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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Natural beauty

Ice Skating at the Myriad Gardens

We have to admit that Myriad Botanical Gardens  might just be one of our favorite places in downtown OKC. Seriously, the gardens recently received the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Open Space Award recognizing it as one of the most outstanding public spaces in the entire world. So we are obviously not alone in our love of the OKC gem.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens always provide a serene locale to escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown OKC, but in the wintertime the gardens come to life in a whole new way complete with shopping, a festive outdoor atmosphere complete with lights and a selection of boutique-style vendors.

If you’ve never strolled through the gardens, we might suggest taking part in one of the free monthly walking tours. While you’re here be sure to take in the beauty of Crystal Bridge. The holiday season is the perfect time to explore the 750 varieties of plans in the 13,000 square feet conservatory. If you visit on Sunday evenings in December, you can take in all of the beauty for free.

The gardens also give you a great view of the fabulous Devon lights just across the street (look North).

Another fun family-friendly winter attraction at the Myriad Botanical Gardens is the Devon Ice Rink. The young and young at heart are welcome to slip and slide the night (and day) away now through January. A bit rusty on the ice? Don’t fret, you can even take skate lessons so you will be ready to show off your mad skills to your kids, friends, co-workers or all of OKC. Check the schedule for rink hours and get ready to hit the ice.

family-friendly, free, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Invite your out-of-town friends to play in OKC

Bricktown Canal

Whether you’ve just moved here or lived here a long time, you can pitch Oklahoma City as a great destination for visitors to your out-of-town friends, and we at The Better Life Blog are happy to help tell them why.

After all, this year National Geographic named Oklahoma City as a “must-see,” “go-now” destination in its Best Trips 2015 list for good reason.

Here are some ideas for your own adventure:

  • Oklahoma City has a collection of truly world-class and won’t-see-them-anywhere else museums that will keep you busy for days. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is a must-visit for anyone who comes to our community. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Oklahoma City Art Museum should also be at the top of any to-do list. Get a comprehensive list of all the great OKC museums here.
  • Rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board, go zip lining across the Oklahoma River on the SandRidge Sky Zip or climb the six-story SandRidge Sky Trail at the Boathouse District, where next year, you’ll also be able to enjoy outdoor whitewater rafting on a course that’s under construction and scheduled to open in 2016. Find out more from RIVERSPORT Adventures.
  • Go to Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and tour the Oklahoma City Zoo, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Science Museum Oklahoma, or watch horse racing at Remington Park Racing and Casino.
  • Explore the city’s other districts and local shopping and dining. Get outside at Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser, in the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, or at one of the many city parks, such as Martin Park Nature Center, a 140-acre park that feels like an escape from urban life. The Myriad Botanical Gardens are also a treat, whether you stay in the outside gardens, attend an event there or tour the rainforest atmosphere inside the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.

There is plenty more in Oklahoma City to see and do. So sell your out-of-town friends on Oklahoma City as a place to visit. You’ll get to see them on a regular basis and make good memories with all that this place has to offer.

If you need additional help with the sell (and we don’t think you will), tell them that this year Travel and Leisure Magazine recently named Oklahoma City as the fifth friendliest city in America.

Start planning your trip online at www.visitokc.com and get more ideas by exploring The Better Life Blog.

attractions, family-friendly, food, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, parks, shopping, water sports, Adventure District, western heritage, arts and culture, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Check out the OKC Visitors Guide for ideas

For additional help with planning and ideas, check out the Oklahoma City Visitors Guide. Published and updated each year, the Visitors Guide gives you ideas for shopping, dining, taking part in outdoor recreation, enjoying family-friendly activities, checking out the city’s sports scenes, night life and more.

There are couple’s retreat ideas, girls’ getaways and featured Oklahoma City attractions, as well as maps to help you get around. The Guide will also give you a glimpse of the unique atmospheres you’ll find in our many area districts – the Adventure District, Film Row, Asian District, Automobile Alley, Boathouse District, Bricktown Entertainment District, Midtown, Uptown 23, the Paseo Arts District, Plaza District, Stockyards City and Western Avenue. Each offers a combination restaurants, shopping, attractions and events based on the district’s individual character.

