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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

OKC districts 101

Plaza District

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
Stockyards, Adventure District, Uptown 23, Asian District, Western Avenue, Automobile Alley, Bricktown, Classen Curve, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown, Paseo District, Plaza District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Mapping our way to the future

Chesapeake Energy Arena

The OKC Streetcar is set to begin normal operations in December. The new, state of the art convention center is due to open doors in 2020. We stand in an era of unprecedented growth, but new residents may not know how the decisions of Oklahoma City voters led us to this path.

Our remarkable productivity today was born after Oklahoma City experienced an energy downturn in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Hungry for a way to boost economic development and reinvestment, Oklahoma City Mayor Ronald Norick proposed the Metropolitan Area Projects, a capital improvement program to be funded by a temporary one-cent sales tax. MAPS was comprised of the following projects:

  • Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark - Finished in 1998, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark was the first major project of MAPS and served as the first testament to Oklahoma City’s renaissance and its close ties to the past.
  • Improvements to the State Fairgrounds – The State Fairgrounds received a new livestock show facility, horse barns, and several other necessary renovations by this project’s completion in 1998.
  • Creation of the Bricktown Canal – Completed in 1999 and improved in 2003 and 2004, the Bricktown Canal served as the first bridge to take back Bricktown from years of vacancy and crime. Now, the canal and the district are one of OKC’s main attractions.
  • Creation of the Myriad (now Cox) Convention Center – Home to countless shows, exhibitions, graduations, and other events, the Cox Convention Center has been a hub for state and nationwide activity since its opening in 1999.
  • Creation of the Spirit Trolley System – Predecessor to Oklahoma City’s growing public transit sector, the Spirit Trolley service began in 1999 and served the city for 11 years.
  • Improvements to the Civic Center Music Hall – Home to the OKC Phil, the Lyric Theatre and others, the Civic Center was renovated in 2001. Stage advancements, a five-story atrium, and acoustic improvements were among other renovations.
  • Creation of the Ford Center (now the Chesapeake Energy Arena) – Constructed in 2002 and considered the beating heart of Oklahoma City, the Chesapeake Energy Center is the home of the OKC Thunder and serves as one of the largest musical venues in the southern United States.
  • Creation of the Oklahoma River Recreational Area – MAPS turned a seven-mile span of the North Canadian River into a series of river lakes for public use. Construction of the dam system, trails, landscaping, and other amenities finished in 2004.
  • Creation of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library – The four-story library includes classrooms and a conference center, and is a part of the Metropolitan Library System. It was named for Mayor Norick upon its completion in 2004, marking the end of MAPS.

The first Metropolitan Area Projects differentiated from other improvements programs by funding projects debt free. As a result, MAPS and its successor programs, MAPS For Kids and MAPS 3, are model success stories that have spurred faster – and more fiscally responsible – investments than most cities throughout the U.S.

MAPS was a simple idea with a big impact, and it speaks as a testament to the ideals of Oklahoma City residents. When faced with crisis, we reinvent; when faced with a cause, we give; when faced with a quandary, we climb our way out. The Yes to MAPS campaign slogan in 1994 was “Believe in Our Future!”, and it seems like Oklahoma City residents believe more now than they ever have.

You can find out more about the history of MAPS, including interviews from prominent figures in OKC, at the City of Oklahoma City MAPS site here.

MAPS, Oklahoma River, State Fair Park, baseball, Bricktown, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Coming “rail” soon

Streetcar Testing

If you’ve spent anytime near downtown recently you know that something big is happening. That something big is the OKC Streetcar and we are just months away from launch day. That is right, this December you will be able to ride the OKC Streetcar throughout downtown.

The Oklahoma City Streetcar will include five cars, each circulating to 22 stops along 4.8 miles of track, with an average time of 12 to 14 minutes between cars. Each car can carry 104 passengers through two main loops: a Bricktown loop and a Midtown-Business District-Automobile Alley cross-sectional. You can view a map of the routes here.

