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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Horse show central

OKC Horse Show

There’s a long list of things OKC is famous for—its food, its craft beer, the MAPS projects—but did you know that OKC is also famous for being the horse show capital of the world?

OKC hosts more horse shows than any other spot in the entire world—and yes, you read that correctly. The world. Is it the great mix of modern and cowboy culture that makes OKC the perfect spot? Our wonderful venues? We like to think it’s all of the above!

Two of the biggest horse shows each year are the Grand National Morgan Horse Show in October and the AQHA World Championships held in November. No matter the month, you can find a world-class horse show taking place in Oklahoma City. Check the calendar for more events and dates.

equine, horse show, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hands on history

Overholser Mansion

There is perhaps no experience quite as fulfilling as holding a 400-year-old object in your hand, or being in a place where a landmark event once happened. Such are the joys of history, many of which can be found right here in OKC.

For the aspiring historians out there we’ve compiled a list of some of the more historic spots across Oklahoma City that you might be especially interested in visiting. As always, this isn’t a comprehensive list, so if you think we missed a really good location, please let us know!

Centennial Land Run Monument
Henry Overholser Mansion
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Red Earth Art Center
Science Museum Oklahoma
American Banjo Museum  
International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
Harn Homestead
Museum of Osteology
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
Oklahoma Railway Museum
Oklahoma Hall of Fame

family-friendly, history, museums, Oklahoma City history, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

End of the Trail statue

Just the word “Oklahoma” will generally evoke one of two (maybe both?) images:

Thunder

The Wild West

And although we love the Thunder, today we’re here to talk about the latter: The Wild West. With the exception of Thunder, Oklahoma’s known for, above all else, its rich Wild Western history. This incredible history is preserved for all to see in OKC’s National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Featuring galleries full of Native American and Western attire, firearms, artifacts and even movie props, it’s easy to see why the Cowboy Museum is considered to be one of OKC’s most unique (and quintessentially Oklahoman) attractions. Visitors flock to the museum from all corners of the country looking for their dream Wild Western learning experience and who can blame them? It’s only the most extensive collection of Western art, history and memorabilia (more than 28,000 pieces!) in the world.

arts and culture, museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Prix De West

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum art

The Prix De West is a fan favorite event at the Cowboy Museum. Happening every summer for the past 46 years, The Prix De West is a “prestigious invitational art exhibit of more than 300 Western paintings and sculpture by the finest contemporary Western artists in the nation with art seminars, receptions and awards.”

Basically, it’s an incredibly captivating Western art exhibition with pieces that are simply the best of the best. Artists and lay-people alike come from all across the country every year to marvel at the incredible works of art featured in Prix De West. This year it’ll be in the Museum through Aug. 5. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the absolute cream of the crop in Western art.

arts and culture, museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Celebrating our Native American culture

Red Earth Museum

There’s no better place to appreciate Oklahoma City’s significant Native American culture than the Red Earth Museum. Located downtown, the Red Earth Museum features a permanent collection of more than 1,000 Native American art items of all types, from pottery, beadwork and basketry to fine arts and textiles. Educational programs based on the museum’s exhibits, workshops and demonstrations are also available throughout the year.

Its “mission is to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum and fine art markets,” and is definitely worth checking out the next time you’re downtown.

museums, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Circle the wagons

Chuck Wagon Festival

Oklahoma’s connection to the days of wagon trains and cattle drives is undeniable and there’s no better place to relive that part of Oklahoma’s past than the annual Chuck Wagon Festival at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. From May 26-27, you can experience a fun-filled weekend of chuck wagon food samples, a petting zoo, artisan demonstrations, live music, Western Reenactors, square dancing and more.

Each day of the festival, you can also enter your child for a chance to become the Sheriff for the Day. One lucky winner will patrol the event as sheriff with their own cowboy hat, badge and stick horse. So giddy up, partner. This event is not to be missed!

family-friendly, festivals, museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Must-visit destinations

Pops on Route 66

“I had no idea!” If we had a nickel for every time we heard that phrase from a first-time visitor to the 4-0-5, we would be able to pay Russ’ contract. Visitors are always surprised about the metro’s combination of art, history, entertainment, food and nightlife and more. Here are some must-visit places in America’s best-kept secret in tourism (in our biased opinions):

Route 66
Oklahoma contains more of the historic Route 66 than any other state. While you journey across this iconic route, you’re welcome to make a quick stop for the Route 66 Museum, Totem Pole Park, the Blue Whale of Catoosa, and no trek through Route 66 is complete without a stop (and a soda) at POPS!

