making a difference The healing power of canine companions
Paws-itively grateful 2 places to give back as a family
Party animal: Kid birthday bash tips from 4 local experts
sweater mitch park all ages
Saturday â&#x20AC;˘ December 7th â&#x20AC;˘ 5p.m. eventbrite.com or edmondparks.com
Features 8 Attitude of Gratitude Preparing families to give thanks 10 Dogs Making a Difference The healing power of canine companions 12 Near & Far: Giving Back How to support kids in OKC and around the world 14 Top Trends in Kid Parties Party planning and gift giving tips from local experts 18 Party Guide Find your child’s next party idea here 40 Moms Reentering the Workforce Addressing resume gaps and negotiating with confidence
In Every Issue 24 Calendar of Events Give thanks for 136 family fun events 44 Exploring Oklahoma Get in the holiday spirit with festivals and light displays 48 Super Kids of the Metro Local boy inspires by choosing joy 54 #OKCFamilyFun Readers out and about in OKC
Only Online Enter to win!
• Brickopolis Entertainment
Celebrate the season with the magical holiday production The Nutcracker by the OKC Ballet. We’re giving away a family six-pack of tickets on the date of your choice between Dec. 14 and 22. Enter by Nov. 29! We’re hosting the ULTIMATE Party Giveaway, giving away parties at 15 local venues and providers. Enter before Nov. 30 to win packages from:
• Edmond Ice Rink
• Ace Party Supplies • Andy Alligator’s Fun Park • Arcadia Lake • Artsy Rose Academy
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• Incredible Pizza Company—OKC • Jo’s Famous Pizza • Magnolias & Prayers: Everything Alpaca • Oklahoma Railway Museum • Skate Galaxy OKC • SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology • SoccerCity OKC • Teddy Bear Mobile • UNPLUGGITS Paint & Play Enter all our contests at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/contests.
Plan your party online In addition to our Party Guide on page 18, find top-notch venues, companies that bring the party to you and birthday bash resources in a searchable guide updated throughout the year at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ party-guide.
ovember might just be my favorite month of the year. Cooler temps mean more opportunities to get outdoors, the holidays are just around the corner and I find myself being more intentionally grateful as I anticipate Thanksgiving.
Managing Editor Erin Page
Assistant Editor Lindsay Cuomo
ReRe Lunsford, Heather White, Katherine Hickey
Contributing Photographer Bridget Pipkin, Lauren Smith
Art Director Stacy Noakes
Project Manager Kirsten Holder
Athena Delce Dana Price
Office/Distribution Kathy Alberty
Marketing Assistant Lauren Smith
318 NW 13th St, Ste 101 OKC OK 73103
But even my best-laid plans for adopting an attitude of gratitude in our household can easily get overtaken by the holiday frenzy. I am extra thankful for Kanakuk Kamps director Melissa Houston’s advice on page 8 with meaningful tips on shifting our family’s focus from our own wants to the plight of others. Find tangible opportunities for your family to give back to kids in need, both right here in OKC and halfway around the world, on page 12. As we enter the month of Thanksgiving, it feels like the perfect time to introduce our new series, Super Kids of the Metro, featuring local kids giving back in big ways and small. This month, 9-year-old Barrett Burgess shows us all how to choose joy, even in the midst of hardship, with a little help from a few fourlegged friends. See page 40 for Barrett's story. Speaking of canine companions, don’t miss the story of our lovable cover dog Gus and his inseparable bond with his boy Joseph on page 6. For even more precious pooches, read how one Edmond home for boys is training dogs and healing hearts on page 10. Here at MetroFamily, November also means PARTY! Our popular annual Party Guide on page 16 details OKC’s best when it comes to party planning for your kids. Plus, local experts in birthday bashes and gift giving share their secrets on page 14, an extra bonus for this mama with two boys celebrating birthdays next month!
MY KIDS EMBRACE GIVING BACK BY ASKING FOR DONATIONS TO FAVORITE CHARITIES IN LIEU OF BIRTHDAY PARTY GIFTS.
As my crew attempts to set our sights on serving others, I know that shift will make celebrating our own blessings that much sweeter this Thanksgiving. Will you join us? Share how your family is spreading kindness on social media this month with the tag #okcfamilygivesback. We’ll use your great ideas to inspire others! With gratitude,
Erin Page Editor
Phone: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509 email@example.com www.metrofamilymagazine.com MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2019 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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Also a member of Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Edmond Chamber of Commerce & Moore Chamber of Commerce
This Month’s Cover Gus, winner of MetroFamily’s dog cover contest last fall, is a 10-year-old rescue dog who also rescued his adoring family. In addition to his mom and dad, Gus has two two-legged brothers, Christopher, 17, and Joseph, 10. Joseph, just a baby when the family welcomed Gus, would eventually be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Gus has been Joseph’s constant companion for the last 10 years, helping his boy deal with the challenges and triumphs of living with ASD. Read more about the special bond these two share on page 6.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Gus & Joseph BY ERIN PAGE
Shirley Manning was at her wit’s end with an 18-month-old who refused to sleep. Baby Joseph, who months before had learned how to escape his crib, would get up at all hours of the night. Manning would often startle awake, hearing Joseph getting in to the fridge or playing with his toys. One night she found him sitting in the kitchen floor covered in tartar sauce. But the breaking point came the night he learned to open the deadbolt on the front door and walked down the street at 2 a.m., thankfully to his grandmother’s house four doors down.
“He had no fear,” said Manning. “And I was a zombie.” In the midst of the sleeping struggles, Manning and husband Milo had promised older son, Christopher, a dog for his great performance in school. After scouting their local PetSmart during a weekend featuring dogs from local shelters for rescue, the family met Gus. He was a bigger dog than what they’d planned, but the family felt an instant connection and they were told he was a dog who really needed kids. Gus immediately took to all four family members, but no one was prepared for how the dog and Joseph would affect each other. “Gus started sleeping with Joseph and he never got back up during the night again,” said Manning, incredulous still. “And he started taking full two-hour naps. Wherever Joseph fell asleep, I left him, and Gus was right there.” The duo used to get in Gus’ dog crate together, the curious boy carefully examining his dog’s teeth, Gus a perfectly willing participant, and Joseph curling up with his toes in Gus’ fur. Gus never wanted Joseph out of his sight. While the dog would start his night in Joseph’s bed, he’d eventually come
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back to Manning. But if he heard his boy stirring during the night, he’d race back to Joseph’s room. In addition to his lack of fear and trouble sleeping, and related behavior issues because he was so tired, Joseph began to display other symptoms that concerned his parents. After a series of febrile seizures over about a year, Manning noted Joseph didn’t want to color. Joseph began to have anxiety at school and difficulty processing information. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Manning says Gus always seems to sense how to help Joseph through challenges. “He gets frustrated, especially when processing information and knowing he’s got something wrong,” said Manning. “Gus knows when he gets frustrated or angry and he gets right there with him. It’s an immediate reaction.”
Even though Joseph is now 10, Gus still whines whenever his boy is out of his sight, particularly if the two are anywhere other than the safety of home, standing at attention until Joseph returns. On a recent trip to the lake, Gus insisted on getting in the water on a float with Joseph. Manning says Joseph is learning how to better understand and manage his symptoms and frustration as he gets older. Though he no longer relies so heavily on Gus to help him sleep or self regulate, their bond is as strong as ever. “Joseph is his person,” Manning says of Gus. “It’s just always been that way.” Editor’s note: Gus, seen on this month’s cover, was the winner of our dog cover contest last fall, a contest sponsored by K9 University.
Make #okcfamilyart your way
BY HEATHER WHITE AND KATHERINE HICKEY. PHOTOS PROVIDED.
Mobile Bird Hangings Decorate your walls with beautiful, delicate Scissor-tail mobiles! Vocabulary and concepts: • Process • Open-ended • Material exploration
1. Print out a picture of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher or download one from www. metrofamilymagazine.com/creator-space. Fold one of the paper plates in half and copy the outline of the Scissor-tail as seen in the picture. Use scissors to cut out the shape. Repeat with the two other plates. If your child is old enough to trace and cut, they can complete this step on their own. The three birds don’t have to be the same size; feel free to mix them up and create a large, medium and small bird.
3. Punch a hole at the top of the birds’ wings. Pull a piece of string through the hole, tie it in a knot and fasten the string to the branch. Repeat with the other birds. You can change the length of the string for each bird so they are staggered in flight.
Supplies: • Short branch • String • 3 white paper plates • Scissors • Hole punch • Markers, crayons, paint, glitter Editor’s note: This project is the second in a three-month series by this dynamic duo, featuring process-based, open-ended art projects that can be modified for all age groups. Projects include simple, straightforward instructions, use easily available and affordable materials and encourage kids to move, create, explore and play. Heather White is an art teacher, museum educator and inclusion specialist. Katherine Hickey is a children’s librarian.
4. Tie a piece of string across the top of the branch so it can be hung up.
2. Use markers, crayons, paint and/ or glitter to decorate the three birds. Younger children can fill the white space with scribbles and lines, while older children can replicate the shape of feathers and patterns found in nature.
Adults: As we celebrate Oklahoma’s statehood day on Nov. 16, talk to your child about Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and their importance as the Oklahoma state bird. Look up pictures online and talk about the bird’s shape, tail and colors. Research where they live, what they eat and where they are most likely to perch. Discuss together: Why do you think this bird is called a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher? What kinds of birds do you see around our neighborhood?
5. Where will you place your bird hanging to remind you of Oklahoma’s birthday? Which bird is your favorite and why?
Adapt the project in whatever way works best for your family, then share your family’s art on social media with our hashtag #okcfamilyart. We’ll share as many as we can via our social channels. We can’t wait to see the art you create together!
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Servants during the Holidays An Attitude of Gratitude: Inspiring Families to Give Thanks What comes to mind when you think about the holidays? Maybe it’s the chiming of cash registers, or perhaps it’s a never-ending chorus of, “Mom, I want this.” Year after year, the holiday season becomes increasingly commercialized, even in the hearts of our children. From writing page-long Christmas lists to counting the gifts under the tree, even the most kind-hearted kids show flashes of selfishness during the holiday season. As parents, how can we lead our children in shifting from a spirit of greed to one of gratitude? Kanakuk Kamps K-1 Women’s Director Melissa Houston is no stranger to the challenges of parenting through the holidays. The mom of six kids, ranging in age from 5 to 15, aspires to instill an attitude of selflessness in her family’s holiday celebrations. Here’s a look at the tips, activities and traditions Houston uses to keep her family focused on gratitude rather than “want-itude.”
Gifting Goodness Every family has a unique strategy when it comes to gift giving. In some homes, kids find loads of presents under the Christmas tree; in others, each child receives just a few gifts. Instead of pleasing their children with everything they asked for, Houston and her husband want their kids to understand what sacrificing for others feels like. As Christmas approaches each year, the Houston family gathers in a circle and each child draws the
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name of one of their siblings for whom they will purchase a gift. The children decide on a dollar amount for their gifts and stick to it. Each child is responsible for buying his or her sibling’s gift with his or her own hard-earned money, which Houston says gives her children a healthy appreciation for sacrifice. Sometimes instead of buying gifts for each other the Houston children pool their money to bless someone in the community. One year the kids gave their collective gift money to Brenda, their favorite waitress at the neighborhood pizza restaurant. “They delight in giving over receiving,” Houston shares. Even her 5-year-old is eagerly doing chores to raise money for her sibling’s Christmas gift. Parents can incorporate this behavior into their households by asking the question: How can I make giving to others fun for my kids?
Encouraging Selflessness Houston says the key to selflessness is empathy: “Empathy will lead your kids to a heart of gratitude for what they do have. It’s hard to be thankful if you can’t put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see your blessings from a different perspective.” That empathetic lifestyle starts with parents! Kids need examples of what empathy and selflessness look like in practice. Parents often lament kids mimicking bad habits, but they copy the good ones, too. Houston advises parents to start purposeful conversations with their kids.
CAMPERS ENJOY SUMMERTIME CHRISTMAS PARTIES DURING KANAKUK KAMP. PHOTOS PROVIDED.
“Anytime we see someone on the side of the road, I ask my kids, ‘What if we were homeless? How would we stick together? How would that make you feel?’” says Houston. “Then I ask, ‘How could we help that person?’” Getting kids to think about the people around them who are facing tough situations and how they could potentially help them can have a tremendous impact on how they perceive and interact with the world around them. Houston brings home values from work, too. As a women’s director at Kanakuk Kamps, she says approaching the world with selflessness relates directly to Kanakuk’s overarching value: “I’m third,” meaning “God first, others second, I’m third.” During each meal, campers are expected to serve the person next to them before serving food to themselves. According to Houston, this is just one way they teach campers to maintain a selfless lifestyle, and she even implements this method in her own kitchen. Though a small habit at first, encouraging kids to serve their siblings, or parents, before grabbing a heaping scoop of mac ‘n cheese for themselves creates values children will carry with them into adulthood.
