to enjoy a variety of performers at this free concert in the heart of downtown.

Performers for the remainder of the season include:
July 15 - 411 Band w/Cara Black – Motown/Soul
July 22 - Singer/Songwriter night Feat. Carter Sampson, Bob Moore, & Others
July 29 - Justin Joslin/Handsome Devils – Indie/Americana/Folk
August 5 - Son del Barrio – Salsa/Meringue
August 12 - Allie Lauren – Jazz/Pop
August 19 - Lemma – Alternative Rock
August 26 - Smilin' Vic and the Soul Monkeys – Old School Classics

The concerts take place each Sunday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Pets and glass containers are prohibited.

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



Starry Night at the Movies

Spend a summer night under the stars while also watching some stars on the big screen. The "Summer Movie Nights" series will kick off this Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. on the grand lawn of the Myriad Gardens. With "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" set as the first movie of the summer, this series is sure to be a hit. Best of all? It's FREE! So save yourself $9 and head down to the Myriad Gardens for a grand time on the grand lawn with a few hundred other Oklahoma Citians.

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



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Discover Nature in Downtown OKC

There is some serious fun (and learning) happening at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City. They've got the month of July filled to the brim with outstanding outdoor classes for you and your kids. Check out the following schedule and head over to the southwest corner of the Myriad Botanical Gardens for the nature-inspired activity of your choosing:

July 8 Exciting Insects
July 14 Orange You Glad You Recycle!
July 15 Meandering Mazes and Spiraling Labyrinths
July 21 How to Fingerprint a Tree
July 22 Precious Pollinators
July 28 Little Prairie on the House

For more information on these events, including times and cost, visit the Myriad Gardens' event calendar.

Other great activities at the Gardens include Storytime in the Garden, held every Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. This event is free and open to the public, but intended for children ages 2-4.

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



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Discover Oklahomaís Heritage

Oklahoma's Native American heritage can be seen nearly everywhere in our great state – on our state flag, in our state's name, in our museums and in the lives of many of our citizens. Want to experience it for yourself? Well, that's easy. Simply venture south of Oklahoma City on I-35 and a little bit east to Sulphur, Okla., where you'll find the nation's largest tribal cultural center – the Chickasaw Cultural Center. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the museum's non-traditional approach to learning. Instead of looking at displays encased in glass, you'll experience interactive media stations, hands-on classes, a cultural amphitheater and a traditional village replica. Before leaving, make sure you check out some of the various activities offered on the campus, including spirit lessons, stomp dancing, plays, storytelling, cultural ceremonies, an extensive artifacts gallery and more.

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission prices are as follows:

Chickasha Poya Exhibits: $6 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, students and military; $3 for children 12 and under. Children 3 and under and Chickasaw Citizens are admitted for free.
Anoli' Theater Feature Films: $6 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, students and military; $3 for children 12 and under; $5 for Chickasaw Citizens.
Exhibit/Theater Combo: $10 for adults; $8 for senior citizens, students and military: $4 for children 12 and under.

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



Fun Festivities on the Oklahoma River

It's that time of year again -- where we don our red, white, and blue and take off our hats to Uncle Sam. Get geared up for the 4th with a pre-Independence Day celebration, Saturday June 30, at the Boathouse District on the Oklahoma River.

The first-ever Stars & Stripes River Festival begins with corporate rowing and dragon boat racing, and culminates in an outdoor concert and fireworks display. Wondering how you'll keep the kids occupied throughout the event? Not to worry – the friendly folks who are putting on this shin-dig have packed the day full of free family activities including games, contests, inflatables and more. And food will be available for purchase when you stomach starts to grumble.

Are you or your kids athletes at heart? Youth and adults can also participate in the RIVERSPORT Challenge, a multi-sport race in which competitors start off paddling in a kayak and finish out with a run through the Oklahoma City River Trails.

festivals, fitness, food, live sporting events, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Realize Your Hoop Dreams

Basketball fever has taken over Greater Oklahoma City and now you have a chance to make your hoop dreams come true. No, we don't think you'll be suiting up with the Thunder anytime soon, but you can certainly show off your skills in sight of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Located across the street from the Myriad Botanical Gardens at the southwest corner of Hudson and Reno, the new downtown community basketball court is a great place to work on your game while enjoying the excitement happening in downtown. The court is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. So grab your sneakers and your friends and get your game on.

