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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!

family-friendly, fishing, free, kids, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, water sports, Bricktown, Dodgers
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.

Automobile Alley, Bricktown, family-friendly, free, holiday, kids, Midwest City, Yukon
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Decembering up downtown

Devon Ice Rink

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

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

  • Devon Ice Rink
    The ice rink is open at Myriad Botanical Gardens and is ready for you and your friends, family and/or honey lambs to make some memories whilst making lazy circles in the ice and doing your best to stay level and off your backside. Click here for schedule and prices.
  • SandRidge Santa Run
    Run a 5K with various Santas, elves, reindeer and other assorted Christmasy characters as you work off some of that cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole (either in or out of a costume). It’s an all-ages event, with a Kid’s Dash and 1-mile Fun Run part of the festivities as well. Saturday, Dec. 9 is the day and activities begin at 8:45 a.m. at SandRidge Energy, 123 Robert S. Kerr. Get more info here.
  • Devon’s Saturdays with Santa
    Each Saturday in December the world famous Santa Claus will be at the Devon Energy Center to hear want toys your kids want under the tree. Learn more here.
kids, outdoor recreation, running, downtown, family-friendly, festivals, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Charter school options in OKC

Lunch Time at John Rex

In Greater Oklahoma City, options are the name of the game when it comes to education. The metro has a great array of public, private and charter schools that provide flexibility in finding the right fit for your kids. In the past we’ve highlighted both the public and private schools in our area. Today we are going to shed a little light on OKC’s growing charter school options.

Charter schools are public schools established by contract with sponsors and often promote a specific curriculum and learning style. Several Greater Oklahoma City school districts are authorized by state law to have charter schools -- Choctaw-Nicoma Park, Edmond, Mid-Del, Moore, Mustang, Oklahoma City and Putnam City.

In the Oklahoma City district alone there are 18 charter schools providing education for students between kindergarten and 12th grade. More than 850 students are enrolled in charter schools in the district.

If you want more information on charter schools be sure to visit our website. There you will find a comprehensive list of schools and frequently asked questions about charter schools in OKC.  

education, kids, school
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

All treats, no trick

Halloween is right around the corner, and there is nothing we like better than some candy and costumes. If you aren’t in the mood to go door-to-door in your neighborhood, don’t sweat it. We’ve compiled a list of some family friendly haunts to enjoy. Of course, we can’t list everything. If you know about a cool Halloween event, list it in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

  • Haunt the Zoo: Haunt the Zoo is an Oklahoma City favorite as it has been going strong for 30-plus years. This year the event will take place on October 21, 22, 28 and 29 and will feature candy, mascots and a Halloween trail through the Zoo.
  • Halloween Train: Tour the Oklahoma Railway Museum and take a spooky train ride October 28 and 29. Admission varies depending on age, but children under 3 are free.
  • Haunt the Harn: A little something for everyone: trick-or-treating, marshmallow roasting, hayrides, pumpkin bowling and much more. Children are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. Up to two adults may accompany a child for free. This year’s Haunt the Harn will be Oct. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Haunt Old Town Moore: On Oct. 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. the streets will be shut down for family-friendly fun. Everything you could ask for in one place: face painting, exotic animals, food trucks, live music and even clowns (hopefully not the scary kind).
zoo, family-friendly, holiday, kids, Moore
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rollin’ on the river

In addition to hosting the Regatta annually, the Oklahoma City Boathouse District serves as a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site year-round. But it is also a place for a ton of family fun and adventure.

The newest addition to the river is RIVERSPORT Rapids, a MAPS 3-funded whitewater center that offers rafting, kayaking and tubing. The center opened in May 2016 and hosted the Olympic trials for canoe/kayak slalom that year. For tamer entertainment, rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board for the day or test your skills on the climbing walls.

But if watersports aren’t your style, you can also take your adventurous spirit to new heights with the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! Both the 700-feet zip line across the Oklahoma River and the 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail will make you feel like a kid again. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly anyone who appreciates the great outdoors will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River. No matter your activity level, the Oklahoma River and the Boathouse District are sure to have something for you to enjoy.

running, water sports, Boathouse District, cycling, family-friendly, kids, MAPS, outdoor recreation
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, September 19, 2017

Better Life: childcare

Better Life Childcare

Having access to quality childcare is important if you’re a working adult or even just looking to get your kids involved in some fun activities.

