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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

If You Build it They Will Come

From raucous Thunder crowds to the biggest names in music, Chesapeake Energy Arena has been the epicenter for big league entertainment since its opening more than a decade ago. While the arena opened in 2002, its story traces back even further to 1993 with the passage of MAPS.

If you haven’t learned what MAPS is yet, here is a brief overview: in the early 90s OKC was looking to turn things and rebuild its economy after a bust cycle in the energy industry and a banking crisis. The citizens voted to tax themselves to build nine projects that would help raise the quality of life in the metro area. In the two decades since, MAPS has spurred billions in private investment and kicked off a modern day renaissance in OKC.

No project has exemplified Oklahoma City’s can-do attitude like the arena. The Ford Center (as it was called when it opened – today you know it as the Chesapeake Energy Arena) seated more than 19,000 and was designed to NHL or NBA specifications. Some mocked the idea and said OKC was wasting time and money to build an NBA-quality arena. At the time the thought of NBA basketball in OKC was a pie-in-the-sky dream to even the most dedicated sports fans. Still, the citizens knew that if the opportunity arose, OKC would be ready to capitalize.

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) needed a home while their arena was repaired. Oklahoma City was one of the few cities that had an NBA arena ready to go, so the Hornets temporarily moved to OKC for two seasons and the rest was history. OKC’s support of the team blew away even the most optimistic supporters and proved Oklahoma City was a big league city.  The Thunder relocated and just four years later the arena that some thought shouldn’t even get built was hosting an NBA finals. 

Thunder, basketball, MAPS, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thunderstruck

It’s hard to believe but the Thunder will be kicking off their sixth season in OKC when they face the Jazz this week to start the 2013-14 season. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. The squad will be looking to win their fourth division title in a row, a feat the franchise has never accomplished, going back to its founding in Seattle.

The Thunder will have a slightly different look (at least in the beginning) as Russell Westbrook is expected to miss the first month of the season with an injury. While the team will be without Westbrook for a while, the good news is Kevin Durant is good at basketball. KD will be gunning for his fourth-straight All-NBA honor and fourth scoring title in five years.

With a great mix of returning players and athletic newcomers, this season is shaping up to be another great one for the good guys. Hopefully it ends with confetti dropping and a championship parade through the streets of downtown.

Whether you are in Chesapeake Energy Arena, watching with friends or enjoying the game by yourself, wear your blue, be loud and Thunder Up! You can view a 2013-14 Thunder schedule here.

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Catch (Thunder) Up

If you are new to the blog and couldn’t tell, we take our Thunder basketball pretty seriously around here. Truth be told, we like to talk about the Thunder and we do it a lot. Click here to catch up and read all our past musings on the Big Blue. It's everything from who to follow on Twitter to where you can buy the best Thunderwear to where to watch the game (if you can’t snag a seat in the ‘Peake).

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Home Sweet Historic Home

In 1902, Henry Overholser built the first home in what would later become Heritage Hills. Many of Oklahoma City’s founding fathers would join Overholser in his new neighborhood, building some of the nicest homes in the Great Plains. Nestled just north of Downtown OKC, Heritage Hills is an iconic neighborhood full of historic homes of diverse styles.

Each year select residences open their doors for the annual Heritage Hills Home Tour providing a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy the craftsmanship and history of these turn-of-the-century homes. In addition to the tour, an exhibit of 1920’s fashion will be open at the Overholser mansion.

The 47th-annual Heritage Hills Home Tour will take place November 2-3.

housing, arts and culture, community, history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 29 - November 3, 2013

Tuesday, Oct. 29
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
SchmoozaPalooza Trade Show; 4 - 7 p.m.; State Fair Park, Travel & Transportation Building, 3200 Stagecoach; 297-8900; Admission is $10 per person
Yoga in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the Pavilion or in the Terrace Room (weather depending), 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $7 per child (at the gate), accompanying adults are free

Wednesday, Oct. 30
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Lunchtime Pilates; 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Spooky Stories; 5 - 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Recommended for ages 13+
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $7 per child (at the gate), accompanying adults are free

Thursday, Oct. 31
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Mistletoe Market; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 843-5668; General admission tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 65+ and children 3-12, children under 3 are free
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $7 per child (at the gate), accompanying adults are free

