progind ram s
Beat the Heat
Afte in our r-Sch Activ ool
i Guidties page 34
Daring activities for young thrill-seekers
Crazy for Caves
Road trip to an Oklahoma cave for cool summer fun
See our calendar for 167 July events!
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any order over $25
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Features 10 Taking a Stand Prioritizing mental health at home and in the community 18 Extreme Sports Fuel your child's inner daredevil with these thrilling activities 34 After-School Activities Guide A special guide to OKC's top youth activities
In Every Issue
8 Editor's Picks 5 ways to beat the heat
16 Mom Humor All about summer eats 22 Calendar of Events
38 Exploring Oklahoma 2 cool caves to discover with kids 40 Real Kids of OKC Meet two local teens making a difference 44 At Home with Carrie Parker Get to know the mom of two who owns Always Greener 54 Kid Review Pelican Bay Aquatic Center
Ask the Experts: Our local experts give advice for raising kids with good sportsmanship at www.metrofamilymagazine/sportsmanship.
throughout the metro at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/schoolsupplies-events.
100 Days of Summer: Our popular 100 Days of Summer list continues through Labor Day! Find tons of ideas for family fun and exclusive coupons for some of Oklahoma City's top attractions at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/100-days. School Supply Drives: Want to lend a hand to students in need this school year? Need help getting your school supplies? We've rounded up supply drives happening
4 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Fight Summer Slide: Make sure your kids don't fall behind before school starts! We have three ideas to fight summer slide with family fun at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ summer-slide. Mario the Maker Magician Giveaway: Win tickets to see this kid-friendly magician perform at Bruce Owen Theatre at OCCC 7 p.m. Aug. 1. Enter July 3-21 at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/contests.
Managing Editor Hannah Schmitt
Assistant Editor Lindsay Cuomo
Heather Davis, Erin Page, Mae Kiggins, Lindsay Cuomo
Contributing Photographers Mark Doescher & Emily Hart
Contributing Illustrator Brittany Viklund
Art Director Stacy Noakes
Marketing Director Callie Collins
Athena Delce, Dana Price
Project Manager Jessica Misun
Office/Distribution Kathy Alberty
HANNAH (FAR LEFT) ENJOYING A SUMMER TREAT WITH HER SISTER AND FRIEND.
Making the Most of Hot Days Oklahoma City was fortunate to have mild temperatures late into spring but the hot weather is here. My Texas upbringing makes me no stranger to triple-digit temperatures. Maybe your go-to activity for hot weather is a back porch popsicle or a trip to the closest splash pad. With many hot days ahead, we packed this issue with endless ideas for summer fun without the sweat. Start on page eight with five ideas for cooler summer fun then breeze through our calendar of events on page 22 to find those ideal indoor activities. You may not have noticed before, but our calendar always finishes with a page of weekly events around town like story times and art events and another page of ongoing events like museum exhibits. Most of these events happen indoors and are great answers
for that inevitable "what are we doing today?" question that nags on summer days. Continue to page 38 to find details for a couple road trips you can take to get out of the sun in two unique Oklahoma caves. Finally, our Kid Reviewer gives his thoughts on a day at Edmond's Pelican Bay Aquatic Center. And because all these activities are sure to work up an appetite, we've rounded up our reader and staff favorites for ice cold sweet treats at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/cool-treatsin-okc. Whatever you choose to do to escape the heat this month, we hope you'll make plenty of summer memories doing it. Hannah Schmitt Editor
Business Development Shelly Sanderson
318 NW 13th St Ste 101 OKC OK 73103
This Monthâ€™s Cover Favorite color:
Phone: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509
MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2017 by Inprint Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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. Circulation audited by
Favorite food: Mint leaves
Favorite thing to do when you have a day off school:
Proud member of
Also a member of Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Edmond Chamber of Commerce & Moore Chamber of Commerce
Play Xbox games
Cover Kids Search Winner Age: 10
Favorite thing about summer: Going to yard sales
Photo by Emily Hart www.ninaandbphotography.com
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• Ages 4 months - 12 years • Small class sizes • Year-round lessons
Battle Summer Slide with Fun Activities from TSET
The National Summer Learning Association reports summer learning loss is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate.
Shape Your Future works year-round with a mission to move more, eat better and be tobacco free. Maxwell said it can be especially hard for parents to help their kids maintain healthy lifestyles during the summer.
"Research shows kids can lose up to two months of reading and academic progress during the summer months," said Elyse Maxwell, health communication manager for TSET's Shape Your Future program. "If kids go back to school in the fall after having their brains totally turned off for two months, it affects behavior, academic performance, everything."
"Say you're a working parent," she said, "and your kids are home on their own. It can be really tough to make sure there's some structure there and come up with fun things to do, especially on a budget."
To battle summer slide and give families exciting ways to be healthy together, Shape Your Future is releasing 10 weekly adventures throughout the summer. Each week features a physical activity, a recipe and a free download all based on a weekly theme.
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The activities outlined each week are free or inexpensive and they center around themes kids love like safari, camping, beach and superhero. Get started on the first five activities (the rest will be released later this summer) at www.shapeyourfutureok.com/ shape-future-summer-adventures.
Helping women through
Family: I could not wish for a more caring, loving and patient husband. Brandon works at Devon Energy for his "real" gig. He umpires college baseball and is an official scorer for the Dodgers during baseball season. He was a AAA umpire until our son brought even more light into our lives and being on the road did not bring as much fulfillment. Maverick is 2 and full of happy energy. He attends preschool in Edmond.
One surprising fact about me: I have an adventurous spirit that most don't see at first sight. A couple of things that surprise people are that I have been sky diving and own a motorcycle.
Jessica Misun is the magazine's project manager. A mother of one with another on the way, Jessica works tirelessly on special MetroFamily projects and events like our annual Cover Kids Search and our recent Geekapalooza.
Favorite book to read with my child:
Welcoming New Patients, Joyfully delivering at Mercy and Integris Baptist
â€œFox in Socksâ€? by Dr. Seuss. I love to hear Maverick laugh when the tongue twisters get really twisty!
We are a team of professionals devoted to providing exceptional care to the women of Oklahoma. Services: Pregnancy care, preventative and problem gynecologic care, infertility, teen care, menopause management, Minimally invasive gyn surgery, preconceptual counseling
Favorite book to read without my child: What? There is time to read without your child?
Best parenting advice I've ever received: Let it go.
Dream vacation: Ireland for our 10th anniversary. Sorry, no kids! Just me and my hubby.
What I like to do outside of work: I love to be creative and make something out of nothing.
Three things I couldn't live without: My family, chocolate and coffee. Learn more about our entire staff at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/staff
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Top: Donald K. Rahhal MD; Devin G. McAdams, MD; Beverly A. Vavricka, MD; Misty Wayman, MD Bottom: David Melendez, MD; Karen Eyler Wilks, MD
4140 W. Memorial Road, Suite 500 Oklahoma City, OK 73120
(405) 755-7430 www.centerforwomen-okc.com
5 Ways to Beat the Heat PHOTOS PROVIDED BY THE SUPER SCOOP
Parks and playgrounds are a blast, but as Oklahoma City creeps into triple-digit temperatures, some parents might be grasping for ideas for air-conditioned activities (or at least something that includes swimsuits and water!). Here are five ideas for the next time you can't fathom another outing in the heat. Tour Braum's Processing Plant and Bakery
The Station at Central Park Aquatic Center
Give kids a glimpse into all the work that goes into making sweet summer treats at the Braum Family Farm in Tuttle (40 minutes southwest of Oklahoma City). Stay cool inside on the free tour and indulge in an ice cold Braum's ice cream treat while you're there. The experience is fun and educational as the tour sheds light on the entire process of making everything from chocolate milk to cinnamon rolls, pies and cookies. The tours are free but reservations are required at 405475-2495.
This Moore attraction is a prime spot to cool off with 45,000-square-feet of aquatic excitement like a diving well, three slides, a lazy river and tons of spray features. The center caters to all ages with deep and shallow water features, plenty of shade and train-themed water features built to excite little swimmers. Admission is $6 for Moore residents and $7.50 for non-residents. Kids under 3 are admitted for free.
8 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Blazers Ice Centre What can cool you off better than ice? Blazers Ice Centre opens to the public for select times seven days a week for families to burn off some energy in a chilly environment. Admission is $5 for age 6 and under and $9 for age 7 and up. Skate rental is $3. Discounted admission is offered on Family Night from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. every Tuesday.
Dynamo Gymnastics Playzone This gymnastics training center has a threestory climate-controlled obstacle course open to the public. Parents can relax while kids run, jump, play and slide or they can feel free to join in the obstacle course fun themselves. Admission is $5 per person and players are required to wear socks.
The Super Scoop All your summer adventures are sure to make you hungry and nothing cools quite like a scoop of ice cream. The Super Scoop in Edmond is the ideal destination for a sweet treat. Not only do they serve satisfying
homemade ice cream, they pride themselves on having an inclusive staff and many of their friendly employees are individuals with disabilities.
Find more ideas for summer fun at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/summer.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Taking A Stand:
Prioritizing mental health in the community and at home
BY ERIN PAGE
his is the third part of our four-part series on youth mental health in Oklahoma. Find all the articles in the series at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/health.
taboo and students don’t know what to do.”
Sherrill Scott will never forget an emotional conversation with an Edmond mom whose 15-year-old son had committed suicide.
A licensed counselor and the coordinator for a Mental Health Association Oklahoma (MHAO) program called TeenScreen, Scott helped confidentially screen more than 900 middle and high school students in the Tulsa area for general and mental health concerns last year. Students individually answer a series of questions about their thoughts, feelings and behaviors on laptops. On average, 30 percent of the students screened are flagged as showing symptoms of a mental health condition.
“At the funeral, she discovered that 12 people knew he’d been having those kinds of thoughts and no one did anything,” Scott said. “That goes to show that the subject is
“This screening doesn’t specifically diagnose but looks for symptoms of certain conditions, like depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts,” Scott said. “We’re trying
10 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
to identify things before they become really serious.” TeenScreen was developed at Columbia University and the evidence-based questionnaire has been in use for about 15 years. Parents must sign consent forms for students to be tested and when students have completed the questions, mental health professionals review results immediately. If the screening indicates cause for concern, a more in-depth clinical interview is conducted on-site, parents are notified and arrangements are made for the student to be evaluated further by a counselor. If students indicate they have had suicidal thoughts in the past 24 to 48 hours, they’re referred immediately for an evaluation and sometimes inpatient treatment.
“A lot of times, students who have had suicidal thoughts, this is the first time they have actually talked with someone about it,” Scott said. “The safety of the student is our first priority.” Recognizing the need for their services outside of the Tulsa metro, the organization is expanding its screening and education services to Oklahoma City and across the state. But they need more funding to keep up with the demand. According to Mental Health Association Oklahoma (MHAO), suicide is the second leading cause of death among Oklahoma youth and 90 percent of lives lost to suicide nationally were impacted by mental health conditions. One in 15 youth in Oklahoma has attempted suicide.
Scott finds her work to identify signs and symptoms of mental health conditions in adolescents fulfilling and rewarding, but the lack of awareness and understanding can be frustrating and overwhelming. Mental health professionals with TeenScreen also educate students in the classroom about depression and suicide. Scott said one in four students will experience an episode of depression in their teenage years and she wants students to understand those thoughts and feelings don’t make them crazy. Professionals also stress that students should tell an adult immediately if someone they know expresses suicidal thoughts. “The brain is an organ in the body just like any other,” said Scott. “There are times that it might not work exactly like it’s supposed METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
to. We need to feel like we can go to someone and tell them, just like if we were having headaches or stomachaches all the time.” Dr. Naveena Boindala, child and adolescent psychiatrist with INTEGRIS Mental HealthSpencer, said Oklahoma students need this type of instruction in the classroom because acquiring the skills to recognize mental health concerns in themselves and others is “just as important as learning to add up numbers.” WE BELIEVE EVERY CHILD IS
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“I would like to see children being taught skills to cope with stress and what to do with tough feelings like sadness and anger,” said Boindala. “Mental health and its problems are messy and we often find people not wanting to deal with them or even pretending these problems don’t exist … until we are forced to sit up and take notice when a friend or loved one [is] affected. Then you open up your eyes and see that it really is all around.”