The streetcar will be an affordable, accessible, convenient alternative for office commuters, convention attendees, tourists and others visiting our great city. A single trip will cost $1, and a day pass will be $3. Monthly passes will be $32 and an annual pass will cost $384.

As of the beginning of July, 87 percent of track had been placed and 78 percent of stops had been completed. Six streetcars are currently in the maintenance facility with a seventh arriving at the end of October. Streetcar operation testing on the Bricktown loop is currently underway.

Construction and adjustment is still ongoing in several locations. Specific road and lane closures through Sept. 1 can be found in this report from the City of Oklahoma City MAPS 3 site. General information for the OKC Streetcar can be found on the EMBARK Streetcar page or on the City of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 Streetcar page.

You wanted it, you paid for it and now it’s time you got it. Keep your eyes on December: the OKC Streetcar is coming rail soon.

Bricktown, downtown, MAPS, public transportation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Live music in OKC

There’s a certain voice to OKC. It wavers in a rekindled vibrancy, as an old man that’s come back to his church choir. Wherever you go here, there’s someone around the corner singing gospel about the best and the worst parts of life and experience.

Back in 1919 over on Second Street, the Aldridge Theater opened and hosted the best jazz musicians in the nation. Now, the building is gone and that music spills onto the streets. Every last Saturday of the month, the historic Deep Deuce District lives again in the Deep Deuce Sessions, a music walk where artists invade local venues and fill the air with gospel, jazz and acoustic sounds.

The Jones Assembly is OKC’s newest spot for music and food, opened in 2017. Pulling big name artists and offering classy food and drink options, this young establishment does its home district of Film Row proud. Down on 23rd Street, the historic Tower Theatre stands proud again with its neon marquee. Sporting a history back to 1937 as an original movie house, this renovated venue hosts up-and-coming regional artists from hip-hop to Americana.

Swing over to the Plaza District where it bleeds with color and creativity. If the Plaza Walls are this district’s bare heart, then Saints Bar and Lounge is its illustrious voice in Saints Sessions. Every Thursday evening, talented, local acoustic and jazz musicians play at this intimate setting where the people are friendly, the drinks are strong and the music is stellar.

At Bleu Garten in Midtown OKC, culture stays local with table games, great drinks, seasoned food trucks and live, local music every Thursday night. With its outdoor setting, Bleu arguably has one of the best atmospheres in town. On the lively Bricktown canal, Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar is a true star of the city, with pizza by the slice and drinks galore. Open Thursday through Saturday, blisteringly skilled musical performers get their kicks taking requests and razzing audience members.

Just outside the Paseo District lies The Blue Door, a venue that offers a different experience than all the bars and restaurants. The Blue Door doesn’t offer drinks or food (although drinks are BYOB): it offers a quiet, close-knit listening room for the veteran and novice musician alike. Named simply after the color of its doors, this venue makes folk, rock and blues its cornerstone.

This old man doesn’t speak the words the same way as once, nor does he bellow as loud as he could in younger years, but he still finds a hunger for harmony. Etching an echo in kindred hearts, the man and his chorus, the city and its people, keep making this music, onward and ever upward.

Film Row, food, live music, nightlife, Oklahoma City history, Paseo District, Plaza District, restaurants, Bricktown, Uptown 23, Deep Deuce, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summertime in the 4-0-5

It’s here, it’s here! Summer, that is. Memorial Day marks the traditional start of summer and the end of the school year. With backyard BBQ’s, 9 p.m. – or later – sunsets and great weather to be outdoors, what’s not to like about summer? Summer is the time of infinite fun, where the day seems to last forever and the fun never stops!

Hold on now, you say. How will we keep the kids entertained, you say. How will we make it through endless days of “Mom, what can we do today?” or “Dad, will you drive us to the mall?” while fighting the urge to ship the family off to distant relatives (distant being the key word) so you don’t have to be the fountain of fresh ideas for family fun and frolic???

Here at Better Life HQ, we have a few suggestions that just might keep your family entertained, all while enjoying some amazing attractions that should be on your summer “to do” list!

