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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Opening Night

Opening night in downtown OKC

Each new year is a time of reflection and resolutions. But first, you have to ring in the year in style. Are you still looking for that perfect place to welcome 2016? Well, we’ve got you covered. OKC is hopping with so many exciting events on NYE that it may be hard to choose just one.

Do you love, music, dancing, theater or fireworks? If so, you certainly won’t want to miss Opening Night, one of OKC’s premier New Year’s Eve parties. Put on by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, Opening Night offers fun for the entire family with performances on 16 stages throughout downtown OKC featuring acts such as Tequila Azul, OKC Improv, Michael King, Allie Lauren, Edgar Cruz, Urban Addiction and more. Trust us, there is absolutely zero chance of a less than stellar New Year’s Eve. Did we mention there’s fun for the whole family? The youngsters are sure to enjoy face painting, an interactive art project, and lively music performances. And the fireworks finale is a show-stopping spectacle that you won't soon forget.

Wristbands are just $8 in advance and you can pick them up at 7-Eleven Stores of Oklahoma, metro Homeland stores, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and MidFirst Bank locations. You can also get wristbands for $10 at the event. Children under 5 are absolutely free.

And don’t worry about grabbing grub before heading downtown – seriously, they’ve thought of everything – the city’s best food trucks will be on-hand to serve up a variety of exciting food. Get your dinner on Finale Alley any time before midnight!

If you want to kick off the evening (or that 2016 resolution) a little early, make plans to attend the Opening Night 5k. Don your best costume of neon and glitter or dig out your superhero cape because the most festively dressed wins an original piece of art.

food, live music, nightlife, family-friendly, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thundering up the new year in style …

OKC Thunder game [Photo Credit: OKC Thunder]

[Photo Credit: OKC Thunder]

Some might say that we here at Better Life Central suffer from Thunder-mania year-round and rightfully so. Anyone who’s seen KD and Russ this season can attest to the star power of this duo. So of course we will be enjoying the game this New Year’s Eve as the Thunder take on the Phoenix Suns at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Find tickets here. Downtown restaurants including Park Avenue Grill, Flint, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, Vast and many others will have special menus before and after the game to help you make sure that you and your special someone kick off 2016 with a bang.

Some of our favorite other places around town to ring in 2016:

festivals, live sporting events, Plaza District, restaurants, Thunder, Bricktown, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Looking back, forging ahead

OKC Energy Fans  [Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

[Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

2015 was an exciting year in Oklahoma City. We committed to the Oklahoma Standard, celebrated the inaugural season of the OKC Dodgers, welcomed two new elephants at the OKC Zoo, got fired up for OKCFest, went rolling on the river as we hosted national and international contestants during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, cheered as the Energy made their first playoff run, shopped till we dropped at all the new retailers across the city and were inspired by the creation of Innovation District.

But if you thought 2015 was thrilling in OKC, buckle your seat belts and hold on tight because we are just getting started. With the completion of some MAPS 3 projects including improvements at State Fair Park and the world-class RIVERSPORT Rapids, 2016 promises to be an exhilarating year.

And our resolution for 2016: keeping you – our loyal reader – in the know about all of the cool, hip happenings in OKC. Don’t hesitate to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with questions or ideas. All our posts are also tagged by topic so you can easily find past blogs for information, everything from attractions to downtown and much more.

Innovation District, MAPS, OKC Energy, Oklahoma River, retail, State Fair Park, zoo, Dodgers, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 29, 2015 - January 4, 2016

Snow Tubing at the ballpark

Tuesday, December 29
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
Robert Earl Keen; 8 p.m.; Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center; 733-7673; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 30
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 

Thursday, December 31
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Opening Night; 7 p.m.; Downtown; 270-4848; $8 in advance and $10 at the event.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, January 1
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 2
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.

Sunday, January 3
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m..; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.

Monday, January 4
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

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



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Have a holly, jolly dining experience

Friends eating in a restaurant

If entertaining guests is making you say, “Bah, humbug,” then why don’t you leave the cooking to the professionals? Oklahoma City has several area restaurants that are open on Christmas Day, meaning that you can give yourself the best gift of all: not having to do the dishes after everyone leaves.