You can even see a schedule of festivals, sporting events, visual and performing arts happenings and more, so you’ll know exactly what to do when you visit.

The Oklahoma City Visitors Guide is available in magazine version by request or online as a Digital Visitors Guide.

attractions, family-friendly, live sporting events, nightlife, outdoor recreation, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Made in Oklahoma

Made in Oklahoma Coalition

Ooooooo-kla-homa is both where the wind comes sweeping down the plains and local companies and organizations thrive. If you are a frequent reader, then you know that an entrepreneurial spirit flows through the veins of our great state (and we might be more than a little proud of that).

One of the organizations ensuring the success of Oklahoma businesses and farms is Made in Oklahoma (MIO). In fact, what started out as an organization of less than a dozen Oklahoma food manufacturers in 2000 has grown into a 40-member coalition that employs more than 20,000 Oklahomans and generates more than $3 billion in sales annually. MIO is a great example of what can be accomplished when businesses pool resources. From produce and baked goods to essential oils, dog treats, handmade furnishings and more, you might be surprised to find out what is truly Made in Oklahoma.

To get a glimpse of some of the products available, visit the Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market Tuesday-Sunday or Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Farmers Market in the Horticulture Pavilion on any Saturday throughout the year. Expect to find fresh delicious produce, herbs, honey, farm-fresh eggs, meat, cut flowers and much more. A farmers market is held in Oklahoma Department of Agriculture parking lot from noon to 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday and monthly in the Uptown 23rd neighborhood. Made in Oklahoma products are always in supply at Plenty Mercantile and the Red Dirt Emporium.

The MIO Coalition also offers numerous mouth-watering suggestions to use all those tasty items. Some of our favorites include candied bacon, fried okra salad, the working man’s quiche and so many more.

farmers market, local goods, Oklahoma, shopping, Uptown 23
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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More than a green thumb

Fabulous Oklahoma products aren’t limited to just food though. We are a skilled bunch with many talents and certainly see the beauty in everything.  We can make ladders from willow trees, leather vests by hand, furniture and kitchen utensils, soaps, beeswax lotions, soy candles and even turn salvaged wood into beautiful works of art. Don’t believe us: Check out the fabulous local shops and galleries throughout Oklahoma City to see our talents on display. From Automobile Alley to the Plaza District and Western Avenue to the Paseo District, there are products made by Oklahomans everywhere you turn. Check out the coolest places to shop in OKC here.

local goods, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hop in to Shop

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

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

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

Automobile Alley, festivals, restaurants, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Works of Art

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

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

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

arts and culture, festivals, Paseo District, Plaza District, restaurants, retail, shopping, theater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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H&8th

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

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

festivals, food, Midtown, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine’s Day Shopping

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

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

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

  • Shop Good- Located off Automobile Alley on Ninth Street, Shop Good offers clothing and home goods with a local spin. Plus they donate part of their profits to local charities.
  • Plenty Mercantile- A great shopping destination in Automobile Alley with an eclectic variety of goods you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Red Dirt Emporium- Its mission statement is simple; introducing locals and visitors alike to the best Oklahoma has to offer. Everything from clothes to music, art and more. Red Dirt Emporium is located in Bricktown.
  • Painted Door- Located in the heart of Bricktown the Painted Door has been a staple of local shopping for more than 20 years in OKC.
  • On a Whim- On a Whim is located in Classen Curve and offers one-of-kind clothing, housewares and gifts for all ages.
holiday, local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (2)



Flower Power

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

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

holiday, local goods, Myriad Botanical Gardens, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last minute gifts made easy…