The Oklahoma City National Memorial
April 19, 1995 changed our city and country forever. Today, a one-of-a-kind memorial and  museum about that tragic morning stand atop the bombing site. The reflecting pond and empty chairs that represent the lives lost on that fateful morning are deeply ingrained into the hearts and minds of all who see it.

The OKCMOA
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Oklahoma. It features a wide array of art, including (but not limited to) sizable galleries full of European art, American art, contemporary art, and an iconic collection of Dale Chihuly’s glasswork. There’s also an exhibition gallery space that features new and wildly popular exhibitions every few months. The Museum also has its own movie theater, where it hosts special screenings and events almost every day.

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
The Oklahoma City Zoo is considered a staple for both locals’ “let’s make a regular visit” lists and Oklahoma City’s visitor economy. With nearly 2,000 animals, aquatic life, reptiles, insects and plants the public can admire, it’s a very popular attraction for all ages.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
There is perhaps nothing more inherently Oklahoman than images of the Wild West. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of American Indians and cowboys that lived in Oklahoma throughout history with art, firearms, outfits and more.

Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma’s rich history is preserved for all generations to see at the Oklahoma History Center. Featuring a vast collection of items tied to Oklahoma’s early history, the Oklahoma History Center isn’t a stop you want to overlook.

Stockyards City
For the quintessential Oklahoma cowboy experience, Stockyards City is a must see. Stockyards City is the largest feeder and cattle market in the world, which features architecture and shops designed to give you an authentic ranch experience. It’s also home of Oklahoma’s most famous restaurant, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, which has been featured on Food Network’s Man vs Food and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Science Museum Oklahoma
With more than 350,000 square feet chock-full of hands-on science and experimentation, the Science Museum of Oklahoma is another one of the most popular and beloved tourist attractions Oklahoma City has to offer.

zoo, Adventure District, arts and culture, day-trip, family-friendly, history, museums, OKC National Memorial, Route 66, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Adventure District

Adventure District

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. The newest addition to the Zoo is a baby gorilla born on Dec. 13. The baby is a girl and her name will be revealed soon.  

Next door to the Zoo is Science Museum Oklahoma which has been entertaining and teaching generations of kids about science since the late 50s. The museum is home to a must-see Science Live performance and a planetarium. On Feb. 9, the museum is launching its first-ever Late Nite Lab.

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.

You can read more about the Adventure district here.

Adventure District, arts and culture, family-friendly, live sporting events, museums, nightlife, racetrack, western heritage, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Good ride Cowboy

Rodeo

Some of the toughest cowboys and cowgirls in the world will convene in Oklahoma City this week for a couple of big-time events with some big-time money on the line. Whether you know exactly what a rank bull means or want to discover the rodeo for the first time, we promise you’ll have a blast at both events.

The International Finals Rodeo takes place Jan. 19- 21 at State Fair Park and will feature the top cowboys and cowgirls of the IFR competing for their share of $250,000 in prizes in various events.

On Saturday and Sunday the PBR: Built Ford Tough Series will make its annual return to the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The event features the best bull riders in the world matching up with the rankest bulls for their piece of a $140,000 payout. Both bull riding aficionados and novices will have a night they won’t forget.

live sporting events, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Red Earth Treefest

Seminole Tree Photo Provided By Red Earth Museum

[Photo provided by Red Earth Museum]

You’ve heard us talk about the history and heritage of OKC. Why not explore some of our rich heritage and maybe start a new tradition with your own family this holiday season? There’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than in OKC.

Explore Oklahoma’s Native American culture at the Red Earth Treefest. Your family is sure to be amazed at 25 Christmas trees adorned with handmade ornaments from Oklahoma tribes including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, Chickasaw, Citizen Potawatomi, Comanche and Osage nations, each showcasing the distinctive and diverse cultures of the Native nations and tribes that call our great state home. This year’s exhibition will run through Jan. 5 at the Red Earth Museum and Art Center and is completely free. That means you don’t have a single excuse to miss it.

 

holiday, museums, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lasso up some fun

Stockyards City entrance

There’s no better place to experience a piece of Oklahoma City’s past than Stockyards City. This district is a living testament to one of Oklahoma City’s first major industries, packing plants, and the cattle trade that accompanied it. When the original plant closed in 1961, a cattle auction was added to secure the district’s future. Today, that auction operates as the Oklahoma National Stockyards, and it is the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market. (You can see it in action on Mondays and Tuesdays starting at 8 a.m.)