If you don’t know where to start in finding childcare centers near you, we’ve got you covered. Check out our website for a list of childcare centers, schools and more in the OKC area.

family-friendly, kids, school
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Great State Fair of Oklahoma

Midway at the Fair

Football, cooler weather and the State Fair of Oklahoma means it is fall. If you are new to Oklahoma City then you might be surprised to find out that for many the kickoff of the State Fair of Oklahoma is our official signal that autumn has arrived!  

From Sept. 14-24, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City will be bustling with the Oklahoma State Fair and all that it entails. An annual extravaganza stretching back more than 100 years, the Oklahoma State Fair offers a little something for everyone, from deep-fried culinary delights (sign us up!) to ice-dancing Disney princesses. Read on for our can’t-miss fair favorites.

AGtropolis- The Oklahoma State Fair has its roots in agriculture, and this hands-on learning experience presents Oklahoma’s agricultural history with interactive exhibits and demonstrations throughout the Oklahoma Expo Hall. This event is perfect for kids or adults formerly obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie series.

The JFK Exhibition- New this year is the JFK Exhibition: Experience His Life and Legacy. This is the largest traveling JFK exhibition and displays hundreds of authentic items from his presidency, including one of his presidential limousines.

Disney on Ice- A State Fair mainstay, Disney on Ice is back with Follow Your Heart a fun adventure with all your Disney and Pixar favorites.

Free concerts on the Adventure Road Stage- Gather smack-dab in the middle of the fairgrounds each evening to enjoy jazz, alt rock, country, oldies and R&B. Personally we are ready to break out our moves for Tony! Toni! Tone!

Honestly, we can’t even begin to describe all the cool stuff taking place at this year’s fair. Luckily, the Oklahoma State Fair has its own app. Download it today to help organize your Fair Day.

concerts, family-friendly, kids, live music, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

More than just books

Kids

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.

kids, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Adventure District

Elephants at the Zoo

If there is one thing you can say about the Adventure District, it is that it lives up to its name and then some.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is one of the crown jewels of the city and features more than 1,800 animals spread over 119 acres. We recommend the Great escAPE (get it) exhibit where you can watch gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees monkey around. This is also where you can find the Zoo Amphitheater, the premier venue for outdoor concerts in the metro.

Next door to the Zoo is Science Museum Oklahoma which has been entertaining and teaching generations of kids about science since the late 50s. If you were raised in Oklahoma City, you know all about the shadow wall. The museum is home to a must-see Science Live performance and a planetarium. Also you still have a couple of months to check out the Red Dirt Dinos exhibit. In this one-of-a-kind experience, the dinosaurs who used to roam the Sooner State come back alive.

Nearby is the world-renowned National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum where you can find exhibits on cowboy heritage and one of the largest collections of western art in the known galaxy. 

There is also fun to be had for sports fans at the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame & Museum. Not just a place for history, the Museum welcomes thousands each year for the annual Women’s College World Series.

Last, but not least, if you need a break from the kids head over to Remington Park Racing & Casino which is not only the region’s top race track, but the city’s only casino.

As you can see the Adventure District has a ton to do (even more than we listed), but if you want to see it all you are going to need more than a weekend.

racetrack, western heritage, zoo, Adventure District, concerts, family-friendly, kids, museums, nightlife
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A great escape

Feeding Lorikeets at the Zoo

OKC is home to one of the best zoos in the country, in our humble opinion. In fact, we are home to one of the oldest zoos in the southwest with a vast collection of the world’s most exotic animals. With more than 500 species of animals including 87 species of mammals, 117 species of birds, 153 species of reptiles and amphibians and 155 species of fish and aquatic invertebrates and marine mammal, we promise that you’ll be channeling your inner animal lover in no time flat.

Discover your inner wild side and get up close and personal with grizzly bears, sea lions, Galapagos tortoises and elephants during hands-on encounters. Take a walk on the wide side and enjoy feeding the giraffes or lorikeets, touching stingrays, playing in the Children’s Zoo, exploring the elephant habitat or a variety of other wildlife experiences. Seriously, the OKC Zoo’s calendar is chock-full of events – from story times with zoo keepers to painting in the wild – your family fun day is one not soon to be forgotten.

