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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Bricktown Beach opens for the summer

Bricktown Beach

This story original ran on

Is there anything more inherently summer than the beach? Just the word is enough to conjure up all those summer vibes you spend the rest of the year dreaming about. And what is a beach without a fantastic view? And what OKC lacks in ocean scenery, we more than make up for in with urban scenery through the Bricktown Beach.

For the fourth year, the Bricktown Beach is back on the Third Base Plaza at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. This urban beach has sand, umbrellas, lounge chairs, volleyball equipment, outdoor games—all the trimmings you’d expect a beach to have. Whether you just want to relax in the downtown sun, or maybe just want an area to play some summer games with your friends, the Bricktown Beach has what you’re looking for.

Read the full story on

Bricktown, family-friendly, free
Posted by: Kennedy Parker
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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

See “Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Oklahoma is Black” exhibition at Oklahoma Contemporary

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

The story originally ran on

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is recognized internationally for her art that often sheds light on people that are oppressed, neglected, underprivileged and marginalized. National media sources such as the New York Times, NPR, Time Magazine, Buzzfeed and many others have featured stories about the artist and her work. In 2015, she was a recipient of Forbes 30 Under 30. Her art is collected by celebrities such as Spike Lee, who included many of her oil paintings in his remake of She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix. Currently, she holds the prestigious honor of being the inaugural Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She is a bright star rising on the horizon of the art world. Her path has led her far away from her OKC roots, but she returns triumphantly with her exhibition “Oklahoma is Black,” currently showing at Oklahoma Contemporary through May 19.

Despite her national accolades and international notoriety, locally it seems that people are only beginning to take notice of her art. Jennifer Scanlan, exhibitions and curatorial director for Oklahoma Contemporary, noted, “Currently there are several artists addressing issues of identity and oppression on a national level. What is particularly exciting about Tatyana's work is that it speaks specifically to Oklahoma City, the experiences of people here.”

Read the full story on

arts and culture, free
Posted by: Josh Vaughn
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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas lights to see around OKC

Myriad Gardens Christmas Lights

This article originally ran on

It’s the most wonderful time of the year folks. The weather is cold, hot chocolate is flowing, and I think I saw Rudolph doing some practice runs a few days ago. This time of year two things become much bigger than any other time of the year; Mariah Carey and Christmas lights. In fact, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” jumped back in the top 100 just a few days ago. You know where to find the music though, so, here are the best light displays in the OKC area.

  • The Midwest City light show at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park is great! There are 100 dazzling displays of lights including an 11-story Christmas tree that has nearly 9,000 twinkling bulbs. The trail through the park is about 1.5 miles. You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride or simply stretch your legs and walk the park. It will warm your heart during such a cold time of the year.
  • The Myriad Gardens have an entire month full of festivities lined up for the holiday season. The Devon Ice Rink will be open, there are Saturdays with Santa, you can learn how to curl, and, of course, there are Christmas lights. The special display at the Crystal Bridge is designed by professionals and can be viewed for just a small fee.
  • The Chickasha light display just might be the best of all. I have gone to this show multiple times, and I am never ever disappointed. The park is completely covered in lights. Nearly every tree is covered. There is an amazing bridge and a ton of displays that will put you in the holiday spirit.
  • Automobile Alley just between N.W. 4th and N.W. 10th off of Broadway has a spectacular show. Known as “Lights on Broadway,” the district has several buildings draped in lights that would make anyone stop and gaze for a few extra moments. The lights are up from the day after Thanksgiving to New Years, and the best part is that you experience them while doing some local Christmas shopping and dining along Automobile Alley and 9th
  • Yukon might have the biggest display in terms of size. They have three connecting parks that consist of Yukon’s Chisolm Trail, Freedom Trail and city parks. These combine to make up 100 acres where you will find a 50 foot Christmas tree.  This display has so much to offer.
  • Edmond has a brand-new light display called Luminance. Held at Mitch Park, the lights are lit every night in December from 5 to 10 p.m.
  • The Bricktown Canal might be the most unique of all of these options. The businesses and buildings are lined with vibrant colorful lights. You can take a free water taxi ride to slowly travel down the canal as you take in the beauty of the scenery around you. The free taxi rides are available for all ages courtesy of the Downtown Business Improvement District. They are dependent on weather so make sure and watch the forecast!

One of the can’t miss sights and experiences of OKC is the beautiful Christmas tree in Bricktown. These are just the seven that we here at the chamber recommend, but there are other places where you can see great lists.