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has compiled a list of restaurants that are ready to entertain you. Have other suggestions that didn’t make it on our list? Let us know in the comments!

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



Last minute shopping? No problem.

A couple shopping in OKC

If you still have a few names on your shopping list this season, the Oklahoma City retail scene is here to help you share the holiday cheer – without turning you into a Grinch. From festive malls to locally owned shops, you can check off everyone on your gift list in no time. Local malls, like Quail Springs Mall, Penn Square Mall and the Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City are a one-stop shop for your name brand favorites. Oklahoma City’s local retail scene also has plenty of gifts to please even the pickiest on your list. Read our past coverage of Oklahoma City’s best shopping experiences, and let us know your favorite place to grab last-minute gifts in the comments!

local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Send your friends a taste of OKC this holiday season

If you have lived in Oklahoma City for long, you probably recognize all the awesome qualities that make this community such a great place to live. And since this is the season of giving, why not share the OKC-love with family and friends? Since it would be pretty difficult to wrap up the Devon Tower and place it under your Christmas tree (without the help of the North Pole, that is), we have an easier way to share Oklahoma City’s story.

VeloCity, the digital magazine of Oklahoma City, just launched its newest issue filled with info on OKC’s foodie scene, the abundance of adrenaline-filled activities throughout the city and more. Read the current issue at www.velocityokc.com and view all the back issues at www.greaterokc.tv.

attractions, food, Oklahoma City, velocity
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: December 22 - December 28, 2015

Thunder Fans

Tuesday, December 22
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
The Nutcracker; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 23
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Trans-Siberian Orchestra; 4 & 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, December 24
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon & 2 p.m., Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, December 25
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, December 26
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, December 27
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m..; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
A Christmas Carol; 2 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, December 28
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 

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



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Seasonal shopping

Myriad Gardens pop-up Winter Shoppes

It’s after Thanksgiving and you know what that means. No, it’s not time to swear off all cranberries and pie until Christmas (because that would be madness). It’s time to get your seasonal shopping fix in OKC!

The Winter Shoppes return to the Myriad Gardens along with the carousel, Christmas lights and all sorts of local shopping merriment. Shop boutique vendors and maybe hit up the Devon Ice Rink while you’re at it.

Similarly, the Holiday Pop-Up Shops are back in Midtown, featuring a weekly rotating schedule of local vendors and the Bishop John Carroll School Christmas Tree Lot at the corner of NW 10th and Hudson.

Check out the cool Christmas lights on Automobile Alley while you hit up this month’s Shop Hop, this Thursday Dec. 17, from 6 – 9 p.m. Great food, giveaways and other celebratory gladdenings await you as you shop local like the hardcore Oklahoma Citian you are!

holiday, local goods, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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New retail rundown

H&M opening day in Quail Springs Mall

It’s been a big-time year for the OKC retail scene. Following last year’s successful openings of new OKC retailers like Von Maur at Quail Springs Mall, West Elm in Classen Curve and Main Event on Memorial Road this year three new-to-market retailers opened that got everyone excited: H&M at Quail Springs, and Top Golf and Cabela’s in the Chisholm Creek development. Penn Square Mall and the Outlet Shoppes also added exciting names to an already impressive list of tenants. Women’s clothier Madewell came to Penn Square Mall while the Outlet Shoppes added a Northface and Charming Charlies.

What’s next? The announcement of a Trader Joe’s in Nichols Hills Plaza has us buzzing, iFly indoor skydiving in Chisholm Creek will have us breezing and a few more rumors that may have been floating around out there that have a chance to become reality have us brimming with more potential buying brilliance. What’s the one thing you can do to help OKC’s retail development scene? Keep your shopping dollars local!

retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Why is Retail Important?

Shoppers at Rant in Uptown

In short, retail is what makes our city go. Sales taxes in Oklahoma City fund the city’s core services and day-to-day operations. That’s important stuff like police, fire, street maintenance, the Zoo, parks, etc. While property taxes can be used to fund voter-approved bond issues for specific capital projects, Oklahoma law actually prohibits cities from levying property taxes for services. So, the more you shop in OKC, the more you help your community! So put down the mouse, get out of the house, and get to shopping for a new blouse, pet grouse, Westinghouse, a choice porterhouse, downspouts, bean sprouts or a new spouse (just kidding on that last one, obvi). But seriously, shopping in your community is not only fun and easy but important to maintaining a healthy city.