There is one shopping day left before the big day. Wait … ONE DAY?! We are still running around picking up last-minute gifts. If you are still searching for the perfect gift or stocking stuffers for your favorite people, consider stocking up on some local flair so your loved ones can rep the 405 in 2015. If you hadn’t noticed the people of OKC have a lot of pride in our city so it is easy to find OKC clothes, art, coffee mugs and just about anything you can think of. In fact, here are 5 boutiques that offer great OKC-themed gifts. Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list. Check out this list for a great list of retail in OKC.  Also if we missed your favorite place let us know by posting in the comments or hitting us up on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Shop Good- Located off Automobile Alley on 9th St., Shop Good offers clothing and home goods with a local spin. Plus the donate part of their profits to local charities.
  • Plenty Mercantile- A great shopping destination in Automobile Alley with an eclectic variety of goods you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Red Dirt Emporium- Their mission statement is simple, introducing locals and visitors alike to the best Oklahoma has to offer. Everything from clothes to music, art and more. Red Dirt Emporium is located in Bricktown.
  • Painted Door- Located in the heart of Bricktown the Painted Door has been a staple of local shopping for more than 20 years in OKC.
  • On a Whim-  On a whim is located in Classen Curve on offers one-of-kind clothing, housewares and gifts for all ages.

Save

local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whack-a-Mall

OKC’s malls are certainly popular shopping destinations for many, especially during Christmastime, and for good reason. But if the food court freaks you out, the kiosks are confusing and parking lots induce panic, check out some of the pop-up retail locations around downtown and shop where no one has shopped before! Except for, well, the last couple years or so… Anyway, the Holiday Pop-Up Shops at Midtown feature a rotating mix of retailers every Thursday through Sunday until December 21st. Learn more at their website. Likewise, the Winter Shoppes at the Myriad Gardens are open Thursdays through Sundays, as well as Monday the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd. Check out their retailers and more deets at their website. Shop local boutique-style, and enjoy some of the downtown OKC holiday festivities while you’re at it.

downtown, local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Retail therapy

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Downtown in December offers a plethora of opportunities for retail therapy. The Deluxe Winter Market in Leadership square will feature more than 60 vendors with local and handmade goods, crafts, home decor, art, food and other specialty items.

More than 30 Oklahoma-owned shops and an urban Christmas tree will be showcased at the holiday pop-up shops in Midtown. Shops rotate weekly through a set of geodesic domes at NW 10th and Harvey, next to Bleu Garten. The holiday shopping village is open each weekend, beginning this Friday.

The Winter Shoppes at Myriad Botanical Gardens offer a complete family experience including on-site ice skating, a selection of boutique-style vendors and the breathtaking views of the gardens and Crystal Bridge. You can even enjoy a carousel ride while you’re here. The Myriad Botanical Gardens is hosting a variety of holiday-related events from scavenger hunts to wrapping parties.

Of course, Oklahoma City offers shopping options that are incredibly diverse. From high-end shops at 50 Penn Place, Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall or Classen Curve to funky local shops on Western Avenue or in the Plaza District, OKC offers more than you might imagine. Check out a listing of local retailers here.

downtown, family-friendly, holiday, Midtown, outdoor recreation, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Visit Stillwater

Home of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater is just an hour or so up the road from OKC and features plenty of diverse activities to do in its own right. In fact, you can visit museums and art alongside an exotic animal safari. And sure, while you can drive by the house where Garth Brooks used to live, go to the yearly Calf Fry at the Tumbleweed and pay homage to the home of Red Dirt music, there’s plenty more you should see and do in Stillwater.

  • The National Wrestling Hall of Fame – this “shrine to the sport of wrestling” should definitely be on your Stillwater to-do list. Full of memorabilia and history, “mankind’s oldest and most basic form of recreational combat” is celebrated here. Learn about the sport’s pioneers, African-American and Latino wrestling history, America’s Olympic heroes, and more. 
  • Main Street ShoppingDowntown Stillwater features that classic Main Street feel, with lots of local flavor and things to see and eat. Bike nights, Food Truck nights, and the Car and Bike Show augment the experience. Check the calendar at the link above to see what’s going down Downtown, or just head out and get your shop on.
  • Lake Fun – Stillwater’s three area reservoirs of regalement stand ready for you to visit any time of year. Lakes Blackwell, McMurtry, and Boomer offer all the typical lake fun you can stand and then some, including bird watching, mountain biking, hunting, disc golf, camping, horseback riding and trails for fitness, among other features.
  • Golf at Karsten Creek – the Stillwater area in general offers plenty for the duffers out there, but you may want to pay a special visit to Karsten Creek. Considered one of the best public courses in the nation, this Tom Fazio-designed course is the home of Oklahoma State’s golf teams, and you can play there too! Take the opportunity to grab your clubs and experience a demanding course you’re sure not to forget.