Friday, Nov. 1
Get Your Business Online program with Google; 9 a.m. - noon; or 1 - 4 p.m.; National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd, Norman
Fall Foliage Walking Tour; 9 a.m.; Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36; 943-0827; Free
Mistletoe Market; 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 843-5668; General admission tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 65+ and children 3-12, children under 3 are free
planOKC symposium; 1 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2283; Free to attend; Advance registration requested
Dia De Los Muertos; 4 - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free; $5 per craft
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Chicago Wolves; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Nov. 2
Mistletoe Market; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 843-5668; General admission tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 65+ and children 3-12, children under 3 are free
Heritage Hills Historic Home Tour; noon - 5 p.m.; Five homes in Heritage Hills; 627-9388; Tickets purchased before Nov. 1 are $12, after Nov. 1 tickets are $15; Tickets sold online and at various local locations
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Chicago Wolves; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Nov. 3
Heritage Hills Historic Home Tour; noon - 5 p.m.; Five homes in Heritage Hills; 627-9388; Tickets purchased before Nov. 1 are $12, after Nov. 1 tickets are $15; Tickets sold online and at various local locations
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Wicked Water Ride

As regular TBL readers know, the Oklahoma River was once a weird, wild world, especially before MAPS. Thankfully, those days are long gone and now you can experience the river’s vibrancy year-round. There are even opportunities to celebrate some of your favorite holidays in style – like Halloween. Why not take one of Oklahoma River Cruises’Haunt the River” trips? Departing from Exchange Landing at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October, cruisers can experience a decorated boat, scary music, appetizers and a cash bar. Looking for a cruise with less booze for the kiddos? Not to worry. Kids’ Haunt the River cruises depart every Saturday afternoon from two locations (Regatta Park: 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Exchange Landing: 2:40 p.m. and 4:10 p.m.) in October, complete with candy, activity books, spooky cartoons and costume contests! Just make sure they’re not dressed as a pirate or anyone from Gilligan’s Island. That could unnecessarily freak out the captain.

Also, don’t forget Riversport OKC’s Haunt the River event. This Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 26 and 27), enjoy Halloween-themed adventure activities like Punkin’ Chunkin from the Zombie Zip, the Ghost Bounce, and even something called the Candy Corn Climb (also known as “heaven”). Cap off your autumnal adventures by taking in the SandRidge Youth League Fall Championships under the lights on Saturday, Oct. 26. Now get out there and take advantage of all the ways you can haunt the river!

[Image courtesy of Oklahoma City RIVERSPORT.]

outdoor recreation, water sports, family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Don’t Be Scared, It’s Just SchmoozaPalooza

OKC’s favorite fall networking party arrives just in time for you to test out your costume. At SchmoozaPalooza, your standard Chamber event is turned up to 11, with live music from the Dante Schmitz Duo, fantastic food from a plethora of local restaurants and vendors, networking games, drinks, contests, prizes and more! If you’re coming incognito / in-costume (and even if you’re not), be sure not to forget those business cards so everybody knows who ya really are! A whopping $10 gets you admission and a drink ticket to OKC’s best networking event, and group discounts are available if you want to bring your ghoulish friends. See you at State Fair Park next Tuesday the 29th, from 4 to 7PM for SchmoozaPalooza!

food, music, networking
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Having a Costume Conundrum?

We figure our regular readers of The Better Life are bursting with civic pride and can’t wait to show it -- and the best way to do that come Halloween time is to dress up like something that just screams “OKC.” Here are a few ideas for you.

A Parking Meter – Perhaps you didn’t know that the biggest reason behind all those unpaid parking tickets you’ve got was first installed right here in Oklahoma City! Have stationary fun at the party while sporting a convenient excuse to keep boring folks from standing in front of you for too long.

Malee, the Zoo’s Baby Elephant – What a great opportunity for an OKC-centric variant on the classic four-legged animal costume. This takes two people to pull off, and one of you is not going to have nearly as good of a view as the other!

Captain W.L. Couch, OKC’s First Provisional Mayor – Though murdered in a dispute over his land near the present-day OU Health Sciences Center campus shortly after leaving office in 1890, W.L. Couch nevertheless sported a killer moustache and beard and therefore makes for a fantastic costume idea, hipster or not. Get that “grass grin” growing and maybe throw a six-shooter (fake, of course) on your hip and guard that claim!

