WIN 12 D
EN TER TO
Y DeA cemS of PacPrize ber kag (Se e ep . 6) s! DECEMBER 2014
OUR PICKS FOR TOP SANTA SIGHTINGS
Metro museums perfect for introducing your kids to visual art TIPS FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE ROUTE 66 ADVENTURE
Discover incredible off-the-beaten-path lighting displays
Celebrate the season with 153 festive events!
The ultimate OKC family fun
Volume 17, Number 12
METROFAMILY MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART
Sarah Taylor–Publisher Hannah Schmitt–Managing Editor Heide Brandes, Heather Davis, Jennifer Geary, Jennifer Sharpe Jennifer Jackson–Contributing Writers Steffanie Halley–Contributing Photographer
Find handy tips to introduce your children to the visual arts at these topnotch, local museums.
GOT A STORY OR BIG EVENT? We are all about family activities and fun in the OKC metro. If you have a story to share, let us know!
CONTACT THE TEAM AT 405-601-2081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DESIGN & SALES Stacy Noakes–Art Director Krystal Harlow– Ad Design Callie Collins–Marketing Director Athena Delce & Dana Price–Sales Kathy Alberty–Office/Distribution
Circulation - 35,000 Also available as a digital edition at www.metrofamilymagazine.com Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc.We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors.The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information.We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is a monthly magazine published by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11, Suite 204 OKC, OK 73103 Office: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509 email@example.com ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2014, All Rights Reserved.
EXPLORE ROUTE 66 Head west to discover three charming Oklahoma towns on your next family road trip.
PLUS... DON’T MISS ALL THIS
HOLIDAY POP-UPS Get gifts for everyone at these three Christmas pop-up markets in the metro.
7 8 16
OKC LIGHT DISPLAYS We reveal the off-the-beatenpath Christmas light displays you should see this season.
Win big this month with our 12 Days of December Giveaways Editor’s Picks: Best Places to See Santa Meet our 2014 Cover Kids winners Real Moms of the Metro: Get to know a local children’s book author Calendar of Events
24 40 Mom humor: The Perfect Holiday Cookie
Welcome FROM OUR EDITOR
This month we reveal an action-packed road trip on Route 66, uncover kid-friendly museum displays and share hidden gem holiday light displays in the metro.
Visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/contests to enter.
o these words look familiar? “Banish Holiday Stress—FOR GOOD,” “Take the Stress Out of Holiday Entertaining,” “Stress Less with These Holiday Shopping Tips,” “Your Plan for a Stress-Free Holiday.”
They’re all real headlines plastered on the front of magazines I saw on a recent grocery store trip. Looking around at the crew I was standing in line with I could understand how the words would be appealing to many. My long line was full of ragged-looking shoppers. By the way they were snapping at their kids, and rolling their eyes at the less-than-urgent movements of the cashier, I would say the holidays had them stressed out. Since when did holidays get to be so stressful? Since when do we need to spend time reading de-stress tips in a season that was once all about slowing down and cherishing precious moments with loved ones? My best guess is that it all started with adding Pinterest-worthy gift wrapping, over-the-top holiday card photo shoots and madefrom-scratch everything to our to-do lists.
r u o r e t n E contestsig! to win b
We have the power to return Christmas to a time of lingering over hot cocoa with friends, reading a few more bedtime stories to your kids and giving your spouse the gift of quality time. This month, I hope you’ll be inspired to realize Christmas won’t be ruined if you leave the dirty dishes in the sink a little longer than normal or purchase store-bought treats for your office holiday party. In these pages, you’ll find endless inspiration for holiday outings and activities. Who knows? Maybe a trip to the Christmas tree farm or the ice skating rink will be just the de-stresser you were seeking.
Hannah Schmitt Editor
NCE E I R E P EX HE T F O C GI THE MA OUR H T I W AR! SEASON D N E L R CA E B M E DEC 4 PAGE 2
12 Days of December Giveaway—Enter every day to win one of a dozen impressive prize packages given away daily from Dec. 1 to Dec. 12. Enter online each day by 10 p.m.
We have put together exclusive Holiday Fun Guides to help you and your family have fun together this Christmas.Visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ holiday-2014 to see dozens of holiday happenings in the metro.
Visit our website to read our Adventures in Homeschooling blog. The blogger’s latest adventures reveal how to celebrate Christmas Around the World with your family. Find her posts at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Adventures-inHomeschooling/
Also, visit the News from Our Sponsors website section on our home page to read insider tips on pregnancy and birth from the newest staff member at OU Physicians, Dr. Michelle Brunnabend.
THIS MONTH’S COVER:
! W WO
Cash, 5, and Khloe, 4, are the son and daughter of Lauren and Nathan Wallace of Oklahoma City. Photo by Emily Hart of Nina & B Photography, www. ninaandbphotography. com.
This month, we’re buzzing about a dozen days of giveaways, top places in the metro for Santa sightings and the eight winners of our Cover Kids Search.
It’s all about family fun! RESOURCES TO ADD TO YOUR FAMILY FUN QUOTIENT BY HANNAH SCHMITT - MANAGING EDITOR
Win Big with Our 12 Days of December Giveaway
hristmas is here and to celebrate, we’re giving our readers enormous holiday prizes for a dozen days!
These prize packages include tickets to local attractions and toys like an American Girl doll and Mini-Glider tricycle. The gifts are our way of thanking you for sharing your lives with us and making Oklahoma City such a terrific place to spend time with our families.
We may not have a partridge in a pear tree, but we’ve collected an assortment of the hottest holiday items to give away to 12 lucky readers. Every day for the first 12 days of December, we’re selecting one lucky winner to win a prize package worth hundreds of dollars.
Now through Dec. 12, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/12-days-contest to enter to win fabulous prize packages. We will select one random winner daily. Regardless of who wins, we hope your family makes the merriest of memories this holiday season.
Editor’s Picks: Top spots to find Santa Claus
he season calls for sipping hot cocoa, nibbling on cookies and hearing tales of Old Saint Nick. Climbing into his lap to recite a Christmas list is a holiday tradition, but Oklahoma City boasts several opportunities to do even more with Father Christmas. Find holiday fun with one of these picks.
Saturdays With Santa Devon Energy Center 333 W. Sheridan Ave. www.saturdayswithsanta.com
Why we love it: Families are invited to Devon Energy Center every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas to meet Santa in a magically-themed holiday setting. Themes change weekly from Gingerbread, Whoville, North Pole, Winter Wonderland and Give-A-Bear. The free weekly event offers the chance to meet Christmas characters, sit on Santa’s lap and bask in the wonder of the holiday season with special activities and crafts. Register upon arrival for a time slot with Santa between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Oklahoma City Zoo 2000 Remington Pl. 405-424-3344 www.okczoo.com
Why we love it: Your kids will marvel at the opportunity to sip hot cocoa and eat fresh doughnuts with Santa at the Oklahoma City Zoo. His annual visit to the Zoo will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Canopy Restaurant. The cocoa and doughnuts are free with paid admission while supplies last. Follow the visit with an alwaysfun stroll of the Zoo grounds.
Orr Family Farm 14400 S. Western Ave. 405-799-3276 www.orrfamilyfarm.com
Why we love it: Orr Family Farm is giving metro kids three chances to have a pancake breakfast with Santa on the farm. The jolly holiday character will be at the farm on Dec. 6, 13 and 20 at 10 a.m. for pancakes and a train ride. Tickets are $15 for anyone over 2 years of age. Purchase tickets online or at the farm.
Oklahoma Railway Museum
3400 N.E. Grand Blvd. 405-424-8222 www.oklahomarailwaymuseum.org Why we love it: The Oklahoma Railway Museum presents an opportunity to take a festive ride with Santa on the Christmas Train. The train runs on Dec. 20 at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to the visit from Santa, kids enjoy a reading of “The Polar Express” along with hot cocoa and Christmas carol singing. The 35-minute ride is $15 per person and children under 3 ride free. Purchase tickets online or at the museum.
Norman Christmas Parade Downtown Norman 405-366-5406 www.normanchristmasparade.wordpress. com
Why we love it: While every child loves a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and explain what he’d like for Christmas, there’s something magical about seeing Santa wave to the crowd atop a holiday parade float. Norman’s annual parade presents the theme “A Frozen Christmas” this year and features live music, floats and horses across Main Street from Pickard Avenue to Crawford Avenue. The free event will be held on Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. Visit www.metrofamilymagazine. com/santa-sightings to see more Santa events in the metro!
WHEN SORRY ISN’T
Meet the Winners of Our 2014 Cover Kids Search BY HANNAH SCHMITT
ENOUGH W Marriage Conference with Gary Chapman
(author of The Five Love Languages)
e launched our Cover Kids Search this summer and watched the entries pour in. More than 1,000 adorable Oklahoma City children between birth and 13 years old entered to be on our cover.
The MetroFamily staff worked hard to sift through these entries to determine the winners of our 2015 Cover Kids Search. Seven winners were selected by MetroFamily staff and the eighth winner was determined by popular vote by our readers. If our Cover Kids Search proved anything, it’s that Oklahoma City is home to countless bright, unique faces. They all would look tremendous on our cover but here are the eight faces you’ll be seeing on MetroFamily Magazine in 2015:
Friday Evening, January 16 (Child care available)
Saturday Morning, January 17 9:00am-12 Noon Event is Free but Registration Required at: BetterMarriageOKC.com Hosted by
JOSHUA, KADENCE AND LIAM CAMERYN, HARPER, CHELSEY, CAMILA AND KARINAH
Liam M., 14 months old, is the son of Sara and Wesley M. Sara says Liam has never met a stranger, despite the shy personalities of his parents. Wesley is originally from India and Liam is already learning to speak Malayalam, his dad’s native language. Kadence W., 5, is the daughter of Crystal and Jeremy W. She has been dancing since she was 2 and is already teaching her little sister, Karis, her ballet, jazz and tap moves. Joshua D., 9, is the son of Beth and Wayne D. Joshua can usually be found outdoors, where he loves to fish, hunt, play baseball, tend to his horses, goats and sheep and read in his treehouse.
good at watching television, Chelsey’s true passions are painting and playing soccer. She’s homeschooled and loves learning about science and visiting the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Cameryn L., 13, is the daughter of Bethany and Michael L. Cameryn moved all over the country and even lived in England before her family settled in Norman. Wherever she goes, she loves playing soccer.
Camila G., 5, is the daughter of Tania L. and Mario G. Like many girls her age, Camila enjoys dancing, gymnastics and singing songs from her favorite movie, “Frozen.” She also loves school, especially when it’s time for recess.
Harper G., 7, is the daughter of Caroline and Matt G. She’s a competitive cheerleader who loves to tumble and read the “Ivy & Bean” book series. Chelsey P., 8, is the daughter of Marivel and Leonel P. Although she jokes she’s really
Karinah D., 2, is the daughter of Tracy and Angel D. With four older siblings, one of Karinah’s favorite things to do is imitate her brother and sisters. The independent toddler also loves playing with babies and dancing.
Join Santa Claus on board the Heartland Flyer on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Departure time is 8:25am from Oklahoma City and will be making stops along the way in Norman, Purcell, Pauls Valley, Ardmore, Gainesville and Fort Worth, Texas. Arrival time in Fort Worth is 12:40pm. The duration of the trip is just over 4 hours and we will do the driving! Enjoy the journey! Seating is limited, so book early!
RIDE THE TRAIN It's the time of the year when families look forward to reconnecting and making great memories together. This season, count on Amtrak for a less stressful way to ride during the frenzy of holiday travel. Let us greet you and yours with no hidden fees, less boarding hassles and spacious seating for a more comfortable ride. Plus, train travel is the greener option for the season â€” it's almost 20% more efficient than air and auto travel. With our friendly staff and convenient onboard amenities, Amtrak is ready to help and serve you on your way to a refreshing travel experience over the holidays.