The End Game Building good character begins at home, with parents taking the time and making the effort to establish and encourage values. This can be challenging, especially around the holidays when children have one thing on their minds: their wish lists. No parent wants to tell their children they can’t have everything they want, but parents can be intentional about leading kids to appreciate all they have in this season and beyond. Houston doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that it is hard to implement these habits, especially around Christmastime. “All of the hard decisions and intentional choices you make now will pay off in the long run,” said Houston. “I have to keep that in mind when I tell my kids, ‘You can’t have that.’ It’s worth it, though, to raise a child of good character.” Editor’s note: As giving experiences over material goods has become increasingly popular in recent years, some parents find the holidays a great time to gift upcoming summer camp tuition to their kids. Kanakuk offers sleep-away and day camp experiences for kids ages 6 to 18, or weeklong summer camp for the whole family.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Dogs making a difference The healing power of canine companions BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS BY LAUREN SMITH.
It’s nearing 3:30 p.m. on the Boys Ranch Town campus in Edmond. Six dogs sit at attention near the gate inside their large fenced lawn, ears cocked, gazes searching. Their entire bodies begin to wag in anticipation when they spot their boys walking toward them, ready to begin that afternoon’s training in the Lucky Dog Program. This scene is repeated daily at the ranch, a program of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.
“The dogs know the routine, and when it’s time for Lucky Dog, they line up and wait,” said Brent Thackerson, campus administrator. “The few times we’ve had to cancel for weather, the dogs will still wait for several hours. You can sense their disappointment.” Many of the boys who call the ranch home have experienced some level of trauma in their young lives. The pups they train come from hard places, too, all of them rescue dogs. The Lucky Dog Program was born when Thackerson realized the impact his own dog, the program’s namesake, had on a resident in the midst of an emotional crisis. “Lucky got in that kid’s lap as he cried and held him,” said Thackerson. “I saw the kid change in a matter of minutes, willing to talk and share what was going on. I thought, ‘There’s something here.’”
Animal care boosts emotional health Boys Ranch Town was founded in 1953, and the 145-acre working ranch has been home to more than 1,000 residents, boys who need a new beginning, some discipline and a lot of love. These are boys between the ages of 7 and 15 who have struggled at home with behavior and need, as Thackerson says, a time out. Alternately, some are being raised by single moms who want their sons to have positive male influences in their lives. Others are being raised by grandparents who can’t continue to meet their grandsons’ needs. Kids can refer themselves for residency or be referred by a parent, family member, teacher or social services. When deemed safe, residents can continue to have relationships with their biological families while living on campus. The boys live in cottages with up to eight residents and a married couple serving as
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houseparents. Boys tend to stay at the ranch for an average of 18 months, but they can live on campus until high school graduation if needed. Currently, 55 residents call Boys Ranch Town home, along with four house parent couples, all trained in working with children with behavior challenges or who’ve experienced trauma. “We provide a lot of structure,” said Thackerson. “We’re not like a military school, but we have a routine where they get up and do things at the same time every day.” Residents attend Edmond Public Schools and are encouraged to participate in activities both on the ranch and in school. In addition to the Lucky Dog Program, an after-school activity on the ranch accepting up to eight boys each semester, residents can work with horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and petting zoo animals, including two camels relied upon for the ranch’s annual Christmas pageant, open to the community. Residents learn responsibility and the value of hard work by working with animals dependent on them for care. “When they love a pet and the pet loves them back, they feel needed,” said Thackerson. “Having that responsibility increases their self-esteem and they see they are important, which improves their emotional health so much.” Boys Ranch Town also offers 4H, sports, crafts, trail rides, campouts and rodeos for residents. Boys are encouraged to participate in FFA, JROTC, band, school sports and other extracurricular activities offered by the school district.
Perceptive pooches offer listening ears When boys participate in the Lucky Dog Program, they start with teaching basic obedience commands like sit and stay. Once the dogs and boys have accomplished
those, they move on to teaching tricks and then developing an entire skit where the dogs perform farm and ranch chores. Boys can sign up for the after-school program repeatedly, which starts over each semester. It’s not just the boys enrolled in Lucky Dog who benefit from the calming effect of the pooches on campus. The dogs live in the cottages with the residents and are available anytime in helping boys work through emotional or behavioral challenges.
Even the boys with the toughest problems are no match for the ranch dogs crawling in their laps, giving big licks and their undivided attention. “It’s amazing to see how kids respond, calming down quicker, opening up faster, softening to start talking and letting down their guard,” said Thackerson. “Then we get to see the good side of a kid coming out instead of the negative.”
“When the homes have pets, the boys are healthier as individuals,” said Thackerson. “I can tell a difference.”
Canine companions impart lifelong lessons
When boys come home from school obviously upset, Thackerson encourages them to take their dog or horse on a walk and tell their companion their feelings. As Thackerson watches the boy and pet pairs amble around the lake, he often sees those boys pausing to give hugs to their furry friends.
While Thackerson has been thrilled to see how the Lucky Dog Program has positively affected residents’ lives on campus, the impact hasn’t stopped there. One of the college students who lives on campus as a mentor now directs the Lucky Dog Program. Another student, now over 18, who lives on campus in transitional housing was lonely and asked Thackerson if he could get a cat. A barn cat has become his new companion, and Thackerson has noted improvements in the young man now that he has something to love and care for.
“School doesn’t come easily for most of them so when they come home they may not be in a good mood,” said Thackerson. “They tell their horse or dog what they are mad or frustrated about. When they come back, they are calmed down and ready to talk.”
A former resident now attending Oklahoma State University recently visited Thackerson, with his loyal German shepherd by his side. The student has become more secure and emotionally healthy by having a furry friend to share his life. “That kid needs companionship, and he’s doing as well as he is because of that dog,” said Thackerson. Caring for pets at Boys Ranch Town has helped residents develop patience, responsibility and compassion, both toward others and themselves. Those lifelong lessons will continue to serve Boys Ranch Town residents well as they learn to navigate as adults. “We feel like animals are a blessing from God to help us learn companionship and help with our problems and issues,” said Thackerson. Editor’s note: The Boys Ranch Town free drive-through Christmas pageant will be Dec. 6, 7 and 8. Find more information at www.obhc.org/about/campuses/brt/events/ brt-christmas-pageant.
Open Nov. 8 through Feb. 2 See downtownindecember.com for information. @ devonicerinkokc @ devonicerink
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Near & Far: Giving Back As we enter the holiday season, there will be Thanksgiving dinners to plan, gifts to buy and family memories to be made. In the midst of the holiday hustle, it can be refreshing and rewarding to consider how your family can focus on the needs of others. If making a forever difference in the lives of children is at the top of your "giving back" priority list, learn
BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS PROVIDED.
how you can serve and give to support babies and toddlers in the metro through Infant Crisis Services or shop and learn about other cultures to support students in Ghana, Africa. We hope giving back, in whatever form works best for your family, will become your favorite holiday tradition of all!
Near For 35 years, Infant Crisis Services has been providing diapers, wipes, formula and other necessities to metro babies and toddlers in need. Since 1984, the nonprofit organization has fed and diapered nearly 300,000 little ones, but the statistic remains that one in four Oklahoma children are at risk of going to bed hungry each night. Childhood hunger is much more than rumbling tummies. According to Infant Crisis Services (ICS), 85 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first three years of life, which makes meeting kids’ nutritional needs in that timeframe critical. Dr. Reid Hebert at OU Medical Center says failure to fill that need creates long-term deficits that cannot be reclaimed. Currently, ICS offers children through age 4 five visits in the child’s lifetime. At each visit, a child receives a week’s worth of diapers and formula or food, plus clothing and other essentials as they are available. The number of visits has steadily increased over the years, starting at two and finally standing at five visits for the last decade. But armed with startling nutrition statistics and a constant request from clients and partner agencies for more services, the nonprofit organization will make a huge leap in 2020. Starting Jan. 1, ICS will offer four visits a year, per child, until he or she turns 4 years old. Instead of five visits, a child could potentially receive services up to 16 times in his or her life, a 300 percent increase in visits. “We know that any time a parent is struggling to provide for their child, it feels like a crisis,” said Miki Farris, executive director and co-founder of Infant Crisis Services. “We don’t want parents to wait until they reach a breaking point. This change will set families up for security and success.”
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In addition to the organization’s main campus at 4224 N. Lincoln Ave., Infant Crisis Services has two baby mobiles that travel around the metro to reach families in rural areas. About 5,000 babies and toddlers have been served through the baby mobiles in 2019, most of those brand new clients to ICS, compared to 12,000 children at the main location. But the staff and board know they have the ability to provide resources to more.
Clients have often had to ration their visits for worst-case scenarios, watering down formula to stretch it further or leaving a baby in a diaper longer than normal because they’re almost out. “They won’t have to ration as much,” said Farris of the new visit strategy. “We’ll know that for four weeks of the year we’ll be there when they need us.”
“We have the capacity to hold more product,” said Farris of the nonprofit’s warehouse, “and we want to ensure we’re serving as many babies as possible.” That 300 percent increase in services offered means a vast increase in fundraising. If all the projected visits are taken advantage of, it will cost Infant Crisis Services an additional half a million dollars in 2020. ICS receives no federal funding, existing solely on the donations of individuals, businesses and private grants and foundations. Metro families have been one of the organization’s greatest sources of support. In addition to providing monetary donations, families can host diaper or formula drives and donate gently-used clothing or toys their children have outgrown. Families can also give back by volunteering. Kids ages 10 and up can volunteer at Infant Crisis Services with adult supervision, stocking the baby clothing boutique or packaging diapers and wipes for clients. Church and community groups made up of kids and adults can schedule a time to serve together as well. Kids of any age can take a tour of the facility when bringing in donations to better understand exactly how they are helping others. Learn more at www.infantcrisis.org.
Far Halfway around the world at the La’Angum Learning Center in Ghana, Africa, more than 250 students from various local villages are engaged in their schoolwork, thanks to PAMBE Ghana, a partnership between a dedicated group of volunteers in Oklahoma City and communities in northern Ghana. The center, whose name means “many hands make light work,” opened in 2008 with an innovative education model for bilingual children from pre-K through sixth grade. “English is the national language in Ghana so school is presented totally in English,” said Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, PAMBE Ghana board member and owner of Learning Tree Toys, Books & Games in Oklahoma City. “But many of these children live in small villages and have never heard English.”
ALICE AZUMI IDDI-GUBBELS, HEAD OF LAʼANGUM LEARNING CENTER IN GHANA
When they can’t understand their schooling, it’s no surprise many students drop out quickly. In contrast, the PAMBE Ghana model starts schooling for pre-K students in their own language, gradually teaching them English until they are fluent in both their learned and native languages by fourth grade. The founder and head of the La’Angum Learning Center is Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels, a Ghana native who spent several years in Oklahoma City, teaching at Westminster School, earning a master’s degree in early childhood education from Oklahoma City University and becoming certified in Montessori teaching in preschool and lower elementary levels. Since, Iddi-Gubbels dreamed of opening a Montessori school for children in her village in northern Ghana. Iddi-Gubbels and a group of dedicated metro area volunteers brought that dream to fruition, presenting the idea to Ghanian villagers who believe a quality primary education is essential for both their students’ success and community’s sustainability. After a year-long planning process, with funding raised by PAMBE Ghana and villagers building the facility, the center was opened. Teachers are hired from surrounding villages and paid by PAMBE Ghana, which also provides professional development and classroom materials. The La’Angum Learning Center’s retention rate is 100 percent, remarkable considering what the students go through to attend. “They have to walk three miles and carry their own water to school,” said Tepper-Rasmussen. “It’s quite a commitment.” But the students show up anyway, eager to learn. About a quarter of the school’s budget is funded every year by a Global Market held in Oklahoma City, offering a plethora of fair trade goods made by artisans from around the world. “We buy products either from fair trade organizations who can ensure artisans are paid fairly, working in safe conditions and assisting with quality control, or directly from the artisans themselves,” said Linda Temple, PAMBE Ghana volunteer and Global Market manager. Iddi-Gubbels returns every year for the market, bringing with her Ghanian baskets and fabrics made in the villages near the school. Nativities from a wide variety of cultures are popular with
STUDENTS IN THE LAʼANGUM LEARNING CENTER MORNING ASSEMBLY
shoppers every year, as are jewelry, kitchenware, artwork and scarves. The market includes a collection of unique gift items for kids, like friendship bracelets, wooden puzzles, drums, rattles, crocheted frisbees, hacky sack balls, piggy banks, finger puppets, hats and gloves and stuffed animals. “I have met a lot of these artisans and this makes all the difference in the world in their lives,” said Temple. “Having the means to make an income allows them to remain in their communities.” In its eleventh year, the Global Market will be held on the first floor of 50 Penn Place from Oct. 29 through Dec. 24, open Tuesdays through Fridays from 12 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Families are encouraged to browse or shop the market, an engaging opportunity to teach kids about other cultures and select holiday gifts that have a triple impact, as Temple says, pleasing the recipient, supporting the artisan and funding the school. Each gift purchased comes with a card that can be passed to the recipient explaining where the gift came from and who it helps. The market is staffed entirely by volunteers, who enjoy answering questions about fair trade, the artisans and the school. Photos throughout help shoppers see the very lives they are impacting with their support. Learn more at pambeghana.org.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Birthday Bash Basics Kid party tips from local experts Comparison may be the thief of joy, but in the era of Pinterest, custom party favors and Instagram party photos gone viral, it can be hard not to measure your birthday party planning skills against other moms. We talked with four local experts who agree the keys to throwing parties for kids are keeping things simple, sticking to a budget and focusing on what brings your child the most joy.