If you’re curious about how OKC’s sales tax rates compare to some others, just check out this previous blog post.

community, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



OKCRetail.com

OKCRetail.com website

OK, prospective entrepreneur. Has all this retail talk made you wonder about maybe opening up your own shop and flipping the script from shopper to shoppee? You’re in luck: okcretail.com is a website dedicated to helping the world know about how easy it is to find retail success in OKC. With some of the online tools available, you can scout for locations, pull demographic reports, find out about permitting and even peruse property listings, among other info. Check it out!

entrepreneur, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: December 15 - December 21, 2015

OU Women\'s Basketball Team

Tuesday, December 15
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Reno Bighorns; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 16
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trailblazers; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, December 17
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, December 18
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Discover the Dinosaurs; 2 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
The Nutcracker; 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, December 19
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Discover the Dinosaurs; 10 a.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Austin Spurs; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
The Nutcracker; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. L.A. Lakers; 4 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, December 20
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Discover the Dinosaurs; 10 a.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m..; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Big 12/SEC Challenge; 1:30 pm.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 7 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
The Nutcracker; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, December 21
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Tubing Winter Festival; Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; $14 to ride.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Serve the community and meet new people

a couple viewing art

Volunteering is a great way to get involved with the community and meet new people, but if you’re new here yourself, often it’s hard to know where to start. As the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits notes, there are more than 19,000 nonprofit groups in Oklahoma. They are filling important needs in their respective areas, but choosing where to spend your time and resources can be overwhelming.

To help get you involved, two umbrella organizations in the community support long lists of nonprofit agencies serving in various areas – arts and culture, health, education, quality of life and financial stability.

Both Allied Arts and the United Way of Central Oklahoma offer a good roundup of organizations that they have vetted and that fit with their respective missions. When people donate to these groups, their donations get distributed to their member agencies. You’ll hear most about these organizations during their respective campaigns and at certain events, but they also can give you an idea of ways to serve as a volunteer. Check out the United Way’s a Volunteer Center on its website, which includes lists of needs among its partner agencies (which number 61 in 2015). And see the list of Allied Arts’ supported agencies (there are about 40 of them) and ways to volunteer.

Allied Arts, which formed in 1971, has a mission to ensure that “a variety of local arts organizations have the tools and resources they need to remain strong and offer quality programming to the public.”

United Way has been around for nearly 100 years, and its mission states that it is “committed to improve the health, safety, education and economic well-being of individual families in need in central Oklahoma by connecting community resources with responsive and accountable health and human services agencies.”

While there are many other organizations serving the community, both the United Way and Allied Arts are a good way to jump in.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get your family involved

People volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

[Photo Credit: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma]

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

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

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

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

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

community, kids, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Nonprofit volunteer spotlight: Whiz Kids

Young students

One organization that consistently needs help with volunteers is Whiz Kids Oklahoma, a faith-based, one-on-one volunteer tutoring/mentoring programs. For the last 20 years, the agency has assisted metro-area children who need it most. Currently, the organization is serving around 900 kids by providing them with a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult to help them.

Find out more about volunteering on its website.

community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get involved in the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Vendors at SchmoozaPalooza

We at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber would love to have you volunteer with us, too, and there are opportunities throughout the year as a Chamber Ambassador that provide you with a chance to network and meet new people in the business community.

We love our volunteers who help us by attending business grand openings, welcoming new members and assisting at events throughout the year. These events include Metro 50, State of the Schools, State of the City, our Annual Meeting, Sunset Receptions and our twice-a-year SchmoozaPalooza, the area’s premier trade show, which gives business professionals a casual and fun networking event with live music, food tastings and a showcase of area businesses. It takes fun-minded volunteers to help us make that happen. For a list of Chamber events visit our site. While we would love to have you as a member most of our events are open to nonmembers.

Find out more about becoming a Chamber Ambassador in order to help with these activities by going online or contacting Amanda Bowen at abowen@okcchamber.com or (405) 297-8961.

business, networking
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 8 - December 14, 2015

OKCB dancer DaYoung Jung as Sugar Plum Fairy for The Nutcracker photo by Rocky Chen

Tuesday, December 8
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.

