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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Decembering up downtown

Devon Ice Rink

The calendar is about to change from November to December which means one thing…. Downtown in December! If you are new to our fair city, you might be wondering what exactly is Downtown in December. Basically, downtown Oklahoma City turns into a winter wonderland of holiday cheer.

The very best thing about Downtown in December is most of the activities and events are free. Here are some of our favorite events, but be sure to check out their website for more.

  • Devon Ice Rink
    The ice rink is open at Myriad Botanical Gardens and is ready for you and your friends, family and/or honey lambs to make some memories whilst making lazy circles in the ice and doing your best to stay level and off your backside. Click here for schedule and prices.
  • SandRidge Santa Run
    Run a 5K with various Santas, elves, reindeer and other assorted Christmasy characters as you work off some of that cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole (either in or out of a costume). It’s an all-ages event, with a Kid’s Dash and 1-mile Fun Run part of the festivities as well. Saturday, Dec. 9 is the day and activities begin at 8:45 a.m. at SandRidge Energy, 123 Robert S. Kerr. Get more info here.
  • Devon’s Saturdays with Santa
    Each Saturday in December the world famous Santa Claus will be at the Devon Energy Center to hear want toys your kids want under the tree. Learn more here.
running, downtown, family-friendly, festivals, holiday, kids, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Last one down

Snow Tubbing

Get ready to snow tube your colorful woolen socks off starting at the LifeShare Winterfest. One of our favorite holiday traditions is cruising down one of the country’s largest manmade snow-tubbing slides at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark each year. Check hours and prices here.

downtown, family-friendly, festivals, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Get iced

Downtown In December Ice Skating

It’s time to pull out your sequined leotard, channel your inner Dorothy Hamill, Nancy Kerrigan, Scott Hamilton or Michelle Kwan and head downtown to lace up a pair of skates. The Devon Ice Rink is back at the Myriad Botanical Gardens beginning November 10th through January 28th. Plan an afternoon of fun with your little ones, an adventurous staff holiday party, or a cozy date night on ice.

Times and prices vary depending on day of the week, so be sure to click here to plan your outing.

family-friendly, festivals, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Brewfest

2017 Brew Fest

One of our favorite trends in Oklahoma City is how many craft breweries are popping up around town. It is getting to the point that keeping up with the latest great suds is getting difficult. The good news is we know of an event where you can try out products from all the local breweries as well as local wineries and distilleries.

The Oklahoma Bioscience Association’s annual BrewFest will take place Nov. 9 at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Tickets are $35 and get you a mug, t-shirt (if you are one of the first 300 registered), free parking and, best of all, unlimited samples of local beer, wine and spirits. This year’s event will have nearly 30 local purveyors of tasty beer and spirits.

beer, breweries, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Crew goals

Dragon Boating

Some of the best riversport athletes in the world will be in Oklahoma City on Oct. 5-8 as the Oklahoma Regatta Festival takes place on the Oklahoma River. For four days, 2,500 athletes will compete in rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and whitewater rafting during the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma Regatta and the OGE NightSprints.

The OCU Head of the Oklahoma races will include 2.5 mile races against the clock each day where participants from across the country will compete in collegiate, masters and junior rowing divisions. The 500-meter night sprints Saturday evening will surely be a sight not to miss – they take place on the only permanently lighted rowing race course in the world. And the friendly dragon boat competition with teams of 20 paddlers and one drummer will “Paddle for a Cure,” with all proceeds benefitting the local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

In addition to the racing, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival will include a family festival with food trucks and beer gardens – all with a first-rate view of the racing and the traditional post-race fireworks. Whether you are rolling with your crew or flying solo, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival is the perfect place to enjoy the first weekend of October in Oklahoma City.

View the schedule at riversportokc.org.

water sports, Boathouse District, family-friendly, festivals, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Festive with PlazaFest

Plaza District Festival

Looking for a fun, exciting day out with family or friends? With live music, incredible food and beautiful art, there’s a lot to see and do at the upcoming Plaza District Festival.

