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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let’s travel!

As a reader of The Better Life blog, you should be getting the most of Oklahoma City. But this week, we’re taking you on a tour of places and interesting things to see and do outside OKC.

There are short road trips and some that are a little farther away. These trips can match all kinds of hobbies – whether you’re into the outdoors, shopping, scenery or unique Oklahoma history.

Today, don’t miss some things to do around Edmond, so close to Oklahoma City to the north that when you reach one city limit, you’re already in the other one.

We’ll start in a community called Arcadia to the north and east of Edmond and work our way south. To use a popular cliché, you can truly get your kicks on Route 66 here, starting with POPS, 660 W Highway 66, a restaurant and gas station celebrating the original interstate highway – U.S. Route 66 – and all its history as the “Main Street of America” or the “Mother Road.” You can’t miss POPS because of the 66-foot-tall soda bottle and straw that at night lights up in a dazzling show of different colors. POPS is part future, with a bold architectural design, and part past.

Just down the road from POPS is another can’t-miss landmark, the Arcadia Round Barn, which is literally a round red barn that was built in 1898 and restored in 1992. It was used as a barn for livestock and hay storage and for dances around the turn-of-the-century, and today the 45-foot-tall barn again hosts community events.

Also in far north Edmond is another architectural marvel, the Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S Bryant Road, #B (285-1010).  It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season. The Armstrong International Cultural Foundation 2014-15 season begins on Sept. 15 with Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, an Oklahoma native, and Ted Sperling performing “Broadway’s Classic Hits.”

If you’re still in the mood for music, enjoy some soul music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Call  405.359.7989 to buy tickets. Each week, the Jazz Lab features live entertainment, and visitors can order food and drinks from Hideaway Pizza next door. During the week, across the street, you can learn about Edmond’s history at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum.

Want to spend time outdoors? Edmond offers ways to do that, too, especially with several parks.

You can go to Arcadia Lake, which offers trails for bicycling, motorcycles and hiking/running, boat rentals and horseback riding, among other things. Edmond has a range of other parks, as well, but two big ones with lots of trails are Mitch Park and Hafer Park.  Or you can check out two water parks: The Edmond Y Water Park and Pelican Bay Aquatic Center.

[Image courtesy of The Arcadia Round Barn]

parks, restaurants, water sports, Arcadia, arts and culture, Edmond, family-friendly, museums, music, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Fishing for your heart’s content

While we’re on the subject of outdoors, it’s a good time of year to grab your fishing pole and head to one of the area lakes and ponds.

The City of Oklahoma City requires a fishing permit if you’re 16 or older and younger than 61. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has a good roundup of locations where you can fish close to home.

In Oklahoma City, start with the city’s three urban reservoirs, Lake Hefner, Lake Draper and Lake Overholser. The City of OKC also has designated other ponds as “Close to Home” fishing waters: Dolese Youth Park Pond, NW 50 and Meridian; Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15;  Edwards Park Fishing Lake, 1515 N Bryant; Kids’ Lake, 3200 W Wilshire; Kitchen Lake, 5501 SE 119; Route 66 Park Bonds, 3350 W Overholser Drive; Southlakes Park Ponds, 4302 SW 119; waters within the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, NW 51 and Stinchcomb Road; Zook Lake, 2101 NE 50 and the Oklahoma River downstream from NW 10.

If you don’t know how, or if you want to branch out into fly fishing, stop by Oklahoma City’s Bass Pro Shop, 200 Bass Pro Drive, and ask about free fishing clinics the store offers at area lakes.

family-friendly, fishing, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Day tripping out of Oklahoma City

If you’d like to get out of the metro area for a quick day trip, here are some places that are worth a look.