The original business district is still intact, housing stores that can meet all your western wear and gear needs. Once you work up an appetite, a trip to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is in order. This OKC staple has been feeding hungry cowboys and ranchers since 1910 and has welcomed John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Charles Barkley, to name a few.

Oklahoma City history, restaurants, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Red Earth Festival

Red Earth dancing competition

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

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

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

arts and culture, festivals, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring break adventure awaits

Riversport Ropes Course

If you are looking for an action-packed way to spend your spring break, we’ve got you covered. From the thrilling adventures in the Boathouse District to the electrifying experiments at Science Museum Oklahoma, there’s no better place to beat the spring break boredom blues than OKC.

Students in grades 2-9 can have a blast during the Spring Break Ultimate Adventure Camps at OKC’s Boathouse District. They will have an opportunity to navigate roaring rapids at RIVERSPORT Rapids (opening March 11), conquer their fear of heights on the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world, speed down a 72-foot Sky Slide, free fall 80-feet on the Rumble Drop and zip line across the Oklahoma River. Sounds like a thrill-seeker’s paradise to us.

Other family-friendly ways to spend your spring break include exploring the Oklahoma City Zoo, discovering the Jurassic world that existed right here in Oklahoma at Science Museum Oklahoma or getting hands-on history during the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s drop-in activities. OKC MOA’s spring break camps include a variety of activities from sculpture to drawings and paintings. Myriad Botanical Gardens offers a different themed adventure each day during spring break.

Adventure District, arts and culture, Boathouse District, camps, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, spring break, western heritage, zoo
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.

Adventure District, concerts, family-friendly, kids, museums, nightlife, racetrack, western heritage, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Stockyards City

Stockyards City entrance

If you’ve read the blog before you know we are guilty of bragging about the momentum and future of Oklahoma City from time to time. That might be true, but it doesn’t mean we don’t also like to embrace our past and heritage. Stockyards City is a place where that heritage comes alive.

The district was home to one of Oklahoma City’s first major industry, with a rush of meat processors and packing plants, and was known affectionately here as Packingtown. When the original plant closed in 1961, a cattle auction was added to secure the district’s future. The Oklahoma National Stockyards, the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market, is open to visitors so you can experience the action firsthand every Monday and Tuesday.

If you have cowboy needs (even of the urban cowboy variety), Stockyards City is the place to be as some of the businesses date back to the early 1900s. Boot and hat repair, western wear and even the Rodeo Opry make up the district.

Of course, talking about the district wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the world-famous Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. The steakhouse opened in 1910 and has been serving hungry ranchers and cattlemen ever since. Heck, if it is good enough for John Wayne and a sitting president, you might want to give it a try.

restaurants, retail, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Heritage

OKC Thunder Fans

You’ve heard us talk about the history and heritage of OKC. Why not explore some of our rich heritage and maybe start a new tradition with your own family this holiday season? There’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than in OKC.

Explore Oklahoma’s Native American culture at the Red Earth Treefest. Your family is sure to be amazed at 18 Christmas trees adorned with handmade ornaments from Oklahoma tribes including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, Chickasaw, Citizen Potawatomi, Comanche and Osage nations each showcasing the distinctive and diverse cultures of the Native nations and tribes that call our great state home. Or celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas tradition in style with a visit to Fort Reno’s Christmas Guns event. Traced back to German immigrants, legend has it that the loud noise produced by the firearms will dispel evil spirits before the upcoming holiday.

If you’re having a hard time finding your Christmas cheer, kick your inner elf into overdrive with festive lights around Oklahoma City and sounds of the season at the Lyric Theater and Civic Center Music Hall. For sports enthusiasts, Oklahoma City has plenty to offer this holiday season. The Oklahoma City Thunder plays at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve. The OKC Blue also takes the court tonight as well as twice next week at the Cox Convention Center.

arts and culture, holiday, Oklahoma City history, theater, Thunder, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Greetings from Stockyards City

Stockyards City

Cowboy culture is alive and well in Oklahoma City, and you can experience it for yourself at Stockyards City, just a few miles southeast of downtown OKC. Stockyards City is home to the Oklahoma National Stockyards – the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market. Originally called “Packingtown,” the area was developed as a meat processing and packing plant in 1910, and by 1915 the area was home to cowboys and cattle drives.

The meat packing plant closed in 1961 and was replaced by a cattle auction, which has seen more than 102 million head of livestock pass through its iron gates since opening. Today, you can experience a live action on Mondays and Tuesdays of each week starting at 8 a.m.

