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COV E KID R Sea S Ente r ou r

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det ails on

TOP SPOTS FOR TEENS One-of-a-kind local hangouts

age 5


INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE STATE FAIR +10 more can’t-miss family festivals AMERICAN INDIAN INSIGHTS Top spots to discover Native American heritage IT TAKES A VILLAGE Support for OKC foster families

See our calendar for 155 stellar events!

. Mummy & Son Dance Put on your best costumes and come dance to the Monster Mash, Thriller, One Eyed Purple People Eater and more! We will have snack food, beverages and a Mother & Son costume contest.

Saturday | October 10 Ages: 4–7, 6–7:30p | Ages: 8–12, 8–9:30p Fee: $30/couple & $10/each additional boy Registration is required by Wed., Oct. 7

Register Today! 405-359-4630

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The ultimate OKC family fun

Volume 18, Number 9




Sarah Taylor–Publisher Hannah Schmitt–Managing Editor Lindsay Cuomo–Calendar Editor Heather Davis, Jennifer Sharpe, Heide Brandes and Erin Page– Contributing Writers Emily Hart and Mark Doescher– Contributing Photographers

See our insider’s guide to Oklahoma State Fair thrills

HAVE A STORY OR BIG EVENT? We are all about family activities and fun in the OKC metro. If you have a story to share, let us know!

CONTACT THE TEAM AT 405-601-2081 or email

DESIGN & SALES Stacy Noakes–Art Director Callie Collins–Marketing Director Athena Delce, Dana Price & Jessica Misun–Sales Kathy Alberty–Office/Distribution Shelly Sanderson–Business Development Circulation - 35,000 Also available as a digital edition at Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc.We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors.The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information.We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is a monthly magazine published by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11th, Suite 204 OKC, OK 73103 Office: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509 ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2015, All Rights Reserved.


SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES Discover local nonprofits and businesses making foster families stronger.



TRIBAL TRIP Experience Native American heritage by attending an Oklahoma powwow.

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REAL MOM OF THE METRO Get to know a new mom who works for the OKC Dodgers.

Celebrating Grandparents Editor’s Picks: Offbeat Teen Hangouts

20 Foster Families Blog 22 Mom Humor: Someone Phone Home! 24 Calendar of Events


This month, we celebrate teens, share top fairs & festivals to attend this fall and prompt you to explore Oklahoma’s rich Native American heritage.


eing a teenager is the worst. Or is it raising a teenager that’s the worst? I don’t know yet considering I’ve only experienced the former but I’m almost certain what my mom’s answer would be. The adolescent years are hard on everyone. But here at MetroFamily, we want to at least make one aspect of raising a teen a little bit easier: spending time together. If you find a moment this month when you’re on your teen’s good side, snag them for a family date to one of the fun-filled events we have featured in this issue. Start by flipping to page eight to find great Oklahoma City hangouts for teens. These are great ideas for your older kids to do with their friends or for you to do with them. On page 10, find out what’s new at the Oklahoma State Fair this year and what attractions will be sure to excite your teens and tweens. You may be surprised to find out the rides and the tasty fried foods are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping older kids entertained here.

On page 38, check out the Native American powwows and tribal events happening throughout the state this month that will be perfect opportunities for a quick family road trip. While these events welcome kids of all ages, teens will get the most out of the cultural celebrations. For even more fun with your teenagers, we have tons of resources and ideas on our website and our calendar, which starts on page 24, is full of entertaining opportunities to make memories. We hope these resources encourage you to keep hanging out with your teens, no matter how hard they fight it. Hannah Schmitt Editor

ME O C L E W H T I W L FAL EDS OF R S T HUND N E V E METROtarts on page 24 rs Calenda

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• Cover Kid Search: Think your kid would look cute on our cover? Enter them into our Cover Kids Search! We’re accepting photos of your little ones from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Visit

• American Girl Doll Giveaway: You could win American Girl’s Girl of the Year doll and Ella’s Kitchen Baking Book.

• The Illusioninsts-Live from Broadway: We’re giving away two family five-packs to this impressive Celebrity Attractions show happening Sept. 15-17 at Civic Center Music Hall! Find more and enter at THIS MONTH’S COVER: Cover Kid winner Cameryn, age 13, has lived all over the country and also in England. She now lives in Norman with her family. Her favorite activity is soccer and she loves math. Special thanks to Macy’s Quail Springs for providing outfits for our Cover Kids winners.

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family buzz

We’re buzzing about grandparents & teenagers BY HANNAH SCHMITT MANAGING EDITOR

Grandparents Day is fast-approaching and while it often pales in comparison to the excitement and celebration around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, we hope all our readers will make a little extra effort with all those grand family members this year. For many grandparents, duties with their grandkids include showering them with love and affection and an occasional weekend babysitting or school pick-up. However, a growing number of local kids are being raised by their grandparents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 100,000 kids under 18 in Oklahoma are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders. “Oklahoma’s fourth in the nation in terms of the number of grandparents raising grandchildren,” said Andrea Sneed, the coordinator for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren at Sunbeam Family Services. “It’s a lot more common than you might

think. Most people I talk to, they know someone who’s raising their grandkids.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SUNBEAM FAMILY SERVICES Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is a program Sunbeam launched While their peers are spending retirement in 2003 to help the growing population of traveling and relaxing, Sneed said the grandparents raising their children’s children. grandparents raising their grandchildren are The program is funded through Title III-E often unprepared for the basic expenses of funds administered by the Areawide Aging child rearing like day care, school supplies Agency. and holiday gifts. Sunbeam helps relieve some of the pressure with programs that For people in Oklahoma, Cleveland, Logan support grandparents financially. and Canadian Counties who are 55 or older and raising grandchildren in the absence of In October, Sneed will need volunteers to their parents, they can qualify for Sunbeam’s help with shopping for and wrapping holiday programs that provide things like school gifts for local grandparents to give their supplies and holiday gifts. grandchildren. To volunteer or donate, call her at 528-7721. Last month, Sunbeam partnered with local law enforcement agencies to provide 500 “They’re so generous,” Sneed said of the backpacks filled with school supplies to grandparents who use their services. “They grandparents raising grandchildren in the give up so much for their children’s children, area. but they wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Sounding Off Parenting can be tough. There are challenges at every age and stage, but adolescence brings its own unique set of hurdles. We asked our Facebook fans if it’s harder to parent teens or toddlers. Here are some of your answers: Wendy R.: Teens and toddlers at the same time. Delainia A.: I loved being a mom of toddlers and teens. Each stage was a challenge but loved every minute. Jaretta B.: Teens, nature’s way of weaning the parents from the child. Monika H.: Teens! If you think your 3-year-old is acting up...wait until he or she is 14 or 15. There are moments where I am not sure If I am going to survive but our parents made it. Kids...I had no idea!

Holly D.: At this second, with the temper tantrum my daughter is throwing, I’m going to say toddlers. Kelly G.: Two in the same! My teens act like toddlers. Both have their challenges but are rewarding, too. Sheila S.: Neither. My kids are my blessings and I will embrace all years of their lives. Kristi E.: Teens without a doubt! Pi M.: Neither. They both act out and rightfully so. It’s rough being a kid.




Good News About Teens

Are you a parent of a teenager? Then you’ve likely heard plenty of bad news about what your teens are up against. Headlines are plastered with sobering details about the perils of adolescence from teen pregnancy rates to the prevalence of texting and driving. But a closer look at current statistics reveals teenagers today might not be so bad.

9.2 27.2%

Teen smoking is at an all-time low.

Past-year use of illicit drugs among all high school students was

of high school students report they smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days compared to 15.8% in 2011. (Centers for

in 2014, down from 34.1% in 1997.


(National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Disease Control and Prevention)

30 33%

Oklahoma’s teen birth rate declined by from 1991 to 2010.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


The number of high school kids using prescription pain relievers recreationally is

lower than it was a decade ago. (Monitoring the Future)

11% to7%

High school dropout rates have gone down:


in 2000

in 2013

(National Center for Education Statistics)


of high school students report riding in a car with someone who had been drinking alcohol compared to 40% in 1991. (Youth Risk Behavior Survey)


High school seniors are almost as likely to binge drink as they were in 1998. (National Institute


on Drug Abuse)


Best of all, of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 spend time volunteering each year, compared to just 29% of adults. (Corporation for National & Community Service)




Editor’s Picks: Offbeat Teen Hangouts At MetroFamily, we’re passionate about finding unique events and activities for family members of all ages. Older kids and teens are sometimes the hardest to keep entertained but we’ve rounded up some offbeat events and hangouts that are sure to keep them satisfied. From amusement park rides to get the adrenaline pumping to unique classes that teach new skills, check out these unconventional alternatives to hanging out at the mall or seeing a movie.

Elevation Trampoline Park 14402 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Edmond 1431 N. Moore Ave. in Moore

Why We Love It: While this venue

draws kids of all ages, no one has more fun at these trampoline parks than older kids and teens. The trampoline floors and walls offer non-stop thrills and teens especially love to challenge their friends on the trampoline basketball and volleyball courts. The trampoline parks are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Open jump costs $11 per person the first hour and $6 for each additional hour.


Oklahoma Contemporary TAG (Teen Art Group) 3000 General Pershing Blvd.

Why We Love It: TAG offers special

art instruction for ages 13 to 16. Projects like smartphone photography and 3D printing shed new light on art. Students learn to develop arts skills from qualified instructors who aim to give a broad cultural view of contemporary art and insight on a variety of techniques. Teens in this group develop confidence through self-expression and creative thought.

Frontier City

11501 N. I-35 Service Rd.

Why We Love It: This Oklahoma

amusement park is perfect for teens and tweens. Frontier City stays open until 8 p.m. every Saturday in September. In October, they feature special fall activities and stay open until 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. Frontier City was even voted by our readers as the Family Favorites winner for best place to have fun with teens and tweens! Take it from our other readers, this place is a win for older kids.





Rocktown Climbing Gym 200 S.E. 4th St.

Why We Love It: This one-of-a-kind

climbing gym is known for accommodating families and teens are no exception. Teens and tweens can not only climb, but kids 14 or older can belay (control the rope on the ground for other climbers). Firsttime climbers will be welcomed with an orientation class, a day climbing pass, shoe and harness rental for $29. Indoor and outdoor climbing opportunities are available on the unique grain silo structure. As long as kids have the liability waiver signed by an adult, there’s plenty of independent fun to be had. Find the waiver on the gym’s website.

The Plant Shoppe 705 W. Sheridan Ave.

Why We Love It: Whether you send

your teens here with friends or tag along to spend a little quality time with them, this shop guarantees a good time. The one-ofa-kind business invites shoppers to select a plant and a container and then provides the supplies and space to sit down and create your own potted masterpiece. Regular special events bring live music and food trucks to the shop to provide even more opportunities for fun.

local family fun



izzling turkey legs, steaming grilled corn, fingers sticky with cotton candy and screams of delight emanating from the Midway. These experiences come only once a year and that time is finally upon us. Yes, it’s officially fair season. There’s no arguing the most iconic local fair is certainly the Oklahoma State Fair (although there are several other festivals to experience this month listed on page 13). One of the greatest things about this annual event is that it takes kids of all ages on a thrilling journey through time. It’s one of the few local events that truly has something for every age and stage. Scott Munz, the vice president of marketing and public relations for the Oklahoma State Fair, is definitely a patron of the event. “My kids have grown up at the fair,” he said. “Now I have a 13 and a 16-year-old and I’m starting to realize the things I used to do with them don’t keep them both entertained anymore. At the fair we’re still able to find

FOSTER CARE Be part of the conversation at METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



things they love and will actually do with their dad.” To prove the event caters to even the tiniest visitors, a nursing mothers’ area was recently added. A private room stocked with comfortable chairs and baby items like spare wipes will be available to moms in the southeast corner of the Oklahoma Expo Hall. While rides take center stage in the minds of most fair visitors, your kids will be blown away by some of these off-the-beaten-path fair attractions.