Our sincere thanks to our expert panel: Chelsey Flint of Chelsey Flint Events, Annalisa Douglass of Okie Kids Playground, Kara Chapman of Forever After Parties and Darlene Drew of Sunburst Gifts. Editor’s note: Find even more tips about trends in party favors, budgeting made easy and mistakes to avoid at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/kid-party-tips. BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS PROVIDED.
Top trends in birthday party themes Focusing on a child’s favorite color is another popular option to simplify party trappings and decor. Douglass has seen a return in space-themed parties this fall, and Drew says scavenger hunt parties are making a comeback as well. Fairy parties and circus themes have been top requests for Flint this fall.
For little ones, fruit is, quite literally, taking the cake. Douglass has recently planned “One in a Melon,” “You’re a Peach” and “Bananas for Two” parties. Flint has also styled “Sweet as a Peach” and “Main Squeeze” parties and says she loves the simplicity and sweetness of the fruit theme, easy for anyone to pull together.
Character parties never go out of style, with Frozen ramping back up as the new movie comes out this month. Superheroes are always a hit, with Batman, Superman and Captain America being Chapman’s top character requests for boys, and newly added Mickey and Minnie Mouse have been a favorite among kids and adults alike. Chapman says it’s the characters who evoke nostalgia for kids and adults of all ages that are most popular right now. Girly dinosaur parties have been all the rage this year, keeping both Douglass and Flint thinking creatively as they’ve paired ferocious dinos with frilly tutus and pink pom pom hats.
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For older kids karaoke parties let them live out their dreams of superstardom. As Chapman’s 11-year-old twins get older, she’s added more tween and teen party themes to her repertoire, including rockstar, cheer and dance themes with guests learning and performing routines. Chapman says she’s realized older kids often want to be at home where they can enjoy a favorite activity and then retreat to hang out with friends in their rooms.
Top trends in birthday gift giving How many times have you rushed your kid into the car to get to a birthday party when you realize you forgot to buy the birthday child a gift? Or wandered aimlessly through the aisles as you try to guess what little Johnny, whom your child just met a few weeks ago, might like for his birthday? While gift cards, or certainly cash, always seem a fairly safe bet, there are three new trends in kids’ parties that leave guests with no question as to what to bring.
One of Flint’s most memorable parties was Target-themed for a little girl who loves the superstore, which goes to show a party can be made out of anything a child enjoys!
Instead of a gift, everyone brings $5 for the birthday child. The idea is that it saves guests money, as oftentimes parents spend upwards of $20 on birthday gifts. Then the birthday child gets to spend the money on one large gift, something they really want, as opposed to receiving lots of small gifts they may or may not be enthused about.
50/50 PARTIES Much like the Fiver Parties, guests bring cash, $5 or $10 for the birthday boy or girl, in lieu of a wrapped gift. Kids use half the money to buy a birthday gift for themselves and donate half to their favorite charity.
When it comes to the cake, anything personalized, especially cakes in the shape of the birthday kid’s age or donuts that spell out his or her name or Happy Birthday are on trend, according to Drew, both of which can easily be matched to any birthday party theme.
Birthday kids ask for donations, in kind or monetary, for a favorite charity in lieu of birthday gifts. Some might choose a cause related to kids, like Infant Crisis Services or Cleats for Kids in the metro, or one serving a population they care about, like the homeless served through Upward Transitions or dogs and cats served through Pet Food Pantry. Be sure to specify on the invitation if your birthday kid would like to receive gifts in one of these manners so guests know how they can participate. If donations or cash will be collected for a charity, include the name and website if appropriate so guests can learn why the cause is important to your kid. It’s always in vogue to simply state “No gifts, please” on birthday invitations as well. For the truly community-minded, a birthday party can be a great opportunity to serve a local nonprofit organization, making hygiene kits for the homeless and delivering them to an organization like Upward Transitions or serving together at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (for ages 8 and up, with a parent). Call ahead of time to schedule your visit.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
’s e r e th ways al ing th e m so to R E V O C S I D
W E N
Favorite Gift Ideas BY DARLENE DREW
Pop-up tent paired with a flashlight. Drew recommends checking Walmart for good deals.
PERSONALIZED Personalized anything, from books and blankets to tableware and clothing. Kids love to see their “name in lights.” Interactive clothing, like those with flip sequins or hoodies that turn kids into dinosaurs. 3D hoodies are a hot new trend and can be found on Amazon.
16 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Large stuffed animals or p et pillows, wh ich she can often fi n d at Tuesday M orning for $20 or less.
Cash, but given creatively, like M&M mini containers filled with quarters. Drew’s personal favorite is “cold hard cash,” with cash or coins tucked into a Ziplock bag, then placed in a clear water bottle or plastic container, which is filled with water and frozen. Recipients can see the cash but can’t get it until the ice melts!
What’s on your Christmas list?
Plan your family’s perfect wish-list weekend at the Hilton Anatole. Enjoy breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Clause, explore Peppermint Park, and celebrate the holiday season in style! November 29 - December 23
2201 N Stemmons Fwy Dallas, TX 75207 • 214 748 1200 • ChristmasAtTheAnatole.com Christmas At The Anatole is offered on select dates and weekends from November 29 to December 23, 2019, based on availability and weather, and event details are subject to change.
From top-notch attractions like entertainment centers and bowling alleys that welcome big groups to impressive companies that will bring the party to you, a birthday bash in OKC is sure to be a memorable one for your kids with our handy Party Guide. Find a
searchable digital version of our guide at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/party-guide. Also enter our ULTIMATE Party Giveaway by Nov. 30 at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ contests, where you could win one of 15 great parties for your child!
Frontier City 11501 N I-35 Service Rd www.frontiercity.com 405-478-2140
RIVERSPORT Adventures 800 RIVERSPORT Dr 405-552-4040 www.riversportokc.org
Package includes eight admission tickets, eight meal deals, one free parking and one free funnel cake for $300. Private all-day spaces, attractions passes and other items can be added to the package. Parties are available for booking online from April through December.
Activities range from high-flying adventures on the SandRidge Sky Trail to on-the-water activities like whitewater rafting or flatwater kayaking. Choose an indoor or outdoor space for cake and gifts. Exclusive birthday parties, either before or after normal operating hours, are available upon request. For ages 6 and up.
JoĘźs Famous Pizza
Forever After Parties Party comes to you 405-693-1937 www.foreverafterparties.com
900 S Kelly Ave, Edmond 405-340-7070 www.josfamouspizza.com Budding chefs and pizza enthusiasts alike can celebrate with a party at JoĘźs Famous Pizza. Parties include set up, clean up, personal pan pizzas, dough balls for hands-on fun, kids drinks, a kitchen tour and party chaperone.
Skilled entertainers offer a variety of services for ages 1-10 including face painting, princess makeovers, hero acrobatics, storytelling, magic, scavenger hunts and music. In addition, your character booking includes a personal party assistant, available to clean up and cut and serve cake. Packages & prices vary.
SoccerCity OKC 4520 Old Farm Rd 405-748-3888 www.soccercityokcity.com
Brickopolis Entertainment 101 S Mickey Mantle Dr 405-516-2745 www.brickopolisu.com
Party packages include one hour of fun games or scrimmaging on the field with a coach, one hour in the party room eating pizza or snacks and a SoccerCity shirt for the birthday child. Packages start at $175 and parties are available for ages 18 months to 16 years. Book your party today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Brickopolis, your party is all about the experience. Party guests can enjoy being downtown on the canal, three floors of arcade fun, an 18-hole mini golf course, a bungee trampoline, the 25-foot Klime Wall and gemstone mining, in addition to a pizza and salad buffet including brownies, cobbler and ice cream.
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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Velocity Dance Center 11122 N Rockwell Ave. 405-721-8807 www.oklahomacitydancestudio.com
Metro Gymnastics 7420 Broadway Ext, Ste A 405-848-5308 www.metrogymokc.com
Birthday packages are customizable with a variety of themes and include professional, trained staff who will setup and cleanup. There are three levels of party packages and add-ons to create the perfect dance party experience for ages 3-12. All-inclusive packages start at $250.
Parties feature 90 minutes of gymnastics instruction for ages 2-12 including obstacle courses, swinging on the bars and balancing on the beams. Emphasis on safety and excitement. Metro Gymnastics membership is not required to book a party. Guests bring the cake, drinks and paper goods. Party is $195+tax for first 10 guests and $10 for each additional guest.
Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden 2000 Remington Pl 405-425-0684 www.okczoo.org/birthday-parties
Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W Reno 405-200-1547 bit.ly/myriadparties
Parties available for ages 1-12 include a private room rental and all-day admission up to 30 guests. Food and drinks can be purchased through the on-site catering company. Additional packages can include a visit from two animal ambassadors, an original Art Gone Wild animal painting and a craft activity.
Parties are available in our outdoor children’s garden all year long or at the Devon Ice Rink in the months of November through January. Several packages are available with options to add on food, drinks, games or take-home favors. Parties begin at $125.
Ace Party Supplies & Showtime Concession 200 SE 19th St, Moore 405-895-9902 www.facebook.com/ acepartysupplies
Hurricane Harbor (formerly White Water Bay) 3908 W Reno Ave 405-478-2140 www.sixflags.com/ hurricaneharborokc
Locally owned, one-stop shop for party supplies from balloons to favors and all the fun in between. Helping area residents celebrate not only birthdays but even small everyday events. UNPLUGGITS Paint & Play 575 Enterprise Dr, Ste 110 Edmond 405-340-7584 www.unpluggits.com Party package includes two hours in a party room of your choice, a craft and access to the playground and games. Invitations and paper goods are included. Outside food and drinks allowed. Cost for 12 children is $225 with $50 deposit to reserve; additional guests are $15 each. Discount of $25 available for active duty military. Parties available for all ages. Extreme Animals Party comes to you email@example.com 405-413-3157 www.extremeanimals.org Animal party packages are $195/hour or $325/two hours. Additional hours are $125 each. VIP Package is available for $235/hour or $365/two hours and guarantees a visit from the kangaroo and one of the lemurs. Mileage fees may apply. Available for birthdays, school, church, corporate and community events. SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Package includes eight admission tickets, eight meal deals, one free parking and one free funnel cake for $300. Private all-day spaces and other items can be added to the package. Parties are available for booking online from late May through mid-September. Artsy Rose Academy 7739 W Hefner Rd 405-603-8550 www.artsyrose.com Boy and girl birthday parties complete with set up and clean up, paper goods (plates, napkins, cups, forks/spoons, table cloths), special gift for birthday child and “Shimmers” snow cones. $220, includes 10 painters and lasts 1.75 hours. $15 each for additional painters.
Edmond Ice Rink 1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond 405-923-8345 www.edmondicerink.com Celebrate your next special occasion with ice skating! Special group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. The rink is open from Nov. 15-Jan. 5.
Edmond Ice Rink AT
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Artsy Learning Center 1215 36th Ave NW, Norman 405-343-4064 www.artsylearningcenter.com Canvas painting, craft and slime parties for all ages. Princess Tea Parties are hosted by a princess. Choose from a variety of a party themes. Parties are all-inclusive except for the cake.
SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology 10301 S Sunnylane Rd 405-814-0006 www.skeletonmuseum.com Ready to party like an osteologist? Book SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology for a birthday party filled with interesting specimens and hands-on learning. Enjoy admission for up to 30, two-hour classroom rental, personalized birthday scavenger hunt and more. Birthday packages starting at just $150.
Oklahoma Railway Museum 3400 NE Grand Blvd 405-424-8222 www.oklahomarailwaymuseum.org
Goldfish Swim School 10 NW 146th St, Edmond 405-696-7500 www.goldfishswimschool.com
Oklahoma Railway Museum offers families a unique venue to host a birthday party. You supply the cake, presents and the kiddos while they supply a fun venue with tables and chairs. Paper engineer hats and rail safety activity books are included for party guests.
Party packages include a party coordinator, certified lifeguards and exclusive use of facility for two hours. Staff members greet children and take them to the decorated pool and viewing area. Guests from infants to age 12 will enjoy games, races and water fun complete with use of facility toys and rafts.
Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Pl 405-602-3760 www.sciencemuseumok.org
YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City 14 locations in Oklahoma City, Moore, Edmond, Guthrie, Bethany, Chickasha, Midwest City 405-297-7777 ymcaokc.org/rentals
Packages include admission, Planetarium and Science Live shows and a private party room for up to 30 people. Additional guests are $10 each. Demonstrations available for additional fee. Cost is $225 members/$260 non-members. Parties available for all ages.
Each facility is different, but parties are available in the YMCA event centers, activity rooms, swimming pools, gymnasiums, aerobics rooms and game fields. Prices vary per branch and parties are available for all ages.
Incredible Pizza Company OKC 5833 Northwest Expressway 877-250-4999 www.incrediblepizza.com/metro
Skate Galaxy OKC 5800 NW 36th St 405-605-2758 www.skategalaxyokc.com
Party packages at this “something for everyone” attraction include a private party room, a party host, decorations, game room cards and fun attractions for each of the guests, with many package options to choose from. The venue includes an amazing food buffet and rides/ attractions such as an indoor spinning roller coaster, go-karts, laser tag arena (the largest in OKC), 50s era ‘Scrambler,’ bounce houses, bumper cars, mini-golf and more than 100 ticket prize and video games. Book early to reserve your child’s party.
Customizable skate parties are available ranging from simple party packages starting at $119 to private parties where guests can rent out the entire rink. Parties available for ages 3 and up.