Make your reservations early online at www.amtrak.com or www.heartlandflyer.com or by calling Amtrak's toll free number: 1-800-USA-RAIL.
local family fun
Introducing Kids to the
BY HEIDE BRANDES - CONTRIBUTING WRITER PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART
his month marks the second part of our four-part series about practical ways to expose children to the arts. The series highlights the organizations presenting fun and educational arts programs to kids and guides readers to local agencies making arts programs accessible to families. We began the series by featuring several holiday productions to get kids excited about theater. This month, we focus on local museums that will help introduce your kids to visual art.
Children are naturally curious creatures and they love to see and touch the things that spur their imagination. Using that natural curiosity to expose them to the world of visual arts is a good way to introduce your kids to the variety of arts available in the metro. Color, texture, sculpture and images are appealing to children especially, due to their immediate effect on the senses. “Art helps show children what we care about and what we love,” said National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Director of Education Gretchen Jeane. “Art shows what the world means to us and it shows us what we find beautiful. Art touches your soul, and it helps create critical thinking and creativity skills in our children.” In Oklahoma City, several special exhibitions set the scene perfectly to introduce your children to the arts. From a spotlight on young Chinese artists to the traditional cowboy and southwestern art of America, youth can explore the delights of visual art in several venues. Why Art? Studies show art is as important to education as the traditional reading, writing and arithmetic skills are. Music, dance, visual arts and artistic expression teach creative thinking skills and allow children to experience the world in new, beautiful and challenging ways. “Why are the arts important for children to be exposed to? I believe that artwork is a child’s first written language,” said Erin Oldfield, director of Education and Public
THE FRED JONES JR. MUSEUM OF ART IN NORMAN GIVES OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAMILIES TO DISCOVER ART TOGETHER.
Programming for Oklahoma Contemporary. “Your child draws something. It might be one squiggly line and you have no idea what it is. But if you ask them, they are going to tell you a story about it.” According to the National Art Education Association, numerous studies conducted in the past decade prove the amazing benefits of art education on young minds. These studies show that enrollment in art courses in schools correlated directly with higher verbal and math scores on the SAT tests. In fact, students who take art education consistently score higher on SAT tests than students who are not exposed to art. Despite these studies, more than 25 percent of public high schools will get rid of arts education classes by the end of the year according to the National Arts Education Association. “Exposing even young children—toddlers and preschoolers—to art is valuable because they learn to recognize symbols, organize thoughts and tell stories related to what they have seen,” said Amber Sharples, executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council, a state agency tasked with cultivating art throughout Oklahoma. “Art engages students in the kind of open-ended critical thinking that leads to creative problem solving and innovation, skills that will make students competitive in any career or field of study. Additionally, arts education motivates students to stay in school and reduces the likelihood of your child dropping out of school.”
A New Experience Taking a young mind to a visual arts exhibition for the first time can be an experience that’s both exciting and overwhelming. Parents can prepare their children for an art show by talking about what they can expect and why art is such a pleasure to behold. “The best thing parents can do is walk through and talk to their children about what they see,” said Tracy Truels, curator of education at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “Ask open-ended questions like ‘How does this work of art make you feel?’ and see where the conversation goes. I also recommend bringing sketching materials and stop to draw works of art that inspire you. This is a great way to slow down and look, and also leave with something to remember of the experience.” If you have toddler or elementary-aged children, planning smaller trips may be better than tackling a whole museum. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew and try to do a whole museum at once with young kids,” Jeane said. “Select a few paintings or sculptures first to focus on. Ask open-ended questions. Do you like it? If yes, then why? Is it the color or the tone? Create a conversation about the art, which makes children really look at it. The next trip, choose another set of paintings to visit and talk about.” Jennifer Barron, Arts Education director for the Oklahoma Arts Council, agrees with other art enthusiasts that to set the stage for
your visit to an art show, gallery or museum, it’s important to spark your child’s curiosity about the artwork. “Your child will most likely respond to your level of enthusiasm, so make sure you are having fun as well,” Barron said. “Actively participate and explore the specific works of art in detail. Ask questions and pay attention to what your child finds interesting. Dig for the opinions and thoughts. Sometimes, a little prompting or posing a simple question to your child will lead to a very interesting and detailed response.” Parents can also make a visit to a gallery showing fun for their child by making a game of it. “First of all, have fun! Engage your child as much as possible,” said Oldfield. “Ask them questions about what you are looking at. Think about simple concepts like color, line and shapes for little ones. For older children discuss more in-depth concepts like harmony, balance, dimension and movement. You can even play a game like ‘I Spy.’ Before you go inside pick a color of the day and see how many times you see it, if at all.”
What can parents do to prepare children for seeing exhibits? “For young children, I would start a few days ahead by reading books. Two options are Maisy Goes to the Museum by Lucy Cousins and You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman,” said Oldfield. Have a short discussion about gallery manners before your visit and be sure to lead by example, she added. A Lifelong Love With some effort, parents can find the right exhibit for children that will encourage them to become lifelong lovers of art and culture. Many of the metro’s exhibitions are appropriate for young kids while others may be geared toward older children. “I’m a firm believer that if you start them out early, then children will have that lifelong love for art,” said Jeane. “If you expose your children to enough variety of types of art, they will find something that speaks to them, whether it’s flat art or sculpture or others.” For instance, through Jan. 18, the Oklahoma
City Museum of Art hosts a unique and limited visual arts exhibition called “My Generation:Young Chinese Artists.” The exhibit shows off the work of young, emerging artists who have made a name for themselves on mainland China since 2000, the year that China first opened its doors to international artists. The themes of cynicism, rebellion and self-definition may strike a chord with today’s American youth, but could also inspire Oklahoma City children with the power of art. “This is a great exhibition for families since the art is very open and accessible,” said Truels. “One of the artists, Lui Dui, creates large photograph-like prints that show enormous animals overtaking the city. One shows a large bunny rabbit sitting in the courtyard of an apartment building, towering over the structure. The work is an exploration of how nature interacts with our urban lifestyles, but is also funny and playful in a way children recognize immediately.” The arts can stir your child’s imagination and provide a form of self-discovery for your child, but only if parents make an effort to expose their kids to the world of expression.
“ORLY GENGER: TERRA,” AN OUTDOOR EXHIBIT AT NW 11TH & BROADWAY PRESENTED BY OKLAHOMA CONTEMPORARY
SCULPTURE BY ALLA
N HOUSER AT THE OK
“Through art children learn to express their thoughts, and do so in creative ways,” said Barron. This season is a great time to venture out with children to several art exhibitions in the metro area. Here are our picks for December: A WESTERN CHRISTMAS Through Jan. 4, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum features the Cowboy Artists of America 49th Annual Sale and Exhibition and the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 16th Annual Exhibition. Both exhibitions feature artists who are at the forefront of the Western art revival that began in the 1960s. Visitors can browse more than 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures that will inspire the imagination of the Old West for visitors young and old. Along with this special showing, the Museum will also host The Twelve Days of Cowboy Christmas from Dec. 8 to 19. Holiday programming culminates on Dec. 19 with the annual Cowboy Christmas Ball featuring Michael Martin Murphey, an evening of holiday entertainment celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This family-friendly evening includes a buffet and a visit from Santa.
The Cowboy Artists of America 49th Annual Sale & Exhibition offers more than 100 works of art from 19 active members and five emeritus members. Their members authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life in fine art. Members specialize in cowboy, Native American, pioneer, cattle, horse and wildlife subjects as related to the American West. The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 16th Annual Exhibition & Sale includes 48 works from 14 participating members. These functional arts spring from bit and spur making, saddlemaking, silversmithing and rawhide braiding skills. The works in the exhibition are diverse and in 2014 stretch to encompass such items as candlesticks, briefcases and jewelry. DETAILS FOR YOUR VISIT: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 N.E. 63rd St.; 478-2250 www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/ Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas and New Year’s Day Admission: Adults, $12.50; seniors and students, $9.75; ages 4-12, $5.75; children under 3 are free.
OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART FAMILY DAY
There’s a New Oven in Town Come visit Panera Bread’s newest drive-thru making fresh food more convenient for you. 1472 S. Bryant Avenue Edmond, OK • 405-844-5525
Monday – Saturday 6:00 am – 9:00 pm Sunday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
MACRO AND MICRO
NATIVE AMERICAN ART
Through Jan. 4, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman will treat visitors to an abstract view of the Southwest, an explosion of color and design that will intrigue children and adults alike.
The Oklahoma State Capitol is honoring famous Native American artist Allan Houser in a special exhibit in the historic capitol building through December.
Housed in the Nancy Johnston Records Gallery, the “Macrocosm/Microcosm: Abstract Expressionism in the American Southwest” exhibit explores how the American Southwest became the crossroads for abstract expressionists from New York to San Francisco. Featured artists Elaine de Kooning and Richard Diebenkorn, among others, found the colorful inspiration for brushwork and abstract art in the land, sky and nature of the American Southwest. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to expose children to the idea of abstract expressionism, introduce them to a style of painting and talk about the history of the Southwest. With more than 60 works representing nearly 40 American painters and sculptors, the exhibit also shows how artists adapted the modern abstract style to fit with the region they painted.
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In 1984, The Oklahoma Arts Council and then-Governor George Nigh named Houser the first Oklahoma Cultural Ambassador. Since 1989, Houser’s sculpture “As Long As the Waters Flow” has remained at the South Plaza of the Oklahoma State Capitol. In 2013, Houser’s “Dialogue” was added to Oklahoma State Art Collection and is currently on display in the Betty Price Gallery at the Capitol. Several monumental bronze works by Houser will be added to the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol, joining his two sculptures already on display.
DETAILS FOR YOUR VISIT: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
DETAILS FOR YOUR VISIT: Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma State Capitol show “Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze”
555 Elm Ave., Norman; 325-3272
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Arts Council Phone: 521-2931
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 9 p.m. on Thursday); Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
“Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze” shows Houser’s impact on the arts and the national and international acclaim he has received. Children can explore the historic building while learning about Houser’s work.
[Editor’s Note: Go to www.metrofamilymagazine. com/artsforkids for more local art exhibits.]
The Grinch | Dec. 19 | The MAC | 7p Food and drinks available for purchase. Free admission. edmondparks.com | 405.359.4630
Real moms of the metro Meet Mariana Llanos BY JENNIFER SHARPE - METROFAMILY COLUMNIST PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEFFANIE HALLEY- WWW.STEFFANIEHALLEY.COM
HOW AN OKLAHOMA CITY CHILDREN’S AUTHOR IS ENCOURAGING READING EVERYWHERE
ariana Llanos describes herself as a “go-getter,” but not a super mom. However, the metro mom has a rather super list of accomplishments. She’s a mother of three, an accomplished author and a community volunteer. A native of Peru, Mariana has lived in Oklahoma City for 13 years and raised all her children here. Sons Fabio and Andre are 11 and 8 years old and daughter Alana is 3. Her husband’s job in the oil and gas industry originally brought them to Oklahoma from Peru. “I am Peruvian,” Mariana explains with a smile, “but I am also made in Oklahoma.” Fluent in Spanish and English, Mariana is an independent author with four published books for children, and a fifth is coming out early in 2015. In addition to being a handson parent, Mariana has a busy work life, too, acting as her own agent and being responsible for her own publishing, public relations and marketing. “Having a creative outlet gives me balance,” she said. “My kids are going to look at me, hopefully they will be inspired. I’m chasing a dream for them. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can chase your dream. Be persistent and consistent, and maybe that will take you places.” Mariana has a passion for reading and writing, and she models by example for her own children by reading around them and sharing her stories with them. Writing has always been a part of Mariana’s life, even as a child in Lima. Her background in drama and theater has been an asset in fostering her creative side. After moving to Oklahoma and becoming a mom, Mariana felt the calling to turn her stories into books and her prime audience is children. “I had never written in English before,” Mariana said. “Inside me, I knew that I wanted to write something that my kids would read, so maybe that is why my inspiration was coming in English. I knew that I had something that I really wanted to share.” All her books are offered in English, with two currently available in Spanish and the other two pending translation. “I kept telling myself that one day I would
publish a book, but then I realized that there is never a right moment to do things,” she said. “I decided that I’m going to do this, and from that moment it’s been non-stop.” When Mariana’s not writing, she’s spending time volunteering at her kids’ schools. She coordinates special events and pitches in with teacher appreciation at their campuses, and goes beyond that at schools throughout the metro to foster a love of reading and writing in every classroom. She offers free visits to local schools and Skype visits to global classrooms to share her love of literature with kids. Online video chats have connected Mariana to schoolchildren in countries such as Pakistan and Canada. When visiting classes, Mariana strives to be a resource to teachers by engaging students in the writing process and letting students know that anyone has what it takes to be an author. “What I love is to read to children, talk to children and inspire them,” she said. “When kids leave my classroom, they are excited about writing and reading. They realize ‘I can be a writer, too.’” Mariana actively engages in social media and online communities, writing blogs and managing her own website, www.marianallanos.com. Mariana’s books are available online at www.amazon.com and also at Full Circle Bookstore. Her books cover fun and magical aspects, but have educational elements, as well. Meet Mariana at one of her upcoming events. She will be at the children’s book fair on Dec. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Full Circle Bookstore (50 Penn Pl.) and she has a book signing on Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Learning Tree (7638 N. Western Ave.).