Located 90 miles away just north of Lawton, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a 59,020-acre refuge of mixed-grass prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge. While not all the land is open to the public, there are plenty of wilderness areas that offer fishing, hiking, wildlife watching (buffalo, antelope and prairie dogs are among the animals), rock climbing and other recreation. If you’re not a hiker, you can even drive to the top of Mount Scott for some incredible views of the entire area. Be sure to grab a burger at Meers, a landmark restaurant nestled on the edge of the Wichita Mountains.

Other outdoor spots near Oklahoma City include: Roman Nose State Park in Watonga, Lake Thunderbird State Park near Norman, Red Rock Canyon State Park in Hinton, Great Plains State Park near the Wichita Mountains, and Great Salt Plains State Park in Jet.

If you’re into the lore and history of U.S. Route 66, there are all kinds of stops within an hour or two of Oklahoma City that you can get to by traveling along the highway that crisscrosses Oklahoma. We’ve already mentioned POPS. For museums, the most well-known one is the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, but Elk City has its own, too: the National Route 66 and Transportation Museum.

Speaking of museums, if you end up in western Oklahoma exploring Route 66, check out the Stafford Air and Space Museum off of Interstate 40 in Weatherford, named after Weatherford native and astronaut Gen. Tom Stafford. It hosts 40,000 square feet of exhibits.

Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city, offers well known museums like the Gilcrease Museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and the Tulsa Children’s Museum, as well as other attractions.

If you have kids to entertain, don’t miss going about an hour east of OKC to the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, where children of all ages can learn and explore.

[Image courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service]

family-friendly, museums, Oklahoma, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Unusual and interesting spots in Oklahoma

You’ve day-tripped to some of Oklahoma’s hot spots outside and inside the metro area. How about the unusual and weird attractions?

See as many as a million bats fly over your head at twilight during the open-to-the-public Selman Bat Watches, which begin May 27 and end Aug. 2, at the Alabaster Caverns State Park in Freedom in northwest Oklahoma. Print out a registration form online to enter a drawing for one of the coveted spots. Tickets are $12 per adult age 13 and older and $6 for children ages 8 to 12. While you’re in the area, tour the caverns, which include the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public.

If you’re into unusual roadside attractions, especially if you’re continuing your U.S. Route 66 exploring, you might want to travel to Catoosa for The Blue Whale. The icon was built in 1972 near what was then a swimming hole, and it has always been a popular novelty for travelers, even before it was restored around 1995.

Head northeast to Bartlesville for the Woolaroc Museum, which is located in the former home of Phillips Petroleum Co. founder Frank Phillips and then, as you explore the area, don’t miss the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Pawhuska.

Also note that Oklahoma is home to 38 federally recognized Native American tribes, and many of them showcase their own unique history with cultural centers. For a start, explore the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Capitol Museum in Durant, or the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee.

If you’re into archaeology and ancient history, the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center in Spiro is worth a trip. The mounds site, which was created between 850 and 1450 AD, is the only prehistoric Native American archaeological site open to the public.

[Image courtesy of The Blue Whale]

day-trip, museums, Oklahoma, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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‘Oklahoma’s Favorite Son’ – Will Rogers

Will Rogers once said he never met a man he didn’t like, but you’re sure to like the famed all-in-one humorist, roper, cowboy, columnist, actor and social commentator if you go to the Claremore and Oologah areas to learn more about him.

Born in Oologah in 1879, Rogers rose to become the top male motion picture box office star in the early 1930s as well as the most widely read syndicated newspaper columnist. Sadly, he died in a plane crash in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post at age 55.

Learn all about him at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore and his Birthplace Ranch in Oologah.

Quotes from the man once dubbed “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son” have staying power. Here are some good ones, according to the official website run by his estate.

  • "Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip."
  • "Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow is too lazy to form an opinion."
  • "Always drink upstream from the herd."
  • "Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."