 WLCouch1888

Wayne Coyne – So perhaps you have an affinity for glitter and grey suits, or you just like walking around in a homemade hamster ball whilst surrounded by confetti and weirdness. Either way, this is the costume for you. And you never know – if you’re at the right party, you might actually run into Wayne while you’re dressed like him! We’re not sure what would happen that that point, but one thing’s for sure – somebody’s mind is gonna be blown.

OKC Mascots  - Are you shy, but still like getting hugs from strangers? You don’t have to say anything to anyone in a big giant animal head. Rumble, Derrick, Cooper and Ruby are ready to be had for your pro-OKC sports team Halloweening pleasure. These costumes might be a little difficult to recreate, but we have faith in you. You can do it!

Devon Tower – Get a big cardboard cylinder, a three-cornered hat, some Christmas lights and BANG! You’re a walking version of OKC’s tallest landmark. For added effect, papier-mâché your shoes into something resembling the building’s rotunda and podium. Now that would be impressive.

Kevin Durant – This works best if you’re already tall (like 6’9” tall) and slender – also probably best if you’re a man – and even better if you can sink a silky-smooth jumper. But we know that not everyone is so vertically or athletically inclined. We think you could make it work anyway. Perhaps try some stilts, a #35 jersey, a pleasant demeanor, and plenty of alcohol for your friends to help mask the fact that you actually look nothing like Kevin Durant, and you never know. Don’t forget to instagram videos of yourself frequently.

Thunder Storm Chaser – Run around like a maniac waving a giant flag, jump on mini-trampolines, get the crowd pumped up and throw out some free t-shirts! The only con is that this could get expensive if you don’t own your own t-shirt factory.

What other OKC-centric costume ideas are we missing? Let us know in the comments!

Thunder, zoo, community, family-friendly, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: October 22 - October 28, 2013

[Photo credit: Carl Shortt]

Tuesday, Oct. 22
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Yoga in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the Pavilion or in the Terrace Room (weather depending), 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Colorful Plants for Exciting Landscapes; 7 p.m.; OSU-OKC, Agriculture Resource Center, 400 N. Portland; Admission is free

Wednesday, Oct. 23
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Lunchtime Pilates; 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Spooky Stories; 5 - 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Recommended for ages 13+

Thursday, Oct. 24
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 

Friday, Oct. 25
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 

Saturday, Oct. 26
Free Day at the Crystal Bridge; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservancy, 301 West Reno; 445-7080
RIVERSPORT Adventures Haunt the River; 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Oklahoma River, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd;
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $7 per child (at the gate), accompanying adults are free

Sunday, Oct. 27
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Fall Farmers Market presented by Tony’s Tree Plantation; noon - 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the pavilion; 115 South Hudson; 445-7080; Free and open to the public
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $7 per child (at the gate), accompanying adults are free

Monday, Oct. 28
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each. 
Haunt the Zoo; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission is $7 per child (at the gate), accompanying adults are free

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



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Fantasticness

Fall is synonymous with fun-filled festivities and lucky for all of us, TravelOK.com has outlined some of the best activities around the state so you can fill your days to the brim with all things autumn.

Looking for a good scare? Check out their list of top haunted houses in Oklahoma.
In the mood for a fall foliage drive? There’s a map for that.
Ready to do some pumpkin picking? Don’t miss this list of pumpkin patches
Not sure the best ways to celebrate fall? Travel OK has 50 ways for you.
Want some farm fun? See what fall activities are available at farms around the state.

family-friendly, Oklahoma, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Free for All

We are pretty much experts when it comes to all things Greater OKC. But since our work is all in the name of helping you live the better life here, we’re happy to share good info from another source. And we’ve got some of that for you today! Just last week (Oct. 10, 2013) The Washington Post published a great article in their travel section on some (five to exact) free things to do OKC. We love OKC and we love free things so we were sold! Click here to check out “5 free things in Oklahoma City: From a Native American museum to a national memorial.” 

family-friendly, free, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Ice, Ice Baby

It may still be pretty warm outside, but things are cooling down inside the Cox Convention Center Arena with the start of another Oklahoma City Barons hockey season. The Barons are OKC’s one and only professional hockey team and serve as the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. And when they take to the ice, it’s a puck-flying, speed-skating good time. The Barons have even skated their way to the Calder Cup Playoffs the past three years, with the team coming in 2nd place in 2012 and 2013.

