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February 2013

Our 15th Birthday Issue!


The BIG reveal—

Meet our first-ever Family Favorites chosen by YOU!

Over 150 family events to enjoy

including Valentine’s events for kids

February 2013 |


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Celebrating our 15th Birthday!

It’s hard to believe that 15 years has passed since MetroFamily was started by our friends Chuck Foshee and Betty Casey, publisher and editor respectively, of Tulsa Kids magazine. Since that first issue, much has changed, but our commitment to the health and well-being of OKC area families has remained steadfast.

We thank you for being a loyal MetroFamily reader and invite you to help us celebrate by getting involved in our local family “community.” Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook. com/metrofamily) and Twitter (, subscribe to our popular Weekend Picks e-newsletter, tell your friends about our resources and visit our award-winning website daily for our comprehensive events calendar and helpful resources. The celebration will continue at our 2nd Annual MetroFamily’s Kids Fest, set for Saturday, March 23 from 10:00am–4:00pm at the Oklahoma State Fair Park. This event offers hands-on fun, live entertainment, inflatables, a petting zoo and great resources for families. Find more information at As a part of our 15th anniversary celebration, we’re honoring the businesses that you’ve chosen as your Family Favorites! Find finalists and winners of this exciting program starting on page 18. You can access these exemplary businesses all year long in our directory at www. The celebration would not be complete without thanking our loyal advertisers. Our magazine could not exist without these special businesses, agencies and non-profits and their desire to share their product or service with you. Please join us in thanking them for their support of OKC families! Here’s to the next 15 years and beyond!

Join the MetroFamily community of active local parents at:

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You could WIN big! Sign up to be eligible for great prizes at • Enter to win one of two family 4-packs to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday, February 9. Deadline February 3. • Family 4-packs of tickets are available for two lucky winners to see Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway at the Civic Center Music Hall February 12–17. Deadline February 7. • Enter to win two tickets to see Bon Jovi’s “Because We Can” tour at the Chesapeake Energy Area on Saturday, March 16 at 7:30pm. The contest runs February 8 to March 2. • Win tickets to see Sesame Street Live “Can’t Stop Singing” March 15–17 at the Cox Convention Center, plus special character meet-and-greet opportunities. Enter by March 4. • Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter. com/metrofamily) and Facebook (www. for the announcements of other fun contests.

You could SAVE big! Find coupons to the businesses listed below at okc-family-discounts. • Oklahoma Health Solutions • Skate Galaxy • Club Z! • Gymboree • Guitar for Kids • The Vintage Pearl • Bouncin’ Craze • Bright Smile • Dawn to Dusk Inflatables • Jump!Zone • Mathnasium • Jingle and Jangle • Tiger Safari • Sylvan Learning Center • Sesame Street Live PLUS, save big bucks with the Kids Pass for 2012–2013 that includes over 30 coupons to local and statewide attractions! Download it today at kids-pass.

Contents February 2013


Dear MetroFamily


Family Shorts

Editor’s Note.

Community news, resources & other family-friendly information.

16 Ask the Expert

15 expert tips for a happy family.

26 Learning Adventures Creating a heart map.

28 Oklahoma Reads Great reads for all.

30 Problem-Solving Products 35 Calendar

Fun events, activities and classes.

46 Exploring Oklahoma For 15 years, MetroFamily has been celebrating Oklahoma families. Celebrate our birthday with us this month! We’ve applied the “15” theme to all of our editorial in this special issue.

18 35

It’s the BIG reveal! Find the winners and finalists of our Family Favorites awards program.

15 must-see places to take your kids to see in Oklahoma.

50 Local Shopping

15 reasons you should shop local.

52 Your Healthy Family 15 medicine cabinet must-haves.

54 Focus on Education Find over 150 fun events in the calendar, including Valentine’s fun for kids and couples

15 easy ways to get involved in your child’s education.

56 Real Moms of the Metro

Meet our publisher and mother of three, Sarah Taylor.

62 Mom Gets the Last Laugh ON OUR COVER: Four-year-old Mason and two-year-old Annabelle help with finishing touches on a cake created by pastry chef Michelle Wick, Oklahoma City. Mason and Annabelle are the children of Kamala and Lance Cornman of Oklahoma City. COVER PHOTO BY: Shannon Cornman, courtesy of Tierra Media Group.

Countdown to date night! 15 reasons to date your spouse.

February 2013 |


Dear MetroFamily, Do you remember where you were or what you were doing 15 years ago? Well, for MetroFamily, it marks a big anniversary, and we couldn’t be happier. In fact, we’re celebrating “15” all throughout the magazine this month, and we’re featuring our publisher, Sarah Taylor, as our Real Mom of the Metro. As for me, 15 years ago I was living in Germany with my husband and my dog, and life was much different. I was still in college, attending classes on base by night while working as a computer course instructor by day. I wasn’t a mother and the thought of a future as a magazine editor in Oklahoma was the furthest thing from my mind. And yet, 15 years later, here I am, and I could never have predicted the events that happened in between 1998 and 2013 that would bring me to where I am now. It’s always amazing to look back and take stock of where we’ve been, to think about the path that brought us to where we are, isn’t it?

Editor Mari enjoys sunny afternoon at the OKC Museum of Art.

I’m excited to see what the next 15 years will bring. Especially now, as a parent. In 15 years, my children will be 25 and 23 (I have to pause there to catch my breath); I’ll be... well, let’s just say 15 years older. With any luck, a little wiser. But I know for sure that the coming years will be interesting.


What were you doing 15 years ago?


Shannon Fields, Your Healthy Family & Focus on Education I was a newlywed! We married my junior year of college and were full of hope and dreams for our future...not all of those came true, but I wouldn’t trade our 13 years together for anything!

Jennifer Geary, Exploring Oklahoma

Lela Davidson, Mom Gets the Last Laugh

I was finishing up my senior year at OU!

I was eating my way through my first trimester with my oldest. | February 2013

Publisher Sarah L. Taylor Editor Mari M. Farthing Art Director Kathryne Taylor Advertising Sales Athena Delce Dana Price Office and Distribution Manager Kathy Alberty Assistant Editor & Online Content Manager Brooke Barnett Calendar Editor Sara Riester Project Manager Janetta Bridges

Circulation 35,000 – OKC, Edmond, Nichols Hills, Norman, Moore, Midwest City, Yukon Also available as a digital edition at

We asked our contributors:

I was one month into my first “real job” after college and was adjusting to wearing hose & heels every day. I also bought my first new car that spring—a convertible that I loved. It almost made the hose & heels worth it!

To submit events to our calendar

Contributing Writers Brooke Barnett, Lela Davidson, Julie Dill, Shannon Fields, Jennifer Geary, Tiffany Guerzon

P.S. Visit to read my blog, “Keeping it Real,” about my personal adventures in the ups and downs of parenting.

Brooke Barnett, Assistant Editor

Info And Questions: 405-601-2081

Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11th, Suite 204 • Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Office: 405-601-2081 • Fax: 405-445-7509 E-mail: ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2013, All Rights Reserved. Volume 16, Number 2

February 2013 |


Contributing writers: Brooke Barnett, Mari Farthing

Helping a Reluctant Reader If your child is struggling with reading comprehension, reading like a robot, or just unwilling to pick up a book and read, you may be shocked by the advice of experienced educator, former school administrator and author Kumar Sathy ( “We’ve lost sight of what actually turned us into lifelong readers when we were young: reading, not reading comprehension or dry passages from a workbook, but just plain old reading,” Sathy explains. Sathy offers these three tips to encourage reading while boosting comprehension skills: 1.

iPad App for Kids with Autism A new iPad app, available from SpecialNeedsWare, is specifically designed to help children with autism develop communication and behavioral skills. AutisMate gives children with autism a comprehensive set of tools to navigate life with increased ease, providing for the lifelong learning, development and changing experiences of those across the spectrum. SpecialNeedsWare Co-Founder Jonathan Izak created AutisMate with his 11-yearold brother, who has autism, in mind. He wanted to develop an app to help children like his brother communicate and learn tasks in the simplest way possible. “Watching my brother grow up with such difficulty motivated me to create a tool for him and others that helps them communicate more comfortably and independently,” Izak said. While most autism apps on the market focus only on promoting one expressive form of communication, AutisMate recognizes the unique nature of every case of autism and works to first build comprehension on a personalized level to unlock a more varied set of expressions and needs. It allows children with autism, along with their caretakers and teachers, to easily import personal images, video, audio and other information into a visual scene-based platform. Additionally, the user-friendly platform helps eliminates the often-stressful task of trying to communicate with a child with autism. It enables a parent to spend more time nurturing, educating and enjoying time with their child. For more information about AutisMate, visit, or download it from iTunes.



Mute the sound on your TV and turn on subtitles or captions. “You might get some resistance at first, but if used as a reward, it won’t be an uphill battle,” Sathy says. “Try using the television to your advantage instead of trying to compete with it.” Know the standards your child should master, but focus on statements, not questions (i.e., “there are a lot of figurative statements on this page” instead of “can you find three figurative statements on this page?”). “Don’t force it, and don’t interrupt your child while reading,” Sathy says. “Wait until he has finished a page or a chapter to correct pronunciation or make statements.”

3. Teach reading skills when you’re not reading. Ask comprehension questions about things happening around you. “Turn idle time into opportunities to teach reading skills in the car, in line at the grocery store, or any time you are out on the town,” Sathy explains. Ask who the main character would be if someone wrote a story about what was happening now, for instance.

Rock Out With Spaghetti Eddie, Vol. 3 Chances are, if you’ve attended many kid-friendly events in the OKC metro over the past few years, you’ve probably enjoyed a show from local “kindie” band Spaghetti Eddie. For parents who love to share music with their children—and also enjoy it themselves—the forthcoming release of Spaghetti Eddie’s third CD Spaghetti Eddie and Other Children’s Songs Vol. 3 is music to the ears! MetroFamily recently asked frontman Brendan Parker to tell us more about the band’s upcoming CD: MFM: What did the band hope to accomplish with this CD? BP: We want to continue to build our fan base by making songs everyone in the family can enjoy, and we think educators can utilize this album as well. MFM: What are some of your favorite tunes on this CD? BP: Some of our favorites are (in no particular order) “Train Song,” “Friends,” “Back to School,” “Uh-Oh” and “Freeze!” MFM: What will kids like about the new songs? BP: Each song creates its own little world that kids can really visualize. From riding a train, to being a bug, and even meeting a new friend from outer space, the songs are meant to take the kids on an adventure. MFM: When will our readers first have a chance to enjoy hearing these new songs live? BP: We are planning our CD release party with Science Museum Oklahoma on February 28 from 4:00–8:00pm, with activities, free admission and a concert at 6:00pm. For more information, to watch videos or to order Vol. 3, visit | February 2013

Our Readers Speak:

three words describe Q What being a parent for you?


• • • • • • •

Top 15 Reader Picks: Great Date Night Destinations

Hard but rewarding. ~ Michelle P. Worth every second. ~ Karen M. Crazy wonderful adventure. ~ Lara G. Hold on tight. ~ Jackie L. Outwit, outplay, outlast! ~ Sarah T. I’m so tired. ~ Carole J. Never ending story. ~ Neicie L.

Love is in the air in February! If your Valentine’s Day plans include a night out with your sweetheart, the Oklahoma City metro area offers a wide range of places to enjoy a romantic dinner or create a memorable evening together. We polled our readers for great date night ideas in the OKC metro and, in honor of our 15th anniversary, we selected 15 fun and unique places to take your significant other. Here, in random order, are their recommendations: 1.

Enjoy a steak at Jamil’s Steakhouse (4910 N Lincoln, www.

2. Take in a movie from the balcony of the Warren Theatre (1000 Telephone Road, Moore; 3.

Enjoy the flavors of the southwest at Hollie’s Flatiron Steakhouse (1199 S Service Road, Moore; www.


Check out the view 726 feet above downtown OKC at Vast (50th floor of Devon Tower,

5. Appreciate live performances at Picasso’s on Paseo (3909 Paseo Drive,

Eight Ways to Save on Groceries By Tiffany Guerzon

Feeding a family well on a budget can be difficult when it seems like prices just keep going up. Here are eight easy ways to save: 1.

Plan your weekly menu. Base it on what you have available and the sales in your local stores. Use your calendar to plan meals based on activities (slow-cooker meals on a night with activities) to make it easier to stick to.

2. Find an inexpensive store. Not all grocery stores are created equal! You may have to bag your own groceries or pay only with cash or check, but the savings can be worth it. 3. Watch for sales. Stock up on items when prices are low. Watch for sales trends and buy expensive items when you know they will be on sale (like picnic items in July or baking products in November), but beware impulse buys.


Eat “east coast-style” at Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine (two locations,


Have a cozy dinner of American classics at Charleston’s (multiple locations,

8. Watch your meal prepared before your eyes at Shoguns Japanese Steakhouse (NW 122 & May, www.shogunokc. com) 9. Visit the purple bar at Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante and Bar in Bricktown (1 Mickey Mantle, 10. Pick a healthy meal and watch as it’s prepared in the open kitchen at Green & Grilled (8547 N Rockwell, www. 11. Sample Latin American cuisine at Zarates Latin & Mexican Grill (706 S Broadway, Edmond; 12. Savor Italian food and cheesecake at Caffe Pranzo (9622 N May,


Buy in bulk. Look for staple items (rice, flour, spices) in bulk bins. You’ll be amazed at the savings when you don’t pay for packaging.


Look for sales on meat. Stores must sell meat by a certain date, so watch expiration dates and freeze what you don’t eat. (The USDA’s guide for freezing food tells you how long it’s safe:

14. Cheer along at an OKC Thunder or OKC Barons game ( or


Buy less processed food items. Cook from scratch, instead! An added bonus, your snacks will also likely be healthier.


Save on produce. Shop at the farmer’s market or directly from the farm. Buy fruits and vegetables based on what is on sale and in season, and plan your meals accordingly.

Thanks to Kim D., Laurie M., Johnna P., Shyla H., Shelli R., Ashley L., Barbara F., Adriana M., Kelsie G., Jaretta B., Beverly W., Krista E., & Jessica D. for contributing. Follow us at www. to share your thoughts.

8. Use your leftovers. Pack them up for lunch or serve them for dinner as part of a leftover buffet, but don’t let your food go to waste.

13. Take a water taxi ride or river cruise in Bricktown (www.;

15. Stroll through the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge (

In addition to these suggestions, see our calendar on page 39 for seven great date night events taking place this month. Have a place you’d like to suggest? Comment at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/date-night. February 2013 |


Photo courtesy of International Arts

Swine Week to Benefit Limbs for Life

Don Jacot. Times Square, 1937, 2012. Oil on linen. Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York.