Contests & Competitions The fair offers an assortment of contests for all ages. These range from cooking and visual arts competitions that have to be entered in advance to walk-up contests you can participate in at the spur of the moment during your visit. Off-beat skills like hula hooping and paper airplane making are put to the test in the On the Spot Walk-Up Contests happening almost daily during the fair. Start practicing now for other fun contests like blowing the biggest bubble with your bubblegum or building a sailboat for the Rain Gutter Regatta. Older kids will relish an opportunity to try some of the more serious Creative Arts Competitions the fair has to offer. Categories

include cooking, photography, sewing and junior arts and crafts. Kids ages 7 to 17 can even compete in The Great American SPAM Championship and whip up a tasty treat using the iconic canned meat. For a complete schedule of On the Spot competitions, visit

Animals & Agriculture While Oklahoma has a rich agricultural heritage, many Oklahoma City children have never experienced farm life. The fair offers a chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at some of the state’s agricultural history. The Barnyard Birthing Center is a great place to start. Chickens, sheep and pigs on the cusp of having babies are on display behind glass for fair visitors to see. Although Mother Nature dictates when these animals actually go into labor, it’s not uncommon for fair visitors to see the birthing process. If nothing else, you’re guaranteed to see precious newborn piglets, chicks and lambs. “The purpose of this part of the fair is to give a chance to talk to veterinarians and veterinary students about what it takes to be good stewards of animals,” said Gina Burchfiel, vice president of the state fair division. “Who doesn’t like baby animals? It’s such an intriguing exhibit that everyone always goes through it for entertainment and




never even realize how many educational tidbits they end up with.” Munz agreed that the educational opportunities at the fair for both kids and adults abound. “We masquerade education with a lot of entertainment,” he said. “We want them to have a good time but we want them to learn a little something, too. They come here and even though they haven’t been in a traditional educational setting we know they’re learning.” Another top spot for an agriculture encounter is the Oklahoma Frontier Experience. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily throughout the fair (Sept. 17 to 27) and features unique pieces of Oklahoma history through Native American dancers, a Wild West show and demonstrations of age-old traditions like soap making and chuck wagon cooking. The most adventurous kids (4 to 6 years old) can try their hand at mutton busting, a traditional rodeo event where kids climb aboard a sheep for an exciting race. For good reason, the fair’s most popular destination is the City of AGtropolis in the Oklahoma Expo Hall. Learning adventures continue here with live animals and insects, valuable lessons in farming and exciting exhibits like honeycomb extraction demonstrations.

Insider Tip: Weary little ones can take a short break here with ongoing showings of a five-minute film that runs all day long at the 3-Silos Cinema inside the City of AGtropolis.

Food & Fun It’s no secret a major fair attraction is the food. Especially among older kids, the menu items they probably enjoy only once a year will be a big draw. Whether you have a sweet tooth that craves caramel apples and cotton candy or you’re more into corn dogs and turkey legs, you’ll find all the variety you desire. Before you fill up, hit the Midway for classic rides and games. Insider Tip: The Oklahoma State Fair app is free for iPhone and Android and features a map that helps you find your favorite fair food vendors. New rides come and go, but it wouldn’t be a trip to the fair without a ride on the Ferris wheel. While the other activities mentioned in this article are free with your fair admission, rides will cost you. A sheet of 30 ride coupons is $25 and most rides require four to six coupons. Carnival armbands ($30 Monday-Thursday and $35 Friday and Saturday) allow unlimited rides for one day. Insider Tip: Costumed dinosaurs will be strolling the fairgrounds, so be sure to keep your camera handy for this awesome photo op.

Save Money Trying to stretch your family entertainment budget? If you plan to eat at the fair, it’s a great idea to invest in the Little Book of BIG Deals. The $5 book has more than 50 coupons in it, many for food vendors. All the food offers in the book are for at least 25 percent off, so large families can seriously save with these coupons. The books can be purchased at the box office and ticket booths while supplies last. If your kids plan to go on many of the rides in the midway, you can save money by purchasing an armband in advance. Through Sept. 16, you’ll save $10 on armbands purchased at area Walgreens stores, the Jim Norick Arena Box Office (333 Gordon Cooper Blvd) or by calling 948-6800. To save money on general admission, visit the fair on a Special Discount Day. Opening Day (Sept. 17) admission is $2. On Sept. 21, admission is free for all kids through 12th grade. Sept. 22 is Super Saver Tuesday where everyone is admitted for $3 and Armed Forces personnel and their spouses are admitted free. Enjoy Senior Citizens’ Day on Sept. 23 with free admission for everyone 55 and older.

Play • Learn • Thrive

Services Include:

Can’t-Miss Central Oklahoma Festivals

Occupational Therapy SpeechLanguage Therapy Social Groups

1. Pottawatomie County Free Fair is Sept. 9-12 in Shawnee and features midway games and a classic rodeo. 2. Cleveland County Free Fair is Sept. 9-13 in Norman and presents a petting zoo, live entertainment and carnival rides. 3. McClain County Free Fair is Sept. 10-12 in Purcell and offers a kiddie tractor pull and other oldfashioned festival attractions. 4. Piedmont Founders’ Day on Sept. 12 in Piedmont celebrates the town’s history with pony rides, a parade and tasty festival foods. 5. Harrah Day on Sept. 12 in Harrah presents a hot dog eating contest, greased pig competition and other old-fashioned delights. 6. Tecumseh Frontier Days on Sept. 17-19 in Tecumseh pays tribute to the September 1891 land run that settled the area. The event features a car show, street dance and live entertainment. 7. Old Settler’s Day on Sept. 26 in Perkins honors local heritage with a hot dog eating contest, live music and a festive parade. 8. Sucker Day Festival on Sept. 26 in Wetumka celebrates an ageold town tale of business owners being swindled into buying tickets for a circus that didn’t exist. They celebrate with a poker run, parade and festival activities. 9. Chandler Pioneer Festival on Sept. 26 in Chandler draws crowds with re-enactments of pioneer life in this small Oklahoma town. 10. Oklahoma Czech Festival on Oct. 3 in Yukon celebrates Czech culture with a parade, live polka music, dancing, carnival rides and festival foods. METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



We Specialize in Working with Children with: • • • • • •

Down Syndrome Autism ADD & ADHD Sensory Processing Disorder Cerebral Palsy Typical Children with: • Handwriting Problems • Speech-language Delays (and other types of diagnoses that may interfere with day to day skills) Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tricare, United Healthcare, Health Choice, Soonercare

(405) 840-1686


Serving Tinker AFB, South OKC & Moore! Sooner Business Park, 5701 SE 74th St, on NE corner of Sooner Road and I-240 14715 Bristol Park Blvd. - OKC/Edmond

It takes a village:

Critical support for foster families


abitha Jones assumed guardianship of her niece and nephew in 2013, becoming a single parent nearly overnight. Jordan and Jentry, ages 4 and 5 at the time, moved from Texas to live with Jones while she and the children’s biological parents, along with an attorney, completed the necessary steps for Jones to become their

guardian. Two years later, Jones has a vastly different life and is especially grateful for the help she’s received from countless individuals and organizations along the way.


“It truly does take a village,” Jones said. “Without the support of my family and friends, this would not have been possible. Everybody in my life has gone above and beyond in providing me and the children with support and love.” For traditional foster parents and even adoptive parents, a typical fear is traveling this difficult, emotional journey alone. But many find the opposite is true. “As a single mom with no family in the state, a support system was especially critical for me,” said April Adams, who has fostered and adopted through Sunbeam Family Services. “Sunbeam has a person on-call 24/7, which is truly a blessing. When I was new to fostering, I could call and feel supported in any of my panicky moments. Having that lifeline is invaluable.” Jones has relied on the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) for its guardianship placement services, made use of private counseling services for her niece and nephew and also credits her employer for supporting her and being understanding about the changes in her life. Jones and Adams admit they were both scared and unsure at the beginning of their journeys, and that fear still surfaces occasionally. Jones remembers she and the kids both crying at the dinner table the first night at her home. “I was scared to death,” said Jones, who also recalls being especially anxious about dropping her niece off for her first day of school. “I broke down sobbing in the front office, and then again when I got to work.” But Jones and Adams have learned that any form of parenting comes with fear and insecurities, which are assuaged by a community ready and willing to help.

“After being immersed in this community for four years, I’ve almost forgotten there are people not involved in foster care! The resources out there are amazing, and the support is there.” Foster mom April Adams

“You will enter it feeling alone and thinking you are ‘the only crazy person’ you know,” Adams said of becoming a foster parent. “However, after being immersed in this community for four years, I’ve almost forgotten there are people not involved in foster care! The resources out there are amazing, and the support is there. It’s very easy to get connected to great fostering communities once you take that step.”

Material goods help ease financial burdens While a toothbrush and change of clothing don’t seem like much, to a foster child with nothing to his or her name and a foster parent taking in a child within an hour of receiving a placement call, it can be everything. When children are removed from their homes, they often leave most belongings behind. Going to a new home, learning that home’s rules and schedule and relying on unknown people to care for them are difficult changes for foster children, especially without anything to call their own.


Christian Adoption and Foster Care

Our Mission

A Christ-centered ministry devoted to providing safe and stable families for at-risk children and youth.

Citizens Caring for Children is a nonprofit that supports foster families by providing material goods and emotional support. Each year, the organization meets the needs of more than 4,000 foster children in Central Oklahoma through its Resource Center, back-to-school program, Joy 4 Kids holiday gifts and mentoring services. “Children in foster care experience a lot of turmoil in their young lives, and while it may not seem like a lot to provide material goods to these children, we believe that the more self-confidence we can help instill for the children, the better chance of success they have in school and in life,” said Lauren Barnes, director of operations for Citizens Caring for Children. “The stipend that foster parents receive from the state is far from covering all of a child’s expenses, so we try to help bridge that gap.” The stipend foster parents receive through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services ranges from $506.40 to $646.20 per child, depending on the child’s age. The Citizens Caring for Children Resource Center had more than 2,700 visits in 2014, and each child can visit four times per year. Items are new and range from necessities like toiletries and clothing to popular children’s items like a stuffed animal and coloring books. “We have had children ask why the shoes have plastic bags in the box because they




At Lilyfield we serve children, youth, birth, adoptive and foster families by sharing God’s love in our community. We are committed to excellence in service and the foundation of our faith in Christ Jesus as we: • Promote safety and stability for children • Equip, prepare and counsel birth, adoptive and foster families • Guide children, youth and families on a path to healing and permanency Our programs include: adoption, services for birthparents, foster care, care connect post placement counseling and independent living (for girls who have aged out of foster care so they can continue their education).

501 E. 15th, Ste. 400A, Edmond SEPTEMBER 2015


have never seen new shoes before,” Barnes said. “Other children are so excited for their new clothes that they wear them out. The foster parents are always excited to receive the help, and many wonder how they went so long without knowing about our services.” Similarly, Circle of Care, a nonprofit that places foster children and assists children and families in crisis, offers co-ops, where there is no limit on the items of clothing a foster child can receive. Through partnerships with various churches and United Way of Central Oklahoma, Circle of Care can provide material goods like car seats (properly fitted by trained volunteers) and cribs. The organization also reimburses $250 per year, per child to its foster families to cover expenses for typical childhood experiences, like a zoo pass, museum memberships or camp fees. Welcome baskets are delivered to each Circle of Care foster family when a child is placed in the home, including an outfit, blanket, photo album, toys and a toothbrush for the child. “We want them to feel safe and welcome right away,” said Mike Slack, vice president of development for Circle of Care. “I had three baby showers when my son was born. There’s no time for showers with foster kids.” Local foster mom Wisper Ruder, a former foster child herself, has a total of seven children in her home, and knows first-hand expenses can be astronomical. Consider buying back-to-school supplies and clothes for four or five kids all at once. She and her husband now make use of Circle of Care’s co-op, back-to-school supplies and Christmas wish list fulfillments, easing their financial burdens considerably and allowing them to continue providing critical, loving support to the children in their home.

Therapy and support groups offer healing In conjunction with the fear of tackling foster care alone is foster parents’ typical worry that they won’t be able to handle their foster children’s traumatic backgrounds, and the emotional outbursts and challenging behavior that can come with it. Already familiar with her niece and nephew’s living situation and behaviors before she became their guardian, Jones knew counseling was imperative to help them heal. The kids began counseling as soon as they came to live with her and she’s seen firsthand the impact it’s made.

Before they are officially certified and children are placed in their home, foster parents working with Lilyfield Christian and Adoption Services receive extensive training on the impacts of trauma and how to help foster children heal. The trauma all foster children have experienced, whether due to neglect, abuse, multiple placements or simply being removed from the only home and parents they have ever known, affects their very brain chemistry and potentially their ability to develop empathy, trust and conscience.

