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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hop to it

Grab your wallet and put on your favorite shopping shoes because we’ve got a mission for you. This Thursday, Sept. 19, Automobile Alley will host the first ever Auto Alley Shop Hop. From 6 to 9 p.m., you can hop in and out of your favorite stores (and all those you hadn’t made it to just yet) and get your shop on. All along North Broadway Avenue and in surrounding areas in Downtown, you’ll find open house events at local shops, extended hours, live music, street artists and performers, activities for kids, great food for Automobile Alley restaurants, and, best of all, discounts, freebies and giveaways! Check out a list of deals and giveaways here. Prep for the night by printing off this map of retailers and their deals.

This event will be held the third Thursday of each month so don’t fret if you have to miss this one.

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



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

180 Degrees of Awesome

Way back when, we told you about a little thing called Project 180. Back then, it was mostly plans on paper, but if you take to the streets of Downtown OKC today, you can see the results for yourself.

What is Project 180? This four-year, $176 million redesign of the downtown core has made our city’s center more pedestrian friendly while also adding beautiful landscaping, public art, bike lanes, sleek street lighting and more. All in all, it’s the transformation of 180 acres of downtown and we suggest you read more about it in the latest issue of VeloCity

community, downtown, Project 180
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Steppin’ Out

In an age of digital ease, we still think it is nice to step away from the television (or computer, or smart phone) and step into the grand tradition of seeing stories told on stage. Yes, the theater is still in vogue, and Oklahoma City has plenty of live theater options worthy of a night out on the town.

Home to Broadway, ballet, orchestra and drama, the Civic Center Music Hall is both a cornerstone of Oklahoma City history (it was built in the 1930s and renovated as one of the original MAPS projects) and a hub of performing activity. More than 600 shows take the stage at this venue each year, including the works of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Oklahoma City Ballet.

For a taste of local talent, the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Jewel Box Theatre, and the Carpenter Square Theatre all produce a full roster of live performances, ranging from classic musicals to locally-scripted dramas. And if you want to combine dinner and a show into one extravaganza, Greater Oklahoma City is home to the state’s only full-time professional dinner theater. The Yellow Rose Dinner Theater showcases Oklahoma talent in original productions, all while the audience gets to enjoy a delicious meal.

arts and culture, downtown, music, Plaza District, theater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

As summer winds down and fall approaches that means baseball is hitting its home stretch. There aren’t many better ways to spend an Oklahoma evening than at the ballpark. Better yet it is a great place for some inexpensive family fun. Luckily for us, Oklahoma City has one of the best places to catch a game, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Bricktown Ballpark, home to the Oklahoma City Redhawks, was recently named one of the best minor-league ball parks in the country by USA Today.

Oh yeah and about that inexpensive thing, the club is routinely running great deals that means taking your family to the game doesn’t have to break the bank. For example, on August 31st you can get four tickets to the game, four Sonic meal vouchers (Sonic is headquarted just across the street) and four Redhawks hats for just $30. That’s way less expensive than taking the fam to the movies!

So grab your mitt and get down to Bricktown to see the next generation of Major League stars while enjoying a great Oklahoma fall night.

Bricktown, downtown, family-friendly, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sit-In Movies

Want to enjoy a beautiful Oklahoma summer evening? Like good movies? Enjoy good food served out of a truck? Well we have might have the perfect event for you. Every Wednesday night in July, you won’t want to miss SONIC Summer Movie Nights at the Myriad Gardens. Grab your family, friends, favorite blanket or chair and enjoy the spectacular Myriad Gardens while watching such classics as “Forrest Gump” or “Sandlot” on the big screen. Make it a night by bringing your own picnic or eating at one of a variety of local food trucks and vendors.

[Photo courtesy of Myriad Botanical Gardens]

downtown, family-friendly, food, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Smarter Than the Average Pic-a-nic-er

You’re a picnic enthusiast. Yep, we know how you are. Red-and-white checkered blanket, a wicker basket of just the right size, a can of Off, and it’s on: Picnic Time in OKC, baby. But you don’t want to just plop that blanket down anywhere and start eating! If you tried that in some places, you’d be in big trouble (a stranger’s front yard, on top of the Capitol dome, or in the middle of the river, for instance). Fear not, fellow fare-in-the-field fans. All our picnic base we list here are belong to everyone.

Besides the multitude of City parks in which you can satisfy your picnicy pinings, the Grand Lawn at the Myriad Gardens provides a myriad of opportunities to dine whilst communing with Mother Earth – the Sunday Twilight Concert Series, the SONIC Summer Movie Nights (all five(!) Wednesdays in July), or really any day for that matter.