Photorealism Revisited In 1968, gallery owner Louis K. Meisel coined the term “Photorealism” to describe a group of artists whose works displayed a photographically-realistic aesthetic. Coming at a time when abstract art was at the forefront, Photorealism was first dismissed as “lacking artistic merit,” but soon gained in popularity and acceptance. Paintings by 38 artists are currently on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “Photorealism Revisited highlights the important influence of photography on the history of painting in American art,” says Jennifer Klos, associate curator of the exhibit. Many of the images focus on everyday objects (such as urban landscapes and food), but the photorealistic treatment presents a unique perspective in works large and small. “Viewers will be able to see incredible detail in the paintings,” continues Klos. The technique of using photos as a basis for the painting allows the artist to spend time with a certain lighting or perspective, and the variety of works in the exhibit display a wide range of technique and style. The Photorealism Revisited exhibit will be on display through April 21. A free Family Day will be held on Saturday, April 5 from noon–5:00pm including exhibit-related activities and family-friendly entertainment. Other exhibit-related events include dropin activities for all ages, teacher workshops, lectures and talks; visit for full schedule of activities.

Since 1986, students at Edmond Memorial High School have raised more than 3.5 million dollars for charity through their annual Swine Week program. The program received its name 26 years ago when a small group of students approached the school’s principal to support their fundraising endeavors to help a community member in need—and he agreed to kiss a pig if they met their goal. They did, he did and a tradition was born. This year, the students of Edmond Memorial are seeking to raise $350,000 for Limbs for Life, an Oklahoma-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing prosthetic limbs to those who cannot afford them on their own. Swine Week will be held March 11–15, and the community is invited to participate in one of many fundraising events taking place that week. “We host more than 20 events throughout the community including a 5K run, golf tournament, car show, fashion show, wine tasting and more, all run by students,” explains Josh DeLozier, Swine Week Advisor. “Our students, staff, parents and community rally behind Swine Week as a source of pride.” Swine Week is also seeking to locate former Edmond Memorial graduates to participate in the events and the final Swine Week assembly on Friday, March 15. Interested alumni are encouraged to contact the planning committee. For more information about Swine Week or to make a donation, call 405-726-6868, visit or follow @SwineWeek on Twitter.

Local Dad Develops Lullabye CD When Edmond dad Mark Plumbtree, over 50 and already a father of two grown daughters, got a middleaged surprise—a newborn daughter who was having trouble sleeping—he decided to create a CD designed to help soothe infants to sleep. “My newborn daughter wasn’t sleeping through the night,” Plumbtree said. “I read that some babies are comforted by listening to the first sound they ever heard—their mother’s heartbeat. I had the idea to place the sound subliminally into lullaby tracks. The first time we tried it, she fell asleep almost immediately.” Tiny Little Lullabies consists of lullabies like “Rock-a-Bye Baby,” “Hush Little Baby” and other well-known songs that have been newly arranged and committed to music by young Oklahoma City University

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graduate musicians. Parents can sing along with familiar tunes while baby is comforted by the sounds of a mother’s heartbeat. The heartbeat is mixed at the subliminal level and encoded into the music. Because a baby’s hearing is so much greater than an adult’s, the baby hears the familiar sound of a heartbeat while parents hear only the gentle sounds of the music. “Scientifically, when we are young, we have a broad range of hearing from 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz,” Plumbtree said. “On the CD, the comforting sound of a mother’s heartbeat is placed at about 16,000 hertz, too high for an adult to hear, but clearly audible to a baby.” Tiny Little Lullabies includes a full set of lyrics with every CD or download and includes a 30-day money back guarantee. For more information, go to

February 2013 |


Child Welfare Improvement Plan The Pinnacle Plan is a five-year improvement plan created by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) and other stakeholders to improve the state’s foster care system. The plan includes seven major categories, or “Pinnacle Points,” defined to improve the system. The first of these points was to ensure that no child under the age of two had to spend the night in a shelter—a goal that was recently attained. “This was a very important goal for our state to achieve not only for the Pinnacle Plan— it’s the right thing to do for young children,” said Deborah Smith, Director of OKDHS Child Welfare Services. “Achieving this goal has taken a lot of teamwork and I commend everyone for their efforts.” Smith recognizes that a major factor in this success is the over 900 new foster parents that have been recruited statewide since July 1, 2012. The next Pinnacle Point in the timeline is to ensure that no child under six years old needs to spend the night in a shelter—which will require the recruitment of 2,000 new foster families. Those interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents should contact the Bridge Family Resource Center at or 800-376-9729. Other goals already met under the Pinnacle Plan include increasing foster parent reimbursement rates, increasing salaries for child welfare workers and restructuring the Child Welfare Division. To view progress of the Pinnacle Plan, visit

Spotlight on Character: Creativity You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. — Maya Angelou Creativity is approaching a need, a task or an idea from a new perspective. Creativity in the home means discovering ways to make household chores fun, turning homework into learning games and starting new traditions that turn even mundane days into fun adventures. The rewards of creativity include building good memories and the satisfaction of accomplishing necessary work in unique ways. Encourage creativity in your family by saying these “I will” statements aloud with your children and applying them to everyday life: I will: use my talents for good • see things from more than one perspective • learn all that I can • use my principles to solve problems • create positive experiences for my family. Read about creativity to bring the lesson home to your kids: In I Like Old Clothes (by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Patrice Barton), the children imagine lives lived in second-hand clothes. • A Splash of Red (by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet) celebrates the life and art of African-American painter Horace Pippin. • Meet Me At the Art Museum (by David Goldin) inspires young readers to explore creativity and art in the world around them. • Kaleidoscope (by Salina Yoon) is a storybook plus a hands-on activity in one (for ages 4+). •

Courtesy of Character First,

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Uriah Smith, student of Mustang Valley Elementary, selects a book from the Thunder bus.

Thunder Read to Achieve By Julie Dill

The Oklahoma City Thunder don’t reserve excitement exclusively for the basketball court. Embracing a role of leadership and influence in the community, the organization is encouraging kids to get excited about books and reading. Like most administrators, Mustang Valley Elementary School Principal Jill Mitchell believes community plays a valuable role in education. “We always talk to the kids about how we are all in this together, and by working as a team we can be more successful. The outreach from the Thunder is a great example of everyone—especially community members—working together for the ultimate goal of student success.” Presented by American Fidelity Assurance Company, Thunder’s Read to Achieve program is a three-fold program serving thousands of Oklahoma students across the state. • Rolling Thunder Book Bus. This renovated school bus has a replica Thunder basketball court and is loaded with over 3,000 books. The bus has made nearly 800 visits to local schools, museums and community organizations, providing over 60,000 free books to Oklahoma students. • Reading Timeout. Thunder players and entertainers read aloud to elementary students and lead them in a pledge to continue reading. As of September, 3,200 Oklahoma students had experienced this interactive storytime. • Reading Challenge. Monthly classroom winners receive prizes, and top readers for the year earn an award. As of last September, 41,958 students representing 14 school districts had read 48,999,073 minutes. To request the Rolling Thunder Book Bus for your school or community program, visit and click “Rolling Thunder Book Bus” under the Community tab. More information on the other Read to Achieve programs may also be found online, or by calling 405-208-4800.

February 2013 |


Rendering courtesy of Science Museum Oklahoma.

Science Museum Oklahoma Plans New Children’s Area Science Museum Oklahoma has received a $12 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to fund a new exhibit designed for families with young children, a new main entrance and other exterior improvements. The new exhibit will essentially be a “children’s museum” within the museum. While the focus will be on children 3–6 years of age, the exhibit will feature multiple layers of activities designed to educate and inspire the entire family. At 21,000 square feet, the exhibit rivals the size of most children’s museums in the nation and, with its immersive environment and emphasis on inquiry-based learning, will break new ground in the way museums introduce young children to science.

Dr. Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction extended her thanks to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for creating an environment critical for the development of young children. “As we look at the demands of the 21st century, we understand the importance of exciting children to further their studies in science, technology, engineering and math,” Barresi said. “This new museum will do just that. It will engage our children at a very early age and allow them to have a sense of discovery and wonder at what science can do and to use their creativity to foster innovation. And those are just the very things that this state needs.” The project is scheduled for completion by summer 2015. For more information, call 405-602-6664, or visit

Learning While Working Dr. James G. Wellborn is the author of Raising Teens in the 21st Century: A Practical Guide to Effective Parenting and an advocate for child labor—in the form of chores. Dr. Wellborn believes that getting your kids in the habit of doing chores will help to prepare them for life in the real world. Wellborn outlines five benefits that chores deliver: 1.

Responsibility and obligation. In the real world, if you make a mess, you have to clean it up. Your child must learn that he is responsible for his actions.

2. Organization and prioritization. Yes, chores can be unpleasant, but life is filled with unpleasant—but necessary—tasks. Chores help your child to learn to prioritize time for work and play. 3.

Sensitivity for others. Chores provide a clear message that the world does not revolve around your child and sometimes tasks must be done for the sake of others.


Pride in a job well done. It’s a good lesson to learn—any job worth doing is worth doing well. He should work hard and do his best even if it’s a menial task.


Self-sufficiency. Because eventually, he will learn to take out the trash without you reminding him. Maybe.

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Children’s Dental Health Month According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four children between the ages of two and five developed cavities in 2011. Getting an early start on dental hygiene can help prevent cavities. Tips for taking care of your kids teeth: • Start cleaning your baby’s teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth appears, using a damp toothbrush or washcloth. • Start using a small dab of toothpaste around age two, but with supervision so it’s not swallowed. • Provide fluoridated drinking water to help develop strong teeth. • Limit sweet and sticky foods. • Schedule dentist visits regularly. Tips provided courtesy of the dentists of Lowenberg, Lituchy and Kantor.

Ask the Experts 15 Tips for a Happy Family This month, we asked our experts: What do you think is the key to a happy family? 1.

Learning together, whether it’s visiting museums, listening to an elderly relative tell about their childhood or reading. (Devonne Carter, LCSW)


Ensure that every family member has an active role in taking care of the home. Even small children can help out with chores. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment to contribute. (Mari Farthing, MetroFamily Editor)

share, and it ended our day on a happy note. (Tamara Walker, RN and host of MomRN radio program) 7.

Shared traditions are important to family bonding. There is often a focus on one-on-one time with each child, but quality time spent together as a family creates positive memories and builds unity. (Sarah Taylor, MetroFamily Publisher)


Research states that families who share meals are ultimately more successful and have children with fewer behavior problems. (Kevin Tutty, LPC)


Long road trips and breakfast on weekend mornings are great ways to spend time together as a family. (Donnie VanCuren, M.A., LMFT)


Happy families let go of resentments and love unconditionally. This may sound cliché, but coming from a family that doesn’t practice this, I can tell you now that I’m an adult and have the capability to do so on my own, it makes a world of difference in my happiness, and more importantly, my level of contentment! (Valerie Riley, Founder of The Riley Group)


Start a project together. We love to experiment with new recipes and unfamiliar foods, but it can be anything. Gardening in the spring is another popular project we work on together. Anything that we can do to promote teamwork and a sense of unity and common purpose is a great way to bond with people you love. (Shannon Fields, MetroFamily columnist)

Read with your kids, even if they’ve been reading on their own for ages. And find things to do together that don’t involve a screen. (Jennifer Geary, MetroFamily columnist and blogger)

10. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Dessert for breakfast won’t cause the world to come to an end—trust me. (Donnie VanCuren)



Focus on the positive! Every night for several years when our kids were young, we would take turns sharing one good or funny thing that happened in our day. No matter how hard of a day it was, we could always find something positive to

11. Volunteer together! It instills the value of generosity and compassion in your kids while bonding families by working as a team. (Tamara Walker) 12. Communicate more positives than negatives to your kids and spouse. Find them doing something right each day. (Donnie VanCuren)

MetroFamily writer Jennifer Geary started the tradition of reading with her kids at an early age. Here she is with son, Jack.

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13. Schedules can be a working family’s best friend. Routines are good and help a household run smoother. Just remember to also schedule in fun, such as family movie or game nights and eating dinner together. (Shannon Fields) 14. Let your children see both your successes and your mistakes. They will need to learn from both. (Donnie VanCuren) 15. Children need to be allowed to make mistakes when they are young and the costs are lower, in order to learn to make their own decisions. Rejoice in their mistakes, because that’s when they truly learn and grow. Talk about it and engage your kids in understanding how important “failure” is. (Sarah Taylor)

Our Readers Respond What do our readers think make for a happy family? Here are their responses, in random order. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Laugh together. Communicate. Let everyone be themselves. Spend time actively engaged with each other. 5. Put God at the center. 6. Be positive and foster compassion. 7. Compromise and pick your battles. 8. Trust. 9. Separate bathrooms! 10. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. 11. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 12. Take time to be together with no extracurricular activity scheduled. 13. Make each other a priority. 14. Tell each other you love them all the time. 15. Pray together, play together and dream together. Thanks to Stacy M, Jennifer S., Jenna M., Douglas C., Trina M., Ashley K., Shana H., Marella P., Joan A., Lara G., Christy K., Rebekah L., Chad C., Brenda H. and Nicky D for your feedback! Have a question for our experts? Email it to

February 2013 |



Sometimes you just need some help and advice from your frien

MetroFamily’s Family Favorites project started with a murmur among our readers, “Why don’t you have a best of program?” and “I want to know what other readers think.” We took the hint and two years ago, started asking what categories you’d like to see in a “best of” program. Then, with your help and the support of local small business champion, Oklahoma Employees Credit Union (OECU) as our sponsor, we launched the program in August. Over 30,000 votes later, we had our first-year winners and finalists. We’ve been bursting at the seams to share these Family Favorite winners with you but waited for our 15th Anniversary to make it extra special. In addition to reading about these winners and finalists below, you can check them out year-round online at So next time you’re trying to determine good places to explore in Oklahoma, whether it’s the best places for your children to take gymnastics or where to take your out of town visitors, your first stop should be our online directory. It’s our goal that you find some really wonderful ideas for you and your family to more fully enjoy our great state.

And be sure to tell them that you read about them in MetroFamily when you visit! SPONSORED BY:

18 | February 2013

along the Bricktown Canal while taking in the sights and sounds of the city. 405-236-4143,


FINALISTS: Myriad Botanical Gardens • National Cowboy & Western History Museum • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum • Oklahoma City Zoo • POPS BEST MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES


Science Museum Oklahoma

Credited with introducing the original boneless breast of chicken sandwich and pioneering in-mall fast food, Chick-Fil-A is the secondlargest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the nation. Locations throughout the OKC metro.

Science Museum Oklahoma provides a fun learning environment for families, and includes kid-friendly highlights such as a 3-story spiral slide in the Gadget Trees exhibit, hands-on experimentation in the Tinkering Garage and more. 405-602-6664,


FINALISTS: Chili's • Hideaway Pizza • Local (Norman) • Red Robin • Ted's Cafe Escondido

FINALISTS: Jasmine Moran Children's Museum • Oklahoma City Museum of Art • Oklahoma History Center • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History


Great State Fair of Oklahoma Welcoming nearly one million people to Oklahoma State Fair Park every September, the Great State Fair of Oklahoma includes carnival rides, concerts, handicrafts, shopping, live entertainment and almost 900 unique types of fair food. 405-948-6700, FINALISTS: Arts Festival Oklahoma • Festival of the Arts




Charleston’s is a casual restaurant featuring traditional American classics prepared from scratch daily. Three locations in the OKC metro.