Her love of literacy spills into every area of life. Read more about the accomplished author. What makes you feel proud? My children, of course! They are well-behaved, respectful and smart. Every little thing they accomplish is a big deal for us as a family. I’m also proud of the school visits I do. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you see those kids’ eyes sparkle, and I know that I have inspired them to create and write.
How has motherhood changed you? It has changed everything, especially the way I see the world. Now, I’m grounded, I know where I want to go. I have those little kids looking up at me as if I was a superhero. And for them, I am. That’s a huge responsibility. I’m conscious that they’re always looking at me and they’re learning from me. I model the behavior that I want them to have. But not everything is responsibility and pressure. They have also brought out the sweet and tender side of me. What is your best advice about parenting? Enjoy them while they are young, they grow up too fast! What is your guilty pleasure? Facebook. I spend far more time than I should there, but I love that it keeps me connected with old friends and with family. How do you find balance? By setting my priorities. When I feel that everything around me is getting too overwhelming, I stop to think: What is the most important thing right now? What could wait? If I don’t do this right now, will there be any consequences? That helps me focus on what’s really important at the moment. Sometimes I load myself with so many things to do. I have to remind myself that I’m not a supermom, I’m just a human who is doing her best.
What is your biggest challenge? To prepare my kids for the real world. I want them to grow up to be good people, kind, honest and resilient. I want them to realize they can accomplish anything if they set their mind to it. The rest will come. I think that’s why I’m writing and publishing books. It’s not easy, but I want to give them the example that dreams are meant to be chased. What is on your wish list? A family trip to Florida, just like we did this year. Also, the ability to share more of my books with children around the world. That would be a dream come true. How do you banish stress? Reading! It does wonders for stress levels. Nothing better than getting lost in a book and living someone else’s adventures. I also enjoy the company of friends and family. What would your friends or family say everyone else doesn’t know about you? Maybe that I like to karaoke, dance and everything that has to do with music.
exploring oklahoma with children
Hit the road for family fun
on Route 66
BY JENNIFER GEARY - CONTRIBUTING WRITER
ake I-40 west of the Oklahoma City metro to discover three charming Oklahoma towns bursting at the seams with family fun. PHOTO COURTESY OF LUCILLEâ€™S ROADHOUSE
Oklahoma has a storied history of adventurers and innovators. Take some time this month and follow their path—over land and to the stars—with a trip out west. The towns of Elk City, Clinton and Weatherford all have chronicled the journeys of these brave Oklahomans in some unique and interesting formats that are both educational and entertaining. While adults may be more interested in the history of the Mother Road (aka old Route 66), any child who has seen the popular animated movie “Cars” will understand how the historic road lost its luster when Interstate 40 was constructed. They may even want to watch the story of Lightning McQueen, Mack and Mater again before hitting the road. Any of these venues would be a simple day trip, or you can make a bigger trip and see all the sites at once. After making the trip myself with my kids, ages 10 and 5, I can recommend driving out to Elk City first to get your biggest drive out of the way (about two hours from the metro), and then after that you will just have a short drive back to Clinton, then a short drive to Weatherford, then back to the metro. Since all of these towns are on I-40, you don’t have to worry about toll money. Fill up the gas tank and enjoy your trip down Oklahoma’s famed road! Elk City Elk City is home to the National Route 66 & Transportation Museum, which details the stories of those who traveled America’s highway in the mid-twentieth century. As visitors stroll through the museum, they pass through the eight different states Route 66 traversed, and they’ll see some of the same things along the way, too! Vehicles, documents and other artifacts help bring
visitors along for the ride. Children will love the chance to hop into a 1950s pink Cadillac and drive the Mother Road (via a simulation screen) or to take in part of a black and white movie at the mock drive-in theater. The National Route 66 & Transportation Museum is part of Elk City’s Old Town Museum Complex, which invites visitors into the daily lives of early settlers in Western Oklahoma. The Old Town Museum exhibits display a variety of items used by pioneers and early townspeople along with memorabilia from some of Elk City’s most famous residents. Also in the museum complex are the Farm & Ranch Museum and the Blacksmith Museum, which both explain some of the details of farming life more clearly. The National Route 66 & Transportation Museum 2717 W. 3rd St., Elk City 580-225-6266, www.visitelkcity.com/museums.aspx Adults, $5; ages 6-16, $4; under 5 are free Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located just across the street from the museum complex, Ackley Park (N. Pioneer Rd. & W. 3rd St., Elk City) is a great place to spend a little time before you hit the road again. There are covered picnic pavilions and play equipment for kids of all ages. During December weekends, the park opens its carousel to riders during the town’s Christmas in the Park celebration, which begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and continues through Jan. 1. Weekend visitors also can ride a double-decker bus through the park, purchase hot chocolate and visit Santa.
ELK CITY’S NATIONAL ROUTE 66 & TRANSPORATION MUSEUM
NATIONAL ROUTE 66 & TRANSPORATION MUSEUM, ELK CITY
The Brick on 66 116 S. 10th St., Clinton 580-323-3000 Open daily 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Weatherford
Clinton The Route 66 Museum in Clinton tells the story of the Mother Road through a variety of formats. The museum is divided into areas representing different decades and showing how Route 66 changed over those years, from its days as a dirt road to its major role in American history and beyond. It also shares the stories of the people who made Route 66 famous and who still work today to preserve the legacy of this great piece of history.Visitors are immersed in sights and sounds of the time with photos, videos and music, as well as expertly crafted displays of roadside attractions. There are plenty of chances for children to touch and pick up items, so don’t worry about your younger ones being bored! My 10-year-old son thoroughly enjoyed the Oregon Trail-type game where he was a traveler on Route 66 trying to make it to California with the few dollars he had from selling off his household items. My 5-year-old daughter loved the music that accompanied each section.
The Water Zoo
Weatherford is home to the Heartland of America Museum, which has preserved artifacts and memorabilia from the area from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Follow the footsteps of early western Oklahoma settlers as you pass through the many different displays of everything from children’s toys to household items to a veterinarian’s office and a general store. What makes the Heartland Museum stand out from other small historical museums is the wealth of information available to visitors about the items in the displays. Many of the areas also have numbers next to the items along with a key so moms and dads who are too young to have used these things themselves will be able to easily find out about them and share with their kids. This would be a great museum to visit with older family members, too, since they might be able to add some personal stories.
1900 Boulevard of Champions, Clinton
The Heartland of America Museum
1600 S. Frontage Rd., Weatherford
Hours of operation vary by season and holiday breaks. Check online calendar for hours.
$6 adults; $2 ages 6-18; 5 and under are free
story slides, jump the waves in the wave pool, or relax on the lazy river without a care about what the weather is like outside. For a fun local dining experience, head downtown to The Brick on 66 for some of the best pizza around. The restaurant closes from 2 to 5 p.m., so you need to watch the time if you’re planning on a late lunch, but you won’t be disappointed by the slight extra effort!
Open Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. THE HEARTL AND OF AMERICA
Route 66 Museum 2229 W. Gary Blvd., Clinton 580-323-7866, www.route66.org Adults, $5; seniors, $4; students, $1; under 5 are free Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and Mondays during December and January, all state holidays and the first week of January. If you’re looking for a unique way to keep your kids entertained and active during these cold months, head to the state’s only indoor water park, The Water Zoo, located just off I-40 in Clinton. Zoom down the multiMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE
STAFFORD AIR & SPACE MUSEUM, WEATHERFORD
Stafford Air & Space Museum
3000 E. Logan Rd, Weatherford
Oklahomans also have blazed a path into space and at the Stafford Air & Space Museum you can follow along. The museum is named for General Thomas P. Stafford, a Weatherford native and NASA astronaut. Several of the exhibits are dedicated to General Stafford’s career and amazing accomplishments, including holding the world record for the highest speed ever attained by man! Many of Stafford’s own personal items are on display along with photos, videos and other artifacts.
The museum also has exhibits on the history of flight and space travel that are arranged chronologically so visitors can see the advancements made over time. There are many large items on display, such the Apollo Command and Service Module, rockets, aircraft and other large-scale models. Pick up a tour map when you enter the museum and watch for the numbered stars for more information on specific items. There are also opportunities for hands-on exploration throughout the museum that children will especially enjoy. Stafford Air and Space Museum
Adults, $7; 55+, $5; students, $2; 5 and under are free Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Lucille’s Roadhouse Take a little extra time when you’re in Weatherford and eat at Lucille’s Roadhouse. Modeled after Lucille’s, the famed Route 66 attraction in Hydro, the “replica” Lucille’s features a variety of food at a good price in a fun atmosphere. Choose between the ‘50s diner or the steakhouse area, and either way, you won’t be disappointed. Lucille’s Roadhouse 1301 N. Airport Rd., Weatherford 580-772-8808, www.lucillesroadhouse.com Open Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
SPEND CHRISTMAS BREAK with US
OPEN 10am-9pm EVERYDAY Dec 19th - Jan 4th, Closed Christmas Day Winter Hours: Dec-Feb Fri 1pm-9pm Sat/Sun 10am-9pm 82° YEAR ROUND! Just 75 minutes west of OKC & a lot less expensive than Texas!
Hotel Packages Available Holiday Inn Express 580-323-1950 Hampton Inn 580-323-4267 RV PACKAGES AVAILABLE! CALL: 580-323-9966
Water-Zoo Gift Certificates make Great Gifts!
BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE AND SAVE!
www.water-zoo.com Clinton, OK (580) 323-9966
OUR CALENDAR MAKES IT EASY TO FIND FAMILY FUN IN OKC. FIND MORE AT WWW.METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM. “MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET”—DEC 11-14
“Miracle on 34th Street” is typically known as a heartwarming film cherished by families, but The Stage Door Theatre (601 Oak St, Yukon) is giving families a chance to see it live on stage in a historic theater. This holiday classic tells the story of Kris Kringle, an older man who takes a job working as a department store Santa. The show reminds adults of the importance of treating others with kindess and encourages children to remember the magic of the holiday season. The Stage Door Theatre was established in 1987 and performs at the historic original Yukon School built in 1905. Tickets are $9 in advance and $12 at the door. Dec 11 & 12, 7:30pm; Dec 13, 2:30 & 7:30pm; Dec 14, 2:30pm. Parking is free. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.STAGEDOORYUKON.COM PHONE: 265-1590
“THE NUTCRACKER”—DEC 13-22 “The Nutcracker” presented by Devon Energy is gearing up for 10 impressive performances at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker). Oklahoma City Ballet’s iconic annual show is getting a huge upgrade this year to newly-designed sets and costumes. Families will relish the chance to see this classic holiday tale in a brand new way on the Oklahoma City stage this year. As an added treat, Santa Claus will be in the main lobby an hour before all performances and kids will be invited to make their own Nutcracker oil pastel drawing during the hour before performances and during matinée intermissions. Dancers will be available in the lobby after each performance for photos and autographs. Tickets are $15-$59. Shows are presented Dec 13, 14, 20 & 21 at 2 & 7pm and Dec 19 & 22 at 2pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.OKCBALLET.COM PHONE: 848-8637 Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City Ballet
SANDRIDGE SANTA RUN—DEC 13 The SandRidge Santa Run in downtown Oklahoma City’s Leadership Square (211 N Robinson) features a 5K run, one-mile fun run and so much more. Downtown turns into a festival atmosphere for this thrilling run, which features live music, face painting and a special run warm-up with Rumble and the Thunder Girls. Proceeds benefit CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc. Runners are encouraged to dress up in seasonal costumes for their trek through scenic downtown Oklahoma City. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners of the costume contest. Registration is $35 for the 5K and $20 for the one-mile run. Register in advance or at 7:30am on race day. Race begins at 9am. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.DOWNTOWNINDECEMBER.COM PHONE: 235-4789 Photo courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.