[Image via the Estate of Will Rogers]

history, museums, Oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Things to Do & See: May 27 - June 2, 2014

Tuesday, May 27
Open Mic Comedy Night; 10 p.m; Othello’s; 434 Buchanan, Norman; 593-9060; no cover charge.
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:30 p.m.; Water Plaza Room at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave.; 445-7080; $5 for Myriad Gardens members, $10 for nonmembers.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs; 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 100 W Reno Ave.; 602-8700; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Oklahoma City Council Meeting; 8 a.m.; Oklahoma City’s City Hall; 200 N Walker

Wednesday, May 28
Full Circle Dog Obedience Course; 7-8 p.m.; Pavilion Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 115 S Hudson; 445-7080; $75 for Myriad Gardens members, $90 for nonmembers.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Reading Rainforest in the Crystal Bridge; 10 a.m.; Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave; 445-7080; free admission.

Thursday, May 29
Acoustic Terrace Thursdays Presented by TEEMCO, LLC; 5–6 p.m.; Seasonal Plaza at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 1 Myriad Gardens; 445-7080; free (donations always welcome).
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park;  3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50 St.; ticket prices and availability may vary.

Friday, May 30
H&8th Night Market; 7-11 p.m; 8th St. and Hudson Ave; Free.
OKC Pro-Am; 5:30 p.m.; 815 N. Hudson Ave.; Free.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park;  3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694;  free admission.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park;  3001 General Pershing Blvd.; 440-0694;  free admission
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50th Street; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Kinetic – Perpetual Motion Dance Show; 7:30 p.m.; Oklahoma Contemporarary Arts Center; 3000 General Pershing Blvd.; 206-2843; children $8, student/senior $10, adults $15.

Saturday, May 31
OKC Pro-Am; 7:00 a.m.; 726 West Sheridan Ave; Free.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 100 W. Reno Ave.; 602-8700; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Oklahoma City Energy vs. New York Red Bulls Reserves; 7 p.m.; Pribil Stadium; 801 NW 50th; 235-5425 (KICK); ticket prices and availability may vary.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park;  3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694;  free admission.
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50th; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Kinetic – Perpetual Motion Dance Show; 7:30 p.m.; Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center; 3000 General Pershing Blvd.; 206-2843; children $8, student/senior $10, adults $15.

Sunday, June 1
OKC Pro-Am; 7:00 a.m.; 900 North Broadway; Free.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 6:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park;  3001 General Pershing Blvd.; 440-0694;  free admission.
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50th; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Kinetic – Perpetual Motion Dance Show; 2 p.m.; Oklahoma Contempoarary Arts Center; 3000 General Pershing Blvd.; 206-2843; children $8, student/senior $10, adults $15.

Monday, June 2
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park;  3001 General Pershing Blvd.; 440-0694;  free admission.
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50th; ticket prices and availability may vary.

 

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



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rollin’ on the River

With the amount of activity taking place on the Oklahoma River these days, it’s hard to believe that not too long ago, the City of OKC regularly mowed the river. Now an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site and home to USA Canoe/Kayak, you’ll find athletes of all levels on the Oklahoma River.

OKCitians from the young to the old, as well as the Olympic-caliber, have benefited from the recreational rendezvous it affords, and you can too. 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. And athletic opportunities abound for kids, with adventure camps for children ages 8-16 and co-ed rowing camps for ages 13-19.

family-friendly, kids, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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High Altitude Adventure

Did you know that Oklahoma City is home to the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world? The SandRidge Sky Trail is an 80-foot structure with six levels of challenges – the higher you climb, the bigger the challenge level. Weave your way to the top through rope bridges and balance beams, where you can choose exit through the 72-foot Sky Slide – the tallest slide in America – or the 80-foot Rumble Drop.

And on May 24, you can also experience Oklahoma City on a whole new level from the new SandRidge Sky Zip. Launching from the SandRidge Sky Trail, this zip like will take you 700 feet across the Oklahoma River and back again. Head down to the Boathouse District on May 22 at 4 p.m. for the ribbon cutting, where you can win a free pass for this high-flying adventure.