Cultivating mental wellness at home While organizations like TeenScreen are making an effort to educate Oklahoma youth about mental health conditions, experts say prioritizing mental health starts at home with open communication. Scott often screens students whose parents were completely unaware of their feelings. “Lots of times children either don’t feel like their parents hear them, so they quit telling them things, or they want to protect their parents,” said Scott. “I speak to a lot of students who say, ‘I didn’t want to worry my mom or for my mom to feel bad about my feelings.’” Aundria Goree, community health administrator with the Oklahoma CityCounty Health Department and a certified Mental Health First Aid Curriculum instructor, said practicing non-judgmental listening and watching for signs and symptoms of mental health conditions should start when children are very young. “We don’t take what our children say seriously,” Goree said. “Stop and listen to your children. Ask how they’re feeling, who they played with today, what friends were nice to them and what friends made them sad. How they are handling these types of situations lets you know if your child is coping with what they are going through and
844.832.5460 12 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
if they know how to handle it.” Dr. Lisa Marotta, an Edmond psychologist who treats children with anxiety disorders, depression and behavioral challenges, encourages parents to be open with kids about their own struggles. “Sharing the highs and lows of everyone’s day gives kids the benefit of learning alternative ways of managing hard times,” said Marotta. “Children should be protected from big adult problems that could make them worry unnecessarily but the little adult annoyances, hassles and obstacles are great life lessons.” One-on-one quality time spent with children, especially those who struggle with anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions, is a key focus in “Growing Up Brave: Expert Strategies for Helping Your Child Overcome Fear, Stress and Anxiety,” by Donna B. Pincus, Ph.D. The parent-child interaction therapy strategy or change involves spending five minutes a day playing or engaging with a child who struggles with anxiety, letting him or her control the interaction. Parents can’t ask questions, criticize or give commands, but instead use the PRIDE method, offering consistent praise, reflecting what the child is saying, imitating what the child is doing,
describing what’s happening and expressing enthusiasm. Though the skills sound fairly easy, it can be tough for parents in practice to hold back from directing a child in how to hold a crayon or tell a child to place a toy horse in a barn rather than the dollhouse. Peppering an older child with questions about his or her day, or even asking seemingly-benign questions like “Do you want to play a different game now?” subtly controls the interaction and actually ramps up a child’s anxiety. When a child can count on the predictability of quality time and gets to experience control over a part of his or her life, self-efficacy, bravery and independence grow. “You can’t go wrong with being present with your child,” said Boindala. “Giving them your full attention, being in their little world of make believe or their basketball game or math homework or first crush – just letting them know that you are right there for them.” At Planet Rock (a division of Red Rock Behavioral Health Services) in Oklahoma City, where children benefit from a multidisciplinary group of clinicians providing mental health therapies, Dr. Wana Ellison and the team stress the importance
of caring for mind, body and spirit. Good nutrition leads to better health, both physically and mentally, while putting what Ellison calls “toxic agents” in the body, like an excess of sugar, fat or processed foods, can exacerbate mental health challenges. “We are given one body, one mind and one spirit,” said Ellison. “We need to take care of all three and practice good habits in eating, exercising, regularly challenging our unhealthy thinking and seeking spiritual wellness.” Because mental health conditions, especially when untreated, can lead to drug and alcohol addiction, Boindala implores parents and schools to offer ongoing, frank education about how these toxic agents will affect the body and mind. “I think if kids knew they could end up with more brain damage by using drugs than they would if they got knocked in the head by a baseball bat they would be less likely to try it in the first place,” said Boindala.
Spend Your Birthday AT FREDDY’S!
Lori Wharton, whose 12-year-old daughter’s depression and anxiety led to two suicide attempts, has learned through volunteer efforts with MHAO the importance of talking to pre-teens and teens about normal sadness versus depression, just like you would instruct kids to identify the signs
FOR JUST $10 A CHILD, EACH WILL RECEIVE: • Freddy’s T-shirt • Kid’s Steakburger Combo Meal • Restaurant Tour • Custard Treat Children 12 years and under only.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Find your Freddy’s
Look who’s living in the trees!
between a common cold and the flu. She also learned how vital it is for parents to listen to their children’s feelings without being dismissive. For her daughter, exercise, discovering a creative outlet through photography and journaling were essential to her recovery. “She couldn’t verbalize [her feelings], but she could write and then share with me,” said Wharton.
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Creating communities that support mental health Wharton, now a board member for MHAO and a suicide prevention trainer for the organization’s QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) program, believes if she’d had QPR training earlier she could have prevented her daughter’s suicide attempts. Much like Scott is teaching Oklahoma students how to recognize the signs and symptoms of friends with depression or suicidal thoughts, QPR staffers go to businesses, churches and civic organizations to train community members to help someone in suicide crisis. The first step is asking an individual if they are thinking of harming or killing themselves. “We’re afraid to ask that question because we think we’re giving them the idea,” said Wharton. “But if they are thinking about it, they are usually pretty honest with you.” Wharton’s daughter would often say she
14 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
hated her life, which she realizes now was one of the signs of her being depressed and suicidal. Wharton wishes she would have asked her daughter that simple question and then known how to persuade and refer her to help. “Just like learning the Heimlich Manuever or CPR, everyone needs to have this training,” said Wharton. “It can save a life.” QPR is offered free of charge by MHAO to groups of up to 25 per facilitator. The training takes about two hours to complete. Another group in Oklahoma City training community members to recognize signs of mental health conditions in children and adults is the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. OCCHD, INTEGRIS Health and a number of other nonprofit agencies in the organization’s Mental Health Coalition were recently awarded the national Public Health Foundation’s Future of Population Health Award for their mental health improvement strategies and implementation efforts. Using Mental Health First Aid Curriculum, a national public education program that’s trained more than one million people, OCCHD professionals teach local businesses, health professionals, educators, law enforcement and churches, among others, to recognize and direct individuals in mental health distress to resources. Mental Health First Aid teaches common risk factors and warning signs of conditions like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. The training is open to the public, offered regularly through OCCHD or can be scheduled by a group, and takes eight
hours to complete. Participants learn how to approach an individual who is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts or actions, listen non-judgmentally and identify if the person needs help and how to help them get it. The day after OCCHD’s initial training, a community health worker was able to use the new skills with a client.
Goree believes the training will help teachers and administrators better understand the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions in children, talk to them about it and get them connected to the right resources. She’s fueled by the statistic that half of all mental health conditions begin by age 14; three-quarters by 24.
“When you think of Mental Health First Aid, what individuals are doing is offering initial help until professional help arrives,” said Goree. “The same way we offer support or help to those with physical health concerns, we should do the same for mental health.”
“When we’re looking at how youth are affected [by mental health conditions], we look at how it affects education, movement into adult occupational roles and social relationships,” said Goree.
Goree became certified to teach the adult curriculum in 2016, and the coalition is primed to make a youth course available soon. “We see children who need help in the classroom, who may not be doing well academically,” said Goree. “We want to get to the root of the issue the child may be dealing with, like a traumatic event they have not had an outlet to talk about it.”
OCCHD plans to integrate the Mental Health First Aid youth curriculum with its Whole School, Whole Child program, offered at 12 Oklahoma City Public Schools and Millwood to improve health outcomes of students and engage with families. The program was developed in 2010 and provides physical activities and education on nutrition and mental and behavioral health to students and parents with the goal to improve academic success, behavior challenges and attendance rates at these schools.
Making a change While Goree and other mental health professionals across the state agree that Oklahoma suffers from a lack of funding and services to adequately help those in our state who need it, she feels hopeful that programs like Mental Health First Aid are moving the needle. “We’re teaching how to demystify mental health and reduce the stigma,” said Goree. “Everyone needs some type of mental support. Those dealing with mental health conditions often feel like they are the only ones dealing with it and we want them to know they aren’t.” Boindala believes an important step in improving the state of mental health in Oklahoma is for lawmakers to start thinking of the people affected by mental health conditions as their own children, parents or siblings, and then fund services accordingly. “I think if mental health is made a priority and lawmakers developed a genuine, scientific curiosity about it and took the time to look at the problem, they would know the importance it has,” said Boindala. “[Oklahomans] need access to physicians, affordable inpatient treatment and access to the right medications at a reasonable price.” Boindala said it’s critical to determine how
mental health services can be protected, both so local hospitals and treatment facilities can focus more on treating patients and less on making payroll each month and to ensure local mental health professionals choose to stay and serve the people of Oklahoma. At home and in schools, Goree believes helping children—and their parents— understand how the brain and mental health is connected to the physical body is vital to reducing stigma. Boindala said it’s important for parents to remember that all children have some level of struggle, and it’s not the parent’s fault. She also believes it’s critical for parents to educate their children about the impact their own mental health has on their lives and others. “The mind is an entity that is so powerful that it could change the way the rest of the body feels,” said Boindala. “It could decide if you are someone who is going to be a productive part of society, if you can have stable relationships, if you can start a family and keep it, if you can function and care for yourself on a daily basis, or, alternatively, if you are going to be someone who has to use every ounce of his or her will to wake up and get out of bed every day… it could make or break society.”
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
THROUGH OCTOBER 29 Where Science Meets Cool! Bodies Revealed allows visitors to see the human body’s inner beauty in educational and awe-inspiring ways. Come explore, experience, and celebrate the wonder of the human form at BODIES REVEALED.
2020 Remington Place Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 602-6664 ScienceMuseumOK.org
MOM GETS THE LAST LAUGH
All of the Food in All of the World
ILLUSTRATION BY BRIT TANY VIKL
t’s party time! The month of June has come and gone and July is ushering in the biggest party season of the year. That’s right. It’s time for the neighborhood cookouts. And the family reunions. And the friendly potlucks. It’s time to eat, y’all!
They all have one common thread: cooking and eating out. The hosts generally provide the main dish—burgers, hot dogs, brats, grilled chicken, BBQ ribs, smoked brisket or bologna, steak, kabobs. Then, they assign each of the attendees an item to bring. I like when they get specific. Last summer, our friend Pam was very specific. She asked us to bring potato salad. Easy. I love making potato salad. Plus, it’s easy to save some time by using instant potatoes. Or, if we’re really in a crunch, we can drop by any super market and pick up a tub or three of pre-made potato salad or grab
16 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
M UND, WWW.VIKLUNDMADE.CO
a variety if we choose to go crazy with our contribution. I’m kinda partial to my own potato salad so I make sure I have the time to do it my way. Another friend sent her invitation and assigned up the general contribution of “sides.” I could go with potato salad under that big umbrella but I chose instead to go with that Frito-Corn salad that was so big several years ago. You know the one I’m talking about, right? I could have gone with something more traditional. Or I could have gone with whatever the latest salad was to be making the rounds on Pinterest but I love that Frito-Corn salad with my whole belly. If I don’t make it to take to an outing, I will find myself hiding in the laundry room eating the whole bowl all by myself—using the serving spoon. If someone requests desserts, we always say we’ll bring homemade ice cream, but the kicker with that is that we have to, well, make it at home. It’s a lot of work and while it tastes delish, I don’t like taking all
my hard work for other people to devour. If I’m going to work that hard, I’ll be eating all of that creamy goodness myself. So, instead, we take a lemonade pie or maybe some strawberry shortcake. If someone asks us to bring drinks, we not only bring a variety of family-friendly drinks, we’ll also double down with some homemade sangria. If we’re requested to bring relishes, I’ll get every kind of pickle in every kind of store in our town and make the best relish plate you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Indeed, it’s a glorious time of year. Unless … Unless, that is, someone is bold enough to say something like this on their cook-out invitations: “Bring a dish to share” or “Bring whatever you want” or “Spend the next few weeks driving yourself nuts trying to figure out what you want to bring to our shin-dig.” This happened twice last year. First time, Mother Nature was on my side. She sent torrential rains and severe Oklahoma weather so our hosts canceled it before we had a chance to decide what we were going to bring. Whew. Crisis averted. The second invitation came from a dear
friend. Normally, she’s very organized. She has the online-potluck organizer set up so if your last name begins with A – D, bring a salad and sign up online with which salad (and recipe as well!) so there are no repeats and everyone is happy. Well, I’m not really sure about everyone but I am happy. This past summer, though, she sent out her e-vite and at the bottom, in fine print even, she had typed, “Bring something delicious to share.” What?! It’s all delicious! And it’s all shareworthy (except homemade ice cream). And my family was in a tizzy. “What should we take?” I asked one night as we sat around enjoying the leisurely summer evening. “Mac and cheese!” “Asian salad!” “A sausage and cheese plate!” “Chips and salsa!” “Strawberry truffle!” “Key lime pie!” Y’all? There are only three other people in
my family. I’m not sure why they felt the need to yell all of the foods at me. “Stop!” I interrupted. “I know what we’re going to do. We’re going to pray for rain.” That wasn’t the best plan and it didn’t work exactly as I hoped it would. The day of the cookout where I was supposed to bring “something” came and I was still at a loss as to what to take. So, we took it all. We took pea salad, pasta salad, Asian salad, strawberry shortcake, chocolate layered pie, green beans with potatoes, snow peas, snap peas and sausage casserole. It was amazing and crazy all at once. We looked as if we were feeding the 101st Airborne squadron, which was not scheduled to show up. This year, do me a favor. Give me an assignment, tell me exactly what to make and I’m your girl. Unless you ask for homemade ice cream. Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and a cook-out fiend. Her latest book, Mondays With My Daughter, is available on Amazon. Her website is www.Heather-Davis.net.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
LOCAL FAMILY FUN
5 Extreme Sports for Kids to Try in OKC
BY LINDSAY CUOMO
After-school sports activities offer kids a way to put their budding talents to use, imparting valuable skills that can last a lifetime even if they donâ€™t make it to the pros. While traditional activities like baseball, soccer and dance are a good fit for many, other young athletes are looking beyond the traditional sports for something to pour their energy and passion into. The popularity of alternative sports is on the rise and, as a result, a plethora of options have become available in the Oklahoma City area. Here are extreme sports that might intrigue your blossoming thrill-seeker. YUKON BMX RACING. PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE PAGE BY MARK DOESCHER.
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Aerial Silks While many have witnessed the graceful power on display as acrobats twist and spiral on draped fabric suspended high above the ground, few have likely experienced the excitement of aerial silks themselves. If your son or daughter is always the first to the top of the jungle gym or constantly scaling the limits of the playground, learning aerial silks might be an exciting opportunity. Metro Gymnastics in Oklahoma City offers kids ages 10 and up the chance to learn this high-flying acrobatic art form. Certified instructors teach climbs, wraps, descents and drops as kids build strength, flexibility, self-confidence and body awareness, said Carol Lee, owner of Metro Gymnastics. “Silks are very individualized. When a child accomplishes a skill, they do it all by themselves,” Lee explained. “It is hard but as a child achieves their goals and progresses in the class, it is very rewarding and fun.” Aerial silks require a lot of upper body strength, cautioned Lee, which is why they have set the minimum age requirement of 10 years old. Like all sports, safety should be a primary concern and the same holds true of aerial silks. Despite the inherent risks involved in any aerial sport, there are important safety precautions that can be put in place to reduce the risk of injury. Beginners learn the basics down near the ground and work their way up as they increase strength and mastery of the daring feats. “Since silks are an individual sport, instructors can guide the height so that each child can learn safely and within their abilities,” Lee said. “We also use six-inch mats below the silks.” Not much is needed to get started in aerial silks beyond the child’s desire to be adventurous. All they really need is snug, form-fitting clothing and to enroll in a class. Metro Gymnastics offers classes year-round to boys and girls ages 10 to 16.