Civic Center Music Hall

FINALISTS: Cheever's • The Melting Pot • Red Prime

Serving over 300,000 patrons at 250 performances each year, the Civic Center Music Hall is Oklahoma City’s premier performing arts facility with three theatres, a grand reception hall and more. 405-297-2584, www.


FINALISTS: Oklahoma Children's Theatre • Spaghetti Eddie • Zoo Ampitheatre


Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Located 25 miles northwest of Lawton, the 59,020-acre Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a mixed grass prairie that is home to more than 50 mammal species, 240 bird species, 64 reptile and amphibian species, 36 fish species, and 806 plant species. 580-429-2197, www.fws. gov/refuge/wichita_mountains FINALISTS: Arbuckle Mountains • Beavers Bend Resort Park • Chickasaw National Recreation Area • Turner Falls Park



Oklahoma City Thunder

Led by head coach Scott Brooks, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s home court is at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder won their first division title in the 2010–11 season and their first Western Conference championship in the 2011–12 season. The Thunder and its Community Foundation are committed to community programs and partnerships that have a significant impact on the Oklahoma City area. 405-208-4800, FINALISTS: Oklahoma City Redhawks • OU Sooner Football


Bricktown offers a wide variety of dining, attractions, hotels, shopping and events for the entire family. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk February 2013 |


and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. Areas to explore include the new Elephant Habitat, the Great EscAPE, Oklahoma Trails and the Children’s Zoo. 405-424-3344, www.okczoo. com BEST OUTDOOR FUN/AMUSEMENT VENUE

FINALISTS: Lake Hefner • Martin Park Nature Center • Turner Falls Park

Oklahoma City Zoo

Located in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden is the oldest zoo in the Southwest and features a diverse animal and plant collection spread over 119 acres. The Zoo is home to about 1,900 of the world's most exotic animals, including 54 endangered or threatened species. 405-424-3344, www.okczoo. com FINALISTS: Andy Alligator's Fun/Water Park • Frontier City • Myriad Botanical Gardens • Orr Family Farm • White Water Bay




Oklahoma City Zoo

The Oklahoma City Zoo offers a variety of fun features designed to appeal to children of different ages, including the Centennial Choo Choo, sea lion shows, the Jungle Gym playground, butterfly garden and Endangered Species Carousel. 405-424-3344, www.okczoo. com

From a summer-long program or week-to-week activities, the YMCA’s Day Camps provide an exciting, safe community for more than 1,300 kids in Oklahoma to explore the outdoors, build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills and make lasting friendships every summer. 405-297-7777, FINALISTS: Camp Dakani (Campfire Girls/ Boys) • Oklahoma Children's Theatre

FINALISTS: Andy Alligator’s Fun/Water Park • Frontier City • GattiTown • Science Museum Oklahoma BEST INDOOR FUN/AMUSEUMENT VENUE


Falls Creek

Science Museum Oklahoma

Science Museum Oklahoma is a hands-on learning environment for families and science enthusiasts, and includes a giant Dome Theatre, planetarium, Science Live shows and more. 405-602-6664, FINALISTS: Andy Alligator's Fun Park • Dave & Busters • GattiTown Oklahoma City • Jump!Zone


Oklahoma City Zoo

Falls Creek is a Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma camp that offers eight total weeks of summer youth camp located in the beautiful Arbuckle Mountains in Davis, Oklahoma. 580369-2101, FINALISTS: Camp Classen • Camp Quest • Girl Scouts Camp

Offering multiple free and discount admission days throughout the year, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a budget-friendly family outing. Zoofriends memberships are also available, offering free admission year-round, plus free or discounted admission to the over 100 other zoos across the country. 405-424-3344, www. FINALISTS: Martin Park Nature Center • Myriad Botanical Gardens


Oklahoma City Zoo The Oklahoma City Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos

20 | February 2013

Look for our decal around the metro area to identify Family Favorites!


in Edmond, two in Oklahoma City and one in Moore. Crest is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year offering “rock bottom prices.” 405-330-8100, www.

juvenile furniture. FINALISTS: Copelin's • Kidoodles • Toy Zone • Learning Tree

FINALISTS: Aldi • Buy For Less



Extreme Animals Extreme Animals gives children of all ages a chance to interact with animals they may never encounter in the wild, while gaining a respect and desire to protect animals and preserve the planet’s wildlife. 405-413-3174, www. FINALISTS: Mad Science • My Princess Party • LOL Cartoons • Spaghetti Eddie



With locations across the OKC metro, Target is the second largest discount retailer store in the United States with a selection of children's furniture from baby cribs to furniture for toddlers.

Motherhood Maternity

Motherhood Maternity offers the latest fashions in maternity, plus size maternity and nursing clothing. Locations in Moore, Norman and OKC. FINALISTS: A Pea in the Pod • Pickles and Ice Cream

FINALISTS: Babies “R” Us • Burlington Coat Factory • Mathis Brothers Furniture • Once Upon a Child • Storkland



Oklahoma City Zoo The Oklahoma City Zoo offers six unique hassle-free birthday party packages for ages 1-13. Birthday parties are held on Saturdays in the Zoo's Education Building and include animal presentation, zoo admission and exhibit tours. 405-425-0218, FINALISTS: Chuck E. Cheese • Jump!Zone • Orr Family Farm • Science Museum Oklahoma



Barnes & Noble Barnes and Noble locations offer fun and kid-friendly children’s areas with a wide variety of books for sale and children’s activities. Some locations offer weekly story time events. Contact individual locations or see website for details.

Green Bambino offers a wide range of ecofriendly baby and children’s products including clothing, diaper bags, baby carriers, cloth diapers and accessories, toys, mama care items and more. 405-848-2330, com FINALISTS: The Changing Table • Marissa's Room • Tulip Tree • Uptown Kids

FINALISTS: Full Circle Bookstore • Half Price Books




Oklahoma owned & operated since 1946, Crest has two locations in Midwest City, one


The Children’s Place BEST TOY STORE

Toys “R” Us With four locations in the OKC metro, Toys “R” Us offers an assortment of toys, games, learning aids, electronics, children’s apparel and | February 2013

As a growing specialty retailer of clothing and accessories for kids, The Children’s Place introduces seasonal merchandise lines throughout the year for ages newborn to 10 years old. FINALISTS: Gymboree • Uptown Kids



BC Clark

BC Clark was founded in 1892 and is Oklahoma’s oldest jewelry store and the oldest retail store in Oklahoma under the same name and ownership. Offers a full line of fine jewelry and gifts, as well as services including complete jewelry manufacturing and repair. 405-755-4040, FINALISTS: Kay Jewelers • Samuel Gordon Jewelers • The Vintage Pearl • Zales


The Chesapeake Energy Holiday Lights Display This lighting display features approximately eight city blocks surrounding Chesapeake Energy’s main OKC campus decked out for the holiday season with over 61,000 strands of lights containing 4.3 million LED lights decorating the lines of trees and buildings in the area. 405-848-8000, FINALISTS: Chickasha’s Festival of Light • Yukon's Christmas in the Park

Orr Family Farm Open spring break through the day before Christmas, The Orr Family Farm provides an agri-tainment experience for families, groups and school children through pony rides, a vintage carousel, a zip line and mining slue, plus a seasonal pumpkin patch and Halloween-themed events. 405-799-3276, www. FINALISTS: Chester's Party Barn • Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch • TG Farms



Once Upon a Child

Once Upon a Child sells new and gently-used name-brand children’s clothing, accessories, equipment and toys at fraction of retail prices. Parents can also bring their used items to sell in exchange for a check or store credit. Two locations in OKC. FINALISTS: Daisy Exchange • Goodwill


Just Between Friends of OKC/Norman Just Between Friends is a consignment sale event featuring children’s, teen and maternity clothing, plus toys, books, baby equipment and more. Sales are held in the spring and the fall and offer special discount pricing days. The Oklahoma City sale is held at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds and the Norman sale is held at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. 405-7947804, FINALISTS: The Original Children’s Consignment Sale • Pass It On



Selected as one of the Top 10 Places to Be in America on July 4th by CNN & USA Today, LibertyFest in Edmond is a weeklong celebration of the nation’s birthday and Oklahoma’s heritage attended by more than 125,000 annually. Includes car show, rodeo, parade and the largest firework display in the OKC metro area. 405-341-4336, www.


Cottonwood Salon & Spa

Housed in an 11,000 square foot, state-of-theart facility, Cottonwood offers a full range of spa services with two relaxing lounges, men's and women's changing rooms with showers and 11 beautiful treatment cabins. 405-340-1700, FINALISTS: Goga Studios • Heavenly Hands • Renaissance Spa & Salon

FINALISTS: Bricktown • Reaves Park in Norman • Yukon Freedom Fest



With its friendly and knowledgeable staff, animated gadgets, computer games and character-filled environment, Snip-Its brings a February 2013 |


new dynamic to children's hairdressing. Two locations in the OKC metro. FINALISTS: Great Clips • Super Cuts



Taylor Made Photography


Dr. Kelly Stephens

Dr. Samuel Oliphant

Dr. Kelly Stephens specializes in pediatrics out of Mercy Clinic Edmond Memorial. 405-3417009,

Dr. Samuel C. Oliphant is dedicated to the treatment of learning-related visual difficulties in children and adults, including providing educational workshops, free developmental vision screenings, consulting services and other special programs. 405-755-5543, www.

FINALISTS: Dr. Mickey Crittenden • Dr. Thomas Kuhls • Dr. Tammy Maschino

A leader in local photography for more than 30 years, Taylor Made Photography specializes in family and senior portraits. 405-341-5088, www.

FINALISTS: Dr. Jennifer L. Brooks • Dr. Troy Flax • Dr. Jon Painter

FINALISTS: Elyse Fair Photography • Portrait Innovations



YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City With a mission centered on balance, the Y encourages good health and fosters connections through fitness, sports, and fun. Beyond fitness facilities, the YMCA provides educational programs to promote healthier decisions, and offers a variety of programs that support physical, intellectual and spiritual strength. 405-297-7777, FINALISTS: Goga Studios • Gold's Gym


Dr. Misty Wayman Dr. Misty Wayman practices Obstetrics and Gynecology out of the Center for Women’s Health in OKC. 405-755-7430, www.

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City

FINALISTS: Dr. Andrew Walls • Ocean Dental • Smile Zone

Mercy Hospital's emergency department has 28 beds and eight treatment rooms for greater capacity and reduced waiting time to accommodate patients. 405-755-1515, www. FINALISTS: INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center • OU Medical Center • St. Anthony Hospital


Orthodontic Associates

Orthodontic Associates provides a team of board certified orthodontists that work with patients’ general dentist to provide quality treatment. Kid-friendly waiting rooms feature toys and activities for the whole family. Two locations in the OKC metro. 405-947-1526, FINALISTS: Dr. Kelly Klontz • Dr. Phillip Parker • Dr. Michael Steffen

FINALISTS: Dr. Robert Ryan • Dr. Anthony Shanbour



Family dentistry for adults and children where emergencies are seen same day and walk-ins are welcome. Office hours available every Saturday. 405-949-0123, | February 2013


Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City

Mercy provides a team of obstetriciangynecologists, pediatricians, neonatologists and other board-certified physicians providing round-the-clock prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. 405-755-1515, www. FINALISTS: Lakeside Women’s Hospital • Norman Regional Hospital • OU Medical Center


Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City Located in northwest Oklahoma City, 381-bed Mercy is a leader in breast imaging and research, robotic surgery, and in the treatment of cancer, stroke and heart disease. 405-755-1515, www. FINALISTS: INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center • Norman Regional Health System • OU Medicine/Children’s Hospital EDUCATION & AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES



Martial Arts Ministries

Tippi Toes Dance Company

Martial Arts Ministries offers classes for beginners at age 3 though adult. Teaches focus, discipline and self control in a Christian facility. 405-418-7388,

Tippi Toes offers dance classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, Mommy/Daddy and me and Baby Ballet for children up to 10 years old. Classes also offered for students at local schools and daycare facilities at various locations. 405-3613620,

FINALISTS: All-American Martial Arts • ATA Karate • Pride Mixed Martial Arts

FINALISTS: Academy of Dance Arts • Studio J School of Dance


Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Located in downtown Oklahoma City's Arts District, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art offers a variety of age-appropriate, thematic classes and workshops based on the Museum’s exhibitions and permanent collection. All are led by professional educators, who provide guidance and encourage creativity with stimulating instruction and engaging activities. 405-236-3100, FINALISTS: Fine Arts Institute of Edmond • Firehouse Art Center • Paint Your Art Out


OCU Performing Arts Academy The OCU Performing Arts Academy provides students of all ages with private lessons in voice, piano, strings, brass, percussion and woodwinds, as well as Kindermusik, Suzuki instrumental programs and more. 405-208-5410, FINALISTS: Ginger's Kindermusik of Oklahoma City • Sonder Music & Dance



Kumon is the world’s largest after-school math and reading academic enrichment program. With an individualized curriculum, Kumon helps children learn math and reading concepts based on their ability rather than their age or grade. Locations in North OKC and Edmond. FINALISTS: Mathnasium of OKC • Sylvan Learning Center


Westminster Child Development Center Providing care year round for children ages four months to five years, Westminster Child Development Center offers education and personal attention for the families of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community. 405-524-2204, www. FINALISTS: Camelot Child Development Center • The Goddard School • YMCA of Greater OKC


Metro Gymnastics

For 32 years, Metro Gymnastics has provided organized recreational and competitive gymnastics programs for children of all ages. 405-848-5308, FINALISTS: Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy • Oklahoma Gold Gymnastics


YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City The Y’s youth sports programs are dedicated to helping children learn skills, make new friends, be active and learn to love a sport, including basketball, baseball, soccer and more. 405-2977777, FINALISTS: Norman Youth Soccer Association • Upward Sports OKC

February 2013 |


Learning Adventures Family Activities for Creative Minds:


heart map is a visual reminder of what you love and care about. To create yours, draw a large heart on a piece of paper. Within and around the heart, use your imagination and create spaces for things that are important to you—people, places, activities, and memories. Use words, drawings or a combination of the two to fill your heart completely.

Questions to get started: • • • • • • • • •

What makes you happy? What do you love? What is the most fun you have ever had? What memory is your favorite? What things or objects are important to you? What things in your heart make you sad? What secrets are in your heart? What small things or objects are important to you? What activities do you love?


Did You Know? Heart maps work to expand your mind and help you think broadly about what really matters. In her book, Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School, Georgia Heard suggests once a heart map is created, it can be used to inspire further story-making. What can you write about your life based on your heart map? You can also frame it as a yearly memory of your life and what was in your heart at that time. Don’t forget to include the date! This Learning Adventures project is sponsored by Primrose Schools and Green Bambino. Find more educational fun at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/learning-adventures. Activity idea provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools, the state’s only research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner. Learn more at | February 2013

February 2013 |


Oklahoma Reads Great Reads for All 100 Places that Can Change Your Child’s Life By Keith Bellows (National Geographic, $17) This book is filled with places both near and far that will amaze and teach your children. Plan your next family vacation together, using this book as your guide or just enjoy an armchair exploration of exotic locations from the comfort of your home.