[Image by Georgia Read courtesy of RIVERSPORT Adventures]

family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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But Wait, There’s More!

Now that we’ve got your adrenaline pumping from all the adventure right here in OKC, we know you can’t wait to get to the Boathouse District and experience some of it firsthand. With RIVERSPORT Adventure Passes, you can experience the most exciting attractions on the Oklahoma River – The SandRidge Sky Trail and SandRidge Sky Zip, the Rumble Drop and the Youth Zone – plus kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, dragon boating, wall climbing, cycling and more.

You can purchase day passes or one-hour experiences online or in the Welcome Center in the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. Choose your own adventure, and have fun!

[Image by Georgia Read courtesy of RIVERSPORT Adventures]

cycling, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get Festive

If you are more of a spectator when it comes to sports, the Boathouse District is hosting two upcoming festivals that will give you a peek into the world of competitive river sports.

The 2014 USA Canoe/Kayak Canoe Marathon National Championships will be held on the Oklahoma River on June 21-22 and the SandRidge Energy Stars & Stripes River Festival takes place on June 28. Both festivals are free to the public, and the Stars & Stripes River Festival will feature live music, and free family festival and a fireworks show following the masters racing and corporate rowing.

family-friendly, free, music, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: May 20 - May 26, 2014

Tuesday, May 20
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:30 p.m.; Water Plaza Room at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W. Reno Ave.; 445-7080; $5 for Myriad Gardens members, $10 for nonmembers
Callen Clarke; 7 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab; 100 E. Fifth St., Edmond; 359-7989; $10 cash/check
Sister Act; 7 p.m.; Civic Center Musical Hall; 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2584; Ticket prices and availability vary

Wednesday, May 21
2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship; 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Ticket prices and availability vary
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Crystal Bridge at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W. Reno Ave.; 445-7080; Free
Red Earth Celebrates Oklahoma Textiles; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Red Earth Museum and Gallery; 6 Santa Fe Plaza; 427-5228; Free
Sister Act; 7 p.m.; Civic Center Musical Hall; 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2584; Ticket prices and availability vary

Thursday, May 22
2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship; 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Ticket prices and availability vary
Red Earth Celebrates Oklahoma Textiles; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Red Earth Museum and Gallery; 6 Santa Fe Plaza; 427-5228; Free
Acoustic Terrace Thursdays Presented by TEEMCO, LLC; 5 p.m.; Seasonal Plaza at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 N. Reno Ave.; 445-7080; Free
Sister Act; 7 p.m.; Civic Center Musical Hall; 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2584; Ticket prices and availability vary

Friday, May 23
2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship; 3:15 and 7 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Ticket prices and availability vary
Red Earth Celebrates Oklahoma Textiles; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Red Earth Museum and Gallery; 6 Santa Fe Plaza; 427-5228; Free
Vince Norman w/ David Anderson and Friends; 8 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab; 100 E. Fifth St.; Edmond; 359-7989; $10
Sister Act; 8 p.m.; Civic Center Musical Hall; 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2584; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, May 24
2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship; 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Ticket prices and availability vary
Sister Act; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Civic Center Musical Hall; 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2584; Ticket prices and availability vary
Big G; 8:30 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab; 100 E. Fifth St., Edmond; 329-7989; $10 cash/check

Sunday, May 25
2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship; 4:30 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Ticket prices and availability vary
Sister Act; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Civic Center Musical Hall; 201 N. Walker Ave.; 297-2584; Ticket prices and availability vary
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs; 7:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 100 W. Reno Ave.; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability may vary

Monday, May 26
Red Earth Celebrates Oklahoma Textiles; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Red Earth Museum and Gallery; 6 Santa Fe Plaza; 427-5228; Free

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



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Friday Frenzy

As spring begins in OKC it’s time to get out doors and enjoy our beautiful weather. Want to enjoy some great local food, shopping, music and art but can’t seem to find the time to do it all? When it comes to Friday nights in the big town, monthly street festivals are something we are very good at. No matter what Friday of the month it is, you can find unique, diverse and family-friendly street events that combine our best food, shopping and the arts, with beautiful weather all around OKC. Strap in because we’ve got a lot of great stuff to cover.

festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Automobile Alley Awesomeness

Automobile Alley, located downtown along North Broadway, became the epicenter of the auto industry in OKC during the ’20s. For decades, numerous car dealership and repair shops populated the area but in recent years the street has been redeveloped and is now an up-and-coming retail hot spot.

