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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Riverscream

KJ103 RiverScream

We all want to make memories with our family, right? We want something we can look back on 10 or 20 years from now to smile, laugh and reminisce. KJ103’s Riverscream is the perfect answer to that need. They have a zombie zip line and zombie-themed laser tag. There is a pirate’s zone for the younger children, ages 2-7, and whitewater rafting. There are a plethora of options available to make memories for the entire family. You can find all the information here.

All of this is great, the kids are important and memories with your family and kids are something you never want to lose, but what about us adults? When do we get to be a little loose and have a little fun without the kids? We love them, but we all need time apart to breathe. Once again, Oklahoma City has your back.

Haunt the River in downtown Oklahoma City provides a relaxing boat ride. The boat is decorated for the holiday, provides haunting music and light appetizers, but maybe most importantly alcohol is available. There is a cash bar on board, which can certainly help you relax and ease into the holiday season. Cruise privileges are not valid for groups of eight or more though. You can find all the information you need here.

family-friendly, holiday, nightlife, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, Boathouse District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Oklahoma Regatta Festival

The 2018 Oklahoma Regatta Festival will take place Sept. 28 - 30 in the Boathouse District. This amazing three-day competition includes rowing, dragon boating, kayaking, white water rafting and family fun.

The weekend will also feature the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma race, OGE NightSprints, and food trucks and beer gardens. The races features teams from all over the nation competing on all levels of competition--collegiate, masters and junior rowing.

During the festival the 500-meter NightSprints are held when the sun sets. This creates a unique and intense atmosphere for everyone involved from spectators to competitors. Everyone is invited to bring something to sit on or someone to sit with, or both of course, and cheer the athletes on.

live sporting events, Oklahoma River, water sports, Boathouse District, family-friendly, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A riverís rise

Riversport Rapids whitewater rafting

In many ways, the story of the Oklahoma River and the modern-day renaissance of Oklahoma City go hand-in-hand. The river and Oklahoma City had many ups and downs during their first century before the original MAPS program jumpstarted an unprecedented rebirth for both.

To help tell that story, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber launched a storytelling feature on www.greateroklahomacity.com/river depicting the rise of Oklahoma City’s river.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

So check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share it with you friends and family.

Boathouse District, MAPS, Oklahoma River, publication, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Better know a district

OKC Skyline

You don’t have to read our blog very long to figure out local districts are a big deal in Oklahoma City. Whether you are getting funky in the Plaza, living it up in Bricktown or getting adventurous in the Adventure District there is a corner of the city that is perfect for you.

We will be the first to admit that getting to know the districts in OKC can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. Getting to know your Midtowns from your Uptowns might take some time. Luckily that is why we are here. Over the next month or so we will be giving you in-depth looks at each district. Until then here is a quick snapshot of each district:

  • Adventure District- the most aptly named district in OKC, home to the Oklahoma City Zoo, Remington Park, Science Museum Oklahoma, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and more.
  • Asian District- a vibrant enclave of Asian culture in the heart of OKC. You’ll find some of the best Asian food in the region here.
  • Automobile Alley- Just north of Downtown, this district used to be the primary location of the city’s car dealerships. Today it is home to local dining and shopping.
  • Boathouse District- home to future Olympians, this district features stunning architecture and is an outdoorsmen’s dream.
  • Bricktown- this former warehouse area is OKC’s prime entertainment district.
  • Classen Curve- located in NW OKC this district features great shopping and dining.
  • Deep Deuce- the center of urban living in OKC.
  • Film Row- what was once home to the film distribution industry for the region is now one of the metro’s quickest developing districts.
  • Midtown- the perfect mix of local retail and historic homes.
  • Paseo Arts District- eclectic art and great restaurants are the name of the game for this district.
  • Plaza District- the epicenter of funky local retail in OKC.
  • Stockyards City- this district is a blast to the past and pays homage to the metro’s western heritage.
  • Western Avenue- an eclectic mix of local restaurants and bars, retail shops and boutiques, antique and furniture stores and fine art galleries make up Western.
  • Uptown 23rd- anchored by the historic Tower Theater, you'll find great locally-owned restaurants and bars, as well as fun boutiques
Midtown, Paseo District, Plaza District, Adventure District, Stockyards, Asian District, Uptown 23, Automobile Alley, Western Avenue, Boathouse District, Bricktown, Classen Curve, Deep Deuce, Film Row
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Crew goals

Dragon Boating

Some of the best riversport athletes in the world will be in Oklahoma City on Oct. 5-8 as the Oklahoma Regatta Festival takes place on the Oklahoma River. For four days, 2,500 athletes will compete in rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and whitewater rafting during the Oklahoma City University Head of the Oklahoma Regatta and the OGE NightSprints.