Early Readers Penguin’s Hidden Talent By Alex Latimer (Peachtree Publishers, $16) Penguin is upset when he can’t figure out how to win the talent show. But when he realizes his true talent, all of his friends help him to celebrate. Rocket Writes a Story By Tad Hills (Schwartz & Wade Books, $18) Rocket the Dog wants to write a story, but what should it be about? His friend encourages him to look to the world around him for inspiration, and he’s amazed by what he finds.

Grades 1+ Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington By Jabari Asim, illustrated by Bryan Collier (Little, Brown Books, $17) The inspirational story of an African American man born into slavery who made his way through college, dined with the President and accomplished great things. Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills By Renee Watson, illustrated by Christian Robinson (Random House, $18) The story of groundbreaking performer Florence Mills, whose performances were never recorded but whose talent inspired other greats such as Duke Ellington and Lena Horne.

Grades 3+ Gingersnap By Patricia Reilly Giff (Wendy Lamb Books, $16) A young girl sets out to find her grandmother in this historical tale set in World War II-era Brooklyn. A powerful story of love, hope and friendship.

28 | February 2013

Here Where the Sunbeams are Green By Helen Phillips (Delacorte Press, $18) When Mad and Roo’s dad is called away on a research trip, it’s not unusual; but when they receive a strange letter, it is. The girls step out of their comfort zone to face their fears and help their family.

Adults 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids By Kathi Lipp (Harvest House, $13) More than a simple list of activities to enjoy with your children, this book offers insight into your child’s personality and a bonus section addresses tips specifically for girls, boys and special circumstances like stepfamilies. Fall In Love for Life: Inspiration from a 73-Year Marriage By Barbara “Cutie” Cooper with Kim Cooper and Chinta Cooper (Chronicle, $19) Smart advice for life and love from a wife of over 70 years. Practical tips (like remembering that your wedding day is important, but the marriage is more important) add up to a useful resource. Give Peas a Chance By Kate Samela MS, RD, CSP (Sourcebooks, $15) Every stage of development in children leads to different challenges, and in toddlers, eating can be one of the greatest difficulties. This book offers practical advice and ideas for feeding toddlers healthy meals that they’ll love to eat.

Reviews by Mari Farthing.

Problem Solvers Helpful Family Products

When we hear about new or helpful products, we like to let our readers know! Here are a few of the more interesting items we’ve recently discovered. Visit the product website for a list of local retailers.


Your resolution is to reduce chemicals in your home, but you still need to clean it.


Lysol Power & Free products use hydrogen peroxide to clean your home. ($3 and up, www.


If only you could find a clock that doesn’t use batteries or electricity. Solution: Bedol’s Battery-free clock runs on the power of tap water for months at a time. ($26, www. Problem: Food prep is fun; crosscontamination is not.


The Casabella Chop & Prep Bamboo Cutting Board Set comes with four surfaces for prepping meat, veggies, chicken or fish that store within the cutting board. ($35, Problem: Tax time already!? Now, where did you put your receipts?


With Neat Receipts, you can scan and store all of your receipts electronically. ($200,


This chair is too big; that chair is too small.


The Baby Bjorn Booster Chair is just right for kids in between a high chair and adult chair. Plus it’s portable and easy to clean. ($80,


Sore throat, congestion and no time to be sick.


30 | February 2013

Cold EEZE Daytime/ Nighttime Cold Remedy Quick Melts dissolve easily, taste good and are a homeopathic way to shorten your cold. ($12,

February 2013 |


Thank you to Oklahoma Employees Credit Union (OECU) and all the voters who helped determine MetroFamily’s Family Favorites!

Be sure to refer to these winners & finalists all year at SponSored by:

34 | February 2013

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Beginning February 2, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History will host two new exhibits devoted to bugs. Bugs…Outside the Box presents a selection of greatly-enlarged insect sculptures, each showcasing the beauty hidden within the natural world. Beautiful Beasts: The Unseen Life of Oklahoma Spiders and Insects depicts the wonder and beauty of insects through immense color macrophotographs. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth ages 6–17, children ages 5 and under are free. See both exhibits and enjoy free museum admission from Saturday, February 2 through Monday, February 4. For more information, call 405-325-4712 or visit Photo courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.




Harlem Globetrotters The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday, February 9, performing at 2:00 and 7:00pm. During the Globetrotters 2013 “You Write the Rules” tour, kids of all ages can visit to vote for which groundbreaking rule should be implemented in the game—anything from playing with two basketballs at once to getting double points for each basket. Families can purchase a special “Magic Pass” that provides access to a 30-minute pre-show that includes spending time on the court with the Globetrotters, shooting and more. Tickets begin at $20 and are available at www. and the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office. For more information, visit www. Photo courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters.

100 Years of Broadway

Jack and the Beanstalk

Neil Berg’s critically-acclaimed 100 Years Of Broadway is a musical revue of Broadway’s most celebrated shows featuring a cast of five Broadway stars accompanied by an all-star New York band. This production recreates great moments from well-loved shows including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables,” “CATS,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Jekyll & Hyde,” as well as some of Broadway’s newest hits.

Come do the ‘happy dance’ with Jack, his grandmother, a harp that can’t sing, and one very fun goose at the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre’s production of Jack and The Beanstalk.

Eight performances will be held at the Civic Center Music Hall from February 12–17. Tickets begin at $15 and are available at the Civic Center Box Office or online, at www.celebrityattractions. com. Photo courtesy of Celebrity Attractions.

This show is recommended for ages 3–8 years, and MetroFamily readers can receive a free child’s ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket with our Kids Pass ( kids-pass). Performances will be held February 22–March 8, on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00am, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm in the Children’s Center for the Arts on the Oklahoma City University campus. For more information call 951-0011 or visit www.oklahomachildrenstheatre. org Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Children’s Theatre.

February 2013 |


Quick Reference American Banjo Museum 9 E Sheridan Ave, OKC 604-2793, City Arts Center Fair Park, 3000 Pershing Blvd, OKC 951-0000, Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards, Edmond 340-4481, Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave, Norman 325-3272, Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 13th & Shartel, OKC 235-4458, Museum of Osteology 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd, OKC 814-0006, Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W Reno, OKC 297-3995, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC 478-2250, Oklahoma Aquarium 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks 918-296-FISH, OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr, OKC 236-3100, OKC National Memorial 620 N Harvey, OKC 235-3313, OKC Zoo 2101 NE 50th St, OKC 424-3344, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC 606-7003, Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr, OKC 522-0765,

children. FREE admission for child & one accompanying adult. See website for theme. 10am-noon.

Daily Events

FREE Volunteer Recruitment at the OKC Zoo seeks adults to assist with animal & plant care. Orientation & interviews will be conducted. Ages 18+. 10am-noon. 425-0275.

February 1 • Friday Soonerthon Silent Auction at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art benefits the Children’s Hospital Foundation with a silent auction. 6-8pm. 271-2208. OKC Barons vs. Charlotte Checkers at the Cox Convention Center. 7pm. Tickets $16+, 800-745-3000 or Other home games this month: 2/8, 9, 22, 26.

February 1–2 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features more than 60 artists in 17 galleries. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-5pm. 525-2688, www.

February 1–3 Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. performed at the Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman), adapted from Disney’s Broadway production. Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 2pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. See website for prices; 321-9600,

February 2 • Saturday Group Testing for Applicants at Heritage Hall (1800 NW 122). 8:30-11am. 749-3001, FREE Baby Bazaar at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) features used clothing through size 5T, toys & other items. $10 booth registration. 9am-noon. 376-3411, Groundhog Day Celebration at the OKC Zoo has the Zoo’s own “meteorologists” making their annual prediction. Free hot chocolate and doughnuts while supplies last. 10am.

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 325-4712,

FREE Winter Diaper Bazaar at Green Bambino (5120 N Shartel). Buy, sell or trade used cloth diapers & diaper accessories. Cash only. 10am-?. 848-2330, www.

Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC 602-6664,

FREE Saturdays for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum features an activity for

Do you have an event for our calendar? Email All phone numbers are area code 405 unless otherwise noted. Information should be verified before attending events as details can change after press date.

FREE Banana Slug String Band at the OKC Zoo Education Building features conservation & science shared through music, theater & puppetry. Preregister. 11am & 2pm. FREE Crafts for Kids “Just Hanging Around Puppy Pal” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) for ages 3+. 11am-3pm. 858-8778, FREE Swingin’ & Singin’ in Deep Deuce at the Bethany Library celebrates Black History Month with Adam & Kizzie Ledbetter performing with Rhythmically Speaking. 2-3pm. Held at other locations through the month; see website for schedule. Scout Badge Programs at the OKC Zoo features workshops for Girl & Boy Scouts. See website for workshop information. Preregister. $12 per scout, $1 additional adults. 10am-noon or 2-4pm. 425-0218, www. Also held: 2/9, 16. FREE Firehouse Chocolate Festival & Arts Day at the NCED/Marriott Conference Center (2801 S Highway 9 E, Norman) features 30 vendors offering chocolatethemed foods and art activities for all ages. Benefits art education at the Firehouse Art Center. FREE admission, $25-$40 tickets for chocolate samples. 10:30am2:00pm. 329-4523, OU Men’s Basketball vs. Kansas State at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. 5pm. 325-2424, www. Other home games this month: 2/9, 11, 23. Daddy Daughter Dance at the Robertson Activity Center (1200 Lakeshore, Yukon) features live music, refreshments & photos. $5 advance, $7 at door. Ages 5-8, 5-6:30pm; Ages 9-12, 7-8:30pm. 350-8937, www. The Great Escape at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) provides a night out for parents while kids ages 6-12 enjoy dinner & an evening of fun with a dinosaur theme. Preregister. $20. 6-11pm. 376-3411, OSU Women’s Basketball vs. Baylor at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. 7pm. 744-5745, Other home games this month: 2/5, 16, 23.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF VALENTINE’S FUN for kids, the entire family and your significant other at:

36 | February 2013

Motion & Emotion presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall features percussionist Colin Currie. $15+. 8pm. 842-5387, www.

February 2–3 FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in celebration of the opening of Bugs Outside the Box and Beautiful Beasts: The Unseen Life of Oklahoma Spiders & Insects. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm.

February 3 • Sunday

contributions accepted. 7am-10pm. www. FREE Monthly Mini Model Build at Penn Square Mall’s Lego Store for ages 6-14 to build a new model on the first Tuesday of every month. Quantities limited. 5pm. 840-9993, FREE Valentine’s Day Mini Books Craft at the Ralph Ellison Library features artist Carri Dolan as she help participants ages 16+ make mini books for use as coupon books or journals. Preregister. 5-7pm. FREE Primary Division Open House at Westminster School Primary Division (612 NW 44) for incoming 2013 PreK & Kindergarten students. 7-8pm. 524-0631, www.

FREE Open House at Christ the King Catholic School (1905 Elmhurst). 1:30-3:30pm. 843-3909, www.

February 6 • Wednesday

Ending February 3

OSU Men’s Basketball vs. Baylor at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. 6pm. 744-5745, Other home games this month: 2/16, 20.

Treasure Island presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre at OCU (2501 N Blackwelder) adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. $12 adults, $8 children ages 2-12. Thursday, 11am; Friday, 11am & 8pm; Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 951-0011, www.

February 4 • Monday FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History every first Monday of the month. Josh Groban Live: All That Echoes at the Spotlight 14 in Norman, Quail Springs 24 & Tinseltown USA theaters features a screening of a live performance by Josh Groban performing selections from his new albums and old favorites. 6pm. OKC Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. $10+. 7pm. thunder. Other home games this month: 2/6, 8, 14, 22, 24, 27. Alexander Schimpf, Piano at the Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) features works by Mozart & Debussy. $20+. 7:30pm. 285-1010, www.

Ending February 4 Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Gardens. $10 with skate rental, $7 with own skates. Monday-Tuesday, 3-8pm; Wednesday-Thursday, 3-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-11pm; Sunday, 10am-8pm. 235-3500, www.

February 4–6 Symphony by the Sea for Students at Oklahoma Aquarium exposes children to aquatic life while the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra introduces young listeners to classical music. See website for details.

February 5 • Tuesday FREE National Pancake Day at IHOP Restaurants nationwide offers every guest a complimentary short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Optionalcharitable

February 7 • Thursday Otto’s VIP Night at Science Museum Oklahoma invites SMO members to come explore & enjoy the museum, Science Live shows, the Planetarium & the IMAX Film Tornado Alley. FREE for members. 4-8pm. FREE Open House at Oklahoma Christian School (4680 E 2, Edmond). 9-10:30am. 341-2265, www. FREE Open House/Parent Workshop at Trinity School (321 NW 36). 6:30-8:30pm. 525-5600, www. FREE Middle Division Open House at Westminster School Middle Division (600 NW 44) for incoming 2013 6th grade students. 7-8pm. 524-0631, www.

February 7–17 Crimes of the Heart presented by OKC Theatre Company at the Civic Center Music Hall presents a sentimental look at womanhood & the power of sisterhood. Not suitable for children. $20 adults, $17 students & seniors, $10 preview shows. ThursdaySaturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 297-2264, www.

February 8 • Friday Home School Workshop: Birds at the OKC Zoo includes an animal encounter & exhibit tour. Students learn about characteristics, habitats & adaptations. Preregister. $7 grades PreK-6 ($3.50 additional siblings), $11 grades 7-12 ($5.50 additional siblings). 10-11am. 425-0218, FREE Norman’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art is a monthly celebration of the arts connecting the downtown arts district with galleries, performance halls, & Campus Corner. Trolley service between venues available at minimal cost. 6-10pm. 360-1162, www.2ndfridaynorman. com. Whodunit Mystery Dinner at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) includes dinner by Johnny Carino’s


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Metropolitan Library System

Belle Isle.................5501 N Villa...........843-9601 Bethany................3510 N Mueller.........789-8363 Capitol Hill............ 334 SW 26th...........634-6308 Choctaw.................2525 Muzzy...........390-8418 Del City..................4509 SE 15th...........672-1377 Downtown.............300 Park Ave.......... 231-8650 Edmond............... 10 S Boulevard......... 341-9282 Midwest City......... 8143 E Reno........... 732-4828 Ralph Ellison....... 2000 NE 23rd...........424-1437 Southern Oaks....6900 S Walker.........631-4468 The Village........... 10307 N Penn.......... 755-0710 Warr Acres...........5901 NW 63rd...........721-2616 Harrah...............1930 N Church Ave.....454-2001 Jones.......................111 E Main............399-5471 Luther......................310 NE 3rd............ 277-9967 Nicoma Park...... 2240 Overholser........769-9452 Northwest ..........5600 NW 122nd........606-3580 Wright Library.... 2101 Exchange.........235-5035

Pioneer Library System

Blanchard............... 300 N Main............ 485-2275 McLoud....................133 N Main............964-2960 Moore.................... 225 S Howard.......... 793-5100 Newcastle............. 705 NW Tenth.......... 387-5076 Noble........................204 N 5th..............872-5713 Norman.................225 N Webster......... 701-2600 Purcell.................... 919 N Ninth............ 527-5546 Shawnee............101 N Philadelphia......275-6353 SW OKC............... 2201 SW 134th.........979-2200 Tecumseh............114 N Broadway........598-5955 & dessert by Butter Sweet Cakes. $15 individual, $30 couple. 6:15pm. 376-3411, FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (NW 16th between Classen & Penn) on the second Friday of each month includes art walk, local artists, live music & shopping. 7-11pm.