There is no shortage of lights this Christmas, or Mariah Carey this year, which means you have no excuse not to be in the holiday spirit!

family-friendly, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Downtown in December 2018

Christmas Lights in Automobile Alley

Every December, downtown Oklahoma City transforms into a winter wonderland. You might think we are being a tad hyperbolic but Downtown in December brings everything from ice skating to pop-up shops in central Oklahoma City. Here is a rundown of things to look forward this year:

  • Quickly becoming everyone’s favorite Downtown in December event, the Devon Ice Rink is already open at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
  • Are you fan of holiday trees? Check out the fourth-annual Red Earth Treefest for a great look at Oklahoma’s native cultures.
  • Speaking of trees, don’t miss the Bricktown Tree Lighting Festival.
  • Automobile Alley’s annual Lights on Broadway is your chance to see the district’s breath-taking lights display for the first time this year. As an added bonus EMBARK will have a staged OKC Streetcar at the event so people can get a sneak peek of what to expect when it goes live later next month.
  • Looking for that unique or quirky gift for someone who has it all? You can’t go wrong with the Holiday Pop-Up Shops.
  • The Deluxe Winter Market is also a great place to do you holiday shopping.
  • Starting Nov. 23, Lyric Theatre will be putting on their annual performance of their classic A Christmas Carol.

Shockingly enough this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Downtown in December. For a full list of activities visit their site.

downtown, family-friendly, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Free in OKC

In Oklahoma City you don’t have to have a big pocketbook to have a great time. In fact, there are many great activities you can do for the low, low price of free. That’s right, from museum admission, to water taxi rides and even story time in the park, the fall offers some great events for free. Check out the video for more.

attractions, free, holiday, museums, Visit OKC
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Celebrating history

45th Infantry Division Museum

The 45th Infantry Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the “Thunderbirds” of the 45th Infantry Division. This group of was formed during the National Defense Act of 1920 and spent their first years maintaining order in times of disaster and political unrest. Before deploying during World War II, the Thunderbirds trained at five bases, including Fort Sill in Oklahoma. They participated in four amphibious landings and saw 511 days in combat, and were described as “one of the best, if not the best division in the history of American arms” by General George S. Patton.

The Thunderbirds continued to serve after WWII until January 1969, and their legacy lives on today at the museum honoring the accomplishments of the division. Admission is free to this 27,000-square-foot attraction. Exhibits include Reaves Military Weapons Collection, which features firearms and related artifacts dating as far back as the Revolutionary War. Thunderbird Park also features tanks, artillery and aircraft onsite. 

If the history of America’s military aviation is more to your liking, then visit the Charles B. Hall Air Park near Tinker Air Force Base on Interstate 40 East. The park is rich in the history of Tinker Air Force Base and in the aircraft that have been part of Tinker’s operations for more than seven decades.

You can also head out to the 99s Museum of Women Pilots to learn more about the history of women in aviation, including an exhibit on female military pilots. Read more about the 99s Museum here.

museums, parks, Tinker, aviation, free, history, military
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Oklahoma Regatta Festival

The 2018 Oklahoma Regatta Festival will take place Sept. 28 - 30 in the Boathouse District. This amazing three-day competition includes rowing, dragon boating, kayaking, white water rafting and family fun.

The weekend will also feature the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma race, OGE NightSprints, and food trucks and beer gardens. The races features teams from all over the nation competing on all levels of competition--collegiate, masters and junior rowing.

During the festival the 500-meter NightSprints are held when the sun sets. This creates a unique and intense atmosphere for everyone involved from spectators to competitors. Everyone is invited to bring something to sit on or someone to sit with, or both of course, and cheer the athletes on.

Oklahoma River, water sports, Boathouse District, family-friendly, free, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The Plaza District Festival turns 20

Plaza District Festival

The Plaza District Festival turns 20 this weekend and the celebration is September 29th from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be live music, art, good drink and great food.

Outside the usual art, music and food, there will be Zumba classes, Home Depot will have areas for building birdhouses and even soccer activities. Heck, the Plaza has thought of everything as they will even have childcare available.  

If you really want to get involved check out volunteer opportunities here. You can find a map of the festival here.

family-friendly, festivals, free, Plaza District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Code of the West

Gunfight at the O.K. Corrall poster

Later this month, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will launch The Code of the West- Western Movie Matinees film series. The series will run every Wednesday from Aug. 29 – Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.