Wednesday, December 9
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, December 10
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.

Friday, December 11
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.

Saturday, December 12
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
The Nutcracker; 2 & 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Santa Cruz Warriors; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, December 13
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m..; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
The Nutcracker; 2 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 7 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, December 14
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Setting the Streetcar Scene

Streetcar Rendering

Ding ding ding, the new streetcar system will make us sing! (Or at least cut down on our downtown car driving.) But truly, one of our most-anticipated MAPS 3 projects is the modern streetcar and transit hub. The initial six-mile system is hoped to jump-start a new era of clean mass transit and help connect many of the downtown area’s up-and-coming districts, workplaces, public amenities, and more. The project also provides funds to renovate the Santa Fe station into a new intermodal transit hub, where riders can switch from one mode of transit to another, in addition to providing a new pedestrian portal to Bricktown.

Curious about the route? Here’s a map of the approved framework, and here is a cool animation of what it might be like to ride. Phase I is scheduled for completion by 2018, with Phase 2 in 2021. (Wait for it…) All aboard! (You knew we were going to go there eventually.)

downtown, MAPS, public transportation, streetcar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Streetcar Stories

OKC streets 1900s

Speaking of streetcars, did you know OKC’s first streetcar system was actually installed more than 110 years ago? Putting in a streetcar system in the early “aughts” was difficult, but as a great man once said, “if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

All the “Back to the Future” streetcar jokes aside, in the city’s early days, OKC’s increasing density made public mass transit a part of its destiny. As Oklahoma City continued to experience ridiculous levels of growth after the Land Run (OKC’s population more than doubled – twice -- from 1890 to 1910), something other than horses and their requisite, er, “crab apples” was needed to get people and goods around the increasingly crowded urban environment in a clean, safe manner. City leaders had no interest in seeing citizens make like a tree and get out of here, so familiar names John Shartel and Anton Classen formed the Metropolitan Railway Company in 1902, and the following year electric-powered streetcars replaced beefarino-fueled raw horsepower as the transportation mode of choice for Oklahoma Citians. By 1911, interurban lines to El Reno, Norman and Guthrie were established, along with Moore and Edmond.

Want more? Our friends at the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) have a cool interactive historic streetcar route map on their website, with equally awesome photos taken at different points along the various routes. Great Scott! Check it out, and get hyped for the MAPS 3 streetcar.

Oklahoma City history, public transportation, streetcar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Hop on the Bus, Gus

Embark Bus

Go ahead and drop off the car keys, Lee. You don’t need to discuss much, because with EMBARK you can get yourself free, for minimal cost. The city’s bus system has added routes, frequency and even night service recently, so even if you’ve considered using the bus in the past, you may want to make a new bus-inclusive plan, Stan, because there must be something like “fifty routes to rediscover.” (OK, actually more like 22, but still!) Curious about how to ride? EMBARK has a handy web guide for that, in addition to a route planner and even an app. If you’re downtown, the Downtown Discovery (Route 50) is currently free and is a great way to get around and see some of the sights as you begin to see the light on the bus riding action, so check it out.

public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: December 1 - December 7, 2015

Tuesday, December 1
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Idaho Stampede; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, December 2
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, December 3
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Idaho Stampede; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 7:30 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, December 4
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
A Christmas Carol; 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, December 5
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
A Christmas Carol; 2 & 8 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Westchester Knicks; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Greg Fitzsimmons; 7:30 p.m.; ACM&UCO Performance Lab; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, December 6
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m..; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
A Christmas Carol; 2 p.m.; Lyric Theatre; 524-9312; Ticket prices vary.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, December 7
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are we thankful for? Local Charities

United Way Volunteer

Time to break out those carving skills because Thanksgiving is upon us. Great food, family, friends and a little football are pretty hard to beat. Of course Thanksgiving is not all about eating. It is also about giving thanks. So that is what we are going to do this week on the blog … let you know some things we are thankful for.

Of course in the spirit of the season we want to start with our communities’ amazing network of nonprofit organizations. No matter your passion, there is a local organization who could use your helping hand, be it financial or your time. Here is a rundown of past blog posts that highlight these charities and the work they do.