Ending February 8 Art Now Exhibition & Art Sale at the City Arts Center (3000 General Pershing) celebrates the work of Oklahoma’s top contemporary artists. 951-0000. www.

February 2013 |


Weekly Events FREE Discovery Room programs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. See website for details. FREE Admission Mondays at the OKC Zoo offers complimentary admission each Monday through February. FREE Art Moves weekdays (Monday-Friday) in downtown OKC (various locations). Performances, demonstrations, short films & discussions. Noon-1pm. 270-4892, Toddler Time playtime at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang). $2 or FREE with Town Center membership. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am-noon. 3763411, FREE Sooner Mall Outreach Storytime is an interactive story time held outside Sears at Sooner Mall for ages 9 & under. Tuesdays, 10am. FREE Art Adventures at Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art includes hands-on art fun for children ages 3-5 with adult. Tuesdays, 10:30am. Family Fun Night at JumpZone (SW 104th & Western) includes 2 adults, 2 children, 1 large pizza, 2 liter pop for $25. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-8pm. 200-1691, FREE Tours of the Governor’s Mansion offered every Wednesday through May 22. Preregister. Noon3pm. 568-1292,


FREE Wednesday Night at the Movies at the Downtown Library. Held every Wednesday, 6-8pm. 231-8650.

FREE Children’s Storytime at Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expressway) each Saturday, 10:15am. 8422900,

FREE Thursday Noon Tunes live concerts at the Downtown Library, 11:30am-1pm.

FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books, Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www.

Cocktails on the Skyline at the OKC Museum of Art features a full bar, complimentary chips & salsa & live music on the Roof Terrace. See website for weather cancellations. FREE for members, $5 nonmembers. Thursdays, 5-9pm. Family Fun Day at Celebration Station (509 Westline) features unlimited rides & a pizza buffet for $15.99 per person. Thursdays, 4-9pm. 942-7888, www. FREE Norman Library Tween Creative Space provides a special space for students in grades 3-5 to meet, discuss books & create crafts. Call for more information. Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm. FREE Rhythm Babies at the Norman Library features music & stories for children birth to age 3 with a parent or caregiver. Fridays, 10am. FREE Norman Library Music Connection features music & stories for ages 3-7 with a parent or caregiver. Fridays, 11am. FREE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance at the Ralph Ellison Library. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offer assistance in preparing 2012 State & Federal Income Tax Returns. Saturdays in February, 9am-4pm. | February 2013

FREE Skating Lessons at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36) for beginner, intermediate, advanced & featured styles. Saturdays, noon-12:45pm. 605-2758, www. Drop in Art at the OKC Museum of Art features hands-on art activities. FREE with paid admission. See website for themes/activities Saturdays, 1-4pm. All-Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Yukon Lanes (500 E Main). $8/week includes 3 games & shoes. Saturdays, 1pm. Email to verify schedule. 354-2516. FREE Green Earth Gang for ages 9-13 works on conservation projects in Martin Park. Saturdays, 2-5pm. 755-0676, FREE Green Earth Rangers at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial) for teens ages 13-18 to assist the park with complex, leadership-driven conservation efforts. Sundays, call for times. 7550676, FREE Open House at techJOYnt (8328 Glade) provides information about this hands-on, technologybased after-school education academy. Sundays, 2-4pm. 345-5010,

February 8–10 An Affair of the Heart at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds (3001 General Pershing) features arts, crafts & antiques. $7 per person, good for all three days. Friday-Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm. www.

February 9 • Saturday 2013 Norman Polar Plunge at Campus Corner in Norman. Participants jump into a cold body of water to raise funds for Special Olympics. 9am. www.

the area high schools & includes a 5-mile run, 1-mile fun run & the McMurtrie Children’s 1-mile run. $25/20 Five-mile run, $20/10 one-mile run, children 11 & younger are FREE in the children’s run. 8:30am. www. We Heart Animals at the OKC Zoo Education Building has participants working with staff to make special treats for the animals. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Certain allergens may be used. Preregister. $15 per child members, $18 per child nonmembers, parents FREE. 2-3pm. 425-0218,

Looking for an idea for a night out with your sweetheart this month? Here are a few ideas for date night all around the metro!

FREE Annual Norman Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Norman. 7pm.

Defending the Caveman presented by City Rep Theatre Company at the Civic Center Music Hall is a comedy about the ways men & women relate to each other. Rated R. $35. Thursday-Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 1:30pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, 1:30pm. 848-3761,

FREE Health & Wellness Fair at Southern Nazarene University Sawyer Center includes educational forums, demo exercise classes, health screenings & booths for organizations that promote healthy living. 9am-3pm. 491-6312,

The Taste of Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. Features samplings from 30 local restaurants, a live & silent auction & more. $150/person, $250/couple. 7pm. 943-8075,

Norman Friends of the Library Romance Book Sale at the Norman Library features gently-used romance books & a selection of non-romance books suitable for Valentine’s Day gifts. 9am-5pm.

Ending February 9

FREE Forever For Real Relationship Workshop at Reed Center (5800 Will Rogers, Midwest City) teaches about how to improve communication, manage conflict effectively & keep the love alive. Attend with your fiancé for a $45 discount on your marriage license. Preregister. 10am-4:30pm. FREE Lowes Build & Grow Clinic “Wheel of Love” at participating Lowe’s Stores invites children to complete a wooden project with a parent/guardian. Participants receive a FREE apron, goggles, certificate & project patch. Preregister. 10-11am. www.lowesbuildandgrow. com. Victorian Tea at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond) features authentic food, live chamber music, living history performers & more to teach girls in 2nd grade—age 12 about the history & importance of teatime in the 1800s. Period dress encouraged. Preregister. $8. 10-11am & noon1pm. 340-0078, FREE Crafts for Kids “Chinese New Year Dragon” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) for ages 3+. 11am3pm. 858-8778, Yukon Chocolate Festival sponsored by Yukon Friends of the Park & the Ladies Library Club at the Robertson Activity Center (1200 Lakeshore, Yukon) features 20 of Yukon’s local chocolatiers. $8 entry fee provides 8 samples. 1-3pm. Harlem Globetrotters at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. $20+ plus fees. 2pm & 7pm. www. Oklahoma City Roller Derby at the Cox Convention Center, including activities to support the Oklahoma Officer Down Foundation. $12 in advance, $15 at the door, children 12 & under FREE. 6pm. Norman Parks & Recreation Daddy Daughter Dance at the Embassy Suites (2501 Conference, Norman) for dads & their daughters ages 4-14. $10 per person. 2:30-4pm, 5-6:30pm & 7:30-9pm. 366-5472, www. Frigid Five Mile Run & Walk at Mitch Park in Edmond supports local organizations & cross-country teams of


Echoes & Rituals: The Artwork of Robert Taylor & Harvey Pratt at Science Museum Oklahoma showcases works by two renowned Oklahoma Native American artists.

February 10 • Sunday Daddy/Daughter Mad Hatter Tea Party at the MAC in Mitch Park (2733 Marilyn Williams, Edmond). $20 per couple, $5 additional daughters. 2pm. 359-4630, www. OU Women’s Basketball vs. West Virginia at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. 4pm. 325-2424, www. Other home games this month: 2/14, 20, 25.

Ending February 10 FREE 99th Annual School of Art & Art History Student Exhibition at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features a competitive juried show highlighting the diverse works of art created by art & art history students from the University of Oklahoma. Wichita Mountains Eagle Watch at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge has participants searching for bald & golden eagles in the Special Use Area. Ages 8+. Preregister. $5. Saturday-Sunday, 1:30-4:30pm. 580-429-2151,

February 11 • Monday Bullying Awareness & Prevention at the MAC (2733 Marilyn Williams, Edmond) for ages 8-17. Preregister. $28. 5-7pm. 359-4630, Also held 2/13. FREE Future Freshman Curriculum Night at Bishop McGuiness Catholic High School (801 NW 50). 6:30pm. 842-6638,

February 12 • Tuesday Homeschool Day at the Oklahoma Aquarium provides education group rates for homeschool families & groups who may not meet the required minimum for education groups. Preregister. $7 students, $10 adults.

February 8–17

February 9–10 Paris Rouge presented by the OKC Ballet at the Civic Center Music Hall features three unique ballet performances. $33+. Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 848-8637,

February 12–17 100 Years of Broadway at the Civic Center Music Hall features the stars of shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll & Hyde and more in a musical revue of Broadway’s most celebrated shows. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm; Sunday, 2pm & 7pm.

February 14 Valentine’s Dinner & Dance at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum features a buffet dinner & dancing. Museum galleries open. Preregister. 6-10pm.

February 16 • Saturday (Food) Lovers Dinner at the Myriad Gardens Restaurant features a locally-sourced gourmet meal & handcrafted cocktails. Preregister. $65 members, $75 nonmembers. 6pm. 445-7080,

February 21 • Thursday SMO Science Lounge: Science of Star Wars at Science Museum Oklahoma includes Star Wars themed experiments, live music, museum exhibits, Planetarium & Science Live shows, cash bar & appetizers for guests ages 21+. Star Wars costumes encouraged. $20, save $5 on advance tickets by mentioning “MetroFamily.” 7pm.

February 22–23 OKC Philharmonic: Cole Porter Songbook: Anything Goes! at the Civic Center Music Hall features music by Cole Porter with special guest musicians. $15+. 8pm. 842-5387, www. For other date night ideas, visit www.

February 2013 |


Valentine’s Day Party at Bouncin Craze locations (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond & 9333 W Reno) features cupcake decorating, bouncin & crafts. $7.50 per child. 4-8pm. 607-2020, 470-7000, FREE Early Birds Classes at OKC Public Schools. 90 minutes of professional instruction on child development, promoting school readiness, purposeful parenting, health & safety. FREE toys & materials to foster school readiness at home & FREE on-site child care. See website for times & locations. 6-7:30pm. 587-0422,www. Also held: 2/14, 19, 23. Conflict Resolution: How to Fight & Listen So You Can Be Heard at the MAC (2733 Marilyn Williams, Edmond) for ages 13+. Preregister. $28. 5-7pm. 3594630,

February 14 • Thursday FREE Chocolate Extravaganza at the Warr Acres Library celebrates chocolate lovers month with chocolate fondue & games for ages 12-17. Preregister. 6:30-8pm. Oklahoma City Ballet Time at OCCC Bruce Owen Theater (7777 S May) presents an evening of chamber dance works with a Valentine’s dinner available before the performance. $20 adults, $17 seniors 55+, $10 youth 17 & under. 7-9pm. 682-7579,

February 14–16 Valentine Cabaret Dinner & Show at Oklahoma Christian University features dinner by candlelight & a show featuring OC musicians. See website for pricing. 6pm. 425-5540,

February 15 • Friday 13th Annual Winter Ball & Silent Auction at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum benefits the A.R.T.S. Foundation. Features special guest performances, ballroom instruction & dancing for the whole family. $50 per person, $100 per family accompanied by parents. 7-11pm. 313-7060, www.

February 15–16 Marriage Enrichment Seminar at the Courtyard Marriott Bricktown (2 W Reno) features an in-town getaway for couples designed to refresh & strengthen marriages. Preregister. $65/couple. 721-5313, www.

February 16 • Saturday RIVERSPORT RUNderground 5K begins & ends at the Cox Convention Center. Participants will run though OKC’s Underground tunnels. $25 in advance, $30 race day (cash only on race day). Noon. www. FREE Kid’s Mandarin (Chinese) Language Class at Buddha Mind Monastery (5916 S Anderson) introduces children to Mandarin language through reading, writing, listening & speaking. No prerequisites. 1:30-2:30pm. 869-0501,


FREE Bart & Nadia Sports & Health Festival at the Cox Convention Center features sports activities for the entire family plus free health screenings & wellness information. The 2013 Nadia Comaneci International Invitational gymnastics competition follows at 7pm. 9am5pm. 447-7500, 2013 Polar Plunge at White Water Bay challenges individuals or groups to jump into a cold body of water to raise funds for Special Olympics. 10am. www. Behind the Scenes Tours at the Oklahoma Aquarium features a tour of the holding facility for the sea turtles and the Siegfried Families Shark Adventure. Wheelchairs & strollers cannot be accommodated. Ages 5+. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis, no advanced registration required. $10 adults, $8 youth plus general admission cost. 10:30am, 11:30am & 1:30pm. FREE Kids’ Meditation Class at Buddha Mind Monastery (5916 S Anderson) helps kids discover their inner wisdom through meditation, stories & activities. Wear comfortable, modest attire & socks. 10:30amnoon. 869-0501, FREE Prince & Princess Party at the Northwest Library for ages 4-6 features fairy tale stories, activities & games. Preregister. 10:30-11:30am. FREE Practice ACT at College Tutors Edmond (1333 N Santa Fe, Edmond) for high school freshmen, sophomores or juniors. A full-length practice ACT using an actual ACT test booklet. Preregister. 9am-noon. 5136060, Fly-tying Frenzy! Adult Workshop at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History teaches how to make fishing lures used in fly fishing. Ages 18+. Preregister. $20 members, $30 nonmembers. 9am-noon. Marine Mammal Trainer at the OKC Zoo. Participants ages 13+ learn about animal training & how sea lions are trained for the Sea Lion Show. Preregister. $15 members, $18 nonmembers. 10-11:30am. 425-0218, FREE Crafts for Kids “Desk Buddy Pencil Holder” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) for ages 3+. 11am3pm. 858-8778, FREE Sensory Afternoon at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial). Programs will include introducing nature to the visually impaired, hearing impaired, cognitively impaired & individuals with sensitivity to environmental factors. Call to inquire about specific program activities. 1-4pm. 755-0676, www.okc. gov/parks/martin_park. 5th & 6th Grade Dance at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) features DJ, dancing, game room & rock wall. $5 advance, $7 at door. 7-9pm. 376-3411, www.

February 16–17 Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam at the Chesapeake Energy Arena features monster trucks. $20+ adults, $5+ children ages 2-12 + fees. Saturday, 2pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. | February 2013

February 17 • Sunday Band of Scots Guards & The Black Watch at the Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) features the prestigious military bands of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 7:30pm. 285-1010, www. Winter Wind Concert–Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines at the Performing Arts Studio (200 S Jones, Norman). $20. 7-9pm. 307-9320,

February 17–22 Just Between Friends Norman Consignment Event at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson, Norman) features new & gently-used children’s clothing & accessories. See website for schedule, www.norman.