One of our favorite OKC hot spots for splashing is just outside the Children's Garden area at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Thunder Fountain lures in kids of all ages with everything from light sprinkles to heavy downpours. Fitting the nature theme of the gardens, this splash pad simulates a real rainforest thunderstorm by going through storm cycles to the delight of everyone under the shaded fountain canopy. The City of Oklahoma City also has pools and splash pads all around town. You can find them here.

Summertime used to mean drive-in movie time, back in the day, and you can still find a few drive-ins around the metro. But there's just something special about watching a movie while sitting on a picnic blanket in the great outdoors. One of our favorite places to catch a flick is Myriad Gardens’ Great Lawn. On Wednesdays throughout the summer, the Great Lawn becomes the backdrop for a free summer flick.

Buy the kiddoes – and treat yourself, too – some peanuts and crackerjacks when you root, root, root for the OKC Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home to Oklahoma City's minor league baseball team. Tickets to these fun-filled and family-friendly games are more affordable than a game in the bigs, so you’ll have plenty of extra cash for snow cones and hot dogs. The ball yard is conveniently located in Bricktown so catching a game affords you a chance to see the scenic Bricktown Canal and views of downtown. Check out the Dodgers’ schedule to find when the home team is playing.

Anyone who grew up fishing during the summer knows just how much fun it is to dip your hook, but it can be difficult for city dwellers to go to all the trouble to have their kids take up this summertime hobby. Grabbing a pole and bait and taking the time to get a fishing license and scope out a good spot to drop your line may not seem worth the effort. But don’t despair, OKC makes fishing easy by offering Free Fishing Days. You can fish without a city permit on the first Saturday of each month (but you still need your state license). Kids can also take weekly lessons at various Oklahoma City parks throughout the summer so there's no excuse not to share this iconic summer experience with the kiddoes! Who knows, you might even run into the Thunder’s PG13!

kids, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation, water sports, Bricktown, Dodgers, family-friendly, fishing, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bricktown: fun for all ages

Bricktown Nightlife

Adjacent to downtown Oklahoma City is one of the most well-known entertainment districts in the Southwest – Bricktown. With its large concentration of high-energy night clubs, casual lounges and list of restaurants covering a multitude of culinary cultures, Bricktown has something for every taste. And, when you factor in its picturesque setting, which embraces a mile-long canal lined with eateries, clubs, a movie theater, a bowling lounge, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and beautifully landscaped gardens and public art, you'll discover something the whole family can enjoy! Vibrant melodies can be heard coming from the American Banjo Museum and the Academy of Contemporary Music. You can also see some of the hottest acts in music at the Criterion. Take a Bricktown Water Taxi cruise along the canal and discover the history of this energetic district. And while the weather is warm, be sure to hail a pedicab or one of several horse-drawn carriages that can be seen ferrying customers all over Bricktown. It's the perfect place for you to choose your own adventure.

nightlife, restaurants, Bricktown, family-friendly, live music, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day

Friends enjoying beer

It is time to make sure all your green clothes are washed because St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. We’ll be completely honest, it is not all that difficult to find a fun St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Oklahoma City. Your favorite restaurant or bar will probably have the green beer flowing. However, there are handful of events we want to make you aware of:

  • St Patrick’s Day in the Garden: This is a St. Patrick’s Day event the whole family can enjoy at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Food trucks, face painting, bag pipes and even Scottish dancing will all be taking place.
  • O’City St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The official parade of Oklahoma City is back and will begin at 11 a.m. All sorts of local organizations will be showing their St. Paddy’s Day pride during the parade. The parade will take place on Sheridan between the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
  • Bricktown St. Patrick’s Day Block Party: Kicking off at noon around Reno & Oklahoma Ave, this all day shindig will feature live music and food trucks. It is for all ages and the admission is free.
Bricktown, family-friendly, holiday, Myriad Botanical Gardens, parade
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
Plaza District, Adventure District, Stockyards, Asian District, Uptown 23, Automobile Alley, Western Avenue, Boathouse District, Bricktown, Classen Curve, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown, Paseo District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Light up your night

Bricktown Christmas Tree

Maybe it is just us but something about driving around in the car on a crisp December night to look at Christmas lights instantly makes us feel like a kid again. If the sight of Christmas lights instantly takes you from Scrooge to Buddy the Elf, then we’ve got some good news for you: Oklahoma City does Christmas lights right.