Celebrating local arts, culture and the revitalization of OKC’s Plaza District, the Plaza District Festival will feature art from more than 30 Oklahoma-based artists in addition to an all Oklahoma lineup of musicians and performers on three stages. There will also be a kid’s area with activities like face painting, hula hoops and bubbles, and firehouse art activities throughout the festival so your little ones can harness their own creative genius.

The Plaza District is an enclave of locally owned shops, galleries and restaurants and has become a hub for creativity and a magnet for local businesses. It is a popular place for visitors who want to find that unique gift, enjoy a drink and soak in an area that now has a hipster, modern vibe. Grab a cup of coffee at District House, a slice of pizza at Empire or a grilled cheese at the Mule. You can also get a drink at Oak and Ore before heading over to DNA Galleries to buy some clothes or art. How about ending the evening with a performance at Lyric Theatre and then running over to Roxy’s for some ice cream or Pie Junkie for the best pie around. Get the picture? There is something for everyone in the Plaza.

The Plaza District Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

live music, nightlife, Plaza District, restaurants, theater, arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Pave the way for Rock the Block

Construction Equipment

Have you or your kids ever played with Tonka trucks or other construction toys? Well push those to the side because now’s your chance (we mean your kid’s chance... yea, let’s go with that) to get up close and personal with the real thing at Dolese’s Rock the Block event on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Rock the Block event will give child-at-heart adults and actual children alike the opportunity to view a variety of construction vehicles and equipment up close from Dolese and other industry partners including Bobcat of Oklahoma City, the OKC Fire Department, Oklahoma Gas and Electric, and many more.

Free and open to the public, the event will also have a canned food drive benefitting the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and will raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You can learn more about Rock the Block and pave your way to a fun, family weekend by checking out the Facebook events page.

kids, community, family-friendly, festivals, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Out East

As residents of Prague like to say, “Come Czech us out!” Prague has a rich European history as it was founded by Czech immigrants who named the city after the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague hosts the annual Kolache Festival the first Saturday of May and celebrates the rich Czech culture.

You also don’t want to miss Prague City Lake, a 400-acre lake that includes a boat ramp, boat docks, picnic areas, volleyball court and playground. For hours and usage fees, go online. It is surrounded by the Prague Lake Trail, which features 30 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, although you have to bring your own horse.

equine, festivals, mountain biking, outdoor recreation, water sports, day-trip
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Out West

Yukon Flour Mill

Oklahoma City’s next door neighbor to the West is Yukon. Yukon is a fast-growing community with roots in agriculture and a Czech history. Yukon is known as the “Czech Capital of Oklahoma” and features the historic Czech Hall, which is a national historic site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1925, the hall has hosted Czech dances every Saturday night, which you should totally go Czech out, because you knew we were going to go there with that pun, and also because you can enjoy dancing, Czech snacks, beers and meeting some new people. The famous Yukon Czech Festival occurs on the first Saturday of October, so mark your calendars now to get your hands on some of those kolaches or klobasy sandwiches you love.

Yukon also hosts the Chisholm Trail Crawfish Festival in June, which seeks to integrate a celebration of the historic Chisholm Trail with a little dash of Cajun charisma (why not?). Go get your Yukon on!

festivals, history, nightlife, Yukon, day-trip
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Get artistic

Paseo District

What do you get when you combine the oldest planned commercial shopping district in Oklahoma City with a creative, inclusive community? The Paseo Arts District, of course! The winding streets and original Spanish-style stucco buildings are home for the art galleries and studios that give this district so much artistic flair. Perfect for a meandering walk, the Paseo Arts District is also home to some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants and bars, including Paseo Grill, Sauced on Paseo, Piccaso Café and The Other Room. Its proximity to the Uptown 23rd District and the historic housing options available nearby, including single-family homes and apartments, make this a walkable neighborhood with a community atmosphere.