We’ve told you about Lake Hefner’s picnicking prowess before, but have you thought about the other lakes in town? Like Lake Overholser. Mayor Ed Overholser’s namesake lake and OKC’s oldest drinking water reservoir (it’s been around for nearly 100 years!) allows you to drink in a prime picnic spot along with your picnic beverage of choice (might we suggest something frosty from an OKC-based brewery, perhaps?).

Sometimes picnicking can be a zoo, especially if you’re got a large group. You know where it’s not? Paradoxically, the OKC Zoo! That’s right. Eat while watching animals dream of eating your tasty treats! Good thing they’re behind all those fences.

Speaking of hungry bears, where else can you get your Yogi Bear on? Let us know in the comments section.

Myriad Botanical Gardens, parks, zoo, Adventure District, downtown, family-friendly, food, free, movies, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Be Cool

So you want to be a cool kid but you don’t know where to start? How about at deadCENTER film festival right here in the heart of OKC? This up-and-coming festival has already been ranked as one of the 20 “coolest” film festivals in the world, and this year will be no different. The festival has movies for every taste—115 of them, to be exact. Start plotting your must-see movie list with their interactive festival schedule.

But you know what is even cooler than hitting up awesome film festivals? Getting involved in your community, of course! This year, deadCENTER film festival has teamed up with Myriad Gardens to offer free outdoor movies at the Myriad Gardens Great Lawn at 9:15 p.m. on the evenings of June 5-9 in exchange for donations toward the ongoing tornado relief effort. Attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for volunteer opportunities. Films include The Rolling Stones: Charlie is My Darling, The Last of the Mohicans, The Short Game and Stevie Nicks: In your Dreams.

downtown, festivals, free, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Discover Downtown

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

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



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Too Deep (Deuce)

Located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, the Deep Deuce District (located at Northeast 1st Street and Central Avenue) may be small but its historical significance runs deep. In the 1940s, it was Oklahoma’s premier African-American jazz and business district, and was home to jazz legends such as Charlie Christian, the Blue Devils and Jimmy Rushing. Today the neighborhood is still bopping, but to a slightly different beat. It is now an urban neighborhood home to local favorite restaurants such as Deep Deuce Grill and the Wedge Pizzeria, as well as housing like The Deep Deuce Apartments and Level Urban Apartments, with more on the way. Each year the area hosts the Deep Deuce Music Festival and features jazz and blues bands, and local artists. So if jazz, blues, art or a cool modern vibe is your thing, you won’t want to miss this historical district. 

Bricktown, community, downtown, housing, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rainy day adventures

It’s springtime and that generally means we get a healthy dose of rainy days. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend your time cooped up and bored. Throw on some galoshes, grab an umbrella and follow our lead to some excellent rainy day adventures.

  1. Eat something yummy. So what if it’s raining? Sounds to us like great time to explore OKC’s awesome restaurant scene.
  2. Catch a flick. Everyone loves the rainy day activity of hitting up the movies. But we’re here to help you think outside the box. So this time around, why not check out the showings at The Paramount or the Oklahoma City Museum of Art?
  3. Wander the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. When you’re inside, it doesn’t matter what’s happening outside – you’re in a tropical paradise.

Got a favorite rainy day activity? Tell us about it!

downtown, food, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Downtown Darlings

By now, you know that we think downtown OKC is awesome. You know what else is awesome? Downtown OKC Incorporated. Or DOKC if you want to fit in with the cool kids (and we know you do). Downtown has so many great things to offer. And our buds over at DOKC get to have sharing that info as their day job. What a gig! They’re responsible for the super cool things like Downtown Employee Appreciation Week (who doesn’t love being appreciated?!); Downtown in December (along with some really great partners); the awesome “Downtown It!” campaign; and so much more. And they put out a great weekly email newsletter that’ll keep you in-the-know about the things happening downtown.

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



Especially Eggscellent

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

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

downtown, family-friendly, food, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reading Rainforest