For more info, just hop over to www.visitstillwater.org.

museums, shopping, Stillwater, water sports, western heritage, college, golf
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

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

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

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

Bethany, festivals, food, music, Route 66, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Looking for a great way to spend time with your girlfriends? Here’s an itinerary filled to the brim with pampering, shopping, dining and more.

Start your morning off right with a delicious brunch (and maybe even a mimosa or two). Oklahoma City’s brunch offerings are vast, but you can’t miss Kitchen No. 324. It’s the perfect blend of classic and modern both in décor and dining. Enjoy the Fried Green Tomato Benedict alongside a Rose Mojito (it’s probably wise to also throw in a cup of coffee) and your day will be off to a fantastic start.

We know you want to look spectacular as you make the rounds so before the day gets away from you, head over to the Dry Shop in Midtown, one of OKC’s blow-dry bars and boutiques. Once you’re pampered and styled, get in the car and head over to Western Avenue where you’ll find some of OKC’s best antique shopping. The antique shops lining Western are intermixed with restaurants, a coffee shop and more in case you need nourishment.

Head a little further north to Classen Curve. Here you’ll find shopping galore. Need new running shoes? Head to Red Coyote. Looking for threads to take home to your youngsters? Uptown Kids has just what you need. Need a new dress to wear to dinner tonight? Stop by LIBERTÉ or On a Whim. The possibilities are endless.

Since you’re already on Western Avenue, why not stay and enjoy a glass of wine (along with an amazing meal) at Café 501, Flip’s Wine Bar and Trattoria or one of the other many dining options in the area?

Where’s your favorite OKC destination for a girls’ night out? Let us know in the comments!

Classen Curve, kids, Midtown, nightlife, restaurants, shopping, Western Avenue
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Thank You for Being a Friend

If you’ve got some long-distance friendships going on, now is the time to show them how much you care! Oklahoma City’s retail scene has plenty of options to please even the pickiest pal. Check out some ideas to get you started below!

Boathouse District, retail, shopping, Thunder, Western Avenue
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Show off Oklahoma City to visitors

There’s plenty to do in Oklahoma City if you have friends and family visiting here from elsewhere. This week, The Better Life Blog is here for you so you can plan to show off the city and everything it has to offer. So come along and use their visit as an opportunity for you to explore the city yourself.

Want museums? Start with Oklahoma history at the Oklahoma History Center or the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum. One of the city’s other premier museums includes the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the place to learn about American West history and culture and see some of the top fine art of that genre. For art, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is worth a stop, especially to see the impressive the Dale Chihuly glass art collection. The Science Museum Oklahoma has a lot of hands-on displays and activities for children.

But a fun tour of OKC might include some of Oklahoma’s more special-interest museums: Amateur Softball Association National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum; the 45th Infantry Division Museum; the 99s Museum of Women Pilots, the Museum of Osteology, which has more than 300 skeletons on display and other bones; the American Banjo Museum, the Oklahoma Railway Museum and more.

If you and your guests are still going strong, take them to the Oklahoma City Zoo. It is one of the oldest in the southwest, is spread over more than 119 acres and home to about 1,900 of the world’s most exotic animals, including 54 threatened or endangered species. It also features more than 500 species of animals, 117 species of birds, 153 species of reptiles and amphibians and 155 species of fish, aquatic invertebrates and marine mammals. And you wouldn’t want to miss the Lion Overlook or the Great EscApe.

For shopping, you can head over to one of OKC’s many shopping malls, like  The Outlet Shoppes, Quail Springs Mall, Penn Square Mall or Plaza Mayor at The Crossroads or any of Oklahoma City’s boutique shops.