February 18 • Monday School’s Out Safari Day Camp at the OKC Zoo Education Building provides an educational adventure for ages 4-12. Preregister. $30. 8am-3pm. 425-0218, Valentine Bisque Class presented by Edmond Parks & Recreation allows participants to create something special for the ones they love. $12. 10am-noon. 3594630, FREE Information Night at Veritas Classical Academy North Campus (3100 E Waterloo, Edmond). 6:30-8pm. 585-7275, Also held: 2/25, 3/25, 4/29 & 5/20 @ OKC Campus; 3/4 & 4/22 @ North Campus.

February 19 • Tuesday Tiny Tuesdays “Paint Your Heart Out” at the OKC Museum of Art come-and-go art making for ages 2-5 with caregiver. FREE with paid admission. 10am-noon. Invention Exposition at Rose State College is open to all students grades K-12 to use their math, science & creative thinking skills to create inventions. Preregister. 367-7385,,

February 20 • Wednesday FREE Parent Expo: Onward & Upward On a Journey of Excellence at the Oklahoma City Zoo is designed to motivate & encourage parents on their journey as parents & home educators. Includes dinner, guest speaker & informational sessions. Preregister. 5-9pm. 877-485-8283,

February 21–22 FREE Harriet Tubman Live at the Oklahoma History Center features an historical reenactor portraying Harriet Tubman discussing her escape to freedom, the Underground Railroad, work as a nurse, scout & more. 10:30am, 2pm & 7pm.

February 22 • Friday Born to This Land—Visual & Musical Journey Through the Rangelands of the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a concert

featuring the West’s beloved Western musicians against a backdrop of photographs by Bob Moorhouse & David Stoecklein. Preregister; 7pm.

February 23 • Saturday FREE Day of Dance at Penn Square Mall (1800 NW Expressway) features performances by some of the metro’s most talented dancers as well as group dances, health information, demonstrations & health screenings. 10am-1pm. 951-2277. 11th Annual Delta Delta Delta Art with a Heart Art Show at the OU Children’s Hospital Atrium (1200 N Children’s) features art created by child patients available for purchase. All proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association. $30. 6-9pm. FREE Crafts for Kids “People Shapes Dancing Puppet” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) for ages 3+. 11am-3pm. 858-8778, OK State Dance Marathon at the Colvin Center in Stillwater. OSU students & others will dance for twelve straight hours to benefit the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Noon-midnight. 271-2208, FREE Zoo Career Conference at the OKC Zoo Education Building. Participants gain insight into zoo-related careers & discover volunteer opportunities. For ages 13+. Preregister. 1-4pm. 425-0218, Dad & Daughter Dance at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) features DJ, refreshments & dancing for dads & daughters. $15 per couple, $5 per extra daughter. 7-9pm. 376-3411,

February 23–24 FREE 34th Annual Friends of the Library Booksale at the State Fairgrounds Oklahoma Expo Hall. 9am5:30pm.

February 24 • Sunday FREE Science in Action & Object ID Day at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Experts in natural history will identify objects brought in by visitors. Features demonstrations, hands-on activities & free museum admission. 1-5pm. FREE Open House at Erna Krouch Preschool (4901 N Pennsylvania). 3-5pm. 848-5926, www.thetempleokc. org/education/preschool.

February 25 • Monday FREE Admission to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory at the Myriad Gardens celebrates the 25-year anniversary of the Myriad Botanical Gardens. 445-7080,

February 28 • Thursday FREE Spaghetti Eddie CD Release Concert at Science Museum Oklahoma celebrates the new CD release with activities, concert & FREE admission during event hours. Activities, 4-8pm; Concert, 6pm.

February 2013 |


March 2013 March 1 • Friday Home School Workshop: Invertebrates at the OKC Zoo includes an animal encounter & exhibit tour. Preregister. $7 grades PreK-6 ($3.50 additional siblings), $11 grades 7-12 ($5.50 additional siblings). 10-11am. 425-0218, Boy Scout Nighttime at the Zoo Overnight Program at the OKC Zoo explores the zoo after dark to learn how animals survive at night. Preregister. $25 per scout, $10 per adult. 7pm-9am. 425-0218,

March 1–24 The Sound of Music at the Poteet Theatre (222 NW 15) features the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. $20. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. 609-1023,

March 2 • Saturday Subscribe to Weekend Picks, our popular weekly email giving you all the upcoming family events in the area Like us: Follow us:

FREE Saturdays for Kids activity at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Includes free admission for child & one accompanying adult. See website for theme. 10am-noon. Edmond Mothers of Multiples Kids Consignment Sale at Quail Springs United Methodist Church (14617 N. Penn). Many items 50% off from noon-2pm. $1/family admission. 8am-2pm. FREE Kids’ Meditation Class at Buddha Mind Monastery (5916 S Anderson) helps kids discover their inner wisdom through meditation, stories & activities. Wear comfortable, modest attire & socks. 10:30amnoon. 869-0501, Also held: 3/16, 30. OSU Women’s Basketball vs. Texas at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. 11am. 744-5745, OU Men’s Basketball vs. Iowa State at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. 12:30pm. 325-2424, www. Next home game: 3/6.

Force of Destiny presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall features cellist, Zuill Bailey. 8pm. 842-5387, FREE Open House at Casady School (9500 N Pennsylvania) for Primary & Lower Division grades PreK-4. 2-4pm. 749-3185,

March 4 • Monday FREE Information Night at Veritas Classical Academy (3100 E Waterloo, Edmond). 6:30-8pm. 585-7275, http:// Also held: 3/25 at OKC Campus.

March 5 • Tuesday OKC Thunder vs. LA Lakers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. $10+. 8:30pm. Other home games this month: 3/10, 13, 15, 19, 24, 27.

March 6–8 Symphony by the Sea for Students at the Oklahoma Aquarium exposes children to the wonders of aquatic life while the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra introduce young listeners to classical music. Scholarship support available. See website for registration.

March 8 • Friday Girl Scout Nighttime at the Zoo Overnight Program at the OKC Zoo explores the zoo after dark to learn how animals survive at night. Preregister. $25 per scout, $10 per adult. 7pm-9am. 425-0218,

March 9 • Saturday Omelette Party at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center (425 E California) benefits the OKC Museum of Art. Enjoy omelettes & egg dishes, live music, art raffle & open bar. Tickets must be pre-purchased. $75. 7pmmidnight. 236-3100,

OSU Men’s Basketball vs. Texas at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. 3pm. 744-5745, Next home game: 3/9.

March 14 • Thursday

Winter Jam at the Chesapeake Energy Arena features a variety of Christian music artists. $10 at the door. 6pm.

FREE Open House at King’s Gate Christian School (11400 N Portland). 6-7pm. 752-2111, www.

OU Women’s Basketball vs. Kansas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. 7pm. 325-2424, www.

Ramp up your family’s SPRING BREAK FUN by checking these online guides, both available after February 15!

42 | February 2013


Ongoing Events February 2–May 12 Bugs Outside the Box at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History presents a selection of greatly enlarged insect sculptures showcasing the beauty hidden within them.

February 2–September 8 Beautiful Beasts: The Unseen Life of Oklahoma Spiders & Insects at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History presents a series of largescale color photographs of midwestern spiders & insects.

February 8–March 2 Love’s Labours Lost presented by the Reduxion Theatre Company at the Broadway Theater (1613 N Broadway) sets Shakespeare’s comedy of love & loss in 1953 Spain. $18 + fees. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 651-3191,

ages 2-12. Wednesday & Friday, 11am; SaturdaySunday, 2pm. 951-0011, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre. org.

February 25–March 4 Auditions for Lyric Theatre Productions at Lyric’s Production Center (1801 NW 16) will cast for Tarzan, The King & I & Will Rogers Follies. Call for audition time. 524-9310,

February 26–May 17 FREE Bryan Adams: Exposed at the City Arts Center Features select photography by musician Bryan Adams who captured intimate images of friends & colleagues in the entertainment, fashion & art industries.

March 2–June 9

FREE Into the Void at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is a student-curated printmaking exhibition featuring works from the permanent collection that encompass the entire optical spectrum.

FREE Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art & the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features an exhibition assembled in 1946 of modernist paintings highlighting the freedom of expression enjoyed by artists in the United States. Designed to combat Communism, it was deemed “unAmerican” by members of the US Congress & President Harry S. Truman.

Through February 15

Through March 17

OKC Beautiful SMO Upcycle Challenge at Science Museum Oklahoma is a juried exhibit of functional art/creations using upcycled materials. Opening Reception: 11/15, 6-9pm.

20th Century African American Art: Selections from the Arthur Primas Collection at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) features artwork by African American artists in the nation. 8785300,

February 9–July 28

February 22–March 8 Jack & the Beanstalk presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) features a twist on the classic fairy tale. $9 adults, $6 students/children

Through April 5 Starmaker: Jim Halsey & the Legends of Country Music at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum showcases 60-years of historic music & show business memorabilia from the Jim Halsey Company’s legendary roster of stars. Artifacts include gold & platinum albums, signed guitars & more.

Through May 29 Crumbo Spirit Talk at the Oklahoma History Center features the art of Woody Crumbo & his children.

Through June 1 Enriched: Animal Art from the OKC Zoo at the Oklahoma History Center showcases the process of animal enrichment through painting.

Through August Pablo Picasso’s Woman in the Studio at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features works by Picasso from the museum’s permanent collection and on loan from the St. Louis Art Museum.

Through March 31 FREE Miguel Barcelo’s Areneros y Muleros at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features work by one of the most celebrated living Spanish artists.

February 2013 |


Save the date for OKC’s premier family fun event! Saturday, March 23

The “kindie” band, Chasing James, will be one of many performing on the Kids Fest stage. From left to right: Lisa Hubbert and Laura Franklin.

10am to 4pm at the State Fairgrounds (Oklahoma Expo building)

Enjoy over 50 booths with hands-on activities for kids • Inflatables • Family-friendly entertainment on the nonstop stage • Extreme Animals petting zoo NEW AND EXPANDED FOR 2013! Find out more at

Extreme Animals Petting Zoo

Sponsored by:

Attention Businesses: Join these and many others who will connect to thousands of local families at Kids Fest! • K12 Virtual Charter Academy (Sponsor) • Abrakadoodle • AMF Bowling • Andy Alligator’s • Blazers Ice Centre • Brixton Chiropractic • Celebration Station • Chickasaw Cultural Center • Chisholm Trail Heritage Center • Family Builders • Farmers Insurance, office of David Brambrink • GattiTown • Gaylord-Picken Oklahoma Heritage Museum • Girl Scouts, Western Oklahoma • Green Bambino • Homeland • Kaw Lake Association/Camp McFadden

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Mad Science Martial Arts Ministries Mathnasium of North OKC Museum of Osteology New in Oklahoma OCHEC OECU (Oklahoma Employees Credit Union) OK Connections Academy OK History Center OKC Riversport Oklahoma City Community College Primrose Schools Redlands Fencing Skate Galaxy Smile Zone Pediatric Dentistry Sooner Bowling UCO College of Art & Design Oklahoma WONDERtorium YMCA Camp Classen

Contact us TODAY! 405-601-2081 or

Exploring Oklahoma 15 Places to Visit Before Your Kids Turn 15


ur publisher, Sarah Taylor, literally wrote the book about exploring Oklahoma with your family. She’s passionate about our state and the amazing diversity, history and fun that can be found within our boundaries. What better person to ask for a list of the 15 best places in the state to take your kids to introduce them to the wonders of Oklahoma than someone so passionate about the subject?

2. Five Civilized Tribes Museum

4. Museum of the Great Plains

The museum is dedicated to preserving the art, history and culture of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole tribes. The fine, traditional artworks housed within include both changing and permanent displays that represent both historical and modern American Indian artists.

Learn about the history of the state through indoor and outdoor exhibits that highlight Lawton and the settlement of the Great Plains. A planned renovation will redesign permanent exhibits and create more multimedia and hands-on exhibits for visitors to immerse themselves in the history.

Though it was difficult to keep this list to 15 (at times it was closer to 50!), we tried to include many of Oklahoma’s diverse offerings. Here, in random order, are our top 15 places to introduce your children to Oklahoma’s amazing history, heritage, people and landscape.

3. Beavers Bend State Park

1. Will Rogers Museum Will Rogers is perhaps Oklahoma’s most famous son, known for his humor and wit. The Will Rogers Museum in Claremore houses artifacts and memorabilia on Rogers, plus a research library and children’s museum. Special events held throughout the year celebrate his life., 800-828-9643 1720 West Will Rogers Boulevard, Claremore Open daily, 8:00am–5:00pm Admission $5 adults; $4 seniors and military; free for members and children 17 and under, 918-683-1701 1101 Honor Heights Drive, Muskogee Open Monday–Friday 10:00am-5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm Admission $3 Adults; $4 Seniors; $1.50 Students; Children 5 & younger free

Located at the south end of Broken Bow Lake in the far southeastern forested and mountainous region of Oklahoma, Beavers Bend offers a beautiful, scenic destination with rugged terrain and a variety of outdoor activities for all ages to enjoy, including hiking, canoeing and more., 580-494-6509 Broken Bow, Oklahoma Park admission is free; additional fees may be required for activities, 580-581-3460 601 Northwest Ferris Avenue, Lawton Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $5 Seniors; $6 Ages 12+; $2.50 Ages 7-11; Ages 6 & younger free

5. Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum The Chisholm Trail was used in the late 19th century to drive cattle from Texas to Kansas, and played an integral part in Oklahoma’s history. Visitors can explore what life was like during this era through hands-on exhibits, art galleries and a theater experience., 580-252-6692 1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway, Duncan Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $6 Adults; $5 seniors; $4 ages 5-17; group and family rates available





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6. Chickasaw Cultural Center This indoor and outdoor experience celebrates the culture, history and future of the Chickasaw people through amazing interactive and multimedia exhibits. Highlights include a café serving traditional Chickasaw fare and indoor and outdoor theaters that host dance, storytelling and living history performances., 580-622-7130 867 Charles Cooper Memorial Road, Sulphur Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday noon-5:00pm Admission is free


7. Route 66 Museum Route 66 cut a path through the state of Oklahoma, bringing travelers from Chicago to Los Angeles before the creation of Interstate highways. Learn about the impact of the Mother Road on Oklahoma (and American) history at this museum that showcases exhibits highlighting transportation, lodging, road construction and more., 580-323-7866 2229 West Gary Boulevard Clinton Open (spring hours) Monday–Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $5 adults; $4 seniors; $1 ages 6-18; ages 5 & younger free with paid admission

8. Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center The history of the settlement of northern Oklahoma is highlighted at this venue, starting with the 1893 Land Run. Through permanent and temporary exhibits, this museum tells the story of life in this part of the state from the time of the land run. A highlight is the Humphrey Heritage Village, an outdoor living history exhibit that features the only remaining Land Office from the Land Run.