  • Infant Crisis Services- Launched nearly 30 years ago, Infant Crisis Services provides a wide range of life-saving services to infants and their families.
  • #GivingTuesday- Learn more about Upward Transitions, Regional Food Bank and Allied Arts.
  • Safe Kids Oklahoma- Safe Kids Oklahoma is a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of unintentional childhood injuries.
  • Central Oklahoma Humane Society- This great nonprofit has found homes for more than 14,000 cats and dogs.
  • United Way of Central Oklahoma- This United Way has formed partnerships with more than 60 organizations that contribute to the area’s health, safety, education or economic well-being of families.
  • Get Involved- More on Feed the Children, Calm Waters, Dress for Success, Rebuilding Together and Whiz Kids.

These organizations need our help year-round so keep them in your thoughts even after the holidays. If you are new to our city there is no better way to connect with people than by volunteering your time.  Do you know of a nonprofit that could use some help this week? Let us know in the comments below or send us a shout on Facebook or Twitter.

Also be sure to check out the volunteerism page on our site for more causes and ways to get involved.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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What are we thankful for? MAPS

Bricktown Ballpark

If you have read our blog for long or been in Oklahoma City for more than a day you know there is great civic pride in the Metropolitan Area Projects (the cool kids just call it MAPS). Just about every good thing to come through our city the last 30 years probably owes a little (or a lot) of its success to at least one of the MAPS iterations. Time and time again the citizens of our great city have invested in the community and the results have been outstanding. That is something we can all be thankful for.

  • MAPS- The granddaddy of them all. The original MAPS brought us the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Chickasaw Bricktown Ball Park, Oklahoma River, Bricktown Canal and so much more.
  • MAPS for Kids- Sequels rarely live up to the originals (looking at you Weekend at Bernie’s II) but this one did. Every single school in the Oklahoma City metro was either rebuilt or renovated.
  • MAPS 3- Progress on the latest projects is well underway and will bring a massive downtown park, whitewater facility, streetcar and more.
MAPS, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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What are we thankful for? Local Districts

Louie\\\'s in Midtown

Partying in the Plaza and Paseo. Singing in the Stockyards. Boogieing in Bricktown. You get the picture, in Oklahoma City we love our local districts. Ask a random stranger walking down the street and they will probably agree with us, local districts are something we should definitely be thankful for in OKC.

The local districts have done a great job of carving out unique niches with eyes towards the future while celebrating their history. Food, shopping, music and fun are great ways to sum up these Oklahoma City hotspots.

  • Adventure District- A zoo, science museum, race track … yeah, this district is appropriately named.
  • Asian District- Oklahoma City has a rich Asian heritage and it is on full display in this district. Of course you already knew that if you are a fan of Pho.
  • Automobile Alley- Especially stunning this time of year with the fabulous light display.
  • Boathouse District- Just when you think the river couldn’t get any better, it does.
  • Bricktown- OKC’s original district success story.
  • Deep Deuce- This district is bursting with history and is quickly becoming the hub for urban living.
  • Film Row- An up-and-coming district that was once the center for film distribution in the region.
  • Midtown- This district is a great microcosm of Oklahoma City’s modern-day renaissance.
  • Paseo Art District- A hub of arts, history and great food.
  • Plaza District- A great place to get funky with food, local shops and live entertainment.
  • Stockyards City- Our city’s Western heritage come to life.
  • Western Avenue- Trendy food and shopping in abundance can be found on Western.
  • Uptown 23rd- Already home to some of OKC’s favorite restaurants this district is one to watch the next couple of years.
Paseo District, Plaza District, Stockyards, Adventure District, Uptown 23, Asian District, Western Avenue, Automobile Alley, Boathouse District, Bricktown, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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What are we thankful for? Sports