And if the tips here aren’t to your liking, head over to Oklahoma City’s Convention and Visitors Bureau website, where you can find attractions and suggested itineraries. There’s a downtown walking tour, a Western heritage tour, a list of things to do with children and a must-see Oklahoma City tour.

attractions, family-friendly, kids, museums, shopping, western heritage, zoo, Adventure District, arts and culture
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Automobile Alley Awesomeness

Automobile Alley, located downtown along North Broadway, became the epicenter of the auto industry in OKC during the ’20s. For decades, numerous car dealership and repair shops populated the area but in recent years the street has been redeveloped and is now an up-and-coming retail hot spot.

If you’ve never visited Automobile Alley for some shopping fun, the Shop Hop is the ideal way to experience the historic district. On the third Thursday of each month, the street transforms with open houses and extended hours, live music, street artists and performers. There are also kid activities and great food, making it a fun night for the whole family.

A little tip, be sure to follow Automobile Alley on twitter (@AutoAlleyOKC) to keep up on the great deals retailers offer during the Shop Hop.

Automobile Alley, family-friendly, food, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Buy Your Books Here

In the market to actually purchase your favorite prose so it can sit on your book shelf as a conversation starter? Or maybe you want to be able to lend it to a friend. Perhaps you want it on-hand so you can read it cover-to-cover repeatedly? We’ve also got you covered on where to buy books in OKC.

Located in 50 Penn Place, Full Circle Bookstore is the largest independently owned bookstore in the Sooner State. Full Circle has been open for more than 30 years (in bookstore years that is at least 250 years) and is the go to place if you need to find a book by a local author. The bookstore routinely holds book signings and other special events. Like to curl up with a great cup of coffee while reading a book? You don’t have to go home because Full Circle also features Java Joe’s Coffee Bar. Be sure to take a picture with Pearl the Buffalo before you leave!

Here are some other bookstores in the Metro you can check out:
Barnes & Noble- 6100 North May Ave.
Half Price Books May- 6500 N May Ave.
Half Price Books Penn Park- 1449 W I-240 Service Road
Second Chance Books – 3909 North MacArthur

[Photos courtesy of Full Circle Books]

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



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Auto Alley: Required Reconnoitering

One of our city’s awesome districts worth seeking out, Automobile Alley, is easily accessible. Located downtown and just north of the central business district, it sports enough retail, dining, coffee and arts establishments to “drive” you to a new state of urban bliss. Contrary to the name, you don’t have to take a car, truck or an Explorer to explore this neon-lit, flourishing part of our city’s past, present and future.

Why is it called Automobile Alley? As you cruise past the brick storefonts and concrete- and stone-cast architecture you might notice signs reading “Buick,” “Vesper,” “Pontiac,” “Hudson,” and more. That’s because in the teens and 20s, this was home to more than 50 of OKC’s first “horseless carriage” dealerships, as well as other car service companies. (Luxury makes and Smart cars are still sold in the area today.) Pretty cool, eh?

And as if we haven’t piqued your curiosity enough, we’ve got a great feature in our VeloCity e-magazine on the district. Check it out, then put your right foot on the floor and head down to Auto Alley!

Automobile Alley, downtown, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bejeweled Gestures

Giving the gift of fine jewelry isn’t cliché if you do it well: A sterling silver filigree necklace for her or David Yurman cuff links for him. Maybe a classic timepiece for both?

Oklahoma City has a number of great local jewelry stores filled with helpful staff to help you make a selection. No matter which store you choose, you’re sure to find a very special gift that will make Cupid proud.

clientuploads/blog/OKC-is-for-Lovers-BC-Clark-blog.png

But, if this is a year to skip the diamonds, one local jeweler is making it easy for you to share a memory (maybe one that included a special ring) with their “OKC is for Lovers” Project. Mark their interactive map with places around the world that have significance for you and your love… the location of a first date, marriage proposal, wedding, anniversary or moment that simply made you happy.