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



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Itís Summertime and the Reading is Easy

Summer doesn't have to be a time for kids to collect cobwebs in their noggins. Help your kids stay on track this summer by keeping their minds full of knowledge and their imaginations going strong with the Summer at the Library reading program. The Metropolitan Library System puts on this annual program for kids of all ages, giving them achievable goals to reach and rewarding them with prizes for their accomplishments. The program kicked off on June 1 and will run until July 31. Head on over to one of Metropolitan Library's 18 locations across Greater Oklahoma City and get your kids signed up today!

Early Childhood – kids birth through preschool
Children – kids kindergarten through 6th grade
Teens – teens grades 7th through 12th

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



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fun in the Sun

The weather is warmer, the days are longer and the kids are out of school – time to pack up the family and enjoy one of the many lakes in and around Oklahoma City. If you are looking for a day full of activity, head to one of the three reservoirs – Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser or Lake Draper – which are all within city limits and offer fishing and boating. If water or jet skiing is your thing, Lake Draper is the place to be. Rather relax in the warm rays of the sun and watch the kids play? Head to the Kids' Lake or the Dolese Youth Park Pond to relax and enjoy some sightseeing. Permits for all lake-related activities are available through designated vendors across the metro, and also at the Lake Draper concession area, which stocks fishing and picnic supplies. Download a map of all area lakes.

Take a run, skate, or a bike ride around Lake Hefner, or learn to sail, fish, or even remotely pilot an airplane. Pack a picnic or paddle a canoe at Lake Overholser and experience the Stinchcomb Wildlife Reserve, one of Oklahoma City's best-kept secrets (shh, don't tell). Go swimming or fishing at Lake Arcadia, or even ride a horse or a mountain bike around Lake Draper. Whatever your interest, there is plenty of water to welcome you in OKC.

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



Get Hooked

Summer is the perfect time for your little angler to get outside and hone his skills. The City's free "Hooked on Fishing" kids' fishing classes begin in June, and are held on select Saturdays through August at locations across the metro. Kids will learn fishing basics like knot-tying, casting, fish identification, angler etiquette and fishing regulations. These "catch-and-release" classes are open to boys and girls ages 5 to 15.

Never fished before? Don't worry! Poles, tackle and bait are provided. Enrollment begins on May 16, and reservations are required. Classes are from 8 to 10 a.m., and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Call the OKC Police Athletic League at (405) 316-FISH for information and to reserve a spot for your budding fisherman!

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



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Wilderness Wonderland

Want to get away? You don't have to leave Oklahoma City to get closer to nature. The Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, located at the north end of Lake Overholser, is a pristine area of 1,000 acres that has remained unchanged since before statehood. Hiking the area will put you in close contact to whitetail deer, beaver and egrets, not to mention beautiful views of lakes, bottomland forest and marshlands.

Before leaving the area, catch a glimpse of the world's favorite rodent—the prairie dog, of course—at Prairie Dog Town. It's located on the south side of NW 36th Street between Sara Road and Mustang Road. Trust us, their cuteness will add to an already worthwhile excursion.

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



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You're doing fine, Oklahoma

While we here at The Better Life tend to spend our time telling you about anything and everything Oklahoma City, we're also pretty big fans of the state of Oklahoma as a whole. And we've got a great source for you to discover more about this great state we call home – Oklahoma Today magazine. Their March/April issue features great stories on topics including the Myriad Botanical Gardens, offbeat roadside attractions around the state, locally-owned coffee shops and more. If you're anything like us, you're anxiously awaiting the release of the May/June issue for even more can't-miss content – content that earned the magazine top honors at the 2012 Great Plains Journalism Awards, where they took home the award for Great Plains Magazine of the Year.

For more than 50 years, Oklahoma Today magazine has served as the official magazine of Oklahoma. Published every two months in January, March, May, July, September and November, Oklahoma Today is filled with high quality content on Oklahoma's people, places, travel, culture, food and outdoors. A yearly subscription to this prized publication is just $24.95, but you can also find copies at a variety of locations around town.