The aim of the series is to teach a new generation the code of the west through cinema. Films that will be featured are The Westerner, Wagon Master, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and 3:10 to Yuma. Admission is free courtesy of Oklahoma Ford Dealers.

film, free, movies, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Library – A School, a Stage, a Home

Its ideation came in 1889, in the early meetings of the Philomathea Club, a women’s study group. Set out to improve community culture and education, members raised funds to establish Oklahoma City’s first public library, which found its first home in an unused room in the Commercial Club, now the Chamber of Commerce. This fledgling institution grew to become Oklahoma City’s Metropolitan Library System, and, nearly 130 years following, operates wide and proud. Now incorporating 19 locations spanning across the greater OKC area, the Metropolitan Library System provides a plethora of resources, programs, and events to its citizens year-round.

The Metro Library System contains online and physical databases spanning far in subject, from auto engine repair to health & wellness, or from job preparedness to simple homework help. It also offers programs on GED preparation, adult education, and even how to become a US citizen. The Metro website provides book lists covering multiple topics, and also features an eBook collection titled “Indie Oklahoma”, which is fueled by the Self-e program, where young authors can submit works.

One of our favorite things about the Metropolitan Library System is its constant list of events occurring throughout all the locations, all the time. The Northwest Library hosts “Teen Time” every Monday evening, featuring varying activities. Nicoma Park and Harrah libraries are each hosting a “Spy School” in July, designed for younger children to learn if they have what it takes to be a spy. Also in July, Southern Oaks and Harrah libraries will host “OKC Zoo: Animal Acoustics-The Remix!” where kids can come learn about the musical styles animals are fond of.

The highlight of the Metropolitan Library System’s events is the Neighborhood Arts programs, where, every June and July, the Metro Library hosts performances of family-friendly music, theatre, and comedy. This year, Neighborhood Arts features four performing acts, appearing at various locations: Rhythmically Speaking, an educational theatre troupe, will present a moral story about a dinosaur egg; Sugar-Free Allstars, a musical duo, will perform their signature family funk; Adam & Kizzie, another musical pair, will show audiences just how many different ways you can rock out; and OKC Improv, a comedic acting group, will encourage audience involvement in their fun and games. You can find out more about these performances here.

People often forget about the library: it is often not so flashy, popular, or exciting compared to other institutions of learning. Neither is it a school, nor a stage, nor a home, but it can be all of these things still. What it is, assuredly, is a place for you and your family to grow with the community around you. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, be it fixing your old lawn mower or putting a smile on your child’s face again, there’s going to be something waiting for you at your local library.

family-friendly, free, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Party like its 1776

Kids on the 4th of July

It’s almost here! America’s 242nd birthday! And that means fireworks, neighborhood cookouts, fun at the lake – or down on the river – and the smell of sunscreen.

OKC really knows how to do Independence Day and whether you like cooking out, enjoying the outdoors, or just watching a good fireworks display, you don’t have to go very far to find what July 4th is all about, the celebration of America's birthday as the fireworks adorn the sky. And in the Oklahoma City metro area, you have plenty of options for July 4th fireworks. Plus, many of the events have turned into multi-day affairs with games, activities, free live music concerts and much, much more. Get detailed information here on:  OKC 4th Fest, Red, White & Boom at State Fair Park, Bethany's Freedom Festival, Edmond's LibertyFest, Yukon's Freedom Fest, Midwest City's Tribute to Liberty and Moore's Celebration in the Heartland.

What better place to get together with friends and families to celebrate our country's Independence Day than out on the lake. Enjoy campsites, water sports, fishing, picnicking, kite-flying and other outdoor recreation, or simply find a place to sit back, relax and take in the view. The Oklahoma City metro area has several excellent lake options. Get all the details here.

Lakes aren't the only place where you can enjoy the outdoors on the Fourth. If you prefer your fun to be land-based, visit one of the many city parks for playgrounds, sports fields, gyms, golf courses, trails and more. And for the water fun, check out the city pools or the many spraygrounds sites.

So, put on your red, white and blue, light some sparklers, and get ready to "Ooh!" and "Ahh!" as you enjoy some patriotic fun with your family this 4th of July. Be safe and have fun!

family-friendly, festivals, free, holiday, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summertime in the 4-0-5

It’s here, it’s here! Summer, that is. Memorial Day marks the traditional start of summer and the end of the school year. With backyard BBQ’s, 9 p.m. – or later – sunsets and great weather to be outdoors, what’s not to like about summer? Summer is the time of infinite fun, where the day seems to last forever and the fun never stops!