FORT RENO CHRISTMAS GUNS—DEC 14 El Reno’s historic Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne St, El Reno) is providing metro families a glimpse into the past with a timeless Christmas celebration from German and American folklore. The Fort Reno Christmas Guns celebration features a practice brought over by German immigrants where cannons and firearms are discharged in preparation for the upcoming holiday. This piece of German history is paired with modern day holiday celebrations, as well. Fort Reno hosts families for snacks, storytelling and even a visit from Santa. Admission is free. 2-4pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.FORTRENO.ORG PHONE: 262-3987 Photo courtesy of Fort Reno
OPENING NIGHT—DEC 31 The Arts Council of Oklahoma City welcomes families to count down to the New Year together at Opening Night in downtown Oklahoma City. This alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration is family-friendly and packed with exciting entertainment. Enjoy indoor and outdoor attractions throughout downtown venues, including live music, magicians, dancing demonstrations, improv comedy, street performers and more. All the entertainment will lead up to the grand fireworks show in Bicentennial Park at the corner of Walker and Couch. Admission $8 in advance, $10 at the event, ages 5 and under are free. Event begins at 7pm and fireworks start at 11:30pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.ARTSCOUNCILOKC.COM PHONE: 270-4848 Photo courtesy of Arts Council Oklahoma City
december (ONGOING EVENTS THROUGH JANUARY 4)
THROUGH DEC 21
A Territorial Christmas Celebration in Downtown Guthrie (212 W Oklahoma) features a Victorian Christmas celebrations, historic home tours and theater performances of “A Territorial Christmas Carol.” For schedule and information, see website. 282-1947, www. guthriesterritorialchristmas.com
FREE Pop-Up Shops in Midtown (10th & Hudson) features 35 local shops set up with holiday goods and gifts in geodesic domes in Midtown. Accompanied by the Bishop John Carroll School Christmas Tree lot. Thursday-Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm. www.okcpopups.com
THROUGH DEC 23
Winter Shoppes at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features a rotating selection of boutique-style vendors in a festive holiday setting. Dec 4-7; Dec 11-14; Dec 18-23. 11am-6pm. 445-7080, www. myriadgardens.org
THROUGH DEC 24
FREE Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops (200 Bass Pro Dr) provides families the opportunity to participate in crafts and games and get a picture with Santa. MondayFriday, 3-8pm; Saturday, 10am-8pm, Sunday; noon-5pm. 218-5200, www.basspro.com
Christmas Must Be Something More Market (1201 S Douglas, Midwest City) is a holiday pop-up shop for a good cause. Every brand available for shopping has a giving-back initiative. Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm; Sunday, 1-6pm. 408-5995, www. facebook.com/ChristmasMBSM
THROUGH DEC 27
“A Christmas Carol” at Lyric Theatre (1727 NW 16th St) is a classic Christmas tale portrayed by local actors. $40.
Wednesdays through Sundays, various times. 524-9310, www.lyrictheatreokc.com
THROUGH DEC 28
FREE Water Taxi Rides at Bricktown Water Taxi (111 S Mickey Mantle Dr) are offered as part of the Downtown in December festival. All ages welcome. Thursday-Sunday, 6-9:30pm. 218-1000, www. downtownindecember.com
THROUGH DEC 30
FREE Midwest City Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B Barnes Regional Park (8700 E. Reno Ave) features more than one million holiday lights and a 118foot Christmas tree lit with 9,000 bulbs. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 6-11pm. 739-1293, www.midwestcityok.org FREE Celebration of Lights at The Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Charles Cooper Memorial Rd, Sulphur) provides a beautiful holiday light display to drive through. Nightly, 6-9pm. 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com
THROUGH DEC 31
music on 102.3 FM. Bring a canned good for food drive. Weekdays, 6-9pm; weekends, 6-10pm.
THROUGH JAN 3
FREE Chesapeake Energy Holiday Lights Display at Chesapeake Energy (NW 63rd & Western) features 4.3 million LED lights decorating eight blocks of landscape. Lit nightly from sunset to 7am. FREE Downs Family Christmas Lights (2900 72nd Ave SE) is a light display set to music that features more than 18 miles of light strands. Bring a canned good to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. www.downsfamilychristmas.com
THROUGH JAN 4
Edmond Holiday Ice Skating at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd) offers ice skating, holiday music and food concessions. $10 for two-hour skate session and skate rental; $7 if you bring your own skates. $5 for age 5 and under. Daily, noon-10pm. Exceptions: Christmas Day, noon-5pm and New Year’s Eve, noon-11pm. 274-1638, www.expressice. publishpath.com
FREE Festival of Light is known as one of the best light festivals in the country and features carriage rides, live nativity, camel rides, live animals, photos with Santa, gift shop and food trucks. Shannon Springs Park (2400 S 9th St), Chickasha. MondayThursday, 6-10pm, Friday-Saturday, 6-11pm. 405-224-9627, www.chickashafestivaloflight. com
Santa’s Adventures on the Oklahoma River at RIVERSPORT Adventures (725 S Lincoln Blvd) features Boathouse District activities with a holiday spin, including the SandRidge Santa Zip, North Pole Climb, Candy Cane Rock Wall and Rudolph’s Launch. Saturday and Sunday, 1-8pm. $35. 552-4040, www. boathousedistrict.org/santas-adventures/
THROUGH JAN 1
FREE Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway (NW 4th to 10th) features more than 180,000 colorful LED lights in a holiday wonderland. Daily, dusk until dawn. www.downtownindecember.com
FREE Lights on Markwell Avenue (Council & NW 23rd) features a holiday light show taking up an entire block set to METROFAMILY MAGAZINE
Junie B in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) tells a holiday story with the popular children’s character Junie B. $10 for adults, $7 for children. Dec 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 15 & 17 at 11am; Dec 6, 7, 13 & 14 at 2pm. 9510011, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre.org
Imagination at work & play! Building Buddies On exhibit now - March 2015
DEC 2 • TUESDAY
FREE Dodger Day at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) presents the Oklahoma City RedHawk’s new ownership and affiliation of the Los Angeles Dodgers with festivities and food trucks. 11am. 218-2126, www.milb.com
DEC 4 • THURSDAY This 1,200 square-foot exhibit is an interactive village that invites young children to play and explore while helping their buddies improve the neighborhood. A creative construction site, Building Buddies features hands-on stations that encourage families with children to construct, build, decorate, paint, tile and more! Admission is included in museum general admission ticket prices. Admission is $13.95 for adults (age 13-64), $11.95 for children (ages 3-12) and seniors (Over age 65).
FREE First Thursdays Holiday Kick-Off Party at Whole Foods (6001 N Western) features a full evening of family fun with the Wade Tower Band performing holiday music along with food trucks, activities for the kids and a special visit from Santa Claus. 5pm. www.classencurve. com
FREE Holiday Happening at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features seasonal stories, holiday shopping, entertainment, activities and a visit from Santa. 5-8pm. 325-4712, www. samnoblemuseum.org Territorial Christmas at Harn Homestead (1727 N Lincoln) celebrates Christmas with music, hot chocolate, cookie decorating, crafts and Harn house tours. Tickets are $3 in advance or $5 at the door. 235-4058, www.harnhomestead. com
“The Christmas Show” at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) is presented by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. The annual performance includes holiday tunes, dancers, singers and impressive sets. $15 and up. Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm. 842-5387, www. okcphilharmonic.org/
DEC 4-7 Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St. Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 602-6664 OklahomaMuseumNetwork.org
FREE Journey to Bethlehem at Forest Hill Christian Church (2121 N MacArthur
Blvd) is an interactive, outdoor Christmas show telling the story of the birth of Christ. 6-9pm. 495-0439, www.fhcc.org “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at the Poteet Theatre (222 NW 15th) is a highspirited musical for the whole family. $25. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. 609-1023, www.stlukesokc.org FREE “The Gospel According to Scrooge” at Bethel Baptist Church (1717 W Lindsey, Norman) features a Broadwaystyle musical retelling the Charles Dickens classic. Thursday, 7pm; Friday, 7pm; Sunday, 2pm. 329-3749, www.bbcnorman.com
“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at OCU’s Burg Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) presents a stage version of this quintessential Christmas story. $12. Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 8pm, Sunday, 2pm. 208-5227, www.okcu. edu
DEC 5 • FRIDAY
FREE Winter Glow at UCO’s Nigh University Center (100 N University Dr, Edmond) features a lighting ceremony, games, family activities and train rides. 6-9pm. 974-2000, www.uco.edu
Christmas in the Village at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center (507 S 4th, Enid) invites families to be enchanted by the Victorian Christmas Village, enjoy tours, crafts, a children’s choir, treats and a visit from Santa. 5-8pm. $5, free admission for CSRHC members. 580-237-1907, www.csrhc.org University of Oklahoma Men’s Basketball at Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S Jenkins, Norman) against Missouri. Other home games: Dec 16 & 31, Jan 3. $10-30. www.soonersports.com
(THROUGH DECEMBER 6)
FREE Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting Ceremony at Andrews Park (528 N Park Ave, Norman) features a festive evening celebration for the family. 5:30-7pm. 366-5470, www.normanok.gov
FREE Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant at Boys Ranch Town (5100 SE 33rd St, Edmond) is a living nativity with live animals that tells the story of Jesus Christ. 7-9pm. 341-3606, www.obhc.org
“Meet Me in St. Louis” at Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman) presents the classic stage production with local actors. Thursday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 2pm and 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. Also held Dec 1214. $15 for children under 12, $20 for main floor, $25 for star circle. 321-9600, www. soonertheatre.com “It’s a Wonderful Life” at Gaslight Theatre (221 N Independence, Enid) features entertaiment for the whole family. Thursday, 8pm; Friday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. $10 for adults, $7 for students. Also held Dec 11-13. 580-234-2307, www. gaslighttheatre.org
DEC 6 • SATURDAY
FREE Breakfast with Santa at Whole Foods (6002 N Western) features a tasty morning treat! Grab the kids, bring your camera and enjoy FREE pancakes with Santa. 9-11am. www.classencurve.com
FREE Mayor’s Christmas Party for Kids at Robertson Activity Center (1200 Lakeshore Dr, Yukon) features Christmas crafts, writing letters to Santa, polar bear pictures and visits from Jinglesaurus, Rudolph and Frosty. 10am-noon. 354-8442, www.cityofyukonok.gov Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare at Leadership Square (211 N Robinson) is a timed indoor race up 138 flights of stairs in downtown buildings. Triple Dog Dare
Relay can be split among two to three team members. $35 for individual; $105 for relay team. 8am. http://lwtdd.publishpath.com/ Winterfest Games at Martin Park Nature Center (500 W Memorial Rd) features outdoor winter games like a fruitcake fling, sleigh relay, festive lights obstacle and winter dress relay. Inside, drink cider and create cranberry and popcorn garlands to take home. All ages. $5. 2-4pm. 755-0676, www.okc.gov/parks
- Portrait - Artistic - Editorial - Photography MFA