If you’ve never visited Automobile Alley for some shopping fun, the Shop Hop is the ideal way to experience the historic district. On the third Thursday of each month, the street transforms with open houses and extended hours, live music, street artists and performers. There are also kid activities and great food, making it a fun night for the whole family.

A little tip, be sure to follow Automobile Alley on twitter (@AutoAlleyOKC) to keep up on the great deals retailers offer during the Shop Hop.

Automobile Alley, family-friendly, food, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Lights, Camera, Action

Automobile Alley is not the only historic district in OKC that has reinvented itself. Film Row, located on Sheridan in Downtown, was once a bustling hub for film and television action in the region. Today the district is home to several local restaurants, art galleries and even a movie theater. 

On the third Friday of each month you don’t want miss Premiere on Film Row. The street fair features movie screenings, live music, art exhibits and some of the best food trucks in OKC. Be sure to follow @PremiereOKC on Twitter to keep up with the latest on Premiere OKC. 

arts and culture, festivals, film, Film Row, food, movies, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Norman Gets in on the Fun

Fun street fairs aren’t just happening in Oklahoma City limits, as many communities in the region have their own monthly festivals. One of the most successful is 2nd Friday in Norman.

2nd Friday is a monthly, citywide celebration of the Arts in Norman (located just 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City). The event is free and features everything from dance to painting, photography and music. The number of participating organizations is too staggering to list so check out their website for a full list.

[Image courtesy of 2nd Friday in Norman]

arts and culture, festivals, Norman
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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We Aren’t Done Yet

I know what you are thinking, “You’ve got my Friday nights booked for the foreseeable future. Surely there can’t be more?” Well, buckle up, because we haven’t even mentioned First Friday and H&8th, two of OKC’s biggest and most successful Friday night events.

  • First Friday Gallery Walk- Located in the Paseo Arts District, First Friday is (you guessed it) held the first Friday and Saturday of every month. It is an art lover’s dream as more than 60 artists in 17 galleries participate (and it’s all within walking distance).
  • H&8th- On the last Friday of each month (through September) H&8th is the place to be. H&8th can be summed up pretty easily: food trucks and live music (and lots of them). More than 30 food trucks located within one block is pretty tough to beat.
arts and culture, festivals, food, Midtown, music, Paseo District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Paseo’s Past

Oklahoma City recently celebrated its 125th birthday and to commemorate we are taking a look at the events and history that made our great city what it is today. This week we are taking a closer look at the Paseo Arts District.

The Paseo was originally developed in 1929 by Oklahoma City pioneer GA Nichols as the first commercial shopping district north of Downtown. The Paseo still features the same Spanish-inspired, stucco buildings it did in the ’20s. 

In the 1970s the district (located around North 28th and Walker) saw a renaissance take shape as artists began to move to the area and open galleries. Today the street is home to some of the top art galleries and local restaurants in the city. In 2010, the neighborhood was named as one of the “10 Greater Neighborhoods for 2010” in the entire United States. Every May, the Paseo also hosts the Paseo Arts Festival (this year marks the 37th annual) which brings more than 60,000 people to district.

arts and culture, festivals, Oklahoma City history, Paseo District, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: May 13 - May 19, 2014

Tuesday, May 13
Edgar Cruz & Murial Anderson Concert; 7 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab, 100 N. University Dr., Edmond; 359-7989; Reserve tickets online
Los Angeles Clippers @ the Oklahoma City Thunder; 8:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, Downtown