OKC Energy Player [Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

[Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

Crimson and Cream, Orange and Black, Blue and “Sunset” … no matter what color you pledge alliance to, it has been a year to be thankful for in the Sooner State (or Cowboy Nation). The football teams are making national waves, the Thunder just tipped off an exciting year and our local pro baseball and soccer teams got a taste of deep post-season runs. Check out some recent blog posts if you need a quick refresher on the joy (and sometimes agony) our local teams provide.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder- Injuries derailed an exciting Thunder team last season but a new coach and healthy team (knocking on all the wood in the world) has this looking like a year we won’t soon forget.
  • Oklahoma City Dodgers- The Dodgers wrapped up their inaugural season in OKC with a division title.
  • Oklahoma City Energy- In just two short years OKC’s soccer team has already developed a rabid fan base. The fan base was rewarded with a great season as the Energy advanced to the Western Conference finals.
  • Oklahoma City Blue- The Blue are starting their second season in Oklahoma City and the games are a great place to get a preview of future NBA talent.
  • Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners have one of the most storied football programs in the country and are looking to add to their impressive trophy case this season. The basketball team is also nationally ranked to start the season.
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys- The Cowboys are in the winningest era in the program’s history. OSU will play OU this weekend with a potential conference championship on the line.
  • Small-College Football- The Sooners and Cowboys are not the only local colleges who play big-time football.
baseball, basketball, college, Dodgers, football, OKC Energy, soccer, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 24 - November 30, 2015

Myriad Gardens pop-up shops

Tuesday, November 24
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Blue vs. Los Angeles D-Fenders; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, November 25
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.
Learn to Skate; 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Lesson prices vary.

Thursday, November 26
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 

Friday, November 27
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Bricktown Tree Lighting Festival; 5 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 235-3500; This event is free.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Detroit Pistons; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; 602-8700; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, November 28
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Jason Boland and The Stragglers; 9:30 p.m.; Wormy Dog Saloon; 601-6276; Tickets are $20;

Sunday, November 29
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m..; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.

Monday, November 30
Holiday Pop-Up Shops; All day; Midtown; Admission is free.
Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Winter Shoppes; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Admission is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Admission prices vary. 
Learn to Skate; 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Lesson prices vary.

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

Downtown in December

Downtown in December Sandridge Santa Run

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

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

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

Fun family activities include:

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

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

outdoor recreation, running, theater, ballet, Bricktown, downtown, family-friendly, holiday, kids, movies, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Merry and bright…

Christmas Lights in Automobile Alley

One of our favorite things about the holiday season in OKC are the beautiful decorations and light displays that adorn the city.

If you haven’t visited Automobile Alley during the holiday season, then you are truly missing out. More than 180,000 colorful lights drape the historic buildings transforming the eight blocks of North Broadway into a magical holiday wonderland. There are also some really awesome shops along this stretch including where you can find unique local gifts for that special someone on your holiday list.

Don’t miss the annual tree lighting festival in Bricktown as Mayor Mick Cornett officially kicks off the holiday season in OKC on Nov. 27. The festivities will continue that evening at the Oklahoma River during the annual holiday river parade and will conclude with a fireworks show. The beautiful lights in Bricktown can be enjoyed throughout the holiday season.

We know most towns in the metro have great holiday light displays and tours so hit us up in the comments and with more information so we can spread the Holiday cheer.

Automobile Alley, Bricktown, festivals, free, holiday, Oklahoma River, parade, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Natural beauty

Ice Skating at the Myriad Gardens

We have to admit that Myriad Botanical Gardens  might just be one of our favorite places in downtown OKC. Seriously, the gardens recently received the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Open Space Award recognizing it as one of the most outstanding public spaces in the entire world. So we are obviously not alone in our love of the OKC gem.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens always provide a serene locale to escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown OKC, but in the wintertime the gardens come to life in a whole new way complete with shopping, a festive outdoor atmosphere complete with lights and a selection of boutique-style vendors.

If you’ve never strolled through the gardens, we might suggest taking part in one of the free monthly walking tours. While you’re here be sure to take in the beauty of Crystal Bridge. The holiday season is the perfect time to explore the 750 varieties of plans in the 13,000 square feet conservatory. If you visit on Sunday evenings in December, you can take in all of the beauty for free.

The gardens also give you a great view of the fabulous Devon lights just across the street (look North).

Another fun family-friendly winter attraction at the Myriad Botanical Gardens is the Devon Ice Rink. The young and young at heart are welcome to slip and slide the night (and day) away now through January. A bit rusty on the ice? Don’t fret, you can even take skate lessons so you will be ready to show off your mad skills to your kids, friends, co-workers or all of OKC. Check the schedule for rink hours and get ready to hit the ice.

family-friendly, free, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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