The OCU Head of the Oklahoma races will include 2.5 mile races against the clock each day where participants from across the country will compete in collegiate, masters and junior rowing divisions. The 500-meter night sprints Saturday evening will surely be a sight not to miss – they take place on the only permanently lighted rowing race course in the world. And the friendly dragon boat competition with teams of 20 paddlers and one drummer will “Paddle for a Cure,” with all proceeds benefitting the local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

In addition to the racing, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival will include a family festival with food trucks and beer gardens – all with a first-rate view of the racing and the traditional post-race fireworks. Whether you are rolling with your crew or flying solo, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival is the perfect place to enjoy the first weekend of October in Oklahoma City.

View the schedule at riversportokc.org.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, festivals, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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From zero to hero

Regatta Festival

While it’s hard to imagine OKC today without the fantastic amenities that are available in the Boathouse District, the district is actually in its infancy. A seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River, known today as the Oklahoma River, was part of the original MAPS projects and was completed in 2004.

Prior to MAPS, the area had been a dry riverbed whose water was redirected to avoid flooding downtown Oklahoma City and the city had to mow it a couple times each year. The river actually got its name after local civic leader Ray Ackerman encouraged city leaders to name the area the Oklahoma River.

If you take a stroll through this area, prepare to see world-class boathouses with stunning architecture from Oklahoma City companies and universities. The recent addition of RIVERSPORT Rapids and the 70-acre Scissortail Park, which will stretch from the heart of downtown OKC to the Oklahoma River, will only add to the excitement of this unique area. If you haven’t, pack up the family and make the short trek to explore this growing area. We can promise you will be glad you did. 

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Rolliní on the river

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

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

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

Boathouse District, cycling, family-friendly, kids, MAPS, outdoor recreation, running, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Better biking

Whether you’re a fan of road bikes, mountain bikes or the occasional unicycle, OKC has the trails for you and is getting more every day. With the passage of MAPS 3 in 2009, voters approved $40 million to construct miles of new trails to make the city more bike friendly than ever. Additionally, with the recent passage of the 2017 GO bonds, the City will dedicate even more money, $8.4 million, to new trails. Here are just a few of the multi-use trails the City currently has to offer:

  • The Oklahoma River trails are two trails that run along the Oklahoma River corridor and the Boathouse District that are 13 miles long. They also connect to several other trails such as the Bricktown Trail and Katy Trail.
  • If you’re interested in taking a cruise around a lake, take a look at the Bert Cooper Trails that circle Lake Hefner. These trails are 9.8 miles long and are near a variety of restaurants along the East Wharf so you can grab a bite to eat after a good workout.
  • One of the newest trails as part of MAPS 3 is the 7.5 mile long West River Trail. This trail offers some beautiful scenery and is connected to the Oklahoma River Trails and Overholser Trail.

If you’re someone who likes to chart their own path, take a look at the bike trail map. From here you can pick your own route and pedal to your heart’s desire throughout OKC.

Boathouse District, cycling, Lake Hefner, mountain biking, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fun even without a paddle

Riversport Zipline

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

The newest addition to the river is RIVERSPORT Rapids, a MAPS 3-funded whitewater center that offers rafting, kayaking and tubing. The center opened in May and hosted the 2016 Olympic trials for canoe/kayak slalom.

You can also take your adventurous spirit to new heights with the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! Both the 700-feet zip line across the Oklahoma River and the 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail will make you feel like a kid again. For tamer entertainment, rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board for the day or test your skills on the climbing walls. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly anyone who appreciates the great outdoors will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River. All river adventures activities are currently open during the weekends. They will open for week-long fun in late May.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Making waves

Riversport Whitewater

Oklahoma City is a town full of people who dream big but whitewater rafting in downtown? A decade ago even the most bright-eyed optimist would have told you to tap the breaks. But in 2017 your own thrill ride on the waves is possible in the shadow of the skyline.