Wednesday, May 14
The Secret Garden; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens; free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults
Full Circle Dog Obedience Course; 7 to 8 p.m.; Pavilion Lawn, Myriad Botanical Gardens; $75 for members and $90 for non-members
Full Moon Bike Ride; 8 to 9:45 p.m.; Great Event Lawn, Myriad Botanical Gardens; Donations encouraged

Thursday, May 15
The Secret Garden; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens; free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults
A Walk through Soul; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Paseo Original Arts Gallery, 2920 Paseo; 604-6602; the exhibit runs through the June 15th
Fandango at the Harn: A Night on the Prairie; 6 to 10 p.m.; Harn Homestead, 1721 N. Lincoln; 235-4058; Admission is $50

Friday, May 16
Endangered Species Day; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50th St; 424-3344; Free with Zoo admission
The Secret Garden; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens; free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults
The Secret Garden performed by Oklahoma Children’s Theatre; 1 to 3 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens;
Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder; 6 p.m.; OKC Zoo Ampitheatre; 2101 NE 50th; 424-3344; Ticket prices vary

Saturday, May 17
The Secret Garden; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens; free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults
The Secret Garden; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens; free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults
OKC Victory Dolls Roller Derby; 6 p.m.; Centennial Building, State Fair Park; $40 for season tickets
The Wanted; 8 p.m.; Firelake Grand Casino; 777 Grand Casino Blvd, Shawnee; $40 to $75

Sunday, May 18
The Secret Garden; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Botanical Gardens; free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults
Allan Houser: On the Roof; noon to 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch; 236-3100; Exhibit runs through June 1.
Bricktown Throwdown; 5 p.m.; Bricktown Canal; 234-8263; Spectator passes are $10

Monday, May 19
Ansel Adams: An American Perspective; Regular Museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch; 236-3100; Exhibit runs through June 1

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Better Life Blog Goes to the Movies

This week, The Better Life Blog goes to the movies – locally. If you know where to look, you’ll find movie buffs, interesting and indie shows, and film history throughout the metro.

Let’s start with the Film Exchange District, aka “Film Row,” an area of Oklahoma City that has a colorful past – and a promising future. Located between Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue along Sheridan Avenue, Film Row in recent years has undergone a renaissance bringing some of that history to light – along with new businesses and new life.

For more than 65 years, Oklahoma City was one of the nation’s distribution hubs for the films by major motion picture studios, beginning in the early part of the 20th century. Eventually, nine buildings related to the film distribution business sprung up in the area, a centralized location that allowed film screenings and the sale of products related to them. “Film Row” in Oklahoma City was one of 37 of the film exchange districts nationwide.

Today, it’s home to several businesses and some sites of architectural interest, like the Hart Building, as well as a new monthly, family-friendly street festival, PremiereOKC, which offers film screenings, live music, food trucks, art and shopping. It’s also home to Oklahoma City’s popular deadCENTER Film Festival – one of the 20 “Coolest Festivals in the World” -- which is coming up from June 11-15.  More on deadCENTER in a later post.

Other businesses, artists and event spaces in the Film Exchange District include art gallery Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) Gallery, Oddfab Design Lab, event spaces DC on Film Row and The Exchange OKC, restaurant Joey’s Pizzeria, investment group VentureSpur, The Parmount OKC, Slice Magazine, radio station KOSU Film Row and a shop featuring local artisans known as The Hub OKC.