In the fall, be sure to visit the red panda exhibit to get an oh-so-cute look at the zoo’s newest oh-so-cute arrival. A red panda cub, born earlier this month, is the 15th cub born at the OKC Zoo since the red panda program began in 1988. Since the youngsters take a few months to bond with their parents, don’t be surprised if the proud parents aren’t visible in the general viewing area.

Adventure District, family-friendly, kids, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Park it

Family biking on a trail

It’s no secret that the City of Oklahoma City has an array of parks, trails, splash pads and programs that will help you enjoy the great outdoors, and during the summer months, the opportunities to enjoy them are more plentiful than ever. To keep you in the know, the Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation department has created a handy guide to enjoying its amenities during the 2016 summer season.

From enjoying a pool day to taking a nature walk, the guide has something for every interest and every age. View the 2016 Summer Program Guide here, and let us know your favorite way to enjoy your neighborhood parks in the comments.

water sports, family-friendly, kids, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Myriads more than just the bare necessities at MBG

Myriad Gardens and the Moon

If you’re a long-time reader of our little blog here (and a heartfelt “thank you” to those of you who are!), you probably think we’re penning passages about the Myriad Botanical Gardens in our sleep because we mention it so much—or maybe if you’re a conspiracy theorist and/or rabblerousing crank, that they’re paying us in tulip bulbs like it’s 17th-century The Netherlands up in here. In either case, you’d be wrong—we write about it simply because they have a lot of great activities and it’s so lovely! Wherever we wander and wherever we roam in the MBG, we couldn’t be fonder of it, TBH. This month is no exception, as “The Jungle Book” takes over the Children’s Garden from May 6-22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. To take a glance at the fancy ants or for more information: http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/the-jungle-book-takes-over-the-childrens-garden-in-may/

family-friendly, kids, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A St. Paddy’s garden party

St Patrick's Day

You won’t want to get ejected from the Myriad Botanical Gardens on Thursday, March 17 (which, weekend celebrations aside, is actually St. Patrick’s Day), as the Great Event Lawn and Band Shell will be full of myriad opportunities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In addition to craft activities for the kids, there will be shows by the Oklahoma Academy of Irish Dance Performance, Celtic folk band Three Ravens, and bag piping by Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums. You can even get a lesson in Irish step dancing with instructor Chelsea Baron, and then show off your new-found skills afterward by dancing on the Water Stage with the Three Ravens. Cushlamachree! The MBG draws a lot of water in this town, and for good reason, so get out there and go mingle Irish-style with the many other interested parties.

Get more info at http://oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/events/st-patricks-day-at-the-gardens/.

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



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Get outdoors for spring break

While Oklahoma City’s new whitewater rafting facility, the RIVERSPORT Rapids, won’t hold its grand opening until May, you can get a sneak peek on March 12 when a new zip line and three massive slides will open (the rumor is the slides are the tallest in the U.S.) on the river.

If you don’t want to head to the river there is still plenty of Oklahoma to explore. Oklahoma’s March weather can be a bit unpredictable and sometimes ranges from hot to cold and windy to calm, but it’s usually easy to enjoy the outdoors.

First, take a look at Oklahoma’s State Parks, many of which are just a short drive away. See the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department’s website, TravelOK.com, for more things to do.

You can plan your perfect getaway based on your interests. The closest state park is Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman and is a good way to get your kids outside – on a boat, for a picnic, at the park’s archery range, on the playground and along one of its swim beaches (although it will likely be a little cold for that in March).

The range of activities offered at state parks includes golfing, disc golf, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and even cave exploring (check out the Alabaster Caverns State Park near Freedom).

Some areas of interest worth exploring that aren’t on the state parks’ list include the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service near Lawton, Quartz Mountain Nature Park in southwest Oklahoma and the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve operated by the Nature Conservancy.

