OKCâ€™s Next Generation
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Thunder Up Toned Down
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405-751-4900 • 1441 W Memorial Road • Oklahoma City, OK 73114 Birthday parties booked by Nov. 1, 2018 and held on or before April 28, 2019 can double the FUNcard value on any birthday party package purchased. FUNcard value valid for arcade game play only and cannot be used as cash or payment towards a group event. Offer good for a limited time. Offer subject to change and may end at any time without notice. 10-person minimum. Reservations required. Double FUNcard amount applies to children only attending party. Other restrictions may apply. One coupon per person per reservation. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer not valid with online reservations. Must bring coupon in from original advertising. Copies or duplicates or digital renditions will not be honored. Laser Tag and Gravity Ropes have a height requirement of 48” to play.
Features 8 Meet Our Cover Kids 10 Being Vision Impaired How one OKC teen defies odds with NewView 14 Under the Stars & Skyline A glimpse into the new Girl Scout camp 42 Day in the Life Twenty-four hours with busy mom Erin Engelke 44 After-School Activities Guide to OKC extracurriculars
In Every Issue 6 New & Noteworthy
16 Foster Families One mom’s story of unexpected blessings 20 Calendar of Events 50 Real Kids of the Metro Meet Junior Miss Asia Oklahoma 52 Exploring Oklahoma Road trip to Medicine Park 60 Pet Pages FAQ about pet adoption 62 Kid Review Martin Park Nature Center
Web Exclusives Fall Fun Guides: Fall events and activities have finally arrived in the OKC metro. We’ve rounded up the hayrides, pumpkin patches and even Halloween events on our fall guides. Find them at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/fall. Register now for Cover Kids Search: Could your child be the next Cover Kid? We’re looking for OKC area kids ages 2 to 12 with bright smiles and fun personalities to participate in this year’s Cover Kids Search. Register by Sept. 21 and get details at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ coverkidssearch.
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Our Contests OKC Philharmonic Date Night Giveaway: It’s about time! Time to spend a special evening together with your honey by enjoying Melinda Doolittle, Oklahoma’s own “American Idol” star, who will be performing live with the OKC Philharmonic during a POPS concert at Civic Center Music Hall. You can choose the date to use the two tickets, either Oct. 12 or 13. PLUS you’ll receive a $100 gift card for dinner prior to the show at Stella Modern Italian Cuisine in Midtown and $50 in cash to pay for a babysitter. Enter before Sept. 28.
EdFest 2018: We’re giving away four family five-packs of KidsZone wristbands for free admission to the children’s area during EdFest, Edmond Mobile Meals’ annual fall fundraiser. The event will be hosted in downtown Edmond on Oct. 12. Its purpose is to help raise necessary funding for senior nutrition throughout Central Oklahoma. The wristband packs are valued at $25 each. Enter Sept. 24-Oct. 1. Find details and enter at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/contests.
Managing Editor Hannah Schmitt
Assistant Editor Lindsay Cuomo
Erin Page, Michelle Ferguson and Miranda Steffen
Contributing Photographer Emily Hart, Kimera Basore
Art Director Stacy Noakes
Marketing Director Callie Collins
Athena Delce, Dana Price
Project Manager Jessica Misun
Office/Distribution Kathy Alberty
318 NW 13th St, Ste 101 OKC OK 73103 Phone: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509 firstname.lastname@example.org www.metrofamilymagazine.com MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2018 by Inprint Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Circulation audited by
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FLIP TO PAGE 8 TO LEARN ALL ABOUT THE KIDS ON OUR COVER, THE COVER KIDS SEARCH WINNERS IN THE AGE 10-12 CATEGORY.
ow horrible was middle school for you? I’ve yet to meet any adult who had fond memories of sixth or seventh grade, but the six incredible local tweens on our cover somehow rise above normal expectations of an awkward phase as poignant, unique, kind individuals. I got to spend an afternoon with them to shoot this cover and their personalities truly blew me away. These six cover models were selected at our annual Cover Kids Search for being quirky, engaging and smart. The Cover Kids Search is our annual event where we launch the impossible task of somehow choosing only a handful of kids to be photographed on our covers for the coming year. As part of a panel of judges, I get to meet many of our amazing little readers who are vying for a moment in the spotlight. Here’s how it works: Register your child (or children) before Sept. 21 in their specific age category. Registration is $25 for one child; $50 for up to five entires of children in the same household.
All entrants must attend our fun Cover Kids Search event from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 7 at Park House in Myriad Botanical Gardens. Your child will be photographed for a mock cover you’ll get to keep from Foto Arts Photography. He or she will also be interviewed by one of our panelists to get a feel for personality. The first 100 families that enter will receive a swag bag and free admission to the Crystal Bridge. Within the next few months, we’ll select the cover models and reach out to winners. Cover Kids will also be asked to serve as MetroFamily ambassadors, appearing at events and participating in a community project. For more details and to register, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ coverkidssearch. Hannah Schmitt Editor
Also a member of Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Edmond Chamber of Commerce & Moore Chamber of Commerce
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
New & Noteworthy
Local Mom Seeks Help to End Hunger in OKC BY HANNAH SCHMITT PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED
When local mother of three Lisa Blacknoll heard her mailman talking about how he saw a hungry child eating cat food out of a can, she was shocked. “I just didn’t know that we had people in this state who are hungry,” she said. “Not just hungry but chronically hungry. They don’t know where their next meal is coming from.” She couldn’t shake the thought of the child eating cat food, so Blacknoll decided she had to do something about it. So she gathered up volunteers, created a 501(c)(3) and outfitted a bus to be stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables and kitchen staples and plans to take it out to local schools this month. The Filling Tummies bus is a mobile healthy food kitchen that will visit local schools on Friday afternoons so children who may otherwise go hungry over the weekend can take a bag of fresh, healthy foods home with them for the weekend. In addition to visiting schools, Filling Tummies will make rounds
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at local senior living centers to make sure the elderly are fed, as well. Blacknoll is relying on donations from the public to help purchase organic produce from local distributors. She also has a partnership with Panera Bread to donate other staples each week. Like many people, Blacknoll said she used to think food banks and non-profits were already handling childhood and senior hunger locally. But Feeding America, a national nonprofit aimed at ending hunger, reports that with an average cost of $2.88 per meal, Oklahoma needs another $313,377,000 annually to feed the 635,740 people in the state who are food insecure. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma reports one in four Oklahoma children has inconsistent access to healthy food. Hunger Free Oklahoma, an organization aimed at ending hunger in the state, reports that Oklahoma’s percentage of residents who are food insecure is higher than the national average.
“I know there are more moms out there who care about feeding children,” Blacknoll said. “We won’t stand for Oklahoma to be in the bottom states for food insecurity. We just won’t stand for it. Once you know about the issue, surely people will do something about it. I believe people have good hearts, they just have to be made aware.” There are several ways to get involved with feeding locals in need. Here are some ideas from Blacknoll: 1. Donate directly to Filling Tummies. Click the Take Action button at www. fillingtummies.com to donate. 2. Host a fundraiser in Filling Tummies’ honor. Events like bake sales, car washes or garage sales help get kids involved in meeting local needs. 3. Lead a social media campaign to help spread the word about the mission of Filling Tummies. To learn more about getting involved or to contact Blacknoll directly, visit www. fillingtummies.com.
Scoliosis Group Gets New OKC Leader Curvy Girls is a national peer support group for girls with scoliosis and Oklahoma City’s chapter recently got a new leader. Sydney Borchardt is a Moore 13-year-old who found out she had scoliosis when she was 10. She wore a brace for a year and a half and endured another six months of special therapies before having surgery earlier this year. Her diagnosis was difficult at first, she said, because she didn’t know much about scoliosis and didn’t know anyone else with the condition. Scoliosis is a common spine condition often found in adolescents. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, roughly three million new cases of the condition are diagnosed in the United States each year, with a majority of them identified as idiopathic scoliosis — a type of scoliosis that presents in children between 10 to 12 years old.
It wasn’t until after her surgery that Borchardt decided to seek out peers for support. She came across Curvy Girls and realized it might be a good way to connect and help others.
“I met Emily Campbell, the previous leader of the group, and she helped me so much,” Borchardt said. “She mentored me a lot and asked me to take over the chapter and so I did.”
Borchardt’s responsibilities so far include representing Oklahoma at the national Curvy Girls convention and delivering a care package to a local girl after her spinal fusion.
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“Probably like a lot of kids, I was used to doing things for myself,” she said. “The hardest part was needing help bending down and doing things. When you have a brace and you need surgery, you need a lot of help and that’s hard. But it’s impacted me because now I can help others and that’s a great feeling.” To learn more about Curvy Girls and get involved with the local chapter, visit www. curvygirlsscoliosis.com/oklahoma.
FROM TOP: FORMER CURVY GIRLS OKLAHOMA LEADER EMILY CAMPBELL WITH SYDNEY BORCHARDT, BORCHARDT’S SPINE BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY, BRACES BORHARDT WORE BEFORE SURGERY, BORCHARDT PROMOTING CURVY GIRLS OKLAHOMA. METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Mon – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sun, Noon – 5:00 p.m. (405) 478-2250 nationalcowboymuseum.org/kids
Sixth grader who spends her free time at soccer, track and cheer practice.
Seventh grader who’s an only child but enjoys hanging out with his two dogs: Pancake and Waffles. What does he want to be when he grows up? “I haven’t really thought about it too much. I’ll figure that out in college.”
“I want to be a teacher when I grow up. I just love a lot of the teachers that I’ve had in school.”
Allyson Gomez Fifth grader who is bilingual and loves to sing and makes new friends everywhere she goes. Favorite subject in school? “Recess. Definitely recess.”
Ariyanna Underwood Seventh grade straight-A student who wants to be a baker when she grows up. “I have a big family and I like to hang out with them. There’s always a lot of people, games and food. Especially fried chicken.”
Seventh grader who just can’t believe he has to be at school every day from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. He’d much rather be playing basketball.
“Basketball isn’t just something I like randomly. It’s my favorite hobby and it’s my dream to be in the NBA.”
“I want to be a singer, but if I can’t do that, I’ll be an actress. If I can’t do that, I’ll be a YouTuber. If I can’t do that, I’ll get a regular job.”
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Sixth grader who loves basketball, volleyball, Girl Scouts and all things acting and singing.
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What’s it like to be a visually impaired teen? Trinity Lewis is a gregarious, kind-hearted, confident 18-year-old entering her final year of high school. She loves to swim, dance and watch scary movies with younger sister, Tristain. Her mom describes her as someone who’s never met a stranger and her gift with words was recently highlighted in a speech at the State Capitol. Lewis dreams of pursuing a career in education. Lewis’s captivating smile belies that her future hasn’t always looked so bright. Born at just 32 weeks after mom Sylvia Lott was in a car accident, Lewis spent several months in the NICU. Her first pediatric appointment after her release revealed pupils that weren’t dilating, and an immediate visit to an ophthalmologist confirmed Lewis had a visual impairment. “I was devastated,” said Lott. “You worry about what they’re not going to be able to experience, how it will hold them back or how other people will hold them back because of it. You don’t want your baby to be thought of as ‘less than.’” As a child, Lewis said new experiences intimidated her and she got lost often. Stints in both private and public school included extensive work at home to ensure she wouldn’t fall behind. Bullied by classmates, Lott recalls birthday parties where no guests showed. While the challenges of low vision will always be part of her, Lewis said her family, NewView Oklahoma and the Oklahoma School for the Blind have taught her to embrace it. “I realized this is how it’s going to be and I had to learn to adapt to it,” Lewis said. Cathy Holden, senior vice president of rehabilitation and clinical operations for NewView, has watched Lewis gain confidence that she can achieve anything. “We are affording a child the opportunity and training to overcome the stigma of a visual impairment,” Holden said. “We help them feel accepted and develop the confidence and skills to go forth.” As evidenced by Lewis, NewView helps equalize the playing field for children and adults with visual impairments. “We teach children to maximize their vision, to overcome and to adapt,” Holden said. “When Lewis came to our program, she had no clue what she would be capable of. Now she mentors other kids in the same predicament. She is such an encourager.”
BY ERIN PAGE PHOTOS BY KIMERA BASORE
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The Gift of Hope Opened in 1949, NewView Oklahoma is the only private in-state provider of comprehensive services for people with significant vision loss that can’t be corrected. It’s also the largest employer of blind and vision impaired individuals in Oklahoma. Those comprehensive services include access to visual specialists, occupational therapists, mobility and travel specialists, adaptive software and technology, Braille and even summer camps for elementary students through young adults. Holden calls blindness the most misunderstood and feared disability. She takes parents of her young patients on tours of their facility to see adults who are blind or visually impaired succeeding in administrative, manufacturing, management and rehabilitation careers.
show kindness, versus kids from school who wouldn’t take the time to get to know her.” As a teen, Lewis attended NewView’s water skiing camp, where campers live in cabins and have counselors but no assistive buddies. They use canes or adaptive devices to get around, practice cooking and daily living skills and learn to tube, wakeboard and water ski. In NewView’s transition camp for young adults, campers live independently, learn to grocery shop, cook and do laundry, practice mobility skills, work on their resumes, volunteer in the community and participate in mock job interviews.
Lewis’s initial NewView experience was through Oklahomans Without Limits summer camp. Designed for ages 8 to 14, OWL camp includes rock climbing, swimming, art, music, boating and field trips to local attractions. Though Lewis and her mom were nervous, both were mollified knowing Lewis would have a buddy camper without sight limitations.
“She’s always had positive role models to keep encouraging her not to be disheartened but to brush off negativity,” said Lott. “She has a beautiful spirit and a positive outlook on the world.” Lewis said people with vision impairments are usually pretty open, and that it’s always okay to ask questions.
“The buddies spend their week building that camper up,” Holden said. “They are there as a support but also allow them to be independent.”
“The kids with sight impairments just want to be treated normally,” Holden said. “Many of them have been bullied, but by the end of the week they realize kids with sight aren’t bad after all.” OWL camp gave Lewis confidence, inspiring her to try out for her school’s basketball team and serve as the school mascot. Lott still harbored fear when Lewis tried new things, like swimming, riding a bike, roller skating or even going to the mall, but OWL camp demonstrated the benefits of stepping outside their comfort zones. “She was building friendships and that’s something she craved,” Lott said. “It’s heartbreaking that it takes someone who your kid will only interact with for a week to
“I hope I widened people’s horizons about being visually impaired,” said Lewis. Holden said most people think of visually impaired individuals as unable to see anything, but that’s not the case. Though Lewis can’t distinguish facial details, she is very attuned to vocal inflections, tone and body language, recognizing Lott’s emotions as soon as she walks in the door from work or sensing someone making fun of her in public. Though such situations distress her mom, Trinity responds by saying those people aren’t worth her time.
“We want to give them hope,” said Holden. “We don’t expect for them to get it all at once, but to give them time to observe and build trust.”
Buddies are vetted through interviews and then trained with a blindfold to better understand the challenges campers with sight impairments face.
classmates’ houses, as approved by parents, an experience most students have never had. Via FaceTime and dorm parents, Lott ensures Lewis is keeping up with laundry and cleaning her room. Through a program called ABLE, Lewis learns about technology she’ll need in college and beyond and in a work study program, she earned a job in OSB’s front office. Sorting the mail, taking phone calls and delivering packages assured her she will succeed in the professional world one day. In the spring, Lewis was selected to share her experiences at the Capitol on Disability Awareness Day.
“Just teach kids to ask questions in a way that’s not disrespectful,” Lewis advised.