The original business district of the area is still intact, making it the perfect place to buy gear for your homestead (or just a pair of boots for two-stepping). Several businesses date back to the early 1900s and still provide authentic Western wear and gear to the cattle buyers and ranch hands that come to Stockyards City each week.

retail, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A tribute to the Old West

Chuck Wagon Festival

Oklahoma City’s storied past – from its shotgun-start beginning to its important role in the cattle industry – is an important part of our community’s identity. If you want to get a better historical understanding of the cowboy culture that helped drive the development of this area, visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

With multiple exhibits, art and sculpture galleries, the 17-foot-tall “End of the Trail” sculpture by James Earle Fraser and a replica of a Western town called Prosperity Junction, you’ll learn about cowboy culture and gear, Native American history, Western performers, settling the frontier and more.

The museum also organizes an annual chuck wagon gathering and children’s cowboy festival and the invitational Prix de West exhibit each year, an event that highlights the world’s best contemporary Western paintings and sculptures. While the next Prix de West is not scheduled until 2017, you can always see the past winners on display at the museum.

museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Hit the trail

equestrian park ground breaking

Itching to saddle up and experience our Western heritage for yourself? Civic leaders and community officials recently announced plans for an equestrian park on the Oklahoma River that will give you the opportunity to do just that. The park, on the Oklahoma River’s south bank, is just east of Exchange Ave. adjacent to Stockyards City. When it is complete, it will include a visitor center, a corral, an exercise area, open and covered outdoor arenas, and a riding stable that will be open to the public.

But you don’t have to wait to enjoy it (as long as you own a horse, that is)! The first phase of the development is open for visitors, with 20 acres and a 0.6 mile looped trail. Go ahead and hit the trail, pardner!

equine, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What to OKC

The view from Vast

The holiday season is in full swing and whether you are a long-time OKCer who is looking to entertain guests or a visitor checking out the city for the first time, OKC has plenty of shopping, holiday lights, museums, events and activities to keep everyone bustling.

There’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than Oklahoma City. Here are a few of our favorite ways to introduce OKC.

  • Take a Water Taxi Along the Bricktown Canal: Enjoy the lights, sights, and sounds and get a quick introduction to Bricktown during a water taxi ride this holiday season.  Free rides are offered on designated days in November and December. Nearby in Deep Deuce, Legends Night will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. on Dec. 17 and will bring some of the best jazz musicians in OKC back to Downtown in December.
  • Gaze at 55 Feet of Beauty: 2,400 individually hand-blown glass pieces make up the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s 55-foot Chihuly Tower, making it one of the tallest Chihuly structures in the world. In fact, Oklahoma City Museum of Art is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Dale Chihuly glass sculptures in the world.  Art lovers will also enjoy the eclectic exhibits at 21c Hotel and Museum in OKC’s Film Row district.
  • Take a stroll through the gardens: During the holidays, the Myriad Botanical Gardens is a favorite destination among locals and visitors as they enjoy the Devon Ice Rink, Winter Shoppes and the holiday carousel. The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory offers a beautiful balmy oasis featuring more than 750 varieties of plant life in two distinct climates: a tropical wet zone at the south end and a tropical dry zone at the north end.
  • Explore our history. Step back in time at the National Cowboys and Western Heritage Museum and discover the American West through one-of-a-kind exhibits, artwork and artifacts or check out the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum to learn about the day that changed our city forever.

Of course, this is just a small sampling of the fun going on here in OKC. There are so many festivals, games and activities happening in various districts, you’re sure to find an activity to appease any guest. Our friends at Visit OKC offer a plethora of ideas on how to get out and experience OKC. Learn more at visitokc.com.

arts and culture, Bricktown, Deep Deuce, downtown, holiday, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, retail, shopping, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

We (he)art OKC

Red Earth Museum

Oklahoma City’s art scene is not limited to downtown, as galleries showcasing diverse works of art are spread throughout the different districts our great city. No matter what media and style you fancy, there’s sure to be something that piques your interest.

Check out the exhibit “Summer Wheat: Pry the Lid Off” for an interesting exploration of Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. David Steele Overholt’s audio-visual exhibit “In One Ear…” evokes nostalgia by combining overlapping video clips and a radio soundtrack broadcast of images and sounds from the 80s and 90s.  

Exhibit C, one of OKC’s newest galleries, offers an intriguing look at the talents of Chickasaws in Oklahoma.  Jewelry, pottery, paintings and clothing from Chickasaw artisans are just a small sampling of what you can expect to find here. And don’t forget to visit Red Earth Museum’s Art Center for more celebrations and explorations of Native American art and culture.