Hold on now, you say. How will we keep the kids entertained, you say. How will we make it through endless days of “Mom, what can we do today?” or “Dad, will you drive us to the mall?” while fighting the urge to ship the family off to distant relatives (distant being the key word) so you don’t have to be the fountain of fresh ideas for family fun and frolic???

Here at Better Life HQ, we have a few suggestions that just might keep your family entertained, all while enjoying some amazing attractions that should be on your summer “to do” list!

One of our favorite OKC hot spots for splashing is just outside the Children's Garden area at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Thunder Fountain lures in kids of all ages with everything from light sprinkles to heavy downpours. Fitting the nature theme of the gardens, this splash pad simulates a real rainforest thunderstorm by going through storm cycles to the delight of everyone under the shaded fountain canopy. The City of Oklahoma City also has pools and splash pads all around town. You can find them here.

Summertime used to mean drive-in movie time, back in the day, and you can still find a few drive-ins around the metro. But there's just something special about watching a movie while sitting on a picnic blanket in the great outdoors. One of our favorite places to catch a flick is Myriad Gardens’ Great Lawn. On Wednesdays throughout the summer, the Great Lawn becomes the backdrop for a free summer flick.

Buy the kiddoes – and treat yourself, too – some peanuts and crackerjacks when you root, root, root for the OKC Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home to Oklahoma City's minor league baseball team. Tickets to these fun-filled and family-friendly games are more affordable than a game in the bigs, so you’ll have plenty of extra cash for snow cones and hot dogs. The ball yard is conveniently located in Bricktown so catching a game affords you a chance to see the scenic Bricktown Canal and views of downtown. Check out the Dodgers’ schedule to find when the home team is playing.

Anyone who grew up fishing during the summer knows just how much fun it is to dip your hook, but it can be difficult for city dwellers to go to all the trouble to have their kids take up this summertime hobby. Grabbing a pole and bait and taking the time to get a fishing license and scope out a good spot to drop your line may not seem worth the effort. But don’t despair, OKC makes fishing easy by offering Free Fishing Days. You can fish without a city permit on the first Saturday of each month (but you still need your state license). Kids can also take weekly lessons at various Oklahoma City parks throughout the summer so there's no excuse not to share this iconic summer experience with the kiddoes! Who knows, you might even run into the Thunder’s PG13!

outdoor recreation, water sports, Bricktown, Dodgers, family-friendly, fishing, free, kids, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

An introduction to OKC’s artsy side 

Paseo Arts Festival

The Paseo Arts Festival is the perfect time to celebrate one of Oklahoma City’s most unique artistic communities: The Paseo Arts District. For more than 40 years, the Paseo Arts Festival has brought food, fun, music (and, ya know, art) to the picturesque district’s streets.

This year the festival will take place May 26-28. Attend this event to see the work of more than 90 visual artists whose work spans a wide variety of media including painting, photography, woodworking and jewelry. With live performers and dozens of food vendors, this event is one that the entire family can enjoy.

arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, food, free, live music, Paseo District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Coffee & Cars

OKC Classic Cars

How do you feel about cars? How about a warm cup of joe? If you answered affirmative to both, Coffee & Cars is the event for you.

Held the first Saturday of each month, from 8 to 11 a.m., at Northpark Mall, Coffee & Cars brings together car enthusiasts from the region to show off their beauties. The best part is the event is completely free. That is right, all you need is your love for four wheels. Each month you can check out a diverse lineup of classic automobiles. You can see everything from the best American muscle cars to Volkswagen vans and everything in between. So fill up your thermos with your favorite coffee and we will see you there bright and early.

festivals, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Free in OKC

45th Infantry Division Museum

Here at Better Life HQ, we love to brag about Oklahoma City’s low cost of living. When your dollar stretches just a little bit further it is much easier to stop to smell the roses (or buy Thunder tickets). However, that doesn’t mean we are opposed to saving a few bucks when we can. The good news is that in OKC there is plenty to do for the low, low price of free. Below are some of our favorite things to do for free in OKC:

  • Horse Shows at State Fair Park Arena
    Oklahoma City is home to more national and international equine championship events than any other city in the world and most don’t charge admission. You have the chance to experience two very different shows in October, with the Grand National Morgan Horse Show and the US Team Roping Championships.
  • The 45th Infantry Division Museum
    Dedicated to the military history of Oklahoma and the 45th Infantry Division, this museum is a must for any history buff. It includes the country’s third-largest collection of historic U.S. military firearms and the world’s largest collection of items once owned by Adolf Hitler. Donations are accepted and appreciated.
  • Oklahoma City Outdoor Symbolic Memorial
    The memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were changed forever by the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Need more free in OKC ideas? Check out more from our partners at the OKC CVB.

cost of living, free, horse show, museums, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Let a library card open a door

Dowtown OKC Library

There is an old saying that goes: “There is no problem a library card can’t solve.” Once you start to take advantage of all the great resources Oklahoma City’s amazing library system provides, that statement will ring pretty true.