If you’re not a hockey buff, we won’t judge you, and neither will the Barons. In fact, they want to help. They have made some handy-dandy Hockey 101 videos to get you up to the speed on the sport.

Single game tickets are available for as low as $16 so head over to their website to check out the schedule and get yours today!

family-friendly, hockey, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Brewing Up Some Scientific Fun

Oklahoma City is known for its booming biotech industry and the region’s craft beer prowess is growing. So why not combine the two for a day at the 2nd annual OKBio BrewFest? Since there’s quite a bit of science going into that pint of beer, we think it’s a perfect pairing.  Head over to the Harn Homestead and learn the bioscience of beer from the experts while sampling handcrafted brews and enjoying great music, food and networking. This year’s event will feature 11 local breweries, a local wine shop and a Guthrie distillery. Click here to see a list. The cost to attend is $25. All proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Bioscience Institute.

beer, festivals, networking
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 15 - October 21, 2013

[Photo credit: Carl Shortt]

Tuesday, Oct. 15
Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show; 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
Yoga in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the Pavilion or in the Terrace Room (weather depending), 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
OKC Barons vs. Texas Stars; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Wednesday Oct. 16
Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show; 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
Lunchtime Pilates; 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Spooky Stories; 5 - 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 - 8 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Movies are rated PG-13

Thursday, Oct. 17
Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show; 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704
Lt. Governor’s Young Professionals Conference; 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Pre-registration is $75, On-site registration is $95
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  

Friday, Oct. 18
Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show; 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
Whimsical Creatures; 10 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $20 for members, $25 for non-members
Exploring Home Brewing; 5 - 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $25 for members, $30 for non-members
OKC Barons vs. Abbotsford Heat; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary
Full Moon Bike Ride; 8 - 10 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, meet at the Band Shell, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Suggested donation of $5 per rider; Helmets and lights required

Saturday, Oct. 19
Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show; 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
Self-Sustainable Living: A Lecture Series with Tim Tillman; 11 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free
OKC Barons vs. Abbotsford Heat; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Oct. 20
Race for the Cure; 8:45 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Lawn, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Race starts at 8:45 a.m.
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
Fall Farmers Market presented by Tony’s Tree Plantation; noon - 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the pavilion; 115 South Hudson; 445-7080; Free and open to the public

Monday, Oct. 21
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
Barre3 in the Myriad Gardens; 7 - 8 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens Pavilion, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A watery adventure

A long time ago in a land far far away . . . wait, no. Let’s start again. A little ways back (in the late 1980s and early 1990s to be more exact), things weren’t looking so bright in OKC. The exuberance and awesomeness that exudes from this great city today were just wishes in a well. The region had lost a large number of jobs with the oil bust of the 80s and not being chosen for the United Airlines maintenance facility in 1991 had folks feeling blue.

Thankfully, a group of visionaries put their heads together and came up with a plan called the Metropolitan Area Projects (or MAPS). While we’ve written about it in detail before, this time we’re going to focus on just one project – the Bricktown Canal, you know, the waterway that lines restaurants and shops in OKC’s hoppin’ entertainment district. It’s probably just as hard for us to imagine it not existing as it was for people to ever imagine its existence before MAPS. Back then (before 1999), the area where the canal flows was California Street running through a mostly abandoned warehouse district.

Lucky for us, Oklahoma City has a history of visionary leaders and they saw the potential. They transformed what was bordering on nothing to a really special something. Very few visitors make it to our city without taking a stroll down the canal (or hopping a ride on a Bricktown Water Taxi. And residents experience it year-round, perhaps on their way to a ball game at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, maybe before popping the big question or during a night on the town. Any way you look at it, the canal played a major role in cementing Bricktown as OKC’s entertainment district which had a major hand in our modern-day renaissance.

MAPS, restaurants, Bricktown, live sporting events
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Stroll along, stroll along like we know you do

Last week we told you about some great ways to get in some two-wheeled action around town, but maybe you prefer to stay grounded on your own two feet. Not to worry. We’ve got some great ideas for a leisurely urban stroll.