Saturdays for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) is a monthly museum celebration just for kids. Make oldfashioned ornaments to take home. Registration requested by noon on Dec 5. Free with paid admission. 478-2250 ext. 277, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org FREE Oklahoma City Hot Wheels Association Show at the Crown Hotel (13300 S Western) features 40+ tables of collectables for sale or trade, raffles, bid sales, pizza and downhill races. 9am. www. greaterokchotwheels.com FREE High Noon Shoot Out at JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum (330 N JM Davis Blvd, Claremore ) invites families to enjoy the wild west shootout with the Tri-State Gunfighters. 918-341-5707, www. thegunmuseum.com FREE Indie Trunk Show at the Oklahoma City Fair Grounds (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features local crafters, artists and makers of Oklahoma. 10am-5pm. www.indietrunkshowokc.com T-Shirt Memory Quilting at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center (3000 General Pershing Blvd) will show you step-by-step how to make that old stack of shirts into a memory quilt. Preregister. Also held Dec 13. $80 for both classes. 10am-4pm. 951-0000, www. oklahomacontemporary.org
have fun Hol-A-Day Long! sat. december 6th
mayor’s tree lighting
Shannon Miller Park | 6 PM
edmond electric parade of lights Downtown Edmond | 6:45 PM
brunch with santa
MAC building in Mitch Park 9 – 11 AM | Ages: 2–12 | $10 Register by December 1
Breakfast with Santa at Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western) includes breakfast, train ride, carols, crafts and a visit and photo with Santa. Preregister. $15. 10am. Also held Dec 13 & 20. 799-3276, www.orrfamilyfarm.com FREE Carriage Rides with Santa at Nichols Hills Plaza (6429 Avondale Dr) invites families to enjoy a ride with Santa. Cameras are welcome. 11am-1pm. www. nicholshillsplaza.com Brunch with Santa at the MAC (2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond) includes brunch, art project and pictures with Santa. Preregister. $10. 9-11am. 359-4630, www. edmondok.com
all proceeds benefitting Northcare. $25. Preregister. 9am. 858-2700, www. northcare.com Holiday Hustle at Oklahoma Christian University (2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond) features a 5K, kid’s run, prize money and pancake breakfast. $20 for 5K, $10 for kid’s run. 425-1853, www.oc.edu Kids Workshop at Paint’N Station (7906 N May Ave). Children can paint a holiday-themed craft while parents take time to do some Christmas shopping. Ages 5-12. Preregister. $18. 9:30-11am. 842-7770, www.paintnstation.com
DEC 6 & 7
FREE Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Edmond Electric Parade of Lights in downtown Edmond (2nd to Campbell on Broadway Ave) invites the community to a celebration of the season. 6pm. 216-7729, www.edmondok.com
FREE Bank of America Museums on Us Weekend at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) offers free admission to Bank of America cardholders. 10am-5pm. 478-2250, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org
FREE Saturdays with Santa at Devon Energy Center (333 W. Sheridan Ave.) invites children to visit Santa, create holiday crafts, send letters to the North Pole, enjoy live holiday music and take a ride on Devon’s Polar Express. 10am4pm. Also held Dec 13 & 20. www. saturdayswithsanta.com
DEC 7 • SUNDAY
Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno) presents the live debut of The Christmas Attic. $44.20-$89.90. Performances start at 3pm and 7:30pm. 602-8700, www. ticketmaster.com
Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Skirvin Hilton (1 Park Ave) will include breakfast and pictures. 9:3011:30am. Also held Dec 13 & 20. $24.95 for adults, $15.95 for children. Reservations required. 272-3040, www. downtownindecember.com
FREE 12 Days of Christmas at the Cowboy Tree Lighting Kickoff at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) features holiday lighting, carols, a wreath contest and visit from Santa. 5-8pm. 478-2250, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org
Holiday High Tea at the Skirvin Hilton (1 Park Ave). 2:30-4:30pm. Also held Dec 13 & 20. $22.95 for adults, $18.95 for children. Preregister. 272-3040, www. downtownindecember.com
“Canterbury Christmas” at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) is the annual Christmas concert presented by the Canterbury Choral Society. $15-$55. 7pm. 232-7464, www.canterburyokc.com
Reindeer Run at Northcare (4436 NW 50th) features a 10K and 5K with
Winter Concert at Edmond Santa Fe High School (1901 W 15th St) features the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra in a holiday
(THROUGH DECEMBER 11) performance. Individuals, $5; families, $10. 3pm. Also held Dec 8, 7pm, at Oklahoma City University Petree Recital Hall. 232-1199, www.harrisonacademy.org FREE Kids Day at the Gate Church (7700 N Council Rd) offers a day of family fun featuring cookie decorating, ornament making and walk-through nativity scene. 728-7700, www.thegatechurch.tv History in Harmony Concert at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (1601 W Imhoff, Norman) presented by The Norman Singers will include holiday favorites, old and new. $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors. 7pm. 250-6579, www. normansingers.org
Phoenix Suns, Dec 21 vs New Orleans Pelicans, Dec 23 vs Portland Trailblazers, Dec 26 vs Charlotte Hornets, Dec 31 vs Phoenix Suns. 208-4800, www.nba.com/ thunder
DEC 9 • TUESDAY
12 Days event at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd). Ornament Making & Scavenger Hunt, 10am-2pm; Oklahoma Homeschool Choir, 11am-1pm. Free with admission, senior admission is free. 478-2200, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org/12days
DEC 10 • WEDNESDAY
FREE Evenings in the Crystal Bridge (301 W. Reno) sponsored by OG&E encourages families to enjoy holiday light displays and beautiful plant exhibits. 6pm-9pm. Also held Dec 14, 21 & 28. 445-7080, www.downtownindecember.com
Homeschool Day at Oklahoma Aquarium (300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks) offers discounted rates to homeschool students and teachers including educational activities in the Great Hall. 10am-noon. $7 per student, $10 per adult. 918-296-3474, wwwokaquarium.org
DEC 8 • MONDAY
DEC 11 • THURSDAY
FREE Continental Resources Free Movie Monday at Harkins Theatres in Bricktown (150 E Reno) presents a free screening of the movie “Elf.” Preregister. Doors open at 6:30pm, movie begins at 7pm. http://bit.ly/_FMM Museum Store’s Holiday Open House and Holiday Wine-Down at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) invites adults to paint-and-take a “Winter Tree” canvas, enjoy cash bar, light hors d’oeuvres & harp music. $45. Preregister. 6-9m. 478-2200, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/12days Oklahoma City Thunder vs Milwaukee Bucks at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno Ave). Hours and ticket prices vary. Also held: Dec 11 vs Cleveland Cavaliers, Dec 12 vs Minnesota Timberwolves, Dec 14 vs
FREE Pictures with Santa at the Mustang Town Center (1201 Mustang Rd) will give children the chance to take a picture with Santa. Professional photographer will be provided or use of personal cameras is permitted. 376-3411. www.cityofmustang.org
FREE Shopping Night & Santa at Classen Curve (5825 NW Grand Blvd) features pictures with Santa, stores open until 8pm for shopping and FREE kids meals at Cafe 501 with the purchase of an adult entree. 5-8pm. www.classencurve.com FREE Express Clydesdales Deliver Santa Claus at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) celebrates Christmas in true western fashion. 5:30pm. 478-2200, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org/12days
1) Story time 2) Interactive craft 3) $3 admission (remember: our friends age 6 and under are FREE!)
Enjoy $1 admission to the museum every Saturday in June, July and August.
(EACH MONTH) Next Third Thursday is December 18! Fun begins at 10 a.m. 1400 CLASSEN DRIVE • OKC 405.235.4458 WWW.OKLAHOMAHERITAGE.COM
Shop, Dine & Enjoy!
FREE “Extra Ordinary Christmas” at Henderson Hills Baptist Church (1200 E I-25 Frontage Rd., Edmond) invites the whole family to celebrate the gift of being extraordinary this Christmas with a live stage performance. 7pm. 341-4639, www. hhbc.com
“Miracle on 34th Street” at the Stage Door Theatre (601 Oak Street, Yukon) provides festive entertainment for the whole family and offers desserts and drawings during intermission. Thursday and Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 2:30 & 7:30pm; Sunday, 2:30pm. $9 in advance, $12 at the door. 265-1590, www.stagedooryukon.com Home for the Holidays at OCU’s Kirkpatrick Auditorium (2501 N Blackwelder) will feature more than 150 students from the School of Dance for a Broadway-style dance extravaganza including rocking swing numbers, colorful costumes and a nativity of Christ’s birth. $29. Thursday, 8pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday 2pm and 8pm; Sunday 2pm. 208-5227, www. okcu.edu
Horse drawn sleigh rides, photos with Santa-bring your pet! Activities are FREE and fun for the whole family! (while supplies last)
NW 36th & Robinson, Norman njust west of I-35 on Robinsonn 405-321-7500
FREE “One Incredible Moment” at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond (1001 S. Rankin) features a performance celebrating the majesty of the manger. 7:30pm. 341-3602, www.fpcedmond.org
DEC 12 • FRIDAY
Oklahoma City Barons vs Grand Rapids Griffins at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) presents family-friendly ice hockey. Other home games: Dec 13 vs Grand Rapids Griffins, Dec 21 vs Rockford Ice Hogs, Dec 28 & Dec 31 vs Charlotte Checkers. Hours and ticket prices vary. 232-4625, www. okcbarons.com
OCU Christmas Vespers at Oklahoma City First Presbyterian Church (1001 NW 25th) features performances by the four OCU vocal ensembles, including more than 250 students. $15. Friday, 8pm; Saturday 4pm. 208-5227, www.okcu.edu “Something Merry This Way Comes” at Shakespeare on Paseo (2920 Paseo Dr) presents an evening of holiday songs, poems and stories. $10 for adults, $8 for children. 7:30pm. 253-3700, www. oklahomashakespeare.org
Couples Retreat at Dwight Mission Camp (100995 S 4590 Rd, Vian) offers workshops and activities to couples ranging from just engaged to 50 or more years of marriage. Cost is $250 per couple, includes lodging, meals, snacks and giveaway. Check in is from 4:30-5:30pm on Friday, activities end at 4:40pm on Sunday. 918-775-2018, www.dwightmission.org
Jane Austen’s Christmas Cracker presented by Reduxion Theatre Company (914 N Broadway Ave #120) is a holiday show featuring dance and music told through the eyes of Jane Austen’s most popular characters. Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores will provide free refreshments. Tickets are $18-$25. Friday and Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 604-4730, www. reduxiontheatre.com
DEC 13-JAN 4
Chesapeake Snow Tubing at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) offers snow tubing down a manmade slope. $10. Sessions are 90 minutes and begin every Saturday and Sunday at noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.
annual eagle watch
(THROUGH DECEMBER 13) Purchase tickets in advance. 218-1000, www.downtownindecember.com
DEC 13 • SATURDAY
FREE Cleveland Country Craft Show at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson, Norman) allows shoppers to finish their Christmas shopping in one place with more than 90 vendors boasting top brands and unique, handmade items. Saturday, 9am-4pm. 3604721, www.clevelandcountyfair.org Swim with Santa at the Foster Indoor Pool (614 NE 4th) invites children to enjoy holiday water games along with music, prizes and pictures with Santa. $2 or free with pass. 10am-noon. 297-1424, www.okc. gov/parks Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Stick Horse at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) features crafts, shopping, holiday face painting, portraiture and a visit with Santa. Free with admission. 10am-2pm. 478-2200, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/12days
FREE Brookhaven Village’s Sleigh Day and Santa event (NW 36th & Robinson, Norman) features horse drawn sleigh rides, photos with Santa and family activities. Pets are welcome.1-4pm. 321-7500, www.brookhaven-village.com FREE Book Signing with Mariana Llanos at The Learning Tree (7638 N Western) will host the Oklahoma author for a signing of her newest book, “The Staircase on Pine Street.” www. marianallanos.com. Sooners Night In at Sam Viersen Gymnastic Center (180 W Brooks, Norman) will allow parents to drop off kids for a night of games, crafts, dinner and a special visit from Santa while they take care of Christmas shopping or have a date night. No preregistration necessary. 5pm-10pm. $25. 325-8372. FREE Williamson Family Christmas at Inspiration Hill (880669 S 3330 Rd, Wellston) offers live music by Ben Lindsey who opens for the Williamsons. Dress warmly and bring a blanket. 7pm. 356-4051.