“We know the challenges that face foster families are complex and that families need continued training and support as they parent the children they welcome into their home.” Lisa Hopkins with Lilyfield “A traumatic experience is one in which we feel profoundly and deeply unsafe, so much so that even after the frightening experience is over, we may still experience feelings of fear or anxiety,” said Mireille Mistkowski, manager of marketing communication and development for NorthCare, a community mental health center offering counseling and therapy services. “Children in foster care may have also experienced changes in homes and caregivers. Not only is this kind of disruption traumatic, but it can also influence the way that children attach to their new caregivers and other adults in their life.” Lilyfield, along with other foster care placement and adoption agencies in the state, use the evidence-based, trauma-focused Trust Based Relation Intervention (TBRI) approach, which specifically addresses issues for children having difficulty bonding with their family. Foster children often have emotional or behavioral issues related to their past trauma, and the TBRI method facilitates a process of trust and communication, which directly addresses their attachment issues. According to therapists at NorthCare, it’s imperative that foster parents employ empathy and imagination to better




understand why their foster children behave the way they do. “To imagine what it would be like for an older sibling to feed their younger brothers and sisters is an important step to understanding why this child might hoard food under her bed,” Mistkowski said, “even in a house with a fully-stocked fridge and pantry.” In addition to directly helping foster children heal from the trauma they have undergone, many therapy programs include family and individual counseling for foster parents, equipping them with new parenting strategies for children who have experienced trauma and a deeper understanding of their children. “We often work individually with a child and incorporate the parents into the therapy process,” said Lisa Hopkins, marketing and development coordinator for Lilyfield. “We educate the parents on common issues that arise for foster and adoptive parents. We know the challenges that face foster families are complex and that families need continued training and support as they parent the children they welcome into their home.” Lilyfield and NorthCare’s individual and counseling services are available for any individuals or families who need them. Both Lilyfield and Sunbeam Family Services provide free childcare during monthly support groups and training, which Adams knows is key. “I know many foster parents who have a difficult time meeting their continuing education requirements because many trainings lack child care,” Adams said. “Child care can be tricky for foster parents.” Support groups and training cover a variety of topics, including attachment, trust, effective communication, safety and parenting styles. Foster parents often find a great deal of comfort in these support groups and ongoing training. “I typically attend trainings at Sunbeam even if I am not in need of hours because I value the time I am able to spend with other foster parents,” said Adams, who also stays connected with foster parents through Facebook groups and physical support groups. “It’s so great to know that you can go to a group of people and ask for last minute items that you need for the placement you just were informed you will be getting, or just have other people who truly understand the journey you are on. I need that foster parent community like I need oxygen!” Sunbeam, Lilyfield and Circle of Care all host parties throughout the year to help foster families celebrate the holidays, special events and each other.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to just feel the love and support of the community,” Adams said.

Caring adults help mend young hearts Many foster children don’t know what a stable relationship with a responsible adult looks like. When they are welcomed into a loving foster home that offers consistency and compassion, they begin to understand how relationships should function. Beyond foster parents, it’s important that foster children learn to develop trust in other reliable adults. And it’s critical that foster parents get a break from the physical, emotional and mental demands on their lives.

also be used when families need a break or have an emergency. Becoming an alternative or respite caregiver can be a more realistic alternative for individuals or families who aren’t able to commit to full-time foster care. “Although our preference is to have families who want to care for a child for as long as that child needs it, we also need families who are willing to assist and support foster families,” said Tricia Howell, bridge deputy director for OKDHS. “Many families who are interested have asked to just do respite so they can determine if they can make the commitment necessary to provide foster care.” Ruder and her husband make use of Circle of Care’s regular Foster Parents Nights Out, hosted at local churches. Parents receive free child care for several hours for all children in the home. Foster children can also develop positive, long-term relationships with trained adults through mentorship programs, like the one offered by Citizens Caring for Children. Children and mentors are matched for at least one year, with meetings of eight hours per month. Mentors take their mentees to movies, the park, restaurants, adventure and amusement parks, or simply sit and talk.

Jones’ sister and brother-in-law are regular caregivers for their niece and nephew, helping her navigate her work schedule and giving her some time off when she needs it. According to Slack, it’s imperative that foster parents find and declare these alternative caregivers. At Circle of Care, while alternative caregivers aren’t fully trained as foster parents, they do undergo a tentative home study and initial review. Alternative caregivers can also quickly take a child in an emergency, like an illness or death in the family. “Foster parents need to have a day to clean house, unwind or take a weekend away,” said Slack. “At Circle of Care, we even pay the alternative caregivers so they can take the child out to eat and take care of any other expenses of having the child in their home.” OKDHS and foster placement agencies also train and offer respite caregivers. Respite care can last for up to two weeks, and can

“Through the consistency and support of a mentor, we strive to keep the foster children in school and motivate them to be productive members of society, either through higher education or work,” said Barnes. “The relationship built between mentor and mentee is a bond that can last for years. We have several mentors who are no longer officially matched, but they still talk to their mentee regularly and support them as much as they can.” Mentors must be at least 21 years of age, commit to at least one year of volunteering with the program, complete an application, interview and background check and attend training sessions.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to just feel the love and support of the community.” Foster mom April Adams




Taking the leap of faith While OKDHS is the agency ultimately responsible for keeping children in our state safe from abuse and neglect, it cannot meet those needs without the assistance of families throughout Oklahoma. “Oklahoma families have always been willing to step up and care for children who, for reasons outside of their control, come into the foster care system,” said Howell. “Currently we do not have enough families to care for the many children in care and need more than ever for Oklahomans to step up to the challenge and take care of our own.” For Jones and Adams alike, their fears about their abilities as guardians and foster parents have been alleviated by the people, resources and support systems at their fingertips. Challenges remain, but they know they can conquer them with the help of their respective villages. “The biggest challenge is just the unknown,” Adams said. “Foster care cases do not come with clear endings. Having a child in your home that you care for daily and love so deeply with absolutely no idea what their future holds can be exhausting and emotionally draining.” For a person who doesn’t like anticipation, and admits to seeking out TV show spoilers and reading the end of a book first, Adams has found the highlights and successes far outweigh her fears.

“Adopting my boys and being able to establish a peaceful and ongoing relationship with the biological family has been a blessing for everyone,” Adams said. “Bridging with the family of another child and witnessing their successful reunification was rewarding beyond anything I could have imagined. It has taught me so much about people from different walks of life that I never would have experienced and learned without this journey. My compassion has grown in ways that it never could have otherwise.” For Jones, success means more laughing than crying and spending quality time as a family, doing normal things like snuggling on the couch watching a movie. “The best feeling by far, though, was hearing them tell me they love me without me saying it first,” said Jones. “I felt like I was finally making a difference and there was finally some healthy attachments formed.” [Editor’s Note: To learn more about becoming a foster parent and find volunteer opportunities to support foster children, visit]

“I felt like I was finally making a difference and there was finally some healthy attachments.” Foster mom Tabitha Jones

Trained volunteers

lend a hand Even with the support experts like an OKDHS case worker, a private agency case worker and an attorney, foster parents can feel overwhelmed with the paperwork and court proceedings involved with their cases. This is where CASA of Oklahoma County can step in to provide a trained, courtappointed volunteer to advocate for the best interests of a local foster child. Advocates ensure their foster children’s voices are




heard in court and make independent and informed recommendations to help the judge decide what’s best for each child in terms of a permanent home. “You might see a biological family on the verge of losing their parental rights when a CASA volunteer enters the case, and with the support and recognition of the unmet needs, the parents themselves can change the trajectory of the case to reunification,”

said Lee Ann Limber, executive director of CASA of Oklahoma County. “Conversely, a CASA may enter a case when child welfare is recommending reunification and discover facts and concerns that change the direction of the case.” While the various case workers, attorneys, judge and foster parents all have the best interest of the child in mind, a CASA’s advocacy is focused solely on his or her one child or sibling group. “One of the glories of being a CASA volunteer is that typically you are only assigned to one case or one family of children for whom you are advocating, while the child welfare worker has 15 to 20 other cases, 40 or more children within those cases and multiple foster homes to visit,” Limber said. By the same token, a child’s OKDHS worker is charged with addressing the needs of both the children and the biological family, providing reasonable efforts in most cases for the family to reunify. CASA volunteers work to ease the burden of foster parents, especially when they have biological children of their own and more than one foster child.

“While it is a testament to the depth of their compassion and desire to protect children from future pain,” Limber said, “foster parents’ attachment to the children can limit their ability to see future alternatives, while it is easier for a CASA, as a trained professional who has never acted in the role of parent to the children, to assess from a more factdriven perspective.” CASA volunteers also connect foster families with resources and services. A CASA may help get a child to therapy or coordinate efforts with his or her school to address academic or behavioral issues. In cases where siblings are split between foster homes, the CASA volunteer often plays an instrumental role in facilitating visitation between the children and, in some instances, visitation with the biological parents. Sometimes they are simply a person on the other end of the phone, willing to listen or lend a shoulder during difficult times. Perhaps most importantly, CASA volunteers spend countless hours getting to know a child and listening to the foster parents thoughts and concerns about the child’s future. In

2014, CASA of Oklahoma County volunteers drove more than 17,000 miles over the state of Oklahoma and spent an average of 12 hours per month working in their cases. They meet with their children in their foster homes, biological family’s homes, at restaurants, playgrounds and other community locations. When they move placements, the CASA follows them, serving as a positive role model and constant relationship in their often tumultuous young lives. “As one young CASA child said to her advocate after she had changed foster homes, ‘I knew you would find me,’” Limber said. Currently, only about 30 percent of children in foster care in Oklahoma County have a CASA assigned to their cases. Judges typically assign a CASA to the most difficult or complex cases. But anyone related to a case, including a foster parent, can request a CASA volunteer when in court or by contacting the CASA office. Serving more foster children can only be accomplished by recruiting and training more volunteers.

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y life for the past four years has been consumed with foster care. My husband and I had nearly completed our certifications with Oklahoma Department of Human Services adoptions when we began to feel uneasy and decided to put the whole adoption endeavor on hold. Days later, a dear friend introduced us to Angels Foster Family Network. We met with their president, Jennifer Abney, a week later. There was just something about the tremendous need for families that caught me. Every fiber of my being wanted to help these children. All my worries about finances, child care and our tiny home were addressed. Space didn’t matter. As long as each foster child had a safe space and their own bed, we could be approved. Child care would be paid for by the Department of Human Services and finances would be no issue because there was a monthly reimbursement that would cover everything we needed for the child. Every excuse I came up with had a counter. The only thing holding us back was us. So we had to make the choice. We jumped in, and we were placed with our first foster child three months later. The next 18 months were flooded with every emotion a mother can think of, and I learned very quickly that being a foster parent is one of the most challenging experiences I will ever have the privilege of being a part of. When our first baby was placed with us, I was selfish. We signed contracts saying we would be the bridge between the child and his birth family, constantly making efforts to reunite them as long as it was in the child’s best interest. But for me, along with many new foster families, I wanted my home to be

what was in his best interest. So I fought for him. And I fought hard.

For months I told myself there was no possible way a mother like his would be able to care for him. He was better off with us. We were more educated, more financially stable, and for lack of a better word, we were “better” than she was. My desire to keep this child all to myself clouded my view of this tired, physically and cognitively disabled woman who showed up for every appointment, every visit and every court date on time or early. She would bring her son clothing every week to the visits, and for the hour they gave her, sit and play with him and hold him and talk to him. And every time they took him away from her, she cried. Shamefully, I still didn’t attempt to feel her pain. Shamefully, I still only wanted him to be mine. I had forgotten how important my role was in being a foster mother and in being an example of true empathy to this woman. She was giving all she had, and I was too entranced in the hope of being an adoptive mother to remember that adoption wasn’t what I had signed up for. If you do a Google search for a description of the word “foster,” you will find two definitions. The second is “[to] bring up (a child that is not one’s own by birth).” But becoming a foster parent is something much more, and the first definition of “foster” describes this journey beautifully: “[to] encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good).” The Oklahoma Department of Human Services, along with Angels Foster Family Network and all other agencies who contract with it, are meant to stand for that something good: family. They do their best to offer services to struggling birth parents so their children can come back and continue to be a part of their own family. Sometimes unfortunate events take place and family ties are severed forever, but it can be beautiful and joyous to see them reunite. I missed out on my very first opportunity to feel that joy when my first foster baby was reunified with his mom after 18 months in our home. Instead I chose to be hurt, angry and even place blame upon the very organization that set out to help my foster son in the first place for my own feelings of loss and heartache. I was wrong. The importance of remembering why there is a need for selfless foster




homes will make all the difference in our journey through foster care. We are meant to encourage and promote the bond of a child with his birth family, if at all possible. We are there to be whatever the child needs us to be, as long as they need us to be. Only when we strive to do what is best for our children, leaving out any hint of our own selfishness, can we truly accomplish what it means to be a foster parent. And every second of it will be worth it. It has been three years since our boy went home, and the one thing I wouldn’t change is how much I loved him. But if there was one thing I could do over again, I would have loved his mother. Carrie Tanner is a stay-at-home mom of five (plus four dogs!). Her husband Zach was introduced to Angels Foster Family Network in May 2011. Just eight weeks later, they had their first placement. After caring for their foster son for 18 months, he was able to return to his biological family. They were later placed with a sibling group of two that has grown into five. They adopted all five kids in June and are happily soaking up the feeling of being a forever family. Carrie is one of several bloggers sharing their foster care journeys with us. Follow along at foster


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mom gets the last laugh

Someone Phone Home!



wondered aloud what I was doing. Then, just as quickly, he responded, “I don’t really want to know.” He had heard the previous squabble between our daughter and me. I’m sure he was done with the teenage girl drama.