Get out and see OKC. There are plenty of cultural offerings to keep you busy and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

arts and culture, museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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.

Thunder, Adventure District, western heritage, arts and culture, zoo, basketball, Boathouse District, camps, downtown, kids, museums, spring break, theater
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.

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

If you’ve read the blog before you know we are guilty of bragging about the momentum and future of Oklahoma City from time to time. That might be true, but it doesn’t mean we don’t also like to embrace our past and heritage. Stockyards City is a place where that heritage comes alive.

The district was home to one of Oklahoma City’s first major industry, with a rush of meat processors and packing plants, and was known affectionately here as Packingtown. When the original plant closed in 1961, a cattle auction was added to secure the district’s future. The Oklahoma National Stockyards, the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market, is open to visitors so you can experience the action firsthand every Monday and Tuesday.

If you have Cowboy needs (even of the urban cowboy variety) Stockyards City is the place to be as some of the businesses date back to the early 1900s. Boot and hat repair, western wear and even the Rodeo Opry make up the district.

Of course, talking about the district wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the world-famous Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. The steakhouse opened in 1910 and has been serving hungry ranchers and cattlemen ever since. Heck if it is good enough for John Wayne and a sitting president you might want to give it a try.

restaurants, retail, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Find your own adventure in Oklahoma City

Stingray Bay at the Zoo - Adventure District

This week on The Better Life Blog we’re going to go exploring in some of Oklahoma City’s districts that offer local flair to appeal to various interests, whether those interests tend towards artsy, uptown and up-and-coming, historical, family-friendly and outdoorsy. While multiple unique districts that reflect the city’s culture have been redeveloped and polished in recent years, this week we’ll focus on three of them – the Adventure District, the Plaza District and Uptown 23.

If you’re coming to Oklahoma City for a visit or are just moving here, chances are the Adventure District is one of the first places you’ll visit. Start with some of our more visible attractions, even if you don’t yet call the collection of attractions in that area by that name.

Located at the crossroads of Interstates 35 and 44, the Adventure District offers outdoor and indoor attractions for all ages. Here are a few things you can do there:

And here’s an old-but-new attraction that you might not know about – The American Pigeon Museum and Library, 2300 NE 63. It initially formed in 1973 as the American Homing Pigeon Institute and purchased the land where it is now. But its new facility opened in 2014 and has since welcomed visitors from around the world with its collections of art, history, memorabilia and more celebrating the American homing pigeon.

While you’re there, visit some of the Adventure District’s partners nearby, including the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, and the historic Harn Homestead Museum, 1721 N Lincoln Blvd., both places where you can learn more about Oklahoma heritage, territorial life and its people’s pioneering spirit; and Lincoln Park Golf Course, 4001 NE Grand Blvd., for tournament-level golf at one of two 18-hole championship courses.

zoo, Adventure District, family-friendly, golf, museums, Plaza District, Uptown 23, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Museum Madness

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Whether you’ve recently developed a large hole in your pocket, learned the hard way the downside to a “put it all in lottery scratch-offs” investment strategy, or you just plain lost your ATM card, sometimes you wanna have loads of fun without spending commensurate loads of cash. It’s cool – being thrifty is nifty, arewerite? This week, we’re all about free fun in OKC.

Let’s get started with a bang and “just a glass of water, thank you.” Did you know that you can visit some of our area museums for the price of air?

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art – located on the OU campus in Norman, “The Fred” is known for its collection of French Impressionism, featuring works by Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Pissaro, Vuillard and others, in addition to fantastic collections of 20th-century American (O’Keeffe, Hopper, Davis), Native American and Southwestern art. And the best part? Admission is now free for all, thanks to an annual $60,000 gift from the OU Athletics Department.

Hours & Admission Info: www.ou.edu/fjjma/visit.html

National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum – Located in OKC’s Adventure District, the Softball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates the greatest players in the sport’s history and their accomplishments, and history of the game. Located on the grounds of ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, the museum is a must-visit for softball players, aficionados or even casual fans.

Hours & Admission Info: www.teamusa.org/usa-softball/about/national-softball-hall-of-fame

45th Infantry Division Museum - Another Adventure District favorite, the 45th Infantry Museum features one of the country’s largest collections of military firearms in addition to plenty of WWII and Korean War artifacts, in addition to info and artifacts from other major conflicts. The museum commemorates the 45th Infantry Division and 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (aka “Thunderbirds”), an Oklahoma Army National Guard major formation from 1920 to 1968 and modular infantry brigade team since, respectively. Another cool part of the 45th Museum is the large military vehicle/equipment displays outside, with ‘copters, planes, tanks, transports and more available to check out!