[Photos courtesy of Patrick W. Moore]

film, Film Row, movies
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Quiet on the Set

Oklahoma is known as a great spot to film movies, whether you’re looking for an outdoor terrain, the urban look in downtown Oklahoma City, historic Main Streets or the wide-open spaces that Oklahoma offers. So don’t be surprised if you recognize some of your favorite Oklahoma scenery in one of your favorite movies. After all, take a look at some of the movies that were made in Oklahoma, listed in no particular order:

  • Rudderless,” 2014, directed by William H. Macy and starring Selena Gomez, Jamie Chung, Anton Yelchin, Billy Crudup, Felicity Huffman and Macy.
  • The Outsiders,” 1983, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on the novel by Tulsa author S.E. Hinton. The then-young stars of this coming-of-age movie included C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio and Patric Swayze.
  • August: Osage County,” 2013, starring Meryl Streep, Dermot Mulroney, Julia Roberts and others, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. The movie was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Oklahoma native Tracy Letts.
  • Rain Man,” 1988, which won four Oscars, including an Academy Award for Best Picture and starred Dustin Hoffman, who won Best Actor for the movie.
  • The Cherokee Word for Water,” 2013, winner of Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture and based on a true story.
  • Dome of Heaven,” 2011, starring Wes Studi as a Cherokee World War II veteran.
  • To the Wonder,” 2012, written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.
  • The Killer Inside Me,” 2010, starring Casey Affleck, Jessical Alba and Kate Hudson.
  • Twister,” 1996, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Baxton and nominated for two Oscars.
  • Where the Red Fern Grows,” 1974, based on the popular children’s novel by Wilson Rawls.
  • Phenomenon,” 1996, starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker.

If you want to make a movie in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Film and Music Office is ready to help, with lists of resources, locations and incentives that are available to filmmakers interested in picking the perfect spot for their upcoming features.

movies
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get Your Film Fix at The Paramount OKC

While you’re exploring Film Row this week as The Better Life Blog goes to the movies, check out The Parmount OKC, located in a building that once was home to Paramount Pictures’ distribution facility in Oklahoma City.

Located in the 700 block of West Sheridan, The Paramount OKC’s mission is to promote and encourage the creation and appreciation of the arts, whether it’s through supporting an arts program at a local middle school, hosting regular film screenings or encouraging local film schools and students.

It’s also a full-service coffee bar and a lunch place, and the facility is available for rent. Check out upcoming events or upcoming screenings in the theater with 50 preserved vintage theater seats or open seating that can accommodate up to 80 people.

[Photos courtesy of Paramount OKC]

Film Row, food, movies, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Oklahoma City’s Premiere Film Festival: deadCENTER

If you’re a film fan, you don’t want to miss Oklahoma’s largest film festival, deadCENTER, when it starts in June. This year, again, MovieMaker magazine dubbed the popular event as one of “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2014” and in the past has named it one of the “20 coolest film festivals in the world.”

For five days, movie buffs interested in all kinds of genres will converge on Oklahoma City for screenings that include films from around the world as well those made right here in Oklahoma. The festival offers comedies, dramas, documentaries, shorts, horror movies and kids’ films, among others, as well as parties and panel discussions on a range of topics. The schedule has already been posted.

Some of the events also are free and outdoors on the Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Outdoor Lawn, such as a showing of “Footloose” at 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 13.

So named because it’s in the “dead center” of the United States geographically, the deadCENTER Film Festival has a mission of promoting, encouraging and celebrating the independent film arts, according to its website.

So buy your deadCENTER pass now and enjoy a week of watching movies to your heart's content, as well as parties and a great festival atmosphere!

[Photos courtesy of deadCENTER]

festivals, film, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Film History 101

If you’d like to learn more about Oklahoma’s rich movie history, check out the current exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive.

Called “Oklahoma @ The Movies” and developed in conjunction with Tulsa’s OKPOP, the exhibit celebrates Oklahoma’s involvement in the movies through the years, whether they’ve created the motion pictures, starred in or watched them.

If you want to learn more about Western movies and cowboys, American Indians and Hollywood, the Oklahoma image on screen, historic theaters, the portrayal of different cultural groups or the innovation and creativity of Oklahomans regarding the silver screen, this exhibit is for you.