Myriad Gardens
If you’ve been checking out “The Better Life” for long, you know we are huge fans of the Myriad Gardens located in the heart of downtown. And when it comes to hoofing it, it’s one of our favorite places to explore and a great place to get a little exercise in. Take three laps around the outside and you’ll have gone a mile. 

Bricktown
OKC’s entertainment district is a great place to get in a walk combined with some splendid people watching. Located just east of downtown, you can walk along the Bricktown Canal down into Lower Bricktown or stay up on the streets and peruse past some of OKC’s most hopping restaurants and bars.

Automobile Alley
Great shops. Delicious restaurants. Historic buildings out the wazoo. Take a walk down North Broadway Avenue between Northwest 6th and Northwest 10th Streets to experience all Automobile Alley has to offer. We also suggest you head east off of Broadway down Northwest 9th so you can check out the super cool 9th Street District.

Martin Park Nature Center
Take a walk on the wild side through. Tucked away off of Memorial Road in north OKC, Martin Park Nature Center is 144 acres of wild-feeling, urban awesomeness, and with 2.5 miles of gentle hiking trails, you can get in a serene stroll without having to venture outside the city.

Oklahoma River
The Oklahoma River has transformed from a drainage ditch into one of OKC’s most glistening sites, and it makes the perfect path for walking. There are 13 miles of trails along the River (both on the north and south sides) so you’ll have plenty of space to stretch those legs.

downtown, free, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks, restaurants, Automobile Alley, Bricktown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Downtown’s pumpkin patch

[Photo credit: Carl Shortt]

Join a gaggle of scarecrows, straw creatures and gorgeous mums at the second annual Pumpkinville. This year’s fantastic festival kicks off this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, and it open daily through Oct. 31, so you can enjoy all of the fall festivities. The Children’s Garden will be transformed into a fun, wonderland, complete with a hay bale maze, arts and crafts activities, games, storytelling and more – perfect not-too-spooky fun for kids and kids at heart.

But wait, it gets better. Opening day (Oct. 12) will be filled to the brim with great activities like a corn toss game (bring it on), bobbing for apples (who doesn’t love that?), pumpkin decorating (yes, please), cider pressing (mmm), story times (you’ve got our attention), corn husk doll making (you can’t do that every day), tasty treats (more yum!), evening ghost stories (spooky, scary!) and more!

There’s more, and we’re sure that when you see this sight, you’ll say “WOW” twice (front and backwards, of course). Artist Hugh Meade of Oddfab Design Lab has created a centerpiece for this year’s Pumpkinville – a 9-foot-tall owl constructed of straw and other natural materials.

And one last thing we want to make sure you mark down on your calendar – the Pumpkinville Halloween Party. On Saturday, Oct. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m., gather at the Gardens for “A Woodland Adventure” where you can sample spooky witches' brew and other haunted treats and take part in a variety of fun games and activities while jamming out to seasonal favorites like “Monster Mash.” Children and adults are encouraged to come dressed in costumes to really make the party spooktacular! The party is free for members, and is $10 per child and $8 per adult for non-members.

Drilling down the details:
Dates: Oct. 12-31, 2013
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sun.-Thur.); 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.)
Cost: Free for members of the Myriad Gardens; $5 per child; $3 per adult
www.myriadgardens.org
445-7080

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 8 - October 14, 2013

[Photo credit: Carl Shortt]

Tuesday, Oct. 8
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
The Zoo’s Annual Pumpkin Drive; All Day; Oklahoma City Zoo; bring a pumpkin bigger than your head to the zoo and receive free same-day admission to the zoo. Admission is free with pumpkin; One pumpkin per person, please.
Let’s Talk About It Book Discussion; 7 p.m.; Oklahoma City University; 2501 N Blackwelder; (405) 208-5000; Free and open to the Public
Yoga in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the Pavilion or in the Terrace Room (weather depending), 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members

Wednesday, Oct. 9
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
Spooky Stories; 5 - 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free
History of Significance of Oklahoma Writers Exhibit; All Day; Oklahoma History Center; 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive; 522-6676
Reading Rainforest; 10 - 11 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free; Best for ages 2-5