Well, I took her phone, which, to any teenager, is pretty much the same as taking her life.

But it sounded like this: Muuuuuthurrrrr.

ruthfully, I don’t remember the whole ordeal—and that’s part of the problem. I do recall my teenager and I standing toeto-toe, figuratively, and my drawing the proverbial line that she was not to cross. And then, because she’s a teen, she crossed it. As a result, I took her life.

With her phone securely hidden where it would not be easily found, I emerged from the bedroom with a smirk on my face. My daughter, sometimes known as Dr. Jekyll and sometimes known as Mr. Hyde, was sitting on the couch, thumbing through this old-fashioned thing called a magazine. “When can I get my phone back, Mother?”

Then, as I was walking back to our bedroom to hide it, I heard her tell her sister, “I’ll just go get it tonight…”

Her choice of names (and obvious mispronunciation) for me let me know her attitude had not been completely fixed.

I wanted to swivel my head around, snap my fingers in the air in a z-formation and say, “Oh no you dinn’t.”

I handed her a print-out of jobs to do, each with an assigned a point value. “When you reach one thousand points.”

Instead, I held my head high and continued my walk to my room, quietly and calmly closing the door behind me. I had to find a new hiding place. Apparently, my child was not above digging in my underwear drawer to Snapchat her besties about how mean her momma is.

I think I actually swaggered to the kitchen to make meatloaf, y’all. I felt like I was winning at this “Parenting A Teen” gig.

I powered her phone off and then turned around and around in our bedroom trying to find the perfect spot. My husband walked in and

The next day, our daughter did all of her required chores and then a couple of things to earn her a hundred points toward getting her phone


I whispered of my good parenting to my husband that night as we lay in bed. I pondered whether or not I should write a book about how to deal with your attitudinal teenager.



back. There was only one hard eye role and one mumbling under her breath—at least as far as I heard. The kid became a bona fide accountant while tallying her phone points throughout the week. And within that week, she had hit her thousand points, and I had several tasks out of the way. A bonus for all of us was the change in attitude. My sweet, smart, safe girl was back in da’ house, yo. (Again, check my teenage vernacular.) We had our talk about being a respectful member of this household … and this world as far as that goes. We hugged as we did in days of yore when she was tinier and quieter and easier to control. (What? She was!) “So, can I have my phone back, Momma?” I nodded then retreated to my room to get her phone. I closed the door behind me because I didn’t want her to know my new super-secret hiding place. Despite the new and improved attitude I had witnessed, I was certain that she hadn’t been completely cured of all of her teenage ways. I’d need to keep this supersecret hiding place a, well, secret.

Only … I couldn’t exactly remember where I’d hidden the phone.

“Give me a minute,” I pleaded. “Momma’s doing some meditation.”

I opened up all the drawers in my dresser. I dumped out all the drawers in my hubby’s dresser. I ransacked our closet with all the fury of a cat-burglar looking for a rare coin collection. My heart beat a little bit faster and a little bit harder as each potential hiding place turned out to be full of nothing but empty hope.

It was true. I meditated on exactly where I might hide such a precious teenage commodity. I pillaged through my old purses, my shoes, the empty Christmas box … noting that there was a tiny note stating “buy fake fingernails.” I mentally reminded myself to find another Christmas box.

“My child was not above digging in my underwear drawer to Snapchat her besties about how mean her momma is.” “Momma?” came a sweet voice from the other side of the door, “can I just have my phone back now?”




My daughter and I must have reached a breaking point at the same time. She burst through the door proclaiming that her friend had just called her sister’s phone telling her that she had sent a very important text and she needed her phone right then. I was busy trying to think of what I should say to her when my hand rested on a bathroom drawer full of dental floss freebies. I pulled the drawer and voila! Found the phone and returned it to its user. See? Sometimes poor hygiene pays off. Sometimes. Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and obviously very forgetful. She’s the author of “Life With Extra Cheese,” a look at her journey in the sandwich generation. Her website is


events this


MUSTANG WESTERN DAYS FESTIVAL— SEPT. 11 & 12 For 39 years the town of Mustang has celebrated its history with an annual festival. This year, the festival will honor their Hometown Heroes with a variety of family fun activities over the course of two days. Friday will kick off the festivities with store decorating, chili cook-off, a carnival, best dressed cowboy and cowgirl contests and more. Wake up Saturday to enjoy a Kiwanis pancake breakfast to charge up for the Western Stampede 5K and Fun Run. Continue the fun throughout the day with a visit to the parade, craft show, OKC Thunder Bolt Fan Experience, an antique tractor show and more. New this year, festival-goers can enjoy knockerball, an obstacle course and a dunk tank. Most of the activities will be at Wild Horse Park (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang). See website for a complete list of events and locations. The Festival is free to attend, participation prices vary for certain activities. 11am-8pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.WESTERNDAYS.COM Photo courtesy of the Mustang Chamber of Commerce

HAWKSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL—SEPT. 12 In its second year, Hawkstock at the outdoor amphitheater at First Christian Church (3700 N Walker Ave) features an eclectic lineup of local musicians, food trucks and kids’ activities. The event benefits Harding Fine Arts Academy, an Oklahoma City public charter high school. Bands, small groups, solo artists and student performers will play everything from classical guitar to folk, indie, red-dirt and rock & roll. In addition, kids can decorate a graffiti wall, be an art canvas themselves for face painting and jam on the open mic stage. Adults are welcome to jam, too. New to this year’s festival, The Escape OKC mobile unit will test festival-goers in a live action escape challenge. Small groups can pay to be locked in a room filled with puzzles and riddles, with a set time to solve them and obtain a code to unlock the doors. 11am-8pm. Free; donations accepted. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.HAWKSTOCK.COM Photo courtesy of Harding Fine Arts Academy




calendar WESTFEST—SEPT. 19 WestFest is Western Avenue’s inaugural free family-friendly street festival, leading into an evening of concerts and happening nightlife. The historic street will be closed to motorized traffic to welcome the community for shopping, food, music and more in celebration of the merchants in the area and the newly constructed streetscape offering wider sidewalks, bike racks and safer pedestrian mobility. To encourage non-motorized transportation, bike valets will take good care of your families’ bikes as you enjoy all the fun at the festival. A kids’ area, outside 42nd Street Candy Co., will offer ice cream and sno-cone food trucks as well as yard games until 4pm. Family Festival, noon-4pm; live music, noon-10pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.WESTFESTOK.COM Photo courtesy of the Western Avenue Association

OKLAHOMA REGATTA FESTIVAL—OCT. 1-4 The Boathouse District host its annual Oklahoma Regatta Festival on the Oklahoma River celebrating rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and family fun. On the water, the OCU Head of Oklahoma includes two and halfmile racing and the 500m OG&E Night Sprints in a variety of levels from collegiate and master to junior rowing and more. On the banks, spectators have a front row seat to all the racing action and are treated to a children’s area, nightly fireworks show and food from some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants. Get on the competitive action in the 11th annual Jim Thorpe Courage Run open to all ages and abilities offering a 5K, 10K and one-mile family fun run option as well as a 5K and 10K wheelchair and handcycle option. Quixotic, a melting pot of dance, aerial acrobatics and original live music, will perform Friday night from the SandRidge Skytrail from 7-9pm. The Festival is free to attend. Regular admission applies to RIVERSPORT Adventures. Thursday & Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 7:30am-8pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.BOATHOUSEDISTRICT.ORG Photo courtesy of the OKC Boathouse Foundation

WIDE OPEN WEDNESDAYS—WEEKLY THROUGH NOV. 18 Wednesdays through Nov. 18, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) opens its door to the community free of charge. Guests can explore the permanent collections on display, stroll through a model turn-of-the-century cattle town and even get in on the action in the Children’s Cowboy Corral, where kids can dress up in authentic cowboy and cowgirl clothes like chaps and spurs, ride on a stationary imaginary horse, set up camp and fix some dinner at a real chuck wagon. Guests can enjoy several special exhibitions, as well. 10am-5pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.NATIONALCOWBOYMUSEUM.ORG Photo courtesy of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum




events this

september SEPTEMBER 3 • THURSDAY FREE Artist in the Park at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Explorers of all ages can enjoy nature through art during the monthly artist series. Take a relaxing evening stroll along the trails and talk with a guest artist about their nature inspiration. 6-8:30pm. 297-1429,

SEPTEMBER 4 • FRIDAY FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District (NW 30th & 27th Streets, Walker & Hudson Ave) features guest artists, art exhibits, refreshments, live music and food trucks on the first Friday of each month. 6-10pm. 525-2688, FREE GLOW Music Festival Series on the Oklahoma River (725 S Lincoln Blvd) features live music from local bands, sand volleyball, river activities, food trucks and the free FAA Credit Union Summer Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. 6-10pm. 552-4040, National Wildlife Day Celebration at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd) features a wild adventure party. Learn about making your backyard wildlife friendly, track Bigfoot through the woods of Martin Park during a telemetry demonstration, make fish prints and piece together clues at Critter Scene Investigation. Early registration is suggested $4. 6-8pm. 297-1429,

SEPTEMBER 4-6 Arcadia Western Heritage Festival and Rodeo at Arcadia Park (500 W 2nd, Arcadia) features a Blues Festival, street dance, talent show, vendor booths, parade, rodeo, Gospel Extravaganza & more. See website for ticket pricing & schedules. 396-2899,

SEPTEMBER 4-7 Oklahoma City Dodgers vs Memphis Redbirds at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 Mickey Mantle Dr). Sunday game features Chapparal Family Sundays. $8-$22. Friday & Saturday, 7:05pm; Sunday, 2:05pm; Monday, 11:05pm.

SEPTEMBER 4-12 Oktoberfest at Choctaw Creek Park (Harper Rd. between NE 23rd Street and NE 10th Street, Choctaw) features homemade German




food & continuous live entertainment for all ages, plus German dance groups, crafts & activities for children. See website for complete schedule. Adults, $5, kids (under 12) free.

Find more Labor Day events in the metro and beyond at labor-day SEPTEMBER 5 • SATURDAY FREE Loose Caboose Antique & Craft Festival in Downtown Purcell (Main St, Purcell) features collectibles, antiques, arts & crafts, locally made products, a children’s activity area, wine tasting and live entertainment. Free admission. 9-4pm. Leaf Impression Pendants Craft Class at the Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center (3400 NW 36th St). Craft a nature-inspired necklace made from leaves and polymer clay. Preregister. $15. 10am-noon. 297-1392, FREE Photography in Conservation at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Explore the works of noted landscape photographers and take a look at today’s use of photography for conservation purposes. Ages 8 & up. Preregister. 3-3:45pm. 297-1429, FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. Also held: 9/19. 582-2122 University of Oklahoma Football vs the University of Akron at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (180 W Brooks, Norman). $65. 6pm. Also held: 9/19 vs Tulsa & 10/3 vs West Virginia. 325-2424,

Oklahoma Mommies Stick Together Fall Craft Show at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features a variety of vendors offering popular products and homemade crafts and creations. Free to attend. 10am-4pm. 420-9244, mommiessticktogethercraftshows


We the Ghost in concert at Arts Festival Oklahoma (7777 S May Ave). $10, plus $5 parking. 7-9pm. 682-7579,


SEPTEMBER 5 & 6 FREE Labor Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur) features stomp dance, cultural demonstrations and special activities in the living village. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-622-7130,

SEPTEMBER 5-7 FREE Arts Festival Oklahoma at Oklahoma City Community College (7777 S May Ave). Browse original artwork by regional artists, watch community performing arts groups and sample a diverse selection of foods. Kids can explore hands-on activities in a Children’s Creative Center featuring a massive sand box and a variety of art and craft projects. Parking, $5. Saturday & Sunday, 11am-9pm; Monday, 11am4pm. 682-1611,

SEPTEMBER 6 • SUNDAY FREE Wiggle Out Loud Music Festival at Bicentennial Park (500 Couch Dr) is Oklahoma City’s free, family-centered outdoor music festival. Top local, regional and national touring acts will rock center stage, providing the upbeat soundtrack for a variety of health and fitness related activities spanning the park. All ages welcome. 11am-6pm. Beginning Archery Classes at Martin Park (5000 W Memorial Rd) will guide students new to archery on proper form, safety, equipment technique and mental preparation. Best suited for ages 8 and older. Equipment supplied during class time. Preregister. $5. 2-3pm. Also held: 9/20 & 10/4. 297-1429,

SEPTEMBER 7 • MONDAY FREE OKC Hot Wheels Association Show at The Crown Center (13300 S Western) features 40 plus tables of collectables for sale or trade, raffles and pizza. 9-3pm. FREE First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) offers complimentary admission for kids 17 & under. General admission does apply to guests 18 and older. Adults, $8; seniors (65+), $6; kids (17 & under), FREE. 10am5pm. 325-4712,

Story Time Science at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd St) features a themed story time on the second Tuesday of each month. Free with admission. 10-10:30am. 602-6664,

Oklahoma Kids Count Conference at the Nigh Center at the University of Central Oklahoma (100 N University Dr, Edmond) features guest speakers Jari Askins and Lyn Watson as well as breakout sessions highlighting important issues concerning Oklahoma kids. $109 & up. 8am3:30pm. 236-5437 ext 114,

SEPTEMBER 9-12 FREE Pottawatomie County Free Fair at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center (1700 W Inpendence, Shawnee) features livestock shows and competitions, arts and crafts, commercial vendor and educational booths, delicious fair food, old fashioned midway games, live entertainment and evening carnival rides. See website for a schedule of events. 273-6092,


Pumpkin Patch Fall Fun Has Arrived

Come pick your own pumpkin from our home-grown patch, ride in a hay wagon, get lost in our 5-acre cornfield maze, or shop in our produce barn filled with farm fresh produce and goodies!