We compiled a list of some can’t miss stops on your 2017 Christmas light tour.

  • Devon Energy Center’s giant-sized ornaments have again taken their places on the lawn and outside the Colcord, as well as in the rotunda. Bonus points if you take a picture in front of them for your Christmas card.
  • Bricktown Canal Lights plus free water taxi rides equal the best of ways to make nighttime the brighttime.
  • The Bricktown Christmas Tree is up and blazin’ at the 3rd Base Plaza at the ballpark until January 1.
  • The Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway are located between 4th and 10th streets. Auto Alley does not mess around with its 180,000 lights along eight blocks.
  • Headed east? Then hit up Midwest City’s Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B. Barnes Park.
  • Headed west? Then hit up Yukon’s Christmas in the Park in what is actually three interconnected parks.

What are your favorite neighborhood displays? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter or Facebook and help us get the word out.

Automobile Alley, Bricktown, family-friendly, free, holiday, kids, Midwest City, Yukon
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Free rides

Downtown In December

We’ve told you about some of our favorite Downtown in December activities already, but we would be remiss if we neglected to remind you to take advantage of the free water taxi rides offered Thursday – Sunday from 6-9 p.m. until December 31 (excepting Christmas Day, of course)! The narrated 20-30-minute rides allow you to check out the holiday décor as well as learn some cool facts about Oklahoma and OKC in a festive, fun-filled, family friendly atmosphere of fantasticness. If you’ve got an aversion to water, or just want to hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling jing-jing-jingaling too, don’t fret – perhaps it’s a great time to try out a ride in a horse-drawn carriage from one of the many such vendors around downtown.

holiday, Bricktown, downtown, free
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

MAPS 3 update

Scissortail Park Groundbreaking

So we tend to talk about the MAPS projects a lot. A whole lot. Just type in MAPS to our search bar and you will see an abundance of content. In our defense, MAPS is a pretty big deal around these parts. The program helped jump start our city’s modern renaissance and a lot of great things around our city can be traced back to one of the programs (Oklahoma River, Thunder, Bricktown Canal, etc.).

If you are new to Oklahoma City here is a brief refresher on each MAPS program:

The MAPS 3 projects are well underway and they will help change the face of OKC over the next couple of years. We thought it would be a great time to give a quick update on all the projects. It is important to remember that MAPS projects are built debt-free. That helps keep our city in great financial shape, but also means the projects take a little longer to build.

  • Downtown Convention Center- The design of the new convention center has been approved and construction crews will break ground in early 2018. Also, an agreement was reached with Omni to operate an attached convention center hotel.
  • Scissortail Park- Construction has begun on the new 70-acre park. The park will include everything from a café to sports facilities and a lake. The name was chosen from an online vote of residents.
  • Oklahoma City Streetcar- If you have been downtown lately, you know construction on the streetcar lines are well underway. Service is set to begin late next year.
  • RIVERSPORT Rapids- One of the first projects to be completed, you can now whitewater raft in the heart of downtown.
  • Bennett Event Center- Completed earlier this year, the Bennett Events Center added 279,000 square feet of exhibit space to State Fair Park.
  • Senior Health and Wellness Centers- The first center has opened and membership has exceeded projections. Three more centers will open throughout the city over the next three years.
  • Trails- This $40 million project will bring three new trail systems to OKC’s already robust network. The West River Trail is already complete with two more trails finishing up before the end of next year.
  • Sidewalks- This ongoing project is bringing much-needed sidewalks to every part of the city. Click here for a map of the progress.
Oklahoma River, Thunder, Bricktown, downtown, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Downtown digs

Deep Deuce neighborhood

Everything is waiting for you downtown. Do you fancy the idea of being surrounded by community amenities and leaving the car in the garage and just walking to work, the movies, the museum, the Myriad Gardens or to your neighborhood “watering hole”* without having to worry about parking, traffic or all the other headaches inherent to getting behind the wheel? Downtown offers plenty of neighborhoods, both established and up-and-coming, to consider if you’re looking at a move. And you’re not alone, with downtown population increasing more than 15 percent since 2000 and more than 1,000 new units either under construction or planned.