The RIVERSPORTS Rapids is one of only six man-made whitewater courses in the country and will is powered by a total of six pumps that weigh more than 12,000 pounds each (think full-grown elephant or two great white sharks) and circulate 82,000 gallons per minute (fast enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in a mere 80 seconds). About 2,000 people will be able to raft in a single day making RIVERSPORTS Rapids one of the largest rafting facilities not only in the United States, but in the entire in the world. But don’t fret, the facility is family-friendly too, offering rafting and kayaking for all levels of users from novice to Olympic Champion.

In addition to adding fun and excitement to our community, RIVERSPORT Rapids also helps increase community safety. The center is available for firefighter swift water rescue training, offering a controlled setting where rescuers can learn the most advanced techniques for rescuing people from fast-running water. The rapids are open on weekends until May 15 when they will be open seven days a week.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring break adventure awaits

Riversport Ropes Course

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

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

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

western heritage, zoo, Adventure District, arts and culture, Boathouse District, camps, museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, spring break
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Explore your own backyard

Riversport Rapids Kayaking

Longtime readers know that Oklahoma City offers plenty of ways to get in touch with your exploratory side – without leaving the city limits. Read on for a roundup of ways that you can get adventurous right here in Oklahoma City.

Boathouse District, cycling, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Boathouse District

Kayak in the Riversport Rapids

Maybe no district mirrors Oklahoma City’s modern-day renaissance like the Boathouse District. A little more than two decades ago the Oklahoma River was a local joke that had to be routinely mowed (it wasn’t exactly flowing with water). Thanks to investment from the local citizens through MAPS the river now is a hotbed of activity, features multiple boathouses and is a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site year-round.

Just last month the one-of-a-kind RIVERSPORT Rapids opened. The project, which is part of the city's MAPS 3 initiative, is one of only six man made white water courses in the entire country. The site will offer different courses ranging from class II rapids (perfect for families and first time rafters) to class IV rapids which will challenge even elite athletes.

The district is not just for Olympic-caliber water athletes but for the whole family. Try out the free fall experience of the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! We have to admit that both the 700-feet zip line across the Oklahoma River and 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail make us feel like kids again. But don’t fret, there is plenty to do for those who prefer a little tamer entertainment. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board for the day or test your skills on the climbing walls. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly all outdoors men and women (young and young at heart) will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River.

Can’t decide what to do? Don’t worry you can buy a RIVERSPORT All Access or Adventure pass. You can buy a day or annual pass and try everything the Oklahoma River has to offer.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Making waves

If you’ve been in OKC any time at all, you have probably heard about MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) and how it sparked the revolution of Oklahoma City. Everyone from Men’s Fitness and National Geographic to the New York Times have chimed in to give kudos to the community for investing in itself.

2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for MAPS 3 projects as some are being completed (think white water rafting in downtown OKC) and others are kicking into high gear.

We are counting down the days (45 to be exact) until the opening of the RIVERSPORTS Rapids Whitewater Rafting and Kayak Center on the Oklahoma River on May 7. And apparently we’re not the only ones – expect Bricktown and all of downtown to be teeming with excitement as Olympians from across the nation gather at the site to take part in Road to Rio Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance U.S. Olympic Team Trials on opening weekend.

The site is one of only six man-made whitewater courses in the country and will be powered by a total of six pumps that weigh more than 12,000 pounds each (think full-grown elephant or two great white sharks) and circulate 82,000 gallons per minute (fast enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in a mere 80 seconds). About 2,000 people will be able to raft in a single day making RIVERSPORTS Rapids one of the largest rafting facilities not only in the United States, but in the entire in the world. But don’t fret, the facility is family-friendly too, offering rafting and kayaking for all levels of users from novice to Olympic Champion.

In addition to adding fun and excitement to our community, RIVERSPORT Rapids will also help increase community safety. The center will be available for firefighter swift water rescue training, offering a controlled setting where rescuers can learn the most advanced techniques for rescuing people from fast-running water.

While you’re exploring the Boathouse District, be sure to check out the three new high-speed slides at RIVERSPORT Adventures. The word on the street is that they are tallest in the country!

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Get outdoors for spring break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boathouse District, day-trip, family-friendly, kids, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, spring break, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Spring break camps cater to many interests and help with child care

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

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

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

spring break, theater, Thunder, Adventure District, western heritage, arts and culture, zoo, basketball, Boathouse District, camps, downtown, kids, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

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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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Get your row on

Regatta on the Oklahoma River

Did you know that there’s a world-class rowing site right in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City? In fact, numerous local companies and organizations throughout OKC have teams who hone their rowing skills and compete annually against teams from all over during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival. This year on Oct. 1-4, more than 2,500 athletes will gather to compete in the Boathouse District.