Cadence Equestrian 14150 S Pine St 405-348-7469 www.cadenceequestrian.com
Andy Alligator’s Fun Park 3300 Market Pl, Norman 405-321-7275 www.andyalligators.com
Parties designed with horse lovers in mind. One hour of riding with three horses for 10 riders plus birthday rider with 30 minutes of grooming and pictures with the horses. Parties held Sundays 11am-1pm, 2-4pm or 5-7pm. Party also includes two tables and 10 chairs for 30 minutes. Additional riders $10/each and additional horses $50/each.
Provides twelve acres of party activities including go-kart speedway, miniature golf, a two-story laser tag arena, outdoor rock climbing, 10-story Skycoaster thrill ride, bumper cars, LumberAxe axe-throwing experience and the Everglades Arcade. Also available are guests private party rooms and a special Glow Party upgrade. Water Park birthday packages are available from mid-May to mid-September and include all-new water inflatables. $150+. Party options available for all ages.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Studio J School of Dance 420 S Santa Fe Ave, Edmond 405-348-3377 www.studiojdanceok.com
Main Event Entertainment 1441 W Memorial Rd 405-751-4900 www.mainevent.com
90 minute parties for ages 3-12 include a party planner, event room, a staff assistant and a 45 minute dance class with choreography for up to 18 kids in the style or theme of your choice with instructor. You provide decorations, refreshments and cake. New location coming soon at 2241 NW 178th, OKC.
Main Event offers parties for ages 6-16 with state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, more than 100 games and handcrafted food, all under one roof. Main Event is the complete destination for birthdays, providing the food, fun, party host and more.
Arcadia Lake Office: 9000 E 2nd St, Arcadia 405-216-7470 www.arcadialakeok.com
Teddy Bear Mobile North OKC Party comes to you 405-509-8830 www.tbmokc.com
Six pavilions located near the water, playground or a beach are available for rent. Each has electricity, lighting, fireplaces and grills. Birthday package includes a shirt for the birthday child and horseshoe or volleyball rental. Half-day and full-day rentals range from $50-$175.
Teddy Bear Mobile brings the create-your-own stuffed animal party to you. Book them for birthday parties, fundraisers, special events, charity events, school events and more. Even customize your animalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s t-shirt with your name or logo. Several party packages are available.
Check out the searchable online Party Guide at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ party-guide and enter the ULTIMATE Party Giveaway to win one of 15 parties at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/contests.
22 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
hrs. in party room of choice, craft & access to playground & games • Paper goods provided (Outside food & selfcontained drinks allowed) • Party assistant to supervise crafts & help with party • $225 with $50 deposit to reserve for 12 children; additional guests for $15 each. $25 discount for active duty military. and more...
Enroll now! Lil' Kicker Winter 1 and Winter 2 sessions and Winter Break Camps
We also offer fun Birthday Party Packages for ages 18 mos. & up!
405-340-PLUG • www.unpluggits.com
WIN BIG Enter the
Giveaway You could be one of our lucky winners!
Enter TODAY! Deadline is Nov. 30.
Check out our website today for details!
soccercityokcity.com 4520 Old Farm Road, OKC (west of Meridian, south of 122nd)
MetroFamily is giving away incredible prize packages from these generous partners: Ace Party Supplies Andy Alligator's Arcadia Lake Artsy Rose Academy Brickopolis Entertainment Edmond Ice Rink Incredible Pizza Company-OKC Jo’s Famous Pizza Magnolias & Prayers: Everything Alpaca Oklahoma Railway Museum, Skate Galaxy OKC SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology SoccerCity OKC Teddy Bear Mobile UNPLUGGITS Paint & Play
www.metrofamilymagazine.com/contests METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
November EVENTS CALENDAR
TOP 5 EVENTS Nov. 9
Bedlam Bash 5k at Wiley Post Park in Oklahoma City
OKC Philharmonic Discovery Series Music-Palooza Concert at Civic Center Music Hall
The Spongebob Musical at Civic Center Music Hall
FREE Lights on Broadway Holiday Open House in Automobile Alley FREE Luminance Grand Opening at Mitch Park in Edmond
FREE First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features complimentary admission for kids 17 years old and under on the first Monday of each month. General admission applies to guests 18 & older. Adults (18-64), $8; seniors (65+), $6; kids (17 & under), free. 10am-5pm. Also held: Dec. 2. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu University of Oklahoma Womenʼs Basketball vs Oklahoma City University at the Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S Jenkins Ave, Norman). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 11/8 vs Prairie View A&M, 11/20 vs Stephen F.
24 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Austin, 11/26 vs Abilene Christian. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com
Little Sapling Series at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features songs, games and interactive fun to explore nature. Each week features a new theme with corresponding activities and learning opportunities. Preregister. For ages 2-5. 10-11am. Members, $3; nonmembers, $4. Also held: Nov. 19 & Dec. 3. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Orlando Magic at Chesapeake Arena (100 W Reno Ave). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 11/9 vs
Golden State, 11/10 vs Milwaukee, 11/15 vs Philadelphia, 11/22 vs Los Angeles, 11/29 vs New Orleans, 12/4 vs Indiana. 208-4800, www.nba.com/thunder Oklahoma State University Women’s Basketball vs University of Idaho at Gallagher-Iba Arena (200 Athletic Center, Stillwater). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 11/8 vs Lamar, 11/19 vs Idaho State, 11/23 vs Rice. 877-255-4678, www.okstate.com University of Oklahoma Men’s Basketball vs the University of Texas San Antonio at the Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S Jenkins Ave, Norman). Prices
an evening of learning and observing snakes, spiders and other critters with the staff at the Norman West Library and Lake Thunderbird State Park. All ages welcome. 6-7pm. 7012644, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Escape Moriarty at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City). Moriarty has a new game, and this time he wants you to solve it. Discover clues and solve puzzles to open the lock before it’s too late. Best suited for ages 12 & up. 4-5pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org Mistletoe Market Preview Party at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) features shopping, tasting stations, a silent auction and live music. $50-$75. 6-9pm. www.mistletoemarket.org
CALENDAR SPONSORED BY
vary. 7pm. Also held: 11/18 vs William & Mary, 11/21 vs Maryland Eastern Shore. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com
Oklahoma State University Men’s Basketball vs Oral Roberts University at Gallagher-Iba Arena (200 Athletic Center, Stillwater). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 11/9 vs Kansas City, 11/17 vs Yale, 11/22 vs Western Michigan, 12/4 vs Georgetown. 877-255-4678, www.okstate.com
FREE Creepy, Crawly Critters Night at Lake Thunderbird State Park (13101 Alameda Dr, Norman) features
Book a Free Field Trip for your school, church, or day care today!
Jeff Kinney & The Wrecking Ball Show at Santa Fe High School Auditorium (1901 W 15th St, Edmond) features an imaginative, kid-focused and family-friendly interactive experience with opportunities to build your own cartoons, destroy the trivia competition, manufacture some dance moves and more. Tickets are required. $18-$20. 6-8pm. www.bestofbooksok.com
Nov. 8 & 9
Edmond Craft Fair at the Downtown Edmond Community Center (28 E Main St, Edmond) features unique handmade items, home décor, pet products, jewelry, jerky, skincare, gifts, desserts and more. Free to attend. A local food truck will be onsite. Friday, 5-9pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov. 8-10 FEATURED Mistletoe Market at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) features a holiday shopping extravaganza with unique merchandise from more than 100 carefully selected vendors from Oklahoma and across the country. Shop clothing, gourmet foods, gifts, children’s items, jewelry and more. Benefits the Junior League of Oklahoma City. Adults, $10; seniors (65+), $5; kids (12 & under), free. Friday & Saturday, 9am-8pm; Sunday, 9am-5pm. 8435668, www.mistletoemarket.org
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Now Offering Specialized Tours! · Premium · STEAM · Energy · Oklahoma Leaders Contact Emma To Book Today (405) 523-3211 or email@example.com
Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord-Pickens Museum 1400 Classen Drive (N.W. 13th and Shartel) Oklahoma City, OK, 73106
OklahomaHoF.com (405) 235-4458
University of Oklahoma Football vs Iowa State University at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (1185 Asp Ave, Norman). Prices vary. TBA. Also held: 11/23 vs TCU. 3252424, www.soonersports.com Tree for All at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a variety of saplings for sale as well as educational opportunities to learn about caring for trees and activities for kids. Free to attend. 9amnoon. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org Holiday Bazaar at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (308 NW 164th St, Edmond) features crafters with paintings, quilts, jewelry, pottery and more. Free to attend. 9am-3pm. 348-3292, www. holytrinityedmond.org/holiday-bazaar
Westfall Winter Wonderland at Westfall Elementary School (13239 NW 10th St, Choctaw) features a v ariety of vendors, food trucks and coffee. Shop handmade décor, jewelry, children’s clothing, toys, boutiques
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
and more. Free to attend. 9am-3pm. firstname.lastname@example.org FREE See You Saturday at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Blvd) features themed experiences and learning opportunities for families to enjoy together including crafts and guided tours. All ages welcome. 10am5pm. 235-4485, www.oklahomahof.com Bedlam Bash 5k at Wiley Post Park (2021 S Robinson Ave) features a timed run along the Oklahoma River. Walkers, strollers, wheelchairs and service dogs are welcome. Proceeds from this event benefit the OKC Parks and Recreation Department. $35. 10am-12:30pm. 2972279, www.facebook.com/OKCParks FREE Harvest Festival at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features carnival games inspired by popular books. Best suited for ages 10 & under. 10am-2pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Veterans Day Celebration in Blanchard (Main St, Blanchard) features a parade with high school marching
bands and cheer squads, Tinker Air Force Base Honor Guard, Navy Honor Guard, Chickasaw Nation Honor Guard and numerous Shriners’ units. 10:30am. 485-3199, www.cityofblanchard.us
Nov. 9 & 10
FREE Oklahoma Alpaca Blast Off at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo (1700 W Independence St, Shawnee) features an alpaca halter and fleece show, educational exhibits, alpaca products and more. Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 9am-noon. 990-8205, www.alpacablastoff.com
Gypsy Glam Roadshow Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at OKC Farmer’s Public Market (311 S Klein Ave) features food trucks, live music by Heartbreak Rodeo, holiday shopping, wine tastings and more. Benefits Homeless Alliance. 12 & up, $4; 11 & under, free. 11am-5pm. 602-1851, www.oklahomagypsyglam.com
OKC Philharmonic Discovery Family Series Concert: Music-Palooza at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a family-friendly concert.
Gather for healthy holiday
Maestro Matt and OKC favorite Lucas Ross will lead a bluegrass blowout. Enjoy pre-concert fun including an Instrument Playground, Conductorʼs Corner, performers meet & greet and more. Best suited for ages 4-13. $9. Concert, 2pm; activities, 1pm. 842-5387, www.okcphilharmonic.org/discovery Drop-in Drawing at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Explore your creative side and be inspired by the artwork on display. Materials may be borrowed from the visitor’s desk while supplies last. Free with admission. 2-3pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Critter Crunch at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd) features a behind-the-scenes, hands-on feeding demonstration to learn about the native educational ambassador animals in the Visitor Center. Preregister. All ages welcome. $5. 2-3pm. Also held: Nov. 24. 297-1429, www.okc.gov/parksignup FREE A Musical Tribute to Our Veterans at the Oklahoma City Petree Recital Hall (2501 N Blackwelder Ave) features special guest trumpet soloist Ryan Sharp and the Oklahoma City Symphonic Band as they perform a variety of patriotic music. 3pm. www.okcband.org/home
FREE Veterans Day Celebration at 45th Infantry Division Museum (2145 NE 36th St) features a loud salute provided by a World War II anti-tank gun followed by a performance by the 145th Army Band, guest speakers and a beautiful Massing of the Colors. 10am. 424-5313, www.facebook.com/45th-InfantryDivision-Museum-439039145531
FREE Veterans Day Parade in Midwest City (SE 15th St and Century Blvd, Midwest City) features marching bands, military personnel and equipment, Shriners and more. 10am-noon. 4551818, www.midwestcityok.org Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a casual monthly event where friends and families can enjoy a leisurely one-hour bike ride or 5k run through downtown OKC. Lights and helmets are required. All ages welcome. $5 suggested donation. Runs, 7pm; bike ride, 7:30pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
- 1 large bag of baby carrots - 2 Tbsp. butter - 1/4 cup maple syrup - A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Dash of salt - Dash of pepper - 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
MELT butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add carrots. Cover and cook slowly on simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fork-tender (about 20-30 minutes). INCREASE heat to medium. Stir in syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add thyme and mix well.
WITH LEMON AND GARLIC - 2 cups of water - 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed - 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced - 2 Tbsp. lemon juice - Dash of salt - Dash of black pepper
BOIL water in a large skillet. Add the beans, cover and simmer on low heat for about 8 minutes. Drain beans and pat dry. HEAT oil and butter in pan. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. ADD beans, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes (or until hot). Serve!
Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies this holiday season. Find more healthy recipes at
Black Violin–Impossible Tour at the OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center (7777 S May Ave) features classically trained string players, Wil B. (viola) and Kev Marcus (violin) and their unique blend of classical and hip-hop music designed to overcome stereotypes and cultural barriers. $40-$45. 7:30pm. 682-7579, ticket.occc.edu
own diary, challenge other kids to a fun game and make crafts to take home. 6:308pm. 341-9282, www.metrolibrary.org
Nov. 12-17 FEATURED The Spongebob Musical at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a stage production of the beloved Nickelodeon series. Best suited for ages 5 & up. $27.16 & up. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 1:30 & 8pm. 594-8300, www.okcciviccenter.com
FREE Fabulous Fall Festival at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) features healthy seasonal snacks, fall crafts and more. Materials provided. Preregister. All ages welcome. 5-7pm. 793-8755, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Diary of a Wimpy Dork Dog Book Party at the Edmond Library (10 S Boulevard, Edmond) features a variety of activities to celebrate the new Jeff Kinney book, Wrecking Ball. Hear a sneak peek of the new book, create your
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet CenterView (6000 S Trosper Pl, Midwest City) features worldclass Russian dancers, playful puppets and hand-crafted sets and costumes. $29 & up. 7pm. 594-8300, www.okcciviccenter.com
FREE Oklahoma Heritage Concert at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features stage performances by Rodeo Opry and an interactive program to teach Oklahoma history, music and culture. Suitable for elementary-age students. Preregister; space is limited. 10:30-11:30am. 4782250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
FREE Little Hands Art Camp at the Belle Isle Library (5501 N Villa Ave) features an arts and crafts program. Preregister. Best suited for ages 5 & under. 10-10:45am. 8439601, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Native American Flute Performance at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features a live performance by Tim Maxville. Maxville will share about the significance of indigenous music and the flute-making process. All ages welcome. Noon-1pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org
DEVON ICE RINK • DEVON’S SATURDAYS WITH SANTA • SANDRIDGE SANTA RUN • OKC TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY SONIC • A DOG DAY IN DECEMBER • FREE HOLIDAY WATER TAXI RIDES • LIGHTS ON BROADWAY ANNUAL EVENT • SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY • LIFESHARE WINTERFEST & SNOW TUBING • STREETCAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION • FREE WEEKEND STREETCAR RIDES 11/29-1/5 • HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOPS AT MIDTOWN • HOLLY JOLLY SHOPS AT THE BRICK • AUTOMOBILE ALLEY LIGHT DISPLAY • BRICKTOWN CANAL LIGHTS • LITTLE WILLIE’S TRIPLE DOG DARE • DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS CRAWL • MYRIAD GARDENS HOLIDAY EVENTS • OKCMOA HOLIDAY EVENTS • LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL PRESENTED BY DEVON • SKIRVIN HOTEL HOLIDAY EVENTS • OKC BALLET’S THE NUTCRACKER PRESENTED BY DEVON • OKC PHILHARMONIC’S THE CHRISTMAS SHOW • CANTERBURY CHRISTMAS AT THE CIVIC CENTER • AMERICAN BANJO MUSEUM’S CANDY CANE CHRISTMAS • MANHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS • ARTS COUNCIL OKLAHOMA CITY’S OPENING NIGHT
FREE Family Movie Night at the Citizen Potawatomie Nation Cultural Heritage Center (1899 S Gordon Cooper Dr, Shawnee) features a screening of Instant Family, hosted by Firelodge Children & Family Services. 6pm. 8784831, www.potawatomi.org/firelodge
FOR A FULL LIST OF EVENT DETAILS, VISIT DOWNTOWNINDECEMBER.COM
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
FREE Parents Night Out at St. Luke’s Edmond (900 N Sooner Rd, Edmond) features an inclusive night where all children are welcome no matter their ability. Kids will watch movies, play and eat pizza. Preregister. For ages 12 & under. 6-8:30pm. 285-2313, stlukesedmond.org
Nov. 15 & 16
Sassafras Shopping Event at The Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center (1700 W Independence, Shawnee) features furniture, vintage finds, home décor, art and more. Free to attend. Friday, 5-9pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm. 9734280, www.sassafrasevent.com
Featured The Magic Flute at Oklahoma Christian University’s Judd Theatre (2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond) features an enchanting one-act play based on Mozartʼs opera, dramatized by June Walker. All ages welcome. Adults, $8; kids, $6. Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 10am & 7pm. 425-6310, www.oc.edu/events
praline. Free to attend. 10am-4pm. www.facebook.com/lutherregister.news
Oklahoma State University Football vs University of Kansas at Boone Pickens Stadium (700 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). Prices vary. TBA. Also held: 11/30 vs Oklahoma. 877-ALL-4-OSU, www.okstate.com
Sprouting Chefs: Holiday Gifts in a Jar at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn how to create simple and tasty DIY mason jar treats to give as gifts. The class will also sample a few of the baked goodies. Preregister. For families with kids ages 5 & up. All supplies provided. Members, $17; nonmembers, $20. 10-11:30am. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org
FREE Autumn Garden Tour at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St) features a stroll through the gardens to see what’s growing, flowering, resting or holding on to its fruit late into the season. Preregister. All ages welcome. 9:30-11am. 297-1392, www.okc.gov/parksignup
Britton District Day (412 W Britton Rd) features pop-up shops, live entertainment, community art activities and more. Free to attend. 11am-6pm. brittondistrictokc.org/landing
Super Saturdays at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features animal-themed yoga, crafts, learning stations, scavenger hunts, special guests and more. Free with admission. 10am2pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu Pecan Festival in Luther (Main St, Luther) features local artists, artisans and musicians as well as a car show, food, contests, activities for kids and an attempt to make the world’s largest pecan
Geocaching at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn the basics of using GPS and your phone as well how to solve clues to find the hidden caches in the park and beyond. Preregister. For ages 6 & up. $2. 3-4pm. 297-1429, www.okc.gov/parksignup
This holiday, skip the usual presents and gift a Golden Experience. Bring health, happiness and pure joy to their world and peace of mind to yours. Kids learn safety skills while having fun, making friends, building confidence and learning life lessons. There is no better gift than that!
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Oklahoma City Blue vs Weschester Knicks at the Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 11/19 vs Rio Grande Valley, 11/22 vs Memphis. 602-8500, oklahomacity.gleague.nba.com
FREE Family Game Night at The Station at Central Park (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a variety of different games like Monopoly, card games, Ping Pong and more. No registration required. All ages welcome. Kids under 6 must be accompanied by an adult. 7:30-9:30pm. 793-5090, centralpark.cityofmoore.com
Nov. 16 & 17
Repticon Oklahoma City Reptile & Exotic Animal Show at State Fair Park Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Building (3100 General Pershing Blvd) features reptile pet vendors offering a variety of merchandise including supplies, feeders, cages and more as well as live animal seminars and raffles. Adults, $12; kids (5-12), $5; kids (4 & under), free. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 10am4pm. 863-268-4273, www.repticon.com
Nov. 21 & 22
FREE Turkey Shoot at OKC Community Centers (various locations). Kids can compete in a basketball free throw contest to win a frozen turkey. Age groups are: 6-8, 9-12, 13-17 & 18+. Preregister. See website for times and locations. www.okc.gov/parksignup
FREE Tree Lighting Ceremony at Stockyards City (1217 S Agnew) features a special holiday ceremony with Christmas carolers and more. 6:30pm. 235-7267, www.stockyardscity.org
The Gift Goes On Shopping Event at The Cube at Council Road Baptist Church (7903 NW 30th St, Bethany) features local vendors, a silent auction, raffle and food trucks benefiting the Karis Adoption Fund. $5 suggested donation. 6-9pm. www.thegiftgoeson.com
Nov. 22 & 23
Cirque Mechanics 42 Ft at the McKnight Center Performance Hall (419 S Monroe, Stillwater) features an all-ages Cirque program with thrills, laughs and excitement. $25 & up. 7:30pm. www.mcknightcenter.org
NOW ON VIEW
FREE Touch, Learn, Create—Turkeys at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) feature sensory themed activity stations. For ages 2-6. 10-11:30am. 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org
PLUS, DON'T MISS SONIC FREE FAMILY DAY, DECEMBER 1, 12-5 PM.
Gardner Hale (American, 1894–1931). Triumph of Washington (detail), 1931. Oil on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Gift of D. Wigmore Fine Art, 2017.070
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. 2-3pm. 759-7295, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org Third Thursdays at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features art activities, live music, food and beverages and outdoor activities, including on the Roof Terrace, weather permitting. $12; members, free. 5-9pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com
Walk The Lights–Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park (SE 15th St & Century Blvd, Midwest City) features a stroll through the one-mile stretch of displays. Walkers will be able to take in the nearly one million lights and enjoy hot chocolate and Christmas carols. Adults, $5; Kids under 12, free. 6-9pm. 7391293, www.midwestcityok.org
30 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
The Santa Market at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features over 100 vendors offering décor, fashion and handmade items. Attendees can also enjoy food trucks, a silent auction, free photos with Santa and more. Proceeds from the show benefit the Alzheimerʼs Association of Oklahoma. Free to attend. Saturday, 9am-5pm. 314-1033, www.facebook.com/thesantamarket Learn to Curl at Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn the basic rules and etiquette of curling from The Oklahoma Curling Club. Rubber soled shoes required. Preregister. For ages 10 & up. Also held: Dec. 4. Members, $20; nonmembers, $25. 9-10:30am. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org FREE Apple Pie Time Program at Crossing Community Center (10307 N Penn Ave). Kids can practice following directions and measuring ingredients while putting together a pie to take home and bake. Preregister; space is limited. Best suited for
ages 5-12. 10-11am. Also held at the Bethany Library at 2-3:30pm. 755-0710, www.metrolibrary.org Insect Hotels Family Workshop at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn how to attract beneficial insects such as bees, lacewings and ladybugs to your gardens by providing shelter for them. Participants will go on a nature walk to collect items they will use to create their very own insect hotel. Preregister. Best suited for ages 7-11. Member, $12; nonmember, $15. 1-2pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org FREE Luminance Grand Opening at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features a lighting ceremony with food trucks, pop-up shops, make-andtake art activities, photos with Santa, caroling, face painting and more. 2-8pm. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com Talk on Turkeys at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn about Thanksgivingʼs beloved mascot and how to create turkey calls. Preregister. For ages 6 & up. $2. 3-4pm. 297-1429, www.okc.gov/parksignup FREE Lights On Broadway Holiday Open House in Automobile Alley (Broadway Ave between 4th & 10th St) features holiday window displays, childrenʼs activities, carriage rides, a chance to meet Santa, live entertainment, free face painting, a series of outdoor movies and more. 4-8pm. 235-4789, www.downtownindecember.com Chill Your Cheeks 5k Run at Chisholm Trail Park (500 W Vandament, Yukon) features a mascot jog, one-mile Jingle Walk and 5k run that winds through the streets of Yukon and ends amid Christmas lights on display in the park. Activities also include live Christmas music and the Kringle Karnival with family-friendly games and activities. Adults, $30; kids, $25; day of: adults, $45; kids, $35. 5-6pm. 350-8920, www.yukonok.gov/catalog
Critter Crunch at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd) features a hands-on feeding demonstration with the ambassador animals in the visitor center. All ages welcome. $5. 2-3pm. 297-1429, www.okc.gov/parksignup
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Enter to Win
at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a holiday performance of the entire album that started it all. $27.16-$86.90. 7:30pm. 594-8300, www.okcciviccenter.com
Nov. 27 & 29
Thanksgiving Break Skate Sessions at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) feature open skate hours for all ages. Includes basic skate rental. $6. Wednesday, 1-4pm & 7-10pm, Friday, 1-4pm. 605-2758, www.skategalaxy.com
Edmond Turkey Trot at the Downtown Edmond Community Center (28 E Main St, Edmond) features a scenic 5k or a 1-mile family wobble. Costumes encouraged. Benefits Turning Point Ministries. School-aged kids can participate in the 1-mile wobble for free. 5k, $20-$26; 1-mile wobble, $10-$26. 8-10am. 590-8665, www.edmondturkeytrot.com
Tickets to OKC Ballet’s The Nutcracker
OKC Turkey Tracks 5k in Downtown OKC (5th & Harvey) features a 1-mile fun run and 5k. Runners are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys. Benefits Toys for Tots. $30 & up. 8:30am. www.okcturkeytracks.com Turkey Day 5k at Norman High School (911 W Main St, Norman) features a festive 5k and 1-mile fun run benefiting Serve More. Costumes encouraged. $30-$35. 8:30am-noon. 793-0893, www.turkeyday5krun.com FREE Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Nigh University Center at UCO (100 N University Dr, Edmond) features a free community meal. Volunteer opportunities available. 9am-3pm. www. facebook.com/EdmondThanksgiving
One of 15 birthday parties!
FREE OKC Tree Lighting Festival in Bricktown (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features photo opportunities with Santa, live music, food trucks, face painting and a tree lighting ceremony with Mayor David Holt. 5-7pm. 2353500, www.downtownindecember.com
$15,000 towards next year’s mortgage or rent!
All Night Skate at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) features an all night stay at Skate Galaxy. Preregister. $20. 8pm8am. 605-2758, www.skategalaxy.com
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
FREE The Great Pumpkin Smash at CommonWealth Urban Farms (3310 N Ollie). Attendees can toss and smash pumpkins for some messy fun for the whole family. You can bring your pumpkins and leftover hay bales. 9am-noon. 524-1864, www. commonwealthurbanfarms.com FREE Retro Video Game Tournament at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features a kid-friendly tournament. Younger children must be accompanied by a responsible adult or sibling. Preregister. 1-3pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org FREE Lighted Christmas Parade in Guthrie (Oklahoma Ave, Guthrie) features floats, illuminated cars, dune buggies and more. 6pm. 412-4132, www.guthriesterritorialchristmas.com
Sleigh Bells Market at the OKC Farmers Public Market (311 S Klein Ave) features vendors with vintage, handmade and local goods. Holiday drinks will be served by the Farmers Market Bar.