SEPTEMBER 9-13 FREE Cleveland County Free Fair at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson St, Norman) features carnival rides, tasty fair food, Celebrity Cow Milking Contest, exhibits and more. 9am-11pm. See website for complete schedule of events. 360-4721,

SEPTEMBER 10 • THURSDAY FREE The Mix: FREE Outdoor Concert Series at DC on Film Row (609 W Sheridan Ave) features the best local Oklahoma City bands every second Thursday of the month through October. Food trucks begin serving at 6pm; music begins at 7pm. 607-8600, themixokc

SEPTEMBER 10-12 FREE McClain County Free Fair at McClain County Expo Center (2101 Hardcastle Blvd, Purcell) features competition events, an antique tractor display featuring a five-gallon ice cream maker, kiddie tractor pull, contests, beef & dairy show, live entertainment, all-you-can-eat bean & cornbread supper and more. See website for complete schedule of events. 397-7779,

Open Thursday - Sunday $ 8 General Admission ($1 off on Thursdays)

• • • • •

Hay Rides • Parties Corn Maze • Field Trips Petting Zoo • Weddings Pony Rides Special Events

Live Music


SEPTEMBER 10-26 Julius Caesar presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park at the Water Stage at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features Shakespeare’s tense drama of Roman politics. Adults, $15; students, seniors & military, $10. Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 8pm. 235-3700,




720 S Henney Road, Arcadia, OK


events this

september SEPTEMBER 11 • FRIDAY

Join DSACO for the

Down Syndrome Festival & 5K September 26, 2015 at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 5K starts at 8 a.m. $35 registration fee Festival is free and open to the public, and begins inside the ballpark at 10 a.m.

ZooFriends Appreciation Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features food, concession and gift shop discounts, free tram, Choo-Choo Train & Carousel rides, free admission to Stingray Bay, $1 giraffe feeding and $1 Explorikeet Experience. Free with ZooFriends Pass. 9am-8pm. 424-3344, FREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in the Norman Arts District (downtown Norman) features a monthly celebration of the arts in Norman. 6-9pm. Whodunit Dinner Theater presents Win, Lose or DIE at local restaurants (various locations). Admission includes the show, full dinner buffet, soft beverages and dessert. Adults, $48; kids, $24. 6:30pm. Also held: 9/18. 420-3222, Conversations of Hope at the Skirvin Hotel (1 Park Ave) honors those who are in treatment, in recovery or who have passed away from an eating disorder. Benefits the Oklahoma Eating Disorders Association. $30 suggested donation. 6pm. 418-4448, FREE Dancing in the Gardens: Swing Night at Myriad Botanical Gardens Seasonal Stage (301 W Reno) features a dance demonstration, free lessons and music by the Storyville Scoundrels. 7-10pm. 445-7080, FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more on the second Friday each month, rain or shine. 7-11pm. 367-9403, FREE Movie in the Park at Hafer Park (1034 S Bryant St, Edmond) features an outdoor screening of Annie. Admission is free and concessions are $1. Movie begins at dark. 359-4630,

SEPTEMBER 11 & 12 FREE Pass It On Consignment Sale at Mayfair Church Of Christ (2340 NW 50th St) features quality, gently-used kids’ & maternity clothes, toys, furniture and baby items. Items will be half price on Saturday. Benefits Lilyfield Christian Adoption & Foster Care. Friday, 8am-7pm; Saturday, 8am-2pm. 216-5240, FREE Western Days Festival at Mustang Town Center & Wild Horse Park (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features a chili cook-off, a best

All proceeds stay in Oklahoma and benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma




dressed cowboy & cowgirl contest, gospel music concert, rodeo, Western Stampede Run , pancake breakfast, car show, carnival, live entertainment, magic show and parade. Friday, 10am-10pm; Saturday, 6:30am-10pm. See website for a complete schedule of events. 693-3086,

SEPTEMBER 11-13 2015 Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) is a three-day festival offering the largest open magic event, artist signings and more. $60. Friday, 2pm; Saturday & Sunday 9am.

SEPTEMBER 12 • SATURDAY Dead Woods 5K “To Dye For” Run at Dead Woods Haunted Forest (20100 NE 178th St, Luther) features a colorful 5K run through the forest trails. Participants are welcome to run, walk or skip their way as they are color-blasted in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based cornstarch dye throughout the run. For ages 12 and up. Runner must wear safety glasses and bandanas. $49. 8am-1pm. 330-9932, Oklahoma State University Football vs the University of Central Arkansas at Boone Pickens Stadium (700 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). $70 & up. Also held: 9/19 vs University of Texas at San Antonio; 10/3 vs Kansas State. 744-5745, FREE Fishing Clinic at Soldier Creek in Joe B. Barnes Regional Park (8700 E Reno Ave, Midwest City) features learning stations to teach kids about casting, knot tying, outdoor ethics and more. Children are encouraged to bring their own fishing poles, but a limited number of poles will be provided. For kids 6-15. 8-11am. 739-1293, Hoof’n It 5K & 10K at the Boathouse District (725 S Lincoln Blvd) follows the jogging trails along the Oklahoma River. Benefits the Sunset Therapeutic Riding Center. Spectators welcome. $25, $30 & $35. 8:30am. 641-6585, FREE The Bella Foundation’s Annual Dog Walk, Peace, Love & Pups at Duffner Park (801 Victoria Pl, The Village) features a pet walk, vendor craft booths, pet adoptions, food trucks, live music and a kids corner. 9am-4pm. 866-318-PETS,

FREE Septemberfest at the Governor’s Mansion (820 NE 23rd St) & the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr) is a festival exploring the rich heritage and diversity of Oklahoma featuring crafts, music, storytelling, historical re-enactments, agricultural exhibits, theater and face painting. 10am-4pm. 522-3602, FREE Turkish Food & Art Festival at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno) features traditional folk dances and music as well as food, art demonstrations and handmade arts and crafts for sale. Free to attend. 10am-7pm. 702-0222, FREE September Serenade at the Warr Acres Library (5901 NW 63rd St, Warr Acres) celebrates National Piano Month with a free concert by Martha Stallings. 2-3pm. 721-2616, FREE Doctor Who Companion Club at the Moore Library (225 S Howard, Moore). Every second Saturday, Doctor Who fans can explore historical events from Doctor Who’s travels, investigate the science behind Who, play Who-themed games and geek out over your favorite characters and episodes. Costumes encouraged. For kids in grades 6th-12th. Registration required. 2-3:30pm. 793-4349, Natural Tye Dye Workshop at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn the ancient art form using natural plant materials. Must bring shirt from home. for ages 6 & up. Preregister. $10. 2-4:15pm. 297-1429, Talk Like a Pirate Day at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno). Make pirate hats, eye patches, learn about famous pirates and go on a treasure hunt. Pirate attire is encouraged. Member, $7; non-members, $9. 2:30-3:30pm. 445-7080, Family Night at the Centennial Rodeo Opry (2221 Exchange Ave) features performances by Owen Pickard and family, Scarberrys, Clancy Davis & his sister Karisa and more. Adults, $15; kids (7-12), $7.50; kids (6 & under), free. 7:30pm. 297-9773, Rappin’ Up the Summer Music Festival at Grand Casino Hotel & Resort (777 Grand Casino Blvd, Shawnee) is an outdoor celebration of oldschool hip-hop featuring Vanilla Ice, Biz Markie, Tone-Loc, Rob Base, DJ Kool and Young MC. All ages welcome, minor must be accompanied by a ticketed parent or guardian. $35; VIP $150. 2:30pm. 964-7263, Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society Concert at Oklahoma Country-Western Museum & Hall of Fame (3925 SE 29th St, Del City) features three professional bluegrass bands in concert, each playing 45-minute sets on the second Saturday of the month. Adults $8; members $5; kids (12 & under), free. 6:30-9:15pm. 677-7515,



Annie | Sept. 11 | Ted Anderson Park | Dusk Strange Magic | Oct. 9 | KickingBird Golf Club Driving Range | Dusk Food and drinks available for purchase. In case of inclement weather, movies will be shown at the MAC at 7pm. Free admission. | 405.359.4630

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september FREE Hawkstock Music Festival at First Christian Church Amphitheater (3700 N Walker Ave) is a family-friendly music festival featuring live performances, children’s activities and food trucks. Benefits Harding Fine Arts Academy, an Oklahoma City public charter high school. Free to attend, donations accepted. 11am-8pm. 702-4322,


FREE Oklahoma Student Art Exhibition on display at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 Genenal Pershing Blvd) is a juried art show open to all Oklahoma students grades Pre K-12 and sponsored by the Oklahoma State Fair and Hobby Lobby. Monday-Thursday, 9am10pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm. 951-0000,





Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) is an Oklahoma endof-summer tradition. Enjoy delicious fair food, midway games, rides, concerts and livestock competitions. Advanced tickets available until Sept. 16. See website for list of events and discount days. Adults, $10; kids (6-11), $5; kids (5 & under) free. Opens 8am daily. 948-6800,

FREE Neighbors Night Out Party at Western Oaks Christian Church (8100 NW 23rd St) offers a way for neighbors to get to know each other as well as local police officers and firefighters. The evening features games, inflatables, activities for families and a cookout. For the neighborhood alliances of Royal Oaks, Council Oaks and surrounding areas. 6-8pm. 789-8812,

The Illusionists: Live From Broadway at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) showcases the jaw-dropping talent of some of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Recommended for ages 4 & up. $25-$75. 7:30pm. 1-800-869-1451,

1:00 pm


FREE Homeschool Day at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr. Sulphur) features special guided tours, educational information packets, stomp dancing, cultural demonstrations, craft activities and more. Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center admission applies. 10am-5pm. 580-622-7130,

SEPTEMBER 17-19 FREE Monkey Business Children’s Consignment Sale at the Expo Conference Center (1700 W Independenc, Shawnee) features gently-used merchandise for children, teens and moms-to-be at up to 90 percent off retail. Thursday & Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 9am2pm. 740-9357,

SEPTEMBER 17-22 Disney on Ice presents Frozen at Jim Norick Arena (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features special guest appearances of your favorite Disney Princesses and characters and popular songs like Let It Go. Children 2 years and older need a ticket. See website for show times. $18-$50. 948-6800,




FREE 3rd Friday Bloc pARTy in Downtown Shawnee (Main St, Shawnee). Roam between quaint shops and stores to find unique art pieces, listen to live music and enjoy local food at this monthly event celebrating the most unique pieces of life in Shawnee. 5-9pm. 432-4131, Whodunit Dinner Theater presents Win, Lose or DIE at local restaurants (various locations). Admission includes the show, full dinner buffet, soft beverages and dessert. Adults, $48; kids, $24. 6:30pm. 420-3222, FREE Premiere on Film Row in the Film Row District (W Sheridan Ave between Dewey & Shartel) features film screenings, live music, art exhibitions and gourmet food trucks. The monthly event highlights family-friendly businesses and attractions on Oklahoma City’s famous Film Row. 7-10pm. 235-3500,

SEPTEMBER 19 • SATURDAY OKC Fire Department Project Life Run at Regatta Park (701 S Lincoln) features a 5K & one-mile fun run to raise funds for free smoke alarms. Medals awarded for first, second and third place in all age categories. Space is limited. $30. 8am. FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. 582-2122,

FREE Health Screenings at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122nd St). The John W. Keys Speech & Hearing Center will provide free health screening and information about children’s health. Two sessions available: 10:30am-noon & 1-2:30pm. 606-3580, FREE WestFest on historic Western Avenue (NW 41st to NW 43rd) features live music, food trucks and shopping. Family festival; noon-4pm; live music, noon-10pm. FREE Talk Like a Pirate Day Celebration at Southern Oaks Library (6900 S Walker Ave) features a swashbuckling adventure with a scavenger hunt, costume contest, crafts and games. 2-4pm. 631-4468, Historic Tours in Downtown Edmond (various locations). Learn about the structures and city history on a 45-minute, educational walking tour. Photos will be shown on the tours, revealing changes through the decades. $5. 3:30-5:30pm. 715-1889 FREE Big Wheel Nationals in Old Town Moore (Broadway Ave, Moore). Kids ages 4 to 8 years old can test their pedal speeds and race in a sponsored Big Wheel down the streets of Old Town Moore. Spectators and racers can also enjoy inflatables, giveaways and food trucks. 4:30pm. 793-5090, Golf Family Fun Night at Kickingbird Golf Club (1600 E Danforth Rd, Edmond). Play 9-holes with the family with special junior tees set up and put around on the free putting course. $3 range tokens available as well as food and beverage discounts. $7 green fee; $7 carts. 5pm. 341-5350, FREE Heard on Hurd in Downtown Edmond (Broadway between Main & Hurd) is a pop-up celebration of all things local featuring local musicians, food trucks and businesses. 6-10pm. 715-5121, FREE Fall Into Art at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd) is a celebration of nature and art with exhibitions, hands-on activities, nature creations, a hike and games. All ages welcome. 1-4pm. 297-1429, FREE Boys Mentoring Program at Grace United Methodist Church (6316 N Tulsa Ave). The Single Parent Support Network pairs boys 8-18 years old with a mentor. The pair meets onsite the third Saturday of each month. Lunch provided. Volunteer opportunities available. 10am-1pm.