Empowering the Future Through OWL camp, Lewis and her family learned about Oklahoma School for the Blind, and Lewis was determined to attend. Though hesitant for Lewis to live at the school’s campus in Muskogee during the week, Lott relented, recognizing the importance of fostering Lewis’s independence. “I want to handle everything for Trinity,” Lott said. “But I also don’t want her to miss the opportunity to build relationships or experience life. I’m afraid I’ve held her back because I was scared the world wouldn’t accept her.” At OSB, Lewis is a cheerleader and involved in FCCLA. Academics are top-notch and Lewis appreciates the small class size and accessibility to resources she didn’t have in other schools. OSB hosts weekly outings for students and facilitates sleepovers at
The biggest lesson Lewis has learned in her 18 years—and what she wants to impart to the world—is that there is no such thing as normal. Lewis’s heart of gold means she stands up for others. She’s traveled five hours to attend the funeral of a friend’s parent, and she made it a priority to attend prom with a friend with low vision who’d never been to a dance before. Whether trying out for basketball, public speaking and, now, approaching her future as a young adult, Lewis doesn’t let anything stand in her way. “With every new thing I do or learn a new way to do something, it feels like I get more freedom,” said Lewis. Editor’s Note: Cathy Holden died tragically in late July, after this article was written. We dedicate this article to her and all the hard work she did to bring awareness and equality to people with vision impairment.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
BY MIRANDA STEFFEN PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED
Sensory-Friendly Fun With the OKC Thunder Fall is approaching and itâ€™s time for Okies to Thunder Up! Families across the state will spend their days sporting their favorite playersâ€™ jerseys and talking to everyone about the big game: coworkers, classmates, the cashier, even the stranger in line at the store. On game day, some parents rush from work, pick up the kids and get to their seats just in time for tipoff. And as the crowd roars with excitement, some parents are at home turning down the volume on the remote. Because even if your family is the biggest Thunder fan on the block, catching the game at home has historically been the only good option for kids with sensory sensitivities.
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Families who have a loved one with sensory sensitivities learn to make trade-offs and compromises almost reflexively. Parents know that the sights and sounds that come with attending a game may overwhelm and overload their young Thunder fan who has additional needs. While the family may want to show up and cheer for their players, one of their loved ones may require additional accommodations to enjoy the big game. The Thunder staff wants everyone to have the opportunity to catch a game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. They have partnered with the inclusive-conscious nonprofit, KultureCity, and together, created a sensory-friendly experience for fans with additional needs who want to cheer their team to victory.
Upon Arrival For families who prefer to avoid a bulk of the crowd, it is recommended to enter the arena through the east doors, located directly beside the Marriott parking garage, and close to
Enter Today! sections 108-109 as well as family restrooms. Fans of all abilities will be greeted warmly by staff who have gone through sensitivity training provided by KultureCity. Immediately to the right is a guest service desk where an assortment of weighted lap pads and 50 sensory bags containing items such as fidgets, headphones and visual icon cards are available to check out, free of charge. Sunglasses are even provided for light-sensitive fans. A lanyard with KultureCity’s sensory icon is also included for anyone in the group to wear in order for staff to identify a family from afar who may need an assist with an overwhelmed child or some extra high fives and thumbs up for an outing that most take for granted.
a private restroom for families who may need to assist their older child. The room is available to overstimulated fans who need a moment to regroup or relax before returning to the game. Additionally, nursing mothers may make use of the room for privacy if desired. Since only one family is allowed to use the room at a time, a 15-minute limit is requested if others are waiting, however, staff will never tell a family they must leave the room before they are ready. Experts at KultureCity carefully designed the sensory room to be a relaxing, nonstimulating environment. Walls are painted calming tones and a water feature pumps rows of moving bubbles that imitate a soft bubbling brook. There are beanbags and crashpads available for guests to relax on, as well as a rocking glider. A beautiful custom designed piece of wall art made from textured wooden pieces and painted in the Thunder colors was donated by KultureCity for those who enjoy tactile input. Various puzzles and textured wall art has been positioned at specific heights to purposefully invite the young child, the lanky teen or adult to comfortably experience the calming effects of the room.
Picture your child on MetroFamily’s cover! We’re looking for local kids ages 2-12 with big smiles and bright personalities to grace our 2019 covers.
Other Tips Partners who need to split up the children to de-escalate can easily do so. Next door at section 113 is the Kids Zone, where your busier little buddies can find fun activities to keep their attention. The Thunder Kids Cart is also in this area where kids can get a variety of snacks for only $1 each. Persons who have dietary restrictions can find gluten-free food options by asking any staff member or by downloading the Thunder app and searching under “Fan Assist.”
The only requirement for checking out a bag or lap pad is to leave a photo ID with one of the staff members manning the sensory station. “You do not have to be a certain age, have a formal diagnosis, or ‘prove’ anything to us to check out a sensory bag,” said Joy Dyer, Thunder’s manager of guest relations. “If you ask for one, we will give you one, no questions asked.” Once the bag is returned, every item is sanitized before being reissued to the next family.
Families going to a game on a Sunday will be able to watch their child have the opportunity to go down on the court after the game and take one free throw shot.
The Sensory Room A child on the verge of a meltdown can mean trouble on family outings. Taking a break from all of the stimulation and sensory input can be paramount in de-escalating an overstimulated loved one. The sensory room inside the Chesapeake Energy Arena provides a safe space for your children to take a break and relax if the buzzers, whistles and cheering become a little too much. Located near section 112, the sensory room can be accessed by walking through the First Aid room and into a small sitting area that leads to the Sensory Room and also
For more information about the Thunder and their commitment to a positive sensoryinclusive game day experience for all, contact the OKC Thunder business office at 405-208-4800 or email them at fans@ okcthunder.com. Editor’s Note: A Thunder game isn’t the only local family attraction getting some assistance to be more inclusive. KultureCity has also partnered with the Oklahoma City Zoo to make zoo adventures easier for the sensory-sensitive family members. Learn more at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ inclusive-zoo.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
• Entry fee is $25 for one child or $50 for up to five entries (in the same household) • Entrants attend a fun party at Myriad Botanical Gardens on Oct. 7 • Receive a goody bag at the event full of tickets to local attractions and a mock cover of your child later via email. Find details and enter by Sept. 21 at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ coverkidssearch
Earlier this summer, Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma announced they would be building a stateof-the-art urban STEM camp in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City. The new camp is a result of the closing of Camp Cookieland due to the new turnpike project. “The path of the turnpike could have left the girls with partial camp lands and destroyed homes or taken all of the camp and saved homes,” said Koshia Silver, marketing director at Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma. The Girl Scouts brought in girls of various ages and levels across the council to discuss the dilemma. The girls were asked to help find a solution using what they had learned in their Girl Scouts advocacy curriculum. “At the end of the weekend the vote was unanimous, save homes and build a new camp,” Silver said. Once the decision was made to sell Cookieland, it was time to start thinking about the future and what the girls envisioned
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for their new camp. These discussions included the want and need for a camp closer to the city that focused on STEM and the outdoors. Camp the City under the Stars and Skyline was born.
being occupied by Girl Scouts.
“As an organization we know and hear often how underrepresented women are in the fields of STEM, and as the largest girl only organization we feel that we can make a difference,” Silver said. “With over 39 STEM and outdoor curriculum subjects, Girl Scouts can be the place for girls to explore the world of STEM and outdoors right here in Oklahoma City.”
How will it serve the community?
The Vision The vision is to support state workforce development plans by building a pipeline of women prepared for STEM careers. As a national movement, Girl Scouts has a goal of placing 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025, Silver said. Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma envisioned a year-round destination to serve everyone in the community. Silver said the community will be invited to use the space when it is not
“We want our camp to be a destination for Girl Scouts, families, businesses both in-state and out,” Silver said.
• School partnerships (annual field trips and other school events) • Company picnics, meetings, retreats and team building • Event rental • Meeting space for clubs and organizations • Birthday parties • Partnership events and activities (Science Museum, zoo, etc.) • Geekapalooza (signature Girl Scout event in partnership with MetroFamily Magazine open to the public) • Girl Fest (signature Girl Scout event open to the public) • Recruitment events • Sibling Camp and Family Camp
How will it serve the Girl Scouts? • Provide state-of-the-art STEM education opportunities. • Afford low-income Girl Scouts and their families the opportunity to stay overnight in a safe and fun place. • Provide an opportunity to partner with mission-supporting organizations to enhance the Girl Scouts experience. • Offer thousands of adult volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills to model for the girls. • Become a destination to serve not only Girl Scouts, but all girls. • Bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to life through innovative features and learning opportunities. While the camp will be located in the city, it will sit on 14 acres on a 40 acre parcel surrounded by the open-air, just east of the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma will maintain the essential outdoor experiences the organization is known for while adding indoor opportunities and exposing the girls to STEM. Camping, hiking and kayaking will still be part of the experience. Girls will also have the opportunity to learn about physics by zip lining across the lake and can test their geological knowledge on the indoor rock wall. “This will be a one-of-a-kind camp with tech and custom features throughout creating the perfect space for curious minds,” said Silver. Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma have a partnership with the zoo, which will be helping to fund water and sewer infrastructure as well as providing even greater opportunities to the Girls Scouts including working with the veterinarians, real-life research and conservation. The camp is scheduled to open summer of 2020. If you would like more information about Camp the City and Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma, visit www.gswestok.org.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
TRACY JOHNSON WITH BIOLOGICAL SON COOPER AND TWO FOSTER CHILDREN.
Tracy Johnson’s Journey of Inclusion Tracy Johnson’s plate was already full when she began fostering more than two years ago. A single mom of a 10-yearold son and speech pathologist for Edmond Public Schools, Johnson requested placement of one foster child at a time. She received her first placement call for an 11-month-old and his newborn brother. Though it wasn’t what Johnson was expecting, she didn’t hesitate in saying yes. She cared for the sibling set for five months before they were moved to an adoptive home.
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“When they left, I said I’m only doing one next time!” said Johnson. As luck would have it, she was placed with a little boy whose biological mom was expecting. When asked if she would take the baby when she was born, she agreed wholeheartedly. “I have seen a bond with siblings that I can’t imagine if they were split,” said Johnson. “The 20-month-old takes care of his sister. He hears her cry before I will. If I get four more calls [for siblings] I can’t imagine ever splitting them.” Keith Howard, president and CEO of Circle of Care, the placement agency through which Johnson fosters, says while the agency does its best to place children within foster families’ parameters, Circle of Care’s foster parent training exposes them to the realities of siblings in foster care. According to the agency, a sibling group of three has only
BY ERIN PAGE PHOTOS BY KIMERA BASORE
a 65 percent chance of staying together, while a group of five has a 0 percent chance, primarily because most foster families simply don’t have the necessary space or vehicles. Howard, himself a foster and adoptive father, says like Johnson, he realized through his own journey the importance of supporting sibling relationships in foster care whenever possible. “That sibling relationship will be the longest relationship in their lives,” said Howard. “They shouldn’t suffer the consequences of that relationship being broken because the system can’t keep them together.” Circle of Care ascribes to a report by the 2002 National Youth Leadership Advisory team position paper that describes the experience of foster siblings placed in separate homes as “extra punishment and a separate loss.” Like Johnson, Howard has witnessed the benefits of his kids healing together.
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TRACY JOHNSON WITH FOSTER DAUGHTER.
“They can openly talk about past experiences together and keep those memories alive,” said Howard. “Negative and positive, as siblings, they understand and relate to all those things. If we just had one, they wouldn’t have as many opportunities to process or might not feel as comfortable.”
Redefining family Johnson’s unique foster care journey means she’s taken home two newborns straight from the hospital, spending about two years waking up in the night with babies. Johnson always wanted more kids, but after her divorce from her son Cooper’s dad, she wasn’t sure that could become reality. Her sister, who has also fostered, inspired Johnson to take the leap of faith. “I have a heart for kids; I work with them every day,” said Johnson. “But I needed to be convinced I could do this as a single and working mom. Howard says while the “norms” of society can get in the way of parents like Johnson believing in their abilities, some of the best
foster parents he’s worked with in his career have been single moms. “You can’t let society dictate that for you,” said Howard. “We make sure those families have a strong support network and identify the resources they need.” Johnson also wondered how Cooper would react. The mother-son duo made the decision together to foster. Described by his mom as mature and responsible, Johnson says Cooper has taken in their foster children like siblings and is very helpful in caring for the babies. “It’s been beneficial for him to learn about helping others and realizing people don’t have everything we have,” said Johnson. “This has made us stronger in some ways, and in others he’s been able to realize it’s not all about him.” She appreciates that Circle of Care holiday parties and events include biological and adopted children like Cooper.
OKC’S 1st Annual
“We create inclusiveness because fostering is just as much a part of their story as anyone,” said Howard, who ensures biological and
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
AND COMEDY SHOW stay updated facebook.com/therapyandbeyond
adoptive children have been included in the family’s decision to foster before parents even begin training. Circle of Care helps its foster parents understand how biological children may react when foster children are introduced to the home, including working through the emotions of getting less attention, understanding what foster children have been through and explaining differing expectations in the household. Howard encourages parents to make one-on-one time with biological and adoptive kids and to allow those children to help foster children acclimate to the home. Though difficult behavior and feelings of unfairness are normal, Howard stresses that children are resilient and will bounce back. “Instead of saying the journey is negatively affecting a child, you have to step back and determine how to help a kid walk through that journey,” said Howard. Though Johnson admits fostering can be stressful, she has never regretted her decision. A self-proclaimed “planner,” it’s been a struggle for Johnson to let go of some control and her desire to know all the answers. The hardest part for her, though, has been witnessing how trauma impacts children, a reality even for newborn babies removed from biological mothers. “I just pray for their parents to make the changes needed, and that’s hard because sometimes they don’t,” said Johnson. “There’s a lot of uncertainty.” She loves seeing her foster children grow, develop and enjoy opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them, her enjoyment of the strong bond with her current foster children’s biological family came as a bit of a surprise. “I worry about [mom] just as much as I do the kids,” said Johnson. “I’m hoping she’s OK and doing the right thing.” Circle of Care humanizes biological parents during foster parent training, explaining many are simply parenting the way they were parented. “They don’t have the support system many of us do,” said Howard. “They are hurting, broken humans, and as many poor choices as they’ve made, they still love their kids.” Case managers assist foster parents in setting appropriate boundaries with biological parents, empowering them to become the support system those parents lack. When reunifications happen, that healthy bond can translate to ongoing success for a biological family.
18 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Small gestures make a big impact
SAY YES TO FOSTER CARE
As Johnson serves as a support system for her foster kids’ biological mom, she also relies on her own support team. Her mother and sister have been crucial to her journey, but she also receives emotional and financial support from Circle of Care. Volunteer families provide respite care, and volunteers are available to care for children during monthly support group meetings. Caseworkers bring welcome baskets to new placements, a co-op offers basic necessities and an annual backto-school drive outfits all children in the home. Johnson says sometimes the smallest gestures mean the most. “Anything small, like a meal or gift card, is greatly appreciated,” said Johnson. “And an encouraging word makes a huge difference.” Those seemingly insignificant recognitions of the big work she is doing every day bolster her resolve and faith in herself to continue. “You can’t be perfect, but you can enjoy every day,” said Johnson. “Enjoy the challenges because it makes you realize how good the good days are.” Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of 12 features on foster families in the area. Find more info about fostering at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/foster-care.
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OKC Family Fun sponsored by
8 Septemberfest 13 Oklahoma State Fair 16 Wiggle Out Loud! 29 Tinkerfest
Free Labor Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center from noon – 5 p.m.
Happy Labor Day! Find a full list of events at www. metrofamilymagazine. com/labor-day
Family Skate Night at Skate Galaxy from 6 – 8 p.m.
Free Howl at the Moon at Myriad Gardens from 8 – 10 p.m.
Free Wiggle Out Loud! Family Music Festival at Myriad Gardens from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream at the Jim Norick Arena at 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.
23 Mesta Festa
at Perle Mesta Park from noon – 6 p.m.