[Images courtesy of Naifeh Fine Jewelry, Samuel Gordon Jewelers, BC Clark Jewelers

shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Think Outside the Heart-Shaped Box

Valentine’s Day isn’t all chocolates, jewelry and flowers. Functional, everyday gifts can be just as thoughtful as the traditional gestures. Here’s just a sampling of ideas.

Eyewear may be a necessity for some, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a treat. Frames by Mykita or Thom Browne or Garrett Leight are no ordinary purchase. Package them with a Makr Black Optical leather sleeve to keep your specs in good condition for many a Valentine’s Days to come.

You and your Valentine can coast the Downtown streets or pedal one of OKC’s bike trails on a set of bikes from Schlegel Bicycles. No experience is needed to enjoy a bike from Schlegel; their staff will help you pick one for your style and experience level.

Down the street from Schlegel, Plenty Mercantile offers a variety of thoughtful artisan gifts. Their quirky little hardware keychain pictured above lets someone know that you’re nuts about them. Plenty’s selection of lovely greeting cards will help you find a clever way to say Happy Valentine’s Day too.

Schlegel Bicycles - 900 N Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, schlegelbicycles.com
Plenty Mercantile - 807 N Broadway Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, plentymercantile.com
Black Optical - 5820 N Classen Blvd #2, Oklahoma City, OK 73118,
blackoptical.com

cycling, outdoor recreation, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Show Your Sweetie Some Love

clientuploads/blog/TrochtasFlowers.pngFLOWERS: Though love languages differ throughout the year, it seems that everyone needs a little gift receiving on Valentine’s Day. Sticking to the classics, flowers and sweets, never goes out of style. Trochta’s has an environment to put you in the flower-gifting mood. Inside their greenhouse and shop spaces, the choices are endless. As an alternative to roses, orchids and tulips are beautiful and Trochta’s has vibrant varieties to choose from. Or, show your originality with a pot of succulents.

CUPCAKES: Cuppies & Joe hosts a warm and cozy environment to share a cupcake (or two!) with your special someone. Donnie Darko (pictured above) satisfies any chocolate craving.

CANDY: For retro and classic candy brands, visit Bricktown Candy Company. Grab a scoop of gelato while you stroll along the Bricktown Canal… hand-in-hand.

Trochta’s Flowers - 6700 Broadway Ext, Oklahoma City, OK 73116, trochtasflowers.com
Cuppies & Joe - 727 NW 23rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, cuppiesandjoe.com
Bricktown Candy Company - Suite 100, 100 E California Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, bricktowncandy.com

Check out other greater Greater OKC florists, bakeries and candy stores.

food, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Ode to the Oldies

Oklahoma City is relatively new in comparison to some other states and certainly other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean we lack history. Here’s a quick look at some of places in Greater Oklahoma City that claim the title of “oldest” in their given category.

 

[Photo from BC Clark]

arts and culture, education, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, shopping, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bundled Up

There’s definitely been a chill in the air and if you’re like us, you may be experiencing some cabin fever. Thankfully, there’s no reason to feel all cooped up. No matter the temperature, there are always great things to do and experience in Greater Oklahoma City. Here are just a few suggestions:

Visit a museum.
Warm up inside the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.
Check out one of OKC’s great districts, filled with plenty of eating, drinking or shopping options. 
Do a little holiday shopping.
Curl up with a good book.
Catch a movie, in the not-so-usual way.

Adventure District, downtown, food, library, Midtown, movies, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, parks, shopping, Western Avenue
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Be Their Guest

We’re sure you’ve got a few holiday gatherings on your calendar in the coming weeks. Show your host how much you appreciate them with a token of gratitude. Not sure what to get? Don’t worry. We can help.

Flowers are friendly. Say “thanks” with a lovely bunch of blooms. Our friends at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber have some fabulous florist members who’d be happy to help you get the best bouquet.

Treats are terrific. Before you head to your party, stop and grab a delicious dessert for your hosts to enjoy once the party is over and they’re ready to prop their feet up and relax.

Local is lovely. Show your hosts how much you love Oklahoma City and spread that love to local retailers.

shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Deck the Halls Downtown

"What do you wanna do?"
"...I dunno. What do you wanna do?"
"I dunno."