Neighborhoods like Deep Deuce and Midtown offer a mix of housing types and are rapidly becoming well-developed and dense with lots of services and retail. Former entertainment-heavy areas like Bricktown have new housing coming on line soon. Linger on the sidewalk in Automobile Alley, where the neon signs are pretty, and maybe even get yourself a loft rental, apartment or a condo in a new development. Relish being an urban pioneer in all the new housing stock in Film Row and other areas in west downtown. Live modern in SoSA and take advantage of proximity to midtown and the central business district. Oklahoma City’s urban neighborhoods offer the best of the new urban vibe and excitement, without all the typical old urban grit. Learn more on our website.

*that’s code for “bar”

Deep Deuce, downtown, Film Row, housing, Midtown, Automobile Alley, Bricktown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Life’s a beach in Bricktown

Bricktown Nightlife

Grab your plastic pails and little shovels and load up on the sunscreen, because we’re hitting the beach! The Bricktown Beach is located along the Third Base Plaza on Mickey Mantle Blvd. at the ballpark and features games, lounge chairs, umbrellas and even sand volleyball among other activities and events. Making its return after a successful inaugural run last year, the Beach is free and open 24/7. Join us for Movie Night at the Beach this Wednesday, July 21 at 9 p.m. for a screening of Angels in the Outfield (concessions will be available). Get more info at downtownokc.com.

Bricktown, family-friendly, movies, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Quit your whining and drink some wine

Friends drinking wine

Beer is not the only thing you can ferment up to fabulous results, no siree. If you’d like to sample some local fruit of the vine, OKC has you covered. Put A Cork In It Winery describes itself as “the little winery in the heart of Bricktown” and is indeed located on the canal in the Miller Jackson building. Put A Cork In It offers a wide variety of wines including reds, whites and sweet wines, as well as tastings, gifts and souvenirs. Also downtown, Waters Edge Winery in Automobile Alley has more than 50 varieties of reds, whites, ports, dessert and fruit-based wines that are sure to please. Waters Edge offers tasting flights as well as bottles, and makes wines from grapes from all over, with an ever-evolving menu. Bottoms up!

Automobile Alley, Bricktown, downtown, retail, wine
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Various venues

The Criterion

The ‘Peake isn’t the only place to see a show around here. In addition to a plethora of smaller bar/restaurant venues, a number of schmedium-to-mid-sized live music venues have recently come on line, joining stalwarts like the Zoo Ampitheater, the Diamond Ballroom and indie-focused venues Opolis and 89th Street Collective.

The Criterion – a brand-new building in east Bricktown, this 4,000-capacity venue is across the street from the Steelyard development in a suddenly hot quarter of OKC’s premiere entertainment district. My Morning Jacket, Explosions in the Sky and Lil Wayne have played here recently, with performances by The xx and Jason Isbell on the upcoming calendar, among others.

The Tower Theater – a lot of excitement has surrounded the resurrection of one of the “grand old dames” of OKC’s early movie house scene. The main space has room for 700 standing on the main floor and an additional 264 (seated) in the balcony, and a smaller “studio” space handles 100 standing or 50 seated. The venue’s Studio Series has sold well, with only a few tickets for select shows available.

The Jones Assembly – set to open July 29 with The Wallflowers and Better Than Ezra, this renovated, 100-year-old, 20,000-square-foot space on Film Row (just south of the 21C Museum Hotel) features a 1,600-capacity performance venue as well as a true dining destination. Lake Street Dive and JJ Grey & Mofro have also been announced.

ACM@UCO Performance Lab – this performance space in Bricktown hosts plenty of touring acts in addition to ACM@UCO gigs (which is itself a pretty cool story, speaking of music), seating 200 sitting and 500 standing. The Lab has hosted Dr. Dog, Sean Lennon, Okkervil River and Ben Taylor recently.