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

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



Take me out to the Ballgame

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

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

Take a Picture – It’ll Last Longer

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The ABCs of OKC

A – In the 1920s, Automobile Alley, located just north of Downtown Oklahoma City, was home to 52 of the city’s first 76 auto dealerships.
B – Greater Oklahoma City is home to five local Beer Breweries.
C – The Oklahoma City Museum of Art hosts the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly glass.
D – One of the biggest (and best) surprises for people new to OKC is the Diversity of cultures that abounds.
E – In Elmira, New York, the average apartment rent is $1,037, compared to $739 in Oklahoma City. Crazy for a place you’ve never heard of, right?
F – Here in OKC, we have the opportunity to experience all Four seasons.
G – The Grand Event Lawn at the Myriad Gardens is a great place to toss a Frisbee, enjoy a picnic, catch an outdoor concert and so much more.
H – It’s basketball season in Oklahoma City and that means lots of opportunities to watch our beloved Oklahoma City Thunder – and one of our personal favorite players, Hasheem Thabeet, or as we like to call him the “Tanzanian Terror.”
I – Easy access to Interstates helps keep the average commute time in Oklahoma City down to 20 minutes or less.
J – “Jewelry is the gift to give . . . cause it’s the gift that’ll live and live.” That famous jingle for BC Clark plays each year during the holidays and was written by Oklahoma Citian Ray Ackerman.  
K – Kayaking is just one of the great activities you can participate in at the Oklahoma River in the Boathouse District.
L – The city of Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889 during the “Land Run”.
M – You might have heard of a little something called “MAPS.” That stands for Metropolitan Area Projects and has led to more than $5 billion in private investment in our city.
N – The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is one of OKC’s gems, and sees more than 10 million visitors come through its doors each year.
O – On the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol sits an operating oil well. 
P – The first ever Parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.
Q – Go on a nature Quest at Martin Park Nature Center.
R – Do you enjoy Rollerblading or Running? Then you’ll love the more than 140 miles of walking, running, bicycling and skating trails that snake throughout Oklahoma City.
S – From the Santa Fe Depot in downtown you can hop on the Heartland Flyer, an Amtrak train that’ll take you as far south as Fort Worth, Texas.
T – With 27,000 employees, Tinker Air Force Base is the largest single-site employer in the state of Oklahoma. And it’s right here in Greater Oklahoma City.
U – Did you know that UPS is one of Oklahoma City’s major employers?
V – Velocity is a digital magazine all about OKC!
W – Strangely enough, two of Oklahoma City’s airports, Will Rogers World Airport and Wiley Post Airport were named for two Oklahoma gents, Will Rogers and Wiley Post, who just happened to perish in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935. 
X – Want to hear the lovely music of a Xylophone? (You knew we were going to use that for X.) Check out of a performance by the OKC Phil – that’s the philharmonic.
Y – You want to live in Oklahoma City. It’s true.
Z – Catch an Oklahoma City Barons ice hockey match and you’re sure to spot a Zamboni.

museums, music, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, restaurants, arts and culture, community, downtown, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dates on a Dime

Heads up, ladies and gents, because the day of love is upon us – Valentine's Day, that is. If you haven't planned a sweet night for your fine fella or your gal pal, have no fear! There are still plenty of options that won't dive too deep into your savings account. Here are a few ideas to keep you out of the doghouse and in good graces with your special someone.

No time to order a custom bouquet? Head to Whole Foods for the timeless gift of fresh flowers – and with the Whole Trade seal, your blooms are guaranteed to be ethically grown and sustainable. While you are there, pick up a treat that is sure to earn you some bonus points with your sweetie. Whether you opt for a decadent dessert or something that's lighter in calories, the Whole Foods bakery uses the freshest ingredients to stock its shelves daily. There are even gluten-free treats, so anyone with a sweet tooth is sure to fall in love.

And who says you need reservations to dine in style on Valentine's Day? Opt out of candlelight and dine under the stars on the patio of Big Truck Tacos, or grab some all-American grub at S&B Burger Joint. If you are the type of person that likes to DIY, you could even make a picnic dinner to enjoy on the Grand Event Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens.

And if your language of love involves gifts galore, think outside of the box – literally. Help your other half discover their inner artist with a class from City Arts Center or the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. If a class is too much of a commitment, mix it up with an instant date night provided by Wine and Palette's step-by-step painting experiences. Not the artistic type? Take your adrenaline level up a notch with OKC Riversport's Adventure Saturdays. The Boathouse District's new features, such as the Air Express Zip Line and the SandRidge Sky Trail, will get your blood pumping as you take in one of Oklahoma City’s most exciting districts.

arts and culture, downtown, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Flower Frenzy

We mentioned one great option to shower your valentine with flower love, but there are plenty of options. Our friends over at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber have some fabulous florist members who’d be happy to help you show your love on the 14th (or any other day of the year for that matter). If planning ahead isn’t your forte, don’t forget that many grocery stores around town have great floral selections.

Maybe beautiful stems of fresh cut flowers in a vase isn’t your thing. Why not check out some beautiful blooms in person? At the Oklahoma City Zoo you can head over to the Butterfly Garden. While it may not be prime butterfly-watching season, the garden is filled with more than 15,000 plants that are sure to create quite an atmosphere. 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.

Adventure District, downtown, Myriad Botanical Gardens, parks, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Sporting Good Time

OKC is full of sports enthusiasts. If you are looking to do more than cheer from the stands, here are five ways you can get in on the action.