On the first Friday of each month, the Paseo cranks up the hospitality with the First Friday Gallery Walk, in which more than 60 neighborhood artists show off their wares amid a blocks-long party of music, food and fun. Be sure to check out the next one this Friday, July 7.

bar, festivals, housing, nightlife, Paseo District, restaurants, arts and culture
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fireworks

Fireworks

Have you ever wondered how fireworks became America’s Fourth of July pastime? One reason is because John Adams wanted it to be. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, Adams said, “It [Independence Day] ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Though you can’t set off your own fireworks in the metro, you can still carry on this American tradition by enjoying a great public show. Check out the full list of public fireworks displays below happening throughout the OKC metro to celebrate the Fourth of July the way our Founding Fathers intended.

Red, White & Boom
LibertyFest
Downtown 4th Fest
Bethany Freedom Festival
Yukon Freedom Fest
Blanchard’s Independence Celebration
Stillwater’s Boomer Blast Fireworks Show
Kingfisher’s Annual 4th of July Parade and Celebration
Midwest City’s Tribute to Liberty

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



Parades

Parade

Interested in making your Fourth of July celebration an all-day family affair? Consider attending one of the many parades taking place throughout the OKC metro for some family fun.

LibertyFest – Rated as one of the top 10 places to be in America on the Fourth by CNN and USA Today, the LibertyFest parade in Edmond is a fun-filled spectacle for kids and adults. The parade begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Edmond.

Kingfisher’s Annual 4th of July Parade and Celebration – This parade begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Kingfisher and is followed by a day long Fourth of July celebration in a nearby park.

Freedom Fest – The Yukon Freedom Fest parade begins at 8 a.m. with other fun activities throughout the day including a car show, sand volleyball tournament and more.

Bethany's Freedom Festival – The parade begins at 10 a.m. at 39th Expy & Peniel with many other activities for the family at Eldon Lyon Park.

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



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

deadCenter Film Festival

deadCenter Film Festival Crowd

In 2001, Justan and Jayson Floyd hosted the first of what would grow to be the deadCenter Film Festival. What started off as a one-night, Oklahoma filmmaker festival has grown to a four-day festival screening more than 120 films from around the world. Each year more than 30,000 people are attracted to Oklahoma’s largest film festival, which was rated one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World”.

This year’s festival will be held from June 8-11 and films will be screened all around downtown Oklahoma City. For a detailed schedule of events, please click here. Registration for an all-access pass is $150, which grants you priority access to all screenings, panels, events, and parties which can be found here. Individual tickets can be purchased 20 minutes before each film for $10 per film, when available.

deadCenter Film Festival is the perfect way for you and your family to get connected to the creative life of OKC and celebrate Oklahoma-based film.  

film, movies, arts and culture, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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deadCenter U

deadCenter Film Festival film makers

One of the coolest things to come out of the success of the deadCenter Film Festival (in our humble opinions) is the organization expanding their role to be more than a film festival. deadCenter now works year-round to provide film education all over our great state.

deadCenter offers a variety of education initiatives including film classes, workshops, speaking engagements and more to high schools, colleges and technology centers. The aim is to use movie-making as a way to foster creativity, collaboration and confidence in our state’s students.

deadCenter University is a great opportunity for local high school students to learn from experienced Hollywood pros. Each June the program is offered to 60 students during the festival and they get a chance to meet with filmmakers and participate in panels.

Visit the deadCenter website for more on the amazing educational opportunities the festival provides.

festivals, film, college, education
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Red Earth Festival

Red Earth dancing competition

Come out and experience the pride of our nation’s Native American culture June 9-12. This year, Red Earth will turn 30, and the fun can be found at the Cox Convention Center. The festival includes sample art from some of the nation’s best Native American artists, and the art ranges from contemporary art to native jewelry, the perfect range to fit your taste.

Native dancing is a big part of the celebration, as hundreds of native dancers from around the United States will gather. On June 9 and 10, you can discover the Grand Entry of Dancers and watch as tribes preform ceremonial dances. A full schedule can be found here. There will also be an “Ask the Expert” time where you can bring up to three pieces of your own Native American artwork and talk with native art professionals about the value of your art.