If you find yourself having a similar conversation this month, look no further than Downtown in December, presented by Devon, to spice up your holiday season. Whether you're old or young, a thrill seeker or a penny pincher, there’s a Downtown in December activity on the schedule guaranteed to make you smile.

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Check it out:

  • The Devon Ice Rink returns for its third season in the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Lace up your skates for another great winter of outdoor ice skating at Downtown in December's premier attraction.
  • Devon’s Saturdays with Santa. Devon Energy invited Santa to OKC every Saturday in December. Kids of all ages will be welcomed to take free photos with Santa, write letters to the North Pole and enjoy holiday entertainment.
  • Chesapeake Energy Snow Tubing. Cruise down one of the country’s largest manmade snow tubing slopes at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Admission is $10 for a 90-minute session of tubing fun.
  • The SandRidge Santa Run will have guests prancing in the streets of downtown on Saturday, Dec. 14. The event includes a 5K race and a one-mile Fun Run, followed by a free Santa Claus Kid’s Dash.
  • Free Water Taxi Rides. On designated evenings, all ages are welcome to enjoy a fun-filled float down the beautifully-adorned Bricktown canal free of charge. The OneMain Financial Bricktown Canal lights will make your trip a little bit brighter.
  • On Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1, the Deluxe Winter Market will offer an opportunity for guests to do their holiday shopping at more than 40 vendor booths.
  • See the historic buildings of Automobile Alley in a whole new light at Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway. More than 180,000 colorful LED lights will drape the buildings along eight blocks of North Broadway, making for a magical holiday wonderland.

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This is only the beginning! There are over 20 holiday events to choose from during Downtown in December. Click here for a full list of events and for more details.

downtown, family-friendly, festivals, free, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, running, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Midtown Merriment

This holiday season, more than 30 local shops will rotate through one location in Downtown Oklahoma City for your shopping convenience. The Holiday Pop-Up Shops presented by St. Anthony Hospital features a village of geodesic domes filled with local shops, nestled amid an urban Christmas tree lot.

Last year was the first year for this event and its return includes an expanded roster of shops and list of activities for the entire family. The Shops are open Thursday through Sunday in Midtown at 1000 N. Walker next door to St. Anthony Hospital. The shops not only encourage shopping at their weekly set of shops, they hope visitors will support the restaurants in Midtown and downtown before or after their visit.

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During lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, Continental Resources is providing a shuttle service from their headquarters for employees downtown. All involved hope this will make shopping at a local shops even easier for people on tight holiday schedules.

Get more info here.

Midtown, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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For Good Behavior

Consider it a reward for your excellent gift choices or an energy boost to finish out your list, but no shopping trip is complete without something sweet. Thankfully, several local shops are permanently parked next to a spot for a treat.

SHOP: Shop Good, located on 9th Street in Automobile Alley, sells thoughtful gifts and clothing with a give-back element. A portion of their products, like this Apolis Oklahoma City Market Bag, gives back globally. Other items like their in-house-designed tees and soy candles contribute to their local giveback organization. This year’s organization is Citizens Caring for Children, a non-profit that supports children in foster care.

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image courtesy Shop Good

SWEET: Stop in next door to Shop Good to share a Sara Sara Cupcake with your shopping buddy. Go with one of their Sara Sara originals like the Judge Joe Cannon or the Sir Elton John. Follow it up with some egg nog from the milk bar.

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SHOP: DryShop in Midtown is one half blow dry bar, one half boutique. Their bright, modern shop brims with women’s clothing and accessories. Prepare for the chilly weather with a cozy wrap or this Blu Pepper motocycle jacket.
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Images courtesy DryShop

SWEET: Directly next door to DryShop, build your own waffle at Waffle Champion, a recent addition to the Midtown restaurant scene. My advice: start with caramelized banana, lemon curd or their house huckleberry jam.

SHOP/SWEET: Uptown Kids is making it even easier to add a little sugar to your shopping trip. Their latest addition, Uptown Candy, just opened next door to their children’s shop in Classen Curve!
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Image courtesy of Uptown Kids

restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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