Adventure District, Bricktown, concerts, Film Row, live music, Uptown 23, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Root for the home team

Big XII Baseball

The Big 12 Baseball Championships are right around the corner and once again the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is the host. This year’s tournament will be held May 24 – 28 and tickets are on sale now.

This will mark the 18th time our city has hosted the tournament since the Big 12 was formed in 1997. In fact, going back to the old Big 8 days, OKC has hosted 39 of the last 42 conference championships.

Basically that was long way of saying our community has done an outstanding job of supporting the tournament and we know that tradition will continue. Whether you root for the guys in Orange, Crimson, another Big 12 school or have no allegiance, this is an Oklahoma City tradition that shouldn’t be missed.

baseball, Bricktown, college
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bricktown

Bricktown

Adjacent to downtown Oklahoma City is one of the most well-known entertainment districts in the Southwest – Bricktown. With its large concentration of high-energy night clubs, casual lounges and list of restaurants covering a multitude of culinary cultures, Bricktown has something for every taste. And, when you factor in its picturesque setting, which embraces a mile-long canal lined with eateries, clubs, a movie theater, a bowling lounge, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and beautifully landscaped gardens and public art, you'll discover something the whole family can enjoy! Vibrant melodies can be heard coming from the American Banjo Museum and the Academy of Contemporary Music. Take a Bricktown Water Taxi cruise along the canal and discover the history of this energetic district. And while the weather is warm, be sure to hail a pedicab or one of several horse-drawn carriages that can be seen ferrying customers all over Bricktown. It's the perfect place for you to choose your own adventure.

arts and culture, baseball, Bricktown, family-friendly, museums, music, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MAPS

Chesapeake Energy Arena

MAPS stands for Metropolitan Area Projects and actually began 24 years ago in December of 1993 with MAPS I, thought to be the first large scale, public-facility enhancement project of its kind in the nation. The original MAPS project was funded by a temporary one-cent sales tax that lasted for 66 months, raising $309 million for MAPS I projects.

The original MAPS projects included iconic OKC facilities such as the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Bricktown Canal, Cox Convention Center, Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.

These landmark, iconic OKC facilities are so part of our daily lives today, that sometimes it is good to take a trip down memory lane and remember how it all began.

baseball, Bricktown, library, MAPS, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Dodgers are a Home Run

OKC Dodgers Baseball

As the grass begins to green and air starts to warm, that means one thing for a lot of people …baseball. The start of the 2017 is right around the corner for the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

The Dodgers, the AAA affiliate for the legendary Los Angeles Dodgers, are stacked with talent and have been one of the most successful teams in minor league baseball the past two seasons. They are back-to-back divisional champions and last season they won the conference title.

AAA baseball is a great way to enjoy spring in Oklahoma with family or friends while seeing some of the future stars of baseball. Recent All-Stars including Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, R.A. Dickey, Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler and Carl Crawford are just a few to have spent time in OKC. Even Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg spent a couple of seasons in the metro.

The first home game of the 2017 season will be April 6 against the Iowa Cubs. So check the schedule, buy your tickets and we will see you at the fabulous Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. We’ll be the ones enjoying the world famous Dodger Dogs.

baseball, Bricktown, Dodgers, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick\'s Day Celebration

Remember in elementary school when St. Patrick’s Day was that holiday where you would pinch people if they didn’t wear green? Well, it’s a lot more than that in OKC (although, the pinching is still very important, too).

Join in on the St. Patrick’s Day fun by heading to the Myriad Gardens on March 17 to learn about Irish heritage with music and fun crafts for kids. Or, head to Bricktown for the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, where you can enjoy live music, great food and even a few surprises.