Ticket prices include admission to the Art Market, admission to all Festival Activities and admission to the PowWow. More information can be found at https://www.redearth.org/.

native american, western heritage, arts and culture, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Celebrate the arts

Festival of the Arts

Henry David Thoreau once said, “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” For the past 50 years, the Festival of the Arts has brought imagination to our own backyard as one of the largest and most successful arts festivals in the country. With hundreds of world-renowned artists from across the country, the Festival of the Arts is a must see event bringing imagination to life.

Here are just a few things you should know about the Festival of the Arts:

  • You have six days to enjoy the fun as the festival is April 25-30 at Bicentennial Park, situated between the Civic Center Music Hall and City Hall. Admission is free and hands-on activities in the Children’s Art Field is just $2.
  • More than 450 artists applied and submitted work for the Festival jury process. The 144 chosen artists are some of the nation’s finest, featuring a wide array of art from oils, water, drawing and printmaking to photography, ceramics, glass, sculpture and more.
  • At the Festival of the Arts, art isn’t just what you look at, it’s what you eat too. From appetizers to desserts, the Festival brings 31 vendors to the International Food Row and throughout the grounds. Each food vendor is partnered with a local arts organization, so each bite you take supports the arts in central Oklahoma.
  • Art is also a performance. Nearly 300 entertainers will be donating their performances on three stages throughout the Festival to the 750,000 Festival attendees.

Whether you’re imagining buying a painting that you love, jamming out at a free concert or eating a piece of art you enjoy, the Festival of the Arts will bring your imagination, and your taste buds, to life.

family-friendly, festivals, food, free, live music, arts and culture, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Festival of the Arts History

Festival of the Arts

The Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City is one of the largest, most successful and best organized festivals in the country. However, it didn’t always used to be that way, and like every Van Gogh, the story of how the Festival of the Arts came to be is a true masterpiece.

It all began in the mid-1960s with the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts, an endowment designed to provide funding for the arts across the country. Soon after, a group of representatives from art organizations in Oklahoma City jumped on the opportunity and established The Arts Council in 1967, with Marion DeVore serving as the first president.

The idea for the Festival of the Arts was ignited through a suggestion from Symphony General Manager Frank Ratka, who wanted to begin an arts festival to attract publicity and interest in the Arts Council. The date of the Festival was set in March, only three weeks away from the day of the meeting that approved it. Every board member participated in making the event a success, from asking local artists to participate to gathering fund lenders and even making sandwiches.

history, arts and culture, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Plaza District

Dramatic changes in the past 15 years brought new life to the Plaza District. The district was first developed in the 1920s at the end of the city’s trolley line. For the next 40 years the area served as a bustling commercial district for the growing neighborhoods that surrounded it. The district started to a decline through the 70s, 80s and 90s but new development there since has turned it into a thriving hub of creativity.

The Plaza District, located on NW 16 between Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue, is one of the city’s most walkable corridors and contains art galleries, a tattoo shop, restaurants, collaborative work spaces and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, which includes the Thelma Gaylord Academy and a performance space in the 1935-era Plaza Theatre, which has been newly rebuilt and is home to professional performance productions and other events. Lyric Theatre was one of the first entities to invest in the district, playing a crucial role in the Plaza’s rebirth.

The District is home to monthly events such as Live! On the Plaza and the Plaza District Festival in September. It is a popular place for visitors who want to find that unique gift, enjoy a drink and soak in an area that now has a hipster, modern vibe. Almost any night of the week you can find something interesting going on in the Plaza so keep up an eye on their events page.

nightlife, Plaza District, restaurants, theater, arts and culture, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Making a mark on aviation history

While the Wright brothers may not have hailed from Oklahoma, plenty of other aviation pioneers did, allowing our state to leave an indelible mark on the industry’s history. Aviation pioneers Clyde Cessna, Will Rogers, Shannon Lucid, Wiley Post, and John “Lee” Atwood all contributed to the craft of aviation while living in Oklahoma, with Will Rogers and Wiley Post both calling Oklahoma “home” for the majority of their lives.