30 Free Open Streets Moore in Old Town Moore from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. 16
World Gorilla Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
perfect for preschoolers
20 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
great for teens
worth the drive
date night idea
1 Free Saturday for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum from 10 a.m. – noon
Free Golden Grahams and Grandparents Story Time at the Moore Library from 10 – 11 a.m.
Free Pottawatomie County Free Fair opens in Shawnee
Free Cleveland County Free Fair opens in Norman
Free Midwest Summer Fest at Charles Johnson Park from 7 – 11 p.m.
Free Septemberfest at the Governor’s Mansion and the Oklahoma History Center from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tuesday Night Classics presents Singing in the Rain at Harkins Theatre
Free Reading Wednesdays at Myriad Gardens from 10 – 11 a.m.
Oklahoma State Fair opens at State Fair Park
Free LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District from 6 – 10 p.m.
Oklahoma City Fire Department Project Life Run at Regatta Park from 8 a.m. – noon
Free Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Southern Oaks Library from 6 – 8 p.m.
Free Wide Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Free Ruff Ruffman’s Sensational Science Camp at the Northwest Library at 2 & 4:30 p.m.
Free Asian Moon Festival at UCO’s Plunkett Park from 6 – 8 p.m.
Arcadia Route 66 Neonfest
Little Sapling Series at Myriad Gardens from 10 – 11 a.m.
Just Between Friends Consignment Sale at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Homestead Social: A Night on the Prairie at Harn Homestead from 6:30 – 10 p.m.
Annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch opens at Wings
Free Tinkerfest at Science Museum Oklahoma from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Find these events and hundreds more at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/calendar
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Munch with Megalodon 8 to 10 a.M. Saturday, Sept. 15
FREE Story Time at Higher Grounds Coffee Shoppe & Bakery (5814 NW 63rd St, Warr Acres) features songs, stories, crafts and snacks. Best suited for ages 6 & under. 10:30-11:30am. 6036999, www.highergroundsokc.com
FREE Golden Grahams and Grandparents Story Time at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) features stories, music and a special snack. Grandparents and caregivers welcome. 10-11am. 7935100, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
FREE Flight of the Butterflies at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a screening of the movie, Flight of the Butterflies. Before the movie starts, learn how to plant and maintain a pollinator garden and enjoy kids’ crafts, face painting, food trucks and more. 6-9pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Sept 4 – 8
McClain County Free Fair at the McClain County Expo Center (1715 Hardcastle Blvd., Purcell) delights visitors with an antique tractor display, arts and crafts exhibits, a kiddie tractor pull, beef and dairy show and a children’s rodeo. Free admission. See fair guide for a complete schedule of events. 229-2543, oces.okstate.edu/ mcclain/mcclain-county-free-fair/
Sept 6 – 9
Cleveland County Free Fair at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson St, Norman) features carnival rides, fair food, antique tractor pull, wiener dog races, exhibits, power lifting contests and more. Free admission. See website for a complete schedule of events. 360-4721, www.clevelandcountyfair.org
Sept 5 – 8
Pottawatomie County Free Fair at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center (1700 W Independence, Shawnee) features family-friendly activities including a carnival, classic fair food, daily livestock shows, a tractor pull and rodeo events. See fair guide for a complete schedule of events. 273-6092, www.freefair.org
NOW WITHE MOR H! C MUN
FREE Cook with Me at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122nd St). Learn how to make a family-friendly treat. All supplies will be provided. Preregister. Best suited for ages 5-12. 2 & 4:30pm. Also held: 10/4. 606-3580, www.metrolibrary.org
FREE Roller Coaster Challenge at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City) features a hands-on opportunity to build a roller coaster. For ages 12 & up. 4-5pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Origami Tsunami at the Edmond Library (10 S Boulevard, Edmond). Learn some new folding techniques. Preregister. For ages 9 & up. 4-5pm. 341-9282, www.metrolibrary.org
2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, OK 73072-7029 (405) 325-4712 | samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. ou.edu/eoo. For accommodations, please call (405) 325-4712.
Doggie Paddle at the Station Aquatic Center (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a doggie swim. Two dogs allowed per handler; all handlers must be at least 16 years old. $7.50 per dog. 6-8pm. 793-5000, centralpark.cityofmoore.com
22 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo District (NW 30th & 27th St, Walker and Hudson Ave) features local artists, special themed exhibits, refreshments, live music and food trucks. 6-10pm. 525-2688, www.thepaseo.org
FREE Midwest Summer Fest at the Charles Johnson Park (29th & MidAmerica Blvd, Midwest City) features live entertainment by Midas 13, a screening of Back to the Future, yard games, food trucks and more. 7-11pm. 739-1293, www.midwestcityok.org FREE Deep Deuce Director’s Cut at Deep Deuce Grill (320 NE 2nd St) features an outdoor screening of the beloved 1980s film, The Breakfast Club. Guests are invited to come dressed as “a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal.” Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Breakfast for dinner, popcorn and beverages will be available for purchase. 8pm. www.downtownokc. com/deep-deuce-directors-cut/ University of Oklahoma Women’s Soccer vs San Francisco at the OU Soccer Complex (500 Imhoff Rd, Norman). $8-$10, kids (5 & under), free. 7pm. Also held: 9/9 vs California, 9/28
vs Texas Tech, 9/30 vs Oklahoma State. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com Oklahoma State University vs California at Cowgirl Soccer Complex (398 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). $5. 7pm. Also held: 9/09 vs San Francisco, 9/28 vs Texas. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com
THE SIMPLE STEPS TO
Sept 7 & 8
Simpler Is Better. Choose recipes
Western Days Festival at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features a chili cook-off, best-dressed cowboy & cowgirl contest, food trucks, vendors, live entertainment, pancake breakfast, fun run, car show, games, a pet show, rodeo and more. Most events are free to attend, participation prices vary based on activity. See website for a schedule of events. 376-2758, www.mustangwesterndays.com
that call for simple ingredients — ones that can be used in a variety of meals, like onions, peppers and brown rice.
Use Your Freezer. Double up. Make extra food and store it in the freezer. Then, just reheat for a fast meal throughout the week!
Old Chicken Farm Vintage Barn Sale (12699 E Britton Rd, Jones) features vintage furniture, decor, handmade treasures, repurposed possessions and more. Adults, $5, kids (13 & under), free. Friday, 10am-5pm & Saturday, 9am-4pm. 740-1414, www.theoldchickenfarm.com
Pick Chicken. Buy a pre-cooked
Babies at the Museum at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a gallery program designed for babies 0-24 mos. Enjoy story time, songs, a gallery tour and playtime. Preregister. Members, $5; non-members, $12. 10amnoon. 278-8213, www.okcmoa.com
Prep on Weekends. Or any time.
rotisserie chicken and add it to sandwiches, tacos, salads and more.
Spend some time at the store, and then the kitchen. Get your kids involved too!
Sept 7 – 9
Wizard World Comic Con Tulsa at the Cox Business Center (100 Civic Center, Tulsa) features dozens of celebrities and industry professionals as well as live entertainment, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions, movie screenings, anime, a kids’ zone and more. $39.95 & up; kids (10 & under), free. Friday, 4-9pm; Saturday, 10am-7pm; Sunday, 10am4pm. 310-648-8410, wizd.me/TulsaPR
Piedmont Founders Day in Olde Town Piedmont (Piedmont & Jackson, Piedmont) features parade, 5K, inflatables, kids’ obstacle course, train rides, pony rides, a petting zoo and more. Free to attend. 7:30am-4pm. 373-0072, www.piedmontokfoundersday.org
Y. EAT HEALTH
Y. LIVE HEALTH
WHOLE GRAINS (Breads, Pastas,
DAILY MEAL PLANNE (Meat, Seafood,
Beans and Peas,
HEALTHY. LIVE SHOP HEALTHY. EAT
LOW FAT DAIRY (Yogurt, Milk, Cheese)
Items, Baking Goods,
Another helpful tip? Try our Daily Meal Planner!
Find it — and tons of easy, healthy recipes — at
HEALTHY MEXICAN CASSEROLE | CAULIFLOWER CHICKEN FRIED RICE METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
CHICKEN SALAD SALAD
FREE Catfish Round Up Fishing Clinic at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park Creek (8700 E Reno Ave, Midwest City). Boys and girls ages 6-15 can learn how to cast, tie a knot, learn about outdoor ethics and more. A limited number of poles will be available for use. 8-11am. 739-1293, www.midwestcityok.org Banjo Fest at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Center (6000 S Trosper Pl, Midwest City) features a lineup of banjo’s best from around the world performing bluegrass, folk, jazz and classical music melded together. $20-$35. 7pm. 2972264, www.okcciviccenter.com FREE VegFest OKC at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features local vendors, group fitness, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers and activities for kids. 9am-5pm. www.vegfestokc.com FREE Harrah Day at Harrah Heritage Park (1374 N Church Ave, Harrah) features a parade, carnival, live music, health fair and more. Great Plains
Amusements Carnival will run Sept. 6-9. Free admission; carnival cards, $20. 9:30am. 454-2190, www.harrahchamber.com/harrah-day FREE Dads & Donuts Story Time at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features stories, crafts and donuts. For ages 3-6 with a caregiver, but all ages welcome. 10-11am. 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org Doggy Dip ‘N Dash at Earlywine Park and Family Aquatic Center (3101 SW 119th St) features a 1.5-mile dash around Earlywine Park and a dip in the pool at Earlywine Family Aquatic Center for dog swimmers only. $5-$8, in advance; $8-$15 day of event. 10am-1pm. 297-2279, www.okc.gov FREE Septemberfest at the Governor’s Mansion & Oklahoma History Center (820 NE 23rd St & 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr) features more than 50 attractions including crafts, music, storytelling, historical re-enactments, agricultural exhibits, face-painting and more. Families are also
encouraged to bring picnics to enjoy on the lawn and food vendors will be on site. The Oklahoma History Center will be open and free to the public all day. 10am-3pm. 5223602, www.fomok.org/event/septemberfest Junklahoma at The Old Store (100 Monroe NW, Piedmont) features a wide variety of junk, vintage, antique, handmade and boutique style vendors. Free to attend. 10am-4pm. 373-2093, www.facebook.com/junklahomaofficial/ FREE See You Saturdays at Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) features themed experiences and learning opportunities for families to enjoy together including crafts and guided tours. All ages welcome. 10am-5pm. 235-4485, www.oklahomahof.com Okie Made Market on Film Row (701 W Sheridan Ave) features an outdoor market with vendors that carry products made in Oklahoma. Free to attend. 10am-5pm. 810-6977, www.revolve-productions.com
Where They Went: SELL THE TOYS, CLOTHES AND EQUIPMENT YOUR KIDS HAVE OUTGROWN FOR CASH TODAY.
A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals
Exhibit opens Sept. 21 “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers
Exhibit funded by
13801 N. PENNSYLVANIA AVE N. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73134 405-286-3114 | ONCEUPONACHILDOKCNORTH.COM
24 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
(405) 522-0765 www.okhistory.org 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr./OKC
FREE Early Birds School Readiness Program at Cesar Chavez Elementary School (600 SE Grand Blvd) features a 90-minute class covering topics like child development, everyday learning opportunities, activities that promote school readiness, purposeful parenting techniques and health and safety. Preregister. 10:30am-noon. 587-0422, www.earlybirdsok.org OU Football vs UCLA at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (1185 Asp Ave, Norman). Prices vary. Noon. Also held: 9/22 vs Army, 9/29 vs Baylor. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com Blacklight Run 5K at Remington Park (Remington Pl) features a preparty, 5K race and post party. $20-$60. 5:30-9pm. 424-1000, blacklightrun. com/locations/oklahoma/
Sept 8 & 9
Grandparent’s Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper
Great Location near Kilpatrick Turnpike & Wilshire Blvd.
Prices vary. 10am-4pm. 600-4905, www. facebook.com/pawsitivelypamperedyukon/
Memorial Dr, Sulphur) features a special celebration including discounts in the Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center, the Aachompa’ gift shops and the Aaimpa’ Cafe for grandparents. Free to attend, some admission rates apply to different activities. Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com
Oklahoma State University vs South Alabama at Boone Pickens Stadium (700 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 9/15 vs Boise State, 9/22 vs Texas Tech. 877-ALL-4-OSU, www.okstate.com
FREE Public Pond & Garden Tour in Oklahoma City (various locations) features a variety of local water gardens and pond available for viewing including pondless waterfalls, bubbling rock features, container water gardens and more. Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 1-6pm. 802-6200, www.wgso.org/pondtour.html
OKC Charity Polo Match at the OKC Polo Club (11301 E Memorial Rd, Jones) features a polo match benefiting Smart Start Central Oklahoma. Enjoy lunch, drinks and an afternoon of polo as Team USA face off against Team Great Britain. $40-$175. 11:30am-5pm. 404-8876, www.okccharitypolo.com
FREE Howl at the Moon at Myriad Garden Dog Park (301 W Reno Ave) features a pet-friendly social evening with food, beers, corn hole and more. For ages 21 & older. 8-10pm. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org
Pawsitively Pampered Annual Dog Wash & Vendor Event at Yukon National Bank (1550 Garth Brooks Blvd, Yukon) features a dog wash fundraiser benefitting Pets and People Humane Society, a no-kill animal shelter in Yukon.
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Drive fore Autism Golf Tournament at the Greens Golf Course & Country Club (13100 Green Valley Dr) features a golf tournament benefiting Autism Oklahoma. Teams, $500. Lunch, 11:30am; shotgun start, 1pm. www.autismoklahoma.org
Sept 13 – 23
Evening Bug Hunt at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn about the flying, crawling and creeping creatures that come out at night in the Gardens. Attendees will go exploring and make a craft to take home. Best suited for ages 6-11. Preregister. Members, $6; non-members, $7. 6:30-7:30pm. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org
Sept 13 – 28
FREE Mariachi Fest at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a free mariachi concert under the stars. Food trucks will be on site and attendees can enjoy lawn games. 7-11pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features fair food, midway games and rides, five exhibit halls, concerts, livestock competitions and more. Adults, $12; kids (6-11), $6; kids (5 & under), free. Season passes and discount days available. See website for a schedule of events. 948-6700, www.okstatefair.com
Little Sapling Series at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features songs, games and interactive fun to learn about gardens. Each week features a new theme with corresponding activities and learning opportunities. Preregister. For ages 2-5. Members, $3; non-members, $4. Also held: 9/25. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org FREE Early Birds School Readiness Program at Ridgeview Elementary School (10010 Ridgeview Dr) features a 90-minute class covering topics like child development, everyday learning opportunities, activities that promote school readiness, purposeful parenting techniques and health and safety. Preregister. 6-7:30pm. 5870422, www.earlybirdsok.org
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park presents Richard III at the Myriad Gardens Water Stage (301 W Reno Ave) features a spider-like folktale web, full of rollercoaster lurches and plunges, about the murderous quest for absolute power and the moral demise and military downfall of England’s notorious Richard III. $20; students, $15. 8pm. 235-3700, www.oklahomashakespeare.com
FREE Baby Boot Camp Norman Fitness Class at Andrews Park (201 W Daws St, Norman) features a free class with fun activities and giveaways. The community is welcome to join. Bring your baby/ child in a stroller. Preregister. 9-10:30am. 795-0588, www.babybootcamp.com
Sept 13 – 15
University of Oklahoma Women’s Volleyball vs Northwestern State at the McCasland Field House (151 E Brooks St, Norman). $8-$15; kids (5 & under), free. 11am. Also held: 9/14 & 15 vs Texas A&M; 9/21 vs Kansas State, 9/26 vs Kansas. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com
FREE Firefighter Story Time at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features a story time with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Best suited for ages 5 & under. 10-11am. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org Friends of the Library Book Bazaar at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library (2201 SW 134th St) features books for all ages available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the SOKC Public Library. Free to attend. Thursday, 9am-8:30pm; Friday, 9am-7:30pm; Saturday, 9am-4pm. 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
Sept 13 – 18
Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream at the Jim Norick Arena (333 Gordon Cooper Blvd) features Moana, Belle and a host of other Disney characters in an on-ice performance. $15-$45. See website for performance times. 948-6700, www.okstatefair.com
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
FREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in the Norman Arts District (downtown Norman) features a monthly celebration of the arts in Norman. 6-9pm. www.2ndfridaynorman.com FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th St) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more on the second Friday of the month. 6-10pm. www.plazadistrict.org/live/ FREE Movie Night @ the Park at the Mitch park Amphitheater (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features an outdoor screening of Wonder. Admission is free and concessions are $1. Movies begins at dusk. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com
Sept 14 & 15
Museum Playdate at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a gallery program designed for ages 2-4. Enjoy story time, songs, a gallery tour and playtime. Preregister. Members, $5; non-members, $12. 10amnoon. 278-8213, www.okcmoa.com
Sept 14 – 16
Scotfest at River West Festival Park (2101 S Jackson Ave, Tulsa) features food, crafts, live Celtic music, highland games, Scottish and Irish dance demonstrations, a Celtic dog parade and genealogy & family history sessions. Adults, $10; kids (6-12), $5; kids (6 & under), free. See website for a complete schedule of events. 918-740-7738, www.okscotfest.com
Sept 14 – 21
Rigoletto at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features Verdi’s famously dark tale of power and sacrifice. Touching on issues of privilege and influence, this fast-paced opera rings as true today as it did when it premiered more than 160 years ago. $35 & up. Friday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 594-8300, www.okcciviccenter.com
Munch with Megalodon Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features breakfast and crafts as well as family fun in the exhibit Megalodon. Complimentary breakfast for the first 250 visitors included with regular admission. Free with admission. 8-10am. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
Picture your child on MetroFamily’s cover! We’re looking for local kids ages 2-12 with big smiles and bright personalities to grace our upcoming covers in 2019.