Feel like going to Midtown instead? Then head to McNellie’s for their annual St. Patrick’s Day Party for food, drinks and music. If you want to make a difference this St. Patrick’s Day, consider participating in the 7th Annual Run Lucky 5k on March 12. All proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Bricktown, holiday, live music, Midtown, Myriad Botanical Gardens, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Getting around Downtown in December

Bricktown Water Taxi and Canal at Christmas

We’ve told you about some of our favorite Downtown in December activities already, but we would be remiss if we neglected to remind you to take advantage of the free water taxi rides offered Thursday – Sunday from 6-9 p.m. until December 31 (excepting Christmas Day, of course)! The narrated 20-30-minute rides allow you to check out the holiday décor as well as learn some cool facts about Oklahoma and OKC in a festive, fun-filled, family-friendly atmosphere of fantasticness. If you’ve got an aversion to water, or just want to hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling jing-jing-jingaling too, don’t fret – perhaps it’s a great time to try out a ride in a horse-drawn carriage from one of the many such vendors around downtown. If your horse sense is telling you to stay away from horses, Downtown in December is featuring Segway rentals as well, and of course, there’s always Spokies. Get down to Bricktown and check out all the ways to get around and enjoy all the festive holiday spirit in your downtown!

Bricktown, downtown, festivals, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What to OKC

The view from Vast

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

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

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

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

museums, Myriad Botanical Gardens, retail, shopping, western heritage, arts and culture, Bricktown, Deep Deuce, downtown, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Digging downtown

Downtown Housing

With entertainment, arts, sporting events and nightlife all in your backyard, it is no surprise that downtown Oklahoma City living is booming. With housing options as diverse as the individuals that live in them, downtown Oklahoma City dwelling will give you the urban adventure that you’ve always wanted.

In downtown Oklahoma City, there are a total of 2,880 housing units, with nearly 2,000 more under construction or announced. Most of the construction is rental, but there are a few ownership units under construction as well. (Rental prices will range anywhere from $784-$3,000, while for-sale options start at around $180,000 for a one-bedroom condo.) For those with children, living in downtown Oklahoma City allows you to have first dibs on entrance to John Rex Charter Elementary School, a tuition-free elementary school that currently offers pre-K through third grade instruction. By the fall of 2018, the school will offer pre-K through sixth grade.

Below is a breakdown of downtown’s hottest spots for housing. For more on downtown living visit our website.

Central Business District/Bricktown/Deep Deuce
Oklahoma City’s renaissance is on display in the core of downtown, making it a perfect place to call home. Attractive to the young, the old and families in between, downtown offers plenty of choices and value for those looking for a true urban experience without much of the traditional hassle. Whether you choose to live in the heart of Oklahoma City in the central business district or you embrace the history and culture of the Deep Deuce neighborhood, new condos and apartments abound, as do newly-renovated rental units and fresh loft spaces. Whether you're looking to rent or to buy, downtown offers something for everyone in a hip, sophisticated upscale urban setting.

Midtown
One of the newest areas on the scene, Midtown is truly making a splash as a revitalization effort has taken hold and created multiple success stories. Full of fantastic housing options – from revitalized historic buildings to new developments – plus local restaurants and bars, Midtown is a great place to discover what’s new and hip on the OKC scene.

Bricktown, Deep Deuce, downtown, housing, Midtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Distinct downtown districts

Film Row

Fancy a night out on the town or local shopping just steps away from the central business district? Oklahoma City’s downtown area is made up of districts that each have their own unique flavor and fun.

  • Bricktown - Showcasing Oklahoma City’s renaissance comes naturally to this entertainment district. The former warehouses that once housed industrial goods now offer some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants and nightlife. The easiest way to see all this district has to offer is by way of the MAPS-funded canal. This time of year, canal rides on the Bricktown Water Taxi take place every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weather permitting).
  • Film Row - Film Row is just west of downtown and is on the cutting-edge of Oklahoma City developments. Equal parts historic and revitalized, Film Row was once home to the film distribution offices for Hollywood’s major studios. It’s now a mix of artistic businesses, locally-own restaurants and more. Be sure to check out the eclectic art collection of the recently-opened 21c Museum Hotel.
  • Automobile Alley - Located north of downtown along Broadway Avenue, Automobile Alley got its name from the number of automobile dealerships that were originally located here in the first half of the 20th century. Now local shops and restaurants make up this effortlessly walkable district. And the fact that the future Oklahoma City Streetcar will stretch through this district makes it even more exciting.
museums, nightlife, restaurants, retail, streetcar, arts and culture, Automobile Alley, Bricktown, downtown, Film Row
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A moment in time

Landrun Wagon Statue

Have you ever wondered what the earliest moments of our city looked like? A stunning visual representation of the first moments can be seen at the Centennial Land Run Monument, near the south end of the Bricktown Canal. Two cast bronze statues have been added recently to the larger-than-life exhibit, bringing the total to 36 pieces of public art.