8, 580-237-1907 507 South 4th Street, Enid Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $5 Adults; $3 seniors; free for active duty military, veterans with id and children 4 & younger

9. Alabaster Caverns State Park This 200-acre park features a ¾-mile cavern formed of alabaster, the largest natural gypsum cave in the world open to the public. Visitors should keep in mind that the guided hike through the cavern is strenuous and involves over 300 stairs, doable for most kids, ages 5+. Other outdoor activities at the park include wild caving, hiking trails and campground areas., 580-621-3381 217036 SH 50A Freedom Open daily 8:00am-5:00pm Admission for guided tours (held promptly on the hour from 9:00am-4:00pm) $8 adults; $6 seniors; $5 ages 6-12; free for age 5 & younger


10. Marland Mansion Paying homage to the lavish lifestyle of oil baron E. W. Marland, the Marland Mansion features over 43,000 square feet of living space on four floors. The home was completed in 1928 and is currently furnished in period pieces that reflect the era. The grounds of the estate include several additional buildings currently serving as museums providing background on this influential family and the era., 580-767-0420 901 Monument Road, Ponca City Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $7 Adults; $5 Seniors & ages 12-17; $4 ages 6-11

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12 11. Oklahoma History Center

13. National Memorial Museum

Just down the street from the State Capitol and Governor’s Mansion, the Oklahoma History Center presents a wide variety of permanent and rotating exhibits that celebrate all aspects of Oklahoma culture and history. Outdoor and indoor exhibits include a history of oil derricks and a replica of Oklahoma aviator Wiley Posts’ plane, the Winnie Mae.

Perhaps no other location celebrates the resilience of Oklahomans like this museum. Housed in a building adjacent to the outdoor Memorial (which stands on the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, that was destroyed in the 1995 bombing), the Memorial Museum serves as a remembrance of those lost and a beacon of hope for the future., 405-522-5248 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm Admission $7 Adults; $5 Seniors; $4 Students; free for active duty military, veterans with id and children ages 5 & under; group rates available

12. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Center This high-tech, interactive museum housed in a renovated historical building celebrates the people who make Oklahoma amazing. Exhibits tell the story of the state through its people, and each year a new group of Oklahomans are added to the Hall of Fame., 405-235-4458 1400 Classen Drive, Oklahoma City Open Tuesday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm Admission $7 Adults; $5 Seniors & ages 6-17; free for ages 5 & younger



13, 405-235-3313 620 North Harvey Avenue, Oklahoma City Open Monday-Saturday 9:00am–6:00pm, Sunday noon–6:00pm Admission $12 adults; $10 seniors, military & college students with id, and ages 6-17; free for ages 5 & younger

14. Oklahoma Trails Exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo Where else in the state can you go to visit all of the various eco-regions of Oklahoma? This eight-acre section of the zoo, opened in 2007, features each of the 11 diverse life zones (the most in any single state) complete with the plants and wildlife unique to each area., 405-424-3344 2101 Northeast 50th Street, Oklahoma City Open daily 9:00am-5:00pm Admission $8 adults; $5 ages 3-11 & seniors | February 2013

15. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Head to the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman for a peek into the pre-history of Oklahoma, going back over 300 million years through fossils and artifacts found throughout the state. A highlight includes the handson Discovery Room where children can explore objects and participate in scheduled programs., 405-325-4712 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman Open Monday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $5 adults; $4 seniors; $3 ages 6-17; free for ages 5 & younger or OU students

Mari Farthing is the Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

Find more great places on our website, www. more-to-explore

February 2013 |


Local Shopping


15 Reasons to Shop Locally

hen asked to name her favorite local business, local retail consultant Allison Barta Bailey (www. likens it to a parent being asked to choose a favorite child. Bailey simply explains, “I have too many favorites to name!”

In addition to being her passion, Bailey says that local shopping is crucial to the growth and expansion of our city. “If we want our community to continue to develop, we have to offer something that other communities don’t,” she says. “Our local business scene is something that’s unique to our city for travelers, and provides quality and convenience for residents.” Bryce Bandy, co-founder of Keep It Local OK ( agrees. “Since local businesses are not tied to any national sales or marketing strategies, we will get a wider variety of products and services from Oklahomans for Oklahomans. This also means you won’t run into the exact same mix of restaurant and retail anywhere else.” Not to mention the economic benefits of shopping locally, a fact to which Bandy is quick to attest. “Local shopping is crucial to our continued growth, because the success of local businesses attracts and encourages other entrepreneurs to start local businesses, which leads to more jobs and revenue re-circulating throughout our community.” Here are 15 reasons to keep your cash close to home:

1. Keep Money Local Sales taxes fund our communities and provide vital services such as police and fire protection, street repairs and trash collection. “Local businesses are more likely to shop with other local businesses, keeping money moving in our local economy even longer,” explains Morgan Harris, owner of Green Bambino (, the largest cloth diaper retailer in the state.

2. Local Investment

8. Diverse Products

Local businesses are less susceptible to national downturns and more likely to work harder to stay open. “Local ownership means that important decisions are made by people who live in our community and feel the impact of those decisions,” explains Chris Branson, co-founder of Keep It Local OK.

Local stores carry inventory you might not find at national chain stores. “Local business owners choose products based on what their customers want and often carry unique items from local artists and farmers,” Branson says.

3. Locally-Made Products Local business owners often sell local products, which helps preserve the community’s distinction and creates more jobs locally, as well.

4. Support for Nonprofits Local businesses support good work in our community. “Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large ones,” explains Sue Lynn Sasser, PhD, professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma.

5. Discover Interesting Things and People “One-of-a-kind shops and restaurants are part of what makes our city a great place to live,” Branson adds.

6. Personal Connection Getting to know the store owners is a great reason to shop local. “It’s their business, they are the decision-makers and they build a personal relationship with their customers,” Sasser says.

7. Product Knowledge Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling. “Because they know their customers, they can easily adjust their inventories to include the goods and services local people want to buy,” Sasser explains.

Doing the Math The math for buying close to home is compelling—for every $100 spent at a locallyowned business, $73 remains in the local economy, and $27 leaves. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, where $43 remains in the local economy and $57 leaves. Recent research from Civic Economics (www.civiceconomics. com) indicates that local eateries return nearly 79 percent of revenues to the community, compared to just over 30 percent for chain restaurants. “When profits stay local, it increases the community’s wealth, tax revenue and standard of living,” Sue Lynn Sasser, PhD and professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma says. “Small businesses and local businesses are still the backbone of our economy,” Sasser adds. “They are local people serving local people and are generally committed to staying there, raising their families. After all, most businesses started out as a small, local business and earned the success of growing and expanding. It’s the American Dream.”

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9. Cost Effective “Sometimes prices at local businesses are better because they don’t have the overhead that larger stores may have and they may be more willing to negotiate to meet your price needs,” Sasser says.

10. Better Experience Local shopping can translate to more convenient retail experiences. “It takes much less time to buy face lotion at The MakeUp Bar ( than it does to park at the mall and go to Sephora,” Bailey says.

11. Less “Leakage” Local businesses tend to buy and sell with other local businesses. “With national or multi-national firms, a percentage of that profit ‘leaks’ out of the community, the state or even the nation,” Sasser notes.

12. Increased Expertise Shopping at a local store means you can get an expert opinion about the products that you’re purchasing. “Local shop owners have to be experts in their field to compete. Use them—ask them questions and get advice about products,” Bailey encourages.

13. Create Community “We are a transitory society so people don’t always have a connection with the communities where they live. I would encourage people new to an area to ask the locals where they shop,” Sasser says.

14. Better Service Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers. “They’ll often go the extra mile to help you and to ensure you’re a satisfied customer,” Sasser says.

15. Support Future Growth Our experts agree on the last reason— shopping locally is the best way to show pride in your city and help protect the businesses that make our city unique. “We can’t simply say ‘Shop Locally!’ and keep our economy vibrant and healthy,” Harris explains. “We have to take the time and spend the money to support local businesses with our presence and our dollars. You really do vote with your wallet, and shopping locally casts your vote for Oklahoma City. As a local business owner, it makes me immensely happy to have the opportunity to help shape what Oklahoma City becomes.” “Shopping locally is a big part of what our family is,” Harris concludes. “Not just because we own a small business, but because we feel it is such a big part of helping to create a great city for our son to grow up in.”

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor and Online Content Manager at MetroFamily Magazine. Her favorite local businesses include The Vintage Pearl in Edmond and Victoria’s Pasta Shop in Norman.

Staff Favorites • Two locally-owned restaurants in Midtown near our office provide excellent food, service and a fun atmosphere. I really appreciate Beatnix Cafe (www. and Prairie Thunder Bakery ( ~ Sarah Taylor, Publisher • Hummus Mediterranean Cafe (www. in Moore offers fresh, healthy food at great prices. Friendly servers are always happy to explain exotic or unfamiliar items. ~ Mari Farthing, Editor • I love to shop at Crest (www.crestfoodsok. com). It’s a very clean store with a great selection and I like knowing that my tax dollars are staying in my community! ~ Dana Price, Advertising Sales Executive • One of my favorite local stores is OK Runner ( The staff is very knowledgeable and they host training runs and other events. I like that local businesses are invested in the community and provide more than just goods. ~ Sara Riester, Calendar Editor Want to know our reader favorites? Visit www. for the great list of favorites our readers chose on Facebook!

February 2013 |



Your Healthy Family


15 Medicine Cabinet Must-Haves

f you had to narrow the contents of your medicine cabinet down to 15 items, which ones would you choose? Sounds like a Zombie Apocalypse question, doesn’t it? Seriously, though, in starting a new year, a common goal shared by many is to de-clutter. I, for one, can honestly say my own medicine cabinet is in dire need of an overhaul… but exactly WHAT items are the most important? Local pharmacists weigh in with their recommendations.

1. Probiotics Just a few short years ago, “probiotic” was a term unfamiliar to most. We’d all heard of antibiotics, of course. Today, probiotics are much more widely used, and can be found in many nutritional supplements, as well as in dietary sources such as Greek yogurt. Pharmacist Lisa Huggins recommends this as one of her top three medicine cabinet must-haves. “Probiotics can fix virtually all [gastrointestinal] trouble. This alone makes the supplement worth having around, but it also boosts immunity, helps with acne, can calm a colicky baby and is a must for toddler diarrhea.” In addition, probiotics can offset some of the negative side effects caused by many antibiotics.

4. Vitamin D According to Huggins, “I consider a Vitamin D supplement to be a must for everyone, but it can be hard to convince people because there are no overt benefits. It’s all strictly preventative. However, Vitamin D boosts immunity, protects bones and now studies have shown that it may play a major role in the prevention of many types of cancer.” In fact, in recent years, the National Institutes of Medicine have recommended tripling the recommended daily dose for adults and children. At least 600 IU/day is recommended.

5. Antihistamine Gile considers Benadryl (or a generic equivalent) to be an important addition to anyone’s medicine cabinet because it can stop or reduce the effects of an allergic reaction. The antihistamine helps clear up runny noses and itchy, watery eyes, but it also may cause drowsiness.

6. Xylitol

A quality multivitamin is a good addition to any family’s medicine cabinet. While studies show that dietary sources are the best way to obtain vitamins and minerals, society’s tendency toward convenience foods leaves many people falling short of reaching optimal levels. A good multivitamin can help fill in these gaps, though all of the contributing pharmacists emphasized a greater need for a better diet.

Pharmacist Dave Mason began carrying Xylitol gum products a few years ago at the request of a handful of local dentists, and now has expanded his line to include candy, mints, toothpaste and sweeteners—all of which have a tendency to fly off the shelves. Xylitol is a sugar substitute which can be found naturally in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables. Unlike other sweeteners, xylitol is beneficial to dental health, and has been shown to help remineralize areas of tooth decay with regular use. Xylitol may also play a role in the reduction of ear infections and allergy symptoms, according to some studies.

3. Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer

7. Fish Oil

2. A Multivitamin

Edmond pharmacy owner Lee Gile lists this among her top must-haves. Regularstrength Tylenol or Motrin (or their generic equivalents) are invaluable when it comes to providing pain relief from minor muscle aches or headaches. These medications also serve to reduce fever in the case of illness, though they should not be used unless the fever is high or is causing significant discomfort. Be sure to follow package directions exactly, and if you have a history of ulcers or related stomach problems, talk to your health-care provider about using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory products such as Motrin.


Huggins recommends fish oil supplements, noting that they are good for the skin and have anti-aging benefits. In addition, “fish oils promote heart health, and have antiinflammatory properties, which can help with any random aches and pains. They help to preserve brain health, and are necessary for growing smart babies.”

8. Aloe Vera Gile includes aloe vera on her list, primarily for its soothing effects on burns. Some studies also show topical aloe vera may be effective in helping to heal mild psoriasis and minor skin infections. Aloe vera gel with lidocaine often helps to relieve pain caused by mild sunburns. | February 2013

9. Decongestant While probiotics and Vitamin D may be effective in preventing allergies from occurring, Huggins is quick to point out that “we live in Oklahoma, and at the end of the day, a sinus headache is a sinus headache.” (Hear those winds sweeping down the plains?)

10. Hydrocortisone Cream Gile recommends keeping over-the-counter strength hydrocortisone cream on hand for the treatment of minor skin rashes, but cautions to “never apply it to open wounds or broken skin.” Hydrocortisone cream is often effective in the treatment of mild skin irritations or rashes caused by eczema, poison ivy, insect bites and contact dermatitis.

11. Petroleum Jelly All of our contributing pharmacists agree that petroleum jelly has a wide range of uses. It can be effective in facilitating wound healing, can provide a barrier to protect against skin irritants, and acts as an excellent moisturizer, soothing dry, cracked skin.

12. Assorted Bandages After you’ve treated those minor cuts and scrapes with a little petroleum jelly, it’s a good idea to cover them with a bandage to reduce the risk of infection. Once again, all of our contributors were unanimous.

13. Melatonin Huggins recommends keeping melatonin, or a supplement supporting GABA on hand for sleep disturbances. GABA is an amino acid, and is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It produces a calming effect and promotes sleep. Melatonin supplements can help to regulate circadian rhythms. “If you can catch insomnia early it doesn’t turn into an Ambien habit and everyone is infinitely better off,” says Huggins.

14. Calcium Mason recommends a calcium supplement to virtually all of his patients. “Not all calcium is created equal. Some forms are better absorbed than others.” With regard to dosage, it’s best to speak to your healthcare provider about what type and how much calcium you should be supplementing.

15. Saline Rinse Huggins considers saline solutions to be a go-to medicine cabinet item. “It has so many uses for people of all ages. Saline is great as a sinus rinse, and they sell kits specifically for this purpose. It does a great job of cleaning out the sinuses and nasal cavity of irritants and allergens.” It’s a great eye rinse, though she notes that it’s important to keep those bottles separate if the solution has been used nasally. Saline is also good for rinsing wounds, and is a must for those who wear contacts. If you’ve been looking to pare down to the bare necessities in the new year, consider keeping these things on hand in your medicine cabinet. These staple items will assure that most basic needs can be met, even those which may be unexpected. For any questions or concerns, contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider.

Shannon Fields is a freelance writer and single mom to two girls. An Edmond resident, she graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and is an HR manager in the medical field.