All families who enter the contest will be required to attend an exclusive and fun Cover Kids Search Party to be hosted from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Park House Event Center of Myriad Botanical Gardens.
It’s easy to enter! Register by Sept. 21 at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/ coverkidssearch. Entry is $25 for one child and $50 for up to five entries.
PLUS, if you are one of the first 100 to enter, your family will receive a goody bag at the event that is FULL of great surprises and FREE admission to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory on the day of the event!
Thank you to our sponsors, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Au Pair in America, Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care Inc., Spontaneity Kid Care, Forever After Parties and Foto Arts Photography (winner of our Family Favorites award for best local photographer).
Oklahoma City Fire Department Project Life Run at Regatta Park (701 S Lincoln Blvd) features a 5K and onemile fun run to raise money for smoke alarms for Oklahoma City residents in need. Preregister. $30. 8am-noon. 2973428, www.signmeup.com/126874
a different amazing superhero each week and on occasion a villain or two as well. All ages welcome. 10:30amnoon. Also held: 9/29. 721-7634, www. facebook.com/newworldcomicsokc/ Grow the Game Lacrosse Exhibition Game and Players Clinic at Cheyenne Middle School (1271 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features a women’s exhibition game & players’ clinic for girls in grades 3-12 following the game. Preregister. Game admission, free; clinic, $20. 1-4pm. 816-2998, www.endurancelacrosse.com
Mushrooms and Gnomes in the Gardens at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn about the basic types of mushrooms and where they grow and finish by making mushrooms and gnomes out of recycled materials for a little scene to take home. If the weather is right, the group will go on a mushroom hunt. Best suited for ages 6-10. Preregister. Members, $6; nonmembers, $8. 1-2pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
FREE Heard on Hurd Street Fest in Edmond (Broadway between 1st & Hurd, Edmond) features local food, unique shopping and live music. 6-10pm. www. citizensedmond.com/heardonhurd.htm
FREE Movie in the Park at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features an outdoor screening of Coco, food trucks, games, face painting and more. Movie will begin at dusk. 6pm. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. 528-2122, www.cuppiesandjoe.com
Urban Camping at RIVERSPORT Adventures (800 Riversport Dr) features classic camping with favorite activities like stargazing and outdoor games, just steps away from modern conveniences including indoor restrooms. $10 per tent. 7pm. 522-4040, www.riversportokc.org
FREE Wiggle Out Loud! at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features Kindie Rock bands and fun movement and creative activities. Healthy food choices abound with local food trucks and vendors. 10:30am-4:30pm. 834-3111, www. volunteeratchildrens.org/wiggle-out-loud
Wings over Weatherford at the Stafford Air & Space Museum (3000 Logan Rd, Weatherford) features historic aircraft including war-birds, bombers, biplanes and more. $5; members and kids (12 & under), free. 10am-4pm. 580-772-5871, www.facebook.com/ staffordairandspacemuseum/
FREE Fiestas Patrias OKC at Wiley Post Park (2021 S Robinson Ave) features a concert by internationally known recording artists and a special ceremony called El Grito de Independencia as well as food, drinks, a business expo, activities for the kids and more. 1-10pm. 360-1200, www.facebook.com/scissortailcdc
FREE Monarch Butterfly Watch at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur) features hands-on outdoor classrooms, take-home crafts, games and more. 10am-4pm. 580-6227130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com FREE Early Birds School Readiness Program at Linwood Elementary School (3416 NW 17th St) features a 90-minute class covering topics like child development, everyday learning opportunities, activities that promote school readiness, purposeful parenting techniques and health and safety. Preregister. English, 10:30am-noon; Spanish, 1:30-3pm. 587-0422, www.earlybirdsok.org
FREE All About Pollinators at Warr Acres Library (5901 NW 63rd St, Warr Acres). Holly Hunter, a butterfly garden curator, will teach the importance of bees and butterflies and how you can help support them with gardens, butterfly huts and bee hotels. All ages welcome. 3pm. 721-2616, www.metrolibrary.org
FREE Superhero School at New World Comics (6219 N Meridian Ave) features
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Putnam City Schools Foundation Golf Tournament at The Greens Country Club (13100 Green Valley Dr) features a four-player scramble, lunch &
dinner, free practice balls, raffles and individual contest including hole-inone, closet to the pin and longest drive. Benefits STEM education in Putnam City elementary schools. Teams, $1,200; individuals, $250. 11:30am-5pm. 4955200 ext. 1205, www.pcf4kids.org
FREE Talk Like a Pirate Story Time at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) features a special pirate themed story time complete with a plank, crafts and stories. Dress up encouraged. All ages welcome. 10-11am. 793-5100, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Celebremos! An Appreciation of Hispanic Culture at Norman East Library (3051 E Alameda St, Norman) features traditional crafts, sweet treats and fun games. All ages welcome. 4:30-6pm. 217-0770, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Southern Oaks Library (6900 S Walker Ave) features a scavenger hunt, pirate costume contest, crafts, games and more. All ages welcome. 6-8pm. 631-4468, www.metrolibrary.org
Sept 18 – 23
Les Misérables at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon. Recommended for ages 10 & up. $38.02 & up. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 1:30 & 7pm. 594-8300, www.okcbroadway.com
FREE Touch, Learn, Create – Dinosaurs at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library (2201 SW 134th St) features sensory themed activity stations for children ages 2-6. 10-11:30am. 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
FREE Ruff Ruffman’s Sensational Science Camp at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122rd St) explores science inquiry and engineering design processes using fun, hands-on activities with Ruff Ruffman and his friends. Preregister. For ages 12 & under. 2 & 4:30pm. 606-3580, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Talk Like A Pirate Day at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster
sign displays, demonstrations and tutorials as well as live music, neon campfires, a film festival and more. See website for a complete schedule. $5 suggested donation. 626-3001, www.facebook.com/ArcadiaNeonFest
Ave, Norman) features crafts and games to celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Dress up encouraged. All ages welcome. 4-5pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
Sept 21 – 24
Annual Scrabble Showdown at Castle Falls Event Center (820 N MacArthur Blvd) features a Scrabble tournament, silent auction and drawings, designed to raise awareness of the OKC Metro Literacy Coalition. $30-$60. 5-9pm. 830-2790, www.okcliteracycoalition.org
FREE The Compassion Experience at Faith Bible Church (600 N Coltrane Rd, Edmond) features an interactive journey through the true stories of children living in developing countries like the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. Preregister. Friday, 11am-6:40pm; Saturday, 11am-6:40pm; Sunday, 9am-4:40pm; Monday, 11am6:40pm. cts.compassion.com/events/1061
Mysteries of the Overholser Mansion Tour at the Henry Overholser Mansion (405 NW 15th St) features an afterhours tour of the mansion, the chance to examine archival materials and hear some amazing stories. Preregister. $20. 7-8:30pm. 525-5325, www.okhistory. org/sites/overholsermansion.php
FREE Ping Pong Mania at The Station at Central Park (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a family friendly evening of ping pong. All experience levels welcome. Best suited for ages 6 & up. 7:30-9:30pm. 7935090, centralpark.cityofmoore.com Adorable Affordables Consignment Sale at Payne County Expo Center (Hwy 51 & Fairgrounds Rd, Stillwater) features gently used children’s, maternity and scrapbooking items, some items half price. Free to attend. Thursday & Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 8am-2pm. 747-7304, www.adorableaffordable.net
World Rhino Day Celebration at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features information stations to help guests learn how to help save rhinos and their habitat. Free with admission. 10am-2pm. 424-3344, www.okczoo.org
Sept 21 – 23
Route 66 Neonfest in Arcadia (various locations) features neon
email@example.com 405.216.5240 passitonkids.com
Save the Date October 12-13
Memorial Road Church of Christ
2221 E. Memorial Road, Edmond, OK
FREE Story Time at the Boxcar (2100 N Eastern Ave, Moore) features story time, songs and a little bit of dancing hosted by representatives of the Moore library for kids ages 12 & under. 4-4:30pm. 7597295, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
Sept 20 – 22
Consign and Shop
Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live (various locations). Participating museums, zoos & cultural centers across the country will open their doors for free. Tickets required. www. smithsonianmag.com/museumday/tickets
St. Jude Walk/Run at Stars and Stripes Park (3701 S Lake Hefner Dr) features a family-friendly walk/ run to raise money for the children of St. Jude. $10 & up. 8:30am-noon. 403-7762, www.stjude.org/walkrun Walk a Mile in Our Boots Walk at North River Trail (1120 S Western Ave) features a 2.2 mile walk to raise awareness during Veteran’s Suicide Prevention Month. Benefits Flames to Hope miniature therapy horses. $22. 10am-1pm. 9244380, flamestohope.redpodium.com/ walk-a-mile-in-our-boots-2018 Hometown Heroes Day at Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western Ave). Police, firefighters and EMTs are invited to the Farm for free. Family members receive discounted admission. 10am-9pm. 799-3276, www.orrfamilyfarm.com FREE I Don’t Like Spiders or Snakes Animal Program at the Norman East Library (3051 E Alameda St, Norman) features a fun and lively talk about creepy, crawly critters with Naturalist Ernie Martin from Lake Thunderbird State Park. Learn about species identification and interact with some live creatures. Preregister. All ages welcome. 2-3:30pm. 217-0770, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Sale Times: FRIDAY 8:00 am - 6:00 PM SATURDAY 8:00 am - 3:00 PM (1/2 price day) Lilyfield is excited to host Pass It On, where all the proceeds will help more children find loving families!
Mummy Son Costume Party 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, drinks, games and a costume contest. Saturday | October 13 | 5–8p Ages: 4–12 | Register by Fri., Oct. 6 Fee: $30/couple & $10/ea. add’l boy Location: MAC at Mitch Park Register Today! EdmondParks.com
Follow us on
Color Mustang 5K at Wildhorse Park (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features a 5K, one-mile fun run or walk and a pre-race dance party with a color war. Preregister. $10. 8:15am. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org
exhibits, seminars, clinics, workshops and demonstrations centered on wildlife and outdoor activities. Saturday, 9am6pm, Sunday, 9am-5pm. 522-6279, www.wildlifedepartment.com/expo
Aprons & Rations at Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond). Step into the shoes of the average 1940s housewife. Make recipes from the time, learn about shopping for rationed food and make your own non-sew t-shirt apron. Bring a t-shirt or two of your choice. Best suited for adults and kids 7-17. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $10. 10am-noon. 340-0078, www.edmondhistory.org Fall Fairy Fashion at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Create your very own fall fairies from natural materials. The group will read a fairy book for fashion inspiration, then head out for a walk around the Children’s Garden to collect materials. Costumes welcome. Preregister. Best suited for ages 5-9. Members, $4; non-members, $5. 10-11am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
FREE Oklahoma Wildlife Expo at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features hands-on, interactive
ling & S 1/2 Price Bow se. Every Open to Clo Monday!
Mesta Festa at Perle Mesta Park (NW 18th & Shartel Ave) features outdoor games, arts and crafts, live music, sand volleyball, local artists, food trucks and a beer and wine garden. Free to attend. Noon-6pm. 426-9698, www.mestapark.org
Uptown Fun(5)K in the Uptown 23rd District (Guyutes on NW 22nd & Shartel Ave) features fun run through the treelined streets of historic Mesta Park and Heritage Hills. Benefits the Uptown 23rd District Association. $15-$40. 10am-1pm. www.uptown23rd.com/5k
Ask about our party packages!
Sept 23 – 29
FREE Big Wheel Nationals at Moore Central Park (700 Broadway Ave, Moore ). Kids ages 4 to 8 years old can test their pedal speeds and race on a sponsored Big Wheel. Spectators and racers can also enjoy inflatables, giveaways, food trucks and more. 4:30pm. 793-5090, www.cityofmoore.com
Sept 22 – 23
15th Anniversary Celebration at Tiger Safari Zoological Park (963 County St 2930, Tuttle) features special activities and free admission for kids ages 12 and under. $15/person. 9am5:30pm. 381-9453, tigersafari.us
OKC Energy vs Sacramento Republic FC at Taft Stadium (2501 N May Ave). $11 & up. 6pm. 235-5425, www.Energyfc.com
FREE Family Escape Room at the Mustang Library (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang). Follow the clues, solve the mystery and see if you have what it takes to get out before time runs out. Recommended for groups of 2-6 people, ages 8 and up. Preregister. Noon-4pm. 376-2226, www.mustanglibrary.org
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 putt around on the FREE putting course. $8 green fee; $8 carts. 5pm. 341-5350, www.kickingbirdgolf.com
Happy Hour ! Mondayshoes
Just Between Friends Consignment Sale at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson St, Norman) features new & gently used children’s clothes, toys, furniture & accessories. Admission charged on select days: Sunday, $2; Thursday, $5. See website for hours of operation. www.norman.jbfsale.com
World Gorilla Day at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features information stations to help guests learn how to help save endangered gorillas and their habitat. Free with admission. 10am-2pm. 424-3344, www.okczoo.org FREE Escape the Library at the Choctaw Library (2525 Muzzy St, Choctaw). Kids ages 12 & up can use clues and solve puzzles to see if they can escape before the time runs out. 10-11am. Also held: 9/27 from 4-5pm. 390-8418, www.metrolibrary.org
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
421 NW 10th | 405.609.3302 dustbowlok.com
Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features timed runs and a leisurely hour’s ride through Downtown. Lights and helmets are required. All ages welcome. $5. 7-8:30pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
FREE Willy Wonka Chocolate Fest at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City) features an hour of candy-themed activities and treats to eat. For ages 12-18. 4-5pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org
Little Sapling Series at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features songs, games and interactive fun to learn about gardens. Each week features a new theme with corresponding activities and learning opportunities. Preregister. For ages 2-5. Members, $3; non-members, $4. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Sept 26 – 29
FREE Pop and Palette Teen Night at the Mustang Public Library (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang). An instructor will lead teens in painting their own art work as they sip on their favorite soda. For ages 12 - 17. Preregister. 5:30pm. 376-2226, mustangpubliclibrary.eventbrite.com
Sept 27 – Oct 7
Tulsa State Fair at Expo Square (4145 E 21st St, Tulsa) features carnival rides, attractions, concerts, creative arts, food, livestock competitions & more. Adults, $8-$10; military & seniors (62+), $6; kids (5-12), $6; kids (under 5), free. Opens most days at 10am. 918744-1113, www.tulsastatefair.com
ZOObrew at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features a beer-tasting event with samples from local breweries and distributors as well as live music and food. Must be 21 to attend. Members, $40; nonmembers, $50; designated drivers, $20. 7-10pm. 425-0618, www.zoofriends.org
Sept 27 – 30
National Cavalry Competition at the Historic Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne St, El Reno) features an equestrian competition including mounted saber and pistol courses, wagons and a unit demonstration. Adults, $8; kids, $5; seniors & military, $7. 9am-4pm. 4226330, www.facebook.com/USCavalry.org/
Western Dressage World Championship Show at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features more than 30 breed awards and 20 divisional championship as well as other competitions including musical freestyle jackpot classes and a therapeutic riding exhibition. Free to attend. 8:30am. 282-3004, www.wdaaworldshow.org
Sept 28 – 30
Rock Island Arts Festival at the Rock Island Depot (100 Chickasha Ave, Chickasha) features fine arts display, live entertainment, face painting, storytelling, crafts and inflatables. Free to attend. Friday-Saturday, 10am-
PUMPKIN PATCH & 3-Acre Mystery Maze
Sept. 22-Oct. 31 NEW: Live music on the weekends! Mon~Sat 9am-6pm Sun 1-6pm Regular Gate Admission: $10 Kids age 1-10, $6 ages 11-64, Ages 0-12 months & 65 and older FREE! Full Concession Stand Available, Indoor & Outdoor Seating We accept ~ Cash, Checks, Visa, Mastered, Discover
Includes Unlimited: •Hayride •Giant Slide •Petting Zoo (zoo food sold separately) •Pony Rides (under 75lbs.)