BMX Racing A bike is most kids’ first taste of freedom. Once they conquer those training wheels, they can feel the wind whip through their hair as they cruise the neighborhood as fast as their legs can pedal. For bike riders looking to raise the stakes, BMX racing just might be the ticket. Gaining popularity since the 1970s, BMX Cycling is now an Olympic sport. BMX racing is a bit more than your average race around the cul-de-sac. Eight riders at a time hustle at full speed around a
METRO GYMNASTICS AERIAL SILKS
dirt track lined with big jumps, deep turns and steep hills at serious speeds. “It’s a 30 to 45 second full-speed sprint over obstacles,” said Jason Willey, president of Yukon BMX Raceway. “If you have a highenergy, active child, BMX is your ticket for them to rest easy at night.” BMX racing offers many levels of competition, from beginners all the way up to the national and world stage. The Yukon Raceway even has a balance bike race for kids under 5. “We offer multiple levels of competiveness and kids are matched at their level of experience,” Willey explained. Kids will need some safety gear to get started including a full-face Motocross helmet, knee pads, gloves, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes and an official BMX bike. Weighing a child’s commitment to a sport against the potential financial cost is a factor to starting any sport. Kids can test the water with a first-time rider, one-day membership at no cost. After that, families can modify the investment based on the child’s interest and abilities.
National Day of the Cowboy July 22 10:00 a.m. – Noon Crafts & activities free with Museum admission
“Riders will need to buy a one-year membership from USA BMX for $60,” Willey said. “Practices are $5 and races are $10.” The racing season starts Jan. 1 and continues until mid-December. While there aren’t official coaches at the Yukon Raceway, volunteers and track operators engage with young riders during practice times offered from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “We will help grow your child in the sport,” Willey said. “We have traveling clinics and regular practice times.”
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Mon – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sun, Noon – 5:00 p.m. (405) 478-2250 nationalcowboymuseum.org/kids
Making its Olympic debut in the 2020 Summer Games, skateboarding is considered by many to be more than just a sport.
Whether done inside or outdoors, climbing is an adventurous form of physical activity. There are a variety of climbing types including bouldering, top-roping, auto-belays and a more advanced form of climbing called lead climbing. Also a new Olympic sport in the 2020 games, climbing is as much a mental workout as it is physical said Aaron Gibson, owner of Climb UP, a local climbing facility with locations in Norman and Oklahoma City.
“Skateboarding is a lifestyle,” said Kyle Upton, administrator of the Facebook group Oklahoma Skateboarding Kids. “It is about facing your fears and overcoming obstacles as you pull from within yourself.” As Upton’s 7-year-old son, Kash, began to show significant interest in skateboarding, Upton also began to see the limitations for young kids in the sport, which is one of the reasons he started the Facebook group. “Skateboarding is more common for teens,” Upton said. “However if you start young, younger kids tend to learn quickly.” He also discovered a lack of local resources for younger skateboarders. The lack of readily-available resources means parents will have to help fill many of the safety and preparations responsibilities.
“Kids can not only benefit from the physical fitness benefits that climbing provides (like) balance, strength, coordination and flexibility, but it also encourages participants to learn problem-solving skills, overcoming fear and challenges and boosts selfconfidence,” Gibson said. With the growing popularity of indoor
“You might have to look online to find equipment in youth sizes,” recommended Upton. “Kids can get hurt so it’s very important to learn how to fall the right way and to invest in good quality protective gear that is better cushioned for impacts. The right kind of equipment is important. Find a board that fits your child so that they can be successful and progress quicker. Skate Excess makes kids’ skateboards. The decks are made of bamboo, which is lighter.” As a result of skateboarding’s culture of community, development in the sport can be contingent on forming connections with other skateboarders. Local skate shops are great resources for connection to skateboarding events as well as lessons, equipment for older kids and more. Upton also recommends frequenting local skate parks. “When you start going to a skate park, you are going to build relationships and learn more,” he said. “Local competitions as well in surrounding states are also a good way to plug into the sport. Beginner brackets are a fun way to experience other kids their age.” However, there are a few important things to learn before you and your child step onto a board. Upton said it’s important to teach young skateboarders to fall to their knees and not put their hands down to reduce risk of injury. Start that skill on flat ground before progressing to ramps. “You also need to learn skateboard etiquette,” Upton added. “The park is there for everyone so if everyone is following the same procedure then there is less chance for injury.”
20 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
7-YEAR-OLD KASH UPTON. PHOTO PROVIDED.
climbing gyms, climbing has become much more accessible in the past few years. Climb UP offers many programs throughout the year for kids as young as 3. “We want to encourage all ages and abilities to try climbing,” Gibson said. “Climbing is a unique sport in that it can be done for a lifetime. It can also take you climbing all over the world.” Though not a team sport, group climbing is popular. As part of your child’s development, climbing can become something the whole family does together. Some families even incorporate climbing into family vacations. Because climbing involves heights which create an inherent risk, it is important to know the qualifications and experience level of your potential instructor, Gibson cautioned. “There are several reputable climbing organizations, like the American Mountain
Guide Association and the Climbing Wall Association that provide education and certifications for instructors,” Gibson said. “Our staff and instructors are trained to help parents and kids identify the risks and understand ways to minimize their risks when participating. We also require all visitors to complete an orientation class.”
River Sports While river sports are not new, they are new to many Oklahomans. In 2006, the Chesapeake Boathouse opened a whole new world of sports for many in the city. Rowing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting are now part of Oklahoma City’s culture, evident by the city’s hosting of the Olympic trials for the 2016 games. “Lots of kids who haven’t found their niche in ball sports find they really enjoy rowing, kayaking or sailing,” said Elizabeth Laurent, senior director of marketing and sales at the OKC Boathouse Foundation. “These are sports you can do either competitively or just for fun.”
their energy in positive ways,” Laurent said. “They also have the opportunity to be around high performance athletes, which can be really inspiring. We’re a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.” Because safety is a concern, parents will want to find an instructor who is experienced and committed to creating a great experience for your child, Laurent said. “Anyone participating in our lessons, camps or coached programs receives safety training and appropriate safety gear, it’s all included,” Laurent said. Whether your kids are ready to take on the challenge of one of these extreme sports or they want to go a more traditional route for after-school activities, our After-School Activities Guide on page 34 has dozens of ideas throughout the metroand find the online guide at metrofamilymagazine.com/ after-school-activities.
Don’t let an accident spoil your summer fun!
Kids as young as 8 can participate in summer camps and coached programs. “RIVERSPORT offers rowing, kayaking and sailing lessons for both youth and adults,” Laurent said. “Typically, lessons are taught by age group, but once the basics have been mastered, families can get on the water together and enjoy their new sport.”
If you or your child has to wear a cast this summer, make sure it is a water cast so that swimming or bathing is not a problem!
While these are usually individual sports, RIVERSPORT has group options and most activities encourage teamwork. “Kids learn important life lessons about working together to achieve a greater goal, the value of self-discipline and how to focus RIVERSPORT ADVENTURES. PHOTO PROVIDED.
John W. Anderson, M.D.
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Fellowship Trained in Pediatric Orthopedics
405-947-0911 ext 270
RIVERSPORT ADVENTURES. PHOTO PROVIDED.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
1 FREE High
Expectations! Night GLOW Hot Air Balloon Event at Mitch Park from 4 p.m. – sunset
2 Kehinde Wiley: A New
FREE Red, White & Boom Independence Day Concert at State Fair Park from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
International Finals Youth Rodeo at Shawnee's Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center all week long
FREE Lucas Ross: Banjo Farm World at the Southern Oaks Library from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
FREE Sales Tax Appreciation Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Kicklahoma 2017 at the OKC Farmers Market from noon – 5 p.m.
Weekly Walk-ups at Myriad Gardens from 10 a.m. – noon
FREE Cimarron Opera and The New Kid at the Northwest Library from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
FREE Mad Science Show at the Edmond Library from 3 – 4 p.m.
Republic Tours at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art at 2 p.m.
FREE Making History: Summer Crafts at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum from 10 a.m. – noon
perfect for preschoolers
great for teens
Shark Week begins at Oklahoma Aquarium
date night idea
FREE Indian Hills Powwow in Oklahoma City from 10 a.m. – midnight
#IMOMSOHARD Mom's Night Out: Summer Break Tour at Civic Center Music Hall at 8 p.m.
worth the drive
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FREE SONIC Summer Movies presents Star Trek Beyond at Myriad Gardens at 8 p.m.
FREE Summer Thursdays FREE Midwest Summer at Gaylord-Pickens Museum Fest at Midwest City’s at 10:30 a.m. Charles Johnson Park from 6 – 11:30 p.m.
Disney’s When You Wish presented by Lyric Theatre at Civic Center Music Hall at 7:30 p.m.
FREE Art in the Park at Edmond’s Chitwood Park from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
BUG OUT! Lady Bug Release and Mitey Insect Safari at the Crystal Bridge Conservatory from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
FREE Porter Peach Festival in Porter from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wild Wednesdays at the Oklahoma City Zoo from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Upstage Theatre presents Les Miserables at Mitch Park at 8 p.m.
FREE Angels in the Outfield Movie at the Bricktown Beach at 9 p.m.
Center of the Galaxy Festival at OKC Farmers Market all weekend
Seussical the Musical Jr. opens at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre at 10 a.m. & noon.
FREE Family Game Night FREE Fiesta Fridays in at The Station Recreation Historic Capitol Hill from Center in Moore from 7 – 10 p.m. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
FREE Family Make + Take Art Project at Oklahoma Contemporary from 1 – 4 p.m.
YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City Youth Triathlon in Edmond at 7 a.m.
Find all these July events and hundreds more at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/calendar
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Play • Learn • Thrive Now offering Sensational Yoga for children! Summer sessions available in July See our website for more information!
FREE OKC Improv Show at the Metropolitan Library System (various locations) features a family-friendly show fueled by audience participation. See website for times & locations. www.metrolibrary.org
FREE Lucas Ross: Banjo Farm World at the Metropolitan Library System (various locations) features a banjo adventure with songs that lead attendees into a world where instruments are grown on trees, dogs pretend to be ninjas and bees need your help. See website for times & locations. www.metrolibrary.org
JULY 4-6 Oklahoma City Dodgers vs the Iowa Cubs at the Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr). $8 & up 7:05pm. Also held: 7/13-16 vs New Orleans; 7/17-20 vs Memphis; 7/25-28 vs Reno; 7/29-31 vs Tacoma. 218-1000, www.okcdodgers.com
JULY 5 • WEDNESDAY FREE Science Unites Show at the Capitol Hill Library (330 SW 24th Ave) features a Science Museum Oklahoma program highlighting the wonder of collaboration and teamwork through amazing experiments and spectacular action. 11am-noon. 634-6308, www.metrolibrary.org
JULY 5-9 & 12-16
Occupational Therapy & Speech- Language Therapy for Children of All Ages & Abilities
New! Physical Therapy offered at both locations beginning mid-August! In-network providers for the following insurance companies: BC/BS Tricare United Healthcare Health Choice Soonercare Oklahoma Health Network
Two locations to serve you 14715 Bristol Park Blvd., Edmond 5701 SE 74th St., OKC
Oklahoma Hunter Jumper Preview & Horse Show at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features skilled riders, horse displays and more. Free to attend. See online schedule for times. 948-6700, www.goshow.org
JULY 6 • THURSDAY FREE Animal Architects at the Norman West Library (300 Norman Center Ct, Norman). Learn about amazing animal architects and their construction projects from representatives from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Best suited for ages 4-12. 2-3pm. Also held July 8, 11, 18 & 22 at other libraries. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org The Science of Star Wars at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St). Families can spend an hour together at the library creating, exploring and generally geeking out over all things Star Wars with Science Museum Oklahoma. Preregister. All ages welcome. 3-4pm. Also held July 8, 12, 15 & 26 at other libraries. 979-2200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Western Avenue First Thursdays On the Lawn behind Whole Foods (6200 N Western Ave) features a monthly, familyfriendly evening with food trucks, music, kid-friendly fun, yard games and more. 6-9pm. www.facebook.com/WesternAve
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JULY 5-7 FREE Wind Energy Experiments for Teens at Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave). Construct a wind turbine and explore the science of green energy, physics and electricity. Preregister. Best suited for ages 12 & up. Noon-1:30pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
JULY 7 • FRIDAY FREE Play in the Park at Parmele Park (1308 N Janeway Ave) features fun games and activities host by parks staff. Best suited for ages 6-14. Parent must be with children at all times. 10-11am. Also held: July 14 at Arbor Gardens in Moore. 793-5090, www.cityofmoore.com Home School Day at the Oklahoma Aquarium (300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks) features discount admission and special activities in the Great Hall. Call for pricing. 10am-6pm, activities, 10am-noon. 296-3474, www.okaquarium.org FREE Teen & Tween Cooking Class at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore). Learn how to make and taste-test some delicious and easy-tomake snacks. Preregister. Best suited for ages 8 & up. 11am-noon. 793-5100, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo District (NW 30th & 27th St, Walker & Hudson Ave) features special themed exhibits, refreshments, live entertainment and food trucks. 6-10pm. 525-2688, www.thepaseo.com FREE Midwest Summer Fest at Charles Johnson Park (29th & Mid-America Blvd, Midwest City) features live entertainment, a movie in the park, yard games, food trucks and more. 6-11:30pm. 739-1293, www.midwestcityok.org FREE Dancing in the Gardens: Hip Hop at Myriad Gardens Seasonal Plaza (301 W Reno Ave) features a dance demonstration, group dance lessons and a live DJ. All ages welcome. 7-10pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
FREE Movies Under the Stars in Piedmont (314 Edmond Rd NW, Piedmont) features an outdoor screening of Sing and snacks. 8pm. www.facebook.com/City-ofPiedmont-606886746074851/
JULY 8 • SATURDAY Cookbook Swap & Shop at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman). Bring your unused cookbooks to swap for something different and shop gently used cookbooks at discounted prices. Also, Chef Ranna Bigdely will show how to use traditional Persian ingredients to create a simple Persian classic. 10am-noon. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
JULY 7-23 Foster & Adoptive Family Fundays at White Water Bay (3908 W Reno Ave) features discounts admission for foster and adoptive families. Purchase tickets online using promo code “foster.” $18.50. 10:30am7pm. 478-2140, www.whitewaterbay.com
JULY 8 • SATURDAY The Science of Star Wars at the Warr Acres Library (5901 NW 63rd St, Warr Acres). Families can spend an hour together the library, creating, exploring and generally geeking out over all things Star Wars with Science Museum Oklahoma. All ages welcome. 10:30-11:30am. Also held July 12, 15 & 26 at other libraries. 721-2616, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Super Hero School at New World Comics (6219 N Meridian Ave) features a different amazing super hero each week and on occasion a villain or two as well. All ages welcome. 10:30am-noon. Also held July 22. 721-7634, www.facebook.com/ newworldcomicsokc/ Indian Taco Sale and Indie Market at the OK Choctaw Tribal Alliance (5320 S Youngs Blvd) features traditional Indian tacos and other native dishes as well as native vendors offering crafts and handmade goods. Free to attend. 11am2:30pm. 596-9092, www.facebook.com/ okchoctawtribalalliance FREE Family Make + Take Art Project at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) features an art-making project inspired by works of art on view at the museum. Projects are designed to be accessible and fun for visitors of all ages and all levels. All children must be
accompanied by an adult. 1-4pm. 951-0000, www.oklahomacontemporary.org FREE Making History: Summer Crafts at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 South Blvd, Edmond) features drop-in crafts for kids to enjoy. 1-4pm. Also held July 18. 340-0078, www.edmondhistory.org FREE Animal Architects at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City). Learn about amazing animal architects and their construction projects from representatives from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Preregister. 2-3pm. Also held July 11, 18 & 22 at other libraries. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Beats & Bites Festival at Riverwind Casino (1544 W State Hwy 9, Norman) features local food trucks, live entertainment by Wade Bowen and local vendors. 6-11pm. 322-6000 www.riverwind.com Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society Concert at the Oklahoma CountryWestern Museum & Hall of Fame (3925 SE 29th St, Del City) features three professional bluegrass gospel bands playing 45-minute sets. Concessions available. Adults, $8; members, $5; kids (12 & under), free. 6:30-9:15pm. Also held July 29. 677-7515, www.gobms.org
ENROLL BEGINNING AUGUST 14
CLASSES START SEPT. 6 Audition and Non-audition classes for grades pre-K-12
Acting Musical Theatre Musical Theatre Productions Private Voice & Guitar Musical Theatre Dance Technique Tap Hip Hop and more!
Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features timed runs and a leisurely one-hour ride through Downtown. Lights and helmets are required. All ages welcome. $5 suggested donation. Runs, 8pm; bike ride, 8:30pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org Norman Conquest at JD McCarty Center (2002 E Robinson Ave, Norman) features an all-day biker ride event open to cyclists of all skill levels, including individual, family and tandem rides from 10 to 64-miles. Benefits the J.D. McCarty Center and Camp ClapHans. $15 & up, kids (under 12), free. 7am. www.bikereg.com/22nd-annualnorman-conquest FREE Hooked on Fishing Lessons at Edwards Park Lake (1515 N Bryant). Young anglers learn fishing basics including knottying, casting, fish identification, angler ethics and fishing regulations. For ages 5-15. Poles, tackle and bait are provided during the class. Preregister. 8-10:30am. Also held: July 15 at Metro Tech Springlake & July 22 at Crystal Lake. 297-1426, www.okc.gov
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
FREE Bounce into Summer Health and Wellness at Expressway Clinic (8105 NW Expressway) features food trucks, health and wellness vendors, summer safety training by doctors and firefighters, fun activities, giveaways, Touch-A-Truck and more. 10am-2pm. 602-3500, www.facebook. com/theexpresswayclinic/ Oklahoma City Energy vs Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Taft Stadium (2501 N May Ave). $15 & up. 7:30pm. Also held: 7/11 vs Pachuca, 7/22 vs Colorado Springs; 8/2 vs Reno; 8/5 vs Real Monarchs. 235-5425, www.energyfc.com
Entering our 36th year serving OKC and Edmond children and youth with award-winning recreational & gymnastics classes, training and fun! • Parent-Tot Classes • Preschool Gymnastics (boys & girls) • Recreational Classes • Home School Classes • Tumbling Classes (boys & girls) • Competitive Team • Toddler Open Gym • NEW: Youth & Adult Aerial Silks • Private Lessons • Birthday Parties • Play Group Outings • Easy online enrollment
JULY 9 • SUNDAY FREE Summer Breeze Concert Series at Lions Park (400 S Flood Ave, Norman) features live music by The Crane Wives (indie folk). Bring seating and refreshments. 7:30pm. Also held July 23 featuring the The Cave Singers (indie folk/rock). 301-9320, www.pasnorman.org Paddle Boarding at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Paddle around the Garden's lake on boards provided by the Boathouse District. Members, $8; nonmembers, $10. 10:30am-2pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
JULY 9-14 International Finals Youth Rodeo at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center (1700 W Independence, Shawnee) features the best in up and coming cowboy and cowgirl talent in a variety of events including barrel racing, goat tying, calf roping, bull riding and more. Adults, $12; kids (ages 3-11), $6. See website for a complete schedule. 275-7020, www.ifyr.com
JULY 10 • MONDAY
Enroll today! Fall classes start Aug. 21
www.metrogymokc.com 7420 Broadway Ext., Suite A OKC, OK 73116 AAU Competitive Team Training Center (Suite F) email: firstname.lastname@example.org Co-Owners: Sarah Blackledge Brawley Carol Blackledge Lee
FREE Teen Engineering Extravaganza at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St). Build marble runs, build with cups and more to explore engineering principles. Preregister. Best suited for kids in grades 6-12. 2-3pm. 979-2200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Making Friends with Your Emotions at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features a fully interactive, engaging exercise in developing good mental health habits and helping yourself become a better person. Best suited for ages 3-12. 6:30-7:30pm. Also held July 22 at Warr Acres Library. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
JULY 11 • TUESDAY FREE Sales Tax Appreciation Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features free admission to the zoo for all ages. 9am-5pm. 424-3344, www.okczoo.org
JULY 11-15 Lyric Theatre Presents Disney's When You Wish at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave). Travel into the imagination of a young girl as she dreams her way through classic Disney musicals. $30-$100. TuesdayThursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com
JULY 12 • WEDNESDAY FREE Minecraft/Pokemon Party at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features themed crafts and games. All ages welcome. 1-2:30pm. 979-2200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
JULY 12-15 Just Between Friends Consignment Sale at Market Plaza Shopping Center (6925 NW Expressway) features new & gentlyused children’s clothes, toys, furniture & accessories, up to 90 percent off retail prices. Wednesday, $10; Thursday, $2; other days, free admission. Wednesday, 6:30-8:30pm; Thursday & Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm. www.edmond.jbfsale.com
JULY 13 • THURSDAY FREE Take pART in the Fair Classes Youth Session at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features creative arts instruction to help participants gain skills that may be used to enter the Creative Arts Competitions at the Oklahoma State Fair. Preregister. For ages 15 & under. Materials and supplies are needed for some sessions. If required, supply kits are $5 per session. 10am-3pm. 948-6731, www.okstatefair.com FREE Zombies, Marshmallows, & Mayhem at the Noble Library (204 N 5th St, Noble) features a zombie card game, handmade marshmallow shooters and more. Preregister, space is limited. Best suited for ages 12 & up. 2-4pm. 872-5713, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Chasing James Performance at the Belle Isle Library (5501 N Villa Ave) features kid-friendly songs for little ones, ages birth to age 5. 2-3pm. 606-3575, www.metrolibrary.org
FREE Escape the Library at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City). Kids ages 12 & up can use clues and solve puzzles to see if they can escape before time runs out. 4-5pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org A Night at the Museum at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman). Find out what happens in the museum when the lights go down. Preregister. For ages 5 & up with an adult. 6-8pm. Adult/child pair: members, $20; non-members, $30. 6-8pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu FREE Art in the Park at Chitwood Park (W 1st & S Story St, Edmond). Enjoy art in the park and use nature and natural items as inspiration. Preregister. For ages 2 -12. 9:3010:30am. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com
JULY 13-23 Or at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park (2920 Paseo Dr). Aphra Behn, known to history as the first credited female playwright, has one opportunity to have her play produced and fulfill her desperate
desire to leave the spy trade behind her. Adults, $20; students, $15. 8pm. 235-3700, www.oklahomashakespeare.com
JULY 14 â€˘ FRIDAY BUG OUT! Lady Bug Release and Mitey Insect Safari at Crystal Bridge Conservatory (301 W Reno Ave). Help release thousands of polka-dotted hungry helpers in the Conservatory. Learn about butterflies, ladybugs, beetles and more on an Insect Safari. All ages welcome. Ladybugs will be available for release on a first-come, firstserved basis. Admission applies for nonmembers. $3 per container of ladybugs. 10am2pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org FREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in the Norman Arts District (downtown Norman) features a monthly celebration of the arts in Norman. 6-9pm. www.2ndfridaynorman.com FREE Outdoor Movie Series at Lions Park (450 S Flood Ave, Norman) features a screening of Moana, inflatables, face painting, music, arts & crafts and more.
Activities begin at 7pm; movie at sundown. 366-5472, www.facebook.com/normanfun FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th St) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more on the second Friday of the month. 7-11pm. www.plazadistrict.org/live/ FREE Movie Night @ the Park at MAC Amphitheater (2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond) features a screening of the movie Sing. A limited number of attendees can participate in karaoke. Preregister. Movies begin at dark. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com
JULY 15 â€˘ SATURDAY Historic Tours in Downtown Edmond (various locations). Learn about the structures throughout downtown on a guided, educational walking tour. Photos will be shown on the tours, revealing changes through the decades. Preregister, scheduled by appointment only. $5. 715-1889, www.edmondhistoricpreservationtrust.com
WITH FAMILY At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side-by-side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.
Bring your family to the Y and see what we have to offer.
FIND YOURS AT YMCAOKC.ORG METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
OKC Parks & Recreation
After School kid’s club A recreational enrichment program for ages 6-12 beginning August 1 Provides a safe, supervised environment with games, sports, group discussions and more! Dedicated Homework Time Special classes & field trips planned in advance (for a small additional fee)
Additional fees apply for field trips and specialized classes.
Enroll at your local Recreation Center.
After School Kid’s club locations Macklanburg Recreation Center 2234 NW 117th St | 297-1428 Schilling Recreation Center 539 SE 25th St | 297-1442 Sellers Recreation Center 8301 S Villa Ave | 297-1445 Pilot Recreation Center 1435 NW 2nd St | 297-1438 Pitts Recreation Center 1920 N Kate Ave | 297-1440 Douglass Recreation Center 900 N Frederick Douglass | 297-1416 Melrose Recreation Center 7800 W Melrose Ln | 297-1431 Minnis Lakeview Recreation Center 12520 NE 36th St | 297-1432 Southern Oaks Recreation Center 400 SW 66th St | 297-1449
Visit us online at okc.gov/parks!