Not only is it a fun-filled, exhilarating time for participants but spectators also have a unique opportunity to see OKC in a whole new light. Head of the Oklahoma races will include 2.5 mile races against the clock each day where participants compete for the best time. The 500-meter night sprints Saturday evening will surely be a sight not to miss. Events are held in different categories including collegiate, masters and junior rowing as well as kayak and dragon boat racing. But the fun isn’t just limited to participants. Each year a free family festival including games, fun and great food is held to coincide with the Regatta and each evening concludes with a fireworks display over the Oklahoma River!

One event that we are anxiously awaiting is Quixotic Cirque Nouveau. We’re not sure if we are more in awe of the acrobatics and phenomenal artistry or the fact that the show is literally taking place at the top of the six-story SandRidge Sky Trail. Bring the whole family to enjoy this unique, free event. Just don’t forget the blankets!

adult sports, Boathouse District, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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World-class fun

[Photo by: Georgia Read]

In addition to hosting the Regatta annually, the Oklahoma City Boathouse District serves as a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site year-round. In fact, it is one of only a few in the nation to earn this prestigious designation.

But it also a place for a ton of family fun. Looking for a little adventure? The Boathouse district has you covered! Try out the free fall experience of the Rumble Drop or SandRidge Sky Trail, the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world! We have to admit that both the 700-feet zip line across the Oklahoma River and 72-foot sky slide from atop the sky trail make us feel like kids again. But don’t fret, there is plenty to do for those who prefer a little tamer entertainment. Rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board for the day or test your skills on the climbing walls. There is even a youth zone for the kiddos. And certainly all outdoors men and women (young and young at heart) will love the 13 miles of scenic trails that meander along the Oklahoma River.

We are anxiously awaiting the completion of RIVERSPORT Rapids which is slated to be open in 2016. The project, which is part of the city's MAPS 3 initiative, will be one of only six man made white water courses in the entire country. Approximately 2,000 people each day will be able to enjoy the course which is powered by a total of six pumps that weigh more than 12,000 pounds each and circulate 82,000 gallons per minute. If you ask us, that’s a lot of water! In fact, RIVERSPORT Rapids will be one of the biggest rafting facilities in the world. Not an experienced white water rafter? Don’t worry. The site will offer different course ranging from class II rapids (perfect for families and first time rafters) to class IV rapids which will challenge even elite athletes. Get a virtual tour of RIVERSPORT Rapids here.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Making history

Oklahoma River and Skyline photo by John Jernigan

[Photo by: John Jernigan]

While it’s hard to imagine OKC today without the fantastic amenities that are available in the Boathouse District, the district is actually in its infancy. A seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River, known today as the Oklahoma River, was part of the original MAPS projects and was completed in 2004, a mere 11 years ago. Prior to MAPS, the area had been a dry riverbed whose water was redirected to avoid flooding downtown Oklahoma City. The river actually got its name after local civic leader Ray Ackerman encouraged city leaders to name the area the Oklahoma River. The progress in the Boathouse District continues even today. If you take a stroll through this area, prepare to see world-class boathouses with stunning architecture from Oklahoma City companies and universities. The addition of RIVERSPORT Rapids and the 70-acre downtown park which will stretch from the heart of downtown OKC to the Oklahoma River will only add to the excitement of this unique area. If you haven’t, pack up the family and make the short trek to explore this growing area. We can promise you will be glad you did.  

Boathouse District, family-friendly, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Festival Fulsomeness

Crowd at Charlie Christian Jazz Festival

Speaking of summer and free live music, OKC offers an exorbitance of opportunities to coalesce with your fellow fun- and music-loving humans in the coming weeks and months as those summer temperatures get more temperate. Check out just a smattering of our free festival calendar below:Charlie Christian Jazz Festival

Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival – Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, Bricktown
I mean, what’s not to like? Live music? Good. BBQ? Good. Beer? Good. Don’t “trifle” with anything less than the true festival trifecta at the Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival.

LibertyFest Concert in the Park – Thursday, June 25, in front of UCO’s Mitchell Hall Theater in Edmond
Check out this year’s edition of this popular event as the 88-person-strong band conducted by UCO Wind Symphony Conductor Dr. Brian Lamb fires up “a mixture of light classics, marches and patriotic music… that will appeal to all.”