SandRidge Santa Run beginning at Leadership Square (211 N Robinson) includes a 5k race, one-mile Fun Run and a free Santa Claus Kids’ Dash, plus a warm up with Rumble and the Thunder Girls. Kid’s Dash is free, advance registration is $25 for the 5k and $20 for the Fun Run. 9am. 2354789, www.downtownindecember.com
City of Edmond’s First Annual Ugly Holiday Lights Run at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell, Edmond) includes a 5K and onemile fun run, proceeds go toward a holiday light display in Mitch Park. Runners are encouraged to wear an ugly holiday sweater. Preregister. $15 for fun run and $25 for 5K. 2pm-5pm. 216-7635
Breakfast with Santa at Rose State College (6191 Tinker Diagonal, Midwest City) features food, photo oppportunities, a holiday craft and a visit from Santa. 10am. $10. 733-7392, www.rose.edu
FREE Norman Christmas Parade “A Frozen Christmas” (Main Street, between Pickard Ave and Crawford Ave, Norman) features bands, floats, horses, Christmas characters and Santa. 10am. 3665406, www.normachristmasparade.com
“The Nutcracker” Presented by Devon Energy at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N. Walker) features all new costumes and sets. Dances and special activities before and after performances. $15-$60. Dec 13-14, 2 & 7pm; Dec 19, 7pm; Dec 20-21, 2pm & 7pm; Dec 22, 7pm. 2972584, www.okcballet.com
Dress warmly and bring your binoculars. Begin at the Arcadia Lake Park Office to receive information about where the eagles can be spotted. The Park Office has a raptor wingspan display. January 2, 3 and 4th 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Arcadia Lake Park Office 9000 E 2nd Street (approximately 3 1/2 miles east of I-35 on Rt. 66.) $3 per vehicle (Half-Price Park Entry) For more info call 216-7471.
A P ONS L A CE FOR ALL SEAS
DEC 13- JAN 4
Chesapeake Energy’s Snow Tubing at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle) features one of the country’s largest manmade snow tube slopes. Slopes available for all ages. $12. Purchase tickets online or by phone. Dec 13-14 and Dec 20-Jan 4, daily session times are noon, 2, 4, 6 & 8pm. 218-1000, www. downtownindecember.com
DEC 14 • SUNDAY
FREE Christmas Show at The Gate Church (7700 N Council Rd) features live music, dancing and acting. Journey through the winter wonderland and discover the reason for the season. 5pm. 728-7700, www.thegatechurch.tv FREE Christmas Guns at Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne St, El Reno) features firearms and cannons discharged in celebration of Christmas in a traditional holiday display from German and American folklore along with snacks, stories and a visit from Santa. 2-4pm. 262-3987, www.fortreno. org
FREE “Immanuel, God with Us” at Quail Springs Baptist Church (14613 N May Ave) is a Christmas presentation by QSBC’s choir and orchestra. 5:30pm. 755-9240, www.qsbc.org Sunday with Santa at Assistance League of Norman (809 Wall Street, Norman) invites children to meet Santa, make holiday crafts and enjoy refreshments, proceeds go to Operation School Bell. $20 per child, adults are free. 2-4:30pm. 3219400, www.normanassistanceleague.org FREE Toy Ride at Woodson Park (SW Grand Blvd & May) features a motorcyle ride by Fellowship of Christian Bikers to raise funds for Feed the Children with prizes, entertainment and refreshments. Spectators are encouraged to bring
donations of money or toys to donate to charity. 2pm. 255-3498. FREE “Bethlehem Bound” at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church (2717 W Hefner Rd) is an impromptu children’s ministry performance of the Christmas story. All children are welcome to attend the one-hour rehearsal, take part in the performance and participate in the Christmas cookie extravaganza and crafts following the performance. Rehearsal begins at 3pm; Performance begins at 4pm. 715-0755, www.mychapelhill.org
DEC 16 • TUESDAY
Cookie Decorating at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd) allows children to decorate and take home Christmas cookies. Supplies provided. Preregister. $5. 10:30am; 4:30pm; 7:00pm. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org
DEC 17 • WEDNESDAY
FREE Holiday Party at Dunlap Codding on Film Row (609 W Sheridan) provides fun for the whole family featuring live music, holiday treats, and a visit from Santa. 7pm. 607-8600, www.dunlapcodding. com
Christmas with the Annie Moses Band at Southern Hills Baptist Church (8601 S Pennsylvania) features the SHBC Worship Choir and Orchestra. $5. 6:30pm. 682-1636, www.anniemosesband.com
DEC 17-JAN 2
SPARK Winter Break Session at First Presbyterian Church (1001 NW 25th) offers Holiday arts & crafts, large & small group activities, games & recreation & field trips. Grades kindergarten - 8th. $25 per day plus enrollment fee of $55. Enrollment is now open. Weekdays, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 8am-3pm. 525-0018, firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy one of Oklahoma’s premier holiday light displays at Chickasha’s
mber (THROUGH DECEMBER 20)
DEC 18 • THURSDAY
Yukon’s Sounds of the Seasons at the Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium (600 Yukon Ave, Yukon) will showcase the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as the perform holiday favorites, with special guests. $10. 350-8937, www.cityofyukonok. gov Jami Smith Christmas Concert at The Venue at Crossings Community Church (14600 N Porltand) features contemporary Christian and holiday music. $10. 6:30pm. 755-2227, www.crossingsokc.org Third Thursdays at Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum (1400 Classen Dr) features a story and interactive craft. All ages. $3, free for ages 6 and under. 10am. 235-4458, www.oklahomaheritage.com FREE King Marlin Swim Club ProAm Classic Swim Meet at the OCCC Pool (7777 S May Ave) offers families the chance to experience this exciting meet, known for record-breaking swims. Thursday, 4:30-8:30pm; Friday and Saturday, 5-9pm; Sunday, 4:30-8:30pm. 596-5735, www.kingmarlin.com
Winter Break Camp at the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center (3000 General Pershing Blvd) will host a two day, age appropriate art camp for children 5 to 8 titled “Winter Adventure” and for children 9 to 12 years titled “Merry Felting.” Preregister. $70. 9am-4pm. 951-0000, www.oklahomacontemporary.org
DEC 19 • FRIDAY
FREE “Polar Express” at the Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) invites children and families to bring pillows and blankets to relax on while enjoying the movie. Free tickets will be available at Mustang’s Tree Fest on Dec 1. 6pm. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org
Skating with Santa at the Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) invites children to join Santa for a special VIP moment on the ice rink. Free for members, nonmembers are $6 for adults and $10 for children. 6pm-8pm. 447-7080, www. myriadgardens.org Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas Ball at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) offers an evening of entertainment for the whole family. Includes dance, buffet and a visit from santa. Preregister. $60 for members, $75 for nonmembers, $25 for children. 7pm. 478-2250 ext. 219, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org FREE Movie Night at the Park (The MAC, 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond) will show “The Grinch”. Friday, 7pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase. 359-4630, www.edmondok.com
Queen Elsa and Princess Anna Tea Party & Show at Joy’s Palace (300 E Main, Norman) features a performance, meet & greet and princess dresses for sale. $20. Friday, 6:30pm; Saturday, 12:30pm. Preregister. 887-3474, www.joysteapalace. com
DEC 20 • SATURDAY
FREE Elf’s Workshop and Craft show presented by Mommies Stick Together of Oklahoma at the Will Roger’s Garden Center (3400 NW 36th) features swag bags for first 50 guests, shopping, free kids activities and pictures with santa from 11am-2pm for a $5 donation. FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd) invites children to listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee. Saturday, 9am. 528-2122, www. cuppiesandjoe.com
Featuring: • Carriage rides • Live Nativity • Camel rides and live animals • Gift shop and food trucks
Admission to the park is always FREE! Donations accepted
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 6 – 10 pm Friday & Saturday, 6 – 11 pm
Located just 30 miles SW of OKC, right off I-44!
Christmas Train at the Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand Blvd) is a holiday train ride with hot cocoa, carols and the reading of “The Polar Express.” 35 minutes. Purchase tickets in advance to guarantee a seat. Trains depart at 9 and 10:30am, noon, 1:30 and 3pm. $15, children under 3 are free. 424-8222, www. oklahomarailwaymuseum.org
DEC 21 • SUNDAY
FREE Eagle Watch at Lake Thunderbird State Park (1201 Clear Bay Ave, Norman) offers a chance to see eagles in Oklahoma for the winter. Preregister. Meet at Discovery Cove Nature Center. Dress warmly and bring binoculars. 1-4pm. Also held Dec 28, Jan 11. 321-4633
FREE A Night of Metropolitan Christmas Favorites at Metropolitan Baptist Church (7201 W Britton Rd) features adult choir, orchestra, children’s choirs and ensembles. 6pm. 722-2550, www.mbcokc.com
Winter Break Mini Camp at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) will offer childcare and activities to children ages kindergarten - 4th grade. Preregister. $90 for all of camp or $40 per day. Dec 22, 23, 26, 29, 30 7:30am-6pm; Dec 24, 31 and Jan 2, 7:30am-5pm. 3763411, www.cityofmustang.org
FREE For Unto Us Christmas Candlelight programs at Crossings Community Church (14600 N Portland Ave). Various times and venues available; nursery care available for all but one program. See website for details. 755-2227, www.crossingsokc.org/Christmas
DEC 24 • WEDNESDAY
FREE Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Services at New Covenant United Methodist Church (2700 S Boulevard, Edmond). Experience Christmas through a candlelight service. Childcare services available. 3, 5, & 7pm. 562-3200, www.newcov.tv FREE Christmas Eve with the Ambassadors at St. John Missionary Baptist Church (5700 N Kelley Ave) features a Christmas performance by the Ambassadors’ Concert Choir. 7pm. 6023866, www.ambassadorschoir.com
FREE Drop in for Winter Break at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Drive) will feature Bubble Paints and Chihuly-Inspired Window Hangers. 1-4pm. 236,3100 ext. 213, www.okcmoa.com
DEC 30 • TUESDAY
University of Oklahoma Women’s Basketball at Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S Jenkins, Norman) against Yale. $15-$20. Other home games: Jan 4, 14, 19, 24. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com
DEC 31 • WEDNESDAY
Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Opening Night 2015 (downtown Oklahoma City) will feature live music, family activities and fireworks at midnight. Wristbands are $8 in advance at 7-Eleven, Midfirst locations, Oklahoma Science Museum and Homeland Stores, or $10 at the door, children under 5 are free. 7pmmidnight. 270-4848, www.artscouncilokc. com
Noon Year’s Eve at Oklahoma WONDERtorium (308 W Franklin Ln, Stillwater) provides noisemaker and party hat crafts before celebrating a ball drop and bubble stomp. Best for ages 5-12. FREE with paid admission. 3-5pm. 405-533-3333, www.okwondertorium.org
mber (THROUGH JANUARY 4)
New Year’s Eve at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum (200 E Maple, Enid) features games, prizes and a countdown to noon for children to create a bedtime friendly New Year’s Eve experience. Admission is $8, children under 2 are free. 10am-noon. 580-233-2787, www. leonardos.org
DEC 30-JAN 4
“The Book of Mormon” at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) is a Tony Award-winning musical. $40-85. TuesdayThursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 2 & 7pm. $40-85. 297-2264, okcciviccenter.com
JAN 1 • THURSDAY
FREE First Day Hike at Lake Thunderbird State Park (13101 Alameda Dr). Half-mile, one-mile and two-mile paths available. 10am-1pm. 360-3572.
Get Fit Expo 2015 at Crosspointe Community Center (2601 24th Ave SE, Norman) offers healthy tips, giveaways, workouts, and shoppings. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Preregister. 11am-5pm. 473-1566, www.swagherfitness.com
Annual Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake (9000 E 2nd St, Edmond). Dress warmly and bring binoculars. Start at the park office to learn where eagles can be spotted. 8am4pm. $3 per vehicle. 216-7471.
JAN 3 • SATURDAY
OKC Land Run Antique Show at the Oklahoma State Fairgronds (3001 General Pershing Blvd) presents more than 70 antiques dealers. $5 for adults, $3 for children 9-12, free for children under 9. Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm. 918-619-2875.
4 WEEKENDS. 36 LOCAL SHOPS. NOV 28 - DEC 21, THURSDAY - SUNDAY URBAN CHRISTMAS TREE LOT 399 NW 10TH STREET IN MIDTOWN MORE INFORMATION AT OKCPOPUPS.COM
VISIT THE HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOPS DURING DOWNTOWN IN DECEMBER!