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



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Walk It Off

We've been experiencing some pretty spectacular spring-like temperatures in OKC lately. Combine that with the extra hour of sun thanks to daylight savings time and you have no excuse for not getting outside and enjoying OKC's scenery. The City of Oklahoma City has a variety of in-park trails and walking paths located around the city for citizens to enjoy. With these paths open only to foot traffic, they're perfect for brisk exercise or just a nice evening stroll. No matter what side of town you're located on, there's undoubtedly a park with a walking path nearby. So lace up those sneakers, and shake off that winter funk by enjoying those extra rays of sunshine.

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



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Find Your Inner Picasso

Whether you spend your free time painting canvases or simply like to doodle during boring meetings, there's an artist inside each of us. Let your creative spirit flow and hone your skills through one of the many classes offered at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Each "semester" (as the kids call it), the museum offers a variety of classes and camps for artists of all ages. Dust off your camera and brush up on your photography. Learn about print making. Get your hands dirty with clay and much more. Classes for winter 2012 kick off soon so head over to http://www.OKCMOA.com and find one that suits you!

Categories for adult include: Drawing, Painting & Printmaking; Photography; Video Production & Voice Acting; Glassblowing, Clay & Fiber Arts. Classes start for kids as young as 15 months and go up to age 13. And be sure to check out the youth camps to keep your kids busy during Spring Break.

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



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bake Me a Cake

Whether you're craving a straight-from-the-oven pastry or a cupcake blanketed in sweet frosting, Oklahoma City has a number of fine bakeries certain to hit that sweet spot. Cupcake lovers are especially fortunate with the mouth-watering assortments of Sara Sara Cupcakes, Cuppies & Joe and GiGi's Cupcakes of Oklahoma City, A wide range of freshly baked goodies can be found at Big Sky Bread Company, Brown's Bakery and Mexico Bakery, while the name of Nothing Bundt Cakes tells you all you need to know about the specialty of that wonderful establishment. Happy eating!

family-friendly, food, restaurants, business
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Boning Up on Bones

Before small children dressed like skeletons begin coming to your door asking for candy, why not check out a few of the real-life (and less demanding) type? Skeletons, that is. One of the most unique attractions in Oklahoma, the 7,000-square-foot Museum of Osteology showcases hundreds of skulls and skeletons, from tiny bats to a humpbacked whale hovering overhead. We make no bones about it: we love this decidedly offbeat museum.

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



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to Nature

You don't need to travel far to get in touch with nature's glory. Martin Park Nature Center & Trail is one of Oklahoma City's greatest treasures, a crossroads of wildlife, recreation and education. Located just west of Mercy Hospital at 5000 W. Memorial Road, this 144-acre park has three hiking trails, a bird observation wall, a watchtower and a hands-on nature museum. Hikers who set out on the 3.5 miles of trails will go through woodlands and past grasslands, around a large pond and along a spring creek. Keep your eyes peeled and you might just glimpse a deer, coyote or cottontail rabbit.

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



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Itís Fun to Stay at the Ö

Looking for a yoga class? Ready to find out what Zumba is all about? Want to go jogging without melting in the summer heat? With 10 branches and more than 20 program sites throughout the metro, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City is your best bet for all things health and fitness. But there’s much more to the Y, from a boffo sailing program to a spectrum of fall sports for children. For membership info and more, check out the agency’s website at http://www.ymcaokc.org.

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



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At the Drive-In

The era of the drive-in movie theater is no longer, but don’t tell that to a trio of drive-ins still thriving in central Oklahoma. The Beacon Drive-In Theatre in Guthrie has been in operation since 1950, while the Chief Drive-In Theatre has double features on its screen just south of Chickasha. In Oklahoma City, the Winchester Drive-In Theatre is where you’ll find a 35-foot rifle-toting neon cowboy, an iconic sight that has kept guard over the venerable drive-in since its opening in July 1968. The Winchester, at 6930 S. Western Ave., has triple features Friday and Saturday nights, with a double bill on Sundays.

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



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Road Trip

Staying home this summer? Pinching pennies? Short on time? That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of opportunities to explore and have fun. The website TravelOk.com, a project of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism & Recreation, offers a wealth of information on nearly every outing you can imagine, from nearby state parks and area lakes to horseback riding and a wide variety of family-friendly activities. Maybe best of all is TravelOk.com’s special section on great Oklahoma road trips and its dozens of suggested itineraries for checking out the many treasures of our state. It’s no wonder AAA ranks Oklahoma as among the best travel values in the nation.