Free to attend. Noon-5:30pm. 8106977, www.revolve-productions.com FREE Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St) features a family-friendly community event with live music, hot cocoa bar, childrenʼs craft activities in the Garden Exhibition Center, photos with Santa and horse drawn sleigh rides on Pat Murphy Drive. All ages welcome. 5-8pm. 297-1392, www.okc.gov/parksignup
the diverse Native cultures that make Oklahoma unique. Donations welcome. 10am-5pm. 427-5228, www.redearth.org
FREE Holiday Happening at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features family-friendly activities, festive entertainment, seasonal stories and discounts at the museum store. Kids have the opportunity to meet Santa. 4-7pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
FREE Christmas on the Western Frontier Holiday Parade in Downtown El Reno (Main St, El Reno) features an old-fashioned parade with more than 50 floats as well as trolley rides, storytelling, Santaʼs workshop, strolling carolers, childrenʼs crafts and the lighting of the city Christmas tree. 5-9pm. 2628888, www.elrenomainstreet.com
FREE A Dog Day in December at the Midtown Mutts Dog Park (4074 W Park Pl) features pet photos with Santa, complimentary “puppuccinos” and goodie bags with dog treats, toys and
Friends of the Library Book Sale at the South OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St). Browse a large selection of books and fill a bag for $15. Proceeds benefit the SOKC Public Library and support educational, cultural and artistic programming for all ages. See website for sale times. 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org FREE Red Earth Treefest at the OSUOKC Student Center (900 N Portland Ave) features 25 Christmas trees adorned with handmade ornaments created to showcase
Women’s upscale resale
tory burch • coach • j crew loft • motherhood gap • fossil • free people athleta • lululemon
32 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
in Yo Closeur t
Midtown swag. Goodie bags include tickets to an after party at the holiday pop-up shops. Benefits the Midtown Association. All ages welcome. Free to attend; donation requested for photos. Goodie bags available for purchase. 5:308pm. www.downtownindecember.com Territorial Christmas at Harn Homestead (1721 N Lincoln Blvd) features a Christmas celebration with hay rides, cookie decorating, Harn House tours and a chance to meet Santa. $7 in advance, $10 at the door; kids (under 3), free. 6:30-8:30pm. 235-4058, www.harnhomestead.com
UCO WinterGlow at Nigh University Center (100 N University Dr, Edmond) features the ceremonial lighting of Old North as well as a winter carnival. Attendees have the opportunity to meet Santa. Toy donations encouraged. 6-9pm. 974-2363, www.uco.edu/winterglow
Holidays at the Museum at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Musuem (1700 NE 63rd St) features a variety of activities in the turn-of-the-century frontier town, Prosperity Junction. Make Western-inspired ornaments, pine cone bird feeders and decorations, meet historical Western figures, sample frontier food and mosey up to the sarsaparilla bar before dropping off your holiday wish list with Santa. Best suited for ages 4-12. Free with admission. 10am-noon. 4782250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
Home for the Holidays at the Oklahoma City University Kirkpatrick Auditorium (2501 N Blackwelder Ave) features a Broadway-style Christmas show with kicklines, tap dances and more. Enjoy classics like the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, the Santa Kickline and Tony the Pony. Best suited for ages 6 & up. $29. Thursday & Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 208-5227, okcu.edu/dance
OKC Philharmonic Christmas Show at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a musical theater style production with the OKCPHIL, Santa, the POPS Chorale and the Mistletoes as well as Santa’s jolly helpers and Broadway star Max von Essen. Come early to meet Santa and pose for pictures. $19 & up. Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm. 842-5387, www.okcphilharmonic.org
the holiday light display in Mitch Park. Prizes awarded for the most creative, prettiest or ugliest sweater. $20. 5-8pm. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com
Deck the Halls Celebration at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr) features holiday music played on the Oklahoma History Centerʼs Kilgen Organ, arts and crafts for children and holiday photo opportunities. All ages welcome. Free with admission. 10:30amnoon. 522-0765, www.okhistory.org
Edmond Ugly Sweater Run at Mitch Park (27330 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond) features a Christmas sweater themed 5k and 1-mile fun run benefiting
Thank you Edmond Ice Rink AT
to all who made Cover Kids Search 2020 a success!
NOVEMBER 15TH through
JANUARY 5TH For more details go to
Foto Arts Photography Venue Sponsor: Myriad Botanical Gardens Exhibitors/Partners: Top Golf OKC, Unpluggits Paint and Play, Forever After Parties, Panera Bread, Chester’s Party Barn and Goldfish Swim School
We’ll announce the winners on Nov. 15. www.metrofamilymagazine.com/coverkidssearch
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
❄ H o l i d ay☃ L i g h t s ❄
Opening Nov. 22
ILLUMINATIONS: Starry, Starry Night in the Crystal Bridge Conservatory (301 W Reno Ave) features high-tech displays designed by professionals. Members, $3-5; nonmembers, $5-7; kids (2 & under), free. Tuesday-Thursday, 6-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 6-10pm; Sunday, 6-9pm through Jan. 5. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org
Opening Nov. 23
FREE Luminance at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features a walk-thru display with more than 50,000 LED lights, a 25-foot tunnel and 20 interactive, 3D light displays. Grand opening, 5:30pm; open nightly thereafter, 5-10pm through Jan. 5. 2167729, edmondok.com/1460/Luminance
FREE Midwest City Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park (8700 E. Reno Ave) features a drivethru display with more than one million holiday lights and an illuminated 118-foot Christmas tree. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 6-11pm through Dec. 25. 739-1293, www.midwestcityok.org FREE Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway Ave (NW 4th to 10th St on Broadway Ave.) features more than 180,000 colorful LED lights draping the buildings along eight city blocks in the historic district. Open dusk to dawn through Jan. 11. www.downtownindecember.com
FREE Rhema Christmas Lights at Rhema Bible Church (1025 W Kenosha St, Broken Arrow) features over two million lights and over 100,000 shimmering bulbs synchronized to Christmas music. Visitors can drive through the lights in their own vehicle, get out of the car and walk around
Vis i t
this holiday season
Family Movie Night
FREE Festival of Light at Shannon Springs Park (2400 S 9th St, Chickasha) features drive-thru and walk-thru light displays, carriage rides and on select nights a live nativity, camel rides, photos with Santa, a gift shop, concessions and more. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10pm, FridaySaturday, 6-11pm through Dec. 31. 2249627, www.chickashafestivaloflight.org
Opening Nov. 27
FREE Christmas in the Park at Chisholm Trail Park (500 W Vandament, Yukon) features drive-thru and walkthru light displays with more than 100
Join us in celebrating National Adoption Month
acres of twinkling lights. Open seven days a week from 6-10pm through Dec. 31. 354-8442, www.cityofyukonok.gov
hosted by firelodge children and family services
watch Instant Family!
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center 1899 S Gordon Cooper Drive
For more information
contact Kendra Lowden at (405)878-4831 or email@example.com
• Historic Downtown • Unique Boutiques • Trolley Rides • Restaurants
• Coffee Shop • Wine Bar • 18 Hole Golf Course • Much More!
Save the Dates
FOR FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENTS!
November 10th, 3pm: Canadian County 8th Annual Veteran’s Parade & Program Downtown El Reno - www.elrenochamber.com November - December: Lights in Legion Park
Legion Park - Train Rides, Smores, Santa & Mrs. Claus. Visit elrenotrourism.com for dates & details.
December 5th: El Reno Main Street Downtown Christmas Parade www.elrenomainstreet.com December 8th, 2pm: Ft. Reno Firing of the Christmas Guns www.fortreno.org
find out more at www.potawatomi.org/firelodge
34 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Close to you. Far from ordinary.
the park or view the spectacular displays from a carriage. The lights shine every night from 5:30-11:30pm through Jan. 1. 918-258-1588, www.rhemabiblechurch.com
Opening Nov. 28
FREE Downs Family Christmas Lights (2900 72nd Ave SE, Norman) is a light display set to music that features more than 18 miles of light strands. Bring a canned good or monetary donation to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Open through Jan. 2. 6-10pm. www.downsfamilychristmas.com FREE Garden of Lights at Honor Heights Park (1400 Honor Heights Dr, Muskogee) features more than 1.2 million shimmering lights, enhancing the natural beauty of the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gardens, waterfalls and ponds. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 5:30-11pm through Jan. 1. 918-682-2401, www.visitmuskogee.com
Opening Nov. 29
FREE Bricktown Canal Lights Display lines the canal with twinkling lights. Enjoy free water taxi rides certain nights of the week. Open at dusk through Jan. 11. www.downtownindecember.com FREE Miranda Family Lights (19544 Talavera Ln, Edmond) features a modern twist on synchronized light displays with 80,000 bright LED lights. The display will appear on ABCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Great Christmas Light Fight in December. Opening date tentative; check Facebook for updates. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10pm, Saturday & Sunday, 5:30-11pm through Jan. 1. www. facebook.com/mirandafamilylights
open late on select nights during the holiday season. 6-9pm through Dec. 31. Adults, $15; kids (17 & under), $3. 918-749-7941, www.philbrook.org
Opening Nov. 30
FREE A Territorial Christmas Celebration in Downtown Guthrie (112 E Oklahoma Ave, Guthrie) features a Victorian Christmas celebration, historic home tours and a lighted parade at dusk on Nov. 30. 5-9pm on Saturdays through Dec. 14. 412-4132, www.guthriesterritorialchristmas.com
Opening Dec. 2
FREE Celebration of Lights at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Rd, Sulphur) features a drive-thru holiday light display. 6-9pm nightly through Dec. 31. 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com
Festival Nights at the Philbrook Museum of Art (2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa) features garden lights, art, a LEGO Village, live music, concessions, shopping and more. The museum stays
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Weekly EVENTS CALENDAR FREE Scissortales at Scissortail Park Playground and Play Pavilion (300 SW 7th St) features stories, songs, movement activities and a craft. Tuesday & Thursday, 4pm. 445-6277, www.scissortailpark.org
PHOTO BY DOUG HOKE
SIGN UP TODAY!
SATURDAY DEC. 14TH CHECK IN 1 MILE FUN RUN $20 5K $35
Open to all ages and abilities. All runs begin and end at SandRidge Energy – 123 Robert S. Kerr. Enjoy free drinks and snacks, a photo booth, music, family activities, and more. Cash prizes awarded to top finishers. Don’t forget to wear your most festive attire!