•Games •3-Acre Mystery Maze •One (1) Pumpkin (1 per paid guest, from designated area, while supplies last)
405-373-1595, 5201 Cimarron Road NW Piedmont, OK 73078 From NW Expressway: Exit North (at blue water tower) onto Cimarron Road. We are 3.5 Miles North on Cimarron Road
Find Us on Facebook @ Chester’s Party Barn & Farm
32 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
9pm; Sunday, noon-4pm. 274-7547, www.rockislandartsfestival.org FREE International Festival at Elder Thomas Park (3rd & NW Ferris Ave, Lawton) features concerts, food, children’s activities, demonstration artists, a parade, vendors & multi-cultural entertainment. Friday, 5-10pm; Saturday, 11am-10pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-581-3470, www. cityof.lawton.ok.us/lahc/IF.htm Oklahoma Regatta Festival at the OKC Boathouse District (725 S Lincoln Blvd) features rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and a family festival with a children’s area, fireworks, food trucks and a beer garden. Free to attend. Thursday & Friday, 6-9pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 7am5pm. 552-4040, www.riversportokc.org Meredith Willson’s The Music Man at the OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater (7777 S May Ave) features a celebration concert of the Broadway classic’s 60th anniversary. $12-$35.
Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 1:30pm. 682-7579, tickets.occc.edu
Sept 28 – Oct 7
A Day Out with Thomas at the Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand Blvd) features Thomas, Sir Topham Hatt, an Imagination Station and more. Friday, $16; Saturday & Sunday, $18; Children (2 & under), free. 8am-6pm. See website for departure times. 424-8222, www.oklahomarailwaymuseum.org
Down Syndrome Festival & 5K at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features a 5K run and awareness walk as well as games, inflatables, a petting zoo, animal exhibit and more. 5K, $35 & up. 8am-noon. 600-9981, www.dsfestivaland5k.com FREE Tinkerfest at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) features a variety of hands-on activities using raw materials and tools to create unique
machines, launch rockets and more. There is no charge for museum admission or Tinkerfest activities. 9am-4pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org/tinkerfest OKC Toy Show at Crossroads Convention Center (7000 Crossroads Blvd) features 40 plus tables of collectables for sale or trade. $5; kids (12 & under), free. 9am-5pm. www.oktdc.com Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Takes Steps Walk at Stars and Stripes Park (3701 S Lake Hefner Dr) features a fun run and celebration benefiting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Free to attend; fundraising encouraged. 10am-noon. 972-386-0607, www. cctakesteps.org/oklahomacity2018 Character Day at Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western Ave). Meet princesses and super heroes and enjoy the farm’s attractions. Super hero or princess costumes encouraged. Free with admission. 11am-1pm & 2-4pm. 799-3276, www.orrfamilyfarm.com
Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave.
This exhibition is organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Society of the Four Arts, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Frick Art and Historical Center, and Artis—Naples, the Baker Museum. Isabelle de Borchgrave, Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé (detail), 2017. Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
in the LEGO theater and vendors selling the latest LEGO sets, mini-figures and accessories. $15 & up. 10am-4pm. 919906-3428, www.brickuniverse.org/tulsa
FREE Fiestas de las Americas in the Historic Capitol Hill District (SW 25th between Harvey & Robinson Ave) features the colorful Parade of the Americas, food, games, music, art and more. 10am-8pm. 632-0133, www.historiccapitolhill.com FREE Learn to Pick a Tune with Lucas at the American Banjo Museum (9 E Sheridan Ave). Lucas Ross will teach those who have never played the banjo before. Banjos will be provided. Preregister. 2pm. 604-2793, www.americanbanjomuseum.com FREE Superhero School at New World Comics (6219 N Meridian Ave) features a different amazing super hero each week and on occasion a villain or two as well. All ages welcome. 10:30am-noon. 721-7634, www.facebook.com/newworldcomicsokc/
FREE National Alpaca Farm Days at Magnolia Blossom Ranch (2901 NW 16th St, Newcastle) features up-close encounters, an alpaca obstacle courses, live demonstrations, farm tours and inflatables. Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 1-4pm. 412-4845, www.magnoliablossomranch.com
Grape Stomp Festival at Canadian River Vineyards & Winery (7050 Slaughterville Rd, Slaughterville) features familyfriendly activities, a pumpkin patch, wine tastings, grape stomp, live music and shopping. Free to attend. Noon-5pm. 872-5565, www.canadianriverwinery.net
FREE Plaza District Festival (1700 block of NW 16th St) features live music, food trucks, visual art exhibitions, children’s activities and more. 11am-10pm. 3679403, www.plazadistrictfestival.com FREE Retro Video Game Tournament at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave). Compete for a grand prize in a fun and casual setting. All ages are welcome. Younger children must be accompanied by a responsible adult or sibling. Preregister. 1-3pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org
FREE Open Streets Moore in Old Town Moore (101 N Main St, Moore) features a community event with family-friendly health and wellness activities. 12:30-3:30pm. 579-2245, www.facebook.com/CleCountyHealth/
FREE First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Museum (2401 S Chautauqua, Norman) features complimentary admission for kids 17 years old and under. General admission applies to guests 18 and older. Adults (18-64), $8; seniors (65+), $6; kids (17 & under), free. 10am5pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
Lunar Moon Festival at Military Park (Classen & NW 24th St) features dragon dances and other traditional dance performances, food trucks, shopping and games. 4-10pm. 763-5904, www. facebook.com/congdongvnokc/ FREE Myriad Gardens Signature Concert of Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features headliner Parker Millsap and special guests Chase Kerby and the Villians. All ages welcome. VIP, $35. 7:30pm. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org
Moms Mingle and Comedy Show for Moms of Children with Autism at Studio 806 (806 Dean A McGee Ave) features the comedian Kirk Smith as well as food, drinks and giveaways. 6-9pm. www.therapyandbeyond. com/autism-community-events
Sept 29 – 30
BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Expo at the Cox Business Center (100 Civic Center, Tulsa) features hands-on LEGO attractions and activities including guest speakers
34 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Homeschool Day at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse (124 E 2nd St, Edmond). Experience a day in the life of an early Edmond student. Preregister. $5. 1-4pm. 715-1889, www.edmondhistory. org/1889-territorial-schoolhouse/
Oct 4 – 6
Monkey Business Children’s Consignment Sale at the Shawnee Expo Center (1700 W Independence, Shawnee) features items for children, teens, and moms-to-be. Many items half-price Saturday. Free to attend. Thursday & Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 9am-2pm. 580320-3605, www.monkeybusinessok.com
Oct 5 & 6
Sensory Night at Pumpkinville at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a welcoming environment to experience the fall festival with no loud music and smaller crowds. Siblings are welcome. Members, $10; non-members, $12; adults, free. 6-8pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Oct 5 – 21
Pumpkinville at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a celebration of pumpkins, harvest and all things fall. Thousands of pumpkins will fill the Children’s Garden along with crafts, games, imaginative displays, a party and more. Members & kids (2 & under), free; non-members, $6. 10am-5pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Monarch Madness 5k & Festival at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St) features a 5K & one-mile fun run benefiting local monarch butterfly conservation. The officially timed course simulates the 4,000 kilometer migration monarchs make from Canada to Mexico for the winter with themed water stops along the trail. Festival activities will include craft stations, butterfly tagging and garden tours. Festival: free with admission; run: Adults, $40; kids (3-12), $30. 8am-2pm. 424-3344, www.okczoo.org
Tunnel to Towers 5K at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features a 5K run benefiting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundations. $25. 9am. www.t2trun.org
: E T A THE D 18
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Sept le Out L p.m. Wigg . to 4:30 dens ar .m a G l 0 a 3 10: tanic o B d Myria FREE FAMILY FUN
Wiggle Out Loud is Oklahoma City’s free family music festival. We aim to get kids of all ages movin’ and groovin’ their way to healthier lives. Festival features • Top touring and local musicians • Activation stations promoting healthy, active and creative lifestyles • Art experiences • Food trucks (with healthier options) • Local vendors and more The Children’s Hospital VOLUNTEERS is the charity partner for Wiggle Out Loud. Sponsors, discounted services, creative collaborations and donations allow the festival to be free for families and helps offer creative arts programs for kids at The Children's Hospital. Get ready to Wiggle Out Loud!
BENEFITING THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS
pumpkin patches &
Fall festivals Packages and season passes available. See website for hours of operation. 799-3276, www.orrfamilyfarm.com
Opening Sept 14
Sunshine Shelly’s Pumpkin Patch (7110 N Harrison, Shawnee) features u-pickem pumpkins and ornamental gourds for sale, four-acre corn maze, hay rides, a kiddie train, corn cannon, haunted maze on the weekends, small petting zoo, rubber duck races, fire pits, picnic areas and more. Adults, $7; seniors (65 & up); kids (2-12), $5; kids (1 & under), free. Some activities require an additional fee. No admission charged to pick pumpkins. See website for hours of operation. www.facebook.com/sunshineshellys/
Opening Sept 21
Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch (720 Henney, Arcadia) includes hay rides, a cornfield maze, fun fort, petting zoo, hay rides, pony rides, fire pits for roasting, picnic areas and more. Cash or check only. General admission, $9; Thursdays, $8; kids (2 and under), free. Thursday, 1-6pm; FridaySaturday,10am-8pm; Sunday, 1-6pm. 315-7392, www.parkhurstranch.com
Chester’s Pumpkin Patch & 3-Acre Mystery Maze (5201 Cimarron Rd., Piedmont) features a pumpkin patch (one pumpkin per paid guest), maze petting zoo, hay ride, giant slide, pony rides, concessions and live music on the weekends. Monday-Saturday 9am6pm, Sunday 1-6pm. $6 for ages 11-64; under 1 year and 65+ admitted free. 373-1595, www.chesterspartybarn.com
Opening Sept 25
Wizarding World of Tiger Safari (963S Frisco Rd, Tuttle) features up-close encounters with animals, themed photo stations, pumpkins and hay rides. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. $15 per person. 9am-6pm. 381-9453, www.wizardingworldoftigersafari.com
Opening Sept 26
The Busy Bee Pumpkin (10005 US 77, Lexington) features a variety of pumpkins for sale while supplies last. Families can explore the farm, browse the selection of gourds and snap a few photos. Free admission. Open seven day a week, 9am6pm. 872-9188, www.thebusybeeok.com
Opening Sept 22
Rustic Roots Pumpkin Patch (105340 Greer Rd, Lamont) features pumpkins and fall decor as well as a corn maze, petting zoo, corn cannon, hay maze, jump pad, hay fort, concessions and more. The corn maze is haunted after dark! $7-$12. Tuesday & Wednesday, by appointment only; Thursday - Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 1-6pm. 580-7163608, www.rusticrootsevents.com
Opening Sept 28
The Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western) features hay rides, a pumpkin patch, corn maze and fun fall activities. Some activities may require additional fees like the Zombie Apocalypse Paintball, offered on select days. Weekdays, $11.95; weekends, $15.95.
36 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
WINGS: A Special Needs Community Fall Harvest Pumpkin Patch (13700 N Eastern, Edmond) features pumpkins, pony rides, a pumpkin train, hay rides, hay slide, corn maze, bounce houses, games and more. $5; kids (3 & under), free. Friday & Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 1-6pm. 242-4646, www.wingsok.org Reding Farm (614 Reding, Chickasha) features Oklahoma’s largest corn maize, hay rides (haunted & not haunted),
a pumpkin patch, cow train, gem mining, movies and more. Prices vary, $2-$25. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 1-6pm. 2220624, www.redsiloproductions.com
Opening Sept 29
Wild Things Farm (700 Beaty Ave, Pocola) features a corn maze, flashlight maze, petting zoo, pony rides, jumping pillow and pumpkin patch. $12-$15; kids (under 18 mos), free. Thursday & Friday 2-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday, noon-6pm. Night Maze open select days. 918-626-4053, www.wildthingsfarm.com
Opening Oct 1
Woodbine Farms (5109 Kings Rd, Ardmore) features pick-your-own pumpkin patch, animals, tractor-pulled hay ride, duck races, and more. $7 for ages 2 & up. Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 12:30-5pm. 580-226-4052, www.woodbinefarms.net TG Farms Newcastle (1580 NW Hwy 37, Newcastle & 4335 W Hwy 9 W, Norman) features tractor-drawn hay rides, petting zoo, hay maze, hay jump and slide, corn maze, tricycle race track, duck pond, pony rides, pick-your-own pumpkin patch, concession stand, general store and more. Weekdays, $10; after 3pm & weekends, $12. Kids under walking age are free. Season passes available. Open daily, 9am-dark. 387-3276, www.tgfarms.com
Opening Oct 5
Pumpkinville at the Myriad Gardens presented by OG&E (301 W Reno) celebrates pumpkins and all things fall. Thousands of pumpkins are on display along with scarecrows and a variety of activities. Members & kids (2 & under), free; non-members, $6. 10am-5pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Fall Festivals Worth the Drive Sept 15
Wings over Weatherford at the Stafford Air & Space Museum (3000 Logan Rd, Weatherford) features a full day of festivities including historic aircraft flights, a kids’ zone and food trucks. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet pilots, tour select aircraft and more. Museum admission is included. Flights in historical bombers and biplanes will be available for purchase during event. $5; museum members and kids (12 & under), free. 10am-4pm. 580-772-5871, www.wingsoverweatherford.com FREE Perry Cherokee Strip Celebration in Historic Downtown Square in Perry celebrates the founding of Perry with a 5k, parade, mock gunfights, live entertainment, food, exhibitors and more. 10:30am-4pm. 580-336-4684, www. perryokchamber.com
Sept 26 - 29
Sept 27 - Oct 7
Sept 28 - 30
National Cavalry Competition at Historic Fort Reno (7107 West Cheyenne St, El Reno) features equestrian competitions including mounted saber and pistol courses and unit demonstrations. Adults, $8; kids, $5; seniors & military, $7. 9am–4pm. 2623987, www.facebook.com/USCavalry.org
FREE Annual International Festival at Elmer Thomas Park (3rd & NW Ferris, Lawton) features a parade, concerts, food, children’s activities, demonstration artists, vendors and multicultural entertainment. Friday, 5-10pm; Saturday, 11am-10pm; Sunday, noon5pm. 580-581-3470, www.lawtonok.gov
Sept 28 - 30
Rock Island Arts Festival at the Rock Island Depot (100 Chickasha Ave, Chickasha) features fine art displays, live music & entertainment as well as face painting, storytelling, crafts and inflatables. Free to attend. FridaySaturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, noon-4pm. 274-7547, www.rockislandartsfestival.org
Tulsa State Fair at Expo Square (4145 E 21st St, Tulsa) features carnival rides, midway games, attractions, free concerts, creative arts, food, livestock competitions and more. See website for ticket pricing and hours of operation. 918-744-1113, www.tulsastatefair.com
FREE Old Settler’s Day in Perkins (Main St, Perkins) features a parade, vendor alley, kids zone, baking contest and auction, hot dog eating contest and plenty of entertainment. 8am1pm. 714-0171, www.perkinsok.net
Grape Stomp Festival at Canadian River Vineyards & Winery (7050 Slaughterville Rd, Slaughterville) features familyfriendly activities, a pumpkin patch, wine tastings, grape stomp, live music and shopping. Free to attend. Noon-5pm. 872-5565, www.canadianriverwinery.net
Be a part of Norman's best children’s and maternity consignment SALE • September 23-29 Stop by and visit us!