The Metropolitan Library System serves more than 600,000 people through 19 locations in Oklahoma County. To get a card, you just have to live in Oklahoma County. And if your county is Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie and you are part of the Pioneer Library System, you can still join in the Metropolitan Library System’s fun – our Oklahoma City-area libraries have a reciprocal service agreement with the Pioneer Library System, headquartered in Norman.

In addition to books, the library allows its members to check out and download eBooks (including indie and self-published works), audiobooks, magazines and music.  You can even stream video and other content from services like hoopla, Kanopy and more. The library also gives members access to online learning resources for kids and adults, with popular resources like and Mango Languages available at no cost. You may be able to even apply online to start downloading immediately. There are virtually no limits to the things you can learn and do as a card-carrying member of the library. Find a library near you.

library, education, family-friendly, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Books, yoga and more

Kids coloring

The Metropolitan Library System has a long list of activities for those who want to connect with real people in the real world. Whether you want to join a book club, pursue a hobby like tai chi or art, get healthy with exercise classes or attend a story hour with your kids, you can find something that interests you at a nearby library. Check out the events calendar and sign up for one.

family-friendly, free, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Oklahoma City Way to Cinema Verite

Film Row OKC

Between the popularity of projects like ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, “Jim & Andy” on Netflix, Frederick Wiseman’s “Ex Libris,” Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War,” “School Life” and others, one could argue that the documentary film scene has never been stronger or more varied. Get in on the action this Sunday, January 14, as you make your way to docLAHOMA, the state’s only documentary film festival. Appropriately located in OKC’s historic Film Row district at the Paramount, this free(!) festival features five different subject “blocks” of programming, with multiple docs in each. The fun begins (and the bar opens) at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, so don’t miss the chance to check out some of the newest, best indie docs to hit the screen!

More info:

festivals, film, Film Row, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

And the Oscar goes to

Tower Theatre in Uptown 23rd

In our humble opinion, one of the coolest things about the renovation of the historic Tower Theatre is how the building’s history as a film house has been kept front and center. If you didn’t know, the Tower Theatre originally opened in 1937, and served as the premier movie house in Oklahoma City for almost 40 years. While the renovation of the historic theatre has mainly focused on the facility as a live music venue, you can also catch some of your favorite films there as well. “Home Alone”, “This is Spinal Tap”, “Christmas Vacation” and “Shawshank Redemption” are just a handful of the movies playing between now and the end of the year. The Tower even offers a full bar for movie showings. Check out their schedule to see when your favorite movie is playing.

The Tower Theatre is far from the only unique place to see a movie in Oklahoma City. On the third Friday of each month, the 21c Museum Hotel features a movie screening as part of their Filmography series, a partnership with deadCenter Film and OKC Film Society. These screenings are absolutely free.

Finally, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art has been the metro’s art house cinema for years. Their film program mainly focuses on independent cinema but occasionally sprinkles in films such as “Die Hard” for special holiday screenings. They even offer special ticket packages that include dinner at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art Cafe.

museums, nightlife, film, free, history, live music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Light up your night

Bricktown Christmas Tree

Maybe it is just us but something about driving around in the car on a crisp December night to look at Christmas lights instantly makes us feel like a kid again. If the sight of Christmas lights instantly takes you from Scrooge to Buddy the Elf, then we’ve got some good news for you: Oklahoma City does Christmas lights right.

We compiled a list of some can’t miss stops on your 2017 Christmas light tour.

  • Devon Energy Center’s giant-sized ornaments have again taken their places on the lawn and outside the Colcord, as well as in the rotunda. Bonus points if you take a picture in front of them for your Christmas card.
  • Bricktown Canal Lights plus free water taxi rides equal the best of ways to make nighttime the brighttime.
  • The Bricktown Christmas Tree is up and blazin’ at the 3rd Base Plaza at the ballpark until January 1.
  • The Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway are located between 4th and 10th streets. Auto Alley does not mess around with its 180,000 lights along eight blocks.
  • Headed east? Then hit up Midwest City’s Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B. Barnes Park.
  • Headed west? Then hit up Yukon’s Christmas in the Park in what is actually three interconnected parks.