SandRidge Energy Starts & Stripes River Festival – Saturday, June 27, Boathouse District
In addition to dragon boat racing, corporate league 500m sprint rowing races, a 5k run/500m kayak duathlon and other exciting athletic events, the Stars & Stripes River Festival features live music and entertainment (including fireworks!) suitable for all ages.

West Fest – Saturday, September 19, Western Avenue District
The website says, “music + food trucks + beer.” Again, that’s quite the pulchritudinous potpourri for us festival lovers. Details are still being worked out, but you can follow their Twitter for updates.

Plaza District Festival – Saturday, September 26, Plaza District
What else is coming up? What are we missing? What are your favorite festivals of the summer? Let us know via social media or in the comments section.

Boathouse District, Bricktown, Edmond, festivals, free, Plaza District, Western Avenue
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Get on (or Zip Over) the Oklahoma River

If you are new to Oklahoma City, don’t miss all of the fun that we’ve been having for awhile on the Oklahoma River at the Boathouse District. Made for kids and adults alike, the Oklahoma River has developed into one of Oklahoma City’s entertainment jewels.

Whether you’re into kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, dragon boating, zip lining or climbing the SandRidge Sky Trail adventure course, RIVERSPORT Adventures is a good place to start learning what you can do.

The Oklahoma River is home to U.S. Olympic training for canoe/kayaking and teams of both corporate and youth river sports.

All ages can enjoy the Oklahoma River. Choose your adventure and buy a pass.

Boathouse District, family-friendly, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Explore downtown OKC whatever your interest

If you find yourself in downtown Oklahoma City with some time to explore, don’t miss the chance to stumble upon some places that you haven’t seen before.

For ideas, check out the downtown walking tour from the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau or go to Downtown OKC’s website to find various ways to make your time downtown interesting, special and fun, no matter what your interests are. From Downtown OKC, you can get the most out of your visit downtown by checking out itineraries for going on a date, listening to music, enjoying some family time or participating in health and fitness activities.

While you’re downtown, stretch your wings a bit and see many of the sites close by, such as those in Bricktown, Automobile Alley, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Stockyards City and the Boathouse District.

Film Row, fitness, Automobile Alley, Boathouse District, Bricktown, downtown, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thank You for Being a Friend

If you’ve got some long-distance friendships going on, now is the time to show them how much you care! Oklahoma City’s retail scene has plenty of options to please even the pickiest pal. Check out some ideas to get you started below!

retail, shopping, Thunder, Western Avenue, Boathouse District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thereís more to explore with your family as summer ends

As summer winds down and boredom has truly set in, get your children out of the house and take them on a family outing to one of Oklahoma City’s ever-popular attractions.

Here’s a list if you need to refresh your memory of what you can do.

For amusement-park-type fun, there’s always WhiteWater Bay for a great chance to cool off with a day filled with water rides. Or, check out the traditional amusement park experience at Frontier City with rides and entertainment to fit all ages. If you’re too hot, Celebration Station has indoor activities like video games, air hockey, pool tables, driving games and outdoor ones as well, like batting cages, bumper boats, miniature golf and more.

You can also go to the tried-and-true family-oriented stops in the Adventure District like these:

  • The Oklahoma City Zoo, which recently added a one-horned Indian rhinoceros to its mix with a male baby rhino, born June 21. If you go, you might get a glimpse of mom Niki and her calf, named “Rupert” via an online vote.
  • Science Museum Oklahoma, which lets visitors explore all things science with a variety of hands-on exhibits and galleries and an IMAX Theater. If you go right now, you have a chance to see the traveling “Art of the Brick” exhibition by New York artist Nathan Sawaya, who creates large-scale sculptures using Lego bricks. The exhibit is open until Sept. 13.
  • Explore America’s Western history at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum with its art and interactive exhibits. If you haven’t taken your family there in a while, check it out now.

To get outdoors, check out the Oklahoma River by renting a kayak, zipping down the new SandRidge Sky Zip line or climbing the SandRidge Sky Trail and Slide, among other adventures you can have through RIVERSPORT. Or go to Lake Arcadia, the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge or Martin Park Nature Center.

There are more ways to entertain your children of all ages as summer comes to a close. For ideas go online to the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website.

attractions, Boathouse District, family-friendly, kids, museums, outdoor recreation, water sports, zoo, Adventure District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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