The monument begins with a soldier and a cannon, firing the shot to start the run. Twenty-four horses and riders are commemorated.  Vehicles used in the race including a buckboard, two covered wagons and a buggy also take center stage. When completed, this piece of art will contain 45 sculptures and will be one of the largest freestanding bronze sculptures in the world, spanning more than the length of a football field.

Next time you are in Bricktown, be sure to check it out. It’s a great way to get a small glimpse of our exciting history.

arts and culture, Bricktown, history, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Criterion

From Grammy-winning psychedelic rockers to country music superstars and Jazz pioneers, Oklahoma City has a diverse and impressive music history (read more about that here). The OKC music scene got even better this month as The Criterion opened up for its first show. Oklahoma native Ben Rector had the honors of being the first concert in the new ballroom.

Located in East Bricktown, The Criterion can hold up to 4,000 concert goers and has formed a partnership with world-renowned entertainment company Live Nation to help book shows.

That partnership is paying off as a diverse group of well-known acts are already scheduled to play the ballroom in its opening months. Rock band My Morning Jacket, singer-song writer Sturgill Simpson, Grammy-nominated duo Disclosure and comedian Brian Regan are just a sample of the already announced concerts. Check out the full list here and grab your tickets. They are going fast.

Bricktown, concerts, live music, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Building on success

Chesapeake Arena

The success and vibrancy that OKC now enjoys didn’t happen overnight. In fact, voters set the wheels in motion more than two decades ago when they voted for the original MAPS projects on Dec. 14, 1993. Since that time, we’ve come to enjoy the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Chickasaw Bricktown Ball Park, Oklahoma River, Bricktown Canal and so much more.

Since the approval of the original MAPS initiative, Oklahoma City has seen more than $5 billion in new public and private investment throughout the city. But the energy, momentum and pride these projects have added to our city are unmeasurable.

In fact, the original MAPS projects were so successful – and the results so undeniable – that voters have since approved similar limited-term MAPS sales taxes time and time again. MAPS for Kids funded school improvements and renovations at each and every school in the OKC metro and MAPS 3 is currently changing the dynamic of OKC once again.

The success of MAPS has representatives from cities all over the country flocking to OKC to study how we did it. Each and every one of the projects have been built debt free (using only the one cent dedicated sales tax), and each sales tax has had a term limit.

baseball, Bricktown, education, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Block party in b-town

Irish flag (220399586)

No silent alarm here – we’re sounding the laudatory bell for the Bricktown St. Patrick’s Day Block Party. Conveniently, the 27th annual event starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, so after the O’City parade, check out loads of live music, imbibe some green beer (as well as some awesome naturally-colored local craft beer!) and have some tasty eats from area food trucks right there at Reno and Oklahoma Avenue. The party lasts until midnight, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy that day ‘o the year when everyone’s Irish.

Performers:
3 p.m. – Rocky Kanaga
4 p.m. – Empire Grey
5 p.m. – Denver Duncan
6 p.m. – Bowlsey
7 p.m. – Squad Live
9 p.m. – Josh Sallee
10 p.m. – My So-Called Band

More info: http://www.bricktownokc.com/

beer, Bricktown, food, holiday, live music, nightlife
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

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:

Bricktown, downtown, festivals, live sporting events, Plaza District, restaurants, Thunder
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.
Plaza District, Stockyards, Adventure District, Uptown 23, Asian District, Western Avenue, Automobile Alley, Boathouse District, Bricktown, Deep Deuce, Film Row, Midtown, Paseo District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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