SPONSORED BY MIDTOWN RENAISSANCE | ST. ANTHONY HOSPITAL | FOWLER TOYOTA
december WEEKLY EVENTS
FREE Admission to the Oklahoma City Zoo (2000 Remington Pl) on every Monday through Feb 23. 424-3344, www.okczoo. 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. Visit site for full list of dates, books and activities.10:30am on Tuesdays. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma Tiny Tuesday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) is a comeand-go art class. Dress for a mess. Ages 2-5 with adult. FREE with paid admission or membership. Tuesdays, 10am-noon. 2363100, www.okcmoa.com FREE Tuesday Noon Concerts at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) features 30-minute concerts performed by OU School of Music students and faculty. Noon on Tuesdays, 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Playstudio (575 Enterprise, Edmond) features a different story each week & a related craft time. FREE with paid admission. Wednesdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584, www.unpluggits.com FREE Bringing Books to Life in the lobby of the Crystal Bridge in the Myriad Garden (301 W Reno) every Wednesday. 10am, for ages 2-5. Books are naturethemed and selected based on the season. Children will also create a small craft after the story. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens. org FREE Midtown Market presented by Urban Agrarian at St. Anthony Hospital (1010 N Walker) includes fresh, Oklahoma-grown produce, meats & dairy, baked goods, honey & prepared foods such as salsa, jam, jelly & relish. Fridays, 1pmsunset. 231-1919, www.urbanagrarian.com FREE Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) hosts Crafts for Kids, no reservation needed. Saturdays, 11am-
3pm, ages 3 and up. 858-8778, www. lakeshorelearning.com FREE Children’s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www. fullcirclebooks.com FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books (1313 E Danforth, Edmond). Saturdays, 11-11:30am. 3409202, www.bestofbooksedmond.com FREE Nature Story Time at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial) for ages 2-6 features stories to help children discover the world of nature, followed by an activity or outdoor hike. Saturdays, 10am. 755-0676, www.okc. gov/parks FREE Make + Take at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) provides instruction and supplies for a different creative endeavor the second Saturday of every month (December 13 this month). Projects are designed to be accessible and fun for visitors of all ages and all levels of art-making experience. Come-and-go. 1-4pm. 951-0000, www. oklahomacontemporary.org All Star Bowling for DifferentlyAbled Individuals at AMF Windsor Lanes (4600 NE 23rd) invites differentlyabled individuals and their friends and families to bowl on Saturdays. $8. Noon-1pm. 354-2516, www.amf.com Drop in Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features hands-on art activities for all ages. FREE with paid admission. See website for themes/activities. Saturdays, 1-4pm. 2363100, www.okcmoa.com Saturday Discovery Days at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features interactive activity for preschoolelementary ages. Free with paid admission. Saturdays, 2-3pm. 325-4712, www. education.snomnh.ou.edu
december ONGOING EVENTS
THROUGH DEC 19
K. Yoland: Border ll Land ll Other at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) is an exhibit that uses performance, video, sculpture and photography to depict the border between Texas and Mexico. 951-0000, www. oklahomacontemporary.org
THROUGH DEC 23
PAMBE Ghana Global Market (6516 N Olie) is a fair trade market specifically for holiday shopping. Sales benefit a learning center for children in northern Ghana with the Parternship for Mother Tongue-based Bilungual Education Education in Ghana. Open Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6pm. 249-2314, www.pambeghana.org
THROUGH DEC 31
Oklahoma @ The Movies exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr) showcases the creativity of Oklahomans and their legacy of creating and starring in feature Hollywood films. $7 adults, $5 seniors, $4 students, free for children 5 and under. Families of up to six people pay an $18 flat rate for admission. 521-2491, www.okhistory.org
THROUGH JAN 4
Formed in Stone: The Natural Beauty of Fossils exhibit at the Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features photographs of fossils dating from 80-455 millions years old as well as diverse physical specimens. Children under 5 are free. $5 adults, $3 ages 6-17. 325-4712, www.samnoblemuseum.org
THROUGH JAN 18
My Generation: Young Chinese Artists art exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) is an extended look at the new generation of artists continuing to emerge in mainland China since 2000, the year that China first opened its doors to international artists and that Chinese artists began to command
attention in the global arena. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-9pm. Sunday, noon-5pm. $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and children 6-18, $5 for military, free for kids under 5. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com
THROUGH JAN 19
RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features an exhibit of species and examines the history, purpose & effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Children under 5 are free. $5 adults, $3 ages 6-17. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712, www.samnoblemuseum.org
THROUGH FEB 1
Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Botanical Gardens (201 W Reno) offers ice skating through Downtown in December. $12 per person, includes skate rental. $8 for guests who bring their own skates. $8 per person for groups of 10 or more. MondayThursday, 3-9pm; Friday, 3-11pm; Saturday & Sunday, 11am-7pm. 708-6499, www. downtownindecember.com
THROUGH MAR 2015
Building Buddies exhibit at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd), presents hands-on construction projects for kids. FREE with museum admission. Ages 13-64, $13.95; ages 3-12 & over 65, $11.95; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org
THROUGH OCT 2015
FREE Orly Genger: Terra at Campbell Park (NW 11th & Broadway) is an art installment presented by Oklahoma Contemporary. The outdoor sculpture piece is made of 1.4 million feet of recycled lobster-fishing rope and painted with 350 gallons of terracotta colored paint. 9510000, www.oklahomacontemporary.org
mom gets the last laugh
ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY BALL, WWW.EMILYMGBA
The Perfect Holiday Cookie BY HEATHER DAVIS - METROFAMILY COLUMNIST
y daughters and I were invited to a holiday cookie exchange. I had read endless blogs and articles about holiday cookie exchanges, and they seemed, well, complicated. I’m an educated woman. I have successfully fed more than 40 people warm spaghetti and meatballs at the same time—that is absolutely no small feat. But these holiday cookie exchanges with all their rules including no chocolate chip cookies and guidelines about bringing four and a half dozen to account for breakage? They made my brain turn to oatmeal … and not oatmeal cookie dough, unfortunately.
with double-stuffed chocolate sandwich cookies. But then I thought better of it. I would hate to be saddled with the distinction of being the woman who was kicked out of the holiday cookie exchange. But, the thought of coming home with three-dozen double stuffed chocolate sandwich cookies was kind of appealing. When I realized I would have to share the cookies with my daughters, I decided to just bite the bullet and find some sort of fancy-schmancy cookie recipe and get to baking. And, of course, I involved my daughters in the decision of which cookies we’d make. I scrolled through a cookie website with my MacBook on my lap and a daughter on each side.
The holiday cookie exchange coordinator, however, made it seem simple enough. Bring three-dozen cookies: One dozen to exchange and two-dozen to donate to the local fire department. Simple enough, right?
I smiled when I began reading off the recipes; I could almost taste them.
“Oh yeah,” came the next message after the e-invite, “No chocolate chip, oatmeal or peanut butter cookies. Also, please don’t bring any store-bought cookies either.”
“Raisin pomegranate…” “Too many fruits.”
And just like that, she shot down my whole cookie repertoire. I contemplated just exactly what she would do if my girls and I showed up
“Cranberry chocolate…” “No cranberries.” “Molasses…” “Nothing sticky.” “Walnut…” “No nuts.” “Zesty…” “Nothing Italian.” Almost every idea was shot down. In desperation, I asked them for
suggestions. They decided chocolate was a necessity. Sugar was a necessity. Creamy something would be good, and of course, it couldn’t be full of fruits, nuts or anything else their momma might deem as delicious. Pretty much, they wanted an Oreo. And to be really honest, I could’ve gone for an Oreo about that time. So, we ran to the grocery store to pick up the basics: flour, sugar, real vanilla, butter. We also grabbed a package of double-stuffed chocolate sandwich cookies.You know, nothing says the holidays like crunchy cracker cookies stuffed with cream-flavored lard. If I’m honest, which I almost always am, I kinda turned the girls loose in the kitchen. I gave them a couple basic recipes and let them try their hands at creating a new recipe. It was hard to leave them alone in the kitchen, so I grabbed the package of chocolate sandwich cookies and snuck away to my room to read about the last Kardashian fiasco. For a brief moment, I wished to be a Kardashian, if only to have a private chef who would make us some cookies.
Our quest for a new cookie quickly turned into a culinary Goldilocks story. The first batch of cookies was too hard. (How hard were they?) I thought I was going to have to throw the pan away because they had cemented themselves to the cookie sheet. The next batch was too soft. They were so soft that the pre-emptive parchment paper floated to the top of the batter before they finished cooking.
with cream cheese before rolling them into little balls and dipping them into melted white chocolate. I believe she called them easy truffles. We could give them a holiday name and call them Reindeer Pellets. Or maybe not. We’d call them Dirty Snowballs.
Unlike Goldilocks, the third formula was not the charm. Neither was the fourth, fifth or sixth recipe.
A quick search of Pinterest told us that we did not invent this recipe, but we were the only ones at the exchange with those cookies.
I considered rescinding our positive RSVP. The girls would be crushed, to be sure. But, I still had a half a package of chocolate sandwich cookies that would surely appease them. Then, we hit pay dirt. Or really, dirt cake.
We came home with a few recipes to put into our pert-near empty arsenal and a dozen cookies that were either store bought or predominately chocolate chip cookies.
“I wish we could just make dirt cake,” sighed one of my daughters. “I know how to make dirt cake really easily.” At this wistful and wishful comment, I was carried back to a like-minded friend who had crushed sandwich cookies and mixed them
I hope Santa was watching how nice I had been at following those rules. Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and a lazy chef. She is the author of the TMI Mom book series and lives with her husband, two daughters and a hidden stash of store bought cookies in Oklahoma.
Shop OKC’s Pop-Ups This Christmas IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS. WELL, IT BEGAN TO LOOK LIKE IT SOME TIME AROUND HALLOWEEN, BUT WITH DECEMBER FINALLY UPON US IT’S TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN ON THAT HOLIDAY SHOPPING. Each year the struggle
becomes how to get something new and different for everyone on Santa’s list without spending six hours looking for parking, three hours locating that perfect gift and another two waiting for an overtired store clerk to check you out.
BY JENNIFER JACKSON - CONTRIBUTING WRITER PHOTO COURTESY OF WINTER SHOPPES
his year, cut the hassle without sacrificing the chance to Christmas shop at some of the hottest metro stores with a trip to Winter Shoppes at the Myriad Gardens, Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown or Christmas Must Be Something More in Midwest City. Between the boutique-style shopping set-ups, a little bit of everything is available for hearth and home, men and women, grown-ups and kiddos.
Opened on Nov. 28, Winter Shoppes is making its second appearance, literally popping up charming glass bungalows in the middle of the picturesque Myriad Gardens. It can easily be made into your newest family tradition. Bring the whole family to wander the winterized gardens twinkling with Christmas lights or stroll through the festooned Crystal Bridge. Bundle up and burn off some of that stir-crazy energy wintertime brings at the Devon Ice Rink. To top off the holiday memories, you and your family can take a turn on the new garden carousel for just $1.00 per rider. After the sights have been seen, the pictures snapped and the family memories created, the shopping spree can begin. Since we all know kids typically tend to top everyone’s Christmas needs, the first stop at Winter Shoppes should be the boutiques for Kiwi Crate and Learning Tree. Kiwi Crate is a fantastic subscription service designed for kids ages three to eight. Pick your plan, pay your dues and enjoy a monthly box of kid-friendly, creative wonderfulness to spark your kids sense of wonder and experimentation. From art to science, Kiwi Crate means your child will be excited to create with each and every box.
dors nestled in the winter wonderland of the Myriad Gardens. Outfit your home and the homes of family and friends with the latest and greatest designs from Designer Rugs and KS Bed & Bath. The bookworms will no doubt love anything Full Circle has filled their adorable little booths. Satiate your sweet tooth with the gloriously rich confections of Cocoflow Chocolate Shoppe and Sara Sara Cupcakes. Coffee addicts will rejoice in finding a gift from Clean Pour, Oklahoma City’s newest concept in coffee catering, under the tree. Fashion-lovers will be thrilled to browse Gil’s Clothing & Denim Bar’s offerings as well as funky, upscale fashion from Anabelle’s Galleria. Calamity Jane’s Funk & Junk offers adorable designs in fashion and accessories that show off that imperturbable Oklahoma spirit. The Lingerie Store carries those sweet little secrets to complete the outfit from the inside out. The men are not to be left out from the holiday wardrobe makeover as Spencer Stone has claimed a glass hut at Winter Shoppes. Be sure to visit Mockingbird Manor, Culinary Kitchen, Clean Pour, Udander Spa, Stella & Dot and The Make-Up Bar to finish your rounds. The shops will be open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Dec. 23. If those selections just aren’t enough variety, the best news of the 2014 holiday season is that Winter Shoppes are not the only boutiques popping up in Oklahoma City this season. Holiday Pop-Up Shops on the corner of N.W. 10th & Hudson at 399 N.W. 10th Street will offer an ever-changing selection of the best bits of local retail culture. From art to flowers to hand-crafted pottery, each weekend in Midtown will feature something a little different.