Eats on 8th Food Truck Festival in Midtown (NW 8th St & Harvey Ave) features gourmet food trucks, live entertainment and more. Free to attend. Noon-8pm. 234-7960, www.facebook.com/ EatsonEighth/ FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. 528-2122, www.cuppiesandjoe.com FREE Disney Princess Party at the Ralph Ellison Library (2000 NE 23rd St) features princesses, Disney karaoke, caramel apple making, a costume contest and various other themed crafts. Best suited for ages 12 & under. 2-4pm. 424-1437, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Heard on Hurd Street Fest in Edmond (Broadway between 1st & Hurd, Edmond) features local food, unique shopping and live music, on the third Saturday each month. 6-10pm. www.citizensedmond.com/heardonhurd.htm FREE Star Wars Night Event at My Chic Geek (4413 N Meridian Ave, Warr Acres) features lightsabers and other fun night displays, activities for kids, photos with costumers and more. 7-10pm. 367-7955, www.mychicgeek.com
JULY 15 & 16 OKC Land Run Antique Show at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) features antique dealers offering antiques, collectibles, toys, primitives, jewelry, art, books, pottery, glassware, records, dolls, clothing, architectural salvage, furniture & more. Adults, $6; kids (9-12) $3; kids (8 & under), free. Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-4pm. 918-619-2875, www.heritageeventcompany.com
JULY 16 • SUNDAY FREE Mike Hosty: Build a Better Song Workshop at the Norman West Library (300 Norman Center Ct, Norman) features a one-hour beginning songwriters workshop. Preregister. Best suited for ages 12 & up. 2-3pm. 701-2644, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org Chaparral Family Sundays at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Blvd) features mascot meet & greets, player autograph sessions, inflatables, face painting, craft stations, train rides and photo stations. Kids also get to run the bases following the game. Activities begin 30 prior to game time.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Ages 8 & up. 5:30pm. Also held: July 30. 218-1000, www.okcdodgers.com
JULY 17 • MONDAY FREE The Wonderful World of Pigeons at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman). Learn how pigeons have been used by many famous people throughout history and by the military in the United States to save hundreds of lives. Kids will then enjoy making paper pigeons and listening to a few books by Mo Willems. Best suited for ages 4-12. Space is limited; first come, first served. 2-2:45pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
JULY 17-28 FREE Alegria Real Concert at the Metropolitan Library System (various locations) features a musical journey with the colorful expressions of Latin America. See website for times & locations. www.metrolibrary.org
JULY 17-29 FREE Cimarron Opera presents The New Kid at the Metropolitan Library System (various locations), a production about being different and how that is not such a bad thing. See website for times & locations. www.metrolibrary.org
JULY 18 • TUESDAY FREE Monty Harper Sings at the Edmond Library (10 South Blvd, Edmond) features a fun sing-a-long performance with singing and dancing. Best suited for ages 12 & under. 3-4pm. 341-9282, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Mo Willems Party at the Southern Oaks Library (6900 S Walker Ave) features fun activities, games and crafts celebrating Gerald, Piggie, Trixie, Pigeon and all things from Mo Willems books. Best suited for ages 12 & under. 6:30-7:30pm. 631-4468, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Summer Songwriter Series at SandRidge Commons (123 Robert S. Kerr Ave) features a monthly outdoor concert by popular artists. Bring lawn chairs and/or blankets. 6-8pm. 235-7700, www.facebook.com/crowedunlevy/
JULY 19 • WEDNESDAY FREE Thunder Bus Visit at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library (2201 SW 134th St). Kids in kindergarten through 5th grade can go aboard the Thunder Bus and get a free book. Registration required. 10-11am. 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
JULY 20 • THURSDAY One Work, Many Voices at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features an in-depth conversation inspired by a single work of art in the exhibition Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. Museum facilitators and community guests will kick off the dialogue. Preregister. Members, free; non-members, $5. 6-7pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com
JULY 20-29 Upstage Theatre presents Les Miserables at the Mitch Park Amphitheater (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond). Adults, $18; kids (5-18), $12; kids (4 & under), free. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm. 285-5803, www.upstagetheatreok.com
JULY 21 • FRIDAY FREE Watercolor Painting for Kids at Southern Oaks Library (6900 S Walker Ave). Learn all the basics of watercolor painting including color mixing and layering. Students will paint a butterfly painting and a colorful abstract painting. Preregister. Best suited for ages 9-12. 2-3:30pm. 631-4468, www.metrolibrary.org
A Night with Bats at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features a short exploration at the museum and a trip by caravan to a local park. This event is for children 5 and up with an adult. Preregister. Adult/child pair: members, $20; non-members, $30. 8-10pm. 325-4436, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu FREE Filmography: Oklahoma Film Series at 21c Museum Hotel (900 W Main St) features screenings of classic art house films. June’s film is The Queen of Versailles. 8pm. 982-6900, www.21cmuseumhotels.com/ oklahomacity/blog/2017/filmography/ Dive-in Movies at The Station Aquatic Center (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a pool-side screening of Finding Dory. $5. 8:30-11pm. 793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore.com
JULY 21-23 Center of the Galaxy Festival at OKC Farmers Market (311 S Klein Ave). Buildings and businesses in the district will transform into well known Star Wars
locations such as the Galactic Empire, Death Star and Mos Eisley Cantina with vendors, food trucks, kids activities and an adult after party on Friday and Saturday night. Costumes are encouraged. $15-$55. Friday, noon-9pm; Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm. Adult after party: Friday & Saturday, 9pm-2am. 810-6977, www.revolve-productions.com
JULY 22 • SATURDAY FREE OKC Hot Wheels Association Show at Cross Roads Convention Center (7000 Plaza Mayor Blvd) features collectables for sale and trade, as well as pizza, raffles and more. 10am-5pm. www.greaterokchotwheels.com National Day of the Cowboy at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Learn to rope a steer, create stick-horses, bandanna activities and more. Free with admission. 10am-noon. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
FREE National Day of the Cowboy at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center (1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway, Duncan) features a variety of activities highlighting the many roles of cowboys including roping a longhorn, riding a bronco and more. 10am-5pm. 580252-6692, www.onthechisholmtrail.com FREE The Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman) features pet adoptions from Norman Animal Welfare, information booths with representative from the Norman Police K-9 unit and more. Attendees can craft their own pet toys (supplies provided) and buy books from an animal-themed book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Norman Library. All ages welcome, no pets allowed. 11am-2pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Harry Potter Anniversary Fest at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave) features an afternoon of fun activities celebrating the 10th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Costumes encouraged. All ages welcome. 2-4pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org Randy House in Concert at Frontier City (11501 N I-35 Service Rd). Free with admission. Time to be announced. 478-2410, www.frontiercity.com The White Out Concert at 89th Street Collective (8911 N Western Ave) features DJ LUC Gardener Kid, Oklahoma State Fair artist Kay-O and more. All ages welcome. $11-$14. 6:30-11pm. 470-257-3197, aftonshows.com/djluc FREE SONIC's Back to School Bash at the Urban League (3900 N Martin Luther King Ave) celebrates the return of school with free school uniform vouchers (while supplies last), field day activities and a community resource fair. Children and parent/guardian must be present and latest report card or proof of enrollment required for uniform vouchers. Donations accepted and volunteers needed. 8am-noon. 424-5243, www.urbanleagueok.org Six-Legged Science; a Bug Safari at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features an exploration of insects and their homes. Preregister. Best suited for ages 5-9. Members, $3; non-members, $5. 10-11am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org Stuff the Bus at Sooner Mall (3301 W Main St, Norman) is collecting school supplies for children in need in Norman. 10am-1pm. 3292025, www.unitedwaynorman.org/abc
30 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
FREE Great Lawn Folk Festival at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features Don Flemons, Grammy Awardwinning singer-songwriter, and Oklahoma City-based Steelwind as well as food trucks, beer and wine. Free to attend; VIP passes available for $35. 7:30-10:30pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
JULY 22-29 FREE 2017 Youth National Arabian & Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) shopping, food vendors, a stick horse building workshop and behind-the-scenes tours. Call to reserve your tour. See website for a complete schedule. 303-696-4500, www.arabianhorses.org/ynl
JULY 25 • TUESDAY FREE Zoo Design at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave). Find out why Zoo Architecture is one of the most challenging careers, then work together to make the ultimate 21st Century Zoo animal habitat. Best for ages 9 & up. 2-3pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org FREE End of Summer Dance Party at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) celebrates the end of summer and a successful summer reading program. 2-3pm. 793-4347, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Build a Better World Dance Party at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features a dancing extravaganza to celebrate the end of the summer reading program. All ages welcome. Costumes and fancy wear encouraged. 3-4:30pm. 979-2200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Mad Science Show at the Edmond Library (10 South Blvd, Edmond). Learn how structural engineers build strong bridges and buildings that can withstand earthquakes, how electrical engineers light up the world and more. 3-4pm. 341-9282, www.metrolibrary.org
JULY 25-29 Lyric Theatre presents West Side Story at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) explores love in a time of hate between the Sharks and the Jets in New York City’s Upper West Side during the 1950s. See website for show times. $30-$90. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com
JULY 26 • WEDNESDAY FREE Snakes, Lizards and Bugs...Oh, My!
Day Camp at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave) features live animal displays and classes to learn more about lizards, turtles, snakes and bugs. All ages welcome. 10am-2pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org
JULY 26-30 Seussical the Musicial Jr. at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre Burg Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder Ave) tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many "thinks." Adults, $10; kids (2-12), $8. July 26-28, 10am & noon; July 29-30, 2pm. 606-7003, www. oklahomachildrenstheatre.org
JULY 27 • THURSDAY Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic Tours at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features in-gallery tours and conversation-based insights about the exhibition. Members, free; prices vary for non-members. 6-7pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com FREE Family Game Night at The Station Recreation Center (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a variety of different games like Monopoly, card games, ping pong and more. No registration required. All ages welcome. Kids under 6 must be accompanied by an adult. 7:30-9:30pm. 793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore.com
JULY 28 • FRIDAY FREE Fiesta Fridays in Historic Capitol Hill (SW 25th between Harvey and Robertson) featurs hot food, cold beverages, live music, dancing, shopping and activities for kids. 7-10pm. 623-0133, www.historiccapitolhill.com FIREFLY Rooftop Concert Series in Automobile Alley (1015 N Broadway Ave) features live music, free cookies from Insomnia Cookies, coffees & Italian sodas from Coffee Slingers and a cash bar on the rooftop patio. $5. 7-10pm. www.eventbrite.com
JULY 28-30 FREE Indian Hills Powwow (9300 N Sooner Rd) features traditional dance competitions, American Indian arts & crafts, horseshoe tournament, Indian tacos and other traditional foods and children's activities. Friday, 6pm-midnight; Saturday, noon-midnight; Sunday, 10amnoon. 528-5026, www.facebook.com/ events/271735483162623/
JULY 29 • SATURDAY YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City Youth Triathlon Series at Mitch Park (2901 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond) features four competitive events, each featuring swimming, biking and running. Kids ages up to 15 years old can participate. There are four ages divisions with varying distances. Family memberships, $35; youth memberships, $40; non-members, $50. 7am. 330-4016, www.ymcaokc.org FREE City of Moore Fishing Derby at Little River Park (700 SW 4th St, Moore). Kids ages 5-15 can cast a pole to try to catch a prize fish. The OK Wildlife Department will be on site for safety, knot tying, fish ID, fish cleaning and ethics training. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Preregister. 7:30am. 793-5090, www.cityofmoore.com New World Comic Con at State Fair Park Centennial Building (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features vendors, kids’ carnival, costumed characters, costume contest and more. Adults, $6; kids (5 & under), free with adult admission. 10am-7pm. www.facebook. com/newworldcomiccon/
FREE Science of Star Trek at the Southern Oaks Library (6900 S Walker Ave). Let out your inner Trekkie for a fun exploration of the science behind Star Trek through stimulating discussion and exciting hands-on activities provided by Science Museum Oklahoma. 2-3pm. 631-4468, www.metrolibrary.org
FREE Harry Potter Birthday Celebration at the Norman Central Library (225 S Webster Ave, Norman) features a Sorting, Wandmaking, a Potions class and a green-screen Photo Booth. Costumes encouraged. 2-4pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
FREE Laser Tag at Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman). Play laser tag in the stacks of the library after hours. Space is limited, Preregister. For kids in grades 7-12. Signed waivers are required. 8-10:30pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
#IMOMSOHARD Mom's Night Out: Summer Break Tour at the Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features the hilarious oh-so-real women behind #IMomSoHard, Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley. For ages 18 and up. $35.75-$45.75. 8pm. 297-2264, www.okciviccenter.com
JULY 31 • MONDAY
AUGUST 1 • TUESDAY
FREE Harry Potter Birthday Celebration at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) features Harry Potter inspired crafts, photo booths, Sorting Hat quiz and ceremony, potions class, Quidditch and more. All ages welcome. Costumes encouraged. Quidditch requires preregistration and a signed waiver. 1-4pm. 793-5100, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
Mario the Maker Magician at Bruce Owen Theater (7777 S May Ave) features an old-school slapstick show that combines humor with a mad inventor twist. Best suited for ages 3-10 and their families. Adults, $20; kids (under 12), $10. 7pm. 682-7579, www.mariothemagician.com
WEEKE NDS THI S J ULY WEEKENDS IN JULY enjoy FREE ADMISSION for kids 17 and under at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Downtown Oklahoma City! Pick up a free Discovery Pack to sketch, play gallery games, and more during your visit. Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Randerson Romualdo Cordeiro (detail), 2008. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm). Private collection, Golden Beach, Florida, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton)
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
WEEKLY EVENTS Weekly Walk-ups at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features fun activities that explore the plant world. Each day of the week has a different themed activity. $2 suggested donation. Monday-Friday, 10am-noon. 445-5162, www.myriadgardens.org Summer Signature Tours at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features a docent-facilitated museum tour to learn more about the western art on display, frontier life and the diverse cultures that shaped the west. Free with admission. Adults, $12.50; kids, (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. Weekdays, 1-2pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
FREE Art Adventures at Fred Jones Jr.
Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) for ages 3-5. Young artists are invited to experience art through books. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma Wild Tuesdays Story Time Safaris at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St). Kids 11 and under are invited to hear stories, meet a keeper and enjoy a snack. Free with admission. Tuesdays, 9:30 & 10:30am. 424-3344, www.okczoo.org
FREE Youth Dodgeball at the Jackie Cooper Gym (1024 E Main St, Yukon) features a fun afternoon of dodgeball for ages 9-13. Tuesdays, 12:30-1:30pm. 350-8920, www.cityofyukonok.gov FREE Wheeler Criterium in the Wheeler District (1701 S Western Ave) features fast-pace flat track bike racing, live music and food trucks. Tuesdays, 5-8:30pm. www.facebook.com/wheelercrit Tuesday Night Classics at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno Ave) features special presentations of classic films on the big screen. $5. Tuesdays, 7pm. 231-4747, www.harkinstheatres.com/TNC.aspx Storytime Science at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd St) features a story and corresponding hands-on science activity in various locations throughout the museum. Best suited for kids ages 6 & under. Free with admission. Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30am. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org
FREE At the Movies at Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) features screenings of family friendly films like Moana and Charlotteâ€™s Web. Preregister, all ages welcome. Wednesdays, 2-4pm. 793-5100, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Family Story Time at the Edmond Library (10 S Boulevard, Edmond). Pajamas welcome. Preregister, best suited for families with kids ages 1-5 years old. Thursdays, 6:30-7:15pm. 341-9282, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Summer Thursdays at Gaylord-Pickens
Museum (1400 Classen Blvd) features a story and craft time as well as other fun activities provided by Calvert's Plant Interiors and OSU-OKC Farmers Market. Thursdays, 10:30am. 523-3230, www.oklahomahof.com
FREE Summer Concert Series at Hafer Park (1034 S Bryant Ave, Edmond) features an outdoor concert by local bands. Thursdays, 6:15-8:45pm. 359-4630, www.edmondok.com/concerts FREE Concerts in the Park at Chisholm Trail Park (500 W Vandament, Yukon) features outdoor concerts of a variety of musical genres. Thursdays, 7-8:30pm. 350-8937, www.cityofyukonok.gov FREE Friday Fun Days in Yukon parks (various locations) features fun activities for kids including a turtle race, a carnival and magic show every Friday morning all summer long. Fridays, 10am. 354-8442, www.cityofyukonok.gov FREE People vs Boardom at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster, Norman) features a summer long series of Dungeons and Dragons. Both new and experienced players are welcome; open to kids in grades 7-12. Drinks and popcorn snacks will be provided. Space is limited; first come, first serve. Fridays, 1-5pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Childrenâ€™s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.com FREE Story Time at Commonplace Books (1325 N Walker Ave) features a weekly story time with pastries and juice. Saturdays, 10:30am. 551-1715, www.commonplacebooksokc.com
FREE Community Helpers Story Time at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore). Enjoy books, music, stories and games. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 793-5100, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
Roller Skating Lesson at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Thursday, 7-10pm; Sunday, 6-8pm. $6 per person (includes skate rental) or family admission is $29 for up to five family members. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com
Wild Wednesdays at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features discounted admission on Wednesdays in July & August. Adults, $5.50; kids (3-11), $4. 9am-5pm. 424-3344, www.okczoo.org
All Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at Bronco Bowl (133 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) invites differently-abled individuals and their friends and families to bowl on Saturdays. 11am & 1pm. $3 per game. 256-5515, www.autismoklahoma.org.
Okietales at Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zudhi Dr) features a reading and storytelling time where kids can hear and see history. Best suited for ages 5-9. Admission includes museum admission following the program. $2. Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30am. 522-3602, www.okhistory.org
32 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Cartoon Cruises on the Oklahoma River at Exchange Landing (1503 Exchange Ave). Watch classic cartoons aboard a river cruiser. Adults, up to $15; kids (7-12), up to $7.50; kids (6 & under), free. Saturdays, 1:15-2:45pm. www.okrivercruises.com
ONGOING EVENTS THROUGH AUG. 10 FREE Coded_Couture: Fashion Intersecting Technology at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) features the work of 10 international artist-designers whose inventive techniques are rooted in new technology. MondayThursday, 9am-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am5pm. 951-0000, www.oklahomacontemporary.org
THROUGH AUG. 11 FREE Cloth as Community: Hmong Textiles in America at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 South Blvd, Edmond) features a complex, cultural art form not widely known outside Asia until after the Vietnam War. The works illustrate the profound relevance of textiles as infrastructure in the Hmong culture, an art form that has shifted to adapt to new realities. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 1-4pm. 340-0078, www.edmondhistory.org
THROUGH AUGUST 12 FREE Remembering World War I at the
Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond) marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the global war. The EHS&M is participating in the World War I Centennial Commission’s “Poppy Program” and is selling packets of poppy seeds to help fund the creation of the National WWI Memorial in Washington DC for $2. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 1-4pm. 340-0078, www.edmondhistory.org
THROUGH AUG. 26 Cowboys & Indians by Harold T. "H" Holden and Mike Larsen at Gaylord-Pickens Museum (1400 Classen Dr) features drawings, paintings and sculptures by the prolific Oklahoma artists and Oklahoma Hall of Fame Members Harold T. “H” Holden and Mike Larsen. Adults, $7; kids (6-17), $5; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm. 235-4458, www.oklahomahof.com
THROUGH AUG. 31 Backyard Bugs at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) takes Oklahoma’s amazing insects to a larger-than-life level with giant animatronic insects, interactive exhibits and live insect displays to give visitors a unique perspective of a bug’s world and reveal the fascinating complexities of our six-legged neighbors. Free with admission. Adults, $15.95; kids (3-12), $12.95; kids (2 & under), free. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org
THROUGH SEPT. 3 Itti’ Chokka’ TreeHouses at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur). Discover wildlife, build a miniature tree house, hunt for signs left by animals, dance on a forest sound floor and more, while learning about Chickasaw culture and traditions. Adults, $6; students, $5; kids (12 & under), free. Monday-
Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com
THROUGH SEPT. 4 FREE Guerrilla Art Park 2017 at Oklahoma Contemporary’s Campbell Art Park (NW 11th & Broadway Ave) features an outdoor sculpture exhibition of sculptures submitted by six local artists, ranging from emerging to wellestablished. Open dawn to dusk. 951-0000, www.oklahomacontemporary.org
THROUGH SEPT. 10 Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features early paintings, portraitures, portrait busts and stained glass, highlighting the range of Wiley’s productions. Free with admission. Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free. TuesdaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com
Join us at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday through Labor Day for FREE story time, craft and activity. Families with young children will enjoy a great day of fun and inspiration!
Great Balls of Fire at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) explores the threat of a catastrophic impact from an asteroid or comet. Learn about answers to common questions and explore the solar system. Free with admission. Adults, $8; kids, (4-17), $5; kids (3 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
THROUGH OCT. 29 Bodies Revealed at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd St) allows visitors get an up-close look inside the skeletal, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, circulatory and other life-sustaining systems of the human body. Museum admission plus exhibit: adults, $25.95; kids (3-12), $18.95. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am6pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org
July July July July
6 13 20 27
Rock & Roll Day Discovery Day Lollipop Day Take Your Plants for a Walk Day
OPENING JULY 21 Vintage Black Heroes: The Chisholm Kid at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features panels from the original comic strip to highlight the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail and pay homage to the thousands of black cowboys who drove cattle along the trail. Adults, $12.50; kids, (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 4782250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Cartoons & Comics: The Early Art of Tom Ryan at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features his original characters Dan the Cop and Joe Campion, Jr. in small drawings that provide a snapshot of Ryan’s high school and Coast Guard years. Adults, $12.50; kids, (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org This is just a sampling of the current museum exhibits that can be found around town. Discover more at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/museums.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
FREE FAMILY FUN Celebrating 90 Years of Telling Oklahoma’s Story Through its People!
Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord-Pickens Museum 1400 Classen Drive (N.W. 13th and Shartel) Oklahoma City, OK 73106
OklahomaHoF.com (405) 235-4458
SHARE YOUR STORY! @OKLAHOMAHOF
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
In addition to helping your child learn, develop skills and build confidence, participating in after-school activities can also aid in your childâ€™s healthy development. The perfect extracurricular activity can have benefits way past the lessons or games themselves; they are an excellent place for children to learn perseverance and other important character traits and life skills. Our 2017 After-School Activities Guide is here to help you find a great way to get your child involved this school year. Search it online at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/after-school-activities.
Akasha Skye Math Tutoring On Location 405-638-8425 akashaskyemathtutoring@gmail. com
Math tutoring service for pre-K to 6th grade. On location at home, a library, park, etc. Reasonable rates and free consultation available. $30/hour.
Artsy Rose Academy 7739 W. Hefner Rd. 405-603-8550 www.artsyrose.com
Art classes offered for ages 5-15 in all mediums (oil pastels, clay, color pencils, paints, etc.) and methods (painting, sculpting, drawing, collage, etc.). Each week offers a new adventure. Enroll on website to reserve a spot. Classes available in fall and spring and discounts available for those who enroll for multiple weeks. $15/class.
The Bethany Stage 3930 N. College Ave., Bethany 405-455-8800 www.thebethanystage.com
The Bethany Stage is a community theatre that also offers classes in acting, singing, musical theatre and dance. Production classes and recitals are held from August to May and are offered for babies through 12th grade. $40-$75. See class schedule and enroll online, thebethanystage.com/class-schedule.
Cadence Equestrian 14150 S. Pine St., Edmond 405-348-7469 www.cadenceequestrian.com
Cadence Equestrian offers year-round horseback riding lessons for children. Enroll anytime by calling or visiting the website. For ages 5 and up.
Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma 3309 E. Hefner Rd. 405-254-2063 www.campfirehok.org
Activities that help youth discover more about themselves, their community, nature, the arts and sciences. Meets the first/third Tuesday of the month. Join an existing club or start your own. Camps hosted August through April. Members get discounts on programs and services. Contact Elizabeth Logan, 405-254-2068, Liz@campfirehok.org or visit website to enroll. For pre-K-12th grade. $15/year.
Community Dance Center of OCU (Oklahoma City University) 2501 N. Blackwelder 405-208-5508 www.okcu.edu/communitydance
Classes for all ages in a variety of styles offering qualified teachers with convenient class times. There is no charge to participate in the end of year showcase. Costumes are provided and admission is free. The center offers dance education to all children in a safe and fun environment. $10-$45/ month. Scholarships are available. Now enrolling for classes that begin after Labor Day. Ages 3-adult.
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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Dynamic Kidz Zone 13 Raton, Edmond 405-570-2809 www.sites.google.com/site/ dynamickidzzone
Before- and after-school child care providing transportation to/from Oklahoma City/Edmond public schools and mother's day out programs. All-day care during school closings. The program provides snacks and homework assistance. For pre-K and up. $75-$100 weekly.
Edmond Fine Arts Institute 27 E. Edwards, Edmond 405-340-4481 www.edmondfinearts.com
The Fine Arts Institute has been fostering creativity and excitement for 32 years with educational enrichment for children and adults in the visual and performing arts. Class curriculum includes drawing, painting, clay, pottery, theatre arts, mixed media, printmaking, jewelry design and seasonal art. Teachers are trained artists and each class has a maximum of a 12:1 studentteacher ratio. Fall classes begin Aug. 28. Enroll online. Ages 3 and up. $12/hour.
Edmond Parks & Recreation After-School Programming 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr. Edmond; 405-359-4630 www.edmondok.com/parks/rec
Edmond Parks and Recreation offers after-school programming for ages 8-17 that includes activities such as archery, outdoor living, the arts and more. Classes are offered weekly September through November and continue in the spring. Call to enroll. Prices start at $40 per month.
Edmond Parks & Recreation 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr., Edmond 405-359-4630 www.edmondok.com/parks/rec
Edmond Parks and Recreation offers an array of classes for ages 2 through adults including social painting, dance, theatre, arts and crafts, sewing, science, fitness, self-defense and photography. Weekly classes are hosted all year and camps are held during Spring Break and summer. Class prices range from free to $40; camps range up to $240. Call to enroll.
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma 6100 N. Robinson 405-528-4475 www.gswestok.org
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma gives girls the opportunity to take the lead. They become go-getters, innovators, risk-takers; they become leaders. Girls begin to identify and solve problems in their community, discover STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and develop a love for the outdoors. Offered throughout the academic year. Visit gswestok.org/join to enroll; grades K-12; annual membership fee is $25.
Goldfish Swim School Edmond 10 N.W. 146th St., Edmond 405-696-7500 edmond.goldfishswimschool.com
Year-round swim lessons for swimmers of all abilities. Curriculum focuses on teaching swimming and safety skills while building character. Flexible scheduling to accommodate even the busiest family’s schedule. The facility’s shiver-free pool is heated to 90 degrees and has one life-guard certified instructor for every four children. Opening September 2017. Children 4 months to 12 years. $89-$119.
Kumon Seven metro locations 1-800-ABC-MATH www.kumon.com
Kumon is the largest after-school supplemental math and reading program in the world. Instructors design individualized lesson plans to ensure success and develop a love of learning, strong study skills and confidence. Kumon math is a comprehensive program to develop skills to help students progress from counting through calculus. Kumon reading promotes growth from basic phonics through advanced college comprehension. Classes offered all year. Call the center nearest you to enroll. Ages 3-18. $125/student/month.
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee 405-878-5605 www.mgmoa.org
The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art’s After School Art Classes offer a unique environment for learning and creativity. Each semester, the museum offers six five-week fine art classes in a variety of mediums and two theatre classes and the sessions culminate with student art exhibits and performances. Enrollment opens Aug. 1. Discounts and scholarships available. Ages 7-18. $80 per five-week session with supplies included.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Mad Science Central Oklahoma On Location 405-285-9643 www.okc.madscience.org
Mad Science provides year-round hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to schools, day cares, churches and other after-school programs. Call for details, prices and enrollment information. For pre-K through 8th grade.
Metro Gymnastics 7420 Broadway Ext. 405-848-5308 www.metrogymokc.com
Metro Gymnastics is proud to have served the Oklahoma City/Edmond area for the past 35 years, providing organized recreational and competitive gymnastics programs and aerial silks classes for children of all ages. Also provided are Parent-Tot classes, homeschool classes and more. 18 months to 16 years. Classes begin Aug. 21 and cost $50-$90.
OKC Parks & Recreation 420 W Main St, Ste. 210 405-297-3882 www.okc.gov/parks
The After School Kid’s Club is a free recreational enrichment program for kids who need a safe, supervised environment after school. The program offers games, sports, group discussions and a wide variety of activities. Structured time is set aside for homework each day. Contact your closest Recreation Center for additional information. Special classes and field trips are planned in advance for an additional fee. For ages 6-12.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr. 405-236-3100 www.okcmoa.com
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art exists to connect visitors with art, each other and the world. Experiences are designed for all ages and many are free with admission. Most classes and programs include visits to the galleries to find inspiration from exhibitions on view. Professional teaching artists facilitate all offerings. Registration for fall classes opens Aug. 16 at 9 a.m. Call or visit website for more information or to register. Babies/toddlers through age 15. Free-$64.
Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. 405-522-0754 www.okhistory.org
The badge program at the Oklahoma History Center follows the core content of the American Heritage Girls that helps girls acquire skills in areas such as Life Skill Enhancement, Social Development, Leadership and teamwork. Girls ages 5-18 enrolled in the American Heritage Girl Program. $10 per girl per badge, $5 per adult per badge.
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman 405-325-4712 www.samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
Whether it’s through the once-a-month themed Spike’s Club format or a Scout workshop, children get the chance to learn all about slithering snakes, dinosaurs, rocks and minerals. Families can learn together through a variety of family programs that focus on space exploration, bats, beasts and the evolution of Earth’s organisms. Registration now open for fall programs at samnoblemuseum.ou.edu/education-2/. For ages 5-10. $10-$30 with discounts available to museum members.
Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Pl. 405-602-6664 www.ScienceMuseumOK.org
SoccerCity OKC 4520 Old Farm Rd. 405-748-3888 www.soccercityokcity.com
Science Museum Oklahoma offers fall break camp for Explorers (grades 1-3) and Innovators (grades 4-6) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18-20. Programs allow kids to explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through hands-on exploration, live shows, small group instruction and the museum exhibits. To enroll, visit their website or email reservations@ sciencemuseumok.org.
Offering the Lil’ Kickers Child Development Program to teach technical soccer skills and mastery in 50-minute age-appropriate sessions. Call for a free trial class. Sessions are offered year-round with the next session starting Aug. 28. A typical session runs 13 weeks but child can join any time during the session. Ages 18 months to 9 years. $14/class with an annual membership fee of $25/individual or $40/family. Email hayden@ soccercityokcity.com for details.
36 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Studio J offers students of all ages and abilities the opportunity for selfexpression and faith through dance. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical contemporary and clogging classes are taught by instructors with a combined 85 years of professional experience. Classes held September through May. Enroll online. Ages 3-18. $50 and up.
The Studio of The Sooner Theatre 110 E. Main St., Norman 405-321-9600 www.soonertheatre.com
The Studio of The Sooner Theatre offers performing arts classes in musical theatre, play, dance technique, improv, voice and more. Enrollment event offered Aug. 14 for current students and Aug. 15 for new and/or current students. May also enroll by phone. For ages 3-18. $360-$510/year.
Twist & Shout Training Center Edmond, 405-775-9491 Norman, 405-573-9974 www.shouterspirit.com
Twist & Shout is now enrolling for the 2017-2018 season. The program offers competitive and non-competitive tumbling and cheerleading for ages 4 and up for all levels. Cheer and tumble clinics and camps are also offered at various times during the year. Located in Edmond and Norman.
Unpluggits Playstudio 575 Enterprise Dr., Ste. 110, Edmond 405-340-7584 www.unpluggits.com
Unpluggits offers paint-and-take crafts, paint-your-own pottery, after-school clay workshops and ceramic painting and a playground open weekdays until 6 p.m. or later. Drop-in Paint ’N Play (for ages 2-10) includes easel painting, play-dough and time to play on the playground.Visit online calendar to see after-school clay workshops (for ages 5 and up). $8 for drop-in activities, $45 for clay workshops.
Velocity Dance Center 11122 N. Rockwell Ave., #11 405-721-8887 www.oklahomacitydancestudio.com
Velocity's teachers aim to spark a love of dance in every child. They offer a variety of age-appropriate classes in ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop, and their Leap N Learn curriculum was specifically designed for young dancers. Ages 2 to 18. Fall classes begin on Aug. 21; costs start at $35/month.
The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City 15 Metro Locations 405-297-7770 www.ymcaokc.org
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Studio J School of Dance 420 S. Santa Fe Edmond 405-348-3377 www.studiojdanceok.com
After-School Program: The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City is the area’s largest provider of school-age childcare, with over 1,400 children in their care each day. Children are given the opportunity to express their individual talents in a safe and well-supervised atmosphere. The entire experience is built around activities that challenge them to demonstrate the Y’s values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Enroll online at ymcaokc.org/BA. Ages 5 to 12. Weekly tuition varies; scholarships available. Sports Programs: Many branches of YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City offer sports leagues including baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, martial arts, swimming and more. Leadership, teamwork and cooperation are taught with an emphasis on having fun. Contact individual branches for specific offerings and learn more at ymcaokc.org/children-youth/youth-sports.
Find these and other after-school activities at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/after-school-activities. METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
EXPLORING BEYOND OKLAHOMA
Beat the Heat:
2 Oklahoma Caves to Explore with Kids BY MAE KIGGINS. ALABASTER CAVERNS. PHOTO BY LORI DUCKWORTH/OKLAHOMA TOURISM.
Imagine not being able to see your hand when it is only an inch from your face. This is what you will experience at Alabaster Caverns State Park (located about two and a half hours northwest of the metro) and it’s a unique experience for kids (and their parents). Caves generally bring a sense of awe mixed with apprehension. They are the stuff of legend and home to infamous flying mammals, bats. But you know what our family likes best about caves? They offer a very welcome break from the summer heat—and they are just plain fun! Here are the two best places to explore caves with kids in Oklahoma.
Alabaster Caverns State Park • Freedom, about two and a half hours northwest of Oklahoma City • Park Entrance Fee: None • Tour Required: Yes • Tour Fee: Adult, $10; Youth (6-12), $7; Seniors (62+), $8, Active Duty Military (current ID required), $8; Children under 5, free. • Tour Length: 45 minutes General Information: This state park gets its name from the material from which the caves is made: alabaster. Alabaster is a finegrained, translucent and rare form of gypsum and this is the world’s largest natural gypsum cave open to the public. There are a lot of ways to explore these amazing caves and some fun events celebrating the caves’ most notorious inhabitant, bats.
Tour Information: The cave tour is less than a mile and includes 330 stairs. Needless to say, you are a little winded at the end. The cave is cool and damp (even in the summer) so plan accordingly by wearing a jacket and wearing closed-toe shoes to handle the narrow steps more safely. Tours are offered daily at the top of every hour from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and tour groups are capped at 40 visitors. The tour path is well-lit but the lights are on timers. The tour moves through the cave as the lights go on and off. To keep the tours timely, the following items are prohibited: cell phones, flashlights, cameras and baby strollers. Photo Tours: These tours are designed to give participants optimal opportunities to photograph this beautiful and unique natural wonder. Tours occur every day at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Lantern Tours: Be a part of living history in a whole new way by exploring Alabaster Caverns by lantern light. These tours will give a peek into the history of the caves. These tours occur the first and third Saturdays of the month in the summer through Labor Day starting at 7 p.m. The cost is $20 per person. Spelunking (wild caving): There are four separate caves that you can explore on your own. Permits can be purchased at the park office from April 1 through Sept. 30. These caves are closed October through March to protect the hibernating bat habitat.
Lodging: There is camping available at this park but if you are feeling daring, you can even camp inside the cave! Call the park for more information or to make a reservation. Make a weekend of it! There is a lot to see this in this area of the state. Here are a few suggestions: Woodward – Located nearby, this small town is full of charm and ready to explore. Check out the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum and Crystal Beach Park, complete with splash pad and miniature train. Boiling Springs State Park – Beautiful oasis in the middle of the prairie. Best known for wildlife viewing, fishing and newlyrenovated swimming pool. Sod House Museum – The museum preserves the only remaining sod house built by a homesteader. It is located about four miles north of Cleo Springs. Gloss Mountain State Park – Be prepared for hiking and amazing views. There is no camping available but it is the perfect place for a pit stop on the way out to Alabaster Caverns depending on your route.
Robbers Cave State Park • Wilburton, two hours and 40 minutes east of Oklahoma City • Exploring Time: One to two hours • Park Entrance Fee: None • Tour Required: No, cave can be explored independently. • Tour Fee: $4 • Tour Length: Varies
General Information: This is a stunning area of the state and some of the best views in Oklahoma can be found at top of the Robber’s Cave trail. Robbers Cave itself is about 50 feet long and does not require a flashlight as plenty of sunlight can enter through the large opening. The whole side of the mountain containing Robbers Cave is full of caves and rock formations perfect for climbing and exploring. Plan for time to explore!
will enjoy equestrian trails, a campground, rappelling, miniature golf, bike rentals and a playground. A swimming pool is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Before heading to the cave, stop by the Park Office/Nature Center to pick up a map and visit the exhibits. The Nature Center offers a quick look at the natural history of the area and examples of native wildlife. There is a cave tour every day at 9:30 a.m.
Lake Carlton – This lake features a swimming area, boat ramp, canoe and paddleboat rentals and fishing.
Lodging: There are campgrounds, cabins and a lodge at Robbers Cave State Park but this is a very popular park and they fill up fast. Another option is to camp at Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park and make the 45-minute drive to Robbers Cave. If you don’t like crowds, this is a good option and the views are equally beautiful. There is a lot to see and do at this state park. Visitors wanting to make a weekend of it
Here are a few other can’t-miss attractions at the park:
Lake Wayne Wallace – This is the largest of the three lakes at Robbers Cave. Besides beautiful views, this lake offers a boat ramp and fishing.
ROBBERS CAVE STATE PARK. PHOTO BY MARK DOESCHER.
Community Sponsor of Exploring Oklahoma:
Belle Starr Express – Experience Robbers Cave State Park on a 30-minute miniature train ride. This is a great way to see the park if your time is limited or if you’re not up for hiking.
Say yes to new adventures. Bob Moore Subaru
13010 N. Kelley, Oklahoma City, OK 73114 405-749-9049 www.bobmooresubaru.com Purchase or lease any new (previously untitled) Subaru and receive a complimentary factory scheduled maintenance plan for 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes ﬁrst.) Customer must take delivery on or before 12-31-2017 and reside within the promotional area. At participating dealers only. See retailer for the Subaru Added Security Maintenance Plan for intervals, coverages and limitations, program details and eligibility.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
of the Metro
JAMEL STEPHENS AND MASON BEARD. PHOTO BY MARK DOESCHER.
BY ERIN PAGE
Jamel Stephens and Mason Beard don’t live very far from each other and they both share a love of history, but the two high school seniors might never have become friends were it not for their service together on the Teen Board of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Beard, 18, attends Piedmont High School and was the board’s vice chair, while Stephens, 17, attends Deer Creek High School and served as marketing chair. Together with 28 other students from 18 different schools across the state, they fundraised for the 90-year-old non-profit organization and its hightech, interactive Gaylord-Pickens Museum, where the Hall is housed. In its tenth year, the Teen Board hosted the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Land Run in March, featuring a 10K, 5K and one-mile
40 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
fun run. Students worked tirelessly from August through March securing donations, working with city officials on the race course and managing event logistics. They raised an impressive $20,000, which will fund a scholarship for a fellow high school student and free field trips for 2,700 students from across the state to brush up on their Oklahoma history at the museum. Along the way, they also became immersed in the Hall and museum’s many events, including artist talks, exhibit openings and serving as escorts for the prestigious Oklahoma Hall of Fame ceremony, attended by more than 1,600 guests, where they got to rub elbows with the likes of inductee Russell Westbrook and his presenter, Michael Jordan. Of all the high-profile individuals they met, they both attest their adult leader, Corie Mills, who serves as director of special events for the Hall in addition to supervising the Teen Board, was the most inspirational and impactful. While Beard claims he can talk to a brick wall and Stephens admits he’s more quiet and serious, the two share a passion for giving back through service and hard work.
In addition to his leadership role on the Teen Board, Beard has been active in Student Council, served as president for Business Professionals of America and helped his school raise $117,000 for two families in Piedmont with overwhelming medical needs. Stephens honed his leadership skills and fueled his love of serving the community through National Honor Society. He also volunteers with the lighting crew at Victory Church in Edmond, learning how color, lighting and effects can shape an audience’s emotions. Beard will attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the fall, majoring in healthcare administration and minoring in political science. He envisions a career in hospital administration, and then running for state office before he pursues politics at the national level. Stephens is focused on earning a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Oklahoma with plans to open an architectural and technology firm devoted to sustainability.
What are the most important lessons you learned on the Teen Board? JS: I learned that leadership is not just telling someone what to do but being part of a team. At first I tried to be more serious but I learned that you can still enjoy yourself and make friends while being a leader. That’s what a team is—building relationships with people to succeed at whatever you’re doing. Corie [Mills] taught me that in leadership roles, you have changes come up and you have to figure out how to work around and adapt to those changes. MB: I learned that you can go into a situation you don’t know anything about and still have confidence in yourself. Our adult leader, Corie Mills, taught me how to stay focused and on pace, but also how someone in a leadership role has to bring a positive attitude and be uplifting to others.
How does it feel to know you raised $20,000, and that money will translate into educational opportunities for other students to learn about their Oklahoma heritage? JS: The event itself was very successful. I got to get up early and be part of this team with all my friends, seeing the magic come to life. I think this will help future generations to learn where we come from and how we got to the point we are now. Education is such an important thing to me. I feel like we’re
empowering younger generations. They need to learn about history, and we don’t get all the knowledge we need in school. It’s great to equip students with the ability to learn through the museum. MB: It was so cool to see people from across the city and state coming together to benefit children’s education at the museum. People were so enthusiastic to be there and be involved. I worked at the after school daycare at Piedmont Elementary, so I’ve been able to see how smart these young kids are. Knowing I’m raising money to go to children like them gives me goosebumps, and it’s not just Piedmont or Edmond, we’re providing field trips for kids across the state. Knowing the state of education today, I want teachers and students to know they aren’t alone and give them the opportunity to know more about Oklahoma’s history and people.