Cleveland County Fairgrounds - NORMAN
Check us out on facebook at facebook.com/JBFofOKC
615 E Robinson Shop Sun 12p-9p • Mon 10a-9p • Tues-Thurs 10a-4p • Fri 10a-9p • Sat 10a-2p Sell your kids’ items as a consignor and earn up to 80%! Save money and make money with JBF! It’s all here under one roof! Smart! Many items HALF-PRICE on Friday and Saturday!
shop. sell. save. smart!™
Free admission with this ad on SUNDAY, Sept 23.
Consignor registration and details available onlne
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
WEEKLY EVENTS FREE Art Moves in Downtown Oklahoma City (various locations) features live art such as musical and theater performances, demonstrations and short film selections. Weekdays, noon1pm. 270-4848, www.artscouncilokc.com FREE Preschool Story Time at the Piedmont Library (1129 Stout St NW, Piedmont) features a 30-minute program geared for 3 & 4 year olds with stories, finger-plays, music and movement. Caregivers must be present and younger children are welcome. Tuesdays, 10am. 373-9018, www.piedmont.okpls.org FREE Art Adventures at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) for ages 3-5. Young artists are invited to experience art through books. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma Tuesday Night Classics at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno Ave) features special presentations of classic films on the big screen. $5. Tuesdays, 7pm. 231-4747, www.harkins.com FREE Reading Wednesdays Story Time at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a nature-themed story time and craft activity. Best suited for ages 2-5. Walkups welcome. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org Early Explorers at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) features come & go, hands-on science activities for kids ages 6 & under. No registration required. Free with admission. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 6026664, www.sciencemuseumok.org FREE Preschool Story Time at the Mabel C. Fry Public Library (1200 Lakeshore Dr, Yukon) features stories, songs, rhymes, crafts, and lots of fun for kids ages 3 to kindergarten. Tuesdays, 11:30am. 354-8232, www.yukonok.gov/city-departments/ mabel-c-fry-public-library/ FREE Wide-Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) offers free admission to guests of all ages, courtesy of the Oklahoma Ford Dealers. Wednesdays, 10am-5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
38 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Paint & Play (575 Enterprise Dr Ste 110) features a short story time and age appropriate craft with lots of gluing and coloring. Free with admission. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584, www.unpluggits.com Family Skate Night at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Admission includes basic skate rental. (Family package coupon available at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/coupons). $6. Thursdays, 7-10pm; Sundays, 6-8pm. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com FREE Mother Goose on the Loose Story Time at the Piedmont Library (1129 Stout St NW, Piedmont) features a variety of activities such as rhymes, songs, puppets and instruments to foster speech development, motor coordination, self-confidence and sensitivity to others. For ages birth to 3. Fridays, 10am. 373-9018, www.piedmont.okpls.org FREE Childrenâ€™s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.com FREE Story Time at Barnes and Noble (13800 N May Ave) features a special story time with gamesÂ and occasionally costumed characters. Saturdays, 11am. 755-1155, stores.barnesandnoble.com All Star Bowling at Bronco Bowl (133 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features noncompetitive bowling for the differentlyabled, family & friends in a safe and fun environment. Ramps and bumpers are available. $3 per game bowled. Saturdays. Two start times are available: 11am or 1pm. 256-5515, www.autismoklahoma.org FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May Ave) features crafts for kids ages 3 & up. No reservations necessary. Saturdays, 11am-3pm. 858-8778, www.lakeshorelearning.com Mommy & Me Yoga at Tot Town (841 SW 119th St) features a kid and parent friendly yoga session with a certified instructor. Kids can try poses or play during the workout. Best suited for ages 0-6 and pre- & postnatal moms are welcome too. $5. Saturdays, 10-10:30am. 650-7560, www.tottownokc.com
Check out our online
ONGOING EVENTS Through Jan 6
All exhibits are free with admission unless otherwise stated. Admission to the venues is listed.
Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived at Sam Noble Museum (2401 S Chautauqua Ave, Norman) showcases both fossil and modern shark specimens as well as full-scale models from several collections. Visitors enter a full-size sculpture of Megalodon through massive jaws and discover this shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution and extinction. Free with admission. Adults, $8; kids (4-17), $5; kids (3 & under), free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
Through Sept 9
FREE Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) features celebratory, mysterious, thoughtprovoking and critical two-dimensional and three-dimensional works, including abstract and experimental contemporary Chickasaw art. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday,15pm. 325-4938, www.ou.edu/fjjma
Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. A series of kaftans highlighting Silk Road textiles will be included, as well as a newly commissioned costume inspired by a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé, c. 1610. Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com
Never miss a moment of family fun!
Through May 2019
American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1400 NE 63rd St) explores early artists such as the Kiowa Six, Tonita Peña, Harrison Begay and the institutions that influenced them — particularly the University of Oklahoma and the Santa Fe Indian School. Adults, $12.50; students, $9.75; kids (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
Opening Sept 21
Where They Went: A Photographic History of Oklahoma Animals at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Nuhdi). Inspired by Will Rogers’ quote “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went,” the exhibit features 26 blackand-white images taken by Oklahoma photographers. Adults, $7; students, $4; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm. 521-2491, www.okhistory.org
Through Sept 29
A Sense of Time and Place: Work By Greg Burns at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Nuhdi) features ten drawings and paintings that have been chosen by the artist specifically for display at the museum. The intricate pen-and-ink drawings and watercolors have received international recognition. Adults, $7; students, $4; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am5pm. 521-2491, www.okhistory.org
Through Nov 11
Fall Fun GUIDE
Sept 22 Through Dec 21
In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) takes visitors into the classroom with Ryan as he takes “general illustration” with famed teacher Frank Reilly. Learn the principles of art as he did. Adults, $12.50; students, $9.75; kids (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
Factory Obscura: Beyond (location to be announced) journeys through the known, into the unknown on a mysterious journey into what lies beyond. In keeping with the mystery, Factory Obscura will not be announcing the location, but rather asking fans to locate them on their own via a series of clues on social media. www.factoryobscura.com Discover more museum exhibits at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/museums.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Pumpkin Patches Fall Fairs & Festivals Trunk or Treats Halloween Activities Hay Rides AND MORE!
Start here and come back often:
Where are they now?
Austin & Taylor Brown BY ERIN PAGE PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED
In honor of the opening of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library more than 13 years ago, Austin and Taylor Brown, along with mom Charissa, graced our cover reading books in the new space in January 2005.
TAYLOR & AUSTIN BROWN
At the time just 5 and 2 years old, respectively, the siblings donâ€™t remember the experience, but Charissa still has the cover framed in their Edmond home. Austin, now 17, will be a senior this fall at Oklahoma Christian School, where Charissa teaches Pre-K. Dad Brian is the fine arts administrator at Crossings Christian School, where Taylor, 14, will be in the ninth grade this fall. Brian is also the band director at Crossings, but Austin says he and Taylor get an equal dose of musical genes from each of their parents. Case in point, the Brown family all enjoys playing in the orchestra at Henderson Hills Baptist Church together. This active family shares how they make the most of the time they get to spend together:
How did you make the decision for your kids to attend different schools? Charissa: Oklahoma Christian was the first school we chose, when Brian and I both taught there. When he changed jobs five years ago, Taylor wanted to go with her Daddy.
What are your favorite subjects in school? Austin: Math Taylor: Science Austin: We both like to take honors classes.
40 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
What other activities do you enjoy?
Charissa: I’ve enjoyed the upgrades to the park systems in Edmond.
Austin: I’m in the band in school. I currently play the tuba and the saxophone in jazz band. I also play soccer with school.
somewhere nice to eat. And of course there are Thunder games; there’s been a culture created by [the team] and our city that’s really nice.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a family?
Taylor: We’re homebodies when we’re not at school or activities.
Taylor: I am part of choir and band, where I play clarinet, and I enjoy being part of school theatre productions. I also play soccer and basketball for the school.
What are your plans after high school? Austin: I want to get into engineering, either aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering. OSU is definitely on my list, but I still have to visit a couple more schools. Taylor: I don’t know yet!
What’s the most positive change you’ve seen in the metro since your family was on the cover? Austin: Well, I don’t want to go straight for the Thunder, but they are pretty awesome!
Charissa: We like going to the movies. If it’s Marvel, we’re there.
How do you prioritize family time? Charissa: We stay pretty busy with the kids’ activities. We do all of their activities as a family, and that comprises a lot of our family time. And with Brian being a band director, we go to his football games on Friday nights as a family. We do everything together as much as we can. We also have extended family get-togethers frequently to have dinner and play games.
What’s your favorite place to visit in the metro? Austin: Downtown OKC with friends or family. There’s always something to do or
“You may never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Dr. Seuss
What has been your proudest accomplishment since you were on our cover? Austin: For the past two years, I’ve competed in a contest for high schoolers with OSU aerospace to build small airplanes and race them. We have won two years in a row and we’re going for our third year. One of my favorite things is to meet every other Sunday and get to build the planes. My friends and I all think aviation is cool. Taylor: I recently received superior ratings in piano and a vocal contest. This column is a look back at our former cover models in celebration of our 20th anniversary this year.
Don't miss the fun!
• Pumpkin Patch • Interactive zoo experience • Harry Potter themed photo opportunity with authentic costumes and our live owl, Hedwig! • Hay rides
Open daily, Sept. 25-Oct. 31, 9am to 6pm. $15/person www.wizardingworldoftigersafari.com
963 County St 2930, Tuttle 405-381-9453 www.tigersafari.us or ﬁnd us on Facebook METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
A Day in the Life of
Erin Engelke SUBMITTED BY ERIN ENGELKE PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
I have lived in Edmond since moving to Oklahoma in 1996 to attend college. And while I had bold plans to move back “home” to the Northwest (Idaho or Washington), I found that this community was right where I needed to be…to work and to raise my family. I guess I can say I’m an Okie now! I have a wonderful husband who is an assistant principal in Edmond Public Schools and three children: a 13-year-old son and 10-and-7-yearold daughters. Here’s a peek into a typical day in my life:
42 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Run for Awareness • Run for Acceptance Run for Inclusion • Run with a Purpose! 5:30 a.m.
No matter what time my alarm goes off, I’m never ready for it! I love to sleep, but I also love starting my day with a burst of energy, which in my case means a hard four or five mile run first thing when I get up. I drink a protein shake while I get ready for work and then whip up an egg white omelet before rushing out the door.
I’m a planner and work hard to meal prep for lunches and dinners most days of the week. I use my Crockpot constantly. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the same one I got for our wedding 21 years ago and it’s still working great. We eat clean—lots of healthy vegetables, fruits and little processed foods. I’m no short order cook so our kids eat what I make. If I were to ask them what their favorite meal is that I cook, they would tell you either salmon and brown rice or my meatloaf.
7:00 a.m. I hop in my car (hopefully without dropping my omelet, gym bag, work bag, purse and HUGE cup of water in the process) and make the 30-minute commute to my office. I recently transitioned to a new job as Executive Director of Calm Waters, a gem of an organization in OKC that provides grief support to children and families who’ve experienced a loss due to death or divorce.
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There’s no one day that’s just the same at work, and I wouldn’t want it any other way! I spend time in meetings with board members, review grants, visit with donors or do media interviews. I also serve on three boards which means I am constantly juggling those responsibilities on top of my work and home life! Usually around 4 p.m. each day, once my kids have arrived home with our nanny, I get a phone call from one of my daughters, wanting to know how my day is or if I can stop at the store to pick up more flour so they can bake me brownies. So sweet!
5:00 p.m. Working out is fun for me (call me crazy!) but I enjoy it and try to find at least 30 minutes at the end of most days to lift weights. I recently found a new gym next door to my office so I pop in before heading to Sam’s (for the second time in the week!) to pick up our online grocery order. When you have a family of five including a teenaged boy, there’s never enough food in the house!
6:00 p.m. I often feel like a pack horse when I get home between all the groceries and “stuff” I take with me to be fully prepared for the day. So when I walk in the door with my arms full, I am almost always knocked off my feet with an exuberant “Mom’s home!” and a rush of three kids, fighting to get to me first. No matter how stressful my day can be, their hugs and excitement put everything right back into perspective. They’re what matters the most.
7:15 p.m. After dinner is cleaned up, our family enjoys sitting on our patio and talking, playing with our adorable new member of the family (Max, the Labradoodle) or simply catching up on our day. Because we live on some land, we have lots of wide open space for a game of baseball or kite-flying! We also have chickens, which are entirely the kids’ responsibility, even though they don’t always love feeding them. That rooster can be mean!
DOWN SYNDROME FESTIVAL & 5K
8:00 p.m. Winding down the day is the hardest. Our kids find every possible excuse not to shower, put on their pajamas and get to bed so we try to start the hounding early. My oldest daughter is super responsible and enjoys helping me in the kitchen so we pack lunches together for the next day or bake those brownies she didn’t get to make earlier in the day.
Saturday, September 29th Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
9:00 p.m. All three kids finally head to bed! Each of them likes to be tucked in (even my 13-yearold son!) and we say prayers together. They beg me to tell them stories, either from my childhood or about my day.
9:30 p.m. I fold laundry, pack bags for the next day, catch up on a few more work to-do’s and then decompress by reading a good book or just playing on Facebook or Instagram. Sometimes I need to do something mindless!
10:30 p.m. Lights out! Editor’s Note: Erin gave a TEDx Talk on work/life balance a few years ago. See the video at https://youtu.be/35FPSxIBE8k.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
5k begins at 8:00 a.m Awareness Walk starts at 9:30 a.m. followed by the Festival at 9:45 a.m.
After-School Activities Guide Thereâ€™s no shortage of options when it comes to after-school activities in the OKC metro. Extracurriculars like dance, gymnastics, soccer, art and swimming are spread across the metro area. Here are some mom-approved options. Find more and search our entire directory by category at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/after-school-guide.
Artsy Learning Center
Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma
Lessons focus on specific artists and their work, with a new artist introduced each week. Mediums taught include drawing, painting, clay, collage and more. For ages 7-12. Fall & Spring sessions hosted weekly on Fridays from Oct. 12- Nov. 30, Feb. 1-March 15 for $200/session.