Get a move on, and enjoy Spring Break in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, spring break, water sports, Boathouse District, day-trip, family-friendly, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Spring break camps cater to many interests and help with child care

If you have to work or want to stay closer to Oklahoma City, sign up your child for one of the area’s many spring break programs. Here are a few ideas, both for dropping off or participating with your children:

  • The Oklahoma City Zoo offers spring break day camps for children ages 4 to 11. You can go all week or select full days or half days (cost is $45 per day from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and $25 per day for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). Kids will make tasty treats and deliver them each day to the animals, and the zoo will offer other ways to connect them with nature.
  • Sign your child up for Spring Break Science Camp at Science Museum Oklahoma, located in the Adventure District next to the zoo. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, elementary school kids will make things that fly; get dirty with chemistry, bugs and slime; play with water and more on different adventures each day. Cost for the week is $225 for members and $250 for nonmembers, but spots fill up quickly and as of this post, first through third grade slots are already full. But check out other activities at the museum as well.
  • The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63, is offering spring break activities that include weaving, metalworking, water color and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 14-18. It is free with museum admission.
  • The Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City is offering Spring Break Pop-Ins from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 8 through 17. They’ll feature walk-up activities that include garden crafts, planting seeds or going on a scavenger hunt. Cost is a suggested $2 donation per child.
  • Oklahoma Contemporary is offering Spring Arts Camps over two sessions, March 7-11 and March 14-18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Tuition is $170 and $40 more if your child needs an extended time there. Depending on the age and session they choose, students will create sci-fi videos, create art projects based on a space theme, explore art and music, work with clay and more.
  • The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is offering spring break arts camps from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 15-18 (Tuesday through Friday). Some are sold out, but children ages 6- to 8 can work with color and abstraction, while 9- to 12-year-olds will be photographing downtown.
  • The Lyric Theatre Thelma Gaylord Academy is offering Spring Break Theatre Camps from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 14 to 18 for the second through eighth grades. Cost is $225.
  • In the Boathouse District, kids ages 8 to 15 can take part in its Spring Break Adventure Camps either at the Oklahoma River or at Lake Overholser. A half-day option is offered at the Oklahoma River, but full days are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Two of the city’s parks, Martin Park Nature Center and Will Rogers Gardens are offering a Natural Resources Camp on weekdays from March 7 to 18 for children ages 7 to 12. Cost is $275 for both sessions and $175 for a one-week session. Camp will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The first week will be at Will Rogers Gardens, 3400 NW 36; the second at Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W Memorial Road.
  • Finally, look into the OKC Thunder Youth Basketball Camps, which is offering basketball workshops in different locations.

If you have a favorite local hangout for you and your children, check its website for spring break activities. Oklahoma City Public Schools are out for two weeks March 9-18, so some places offer two weeks of programs. Also, the local Metro Family Magazine has an even more comprehensive list of things to do throughout the metro. You can find all kinds of things to do each month at www.visitokc.com.

camps, downtown, kids, museums, spring break, theater, Thunder, Adventure District, western heritage, arts and culture, zoo, basketball, Boathouse District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Hike in a park or take your children on shorter adventures, many of them free

If you don’t want that much structure or to pay so much for some spring break fun, it’s time to check out other places in the metro area. Here are some ideas:

  • 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 browse for ideas of all ages. By the time you finish it, you won’t have enough time over spring break to do them all.
outdoor recreation, parks, spring break, fishing, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Adventure District

If there were an award for the most properly named district in the 4-0-5, the Adventure District would probably win. The aptly-named section of the city is home to more family fun than you can shake a stick at.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is one of the crown jewels of the city and features more than 1,800 animals spread over 119 acres. We recommend the Great escAPE (get it) exhibit where you can watch gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees monkey around. This is also where you can find the Zoo Amphitheater, the premier venue for outdoor concerts in the metro.

Next door to the Zoo is Science Museum Oklahoma which has been entertaining and teaching generations of kids about science since the late 50s. If you were raised in Oklahoma City you know all about the shadow wall. The museum is home to a must-see Science Live performance and a planetarium.

Nearby is the world-renowned National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum where you can find exhibits on cowboy heritage and one of the largest collections of western art in the known galaxy.

There is also fun to be had for sports fans at the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame & Museum. Not just a place for history, the Museum welcomes thousands each year for the annual Women’s College World Series.

Last, but not least, if you need a break from the kids head over to Remington Park Racing & Casino which is not only the region’s top race track but the city’s only casino.