Thursday, Oct. 10
Dogtober Adoption Specials; All Day; Oklahoma City Animal Shelter; 2811 SE 29; (405) 297-3100; through the month of October, dogs and puppies will be $30 and cats and kittens will be $60 to adopt. All pets are sterilized, vaccinated, de-wormed, and adult dogs are heartworm tested.
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
Art Moves presented by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City; noon - 1 p.m.; Venues vary throughout Downtown Oklahoma City; (405) 270-4848; Free and open to the Public

Friday, Oct. 11           
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
Chomp and Stomp; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo; 2000 Remington Place; (405) 424-3344; Select Zoo residents will Chomp and Stomp on Halloween Treats. Zoo admission is required.
Live on the Plaza: Halloween Pre-Party; 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.; The Plaza District; NW 16th between Classen and Pennsylvania; (405) 308-5991; Free and open to the Public

Saturday, Oct. 12
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.  
“Mowgli, The Jungle Book Ballet” presented by Oklahoma City Ballet; 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 201 N. Walker; (405) 297-2264; Purchase tickets before performance at the Civic Center Box Office
Children’s Story Time; 10:15 a.m.; Full Circle Books; 1900 NW Expressway; (405) 842-2900; Free and open to the Public

Sunday, Oct. 13
Pumpkinville presented by OGE Energy Corp; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden in the Myriad Gardens; 301 West Reno & Harvey; General Pumpkinville admission is free for members, $5 per person nonmembers; Pumpkins for painting are $5 each.
Fall Farmers Market presented by Tony’s Tree Plantation; noon - 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the pavilion; 115 South Hudson; 445-7080; Free and open to the public
Children’s Literature Art Exhibit; 2 - 5 p.m.; Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery at Oklahoma City University; 2501 N. Blackwelder, 208-5226; Free and open to the Public

Monday, Oct. 14
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Explore the Great Outdoors

Nothing reinforces the feeling of fall better than a crackling campfire and the taste of roasted s’mores, and you won’t find a better time of year than early October for experiencing those things in a campground near you. Sure, we may live in the largest city in Oklahoma, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel far to make your outdoor dreams come true.

For the folks in north OKC, Arcadia Lake in nearby Edmond has four parks and more than 140 campsites, ranging from full hook-up campsites to primitive spots (a.k.a. no water or electric hook-ups). Each site has access to picnic areas and fire pits, as well as community water and restrooms.

Lake Stanley Draper, located in southeast Oklahoma City, is the City’s largest lake and outdoor recreation area. The Lake Draper Marina offers a range of primitive camping locations near the southwest corner of the lake and close to the trailhead of the CrossTimbers Riding Area. Camping permits are available for $8 a day for each site.

Lake Thunderbird State Park is 13 miles east of Norman and full of hiking, mountain biking and nature trails sprinkled amidst its 447 campsites and 86 miles of shoreline. The nearby Discovery Cove Nature Center offers programs throughout the year and displays snakes, animals, furs and artifacts native to the region.

If you are itching to visit someplace a little farther from home, check out the Oklahoma camping resources available from our friends at TravelOK.com.

family-friendly, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Be a Biker Babe (or Boy)

Looking to do a little two-wheeling in your spare time? Dust off your bicycle and grab your helmet because OKC is filled with great trails and treks for you to wheel yourself along. Here are just a few ways for you to peddle away some free time.

RIVERSPORT Ride
Every Wednesday, you can join riders of all ages and experience levels at the Chesapeake Boathouse for a 5- or 10-mile ride on the Oklahoma River Trails. Don’t worry if you’re not a super speedy pro. The group has a strict “no drop” policy to make sure no one gets left behind. And if you come 30 minutes early, you can get pre-ride bike fittings and mini-clinics from Schlegel Bicycles on topics including road safety, how to change a flat, proper gear shifting and more.

Bert Cooper Trail
Formerly known as the Lake Hefner Trails, this loop is filled with 9.1 miles of spiffy spinning and is great for bike enthusiasts who prefer a nice flat ride with a view.

Bluff Creek Trail
Looking for more of an off-road adventure? We’ve got just the trail for you. The Bluff Creek Trail is a single loop with tight turns and pulse pumping challenges. At 3.5 miles you’ll get in plenty of exhilaration without ending totally tuckered out.