Post first made headlines in 1931 when he and his navigator broke the record by flying around the world in just eight days (hey, it was 1931). This accomplishment made Post a national celebrity (on par with Charles Lindbergh). In 1933, he became the first person to fly solo around the world. For most people, that would be enough accomplishment for a lifetime, but not for Mr. Post. He also developed one of the first pressure suits and discovered the jet stream.

Another Oklahoma aviation and military pioneer is Major Gen. Clarence Tinker, who was born in Osage Nation near Pawhuska, Okla., in 1887. He began his distinguished military service in 1912, when he was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. During World War I, he rose in rank to major, and in 1919 he was transferred to the place where he would spend the bulk of his career, the Air Corps.

After rising through the ranks, he was named Commander of the Seventh Air Force in Hawaii after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. In 1942, Tinker was promoted to major general, becoming the first Native American to reach that rank and the highest-ranking officer with Native American ancestry in the U.S. Army at that time. Tinker demonstrated the hands-on, get-things-done nature of Oklahomans when he personally led a force of B-24s against the retreating Japanese naval forces during the Battle of Midway on June 7.

During that battle, Tinker became the first American general killed during World War II, but his legacy was commemorated in a lasting way a few months later when the Oklahoma City Air Depot was named Tinker Field in his honor. That air depot served its country faithfully during World War II and is still serving faithfully today as Tinker Air Force Base and the Air Force Sustainment Center.

This year is a great opportunity to learn more about the history of Tinker Air Force Base and the impact it has on our community. The base turns 75 this year and will host events all year long to celebrate including a half marathon and air show. Check out a list of events to get involved. 

Save

aviation, festivals, history, running, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Live! on the Plaza

Live! on the Plaza

The Plaza District, located along NW 16 between Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue, is a perfect example of the development that has happened in Oklahoma City the last couple of decades. Local retailers helped breathe new life into an aging retail corridor that many thought was beyond repair. Today the Plaza is a hub of unique and funky local restaurants, clothing stores, art boutiques and more.

The best way to experience it is the monthly Live! On the Plaza. Held the second Friday of each month, the businesses stay open late to feature live music, artists, shopping and more starting at 7 p.m. The event is jam-packed with people, free and family friendly.

family-friendly, festivals, free, Plaza District, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The Exchange on Film Row

Musicians in Film Row

Film Row is located on Sheridan just west of downtown and is another Oklahoma City district bustling with history. Placed on the National Register of Historic Place, the district was home to OKC’s film industry at the dawn of the film age. Hollywood studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fox Films had operations in the 42-block area between Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue along Sheridan Avenue where theater owners came to view and lease films.

Today the district is home to local retailers and businesses and it seems you can’t go a day without hearing of a new development in the up and coming district. Soon there will even be a live music venue and historic hotel.

The Exchange on Film Row is the district’s monthly festival and it is held the third Friday of each month from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (beginning in May). Premiere on Film Row aims to be family friendly and features live music, some of the best food trucks in OKC and even film screenings.  

festivals, Film Row, Oklahoma City history, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Gallery Walk

Paseo District

The Paseo Arts District was originally developed in 1929 by Oklahoma City pioneer GA Nichols as the first commercial shopping district north of downtown. The Paseo still features the same Spanish-inspired, stucco buildings it did in the ’20s.

In the 1970s the district (located around North 28th Street and Walker Avenue) saw a renaissance take shape as artists began to move to the area and open galleries. Today the street is home to some of the top art galleries and local restaurants in the city.

During the Paseo’s First Friday Gallery Walk you can see more than 60 artists from about 20 galleries participate in this event, from 6 to 10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, and it includes themed exhibits, refreshments, guest artists and other entertainment.

Paseo District, restaurants, arts and culture, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Opening Night

NYE in OKC

Each new year is a time of reflection and resolutions. But first, you have to ring in the year in style. Are you still looking for that perfect place to welcome 2017? Well, we’ve got you covered. OKC is hopping with so many exciting events on NYE that it may be hard to choose just one.