SEPTEMBER 20 • SUNDAY FREE Family Day at Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman). Experience centuries of Roman history in Immortales: The Hall of Emperors of the Capitoline Museums, Rome. Also explore art in the museum’s permanent

collection and temporary exhibitions and enjoy a variety of hands-on art activities for the entire family. 1-4pm. 325-3272, FREE Science in Action & Object I.D. Day at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) is a family-friendly science-packed day featuring hands-on activities and fun demonstrations. Bring in your natural history objects to be identified. Free museum admission included. 1-5pm. 325-4712,

LAST CHANCE! CLOSES SEPTEMBER 27th Museum open Tuesday through Sunday

Edmond Mothers of Multiples Kids Consignment Sale at Quail Springs United Methodist Church (14617 N Penn) features gentlyused kids and maternity clothing, baby items & equipment, bedding, furniture, DVDS, CDs, toys, games and books. $1 general admission; $5 early bird pass. 7am-noon. 29th Annual Renaissance Run 5K at the Nick Harroz Community Center (200 N Midwest Blvd, Midwest City) features a 5K run and walk and concludes with a pancake breakfast hosted at the Midwest Regional Medical Center. Adults, $25; kids (10 & under), $10; $30 day of registration. 8:30am. 739-1293, renaissance-run

SEPTEMBER 21 • MONDAY Homeschool Day at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard St, Edmond) features a variety of activities in the museum’s gallery including writing, budgeting and collections care. Activities are primarily designed for ages 8-12, but can accommodate all ages. Preregister. $5. 10am-2pm. 340-0078,

SEPTEMBER 21-26 Oklahoma City Jazz Festival in Downtown Oklahoma City (Various locations) features some of the best jazz musicians in Oklahoma and beyond. Audiences can enjoy live performances at both indoor and outdoor venues. Visit website for schedule of performances. Many of the concerts are free to attend. Prices vary. 630-7668,

SEPTEMBER 24 • THURSDAY FREE Astronomy Night at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno). Hang out with the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club as they check out the moon, stars and planets. 8:30-10pm. 445-7080,

SEPTEMBER 24-26 FREE Adorable Affordables Consignment Sale at the Payne County Expo Center (4518 Expo Cir East, Stillwater) offers gently used children’s, maternity and scrapbooking items at discounted prices. Thursday & Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 8am-2pm.




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september SEPTEMBER 25 • FRIDAY FREE H&8th Night Market in Midtown (Hudson Ave between NW 6th & 10th St) is a monthly, family-and-pet-friendly street festival built around a lineup of the city’s top gourmet food trucks. 7-11pm. 633-1703, FREE Baby Boot Camp 5 Year Anniversary Celebration at Andrews Park (201 W Daws St, Norman) features free workout classes, a vendor fair and opportunities to win prizes. First 30 attendees win a swag bag. 9-11am. 795-0588,

SEPTEMBER 25 & 26 FREE Industry Flea in Midtown (399 NW 10th St) is an open-air market featuring a variety of artisans, shops and vintage finds featuring 40+ vendors of vintage clothing and furniture, art and locally-made food. Friday, 5-10pm; Saturday, 10am-8pm.

SEPTEMBER 25-27 A Day out with Thomas at the Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand Blvd) offers little engineers and their families the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride with a 15-ton replica of Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends series and more. Advanced purchase recommended. Trains run from 9am4:30pm. Friday, $16; Saturday & Sunday, $18; Children (2 & under), free. Also held: 10/2-4. 424-8222,

SEPTEMBER 25-OCTOBER 3 FREE Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival at various locations across Chickasaw Country features the 55th Annual Meeting, cultural events, 5K and one mile fun run, Jr. Olympics, Cornstalk Shoot, Princess Pageant, parade, movies, storytelling, stickball, traditional dance demonstrations, parent & child fishing tournament, kids activities and more. See website for a complete list of events and locations. FREE The Original Children’s Consignment Sale at Quail Plaza (10920 N May Ave) features a large selection of children’s items on sale. 10am6pm. 721-6776,

SEPTEMBER 26 • SATURDAY Rescue Me 5K & Walk for Life at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) is a family-friendly event featuring a timed, certified and sanctioned




5K or 2 mile walk to benefit Crossroads Clinic. $25 & up. 7:30-1pm. 863-0034, FREE Krazy Kids Dog Show at Shannon Miller Park (S. Jackson St & E. First St, Edmond). Bring your leashed dogs and show the world their talent, behavior and costumes in a friendly dog show. For ages 4-12. Registration begins at 9:30am; show, 10am. 359-4630, Annual Down Syndrome Festival & 5K at the Chicksaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features a 5K and an awareness walk as well as games, inflatables, an extreme animal exhibit and entertainment for all ages. Participation in the awareness walk and entry into the festival are free. 5K, $35. 8am-noon. 600-9981, FREE Rodeo at Boys Ranch Town (5100 E 33rd S, Edmond). Young cowboys from the Boys Ranch will compete in different categories. Spectators can also enjoy a cookout and outdoor games throughout the day. Donations accepted. 10am. 341-3606, FREE Mufflers on Main in Blanchard (Hwy 62 & Main St, Blanchard) features classic cars and trucks, live music and fair-style food. 10am-2pm. 485-9392, FREE Fairy Discovery Tour at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St). Stroll through the arboretum to learn about major types of trees and to spot any forest fairies. 11am-noon. 297-1392, FREE Plaza District Festival in the 16th Street Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th St) is a a day-long cavalcade of live music, food trucks, visual art exhibitions, children’s activities and fun to celebrate the spirit and diversity of the neighborhood. Noon-10pm. 3679403, FREE Kids on the Block Puppet Show at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122nd St) features a safe and fun puppet show program to help kids learn how to deal with tough issues like bullying. 2-3pm. 606-3580, FREE Tree Masks Art Making at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Explore the woods to seek the “personalities” of the park trees. Then, join artists in making tree masks in the visitor center. Masks will be on display in through the Haunted Hike on Nov. 7. All ages welcome. No registration required. 2-5pm. 2971429,

FREE Music4Water Festival at Shannon Miller Park (S Jackson & E First St, Edmond) features an evening of live music, food, games and a dunk tank to benefit a mission trip to The Democratic Republic of Congo. 4-9pm. Robert E Brady Memorial 5K at Farmers Insurance (7340 W Memorial Rd) features a 5K and one-mile night run as well as free popcorn, face painting and a bouncy house. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma. $10-$25. 7pm. Animal Terrarium Design Class at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn how to build a terrarium suitable for sustaining plant and animal life. Materials supplied. Best suited for ages 12 and up. $45 per terrarium. 297-1429, Touch-a-Truck at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson St, Norman) features a variety of vehicles on display. The event includes a quiet hour for those who love trucks but not necessarily the noise. Benefits children’s programming at Cleveland County libraries. $2 suggested donation. Quiet hour, 9-10am; Regular hours, 10am-noon. 801-4521, www.



FREE Oklahoma Wildlife Expo at the Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) celebrates our state’s natural diversity with activities for sporting enthusiasts and newcomers including camping and outdoor skills to shooting sports, fishing, bird watching and kayaking. Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 9am-5pm. 522-6279,

FREE Lily the Mouse Open House at the Moore Library (225 S Howard, Moore) celebrates Lily the Mouse, a beloved children’s book character, with games, crafts and an appearance by Lily the Mouse. 5-6:30pm. 793-4347, www.



FREE Uptown 23rd Farmers Market in Uptown Oklahoma City (Walker Ave between 23rd & 24th St) features vendors and artisans selling goods along with activities, live music, workshops and other fun activities on the last Sunday of each month from May to October. Free to attend. 11am4pm.

6th Annual Scrabble Showdown at Castle Falls Event Center (820 N MacArthur Blvd) features a Scrabble tournament designed to raise awareness of the OKC Metro Literacy Coalition and the importance of literacy service in the community. Benefits the work done by literacy organizations around the metro area. Entry fee includes food and drinks. $25. 5-9pm. 830-2790



Full Moon Bike Ride & Run at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a leisurely hour ride and timed training runs. Lights and helmets required. $5 suggested donation. 8-10pm. 445-7080

Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival at Cottonwood Flats (212 W Oklahoma Ave, Guthrie) offers three days of live bluegrass music from acclaimed local and national artists as well as kids tent with crafts, activities and youth music. RV & tent camping available. Thursday, $30; Friday & Saturday, $40 each. Three-day pass, $80. 10am10pm. 282-4446,






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september OCTOBER 1-4


FREE Oklahoma Regatta Festival at the Boathouse District (725 S Lincoln Blvd) is a four-day festival celebrating rowing, kayaking, dragon boating with racing, fireworks, food, a beer & wine garden and children’s area. Thursday & Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 7:30am-8pm. 552-4040,

FREE Sweet Repeats Kids Consignment Sale at the Edmond Armory (600 S Bryant, Edmond) features upscale children’s, maternity & junior clothes, along with toys, shoes, books, bedding & baby gear. Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-3pm; Sunday, noon-3pm.

OCTOBER 2 • FRIDAY FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District (NW 30th & 27th Streets, Walker & Hudson Ave) features guest artists, art exhibits, refreshments, live music and food trucks on the first Friday of each month. 6-10pm. 525-2688,



YOUR GIFT SAYS IT ALL. It says you stand behind lives in crisis across Central Oklahoma. Behind all 61 United Way partner agencies and behind our drive to mobilize kindness, one gift at a time. At

FREE EdFest at Edmond Farmer’s Market (25 W 3rd St, Edmond) features local beer and food, live music, kids’ activities and more benefitting Edmond Mobile Meals. Admission, free; Kidzone wristbands, $5. 6-10pm. 341-3411, Spider Sniffing Hike at Martin Park (5000 W Memorial Rd). The guided hunt will leave no stone unturned as participants search high and low to see what these wild web weavers have left behind. For ages 6 & up. Preregister. $5. 6:307:15pm. 297-1429, Canterbury Choral Society presents Belshazzar’s Feast at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) features the vivid tale of the fall of Babylon. Join in on the feast as food trucks line Centennial Park before the show. $15-$55. Feast, 6pm; show, 8pm. 232-SING,

OCTOBER 2 & 3 The Oklahoma Harvest Quilt Show at the Logan County Fairgrounds (1201 S Division St, Guthrie) features 150-plus quilts, a vendor mall, door prizes, demonstrations, a raffle and a country store. Special exhibits include a Quilts of Valor display and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Centennial Celebration Quilt. Adults, $5; kids (12 & under), free. 10am-5pm. 282-7634.