Are you more appreciative of your Oklahoma heritage after serving on the board? JS: Yes. I’ve learned there is so much more to Oklahoma history than what I knew. I’ve enjoyed learning about all the different cultures in Oklahoma, specifically what Native Americans endured. We’re really a melting pot within a melting pot. MB: Definitely. Oklahoma literally started from nothing, and now we have an amazing downtown … We have Russell Westbrook! Even if you take just an hour to walk through the museum, you can see all our rich history.
Why is it cool to be from Oklahoma? JS: We have so many friendly faces and nice people, people who will give you the shirts off their back. It’s a place you can call home, a family-oriented place. MB: We are compassionate. A tornado hit Piedmont several years back. My house and family didn’t receive any damage but even when people didn’t know their neighbors, we rallied together. That’s not just Piedmont; that’s the whole state. We don’t give up and we’re always there for one another.
What was it like to serve as an escort for all the prestigious inductees and presenters at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame ceremony? JS: I escorted Michael Jordan. It was pretty awesome. I also met an activist for Native American rights. I’ve never thought about what Native Americans are still going through and it helped me understand that a lot of people from different backgrounds go through different kinds of suffering.
MB: All the hard work that goes into being chosen for the Hall of Fame is amazing. Most of the people who attended didn’t know all of the honorees but yet every one of them got a standing ovation. The attendees really cared about each person. Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan took time to chat with us in the hallway. They didn’t make us feel like we were just kids.
Why is it important to you to give back to the community? JS: I’m not from an affluent background; I was very poor as a child. We needed money and we needed help. Realizing I was able to overcome that, with help, makes me want to do the same for other people. I want to be like my Mom, who always strives to give her best to others. Going through financial struggles, even with four degrees, was hard for her because she always wants the best for her children. Now she gets to wake up every day getting to go to her dream job, living in Deer Creek where she’s always wanted to live and seeing me graduate from Deer Creek. So, if I can make a difference for someone else, I’m going to do it and not second guess myself. MB: It can take just one person to impact someone else’s life. My English teacher always says, ‘Believe in something greater than yourself.’ I like seeing the difference and impact that one person can bring to a family or a child. It’s not just a race or a ceremony, it’s knowing that as Oklahomans we have such a rich history, and knowing we can share that not just on the internet or in a book. We have so much more to offer.
Why will you be inducted in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame one day? JS: I want to impact not just Oklahoma but the entire world with my ideas, creativity and style of architecture. I want to be known for modern buildings that are sustainable and by using materials that haven’t been used before. I want my Mom to be able to drive downtown in any city and be able to point at a building and say ‘my son designed that.’ When people ask how I got to that point, I’ll be able to say it was all because of my Mom’s will and hard work. MB: Whether it’s in healthcare or as a politician, I hope to come back and give my state everything it has given me. I think the key in every person is trust and that’s what I hope to be known for.
What one word best describes you? JS: Visionary MB: Outgoing
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
At Home With
f you've been to a children's event in Oklahoma City in the past few years, you've probably run into Carrie Parker. Carrie's husband, Brendan, is one half of the children's musical duo Spaghetti Eddie, a band known locally to draw big crowds of kids. And in addition to being the band's biggest fan, Carrie is a mom and business owner.
Carrie and her husband, Oklahoma natives who briefly lived in Los Angeles before moving back to Oklahoma City 10 years ago, live in a
42 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
BY HANNAH SCHMITT PHOTOS BY EMILY HART
1954 ranch-style home in the Belle Isle neighborhood with their sons James (6) and George (4) and their two dogs: Murphy and Rio. She describes her sons as "total opposites and the best things ever” but admits becoming a mom and building a career have been anything but easy. Carrie shared her experiences building a small business and a family, her parenting philosophies and how she’s working now to ensure her sons still want to hang out with her when they’re older.
What made you decide to move back to Oklahoma after five years in Los Angeles? When we were out in LA, it was exciting and there was a lot of personal growth. But there's a hole there when you're far away from
on the LOOKOUT for BIG FUN? Our new Sea Turtle Island exhibit is home to loggerhead sea turtles, reef sharks, tropical fish and big smiles. It’s just one of many adventures awaiting you and your family at the Oklahoma Aquarium, where you can experience thousands of aquatic creatures, interactive exhibits, daily animal feedings, one of the world’s largest collections of bull sharks and so much more. Plan your summer family adventure at okaquarium.org. • Open daily 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Group, senior and military discounts • Café and gift shop
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family. People who have kids in LA have to put so much effort just into daily life. A lot of the women there have nannies, they sit in traffic one to two hours a day. I wasn't willing to do that with kids. I wanted to be close to my family while raising kids so it was a natural transition.
His music was well-received but it was very time-consuming. We also needed him with Always Greener and we needed him as a dad.
You and Brendan co-own Always Greener, a synthetic grass company. What inspired you to start the business?
After I finally really defined the company's goals and my role, I was able to set my work schedule around my kids. They're going to school now so I work solid 9:30 to 2:30 and then I spend the rest of the day with them. As a mom, I can get so much more done than before. I can get nine hours worth of work done just in one morning. It was hard to manage at first but I can finally see the benefits and it allows me to be the kind of mom I want to be. It's good. I'm allowed to do both.
Synthetic grass was big in LA when we left. Oklahoma City is always a couple years behind trend-wise so I thought it might be a good thing to bring back. I've always been really interested in design, landscape and outdoor living and this business just made perfect sense. Our first two clients were huge. That really gave us the confidence we needed because my fear at first was just wondering if anyone was going to want this. But people were really open to it. We've done more than 500 yards now and we're getting a lot of calls. It's clearly taking off.
You had your first child, started Always Greener and Brendan started Spaghetti Eddie all at the same time. Describe that time. The first three years of starting Always Greener were brutal. Imagine the most stressed out you could possibly feel. It took me about three years to balance it all out. James was born the year we started the company. Then throw George in there two years later. They'll never know how stressful it was, which is good. But we just kept our noses down and put our family first. You read about a lot of people who have successful businesses and they put their business first. So I was constantly questioning if I was doing the right thing in putting my family first. I always pictured myself as a really handson mom. I always wanted to be a mom and a career woman. I call myself an in-betweener because I just wanted both. I would have to ask myself, "Are we going to be able to strike while the iron is hot if I'm putting my kids first?" It was really, really, really hard. Around the same time, Brendan wrote a song for our goddaughter. Everyone loved it and encouraged him to make an album. We were putting a lot of effort into Always Greener, then his music was taking off. We had to consider where to put our energy.
44 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
How do you find balance with work and family?
Looking back at all the stress you endured to be a business owner and a mother, would you do anything differently if you could do it again? I'm really big on not ever regretting your past. There were a lot of hard lessons I really had to just learn myself. I was always told "progress not perfection" and "give more, receive more." Those were great things I always told myself. We took a lot of risks but it worked out and I wouldn't change anything. It humbled us, it taught us major life lessons. It set our priorities and values in place. You think you know your priorities but until you're thrown into something like that where you have to be really intentional, you don't know them.
How do James and George feel about their dad being in a band? They really love it. They're quiet about it but then I'll have a mom tell me they overheard them telling their friends about how their dad can sing. They think he's so cool. Having these small children and him doing Spaghetti Eddie, it's been really healthy for our whole family. We meet really great people who put on these children's events where he plays and we get to meet other families. It's been really positive.
What's been the best and worst stage of motherhood so far? The best stage is right now. I can finally talk to them and see who they're going to be. I take them everywhere so they're my little buddies. They're emotionally more connected and they're super fun. I can see
Do you have any tips for sharing a house with two young boys?
Do you have any advice for other people raising sons? I was told by a mom once that for boys to want to hang out with you, you really have to take an interest in what interests them. So I've really tried to get into sports with them. We go on runs, we play tennis and a lot of
What's your parenting philosophy? I feel like I try to parent like my Mom did. I'm kind of old school about not letting them watch TV and stuff like that. I want them to be very comfortable outdoors, have good manners and be functioning young men of society. I want them to be independent and always feel really free. Chris Rock once said our biggest role in parenting is to equip children with everything they need to become successful adults. I think that's easy to lose track of when kids are small. But I try to remember that.
What's the biggest lesson you learned from your own mom? We always felt really loved and we could come to her with anything. Still to this day I tell her everything and there's never any judgement. She's always rooting for me. She's my biggest fan. I want my kids to feel that way about me. [Editor's Note: This interview has been edited for style and clarity.]
We're outside as much as possible. We built a little play workshop for them outside and they love being back there building stuff. For my own sanity, I keep toys inside hidden. All the toys are in containers and that's helped me. I like to walk into the house and feel calm and I just never could do that with toys everywhere. It's a small space so it helps it feel open and clean when the boys know their toys have a place to live. Also, they sleep together in one room and the other bedroom is their play room.
soccer, go on nature hikes. I'm hoping these are things they'll still want to do with me when they're older.
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how I might get a little sad when they're older and don't need me as much. When they were around 2 it was pretty rough. But honestly I think the hardest stage will be the teenage years. I'm already researching how to handle that. We might just move to a farm.
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The “Yellow Pages” for OKC area parents. 46 47
Party Guide (pages 46-47) Allison’s Fun Inc.
Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge Forever After Parties
Mobile Laser Forces
After School Activities (pages 48-50) Artsy Rose Academy
Dynamic Kidz Zone
My Gym Children’s Fitness Center OCU Community Dance Center SoccerCity OKC Studio J School of Dance Velocity Dance Center
Harn Homestead Skeletons: Museum of Osteology
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma
Family Fun (page 52) Mabee Gerrer Museum of Art
The Bethany Stage
Edmond Fine Arts Institute
Jimmy’s Egg Once Upon A Child North OKC
Skate Galaxy OKC Akasha Skye Math Tutoring
Restaurant & Shopping (page 51) learning tree toys, books & games
48 49 50
Bump to Baby & Beyond Program (Maternity Education and Coaching by OU College of Nursing) Dr. Santiago Reyes, Pediatric Pulmonologist
Frontier City/White Water Bay Mad Science of Central Oklahoma
Health & Fitness (page 50)
52 53 53 53
Family Services (page 52) Vesta Foundation Solutions
Foster Care (page 53) Saint Francis Community Services
Special Needs (page 53) TOTAL POSS-ABILITIES
Child Care (page 53) Gan Israel Early Learning Center Primrose School of Edmond
Find more at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/directories
BIRTHDAY PARTIES OR GROUP GATHERINGS! Birthday Parties start at $350 for up to 8 guests, includes admission, a meal and a reserved party area! Patio Parties at White Water Bay include admission and a meal with a private area for a reserved time. BBQ Bash and Picnic in the Park at Frontier City include a meal with a reserved area. Special rates available for all groups with 15 or more people! Save up to 50% off general admission! Little League, Daycare, Family Reunions let us help plan your event and make it one of a kind!
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AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
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48 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
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Come play at MY Gym's practice & play times (open play) for just $10/child! Tuesdays 12:15 4:25 pm Thursdays 12:15-5:55 pm ages 3 months - 6 years
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
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For Appointments Call 405-945-4495 Specializing in respiratory diseases of children and adolescents including asthma, cystic fibrosis, respiratory infections, chronic and acute respiratory conditions. Board certified in pediatric and pediatric pulmonology. Serving Oklahoma for over 20 years.
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
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Pelican Bay Aquatic Center Kid reviewer’s name: Samuel Roldán Age: 10
What made the experience stand out?
Will other kids like this venue and why?
I love to swim but it’s more fun when you can use the areas for big kids. I’m finally tall enough for the waterslide and able to swim well enough to be in the deep end, which is where you fall when you use the climbing wall.
Even if not all kids like to swim, I think they’ll like visiting the pool to cool off. Oklahoma is much hotter than my other country; we go to the beach in Costa Rica but there is no beach here. You can pretend you’re at the beach and relax in a pool chair, wade in the shallow end, use the climbing wall or splash in the fountains.
What was the best part? I was able to go down the big waterslide with my Aunt Katie and Uncle Mike five times. They came to visit from Ardmore, which is cool because I like to spend time with them. That’s not how it usually is when we visit a pool because I have to stay with an adult, which is almost always just my Mom at the pool, and she’s busy in the shallow end with my brothers the whole time. They aren’t tall enough to use the big kid areas yet. Isaac is 5 and Gabriel is 2 and they need an adult with them in the water the whole time. I need less supervision but I still can’t just be on my own in there, like I’m not allowed to run loose. Going with family was the best part because that way I could do what I wanted to do.
What was the worst part? The pool closes too early. It was 6 p.m. and the sun was shining but we weren’t allowed to stay past then.
54 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JULY 2017
Would this venue be enjoyed by your siblings? Why or why not? My brothers always have a good time on the smaller waterslide and in the lazy river, which is like a wave pool. They don’t really like water in their faces and they don’t know how to swim but they’re learning. I also like that they’re tired after they go swimming; the water and the sun, the whole experience, kind of chills them out.
If you could do this again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? I would go earlier so I could be there longer. I would also bring money for a snow cone.
Isaac is 46 inches tall and I want him to eat and sleep more so that he grows; he only needs two more inches to be able to go down the big waterslide with me. Maybe he’ll grow that much during the summer.
Does what you saw match up with anything you're learning in school or have seen before in a book, on TV, etc.? Yes, I’ve read about competitive swimming because of the Olympics. I’ve been to swimming lessons before at other pools and this is like the fun part of that.
What do you think you'll remember most about Pelican Bay? I’ll remember going with my Aunt and Uncle because I got to enjoy the part of the pool for older kids like me. It was really fun! Get more tips for exploring Oklahoma City with your kids at our Weekend Warrior blog, http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ Weekend-Warrior.
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