As you can see the Adventure District has a ton to do (even more than we listed) but if you want to see it all you are going to need more than a weekend.

racetrack, western heritage, zoo, Adventure District, arts and culture, family-friendly, kids, live sporting events, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Get your family involved

People volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

[Photo Credit: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma]

Once you find a niche, look for ways to get your kids involved in volunteering, too. It’s never too early to serve the community, and the holidays are a good time to start.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which combats hunger throughout the state, has a very well-organized volunteer program that offers opportunities for groups. All you do is sign up for certain times, and you might find yourself sorting and packing food or distributing it. Volunteers as young as 8 can sign up, so it’s a great opportunity for families to do together. Also, the Salvation Army, Central Oklahoma Area Command, has an “Adopt an Angel” program to provide gifts for specific families, and groups can also sign up to accept donations and ring bells in front of the familiar Red Kettles outside high-traffic areas.

Specific to the holidays, the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner has been a Christmas Day tradition since 1947 by providing warm meals and toys to around 5,000 or 6,000 people at the Cox Convention Center.

If you have a teen, there are opportunities for them to get involved all on their own. Here are just a few organizations that have teen boards and opportunities, most which require applications. The links go directly to the teen programs.

And Metro Family Magazine has a list of other opportunities for families this year, as does Revive, Inc.’s ServeOK.org website.

volunteer, community, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Downtown in December

Downtown in December Sandridge Santa Run

We know, we know … Winter doesn’t technically start for another month. The trees still have leaves but we can’t help but look ahead to one of our favorite times of the year in Oklahoma City. Nothing wrong with planning ahead right?

There’s no place like home for the holidays… isn’t that how the song goes?! At any rate, there’s no truer statement in Oklahoma City. Just because the temperatures are cooling off, doesn’t mean that the fun is slowing down.

Downtown in December kicks off in a few weeks and it will be chock-full of fun, family activities that we’re sure you and your little angels will want to be a part of. Just watch out for Santa as he makes his way through downtown on his Segway. He’ll be handing out treats for boys and girls of all ages.

Fun family activities include:

  • Free Holiday Water Taxi Rides: All aboard for a fun-filled cruise on a Bricktown Water Taxi! On designated evenings in November and December, everyone can enjoy a fun-filled float down the beautifully-adorned Bricktown canal.
  • Saturday with Santa: Bring the kiddos downtown on to the Devon Energy Center each Saturday in December, to visit meet Santa himself, make crafts, and participate in holiday-themed activities.
  • Prance, dance, jog or run through downtown as part of the SandRidge Santa Run. The ultimate goal is just to have fun! Events include a 5K race, a one-mile fun run or a free Santa Claus kids' dash. Did we mention this is also a fabulous chance to Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls?
  • We triple dog dare you to take part in Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare. The stair climbing challenge will test your endurance and speed as you climb 138 flights of stairs or recruit a couple of friends to take part in the relay challenge.
  • Hit the slopes for a little snow tubing at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Choose either the bunny slopes regular slope for the true adventure seeker.
  • Get in the holiday spirit while you learn about Oklahoma’s diverse Native American culture at the Red Earth Treefest. Trees will be decorated with ornaments honoring tribes including the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes, Chickasaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Comanche Nation, Osage Nation.

There are plenty of indoor activities to get you in the holiday spirit as well. Check out the following family-friendly performances throughout the season.

holiday, kids, movies, music, outdoor recreation, running, theater, ballet, Bricktown, downtown, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Scare free zone

Pumpkinville at the Myriad Gardens

Want to enjoy Halloween with your youngsters but don’t want to give them nightmares until Christmas? While most events we talk about are family-friendly, below are a handful of events were there is no chance night terrors will be induced.