Do you love music, dancing, theater or fireworks? If so, you certainly won’t want to miss Opening Night, one of OKC’s premier New Year’s Eve parties. Put on by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Opening Night offers fun for the entire family with performances throughout downtown OKC featuring acts such as Jabee, L.T.Z., Moetowne Alex and the Nightview Band, OKC Improv, Ali Harter, Michael King, Yung Tray, Susan Herndon, Sativa Prophets, Kinsey Charles, and more. Trust us, there is absolutely zero chance of a less than stellar New Year’s Eve. Did we mention there’s fun for the whole family? The youngsters are sure to enjoy face painting, an interactive art project, and lively music performances. And the fireworks finale is a show-stopping spectacle that you won't soon forget.

Wristbands are just $8 in advance and you can pick them up at 7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and MidFirst Bank locations. You can also get wristbands for $10 at the event.

And don’t worry about grabbing grub before heading downtown – seriously, they’ve thought of everything – the city’s best food trucks will be on-hand to serve up a variety of exciting food. Get your dinner on Finale Alley any time before midnight!

live music, music, family-friendly, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thundering up the new year in style Ö

Devon Ice Rink

Some might say that we here at Better Life Central suffer from Thunder-mania year-round and rightfully so. Anyone who’s seen the Thunder this season can attest to the excitement our boys in blue bring to the court each game. So of course we will be enjoying the game this New Year’s Eve as the Thunder take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Find tickets here. Downtown restaurants including Park Avenue Grill, Flint, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, Vast and many others will have special menus before and after the game to help you make sure that you and your special someone kick off 2017 with a bang.

Some of our favorite other places around town to ring in 2017:

And our resolution for 2017: keeping you – our loyal reader – in the know about all of the cool, hip happenings in OKC. Don’t hesitate to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with questions or ideas. All our posts are also tagged by topic so you can easily find past blogs for information, everything from attractions to downtown and much more.

Thunder, festivals, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Getting around Downtown in December

Bricktown Water Taxi and Canal at Christmas

We’ve told you about some of our favorite Downtown in December activities already, but we would be remiss if we neglected to remind you to take advantage of the free water taxi rides offered Thursday – Sunday from 6-9 p.m. until December 31 (excepting Christmas Day, of course)! The narrated 20-30-minute rides allow you to check out the holiday décor as well as learn some cool facts about Oklahoma and OKC in a festive, fun-filled, family-friendly atmosphere of fantasticness. If you’ve got an aversion to water, or just want to hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling jing-jing-jingaling too, don’t fret – perhaps it’s a great time to try out a ride in a horse-drawn carriage from one of the many such vendors around downtown. If your horse sense is telling you to stay away from horses, Downtown in December is featuring Segway rentals as well, and of course, there’s always Spokies. Get down to Bricktown and check out all the ways to get around and enjoy all the festive holiday spirit in your downtown!

festivals, free, holiday, Bricktown, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

These are a few of our favorite Downtown in December events

Santa Run

Your friendly neighborhood TBL writers do love us some Downtown in December events, and not just ‘cause we happen to be downtown… in December (and the other 11 months of the year, for that matter, not only because we work here, but also because downtown is awesome. But we digress.) Anyway, here are some of our favs (but of course, don’t limit yourself to just these— there are heaps!).

Bricktown Tree Lighting Festival Presented by Sonic
Mayor Cornett teams up with Santa Claus himself to fire up your holiday spirits as well as the lights on the big Christmas tree. Head to the 3rd Base Plaza at the ballpark (2 S. Mickey Mantle Dr.) on Friday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. to enjoy live music, face painting, food trucks, conversations with Santa (maybe ask what he wants for a change?) and general merriment. More info: downtownindecember.com/bricktown-tree-lighting/

Snow Tubing Winter Festival at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
Get ready to snow tube your colorful woolen socks off starting Saturday, Nov. 26. In addition to two slides (big and little), other perks including Santa’s Workshop, a children’s train and plenty of holiday décor dictate that the Festival promises fun for all. Check hours and prices here: downtownindecember.com/snow-tubing-winter-festival/

Devon Ice Rink
The ice rink is open at Myriad Botanical Gardens and is ready for you and your friends, family and/or honey lambs to make some memories whilst making lazy circles in the ice  and doing your level best to stay level and off your backside. Check out downtownindecember.com/devon-ice-rink/ for schedule and prices.