Camp Fire Clubs and after-school programs give students to opportunity to develop better leadership, communication and interpersonal skills through fun activities and projects. Led by trained staff and volunteers, they strive to provide a safe and supportive environment. To join a Camp Fire club or bring an afterschool program to your childâ€™s school, contact Nicole Huskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1215 36th Ave NW, Norman 405-343-4064 www.artsylearningcenter.com
7739 W Hefner Rd 405-603-8550 www.artsyrose.com Offering an assortment of art activities for all ages with the belief that everyone should celebrate their creativity, originality and imagination through the wonderful world of art. Art camps, craft classes and lessons using a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpting and more.
14150 S Pine St, Edmond 405-348-7469 www.cadenceequestrian.com
3309 E Hefner Road 405-254-2077 www.campfirehok.org
Community Dance Center of Oklahoma City University
2501 N Blackwelder 405-208-5508 www.okcu.edu/community-dance-center/ home Classes for all ages in a variety of styles taught by qualified teachers with convenient class times. There is no charge to participate in the end of year showcase, costumes are provided and admission is free. $10-$45/ month. Scholarships are available. Ages 3-adult.
Cadence Equestrian offers year-round horseback riding lessons for children. Enroll anytime by calling or visiting the website. For ages 5 and up.
44 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
The Dance Department
Edmond Parks & Recreation
Offering ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop and creative movement lessons for dancers ages 3-18, both competitive and recreational companies.
Edmond Parks and Recreation offers afterschool programming for ages 8-17 that includes activities such as theatre, archery, outdoor living, the arts and more. Classes are offered weekly September through November and continue in the spring. Call to enroll. Programs range from $5-$40.
1110 S Air Depot Boulevard, #11, Midwest City 405-673-1813 www.thedancedepartmentokc.com
Dove Dance OKC
5842 NW 72nd Place Dove Dance Mustang 225 N. Trade Center Terrace 405-773-DOVE (3683) www.dovedance.com Offers over 80 classes at the main location in NW OKC and at their new facility in Mustang. Each location provides dancers with state-of-the-art, custom-built facilities. Staff is certified with Dance Masters of America & Dance Educators of America. Classes for ages 3 through 18 in all styles. Beginners through pre-pro levels are welcome.
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
After-School Programming 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond 405-359-4630 www.edmondok.com/parks/rec
27 E Edwards St, Edmond 405-340-4481 www.edmondfinearts.com
Edmond Parks & Recreation
Extracurricular Classes & Camps 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond 405-359-4630 www.edmondok.com/parks/rec Offers an array of classes for ages 2 through adults including social painting, dance, theatre, arts and crafts, sewing, science, fitness, self-defense and photography. Weekly classes are hosted all year and camps are held during Fall Break, Spring Break and summer. Class prices range from free to $40; camps range up to $240. Call to enroll.
Offers a variety of kid and adult classes and camps taught my trained and professional artists. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma 6100 N Robinson 405-528-4475 www.gswestok.org
Gives girls the opportunity to take the lead. They become go-getters, innovators, risk-takers; they become leaders. Girls begin to identify and solve problems in their community, discover STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and develop a love for the outdoors. Offered throughout the academic year. Visit gswestok.org/join to enroll; grades K-12; annual membership fee is $25.
Build confidence from the start. Science says the foundation for a child’s cognitive growth is rooted in two key factors: a safe environment and learning through guided play. While we’re focused on the serious stuff, your family will be focused on the fun. It’s what we call The Science of SwimPlay®.
+ INDIVIDUALIZED PROGRESSION PLANS + TRAINED & CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS + FREE MAKE-UP LESSONS + FLEXIBLE CLASS TIMES Enroll for 2 months of lessons, get 4 Family Swim passes!
just add water.
(Up to $60 value)
EDMOND | 405.696.7500
10 NW 146th Street | Edmond, OK 73013 goldfishswimschool.com |
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
You see cute. We see promise.
Goldfish Swim School
10 NW 146th St, Edmond 405-696-7500 www.goldfishswimschool.com Year-round swim lessons for ages 4 months to 12 years. Perpetual Lessons model lets you choose a lesson time that fits the family’s schedule and allows month-tomonth payment. Low student-to-teacher ratio ensures a safe, fun environment.
Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy
1727 NW 16th St 405-524-9310 www.ThelmaGaylordAcademy.com Offers musical theatre education, productions and private lessons that begin any time. Instruction is catered to ages 3-18 and prices range from $25-$450. Enroll online or by calling.
Visit our website for more information studiojdanceok.com
15200 Traditions Blvd, Bldg A, Ste. 2, Edmond 405-476-9211 www.oopsiarted.com
Offers innovative gymnastics classes for walking toddlers, preschoolers and schoolage children as well as a competitive team. Instructors work hard to make sure each child feels successful, providing an organized and clearly-outlined curriculum with monthly lesson plans and creative themes. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art
420 S. Santa Fe in Edmond
Oops I Arted
In-home tutoring for students of all ages. $55/hour or $35/half hour session. 7420 N Broadway Ste A 405-848-5308 www.metrogymokc.com
Programs that get kids excited about literacy in addition to tutoring, homework assistance, free meals, life enrichment and life skills. Transportation fee from surrounding areas $25 per week. Registration fee is $25. Offered Monday-Friday 2:30-5:30 p.m. For PreK-12th grade. Aug. 20-May 24.
3663 N Lottie Ave 405-822-9900 www.okylpOKC.org
Offers art classes for all ages. Create masterpieces in clay, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media and other child-friendly mediums. Offers classes in cardboard weaving, cardboard sculpture and a multitude of other creative and fun endeavors. Easily accessible to Edmond, OKC and surrounding areas. See the website for class schedule and to enroll.
(Provided at your location) 405-651-6906; info@ matchlesslearning.com www.matchlesslearning.com
A safe and fun environment with experienced teachers who inspire children to be the best they can be.
Oklahoma Youth Literacy Program
415 Couch Dr 405-236-3100 www.okcmoa.com
New this year is the Third Thursday program, OKCMOA’s monthly celebration of art, food, and live music! Each month brings new local bands, art activities, delicious food and drink and more. This family friendly event takes place the third Thursday of every month from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission is free for members and $5 for non-members. Tickets available online or at the door.
312 South Coltrane, Edmond 405-435-4255 www.reclaimingarts.com Offers a wide variety of classes in dance, aerial, theatre, voice and instrument for all ages and levels. Teachers are passionate about providing excellent training and an atmosphere that inspires their students to succeed. Their mission is to glorify God through all forms of art and to see His love reach out into the community through their many outreach programs. Reclaiming Arts has a 150 seat in-studio theatre that is perfect for their parent previews. Classes are for ages 2 through adults and start at $35/ month. Call or go online to enroll.
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 405-325-4712 www.samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
Offers a variety of activities for kids of all ages. Join Spike’s Club and explore the natural world through its animals and environments. Registration for Fall programs is now open at samnoblemuseum. ou.edu/education-2.Registration cost varies per event. Discounts are available for museum members.
46 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
SoccerCity of Oklahoma City 4520 Old Farm Rd 405-748-3888 www.soccercityokcity.com
Offers Lil Kickers for toddlers through age 9 all year long (next session starts Aug. 13), leagues for all ages, tournaments, camps during all school breaks, clinics and provides training times for soccer and other indoor sports. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.
Studio J School of Dance
420 S Santa Fe Ave, Edmond 405-348-3377 www.studiojdanceok.com Offers students of all ages and abilities the opportunity for self expression and faith through dance. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical contemporary and clogging classes taught by instructors with a combined 85 years of experience. Classes hosted September through May with summer programs also available. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.
Offers paint-and-take crafts, paint-your-own pottery, after-school clay workshops and ceramic painting as well as a playground open weekdays until 6 p.m. or later. Walk in Paint & Play (for ages 2-10) includes easel painting, play-dough and time to play on the playground. Visit online calendar to see after-school clay workshops (for ages 5 and up). $8 for drop-in activities, $25-$45 for clay workshops.
The Studio of The Sooner Theatre 110 E. Main St, Norman 405-321-9600 www.soonertheatre.com
Offers performing arts classes in musical theatre, acting, dance technique (ballet/jazz, tap, hip-hop), singing, magic and more. May also enroll by phone. For ages 3-18. $360$510/year.
Velocity Dance Center
Twist & Shout Training Center
11122 N. Rockwell Ave, #11 405-721-8887 www.oklahomacitydancestudio.com
Edmond and Norman locations Edmond: 405-775-9491 Norman: 405-573-9974 www.shouterspirit.com
Velocityâ€™s teachers aim to spark a love of dance in every child. Their special events foster community and friendship for the dancers and their parents. A variety of ageappropriate classes in ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop for ages 2 to 18 are offered, and their Leap N Learn curriculum was specifically designed for young dancers. Starts at $43/ month.
Offers competitive and non-competitive tumbling and cheerleading for ages 4 and up. They have many championships. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.
Unpluggits Paint & Play
575 Enterprise Dr, Ste 110, Edmond 405-340-7584 www.unpluggits.com
Jo Rowan, Dance Dept. Chair
Now Enrolling! Dance classes for all ages!
Community Dance Center Hip Hop Creative Movement
Tap Ballet Trained Instructors
After-School Activities For more after-school activities and dozens of other family resources, check out our searchable online guides. metrofamilymagazine.com/everything-guide
Small Class Sizes No-Hassle Spring Performance
Community Dance Center
405.208.5508 | CommunityDanceCenter@okcu.edu okcu.edu/community-dance-center METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Smart Owls Seas Only $onal Spec ia for 19. Com l and w a handpri e in e do t nt he re st!
Open Paint & Play All Day Indoor Playground Paint & Take Ceramics After-school Playdates Grown-ups paint nights
405-340-PLUG â€¢ www.unpluggits.com
CREATING QUALITY ART for a Higher Purpose
Back to School
5 Lessons for $195
Ages 5 & Up
Classes offered 7 days a week 25 Safe Lesson Horses
Offering a wide variety of classes in dance, aerial, theatre, and music for all ages and levels.
Classes start at $35/mo
405-435-4255 / reclaimingarts.com
AM A GIRL SCOUT 48 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
CADENCE EQUESTRIAN 14150 S Pine Street Edmond, OK
Learn. Create. Inspire.
The Dance Department
Create masterpieces in clay, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media and other child friendly mediums. Enroll Now for After School Art Class Beginning August 24th, 4-5:30 pm.
FREE TRIAL CLASS
oops i arted
15200 Traditions Blvd, Bldg A Ste.2 Edmond
Visit oopsiarted.com for more information
Tap Jazz Ballet Modern HipHop Adult Tap Classes for all ages. Please call for more information. email@example.com www.thedancedepartmentokc.com
Discover Dance Days FREE SEPT. 10-15
Save your space at www.oklahomacitydancestudio.com
#1 RANKED 3 x USASF World Champs! • 3 x Summit Champs! CHEERLEADING AND 25 x NCA National Champs! TUMBLING GYM IN 16 x National and 68 x State Power Tumbling Champs! OKLAHOMA CLASSES & TEAMS - AGE 4 & UP ALL LEVELS
Classes for ages 2 and up
Competitive & Non-Competitive Cheer & Tumbling • Birthday Parties • Cheer and Tumble Clinics & Camps
Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop 11122 N Rockwell Ave Ste A-11 OKC
Edmond 405-775-9491 • Muskogee 918- 913-7833 Norman 405- 573-9974 • Tulsa 918-622-58673
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
REAL KIDS OF OKC
Meet Junior Miss Asia Oklahoma BY ERIN PAGE PHOTOS BY KIMERA BASORE
In addition to being the new Junior Miss Asia Oklahoma, Nikhita Panjnani is an accomplished dancer, pianist, martial artist, vocalist and most recently, tennis player. The 16-year-old Edmondite will be a senior this fall, thanks to the flexibility and individualized curriculum of her virtual school, Oklahoma Connections Academy, where she’s been a student since seventh grade. Passionate about health and fitness, Nikhita’s martial arts career began three years ago and she’s already a red belt, two away from black. After five years of learning Indian classical dance curriculum, she spent 10 months preparing for her “graduation” performance, which she calls one of her greatest accomplishments. Nikhita credits her parents for giving her the confidence to accomplish her dreams, encouraging her to try new things and instilling in her a love of learning. Nikhita shares how she approaches life with exuberance. What have been the biggest benefits of online school, and what’s the secret to balancing it with your activities?
JUNIOR MISS ASIA OKLAHOMA 2018 NIKHITA PANJNANI. BELOW: PANJNANI FAMILY
What drove me to online [school] was the curriculum. It’s individualized, challenging and fits just what I’m looking for as a student. The teachers and principal have really taken the time to get to know me, give me opportunities and support me in everything. The flexibility has allowed me to accomplish so many things but making time for everything takes discipline. If during the week I have to prepare for a dance performance, I might have to save my lessons for the weekend. If a friend calls and wants to hang out I have to say no because my priority is school. It involves sacrifice and staying true to what you’ve promised yourself you’re going to accomplish. What are your favorite memories from the Junior Miss Asia pageant? The Indian community was there, so it was more personal, more of a family event than just a competition. In the traditional wear portion, the contestants all selected elaborate outfits to represent their cultures and we got
50 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
to announce ourselves in our native language and in English. I loved learning about all the different cultures. In the talent portion, I performed a self-choreographed classical Indian folk dance. With education as your platform, how do you hope to impact other students?
How has your family inspired you to accomplish your dreams? My passion and excitement about life is a blend of everything instilled in me from my family. In Indian families, there is a stereotype that parents sort of drive children along a more medical or STEM field, but my parents never once told me what to be or do with my life. They gave me options and opportunities but they always let me make my own decisions, even as a young child. They instilled their trust in me so I’ve been able to explore what I love to do. They’ve always said follow your heart and that no dream is too big.
How do you unwind?
I have always loved school, but I know it’s not that way for everyone. I’m working with my school to brainstorm ways to enhance students’ learning experience and provide additional resources. Online school allows you to focus on schoolwork but working alone can be overwhelming. We want to create a community for students who can be there for each other. I want to see more people with their eyes open to what they are capable of. How has your passion for health and fitness impacted you? I’ve been taking Indian classical dance lessons for five years with the same school and teacher. In Indian classical, once you learn the entire curriculum you basically
graduate with a ceremony performance. We say it’s like an Indian girls’ wedding, without the groom! It has opened new doors for me as a dancer and now I work as an assistant teacher at my school. Martial arts has instilled in me more confidence and improved my stamina. I go to the piano or compose music. It’s my happy place when school gets crazy or my schedule gets overwhelming. I’m able to be productive while doing something I love that enhances my creativity. With school or martial arts or dancing, I’m usually by myself, so I love anything I can do with my family. We love to cook and watch NBA basketball.
What’s next for you? My sister inspired me to take a gap year [between high school and college]. My passion has always been to do something in acting or the music industry, or both. Hopefully my gap year will give me the opportunity to travel and find a path to get to that dream while preparing for college.
What’s your favorite local hangout? My family loves All About Cha, a coffee shop on Western. We started hanging out the four of us and now we’ve hosted parties there, the staff recognizes us and it’s become our spot. We also love walking along the river downtown, especially during Christmastime when it’s so magical with all the lights.