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



Young at Art

Let your child flex his or her creative juices this weekend. During the summer, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosts “Drop In Art” from 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday for kids to paint, glue, draw, rip, scissor and generally let their inner Picassos fly. Each week brings a new project and a new work of art – country hats, collages, mixed-media self-portraits and more – for the young ones to bring home. “Drop In Art” is free with paid museum admission.

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



Bright Nights, Big Curiosity

Are the kiddos night owls? Science Museum Oklahoma has a nifty spin on staying up all night with “Bright Nights,” in which the museum is open from Friday evening through Saturday morning for parents and children to enjoy special-themed, hands-on activities. Wizardry takes center stage July 15, with participants getting to see the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” at a nearby movie theater before returning to the museum for a night of Hogwarts-inspired fun. This is a rare opportunity no Muggle can afford to pass up. To register or get more information, check out the “Bright Nights” website at www.sciencemuseumok.org/brightnights.html.

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



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, America!

Uncle Sam knows how to throw himself a humdinger of a birthday party, and this Fourth of July promises to be no exception. From the Edmond LibertyFest to the Bethany Freedom Festival, from the Yukon Freedom Fest to a wealth of activities in cities and neighborhoods throughout the area, Independence Day 2011 will be filled with fun, flags and fireworks.

Among the more spectacular events is “Red, White & Boom,” the downtown Oklahoma City extravaganza featuring a children’s carnival, free music concerts,Oklahoma City RedHawks baseball, lots of food and, of course, a spectacular fireworks display. The two-day event kicks off July 3 as theOKC Philharmonic performs Patriotic Pops with Sandi Petty outside Bricktown’s Coca-Cola Events Center. Happy Fourth of July!

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



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rockabye, Pachyderm

If you haven’t yet visited the most celebrated baby in Oklahoma City, you’re one of the few who still hasn’t. Malee, the first baby elephant ever born at the Oklahoma City Zoo, is being credited with drawing nearly 1 million visitors to the zoo so far this year.

Malee’s mom, 16-year-old Asha, delivered the elephant calf on April 15. Since that time, both mother and child have taken the throngs of well-wishers in stride at the zoo’s new $13 million elephant habitat. We just wouldn’t suggest your trying to hold the baby. Malee weighed in at a whopping 304 pounds at birth.

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



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Show Time!

For nearly 50 years, Lyric Theatre has brightened the Oklahoma City stage with the best in musical theater, and this season looks to be just as outstanding as Lyric celebrates its 10th summer at the Civic Center. Consider yourself one of the family at “Oliver!,” the spirited musical based on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” which kicks off the season June 21 and runs through June 25. Other stellar musicals slated for the coming months include the retro rock ‘n’ roll of“Hairspray,” the American turn-of-the-century tale of “Ragtime”and the fourth-longest running Broadway show of all time,“A Chorus Line.” Purchase tickets online at www.lyrictheatreokc.com.

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



Book It to the Library

Selected your summer reading yet? The Metropolitan Library System is a terrific resource, boasting 17 libraries conveniently spread throughout Oklahoma County. All you need is a library card to dive into its inviting world of books, but the Metro Library System offers much more: book clubs, summer movies, musical performances, storytime for children and community forums. Just check out the library system’s online calendar of events for more info.

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



Monday, May 30, 2011

Music, shopping and food Ė oh my!

This Thursday marks the first Thursday of the month – and you know what that means?Concerts on the Curve! On the first Thursday of each month from May through September, Classen Curve is hosting live outdoor “micro-festivals” for you to enjoy while partaking in some retail therapy. Don’t have any immediate shopping needs? No biggie. Just enjoy a lovely evening outside with Oklahoma musicians in three areas, a kids’ area, an art walk featuring work by local artists and food and drinks.

Classen Curve, family-friendly, food, music, shopping, arts and culture
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Friday, May 27, 2011

Dust off your Scrabble dictionary

Know any words that start with Q but don’t need a U? Line up your letter tiles and join Scrabble enthusiasts of all skill levels at the Ralph Ellison Library from 2 until 4 for Scrabble Club on the first Saturday of each month.

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



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Help your kids beat the heat this summer

It’s starting to heat up out there. Help your kids beat the heat while having a blast at one ofOklahoma City’s spraygrounds. Open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., these interactive water play parks are fun for kids of all ages. And with locations all over the city, there’s sure to be one near your neck of the woods.

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