OCTOBER 3 • SATURDAY FREE Oklahoma Czech Festival at Yukon Czech Hall (205 Czech Hall Rd, Yukon) celebrates Czech culture with a full day of family entertainment featuring a parade, live polka music, dancing, carnival rides, petting zoo, craft show, food and Coronation Ball. Free to attend. 8am. 206-8142, Saturday for Kids at National Cowboy & National Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features educational activities and craft in honor of the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos. Create beautiful papel picados and sugar skulls. Preregister. Free with general admission. 10 a.m-noon. 478-2250, ext. 264, Fieastas de las Americas in the Historic Capitol Hill Business District (SW 25th St) is a celebration of Oklahoma’s rich multicultural heritage with a family fun run & walk, colorful parade, food, games and music. Registration required for run and walk. Most activities are free. 9am-9pm. 632-0133,

OCTOBER 5 • SATURDAY Scout Day at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard St, Edmond) features a variety of activities to help scouts work towards badges in collecting, history and budgeting. Preregister. $5. 4-8pm. 340-0078, FREE First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) offers complimentary admission for kids 17 & under. General admission does apply to guests 18 and older. Adults, $8; seniors (65+), $6; kids (17 & under), free. 10am5pm. 325-4712,


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14402 N. Lincoln Blvd. Edmond, OK 73013

FREE Evening Family Playtime at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features an hour of family play time meant to help children build social skills, promote learning and discover that the library is a destination for fun. Mondays, 6:30-7:30pm. 231-8650, 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. Visit site for full list of dates, books and activities. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272, FREE Kidz Yoga Fairy at the Belle Isle Library (5501 N Villa Ave). Kids ages 0-7 and their parents can wiggle, giggle and stretch with Darci the Yoga Fairy every Tuesday. Please bring a mat and a Boppy type pillow for babies. Preregister. 1-1:45pm. 843-9601, Nature Play Group at Martin Park (5000 W Memorial Rd) introduces children ages 2-6 to nature in an encouraging environment using nature-centered play activities like hands-on games and crafts. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver. $2. Wednesdays, 10:30am. 2971429,

Moore location now open! Bring in this ad and receive your 2nd hour FREE with purchase of 1 hour Open Jump. EDMOND location only. Not valid with groups or any other event. Expires 10/15/15 Code M915F

405.463.3335 @elevationTP

way to the rooftop for live music. Thursdays, 5-10:30pm. Free for museum members; $5 for non-members. 236-3100, FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) hosts a different craft each week. Come-and-go, no reservation needed. Saturdays, 11am-3pm, ages 3 and up. 858-8778, FREE Story Time with Mr. Steve at Barnes & Noble (540 Ed Noble Parkway, Norman) features an interactive story time. Everyone gets a treasure and coloring pages. Saturdays, 1111:45am. 579-8800 FREE Children’s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books (1313 E Danforth, Edmond). Saturdays, 11-11:30am. 340-9202. FREE Roller Skating Lesson at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) offered each Saturday. Noon-12:45pm. $2 skate rental. 605-2758,

Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Playstudio (575 Enterprise, Edmond) features a different story each week & a related craft time. Free with paid admission. Wednesdays, 1111:30am. 340-7584,

All Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Windsor Lanes (4600 NW 23rd) invites differently-abled individuals and their friends and families to bowl on Saturdays. $8. Noon-1pm. 942-5545.

FREE Bringing Books to Life in the lobby of the Crystal Bridge in the Myriad Garden (301 W Reno) every Wednesday. 10am, for ages 2-5. Books are nature-themed and based on the season. Children will also create a small craft after the story. 445-7080,

Drop in Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features hands-on art activities for all ages. Free with paid admission. Saturdays, 1-4pm. 236-3100,

Wide-Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features FREE admission to the community every Wednesday until Nov. 18, provided by Oklahoma Ford Dealers. 10am-5pm. 478-2250, FREE Family Story Time at the Edmond Library (10 S Boulevard St, Edmond). Put on your pajamas and grab your favorite stuffed friend and enjoy stories, songs, rhymes and an occasional craft with the family every Thursday evening. Best suited for families with kids ages 1-5 years old. Space is limited. Preregister. 6:30-7:15pm. 341-9282, Art After 5 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) presents a chance to look at museum exhibits after hours then make your




FREE Little Big Chefs Cooking Classes at Uptown Grocery (1230 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features easy recipes kids and adults can make together every Sunday. Preregister by Friday. Ages 5-8, 2-3pm; Ages 9-12, 3:30-4:30pm. 509-2700, Critter Crunch at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn about the food sources of various animals in the wild, including snakes, turtles, fish and other reptiles. Preregister. $2. Sundays, 2-2:45pm. 297-1426, FREE Sunday Twilight Concert Series at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno). Enjoy a free concert every Sunday on the Grand Lawn through Sept. 27. 7:30-9pm.

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THROUGH SEPTEMBER Smile Run 2015 is a virtual 5K and 10K run to raise awareness of suicide prevention and benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Complete your run anytime, anywhere during the month. Participates can receive a medal. Participation with medal, $22 & up; participation without medal, free. smile-run-2015-suicide-prevention-run/

SEPTEMBER 2-18 FREE Museum of the Bible Exhibit at Oklahoma Christian University Garvey Center Art Gallery (2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond) features artifacts organized in 13 classifications designed to vividly tell the Bible’s story and highlight the ways people study the Bible. Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. 425-6300,

THROUGH SEPTEMBER 27 Fabergé: Jeweler to the Tsars at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) gives rare access to more than 230 rare treasures by the House of Fabergé. From Imperial Easter eggs to tiny sculptures, photo frames and desk clocks, the exhibit features a hands-on station where kids can decorate their own Fabergé eggs. Free with admission. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am5pm; Thursday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 236-3100,

THROUGH OCTOBER 25 End of the Trail: A Centennial Celebration at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) celebrates the unique history of the sculpture, End of the Trail, and the 100th anniversary of its creation. Free with admission. 10am-5pm. 478-2250,

THROUGH OCTOBER FREE Orly Genger: Terra at Campbell Park (NW 11th & Broadway) is an art installment presented by Oklahoma Contemporary. The outdoor sculpture piece is made of 1.4 million feet of recycled lobster-fishing rope and painted with terracotta-colored paint. 951-0000,

THROUGH DECEMBER 6 FREE Immortales: The Hall of Emperors of the Capitoline Museums, Rome at the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) features 20 busts of emperors, empresses and patricians, a

collection from the world’s oldest museum, the Capitoline in Rome. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, 1-5pm.

THROUGH DECEMBER 19 FREE Celebrating Edmond History: 30 years & Counting at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard St, Edmond) features a collection of artifacts from each year since the museum opened in 1985, illustrating the eclectic nature of Edmond’s history. Admission is free, donations accepted. TuesdayFriday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 1-4pm. 340-0078,

THROUGH JANUARY 2016 FREE Enter the Matrix: Indigenous Printmakers at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 W Elm, Norman) explores how printmaking has become a matrix for cultural and artistic exchange. 10am-5pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10am-9pm Thursday; 1-5pm Sunday. 325-4938, Through the Eyes of the Lynx: Galileo, Natural History and the Americas at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) is a series of events and exhibits in conjunction with the University of Oklahoma’s 125th anniversary. The exhibition illustrates connections between science, art, literature, music, religion, philosophy, politics and culture. 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday; 1-5pm Sunday. Adults, $8; seniors, $6; ages 4-17, $5; under 3 admitted free. 325-4712,

THROUGH FEBRUARY 2016 FREE The Secret Life of the City Art Exhibition in the Underground of downtown Oklahoma City is a street art exhibit incorporating the work of eight central Oklahoma artists. Working in a variety of media, each artist has created a piece the size of a small billboard. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 6am-8pm. 235-3500,

THROUGH MAY 2016 Navajo Weavings from the Pam Parrish Collection at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) showcases 22 weavings by Pam Parrish as well as some of the other top contemporary weavers of the late 20th century. Free with admission. 10am-5pm. 478-2250,




exploring oklahoma with children

Powerful Powwows

10 Opportunities to Experience Native American Traditions BY HEIDE BRANDES PHOTO COURTESY OF RED EARTH


hen Sarah AdamsCornell of Oklahoma City attends Native American powwows, she does so as a member of the Choctaw tribe.

powwows held throughout the summer and fall in the state.

Her two daughters, Gabrielle and Isabella, have attended dances since they were small, and Sarah began attending the Native American cultural events as a way to reconnect with her Choctaw heritage.

Although powwows are a social gathering that include friendly dance competitions and Native American games, it is also a time when visitors and tribal members focus on the old ways to preserve the rich heritage of Native American culture.

“I started going as an adult, and for me, it’s a way to reconnect and be with loved ones and friends,” she said. “Powwows are a great place to learn about Native American heritage and how each tribe is different. For us, dance is a type of prayer, but visitors are welcome to come, learn and ask questions.” Oklahoma is home to 67 American Indian tribes which continue to celebrate and maintain Oklahoma’s unique Native American heritage. Families across the state and beyond can take part in the community gatherings and events of Oklahoma’s tribes by attending powwows or celebrations, being swept back into history through the pounding of powwow drums, the sway of American Indian dancing and the sacred voices of chants and songs.

The History Oklahoma has numerous opportunities to expose children to tribal art, culture, history and song. In addition to the cultural centers and museums sprinkled throughout the region, families can attend the countless

According to the Oklahoma Choctaw Nation, a powwow is a gathering of Native American people and their guests who come together to sing, dance, renew old friendships and make new ones.

Many powwows are open to the general public and families are encouraged to attend, but families should also be aware of powwow etiquette tips. “Families attending should expect a mix of Native American cultures in a community gathering type of feel,” said Callie Chunespudy, cultural specialist for the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation. “I think people have the wrong idea that this is a sacred ceremony or church for Native Americans. It’s really an experience of Native American culture as a whole.” Chunespudy said non-native families can attend powwows to experience traditional dances, but also Native American arts and crafts, food and music. “As far as etiquette, I would say be respectful of the fact that this is a different culture than yours,” she said. “People are inquisitive and we want people to learn about us, but be aware that there are different tribes and we are not all the same.”




The Dance To families new to the powwow scene, many of the dances may appear the same, but each is dramatically different. Male dancers usually dance traditional, fancy and grass dances while female dancers participate in buckskin, fancy shawl, cloth and jingle dress dances.

attend an event with a friend who has attended powwows before, if possible. “Going with a family seasoned in powwow etiquette can help,” she said. “If it’s your first time, you may want to plan on just coming for one day or an afternoon. Bring a chair, plenty of water and wear comfortable clothes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” While many of these events are free to the public, be sure to bring some cash along to purchase food, art and memorabilia from the vendors.



During the dances or competitions, the participants wear incredible regalia, like buckskin tunics, bone breastplates and feather headdresses. One of the most important etiquette tips is to respect that regalia.

The Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival at the Choctaw Nation Capital Grounds in Tuskahoma (190 miles southeast of Oklahoma City) The Choctaw Nation will host an intertribal powwow, cultural exhibitions, stickball games and more during the annual Labor Day Festival in Tuskahoma. The event feature free concerts, performances, buffalo tours and the Choctaw Princess Pageant.

“Never touch someone else’s regalia without their permission,” said Adams-Cornell. “It’s considered sacred. It’s also very polite to ask permission to take someone’s photo.” The Fancy Dance is one of the most athletic and strenuous of modern powwow dances, and is said to have originated in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. The dance features jumps, spins and fancy footwork to the beat of the drum. Each dance has a meaning. For instance, the Fancy Shawl Dance represents a butterfly in flight while the Jingle Dress comes from one of the northern U.S. tribes and is associated with healing the sick. “The Jingle Dress is medicine for us,” said Adams-Cornell. “There is a reason and a story behind every dance we do.”

Attending Your First Event In addition to being respectful and telling children not to touch dancers’ regalia, families should be prepared to fully enjoy the experience. Adams-Cornell suggested that newcomers


The Ottowa Pow Wow and Celebration features no-contest dancing and a variety of activities, including gourd dancing, war dancing, stomp dancing and other social dances. This event charges no admission and is open to the public. Eufala Powwow at Eufala Lake (130 miles east of Oklahoma City) The Eufala Powwow hosts a social American Indian gathering with singing and traditional dancing, dancing competitions, arts, food and programs. Admission is free.

SEPT. 11-13 Wyandotte Nation Powwow on tribal grounds on E Highway 60 in Wyandotte (190 miles northeast of Oklahoma City) This tribal celebration features a variety of dance contests like the women’s buckskin, cloth, fancy shawl and jingle dress, as well as men’s grass dance, traditional, straight and fancy dance. The Wyandotte Nation Tribal Powwow will also feature Grandparent’s Day events and activities for the entire family. 


The Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah (170 miles northeast of Oklahoma City) This event celebrates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839. This four-day event will feature Native American games, a parade, children’s events and a car show. Native American products, artwork, pottery, blankets and food will be available. The highlights of the celebration will be the inter-tribal powwows, held on both Friday night and Saturday night. The Ottowa Pow Wow and Celebration at Adawe Park, 11400 S 613 Road in Miami (195 miles northeast of Oklahoma City)





Keetoowah Band Powwow at Keetoowah Tribal Grounds in Tahlequah (170 miles northeast of Oklahoma City) Traditional American Indian crafts, games, Native American dancing and a parade will be part of the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration on Sept. 12. In addition to traditional activities like dancing and Native American games, the event will feature festival-like activities including a turtle race, fishing derby and children’s activities. The event also features a free traditional meal.

SEPT. 18-20 Eastern Shawnee Tribal Powwow in Wyandotte (195 miles northeast of Oklahoma City) This unique event features a display of regalia and contest dancing like gourd and straight dancing. Visitors can browse American Indian arts and crafts, enjoy free camping, listen to traditional storytelling and sample Native American food.

SEPT. 25-27 The Comanche Nation Fair in Lawton (90 miles southwest of Oklahoma City) This fair is the largest event of the Comanche Nation and features a powwow, parade, rodeo, free concert, games and an art show. This annual fall event brings together tribes from all across the nation. The Standing Bear Powwow in Ponca City (105 miles north of Oklahoma City)

Hosted by the six north-central tribes of Oklahoma, this powwow features inter-tribal dancing, exhibition dancing, contest dancing, tiny tot contests and the crowning of the Standing Bear Princess as well as arts and craft vendors and food vendors. This free event in Ponca City is open to the public and often considered one of the most significant American Indian events in the United States.

SEPT. 26-OCT. 4 Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting & Festival in Sulphur and surrounding cities (85 miles south of Oklahoma City) This festival features activities and events celebrating Chickasaw heritage, history and customs will be featured at different venues throughout the Chickasaw nation, including the cities of Tishomingo, Ada, the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Emet and Kullihoma.


Where It Takes You.

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Community Sponsor of Exploring Oklahoma:

Real Mom of the Metro




ven though the 2015 baseball season is winding down for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, Senior Vice President Jenna Byrnes stays busy wrapping up one season and preparing for the next. And as if almost 40 players, a few dozen Dodgers staff members and thousands of fans weren’t enough to manage, Jenna became a mom last summer. Jenna and her husband Michael expanded their home team with the birth of daughter Peyton last August. “It’s so funny to see little personalities,” Jenna said, describing Peyton’s laugh and current fascination with throwing all the magazines off their coffee table. While her time at home is spent honing her mom skills, Jenna’s job with the Dodgers includes overseeing management-level employees who supervise ticket sales representatives. Her main responsibility is revenue production through ticketing. The Dodgers are projected to finish the season with 22 sold-out games, a 27 percent increase over last season, when the team was

known as the Redhawks. In addition to filling seats at the Dodgers games, Jenna’s staff is helping current season ticket holders renew their subscriptions, as well as securing new ticket purchasers for next season. “A typical day at work is not really all that typical,” Jenna said. “In the off-season we work really hard, and in-season we work really long hours.” Jenna’s sales team begins the process of season ticket renewals in July, and by November the renewals are completed. In September and October, the focus leans more toward new business. Additionally, Jenna has a hand in developing marketing elements for the organization to assist with sales efforts. Jenna also is responsible for the professional development of staff. “In my position, I try to be more big-picture to make sure we, as an organization, are always moving in the right direction,” she said. “I like being able to make sure that we are continuing to grow everyone within the organization. We do continuous learning and continuous training. We have a heavy emphasis on making sure that everyone has the best tools that they need to succeed, and are able to do what we need to do to be successful.”

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Jenna’s hard work and dedication has received national recognition. Two years ago, the Pacific Coast League nominated her for the 2013 Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award, an honor that is given annually to a woman who has made outstanding contributions to her club or league, or to baseball in general.

a friendship that grew into romance. The pair wed and continued working together, eventually moving to Oklahoma City in Sept. 2010 to work with the Redhawks and now the Dodgers.

An Ohio native, Jenna’s love for sports steered her to a career in the industry that began with a summer internship with a minor league baseball team in Ohio before her junior year of college. Curious about off-season operations in professional sports, she completed another internship with professional soccer in New Jersey during her winter break. The next summer, she took another minor league baseball internship, again in New Jersey. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in communications and took an internship in minor league baseball with the Nashville Sounds.

Michael is the president and general manager for the Dodgers. Discussing working alongside her husband brings a smile to Jenna’s face.

Her career later took her to Texas with the Frisco RoughRiders, the double-A affiliate team for the Texas Rangers. There, Jenna met coworker Michael Byrnes, and they began

“We just really like it here in Oklahoma City,” Jenna said. “It’s a family-oriented community and a nice change of pace.”

“We’ve always worked together, so it’s not weird for us,” she said. “We work such crazy hours, but at least we do it together.” Peyton is becoming a more frequent visitor to the ballpark, occasionally joining her mom and dad at work. The family is busy balancing hectic work schedules with the responsibilities and joys of parenting. “All of a sudden you go from being totally in charge of your own schedule to ‘I am not in charge of my schedule.’ This little lady is totally in charge of our schedule,” Jenna said. “It’s in everyone’s best interest if we follow her lead.”

How has motherhood changed you?

My priorities are much different. My husband and I used to talk about work nonstop. Now we are pretty much forced to stop once we get home. Our focus is now on our daughter and being a family.

What is your favorite advice about motherhood?

I have three sisters-in-law and each of them told me that the most important thing to do is find what works for you and don’t worry about what other people or books tell you. You have to always do what works best for you.

How do you find balance?

I’m not sure I am there yet. I have been back to work for eight months, throw in a baseball season and I am still working through balance for sure.

How do you describe your parenting style?

I am still working through it. Peyton is crawling and pulling up so the urge to always catch her when she lets go of whatever is keeping her up is tempting but we try to let her explore and figure things out on her own.

How do you banish stress?

I started yoga when I was pregnant at Mamastay Yoga and I got back into regular yoga a few months ago. Class is Monday night and it is a great way to start the week.

What motivates you?

I always want to be my best and setting a good example for our team is really important to me. When Peyton gets older I want her to feel good about who her mom is so that is something I think about.

What is your favorite television show or book?

I am not sure I can answer this one any longer… I used to read a ton and had a few favorite shows… But now I haven’t read a book in months and I think our DVR is at 80 percent full!






GOT CHILDREN? THEN YOU NEED LOTS OF RESOURCES! INTRODUCING THE “YELLOW PAGES” FOR OKC AREA PARENTS. From pediatricians to special needs therapy, birthday party ideas and private schools, our resource directories—both here and online—provide local parents with the information they need to help their families and children thrive. Check out these businesses and those you find at www. and be sure to tell them you found their business via MetroFamily Magazine.


48 49 50


Party Guide (page 47) Bouncin Craze Building Minds Mad Science of Central Oklahoma Jump!Zone Mobile Laser Forces Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Skate Galaxy Water-Zoo Indoor Water Park After School Activities (pages 48-50) Cadence Equestrian Club Z! Fine Arts Institute Gymboree Play & Music, Norman and OKC Kumon, Edmond Little Spanish Bridge Sooner Theatre Studio J Dance Studio The Dance Department Twist and Shout Velocity Dance Center Victory Dance Family Fun (page 50) Dodge City Paintball Paint ’N Station


Redpin Bowling Unpluggits Playstudio


Retail/Restaurant (page 51) Green Bambino Jimmy’s Egg learning tree toys, books & games Once Upon a Child The Original Children’s Consignment Sale


Foster Care (page 52) Bair Foundation Circle of Care Sunbeam Family Services

53 54

Family Services (pages 53-54) Brain Balance Center of OKC Fit4Mom Just Kids Pediatrics Oklahoma Institute of Allergy & Asthma


Special Needs (page 53) Total POSS-abilities


Child Care (page 54) College Nannies + Tutors Leslie’s Child Care North Penn Creative Kids Learning Center Primrose School of Edmond Spontaneity Kid Care





BUILDING MINDS Building Success Through Hands-On Learning Fun

Birthday Parties with Lego® bricks!


Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. –Benjamin Franklin





Math. Reading.


Schedule a free placement test now at your local Kumon Math & Reading Center:

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Find a location and class schedule that works best for you at Norman: Redbud Plaza, 255 34th Ave. SW, Norman, OK 73072 405-307-8454 OKC: Shoppes at Northpark 11940 N. May Ave. OKC, OK 73012 405-755-3445 *Offer valid for new families only at participating Play & Music locations. Existing Play & Music customers are not eligible. Offer is not redeemable for cash or credit. Gymboree Play & Music may change or cancel this promotion at any time at Gymboree Play & Music’s sole discretion. Void where prohibited by law.





Español para todos! Baby, Kids and adults! Bilingual Skills for life! Little Spanish Bridge brings a class held 100% in Spanish! Children will learn Spanish through: Art, Music and Movement, Math Skills and Problem Solving, Science and Geography and much, much more. ALL IN SPANISH!

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Join the #1 ranked cheerleading and tumbling gym in oklahoma 2015 Summit Champions • 2015 NCA Champions 2015 State Power tumbling Champions • 3 time USAF World Cheer Champions!

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Birthday Parties!

After school fun: • ceramics • paint-n-take • birthday parties • indoor playground • wi-fi

Check out our See New Events on Facebook

 13th Grandparents Day! Bring yours! - $3 off

 18th Art ‘N Appetizers 6-9 pm $35 Photo Canvas Boards

 19th Pirates & Princess Plates

Cookies ’N Crafts 10-11:30

 23rd Art ‘N Appetizers 10:30-1:00 $32 Fall Pottery Fun

(405) 373-3745 16425 NW 150th in Piedmont Open Year Round, Groups & Walk-ons Welcome!

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New Jr. Paintball! (5yr+) 8 Field Courses! New Picnic Area! New Playground! All-Weather Building! Birthday Parties!


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Paint your own pottery studio. 7906 N. May, OKC


Eat .

Treat yourself to big savings on all of the hip back to school items at Once Upon A Child®. Stop in and check out our large selection of shoes, denim, shirts, graphic t’s and more! 13801 N Pennsylvania Ave N Oklahoma City 73134 405.286.3114





Is your child in the right seat?

Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 13-19. Come see our CPS Techs for more info!

Now open Sundays 12-4

5120 N Shartel Ave. (405) 848-2330

For a list of upcoming events, visit our website!


Stock up now for Back to School!


There are children in crisis situations all across the state who need a safe and loving home tonight. Have you ever thought about being a foster parent? You can be part of Circle of Care’s team as we work to provide help, healing, and hope to abused and neglected children. We stand by your side and help you navigate the paperwork and process. Call our local staff today to learn more! 405-463-6626 1501 NW 24th Street, Suite 214, OKC, OK 73106

Struggling kids get real help at Brain Balance.

The program changed everything. Jake’s improvement is undeniable. - ALISON B., PARENT

How it works: The program balances and synchronizes left brain/right brain interaction. The newly strengthened connections improve behavior, social and academic performance. Brain Balance addresses: • ADHD • Processing Disorders • Learning Disabilities • Behavioral Issues


405-492-6800 Brain Balance Center of OKC 3545 W. Memorial Rd. Oklahoma City, OK 73134 METROFAMILY MAGAZINE




Do You Have a Heart for Children?

FIT4MOM® classes provide fitness, friendship, and fun for you AND your baby! Enroll for your first week free by contacting Mary Davis at: 405.921.5475



Now offering classes six days a week in Oklahoma City and Edmond. Come find your village!

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ADD/ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delays Handwriting Difficulties Gross & Fine Motor Delays Feeding Difficulty Sensory Processing Disorder




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! s t n e v E Ticketed




Thursday, September 17 w 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 18 w 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 19 w 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 20 w 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. Monday, September 21 w 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 22 w 7:30 p.m.





Friday, September 25 7:30 p.m.


when you purchase an Unlimited Carnival Ride Armband at the Jim Norick Arena Box Office or through our other ticket buying options, including Walgreens.

(Gate Admission Not Included)


! s t r e c n o Free C


Saturday, September 26 7:30 p.m.




E N T E RTA I N M E N T STAG E September 24

With Outside Gate Admission

September 17

SISTER HAZEL w 7:30 p.m.

September 20

September 25

CHRIS JANSON 7:30 p.m.


ROSE ROYCE w 7:30 p.m.

September 18

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS featuring BO BICE w 7:30 p.m.

September 21

MATT MAHER 7:30 p.m.

LOU GRAMM, The Voice of Foreigner w 8:00 p.m.

September 19

September 22 & 23

PHILIP BAUER, The Legend of Johnny Cash 3:00 p.m.



September 26 September 27

The Official Soft Drink of State Fair Park

MetroFamily Magazine September 2015  
MetroFamily Magazine September 2015