Our Readers Respond We asked our readers to share their medicine cabinet “must-haves,” and here are some responses: • Herbs, multivitamins, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil • Vicks VapoRub, gripe water, ibuprofen and Coban stretchy bandages • Dermaplast spray for all the “owies” • Vitamin “m”—Motrin! • Probiotic and a nasal aspirator • Dark buckwheat honey for use as a cough syrup (for kids older than 1 year) • Homeopathic cough & fever reducer, children’s multivitamin gummies, band-aids, peroxide and alcohol Thanks to Hollie H., Kirsten D., Kimberly M., Mari F., Jamie H., Sara R., and Daphanie M. for your feedback. Follow us on Facebook at www. for more opportunities to share your thoughts.

February 2013 |


Focus on Education 15 Ways to Get Involved in Your Child’s Education


t’s no secret that children are most successful when parents are consistent, supportive and involved with their education. How to accomplish that in the practical sense, however, isn’t always as easy as it looks. Don’t believe it? Just try asking any child above the age of seven what they did in school. The answer? “Nothing!” or “Not much!” All parents have heard that familiar refrain at some point… as the mother of a 13-year-old girl who specializes in one-word answers, I can also say that the responses get less detailed every year.

The lack of information volunteered by our children makes staying involved that much more of a challenge, and many parents may find themselves frustrated and out of the loop. The good news? It’s never too late to get involved. The following tips may be of benefit.

1. Start at Home Kim Mula is a first grade teacher and mom of one. Currently in her 10th year of teaching, she has plenty of practical advice for parents looking to get more involved. “To start, parent involvement goes beyond offering their time volunteering at school or helping with class parties. Parent involvement means being actively engaged in their child’s life. It starts at home, with parents giving their children structure and routines.” Establishing a routine that schedules time for homework, reading, discussion and sleeping allows your whole family to get in the habit of making learning a priority. Be as consistent as possible in maintaining that structure.

2. Check Your Attitude Mula is quick to point out that parental attitude is key. “It is important to make sure that parents have a good and positive attitude about school and learning. At the same time, it is a teacher’s responsibility to keep parents updated on the struggles that a student might be having in the classroom (behavior or academic) but to also keep parents informed of the successes that their child is experiencing.” When children struggle, it’s easy for parents to become discouraged, and that may be reflected in their own attitudes. Enthusiasm for learning is contagious, and parents who model a positive attitude will see results.

3. Make Learning Fun Amanda Gant is a licensed childcare provider and a mom of three. “When the kids are cleaning up toys or if we’re waiting somewhere, say at a stop light, we count in


Spanish, sign language or French. It makes it a fun, non-direct way of learning,” says Gant. “Another game we play in the car is who can guess the math problem the quickest. This was originally started to stump the kid’s grandpa because he is mathematically inclined. We’ll add a series of numbers or do multiplication or subtraction—whatever their learning level is in school. This teaches them to learn how to do math in their head plus keeps the parent sharp on their skills. Children enjoy beating their parents.”

4. Give them Choices Jeffrey Pate is a father of two and a former teacher. He suggests letting kids make choices as a learning tool. Younger kids, for instance, can choose their lunch from the menu before going to school, says Pate, while your older children can select their school electives.

5. Check Backpacks Mula stresses the importance of being aware of what’s happening in the classroom. “Sending weekly newsletters and periodic notes to parents is also a great way for teachers to keep them abreast of important items. Parents should also be proactive in making sure they are aware of things happening in the classroom, around the school and what is going on district wide.” Kids can’t always be counted on to pass the information along, so it’s important to remember to check their backpacks for information.

6. Volunteer Pate suggests one of the simplest ways of getting involved is to volunteer at your child’s school. “Join the PTA. There’s not a better way to know what’s going on inside the school than that. Attend and volunteer at school fundraisers.” Just being a presence at your child’s school can be a great way to communicate that his or her education is important.

7. Discover His Learning Style Candice Bowles is a homeschooling mom of four kids. “Don’t just help kids with homework or go to their activities, but find out if they are really understanding and learning what they are being taught. Regardless of whether your kids are homeschooled or not, I have learned that each child learns differently. A straightacross-the-board curriculum is going to leave some kids not understanding what they are learning. So as a parent, take the time to | February 2013

find out if they are really learning and if not, find out their learning style (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic) and find ways to help them really LEARN.” For more information about discovering your child’s unique learning style, contact his teacher or visit www.scholastic. com/familymatters.

8. Read Most of the public school systems in the metro require 20 minutes of daily reading. One of the greatest favors you can do for your child is to enforce this rule. If you want to go a step beyond that, enforce it for yourself, too. You can implement a family reading time, or just make sure you set a good example and read in front of your children.

9. Communicate Tanya Reitan teaches Special Education and is a mother of two. She and Mula both agree that when it comes to parental involvement, communication is key. “Many schools and teachers communicate by email now, so an occasional communication with a teacher can be done fairly easily. Just a simple check-in can help keep you in the loop. Letting teachers know when something big is going on in a student’s life can also be really helpful in understanding moods and behavior,” says Reitan.

10. Attend Events Whether your child is active in extracurriculars or not, Pate maintains that attending sporting events or other activities at your child’s school is a great way to demonstrate interest and become more involved. “Just maintaining a presence is so important.”

11. Use the Car “I could name 15 things to do in the car alone!” says Gant. “It’s such a great place for learning, especially in our on-the-go society.” Gant frequently has her kids read to her while she’s driving, often exceeding the 20-minute mark in a few trips each day. “Not only does reading in the car allow them to practice their reading skills, but it opens the door for conversation, too.”

12. Surf the Web Many teachers have a class website that parents can visit, which helps them stay current on what their children are studying. Some school districts offer online grade book systems that parents can access,

which displays their child’s grade on each assignment and alerts parents to any missing assignments. These resources are invaluable for keeping parents in the loop.

13. Eat Dinner Together Pate makes a point of talking about school during dinner with his son. ”It’s a simple habit that shows him I’m interested and helps me understand what he’s learning.”

14. Take Two Minutes Gant offers a unique suggestion for getting through to teenagers. “In my experience, their attention span is about two minutes long, so we play the two minute game. He gets two minutes to talk to me about anything on his mind, and I have to listen. In return, I get two minutes, and he has to listen. I often use this time to educate on issues such as drugs, sex, and alcohol.” Knowing your child’s friends and social circles is important as well, especially with adolescents. Keeping the lines of communication open during this time can be hard, but is so important.

15. Go to School Reitan and Mula both feel that parents should take advantage of the open-door policy that many teachers have for parents. “The main thing I’d love to see is for parents to be active in the more traditional ways. So many parents don’t even attend conferences, which are being offered from early morning to late in the evening in an attempt to fit diverse schedules,” says Reitan. Mula notes that “We as teachers need to create a positive and welcoming classroom so that parents will feel free to come to us with concerns and questions. We need to have an open-door policy, allowing parents time in the classroom if they wish, and as long as it isn’t disruptive to learning.” Getting involved in your child’s education is both a great way to bond and help foster their success. If you’ve been feeling a little out of the loop, consider one of these strategies as a means for jumping back in and helping your children reach their educational goals.

Shannon Fields is a freelance writer and single mom to two girls. An Edmond resident, she graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and is an HR manager in the medical field.

February 2013 |


Real Moms of the Metro Meet MetroFamily Publisher, Sarah Taylor


hen MetroFamily’s Publisher Sarah Taylor was in second grade in the mid-1960’s, she was asked to create a paper doll that represented her dream career as an adult. She recalls that while most of the other girls in her class created nurses, teachers and mothers, she created a businesswoman. “My paper doll had a briefcase in hand,” she laughs. “I wanted to own my own business from the time I was 7 years old.” Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs and business owners, it is no surprise that her own family served as the impetus for her first business venture. On a trip to Ponca City to visit family in 1994, Sarah realized she needed to come up with activities to keep her children—then ages 8, 5 and 1—busy and happy during the trip and during the upcoming summer. “It was literally like a light bulb went on over my head,” Taylor recalls. “I realized that there should be a guidebook to Oklahoma for families. I wanted people to understand the treasures that are in their own backyard and how much fun they could have as a family.” Once the idea emerged, Taylor didn’t waste any time pursuing this passion. “By noon that same day, my husband and I had already outlined the book, named it and started talking abut content,” she laughs. From there, Sarah’s first book, Exploring Oklahoma with Children, was born and went on to sell 20,000 copies through local bookstores. Based on this success, Taylor spent the next few years creating an accompanying curriculum for the classroom, a second edition, and Exploring Oklahoma Together, a guidebook for couples—and was ultimately awarded two awards from the Oklahoma Tourism Department.

Quick Facts About Sarah 1. What are five words that describe you? Passionate, caring, grateful, determined, mom. 2. What’s your favorite indulgence? Dark chocolate and Hideaway Pizza. 3. What’s your favorite TV show? The Voice. 4. What’s on your reading list? Mostly business books, recently Brandscaping by Andrew Davis. 5. Coffee or tea? Green tea.


Real Mom Sarah Taylor, pictured with her husband, John, and children Kathryne, Reed and Zane.

Sarah became affiliated with MetroFamily in 1998, writing Exploring Oklahoma travel columns and selling advertising. In 2000, she bought the magazine and has since dedicated her life to supporting local families and providing them with access to information to improve their family life. “One of the basic needs of each person is a strong family bond,” she explains. “I was blessed to grow up with great parents and grandparents, and I had lots of great mentors and role models. The mission to share that with others has become one of the driving forces of my life. To be a good parent, you have to have a very high emotional quotient and be able to give to your children. But it’s not easy! I want MetroFamily to help parents through the journey and that’s why I get so excited about what I do” Here’s more about how the 52-year-old mother of three works to help families in the OKC metro make the most of their time together. What’s the one thing people don’t know about you? My first child was born on Christmas Day. Doesn’t get much more special than that. What are you passionate about? Helping parents. I really like to see families having fun and bonding. | February 2013

How has motherhood changed you? Everything changes when you find out that you are pregnant. It really pushed me to be a student of child development issues and to want to share that information with others. How do you banish stress? Having a strong relationship with God is very important to me. I also make it a priority to get a good night’s sleep. What do you like most about your job? I love that people can use the information in MetroFamily to have fun, make memories and create shared experiences together. What is on your wish list? I would love to travel more. Plus, it would be great to have someone clean my house and to exercise more. What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my kids and the fact that my husband and I have been married for 30 years. What motivates you? To see my staff get excited about what they are doing with the magazine. I love seeing them stretch themselves and utilize their strengths and creativity.

Advice for other moms? Love your kids for who they are—don’t expect them to become something they’re not. Encourage them, have high expectations and find a balance between setting limits and letting kids learn from their mistakes. What’s the biggest challenge in your life? I am always looking to find better balance between work and family life. What is your parenting style? Now that my kids are older, I am there when they need me. I want them to be independent and live their lives to the best of their abilities. Favorite quote or advice about motherhood? “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” ~ Jill Churchill Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

To read the stories of other Real Moms of the OKC Metro, visit www. Have a great mom you’d like to nominate? Email

February 2013 |


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58 | February 2013

Mom Gets the Last Laugh Countdown to Date Night


Illustration by Emily Ball,

could spend all week coming up with valid reasons not to spend precious time engaged in some artificially-romantic date night. But the truth is we need them. And here are the top fifteen reasons why.

15. It’s Cost Effective Every relationship requires maintenance. Seeing a movie or taking a walk together is much less expensive (and more fun) than twice weekly sessions in a counselor’s office or a divorce lawyer.

14. To Remember He’s Cute Date night—especially if you both take the time to shave in the right spots—can remind you what you saw in this person in the first place—because for most people, it had at least a little to do with a hotness factor.

13. Payback Think about it. You spring for a little wine and candlelight, your spouse walks the dog for a week—or two. That’s fair, right?

12. Escape the Kids The urge to get very far away from the creatures you birthed is natural. We all need adult time. Unfortunately, the guilt that comes along with that desire is common. Date nights are the exception because you know that taking care of your relationship is one of the single most important things you can do for your children’s overall well-being. You know that, right?

11. You Need Romance Between the diapers, the [oops] late electric bill and that odd smell in the hallway, romance can get away from you. Getting away from everything together helps you focus on each other. You may be surprised to find you’re still kind of into each other—at least until you need to get home to unclog the drain.

10. You’re Bored Boredom can get you into trouble. And if you’re sitting at home staring at the same boring face all the time, boredom can foster resentment. It’s okay to admit to each other that you’re bored, that maybe you’ve become a little boring. Speaking of boring…

9. There’s No Hidden Agenda We all get selfish. When the routine at home gets stressful, we seek comforts, from eating the foods we like to watching what we want

on TV. All of these petty preferences divide us. The great thing about date night is it has an obvious agenda. Even if you’re only going to a coffee shop to share a triple-choco-latte, you’re there to be together.

8. Because You Can Really, there are a million reasons not to bother. I bet you know at least a few couples who for whatever reason—from physical limitations to impassable emotional divides— cannot “date.” Be grateful you’re not one of them.

7. Cute Shoes When you have young kids you can start to feel frumpy. If you don’t have a date night, what excuse have you got to dress up? Even if you dress in “real clothes” for work every day, you still need the glamour date night provides. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look cute. (But if you’ve got a little extra, I’d spend it on shoes.)

6. You Might Learn Something Admit it, you don’t always listen to your beloved when he or she tells you about the exciting details of their day. You might be missing out on pertinent information, like the time and location of the next companysponsored party.

5. Your Kids Love Junk Food Your kids will enjoy seeing their parents go out and do something fun while they stay home with a blue box of mac and cheese. They might not admit it, and they may even try to pour on a little guilt, but it can only do them good to see mom and dad make each other a priority.

4. To Dream a Little Dream Maybe you aren’t working your dream job or slicing your carrots on granite countertops, but you can make date night a bright spot on your calendar.

3. To Hold Hands Between strollers, groceries, and phones, there is often not a free hand to hold. And yet this is one of the easiest gestures, and one sign of affection that age will not rob you.

2. To Remember In the early years of a relationship friends are always asking how you met. This inevitably leads to sweet or funny or mushy stories of eyes locking and hands trembling and blahtyblah-blah-blah. But it’s fun. So live a little, in the past.

1. Uhh ... You Know Why ... It could lead to sex. Sex is really, really good for you. You need it. Just like food and water, it’s fundamental to good health—both your physical well-being and that of your relationship. Obviously, date night is critical. A scheduled date night is not the be-all-endall solution to every relationship trouble, but it’s one little thing you can do. And it’s not the grand gestures that define a relationship; it’s the little things, added up over time, that fortify. So think little, as in—get a little.

Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? She dates a LOT. Always the same guy.

February 2013 |


60 | February 2013

Let's Party! Our Party Guide in print and online helps you

Plan the best party ever! Find more about these businesses and other party ideas at:

February 2013 |


MetroFamily Magazine February 2013  

MetroFamily's February 2013 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.

MetroFamily Magazine February 2013  

MetroFamily's February 2013 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.