SandRidge Santa Run / ego boost
A race with Santa? We’re betting you got this one in the bag. I mean, we’re not sure what kind of shape you’re in, but frankly, Santa just doesn’t look that fast. Anyway, run a 5K with various Santas, elves, reindeer and other assorted Christmasy characters as you work off some of that cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole (either in or out of a costume). It’s an all-ages event, with a Kid’s Dash and 1-mile Fun Run part of the festivities as well. Saturday, Dec. 10 is the day and activities begin at 8:45 at SandRidge Energy, 123 Robert S. Kerr. More info: downtownindecember.com/sandridge-santa-run/

Check out all the events at downtownindecember.com/.

running, downtown, family-friendly, festivals, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Saluting those who served

45th Infantry Division Museum Veteran\'s Day Ceremony

Events across Oklahoma City will give you plenty of opportunities to celebrate America’s armed forces and honor those who have served.

  • The Norman Veterans Committee will host their 2016 Veteran’s Day and Memorial Ceremony at Reaves Park in Norman on Nov. 11. Static displays open at 10 a.m., the ceremony begins at 11 a.m. More information.
  • The annual Veterans Day service at the 45th Infantry Division Museum will take place at 10 a.m., on Nov. 11. Pay tribute to the men and women of the military at this patriotic ceremony, which includes a helicopter flyover, massing of the colors and guest speakers. More information.
  • Midwest City will hold their annual Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. The parade begins at Century Boulevard and Southeast 15th Street. More information.

If you know of any events we didn’t mention please include them in the comments or give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter.

festivals, military, parade
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Step back in time

El Reno Trolley

While some may know El Reno simply for its famous annual Fried Onion Burger Day Festival, the city has quite an intriguing past.

The city was originally located about five miles north of its present location, on the banks of the North Canadian River and was known as Reno City. After the second time the town flooded, it was moved to its present location and changed its name to El Reno. Visitors can step back in time at Fort Reno, a 6,000 acre site that began as a military camp in 1874. The Officer’s Duplex now houses the U.S. Cavalry Museum and Research Library while the chapel still serves as a popular wedding site.

While you’re visiting, climb aboard the Heritage Express trolley and explore the city’s historic downtown.  And once you’ve worked up an appetite, give the onion burger a try. Sid's Diner has been lauded as having one of the nation’s best burgers by the Food Network. The restaurant has also has been featured on Man v. Food on the Travel Channel.

restaurants, day-trip, festivals, history, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Letís rally in Thunder Alley

One of the coolest parts of coming downtown before a Thunder game (even if you don’t have tickets!) is the Thunder Alley experience, especially if you’ve got your little hoopsters in tow. Shoot some free throws, hear some tunes, bounce in an inflatable house, cavort with Rumble, or try out a number of other family-friendly pregame activities which await you just outside Chesapeake Energy Arena along Reno Avenue. Check here for a list of games that will be preceded by Thunder Alley early this season. We’ll see you there opening night, Friday Oct. 28.

basketball, family-friendly, festivals, free, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boats and rows

Regatta Festival

Some of the best riversport athletes in the world will be in Oklahoma City on Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 as the Oklahoma Regatta Festival takes over the Oklahoma River. For four days, 2,500 athletes will compete in rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and whitewater rafting during the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma Race and the OGE NightSprints.

The OCU Head of the Oklahoma races will include 2.5 mile races against the clock each day where participants compete for the best time. The 500-meter night sprints Saturday evening will surely be a sight not to miss. Events are held in different categories including collegiate, masters and junior rowing as well as kayak and dragon boat racing.

But the fun isn’t just limited to participants. In addition to the racing, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival will include a family festival with food trucks and beer gardens – all with a first-rate view of the racing and the traditional post-race fireworks.

View the schedule at riversportokc.org.

beer, family-friendly, festivals, food, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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