  1. Join a Dragon Boat race at the Oklahoma River.
    Join nine to 19 other paddlers and a drummer as you paddle along in this festive, Chinese boat decorated with a fierce dragon head.
  2. Ice skate like the pros.
    Or, if you’re like us, like an amateur. There are less than two weeks left to enjoy the Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Gardens and the wonderful atmosphere it brings to downtown OKC.
  3. Drive away from a hockey game in a new car.
    The Barons will be giving away 12 new cars at Saturday night games throughout the 2012 - 2013 season.
  4. Learn to stand-up paddle board at the Oklahoma River.
    Rent a paddle board by the hour, and learn what it feels like to cruise the river while standing in the middle of it.
  5. Visit the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum.
    Learn about the history of softball, from its invention in 1887 to today.
downtown, museums, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Did You Know?

OKC is full of surprises and we’ve got a few to share with you. Here are five things you might not have known about our great city.

  1. OKC may lie smack dab in the middle of the U.S. – about as far from a coast as you can get – but did you know that the state of Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state? And the amount of shoreline miles in Oklahoma is more than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined. It’s no wonder we’re such water recreation enthusiasts here in OKC.
  2. OKC is growing in popularity. Since 2000, Oklahoma City’s population has increased by 23 percent – outpacing cities such as Denver, Phoenix, Boston and Dallas. Even better? OKC has seen a total employment growth of 10 percent since 2004.
  3. At 621 square miles, Oklahoma City is the nation’s third largest city land-wise. However, we boast one of the shortest commute times at just 20 minutes.
  4. The Underground in downtown Oklahoma City is a three-quarter mile tunnel system that links 16 blocks and more than 30 buildings. The original tunnel link was built in 1931 with most of the remaining system developed in the 1970s.
  5. Oklahoma City is nearly equidistant from Los Angeles and New York City – and both are less than a 24-hour drive if a road trip strikes your fancy.
Oklahoma River, community, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Dine Downtown for Charity

clientuploads/blog/restaurant-pic.jpgWe’ve mentioned before that OKC is filled to the brim with great places to eat. Starting this coming Sunday (Jan. 20), we can help you narrow down the options with Downtown OKC Restaurant Week 2013. Presented by Downtown OKC, Inc. and the Oklahoma Gazette, this food-filled week is a great opportunity for you to check out local eateries and dine on delicious prix-fixe menus filled with special items the restaurants don’t normally feature. And with dining options at both lunch and dinner, you’re sure to be able to have plenty of opportunities to hit up several of the great options. Prices are $35 per person for dinner and $12 per person for lunch.

To make the deal even sweeter, after you enjoy your splendid meal, you will have the opportunity to complete a comment card and be entered to win cool prizes. But it gets even better! Filling out the comment card also means that Downtown OKC, Inc. will donate $1 to the City Rescue Mission Impact Hunger Food Resource Center. So do some good this week – both for your belly and the people of Oklahoma City – and don’t miss the Downtown OKC Restaurant Week 2013!

nightlife, restaurants, downtown, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting 2013 on the Right Foot

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

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

clientuploads/blog/GirlonLaptop.jpg

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

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

clientuploads/blog/volunteer.jpg

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

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

clientuploads/blog/StudentsatSchool.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

family-friendly, community, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grown-Up Greatness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

downtown, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City

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

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

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

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

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

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Lunch & Art

Sure, lunch is a great time to fill your belly, but why not spend a little time feeding the soul, too? Art Moves, an Arts Council of Oklahoma City initiative presented by Devon Energy, brings lunchtime arts programming to such downtown locations as the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Downtown Library, Myriad Botanical Gardens and many others. Music, storytelling, dance, film – Art Moves showcases Oklahoma artists and even provides a Q & A at the end of each performance or presentation. The one-hour programs are every Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. (unless otherwise noted on their calendar). For more information, phone Art Moves director Angela Hodgkinson at 270-4892 or email ahodgkinson@artscouncilokc.com.

arts and culture, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Downtown in December

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

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

outdoor recreation, downtown, family-friendly, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Start Your Day with Kris Kringle

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

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Make Your List, Check it Twice

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and we know you can’t wait to share the love with your closest family and friends. Oklahoma City is pumped full of holiday cheer, and you get to pick where you experience it. From festive malls to lovely locally owned shops, you can check off everyone on your gift list in no time. Local malls, like Quail Springs Mall, Penn Square Mall and the Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City are a one-stop-shop for your name brand favorites, but Oklahoma City’s local retail scene also has plenty of gifts to please even the pickiest on your list.

To experience some of OKC’s unique local stores in one place, check out the Pop-Up Shops at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Curated by Alison Barta Bailey, the brains behind www.shopcrawlr.com, 10 percent of all the sales from the participating shops will benefit the Myriad Botanical Gardens Foundation, which keeps this amazing downtown space buzzing with activity. The shops will be open from Nov. 29 to Dec. 7, Dec. 11 to 15 and Dec. 17 to 24.

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

A Night Out with the Thunder

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

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

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

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