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
EXPLORING OKLAHOMA WITH CHILDREN
A Weekend in Medicine Park
TOP: BATH LAKE. BOTTOM: WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE
In southwest Oklahoma, at the base of Mount Scott and a million miles of bright sky, sits a 100-year-old community literally cobbled together, one smoothly polished rock at a time. Medicine Park began as a resort town built on 900 acres owned by Oklahoma State Senator Elmer Thomas who saw a need for entertainment at the river waterâ€™s edge near the Wichita Mountains. It started small and over the years, with its trials and tribulations, Medicine Park has stayed small and remained relevant. WORDS & PHOTOS BY MICHELLE FERGUSON
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
The architecture in Medicine Park is hard to explain. Lots of old cobblestones are visible, in varying degrees of erosion and repair, but the next layer of construction, the third, and however many more, are wood, paint and plaster and steel. No two structures are alike and it makes for fascinating surroundings. Tons of bright color, lots of homemade signs and friendliness abounds. I would bet money there isn’t a single stretch of straight flat earth anywhere in town. Wear your walking shoes for all the inclines and uneven cobblestone stairs. While my family walked between the buildings, wondering where to start with our sightseeing, we came across the Old Plantation Restaurant, and because of the outdoor heat, the pull of cool air invited us in to escape the narrow main street, teeming with folks in all states of swim attire, for a few minutes. I met Denise Meubert, a German transplant who had become an American citizen only one week ago, who, with wide eyes and animated exuberance, told me about the town. She summed up the slate of activities, a veritable menu of fun that Medicine Park offers a family, from swimming or hiking to the local aquarium and the slightly-less local Lake Lawtonka for rental kayaks, long piers perfect for throwing in a fishing line and biking trails in abundance. Plus, Medicine Park offers a nearly constant stream of live music soundtracking outdoor patio seating and incredibly inexpensive tacos and burgers, a favorite for my family. Bath Lake is the seasonal swimming hole. Day passes are only $2 per person to swim in a lagoon cordoned off by natural rocks and mountain views spanned by manmade bridges. Jumping from the rocks and bringing refreshments into the water are prohibited, but dogs and flotation devices are allowed. Water shoes are recommended as the lake’s bottom is rocky and uneven. For a break from the pool, grab a snow cone at Santa’s Snack Shop, the snow cone stand and pool toy wonderland at the edge of Bath Lake. It’s open weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day, unless the temperature is more than 105. The owner, a
SCENES FROM DOWNTOWN MEDICINE PARK METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
gentleman whose bearded face fits his shop moniker beautifully, said even the locals stay inside when the air is that warm. My son recommends the root beer flavored syrup for your cone, by the way. Oh, and drop your Christmas wish list into Santa’s mailbox, located next to the candy cane striped cement stools in the refreshment seating area. Public restrooms are available in the middle of town, for changing out of wet swim clothes into dry, time-to-do-something-else attire. Shoppers delight in specialty shops, like Olive Oils and RedNeck Candles, as well as a bakery and ice cream store offering enormous scoops of Blue Bell to enjoy while seated next to a bright, huge animated window of sundancing statues. Plus, a Little Free Library is posted right outside the front door, for anyone caring to grab a novel, hunker into a lawn chair and enjoy the river view. Art figures prominently in Medicine Park, with not only galleries of art and jewelry but also 15 huge bronze animal statues by Robert E. Dean, a local artist whose work dots lawns all over town. For a cooler environment, take the circuitous outer road to the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center. It’s a work in progress, still in phase one of completion, currently featuring rows of cool blue tanks holding local fish types as well as exotics we’d never seen before. One enormous tank holds a huge blue catfish that loves to pose for photos. Head outside to Turtle Town, where kids can feed carrots to turtles before setting down the nature trail to see exhibits for reptiles. The aquarium sits on a hill, with great views of Mount Scott and Medicine Park below. For overnight stays, hotel rooms and bed and breakfast accommodations abound. From traditional cobblestone construction to gorgeous modern facilities, one night or a week, families have their choice of sky views and amenities. For those who can stay a while, a visit to the nearby Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a must. Teeming with stunning views and unique wildlife, a trip to the refuge will satisfy the whole family. Most prominent of all, though, is the laid-back, friendly spirit of town. Every spot, every store, every house is a unique experience, with a positive feel and welcoming spirit in every doorway. TOP: OLD PLANTATION RESTAURANT MIDDLE: MEDICINE PARK AQUARIUM & NATURAL SCIENCES CENTER. BOTTOM: MRS. CHADWICK’S BAKERY AND THE MEDICINE PARK LITTLE LIBRARY. NEXT PAGE: BATH LAKE
54 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Upcoming Events: Art Walk and Flute Festival Oct. 5-7 Three days of Native American flute music floating through the air while you check out local art vendors planted all over main street. Art galleries and local shops are all open during the event. Christmas Parade & Festival Mid-December The whole town celebrates the season with a Christmas parade and festival. On Dec. 15 beginning at 11 a.m., the festivities include games and contests for the entire family. On Dec. 16, enjoy the parade that ends with Santa Claus who gifted 1,400 stuffed animals to attending children last year. Information on most attractions in this article can be found at www.medicinepark.com Bath Lake admission: $2 per swimmer Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center admission: Adults, $10; ages 3-5, $5; ages 6-12, $8.
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G N I H T EVERY guidE
Looking for family resources? MetroFamily has you covered! Find everything from a birthday party venue perfect for active kids to a special needs therapy business— and more! • Check out the Everything Guide advertisers using the index below. • Discover searchable directories at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ everything-guide • Download our app today to have one-click access to these great resources. Find more at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/app
Everything guide index 18 Foster Care
44 After-School Activities
59 Special Needs
59 Family Fun
58 Restaurants & Shopping
60 Pet Pages
58 Child Care
Find more at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/everthing-guide 56 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Extreme Animals We bring the zoo to you!
Birthday Parties Educational Programs • Church Events & more! • •
Contact us for a wildly unique experience!
405-413-3174 • www.extremeanimals.org
Birthdays are a blast at Chester’s Party Barn & Farm! Party packages for up to 15 children include all this and more: • Unlimited pony rides • Petting zoo
• Party barn games • Hayride
Ask about our “party comes to you” entertainment options for celebrations, corporate parties, school functions, etc.
Schedule your child’s special celebration TODAY! 5201 Cimarron Rd NW, Piedmont, Ok 405-373-1595 • email@example.com
Find Us on Facebook @ Chester’s Party Barn & Farm
IT’S COOL TO
PARTY AT THE POOL! Two hours of private access to Goldfish Swim School Invitations & envelopes Balloons, tropical decorations & centerpieces Cupcakes & beverages for the children
EDMOND | 405.696.7500 www.goldfishswimschool.com
(405) 693-1937 fo reve raae r p a r r e s . co m
421 NW 10th • 405.609.3302 dustbowlok.com METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Meet our new sloth Flash!
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birth to teens
7638 N. Western, OKC
It takes four weeks to go from egg, larva, pupa to adult.
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Ages 2-5 • Small class sizes assure individual attention M-F, 8am to 3:30pm, before and after care available www.iggokc.org
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Primrose School of Edmond 15000 N. Western Ave. Edmond, OK 73013 PrimroseEdmond.com Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools® and Balanced Learning® are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2017 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See primroseschools.com for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail.
58 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Infants – Private Kindergarten & After School
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Our PT’s provide fun, inventive and playful interventions that address your child’s specific motor impairments.
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• Oklahoma history comes to life • Ages 6-10 • Available Tues.-Fri. all year • Perfect for schools & homeschool groups.
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Dedicated to Saving the Lives of Homeless Animals
Check On-line Calendar for Open House Day or Off-Site Adoption Event. • Adopt A New Best Friend • Foster • Volunteer • Donate
405.413.2895 • petangelsrescue.org
BOARDING & DOG DAY CARE
• • • • • • • •
Open 365 days a year Outdoor play equipment Individual cots and blankets 24 hour security system High speed cameras Indoor and outdoor play yards Interactive play environment Grooming available
Vera's Posh Paws (Moore) 105 Sutton Circle Moore, Oklahoma 73160 405-759-7674(POSH)
Vera's Posh Paws (OKC) 8533 NW Expressway OKC, Oklahoma 73162 405-759-3647(DOGS)
Pet Pages BY HANNAH SCHMITT
The ASPCA reports more than 1.5 million pets are euthanized in the U.S. every year because they don’t have a home. A pet can make a great addition to a family and adopting a pet from a shelter can save a life. Pet Angels Rescue is a no-kill, nonprofit animal rescue and adoption center in Guthrie. Dana Huckaby founded Pet Angels in 1999 by renting one house to live in and a house next door to shelter homeless dogs and cats. Huckaby worked at a pet store and brought many abandoned animals home to nurse them to health and find them new homes. Today, Pet Angels has grown to a two-acre campus that houses adoptable dogs and cats and is licensed to shelter 175 animals. Pet Angels primarily focuses on the overlooked animals picked up and held in Oklahoma’s rural shelters with high kill rates. Their animals are currently rescued from approximately 42 rural communities. We asked Pet Angels staff member Tiffany Smith to help answer some common questions for families considering pet adoption.
Is there anything unique to Oklahoma’s animal shelter population that we may not know about? In 2016, The Oklahoma Animal Study documented the welfare status of Oklahoma animals and found that approximately 400,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in rural Oklahoma shelters that year. Oklahoma rural shelters receive little to no funding and have extremely inadequate resources to care for homeless, unwanted and abandoned pets. An alarming number of rural shelter animals are euthanized within 48 hours. If rural shelters spayed or neutered every pet that left their shelter prior to being adopted, counties would spend less money than they currently spend on euthanizing these animals.
www.verasposhpaws.com 60 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Do you have any tips for parents to choose a shelter pet that will be good with kids? Pet Angels volunteers spend a lot of time with our pets and each will assist in preparing information to write the animal bios. During adopt events we are able to observe if the dogs are afraid of kids or friendly with kids. We also have two meet-and-greet rooms in our new adoption center. Families can submit an application for a pet they see on our website and if approved they can apply that application toward any pet. We ask families to spend as much time as they need with as many of our pets, one-on-one, in one of our meetand-greet rooms. We also encourage them to bring any pets they have in the home so that we know if the pet they are interested in adopting will get along with both kids and other pets in the home. If not, we do not encourage them to take that pet home and instead to try to fit another one of our pets with the dynamics of their home.
Is a trial period offered for parents who are on the fence about pet adoption? Pet Angels co-owns every pet that comes into our rescue. If for any reason a family is not happy with the pet they adopted, the adoption contract requires them to return the pet to our rescue. We encourage a two week trial period for adjustment and if it isn’t working out adopters will receive a full refund.
What is the top advice you have for families considering pet adoption? You are saving a life when you choose adoption because when we have space for a new dog or cat we pull them from high kill rural shelters. When you choose to buy from a pet store or breeder you are only keeping the overpopulation of animals in Oklahoma at a crisis level. Puppy mills feed the pet stores and dogs are bred over and over to a very unhealthy level and most live in horrible conditions and never know how it feels to be loved. The top piece of advice I have for a family considering adoption is to research whatever breed of dog the family might
be interested in adopting. More than 70 percent of the dogs in our rescue are pure bred dogs and some have even been surrendered with papers from a breeder. Pet Angels has all breeds of dogs both small and large. Sadly, we get a high number of northern breeds like huskies and malamutes. They are beautiful and sweet, however they are known escape artists because they are a working breed and need to be exercised daily.
Can you tell us more about some of the pets you have available right now? We have a lot of options. A couple favorite dogs needing a home right now are Cloud and Asher. Cloud is a 2-year-old Siberian husky. He’s white with beautiful blue eyes and would be best as an only dog (or be sure to test him with another dog in the home). He loves people and kids and gets along with some dogs, male and female. He has escaped several homes. A high fence with a hot wire would work to contain him and Pet Angels staff is happy to assist by visiting potential adopters at home to show them how to contain Cloud. Asher is a 5-year-old male chihuahua that was terribly abused by his previous owner.
CLOUD AND ASHER ARE AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION THROUGH PET ANGELS RESCUE
Our director and animal caretaker have worked with Asher more than a year and he’s made an incredible turnaround in trusting people. He is very lovable and very protective to those he trusts. See bios and photos of more dogs available for adoption at www.petangelsrescue.org.
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
Martin Park Nature Center Kid Reviewer: Isaac Roldán, age 6 What made the experience stand out? We were outside for a long time. My family and I took a super long walk with our new baby, Jacob-Peter, in the stroller. We had never done that before. We walked and walked and walked, for about three hours. What was the best part? I loved seeing the animals! We saw a muskrat in the water, some turtles and a fish. The playground was also fun because you can climb there. What was the worst part? I was afraid I would be bitten by a tick. My parents are always talking about that when we go near tall grass. It was also a lot of walking. Will other kids like visiting Martin Park Nature Center? Yes, I think they’ll like it as long as they don’t get lost. I kept thinking we were lost because the trail felt like going around in a circle and we had never been there before so I wasn’t sure how my parents knew the way. Exercise makes you healthy and strong but other kids might not like walking all the time. The playground will probably be what they like. Would this experience be enjoyed by your siblings? Why or why not? My brother, Gabriel, is 3 and he liked the playground a lot, especially the toadstools you can climb across. My older brother, Sam, went with his
62 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018
friend, John. They liked running because they are old and can race each other. And my baby brother probably liked being in the stroller but it’s hard to know exactly because he’s so small and can’t tell us. He fell asleep, though, so I guess it was relaxing. If you could do this again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? I would eat more before I started walking. We went to eat pasta after and I was really hungry. Does anything you learned match up with what you’re doing in school or have done before? It’s kind of like recess at school but longer and with more space to run. What do you think you’ll remember most about visiting? I will remember checking what the animals were in my Mom’s app. It was better than Pokemon Go because the animals are real! Editor’s note: Martin Park Nature Center’s offers a class without charge each month to learn to use the I-Naturalist app, which is available in the App Store and on Google Play as a free download. An instructor at the park shows registered participants how to use an app to photograph and tag plants, insects and animals, that are added to a community ID log. Register online for the class at www.okc.gov/parksignup.
“Oklahoma’s Premier Family Attraction” TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW! September 13-18
TICKET PRICES START AT
Thursday, Sept. 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. . . 11:30 a.m., 3:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1:30 & 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 . . . . . . . .10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7:30 p.m.
PRCA XTREME BULLS TOUR & CONCERTS
BIG & RICH
Friday, September 21 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 22 7:30 p.m.
BOX SEATS ALL AGES
BOX SEATS ALL AGES
Upper Level Adult (12+) . . . . $27 Upper Level Child (2-11) . . . . $22
Upper Level Adult (12+) . . . . $30 Upper Level Child (2-11) . . . . $25
ADULT OUTSIDE GATE ADMISSION
CARNIVAL RIDE ARMBANDS
$8 advance / $12 regular
MONDAY-THURSDAY / $20 advance / $35 regular FRIDAY-SUNDAY / $30 advance / $45 regular
when you purchase an adult advance outside gate admission at the State Fair Park Box Office or through our other ticket buying options.
HURRY, OFFER ENDS SEPTEMBER 12!
EASY WAYS TO BUY TICKETS!
when you purchase an unlimited carnival ride armband at the State Fair Park Box Office or through our other ticket buying options. (outside gate admission NOT INCLUDED)
HURRY, OFFER ENDS SEPTEMBER 12!
STATE FAIR PARK BOX OFFICE,
okstatefair.com or 405-948-6800
CHICKASAW COUNTRY ENTERTAINMENT STAGE C O N C E R T S F R E E WITH OUTSIDE GATE ADMISSION
September 13 COLT FORD 7:30 p.m. September 14 NEAL McCOY 7:30 p.m.
September 15 BEATLEMANIA LIVE! 8 p.m. September 16 LOS TRAILEROS DEL NORTE 6 p.m. September 17 JORDAN FELIZ 7:30 p.m.
September 18 HERMAN’S HERMITS STARRING PETER NOONE 7:30 p.m. September 19 ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA 7:30 p.m.
September 20 DYLAN SCOTT 7:30 p.m. September 21 DRU HILL 7:30 p.m. September 22 FOGHAT 8 p.m.
September 23 SPACE ODDITY THE ULTIMATE DAVID BOWIE EXPERIENCE 6 p.m.
The Official Soft Drink of State Fair Park