  • Pumpkinville– an enchanting celebration of all things fall that includes more than 3,000 pumpkins filling the Children’s Garden from Oct. 9 to 25. Pumpkinville is free for members of the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Nonmembers pay $6 for children and $4 per adult.
  • Haunt the Zoo– Running from Oct. 26 to 31 at the Oklahoma City Zoo, this annual tradition features candy, mascots and a Halloween trail through the Zoo. Admission is $7 for trick-or-treaters and $4 for non-trick-or-treaters.
  • Halloween Train– Tour the Oklahoma Railway Museum and take a spooky train ride. Free for kids under 3 and $5 for ages 3 to 14.
  • Haunt the Harn– A little something for everyone: trick-or-treating, marshmallow roasting, hayrides, pumpkin bowling and much more. This year’s Haunt the Harn will be Oct. 22 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is just $5 at the door.
  • Brick or Treat– Bring your kids to trick-or-treat around Bricktown and even watch Hocus Pocus at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. This will take place Oct. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. This event is free.
family-friendly, holiday, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Park It at Martin Park Nature Center

Families at Martin Park Nature Center

You’ll want to give up your neighbor’s open wi-fi connection for this, nature fiend. We’ve written myriad times about the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the trail system around OKC. But this time, let’s consider learning a little about nature, Martin Park style. Martin Park sports 144 acres of woods and grasslands that are home to foxes, reptiles, birds, squirrels, butterflies, and even maybe deer, owls, armadillos and more, depending on the time of year and which species might be passing through. Yeah, it’s basically like Noah’s Ark up in there, but with a 2.5-mile walking trail that’s just waiting for you go get your feet wet in the wilds of nature, right in the middle of the city at 5000 W. Memorial Road. Only 400 shekels gets you in the door… Kidding! You can just walk on in.

More info: www.okc.gov/parks/martin_park

family-friendly, free, kids, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rolling on the River

You’ve heard us talk about the Oklahoma River many times, including the old jokes about how we used to have to mow the river. Like any good joke, there is a lot of truth to it. Thanks to MAPS, the river has gone from a sometimes partially full river that sometimes had to be mowed to a world-class rowing venue with millions of dollars of public/private investment. Maybe no other part of Oklahoma City embodies our modern-day renaissance like the river and its development.

The Oklahoma River is home to an official training site for U.S. Olympic & Paralympic river sports. However, the river is not just for Olympic athletes. The river has something for everyone and is a great place to enjoy the spring weather and get in a little exercise.

No matter your age, Olympic-hopeful or not, you can benefit from this great resource in the heart of Downtown Oklahoma City. If you already have some watersport experience you can head right to the river and rent a canoe or kayak. If you aren’t familiar with rowing, canoeing and kayaking, OKC RIVERSPORT offers classes that will teach you basic technique and general safety rules so you will be out on the water in no time.

As a crazy as it sounds, the Oklahoma River is not just for water enthusiasts thanks to some recent additions like the SandRidge Youth Pavilion. The pavilion is exactly what it sounds like, a pavilion for youths to get rowdy with the Sky Slide, Rumble Drop, playground and much more.

Not a rowdy youth? Try the new SandRidge Sky Trail if you want a thrill. The Sky Trail is the world’s tallest adventure course with six levels of challenges that will have you climbing, jumping and zig-zagging to the top.

Are you about to get in your van and head down to the river? Look at a buying a RIVERSPORT Adventure Pass. The pass allows you to enjoy everything we’ve talked about at one low price.

outdoor recreation, water sports, family-friendly, kids, MAPS, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Festival of the Arts

This week marks one of our absolute favorite weeks in Oklahoma City. We love hearing and seeing the talents of our fellow Oklahomans and there is no better locale for that than the annual Festival of the Arts.

The six-day event is an annual rite of passage to welcome spring in Oklahoma City. The festival, now in its 48th year, literally transforms downtown OKC into a bazaar-like atmosphere complete with colorful tents and thousands of attendees. The festival had humble beginnings in 1967, when Arts Council committee members personally sought out artists to exhibit and even made sandwiches and hot dogs for attendees. But today, the Festival of the Arts is one of the largest and most successful in the country.

Here are some things to remember when you visit the Festival of the Arts:

  • The art is world-class. More than 500 artists submitted work for the Festival jury process. The 141 chosen artists are some of the nation’s finest. Artworks include oil paintings, watercolors,   photography, ceramics, glass, sculpture, fiber, jewelry, wood, and more!
  • There’s plenty of entertainment. Nearly 300 entertainers will take the stage during the festival. From the big band sounds of the 145th Army Bank to the bluegrass sounds of Southbound Mule and choral groups such as the Sweet Adelines to Irish step dancers, Mexican folk dancers and ballet artists, the talent of Oklahomans is hard to dispute. 
  • Family fun is important too. There’s plenty to keep the youngsters entertained at the festival. Kids can create their own works of art at the Children’s Art Field. Other family-friendly activities include face painting and a creation station. The tikes are also sure to enjoy the Young-at-Art Mart, a children-only shopping site where all artwork is $5 or less. 
  • Bring your appetite! From appetizers to desserts, the festival is also a celebration of the culinary arts. Dozens of vendors bring their delicacies to the festival and each one is partnered with a local arts organization, so each bite you take supports the arts in central Oklahoma. Go ahead and expand your palate with daily culinary arts demonstrations from restaurants such as Sushi Neko , VAST, Rococo, Paseo Grill and many more. 
kids, arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A walk in the park

Did you know that Oklahoma City is home to more than 100 parks? Yep, you read that right – more than 100 parks in OKC. No matter how you prefer to get your recreation on, there’s sure to be something for you. Playgrounds, fishing, walking paths, spraygrounds and even a mountain bike trail are all just minutes away, no matter what part of the city you choose to call home. There are even special parks for thrillseekers including the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park and the Route 66 Skate Court.

Oh, and did we mention that there are accommodations for every sport imaginable—soccer, baseball, basketball, football, tennis, disc golf and even cricket? And the offerings at OKC parks are only going to get better thanks to MAPS 3 projects which are currently in the works. We can hardly wait for the downtown park which will connect downtown with the Oklahoma River. We can only imagine the fun concerts, festivals and events that will be held at the 70-acre park.

fishing, kids, mountain biking, outdoor recreation, parks, bmx, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Adventures in Oklahoma City

For those of you with school-aged kids or school-related jobs, it’s time to start planning your Spring Break adventure so you can make the most of the time off. Oklahoma City-area attractions offer all kinds of ways to entertain your little ones, whether with visits or longer-term camps. This week, we’ll offer some ideas to visit with your children, entertain them while you work or just to explore by yourself. Consider this your own personal Spring Break Book of Lists.

First, for an extensive list of things to do at any time, dive into the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website, visitokc.com. For this blog, we’ll give you a snapshot:

spring break, attractions, family-friendly, kids, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Sign up for a Spring Break camp

If you have to work over Spring Break, you’ll find all kinds of ways to let your children pursue their interests during that week, whether they are artists, adventurers, chefs, scientists or something else. Here is a sampling:

For more, check out the resource at Metro Family Magazine.

camps, kids, spring break
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Get Carded at the Library

Hey, how about reading something other than the back of the shampoo bottle for a change? If you feel like you don’t know your volcanoes, vivisection, or Vietnam War (among other topics) like you should, the Metropolitan Library System has you covered. If you live or own property in Oklahoma City or Oklahoma County, just bring two forms of ID (one showing proof of residence) to your nearest library and get hooked up like a tow truck with your very own library card. But if your county is Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie, you still oughttocomeandsee– the Metropolitan Library System has a reciprocal service agreement with the Pioneer Library System, HQ’d in Norman. (This means MLS cardholders can do the same at any Pioneer Library). Yes, there are virtually no limits to the things you can learn as a card-carrying member of the library. Lather, rinse, repeat, and then get yourself there!

community, family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The Library Makes You Better

As fun as it is to “Like” everything that comes across your feed, we all know those captions on your friends’ Instagram photos aren’t making you any smarter (and don’t even get us started with the Facebook, Twitter, or ::gasp:: Snapchat). So if you’re interested in self-improvement or learning something new, what to do?

Well, we’ve got good news for you Curious Carols and Wondering Williams. As a brand-new MLS card holder (congratulations!), you may not be aware that the Metropolitan Library System offers enough activities to choke a camel. From local art to LEGO robotics to live concerts to learning about email and ebooks, your library’s the place to gain knowledge, explore, study, and improve yourself. Check out just some of the activities in which you can participate in the next few weeks:

Chess Club
GED prep
Internet basics
Tai Chi
Concerts
Children reading to dogs
Quilting Club
LEGO Robotics
Movie Night
Book Club
Healthy Pregnancy
Teen Service Team
Adult Education and Literacy Classes
Anime Club
Art Class
Gaming Club
And more!

For a full list of activities and events, just point your way over to metrolibrary.org’s calendar page.

family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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