Celebrated filmmakers in the exhibit include cinematographer Buss Boggs, public relations executive Stan Rosenfield, producer Gray Frederickson and more.

Actors featured in “Oklahoma @ The Movies” include Tom Mix and Will Rogers from the early days of cinema and the Oklahoma roots and Hollywood careers of Joan Crawford, Gene Autry, James Garner, Tony Randall, Wes Studi, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Brad Pitt, Ed Harris, Gary Busey and others.

Can’t get enough? Buy the companion book.

history, movies, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: May 6- May 12, 2014

Tuesday, May 6
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.; Water Plaza Room, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers.
High Tea at UCO International House; 3 – 7 p.m.; UCO International House, 912 N. Chowning Ave., Edmond; free to the public.
Tell Me a Story: Play & Learn; 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.; Capitol Hill Library, 334 SW 26; 634-6308; Best for Ages 6 and Under, Families

Wednesday, May 7
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 11:05 a.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. L.A. Clippers Playoffs; 8:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; ticket prices and availability vary.
Bringing Books to Life; 10 - 11 a.m.; South Lobby, Crystal Bridge, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; admission is free; best for ages 2-5.
Full Circle Obedience Course; 7 – 8 p.m.; The Pavilion, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; $75 for members, $90 for nonmembers.

Thursday, May 8
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
High Tea at UCO International House; 3 – 7 p.m.; UCO International House, 912 N. Chowning Ave., Edmond; free to the public.
Oklahoma Farm to Fork Market; 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Heritage College, 7100 S Interstate 35 Service Road; Free to the public.
Urban Sprouts – Wild Card; 10 – 10:30 a.m.; Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; best for ages 1-5

Friday, May 9
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
Public Garden Day; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Crystal Bridge, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; free admission.
Spring Plant Sale; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; The Pavilion, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080.
The Secret Garden presented by the Junior League of Oklahoma City; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden; Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; free for members, $5 per child and $3 per adult for nonmembers.
Oklahoma City Astronomy Club Meeting; 6:45 p.m.; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52; 602-6664.

Saturday, May 10
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
No Brainer Containers; 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.; The Pavilion, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; $30 for members, $35 for nonmembers.
The Secret Garden presented by the Junior League of Oklahoma City; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden; Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; free for members, $5 per child and $3 per adult for nonmembers.
Spring Plant Sale; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; The Pavilion, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080.
“The Secret Garden” Performances by Oklahoma Children’s Theatre; 1 – 3 p.m.; Children’s Garden, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080.
Color Me Rad; 9 a.m.; Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; $55 admission.

Sunday, May 11
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox; 2:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
Mother’s Day at the Zoo; all day; Oklahoma City Zoo, Global Plaza, 2101 Northeast 50th St.; 424-3344; moms get in free with any paid admission.
Moms Get Free Admission for Mother’s Day; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Crystal Bridge; Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080.
Top Flight Classic Rock/Pop/Country Band; 2 – 4 p.m.; Water Stage; Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; free admission.
The Secret Garden presented by the Junior League of Oklahoma City; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden; Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; free for members, $5 per child and $3 per adult for nonmembers.
Spring Plant Sale; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; The Pavilion, Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080.
Round Barn Rendezvous; 12 – 6 p.m.; Arcadia, Arcadia Round Barn, 107 E. Highway 66; 401-8694; free of charge.

Monday, May 12
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability vary.
The Secret Garden presented by the Junior League of Oklahoma City; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Children’s Garden; Myriad Gardens, 301 W Reno; 445-7080; free for members, $5 per child and $3 per adult for nonmembers.
Free Weight Loss Surgery Seminar; 5 p.m.; Norman, Norman Regional Health Promotion and Education Services, 901 N Porter; 735-2049; free admission.
Showtimer’s Classic Country Dance; 7 p.m.; Midwest City Senior Center, 8215 E Reno, Midwest City; 732-4665; entry $5 donation.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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