Spokies
Are you more of an urban adventurer? Spokies are just what you need. If you don't have a bike, Spokies still lets you have fun on two wheels. You can check out a bike seven days a week between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (fees vary), and all you have to do is return your bike to one of six downtown kiosks. Easy as pie.

Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, cycling, family-friendly, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Hit the (Scenic) Trail

The autumn season is the perfect time to explore the road less traveled, especially if that road takes you through Oklahoma’s most beautiful fall foliage on our state’s best scenic byways. If this doesn’t make you break out the Thermos of hot apple cider and put on your coziest sweater, then we don’t know what will!

When you see the views from the Talimena National Scenic Byway, you will understand why this is the state’s most popular scenic drive. This 54-mile route in southeast Oklahoma is notorious for the views and hues of the Ouachita National Forest— found in the highest mountain range between the Appalachians and the Rockies.

While you’re in the area, check out Beavers Bend and Hochatown State Park, located directly south of the Talimena National Scenic Byway. Within the park, you will find hiking trails that offer you a secluded view of the area’s flora and fauna and stunning views of the Mountain Fork River.

If you are headed to points south, try Chickasaw National Recreation Area and the Lake of the Arbuckles for great views of towering pines and native hardwood trees. Be sure to catch a view of Turner Falls, a stunning 77-foot waterfall near Davis, Okla. 

For more scenic views all across the state of Oklahoma, check out TravelOK.com’s best bets for fall foliage drives.

family-friendly, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Extra, Extra! Read All About It! 

clientuploads/blog/Velocity.jpgIf you are looking for a place that tells the renaissance story of Oklahoma City (other than this blog, of course), then look no further than VeloCity, Oklahoma City’s digital magazine. The newest volume covers everything from Oklahoma City’s oldest arts district to the Cinderella story of the Oklahoma River.











free, publication, velocity
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 1 - October 7, 2013

Tuesday, Oct. 1
Yoga in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, under the Pavilion or in the Terrace Room (weather depending), 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Dog Obedience Course; 7 - 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Great Lawn, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $70 for members, $85 for non-members; first week of 5-week course

Wednesday, Oct. 2
2013 Canoe Marathon Invitational; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Limited free parking available
Reading Rainforest; 10 - 11 a.m.; Myriad Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free; Best for ages 2-5
Spooky Stories; 5 - 6 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 - 8 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Movies are rated PG-13

Thursday, Oct. 3
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
Oklahoma Regatta Festival: OGE NightSprints & Fireworks; 6 - 10 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Limited free parking available

Friday, Oct. 4
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
Fall Bulbs Workshop; 9:30 a.m. - noon; Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36; 943-0827; Free; Pre-registration required
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 - 10 p.m.; Paseo Arts District, Northwest 28 to Northwest 30 and Dewey; Free and open to the public
Oklahoma Regatta Festival: OGE NightSprints & Fireworks; 6 - 10 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Limited free parking available
OKC Barons vs. Charlotte Checkers; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Oct. 5
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358
City of Oklahoma City Recycling Event; 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 948-6704; Collection for unwanted computers, tires, ammunition and over-the-counter prescription drugs; Recyclers must bring their current Oklahoma City water bill stub to prove residency
Oklahoma Regatta Festival: OCU Head of the Oklahoma & US Rowing Masters Head National Race Championships; 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Limited free parking available
First Friday (Saturday) Gallery Walk; noon - 6 p.m.; Paseo Arts District, Northwest 28 to Northwest 30 and Dewey; Free and open to the public
Fall Into Art; 1 - 5 p.m.; Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W. Memorial Road; 755-0676; Free outdoor art and nature festival
Oklahoma Regatta Festival: OGE NightSprints & Fireworks; 6 - 10 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Limited free parking available
OKC Barons vs. Charlotte Checkers; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Oct. 6
Oklahoma Regatta Festival: OCU Head of the Oklahoma & US Rowing Masters Head National Race Championships; 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040; Limited free parking available
SchlegelFest; noon - 5 p.m.; Schlegel Bicycles, 900 N. Broadway; 232-4040; Admission is free

Monday, Oct. 7
OSU-OKC Fall Plant Sale; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; OSU-OKC Horticulture Center Greenhouse, 400 N. Portland; 945-3358

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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