What are your favorite neighborhood displays? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter or Facebook and help us get the word out.

holiday, kids, Midwest City, Yukon, Automobile Alley, Bricktown, family-friendly, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Free rides

Downtown In December

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.

Bricktown, downtown, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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.

community, family-friendly, festivals, free, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017



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
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

family-friendly, festivals, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Sunday Twilight Concert Series is back

Concert at Myriad Gardens

One of the TBL staff’s favorite things to attend during the summer is the OKC Arts Council’s Sunday Twilight Concerts. These weekly shows at The Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens are a great chance to relax on your blanket or camp chair, chill out with some picnic staples and listen to some terrific tunes with your fellow Oklahoma Citians. Bring your ears, your own drinks and great attitudes whilst you enjoy the evening (but leave your stinky cigarettes, stinkier pets and even stinkier glass bottles at home). We’ll see you there!

concerts, family-friendly, free, live music, music, Myriad Botanical Gardens, parks
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.

arts and culture, downtown, family-friendly, festivals, food, free, live music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Free fun in OKC

Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park

You don’t have to break the bank to have a great time in OKC. In fact, there are so many awesome free things to do, we can guarantee that spring break 2017 will be one you won’t forget.

  • Perfect your ollie, heel flip or nose slide on the bowl course or street course of Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park. Ranked in the top 10 skate parks in the U.S., the action park is certainly an OKC treasure.
  • Get closer to nature. Marvel at the outdoor paradise of the Myriad Botanical Gardens, explore more than 1,000 acres that have remained unchanged since before statehood at Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge or get hands-on with the flora and fauna at the 144-acre Martin Nature Park featuring miles of trails, a bird observation wall and watch tower.
  • Explore our heritage. Have you ever wondered what the earliest moments of our city looked like? A stunning visual representation of the first moments can be seen at the Centennial Land Run Monument near the south end of the Bricktown Canal. Learn more about our state’s heritage with a guided tour of the Oklahoma State Capitol.
  • Discover art in new places. Check out the modern art found at the historic Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant turned 21C Museum Hotel gallery. Even Travel+Leisure is taking note of this OKC gem.
  • Check out more than 1,400 items of Native American fine art, pottery, basketry, textiles and beadwork at Red Earth Museum.
  • Learn about the day that changed our city forever at the outdoor symbolic memorial of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. The memorial honors victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were changed by the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The Oklahoma City Visitors Guide, produced by the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, has more ideas for kids of all ages. Get a digital or printed copy, and start exploring OKC.

arts and culture, family-friendly, free, history, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, spring break
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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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!

Bricktown, downtown, festivals, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Go West

Are you looking for a little adventure just outside OKC? Head west for exciting, hands-on family fun.  We’ll start our tour just west of OKC in Yukon.

Get up close and personal with majestic Clydesdale horses at the Express Clydesdales Ranch in Yukon. Take a free tour of the working ranch and learn about these magnificent purebred horses. Not only do these beauties meet thousands of visitors each year at home, but they travel across North America as ambassadors for Express Employment Professionals and help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other charities. Each year, the Clydesdales are invited to take part in some of the world’s most famous parades like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Tournament of Roses Parade and the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade, just to name a few. While you’re in Yukon, Czech out the historic Czech Hall, which is a on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1925, the hall has hosted Czech dances each Saturday night, complete with a live band. Fun, family-friendly community events are also held throughout the year at the Kirkpatrick Family Farm, one of the oldest pieces of continually owned family real estate in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City’s newest professional soccer team, Rayo OKC, also plays at Miller Stadium at Yukon High School. Catch their last home game of the season on Oct. 30.

day-trip, free, history, live music, Rayo, soccer, Yukon
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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We scream for ice cream

couple eating ice cream

Hop aboard a cow-painted bus and watch the magic happen at Braum’s Dairy Farm in Tuttle. Anyone who’s had Braum’s ice cream can attest to his magical properties. Here’s a fun fact: each day, Braum’s produces enough fresh raw milk to fill more than a million glasses. In fact, Braum’s is one of the largest dairy operations in the world and a showplace in the industry. Get a front row seat to see the process for making ice cream, ice cream cones, cookies, milk and more. The tours are free, but reservations are required.

day-trip, food, free, Tuttle
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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