36 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
7:30AM 9:00AM 9:30AM
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER NOW, VISIT DOWNTOWNINDECEMBER.COM
Yoga of 12 Step Recovery at Purposeful Play Family Enrichment Center (6051 N Brookline Ave, Ste 106) features a 12-step based discussion and yoga practice that is open to anyone dealing with their own addictive behaviors or those affected by the addictive behaviors of others. Wear comfortable clothing. All levels welcome. Free to attend; donations accepted. Thursdays, 6:30pm. 607-4340, www.ppfec.com
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 FREE Botanical Balance Yoga at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features an all-levels class. Check in at the south entrance to the Crystal Bridge to find out location. Bring mat and water. Tuesdays, 5:45pm; Saturdays, 8am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Family Skate Night at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Includes basic skate rental. Family package includes admission, skate rentals, pizza and drinks for up to five family members. $6 per person OR $29 for the family deal. Thursdays, 7-10pm; Sundays, 6-8pm. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com
Tuesday Night Classics at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno Ave) features classic films on the big screen including Back to the Future. Tuesdays, 7pm. $5. 231-4747, www.harkins.com FREE Reading Wednesdays at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a nature-themed story time, interactive song and small craft. Best suited for ages 2-5. Walkups welcome. Wednesdays, 10am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org
Thursday, December 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
FREE Children’s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 N Expressway) features a fun story time with a special guest or staff member. Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.com
FREE Wide-Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features complimentary admission, courtesy of Oklahoma Ford Dealers. Attendees can also enjoy a free Western movie matinée at 1pm. Wednesdays, 10am-5pm. 4782250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
FREE Littles Story Time at Commonplace Books (1325 N Walker Ave) features a half-hour, all-ages story time. Saturdays, 10:30am. 534-4540, www.commonplacebooksokc.com FREE Story Time & Craft at Best of Books (1313 E Danforth Rd, Edmond) features a kid-friendly story time and corresponding craft activity. Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www.bestofbooksok.com
Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Paint & Play (575 Enterprise Dr, Ste 110, Edmond) features a short story time and age-appropriate craft. Free with admission. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584, www.unpluggits.com
FREE Learn to Skate Lesson at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) features a FREE roller skating lesson. No sign up required. Skate rentals start at $2. All ages welcome. Saturdays, noon. 6022758, www.skategalaxyokc.com
FREE Mom Core Book Study at St. Luke’s Edmond (900 N Sooner Rd, Edmond) features a video curriculum and live speakers with discussion guided by experienced mentor moms. Coffee & childcare, free; optional breakfast available for $5. Thursdays, 9:30-11:30am. 285-2301, www.stlukesokc.org Fortnite Dance Party at the MAC at Mitch Park (2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond). Learn dances from the popular game during a one-hour class taught by young teens. Preregister. For ages 6-12. Parents welcome to stay. Thursdays, $10. 5:306pm. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com
FREE Moore Chess Club at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore). Learn to play or improve your skills with other local players. All ages and skill levels welcome. Sundays, 1-4pm. firstname.lastname@example.org Discovery Time at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features interactive, hands-on activities such as stories, crafts and discovery table specimens. For preschool & elementary-aged kids. Free with admission. Saturdays, 2pm; Sundays, 2:30pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu
• Visits with Santa • Craft making • Hayrides • Tours of the House • Food truck • Holiday gift vendors Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. www.harnhomestead.com/events/ 1721 N. Lincoln Boulevard, OKC
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Ongoing Opening Nov. 15
Edmond Ice Rink at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features ice skating, a Christmas train ride, holiday music and food concessions. $12 with skate rental, $8 without, kids (under 5), $8; train rides, $3. Monday-Thursday, 3-9pm; Friday, 3-10pm; Saturday, noon-10pm; Sunday, noon-9pm. edmondicerink.com
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38 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Mix-Tape at Factory Obscura (25 NW 9th St) features a brand-new, permanent exhibit described as a 20th-century take on the classic audio autobiography, experienced through immersive auditory and tactile art. Adults, $15; kids (4-12), $12; kids (3 & under), free. Thursday, 11am-7pm; Friday & Saturday, 11am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm. www.factoryobscura.com
Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing and rawhide braiding from 12 of the West’s leading cowboy artists including 50 one-of-a-kind, handcrafted original art pieces. Adults, $12.50; kids, (612), $5.57; kids (5 & under), free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
Through Nov. 18
Through April 26
Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) explores the physical and social landscape of the United States during the Great Depression through paintings, prints, photographs and other media. The original exhibition includes a selection of works from the Museum’s collection of WPA art and a recently acquired monumental mural by Gardner Hale. Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free. WednesdaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon5pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com
Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Rd, Sulphur) highlights the remarkable history of American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who have served in the United States military. Adults, $7; students, seniors & military, $6; kids (12 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com
Through Nov. 21
The Art of the Portrait at Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) showcases figurative works of art from artists in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Adults, $7; kids (6-17), $5; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 10am5pm. 235-4458, www.oklahomahof.com
Opening Nov. 8
Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features public skating, private parties and special events all winter long. $13, $8 without skates; members, $7. Monday-Thursday, 3-9pm; Friday, 3-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, noon-7pm. Closes Feb. 2. 445-7080, downtownindecember.com
Lyric’s A Christmas Carol at Lyric at the Plaza (1727 NW 16th St). Take a magical journey with Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. $25 & up. See website for show times. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com
Opening Nov. 22
Through Dec. 24
PAMBE Ghana Global Market at 50 Penn Place (1900 NW Expressway) features a seasonal fair trade shop offering unique gifts, including a wide selection of folk art from around the world. All proceeds benefit PAMBE Ghanaʼs LaʼAngum Learning Center in northern Ghana. Free to attend. Tuesday-Friday, noon-6pm, Saturday, 10am6pm. 249-2314, www.pambeghana.org
Through Dec. 29
FREE Harold Stevenson’s The Great Society at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) features an ambitious series of portraits depicting residents of Idabel, Okla. and surrounding McCurtain County. Composed of 98 large portraits, Stevenson considered The Great Society a single work of art. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4938, www.ou.edu/fjjma
Through Jan. 5
Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition &
Polar Express Train Ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand Blvd) features a one-hour train ride based on the popular book. Characters on each car lead passengers in an immersive onboard experience including a reading of the book, cookies delivered by dancing chefs and the chance to meet Santa. Adults, $45$60; kids (2-11), $35-$50; kids (under 2), free. Thursday-Sunday, plus additional days the week of Christmas. See website for a schedule of departure times. 4248222, okcthepolarexpressride.com
Opening Nov. 29
Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown (399 NW 10th St) features rotating, local vendors with a variety of gifts for all ages and a Christmas tree lot benefiting Bishop John Carroll School. Free to attend. ThursdaySaturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am6pm. 514-5205, www.okcpopups.com
Find more information about current museum exhibits at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ museums. Find family winter fun at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/winter.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
F E AT U R I N G M I C H A E L MARTIN MURPHEY S U N D AY, D E C E M B E R 2 2 5 : 0 0 P. M . F A M I LY F R I E N D LY HOME-COOKED DINNER BUFFET DANCING M A K E R E S E R VAT I O N S N AT I O N A LC O W B OY M U S E U M . O R G / COWBOYCHRISTMASBALL
JADE ARELLANO RECENTLY RETURNED TO FULL-TIME WORK AND HER FAMILY (SHOWN BELOW) IS ADJUSTING TO HER NEW SCHEDULE.
Moms solve quandaries of returning to the workforce BY RERE LUNSFORD. PHOTOS PROVIDED.
Editor’s note: This article is the second of a two-part series examining career questions and challenges women often consider after becoming moms.
Employment gaps are often thought of as resume kryptonite, but when a mother has been home caring for kids for an extended amount of time, should she fill that gap with PTA meetings, volunteer hours spent at church and skills as homeroom mom? The short answer: absolutely. “Moms are not fiddling thumbs, they are managing households,” said Sarah Espinosa, director at large for membership for the Oklahoma City Human Resources Society. “The biggest feedback I give is to address those gaps on the resume.”
40 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Mothers reentering the workforce should take a proactive approach by listing duties and involvement within the community. Espinosa adds any ability to stay involved in their industry or field while at home should be noted. Attending monthly association events, reading articles and keeping skill sets fresh are valid resume gap fillers.
After a year as a stay-at-home mom, Bilger has worked part time for the past seven years. The gap in work was not Bilger’s only worry when she decided to return to the workforce.
“That definitely helps give leverage to individuals who stay involved,” said Espinosa, who works in staffing.
Normanite Jenni Shuman said tutoring on the side during her years staying home with her six kids helped her keep on top of her skills and prepare to get back in the classroom.
Edmond mom Kim Bilger was nervous about how future employers would view her year at home with her children, especially since she herself looked at resume gaps differently before becoming a mom. “I remember thinking ‘Man, that is a big gap’ [on others’ resumes], but as a mom now, I have more empathy,” said Bilger, a mom of three.
“I thought ‘Do, I still remember things? Is it still applicable to this job,’” questioned Bilger, a registered dietician who consults for a long-term care organization.
“That definitely helped me stay fresh and have an idea of what kids are doing in the classroom,” said Shuman, a math teacher. Shuman was less concerned about her 13-year resume gap than balancing her new work schedule with home responsibilities. “I’m a little nervous about dropping the ball,” said Shuman, who returned to work this fall.
Norman mom Jade Arellano, who recently returned to full-time work after staying home or working part time for the last 10 years, said in the past she worked in bits and pieces. She’s now trying to get used to having a set schedule.
Shuman, who teaches high school math to homeschoolers, is grateful the church where she works offers a Mother’s Day Out program onsite for her youngest child. Childcare costs were among the many things she considered when deciding whether to return to work.
“For me, it’s about time management, sitting down and prioritizing,” said Arellano, a business owner and certified nutrition specialist. “That’s a big change for me.”
“Childcare costs can eat up an income,” Shuman said.
Arellano remained involved in her field and continued to learn while she stayed home. The mother of two said when it comes to resume gaps, she advises moms to remember the value of the work they did while staying home with their children. “Even though you see gaps, it’s very likely there are things you’ve done that are marketable,” Arellano said. Securing childcare is another important factor families maneuver when moms go back to work.
Bilger agreed juggling childcare can be the biggest struggle of going back to work. She has used three different Mother’s Day Out programs and seven babysitters over the years. “It has worked out, but not without some crowdsourcing,” Bilger said. Espinosa advocates discussing daycare benefits and vacation days with employers. Lyndi Zavy, a mother of two and a former human resources director, says women shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate both salary and non-salary benefits.
“A closed mouth never gets fed,” Zavy said. “The worst they can do is say ‘no.’” When it comes to securing and preparing for interviews, potential employees whose thorough research of the company shows in well-written cover letters and specific interview questions needn’t be concerned about those work gaps. “When you show you speak the language of the organization and you’ve done your research, that goes far,” said Zavy. Jenna Worthen, who owns her own strategy company, adds requesting a robust job description and asking what success in a position looks like in six months to a year display a candidate’s earnestness. Above all, Worthen says mothers reentering the workforce should apply with confidence. “Don’t let that gap be a hindrance and make you feel unqualified,” Worthen said. “Great employees are hard to find and a great employer is going to fight for you. Moms have value.”
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PAMBEGhana.org METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
My journey back to work Colors of Clay Celebration
November 2 • 10:00 a.m. – Noon Enjoy storytelling, crafts and create clay coasters utilizing one of three traditional designs featured in the Colors of Clay exhibition.
Holidays at the Museum December 7 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Make Western-inspired ornaments, pine cone birdfeeders, decorations, meet historical Western figures, sample frontier food and sarsaparilla before meeting Santa!
nationalcowboymuseum.org/kids 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 Free with Museum admission. Available while supplies last. This program is made possible, in part, with support from the Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation.
I struggled to stay calm and hold back tears as I lovingly, but quickly, ushered my two boys on to the front porch to take the annual “First Day of School” picture. I mean, does it even count if I don’t post a picture on social media of them holding their signs?! My snaggletoothed first grader held up his sign, followed by my less-enthused thirdgrader as I snapped the pictures, trying to forget that this morning was unlike the previous four first days of school. This year was going to be the first time I would miss taking them to class because mommy had a class of her own to get to; I had to work. After six years as a stay-at-home-mom, I returned to the workforce in fall 2017 as an adjunct journalism professor at The University of Oklahoma. I kept my schedule light in the beginning, but over time added more classes, always mindful of being available for after-school pickup and other activities. But one activity — the first day of school drop off — is one I didn’t take into account when planning my fall semester. It was in that moment I really felt the struggle of working outside the home. Going back to work is something I always planned to do once both my kids were in school full time. While I loved my time at home and will forever be grateful for that opportunity, preparing to reenter the
RERE LUNSFORD. PHOTO BY TREY YOUNG.
workforce was something I was always working toward, and I sought opportunities to freelance and network in between potty training, library trips and quiet time. Keeping my toe in the industry was a good mental break that, luckily, turned into a job opportunity at the right time. The transition from home to work definitely came with a few bumps. I can’t make it to every class party, star-shaped sandwiches don’t make it in every packed lunch, exhaustion sometimes wins over a homecooked meal and the phrase “Mommy can’t, I have to work” is uttered more times than I’d like. But the road back to work has also been so fulfilling, especially as I think back to six years ago when I decided to stay home and got puzzled looks and questions from friends and family. They voiced the concerns and fears already in my mind: Do you think you will be able to go back to work after all those years home? I’m so proud to get to answer them: Yes I will. Yes I did. ReRe Lunsford is a Norman mom of two boys and an adjunct journalism professor at The University of Oklahoma.
42 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Christmas EXPLORING OKLAHOMA WITH CHILDREN
BY LINDSAY CUOMO . PHOTOS PROVIDED.
The hubbub of holiday tasks can often overshadow the joys of the season. If you find your family in need of relaxing respite, set aside the checklists for a day or two and hit the road for a festive trip! From old-fashioned fun like horse-drawn light tours to a high-tech winter wonderland, the Sooner state offers families plenty of ways to make memories together this holiday season.
SET YOUR SIGHTS ON SPARKLING
THE ARTESIAN HOTEL IN SULPHUR
ulphur blends quaint small-town charm with the picturesque beauty of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, making it a popular destination throughout the year. At Christmastime, the city turns up the cheer with holiday light displays, carriage rides through town, carolers and classic holiday movies.
Kicking off just after Thanksgiving, The Artesian Hotel welcomes all families, not just those staying at the hotel, with lavish décor, carolers, story times with Mrs. Claus and breakfast with Santa. Families can embark on a candlelit tour of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area’s Flower Park, aglow with 1,000 candlelit luminaries, Dec. 6 and 7. The tour is free, but reservations are required with the Travertine Nature Center (580-622-7234). Afterward, warm up under a cozy blanket on a tour of the city’s lights aboard a horse-drawn carriage on Friday and Saturday evenings through Dec. 21, then enjoy a nightcap of complimentary cookies and milk with Santa in the hotel lobby. Complimentary apple cider and hot cocoa will also be available throughout the day in The Artesian lobby during the weekends. Another exciting feature, kids can pose for photos with a real reindeer on Dec. 14 and 21 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the entrance of the hotel. Muskogee Street in downtown Sulphur transforms nightly into an elaborate light show with sparkling trees, towering lighted structures, ribbons and cannons, all synchronized to music. On opening night Nov. 30, the city will host a lighted Christmas parade complete with the Inspyral fire show, stilt walkers dressed in LED costumes, food trucks and the man of the season, Santa Claus.
44 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
The Chickasaw Cultural Center offers families even more holiday fun with its month-long children’s holiday movie series with classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and newer flicks like Trolls Holiday and The Polar Express. Mom and dad can squeeze in a date night and enjoy a gourmet dinner and screening of It’s a Wonderful Life on Dec. 14. Opening Dec. 2 and running nightly throughout the month, the Center’s grounds will feature a twinkling drive-through light display. A Festival of Trees will explore Christmas through the decades and one-of-a-kind gifts from renowned Chickasaw artists will be available at the holiday art market.