Hours & Admission Info: 45thdivisionmuseum.com/

Red Earth Museum– Located downtown, the Red Earth Museum features more than you might think (especially if you’re thinking it’s just a museum full of various red clay soils—that would be madness). No, this museum is chock-full of fantastic Native American art items of all types, from pottery, beadwork and basketry to fine arts and textiles. Its “mission is to promote the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum and fine art markets,” and is definitely worth checking out the next time you’re downtown.

Hours & Admission Info: www.redearth.org/red-earth-museum/visiting-information

Adventure District, arts and culture, free, museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Saddle up for Stockyards City

OKC Stockyards

Cowboy culture is alive and well in Oklahoma City, and you can experience it for yourself at Stockyards City, just a few miles southeast of downtown OKC. Stockyards City is home to the Oklahoma National Stockyards – the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market. Originally called “Packingtown,” the area was developed as a meat processing and packing plant in 1910, and by 1915 the area was home to cowboys and cattle drives.

The meat packing plant closed in 1961 and was replaced by a cattle auction, which has seen more than 102 million head of livestock pass through its iron gates since opening. Today, you can experience a live action on Mondays and Tuesdays of each week starting at 8 a.m.

The original business district of the area is still intact, making it the perfect place to buy gear for your homestead (or just a pair of boots for two-stepping). Several businesses date back to the early 1900s and still provide authentic Western wear and gear to the cattle buyers and ranch hands that come to Stockyards City each week.

Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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In OKC, our Western roots run deep

Children learing at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Oklahoma City’s storied past – from its shotgun-start beginning to its important role in the cattle industry – is an important part of our community’s identity. If you want to get a better historical understanding of the cowboy culture that helped drive the development of this area, visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

The museum is considered “America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture.” You’ll realize the description is an accurate one as you wander through its multiple art and sculpture galleries, stand in front of the poignant 17-foot-tall “End of the Trail” sculpture by James Earle Fraser (which is 100 years old this month) or explore a replica of a Western town for children, called Prosperity Junction, and the Children’s Cowboy Corral. You’ll learn about cowboy culture and gear, Native American history, Western performers, settling the frontier and more.

The museum also organizes an annual chuck wagon gathering and children’s cowboy festival (the next one is scheduled for May 2016). The museum hosts the invitational Prix de West exhibit each year, an event that highlights the world’s best contemporary Western paintings and sculptures. While the next Prix de West is not scheduled until 2016, you can always see the past winners on display at the museum.

museums, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Grub that a cowboy would love

Historical Cattlemen\\\\\\\'s Cafe

While you are exploring Oklahoma City’s rough-and-tumble past, you are likely to rustle up an appetite. Lucky for you, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in the heart of Stockyards City is home to some of the world’s best cowboy grub around.

Cattlemen’s is an Oklahoma City staple with a history as rich as its decadent homemade desserts. It opened its doors in 1910 and served the cowpokes who came through during cattle drives. Cattlemen’s was notorious as one of the few places that stayed open after sundown, and during Prohibition it was very popular for its less-than-legal liquid libations.

The restaurant is still very popular today, albeit for different reasons. Cattlemen’s is the perfect place to go for a USDA prime grade of steak, aged by a closely-guarded secret recipe. And when you eat at Cattlemen’s, you will be in good company. The restaurant has been graced by sitting presidents (former Pres. George H.W. Bush), movie legends (John Wayne) and sports commentators (Charles Barkley).

restaurants, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Have a galloping good time

OKC Horse Show

Oklahoma City has earned its title of “Horse Show Capital of the World” by hosting more national and international equine championship events than any other city in the world. And fall is the perfect time to watch these riders and their horses giddy-up, all while celebrating Oklahoma City’s Western heritage. Some of the equine industry’s biggest shows will be in Oklahoma City in the next few months, so head out to the Oklahoma State Fair Park so you won’t miss out on any of the excitement.

Grand National Morgan Horse Show 
Oct. 10-17
www.morgangrandnational.com

Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping 
Oct. 24 – Nov. 1
www.ustrc.com

2015 American Quarter Horse World Championship Show 
Nov. 6-21
www.aqha.com

National Reining Horse Association Reining Futurity 
Nov. 27 – Dec. 5 
www.nrha.com

horse show, State Fair Park, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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