EXPLORE TURN-OF-THECENTURY CHRISTMAS IN
ravel to Christmases of yesteryear at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s Christmas in the Village. The cobblestone streets and buildings of the turn-of-the-century replica town are adorned with the sights and sounds of an early Oklahoma Christmas. Families can explore a one-room schoolhouse decorated with paper snowflakes and handmade paper chains and the Glidewell homestead, elegantly decked with garland and greenery, crafted as if right out of the early 1900s. On Dec. 6 starting at 6 p.m., attendees can take part in character-led tours, musical performances, holiday refreshments and the lighting of the village Christmas tree. Kids can craft, sip hot cocoa and enjoy cookies with Santa.
As the sun sets on the activities in the village, festive fun begins to twinkle at Meadowlake Park. During Enid’s annual Christmas in the Park celebration, families can hop aboard a holiday train and carnival rides, decorate cookies and write letters to Santa at this community gathering hosted by the City of Enid Parks and Recreation Department. Activities are free and open to the public on four Saturdays: Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Several holiday performances coincide with the Christmas in the Village opening weekend including “The Nutcracker” at Briggs Auditorium starring a cast of local kids; “The Prophecy Show: The Music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” one of the only touring TSO tribute orchestras, at Stride Bank Center; and Gaslight Theatre’s rendition of “Scrooge!”, a musical retelling of the classic Dickens tale.
WINTERLAND IN CLAREMORE
ICE RINK BIRTHDAYS
NOVEMBER 8, 2019 - FEBRUARY 2, 2020
Celebrate winter birthdays at Devon Ice Rink. Throw the skate party of the season while supporting Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Claremore! CELEBRATE BIG IN
estivities kick off in Claremore on Dec. 2 as the community lights its 65-foot live Christmas tree, the largest fresh-cut Christmas tree in the state of Oklahoma and the centerpiece of the third annual Christmas celebration, Winterland. The towering Norway spruce will begin its journey to the Sooner state all the way from the Dutchman Tree Farm in Manton, Mich. The tree will find its holiday home on the West Bend Green, outside the Claremore Expo Center, in a unique tree stand of sorts, an 8-foot manhole!
The fun in Winterland continues all season long with ice skating, pictures with Santa, local shopping, hot cocoa and caroling. Special events include a lighted holiday parade on Dec. 7 and a New Year’s Eve bash on Dec. 31, complete with an apple cider toast, s’mores and a fireworks finale. On Saturdays in December, visitors can hop aboard a trolley departing from West Bend to explore historic Downtown Claremore or browse shops in the Ne-Mar Shopping Center. Find more details about these Oklahoma festivities and others at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ exploringoklahoma.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
Cost is $175 and includes 10 skate rentals for 1.5 hours and more. For reservations, please contact our Rental Department at (405) 200-1547 or email@example.com. Myriad Gardens members receive a 10% discount on reservation cost.
Oklahoma City SHINE BRIGHT IN
December also brings endless strands of brilliant Christmas lights to the Oklahoma City metro. These five festive light displays are some of the best ways to celebrate the season close to home:
Automobile Alley near downtown Oklahoma City (Broadway Avenue between NW 4th and NW 10th St) presents a breathtaking display of more than 180,000 colorful LED lights draped over buildings in a dazzling display of Christmas cheer. Attend Lights on Broadway on Nov. 23, the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s holiday open house, to enjoy activities for kids, complimentary carriage rides, visits with Santa and outdoor movies.
The Midwest City Holiday Lights Spectacular transforms Joe B. Barnes Regional Park (8500 E Reno Ave) into a drive-through winter wonderland with more than 100 Christmas light displays. The most impressive is the 118-foot Christmas tree sparkling with 9,000 festive bulbs. Experience the lights up close during the annual Walk the Lights on Nov. 21, which also includes sweet treats, crafts and the chance to meet Santa.
Luminance at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond), Edmondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest holiday addition, will be aglow with interactive, 3D lighted displays. A celebratory kickoff on Nov. 23 will feature food trucks, pop-up shops and live music. Families can also take a spin on the ice at the Edmond Ice Rink.
46 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
WORTH THE DRIVE
Head west to Yukon for the annual Christmas in the Park Celebration. The drive-through display covers three park complexes with nearly three miles of illuminated fun, five million twinkling lights and more than 400 one-of-a-kind lighted displays. Hop aboard the Santa Express Train in Chisholm Trail Park (500 W Vandament, Yukon) for an up-close view. Enjoy the lights on foot in the Chill Your Cheeks 5k on Nov. 23.
Just outside the metro, El Reno invites families to enjoy small-town Christmas charm at Legion Park’s (W Pine St & S Reno Ave, El Reno) annual holiday light display. Visitors can tour the lights, take a spin on a Christmas train and visit with Santa. Festivities begin the Friday after Thanksgiving, thanks to a special partnership with the City of El Reno Fire Department, complete with a petting zoo, hot cocoa and s’mores.
Even before it was featured on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, the Downs Family Christmas Light Display (2900 72nd Ave SE, Norman) was known for its brilliant holiday light display featuring more than 18 miles of stunning light strands and the family’s efforts to collect canned food and monetary donations for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Keep your eyes peeled for a December feature on Oklahoma’s second-ever contestant group on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight, Edmond’s Miranda Family Lights! The family filmed last holiday season for their appearance on the show next month. This year’s light display (19544 Talavera Ln, Edmond) will begin running after Thanksgiving. For even more seasonal fun, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/winter-funguides.
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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
of the Metro
The power of four paws: Barrett’s story BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS PROVIDED.
Barrett Burgess has conquered more in his 9 years than many will in a lifetime. The active third grader from Weatherford loves swimming, hiking and spending time at the lake. Over the last six months, his strength, bravery and positive attitude have been tested beyond what any kid should have to endure. Even in the midst of tackling cancer, Barrett has served as an inspiration to adults and kids alike as he continually chooses joy, thanks especially to the help of several four-legged friends.
BARRETT BURGESS, SISTER IRELAND AND TARGA, OU CHILDRENʼS HOSPITALʼS FIRST FULL-TIME THERAPY DOG.
Canine comfort Barrett mom’s, Amber, a former nurse, knew something was wrong when Barrett’s swollen lymph nodes weren’t responding to antibiotics. As the family waited on a referral to an ENT, Amber became even more concerned when Barrett’s enlarged neck caused him difficulty breathing normally. When Amber ran her fingers through Barrett’s hair she felt knots along his scalp and decided with conviction they couldn’t wait any longer. Thanks to the quick response of local physicians and nurses, Barrett received a cat scan, which indicated a mass in his chest, and immediate referral to OU Children’s Hospital. The family waited anxiously as Barrett battled pain and nausea. A brief respite came in the form of a visit with one of the hospital’s therapy dogs. That was Barrett’s first encounter with golden retriever Targa’s soft ears, gentle nature and wagging tail. Barrett was admitted to Children’s in April and a few days later received a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In the midst of so much uncertainty, it was Targa who lifted Barrett’s spirits.
48 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
“Every day he would ask if Targa could come over,” said Amber. “As soon as she would walk in the room he would forget that anything crazy was going on. He’d light up, smile, play with her and pet her.” Barrett’s new friend Targa was the first member of the facility dog program at Children’s and the first full-time facility dog in the state of Oklahoma. Children’s began the program in September 2017 thanks to funds raised by Edmond North High School. Two more full-time dogs, Dany and Ned, were quickly added to the team, and the hospital will add a fourth furry friend in 2020. “These dogs were trained from birth to work in children’s hospitals so they intuitively know what is expected of them,” said Skyler Taylor, facility dog program coordinator for OU Children’s Hospital and one of Targa’s handlers. “They understand one patient might need play time and giggles while another needs a paw to hold or comforting snuggle. Sometimes the mom or dad is the most stressed in the room and the dog will pull toward them in that moment.”
The facility dogs are utilized in a variety of ways, with doctors and nurses regularly requesting their presence to help both patients and families. The dogs assist with pain management, redirecting attention or distracting patients when they have reached their pain medication threshold. They help patients like Barrett cope with longtime or frequent hospital stays. “When the dogs come in it’s like all the bad stuff disappears momentarily and it alleviates their anxiety,” said Amber. “The owners and dogs give the kids a break from thinking about the serious stuff so they can just be kids.”
we can to help him stay upbeat with a good attitude because we believe that can really change your life.”
he knows will come post-appointment — a chance to grab a sweet treat from one of his favorite metro shops.
Joy fit right in to the Burgess family and has helped Barrett regain the positivity that’s been hard to hold on to through his tough journey.
In preparation for chemotherapy side effects, Barrett even took shaving his head in stride, throwing a party at his grandma’s house. All the boys in the family shaved their heads together in solidarity. Barrett spent the evening laughing and enjoying compliments on his “cute bald head.”
“He hasn’t been his usual self,” said Amber. “That light in my kid has not been there. But we got Joy and it’s like my little boy is back.”
Though Barrett is — joyfully — officially in remission, he has a long road ahead with treatments scheduled through 2022. Once into the maintenance phase of his treatment around Christmastime, his hair is expected to grow back and hopefully he will start feeling better.
The dogs eagerly play fetch with parents, siblings or other family members who can’t all be in patients’ rooms at once. They also provide frequent shoulders to cry on or a listening ear when patients or parents have emotions to share but aren’t quite ready to release those to another human. Though Barrett has struggled to talk with his mom about his feelings since diagnosis, Amber has watched Targa provide critical emotional support to her son.
In the meantime, Barrett has Joy to remind him of his mantra to choose positivity. Prior to falling sick, Barrett was extremely active, but zapped physical and mental strength has kept him from activities he enjoys. Amber has been grateful that Barrett’s team at Children’s has been accommodating with the treatment schedule so the family could enjoy a weekend at the lake, where Barrett can’t swim because of his port but has been encouraged to fish, ride in the boat, on the jet skis or tube.
“The dogs give comfort in a way that people can’t always offer,” said Taylor. Noting Barrett’s connection to Targa, his doctors often request she attend upcoming procedures or treatments.
“They really consider and care about a child’s quality of life,” said Amber. “They always say if there’s something he wants to do we will work around it as long as it falls in protocol.”
“Knowing a procedure will be difficult, they will say, ‘Let’s call Targa to be with the patient for this,’ knowing what a difference that will make,” said Taylor. “Some patients might even refuse to take medications for a nurse, but when we bring Targa in, he can navigate that process on his own in a way he couldn’t 10 minutes before.”
Even in the first week Joy came home Barrett’s adventurous self began to reemerge as he considered places he could take his new pup, like hiking at Red Rock Canyon, a family favorite.
Choosing Joy The facility dogs’ abilities to help Barrett stay hopeful prompted the Burgess family to consider getting a furry friend of their own. Barrett was adamant he wanted a dog just like Targa — a female golden retriever. Amber located a female puppy through a breeder in Pauls Valley and when she asked what Barrett wanted to name her, his response was instantaneous: Joy. Joy’s name is an apt representation of Barrett and his entire family’s attitude since his diagnosis and throughout treatment. “As bad as it hurts to watch him go through this, he is the one who’s having to do it,” said Amber. “If everyone is sad and worried he is going to respond to that. So we do everything
Barrett hopes to one day get Joy certified as a therapy dog so she can come with him to the hospital when he has treatment and he can share Joy with other patients, too.
One day while riding with his mom to the pharmacy, Barrett’s shared his frustration that he couldn’t seem to get relief from the pain and nausea. “He said, ‘I don’t understand why it had to be me,’” Amber recalls. Amber affirmed those feelings and reminded Barrett, as she does often, how proud she is of his bravery and strength. Known at Children’s for cracking jokes with his doctors and nurses and taking his treatments with no fuss, Barrett’s happy nature rubs off on the staff and other patients alike. He’s often called an inspiration. Though he still gets nervous for various procedures, he focuses on the good
“Giving him that responsibility and knowing he had her as a companion helped him,” said Amber. “I want him to know it’s OK to cry but we have to stay positive and enjoy life even though he is going through this.” Editor’s note: Super Kids of the Metro is a new monthly series highlighting the superheroes in our midst. We’ll be featuring local kids who are overcoming obstacles, making a positive impact on the community, soaring to new heights and inspiring others. If you know a Super Kid we should consider featuring, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
IT’S COOL TO
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50 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / NOVEMBER 2019
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AFTER-SCHOOL RESTAURANTS & ACTIVITIES SHOPPING
It takes four weeks to go from egg, larva, pupa to adult.
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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.
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November 15, 2019 – January 5, 2020 This holiday season, Gaylord Texan Resort will present a winter wonderland with two million lights, a 54-foot tall Christmas tree and 15,000 ornaments! Family events will include Snow Tubing, Ice Skating, Gingerbread Decorating Corner, Breakfast with Charlie Brown™ & Friends, Build-A-Bear Workshop®, and our signature hand-carved attraction ICE! featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Stay overnight to experience it all! Tickets and packages on sale now.
ChristmasAtGaylordTexan.com | (817) 778-2000 Peanuts © 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC. © Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved. PEPSI, PEPSI-COLA and the Pepsi Globe are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc.
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