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The Learning Tree was founded by Montessori teachers in 1985 and prides itself in providing the parents and teachers of Oklahoma City with the most educational and innovative toys, games and books. The best of the best from more than 450 toy manufacturers will be featured at Winter Shoppes this year. After the kids’ presents are selected, move along to one of the other wonderful ven-
Meridian Medical Tower (Across from Mercy Hospital) 13321 N. Meridian, Suite 100 Edmond at Fisher Hall 3560 S. Boulevard Norman Physician’s Building (Across from Norman Reg. Hospital) 950 N. Porter, Suite 102 HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOPS, N.W. 10TH & HUDSON
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the holiday market all have an equal emphasis on giving back as they do selling their own products. Christmas Must Be Something More offers a unique shopping experience families won’t find anywhere else. The temporary shop puts a focus on family with a special shopping section just for kids. The children’s section is set up for kids to bring a small amount of money and purchase items between 10 cents and a dollar. The kids can learn to give back by buying gifts for children who otherwise won’t get Christmas gifts, and they also can shop for friends and siblings in this small gift area. WINTER SHOPPES AT MYRIAD GARDENS
with you and come home with a Christmas tree from the Bishop John Carroll Christmas Tree lot. Managed by parents of the school’s students, proceeds from the sale of trees go toward enabling students to participate in sports throughout the school year. Holiday Pop-Ups chose a modern take on the shop concept, opting for sleek geodesic domes to house their vendors and their quiet little corner of town won’t be quite so busy with holiday visitors. This will mean that after you and your family select your Christmas tree, you all will be able to shop the best bits of Oklahoma City without the crowds, hassle of parking or holiday hubbub. Dec. 4-7 will feature pop-up versions of the Plaza District’s wildly popular Collected Thread, popular Oklahoma City shopping stop Blue Seven, Cedarburg Square, Kokopelli, Dry/Shop, Purse & Clutch, JL Woodworx & Design and Louise Dean Design. Dec. 11 through the 14th will see the likes of A Date with Iris, Folk.Life, The MakeUp Bar, Prairie Gothic, art & design boutique, Ratio, Ladies & Gentlemen Fine Hats, Green Bambino, PAMBE Ghana Global Market and Savvy. The final weekend of Holiday Popups, Dec. 19 and 22 adds The Social Club, Shop Good, Always Greener, Chirps and Cheers featuring modern stationary, office accessories and gifts. Tree & Leaf, Native Roots Market, Boho Gypsy, Awful Objects, Trade Men’s Wares and Cocoflow.
charitable cause associated with it. Additionally, Silva is giving 10 percent of the proceeds from the shop to the Make a Wish Foundation. Gift items ranging from jewelry and shoes to candles and hammocks are provided by give-back brands like Feed, which helps end world hunger by donating meals to those in need with every purchase. Silva describes herself as an accountant with an entrepreneurial spirit. Although she wished she could open a boutique in her hometown, she feels running a store year-round is out-ofreach considering how often she travels for work. Instead, she opted to open a pop-up shop open just between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “I just thought this was a good time to make the season mean a little more,” she said. “People are spending so much money on Xboxes and everything else, I wanted them to know the difference they could make in the world by buying something else.” The brands she selected to make available at
Parents will love shopping for their kids at the market, as well. A handful of brands at the pop-up carry children’s items that give to causes near and dear to the hearts of parents. For example, purchase a blanket from Everything Happy and another blanket will be donated to a child in need. Bella Tunno makes designer baby items like bags and bibs and donates a meal to a hungry child in the U.S. for every purchase. Buy an adorable Kauzbot robot from the shop and the brand donates to a corresponding charity, ranging from environmental causes and clean water to childhood cancer and autism. The Christmas Must Be Something More market at 1201 S. Douglas Blvd. is open through Dec. 24 Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call 408-5995 or visit www.facebook.com/ ChristmasMBSM to learn more. Whether you want to get your holiday shopping in while supporting local businesses or want to impact a cause around the globe with your purchases, you’ll find plenty of chances to purchase great gifts at these metro pop-up shops.
HOLIDAY POP-UP SHOPS, N.W. 10TH & HUDSON
Midwest City is welcoming a brand new pop-up shopping experience to the metro, as well. Midwest City native Katherine Silva developed the shops with the idea to make Christmas more meaningful. She’s opening Christmas Must Be Something More through Dec. 24 to give shoppers a chance to give back while they purchase holiday gifts. Every item at the shopping gallery has a
Oklahoma Cityâ€™s Hidden
Gem Holiday Lights
oliday light displays are everywhere you turn this month, but you have to do some digging to find the truly unique Christmas lights in the metro. Make it your mission this holiday season to get off the beaten path and discover an unforgettable light display.
BY JENNIFER SHARPE - METROFAMILY COLUMNIST THE CHESAPEAKE ENERGY HOLIDAY LIGHTS DISPLAY ILLUMINATES THE CAMPUS AND SURROUNDING AREA
ecember brings a flood of holiday lights to the metro. Twinkling strands of light are added to homes, businesses, parks and more. While there’s no shortage of holiday light displays sprinkled across Oklahoma City you may have to travel off the beaten path a bit to discover the most unique shows that glow. Whether you have a long-standing holiday tradition of visiting light displays as a family, or this is your first time seeking out Christmas lights together, check out these hidden gem displays. Downs Family Christmas Light Ministry Starting at the southern tip of the metro, your family will be delighted at the beautiful lights of the Downs Family Christmas Light Ministry in Norman.Your visit to this display supports a good cause, too. The display is free but canned food donations to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma are encouraged and can be placed in a drop-box to the left side of the light display. Monetary donations also are accepted and all donations are collected for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The 8th annual light show begins Thanksgiving evening and runs through Jan. 3. The Downs home is located at 2900 72nd Ave. S.E. and illuminates nightly from 6 p.m. to midnight. On New Year’s Eve, the display will stay lit until 1 a.m. to brighten the first hour of 2015. More than 18 miles of light strands and more than 13 miles of extension cords are used to create the display.Visit www.downsfamilychristmas.com for more information. Holiday Lights Spectacular The next stop on our tour of holiday hidden gems is Midwest City’s annual Holiday Lights Spectacular, a mile-long drive-through light show at the Joe B. Barnes Regional Park (8700 East Reno), which will be shining through Dec. 30. More than a million lights twinkle from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly Monday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. There is no cost to visit, but donations are accepted and everyone receives a candy cane. Interested in bringing a large group by bus? Step-on guides can be arranged in advance to provide your group with a unique guided experience through the lights. For more information, contact Leisa Haynes at Midwest City Parks & Recreation at 732-1289.
For a truly unique Holiday Lights Spectacular viewing experience, lace up your sneakers and participate in the 8th Annual 5k Night Light Run on Dec. 13. Race time is 5:45 p.m. and the registration fee is $25, with all proceeds going to support the Holiday Lights Spectacular Fund. Registration is available at www.signmeup.com under Night Light Run.
Public, private, online: What are the best educational options for your family?
Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway Heading north on your holiday light display tour, be sure to stop at Automobile Alley’s Lights on Broadway. The beautiful display of more than 180,000 colorful LED lights set Automobile Alley buildings aglow along Broadway Avenue from N.W. 4th to N.W. 10th Street. The display begins the day after Thanksgiving and is illuminated from dusk until dawn through Jan. 1. Bricktown Canal Lights Nearby Automobile Alley, find another unique display with OneMain Financial’s Bricktown Canal Lights. These lights are best seen via water taxi, and free water taxi rides are available for the holiday season. Board the boat, which runs Thursday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Nov. 28 through Dec. 28 (except Christmas Day) for a special glimpse of Bricktown’s holiday magic.Visit www.downtownindecember.com for more information. MestaLights Another popular Oklahoma City holiday lights destination is the Mesta Park neighborhood, which is located between N.W. 16th and N.W. 22nd from Western to Walker, and then extends as a small peninsula east to Robinson along N.W. 22nd. Don’t miss MestaLights, a residential holiday light display located at 930 N.W. 19th St. While the entire Mesta Park neighborhood gets festive and creative with their displays, the MestaLights animated show offers more than 55,000 lights synchronized to music at 107.1FM. MestaLights can be viewed from Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Eve from 5:30 to 11 p.m. For more information, including videos, visit www.mestalights.com.
Coming in January! MetroFamily’s Education Guide Be in the know and look for it in January's edition.
Chesapeake Energy Holiday Lights Display Press onward with your holiday tour to Nichols Hills, where Chesapeake Energy’s campus at Western Ave. and N.W. 63rd St. glows with more than a million lights. Hours of illumination are 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. from Nov. 26 through the morning of Jan. 2. Other
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impressive Nichols Hills holiday light displays can be found at residences on Avondale Dr. and also on N.W. Grand Blvd. University of Central Oklahoma Another off-the-beaten-path display can be found on campus at the University of Central Oklahoma (100 N. University Dr., Edmond). The LED light display will kick off with the annual WinterGlow celebration on Dec. 5. This free community event features activities for the entire family to enjoy. The event begins at 6 p.m. at Old North on the west side of campus with the ceremonial lighting of the campus and will include music from UCO performing groups. The event continues at the Nigh University Center with a winter carnival that includes photos with UCO mascot Buddy, face painting, train rides, games, s’mores and an opportunity to write letters to our troops for Blue Star Mothers. Parking is available in the guest lot to the east of the Nigh University Center. The campus lights display features all energy-efficient lights and will be up through New Year’s. Don’t miss the decorated main entry at Second Street and Garland Godfrey as well as sparkling Old
North. For directions and a campus map, visit www.uco.edu. McIntire Family Lights In northeast Edmond, the McIntire family offers a holiday light display with more than 100,000 LED lights! The home is located at
4102 Calm Waters Way, which is off of Sooner Road just north of Sorghum Mill in The Bluffs at Pine Creek neighborhood. The lights will be up from the day after Thanksgiving through New Years Day, weather permitting. The lights come on at 6 p.m. nightly, and will be off at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Listen to FM
CHRISTMAS IN YUKON Nov. 22
Christmas in the Park - Open through Dec. 31
Mayor’s Christmas Party for Kids
Sounds of the Season Performed by the OKC Philharmonic
TIS THE SEASON CityofYukonOK.gov 405.354.8442 or 405.350.8937 /cityofyukonokgov @cityofyukonok @cityofyukonokgov
97.7 to hear eight songs synchronized with the lights.Visitors are asked to please pull vehicles to the right while listening and dim
headlights.Visit www.clanmcintire.com for more information and videos from previous years. AUTOMOBILE ALLEY LIGHTS ON BROADWAY
[Editorâ€™s Note: For a list of additional holiday light displays, visit our outdoor holiday fun guide at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/holiday-2014.]
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Be Wild for Art Create a holiday memory for anyone on your list by capturing any print on a piece of pottery to paint a useful keepsake. Paint your own or let an in-house artist paint one for you. Plates and mugs start at $10. 209 24th Ave. N.W., Norman, www.bewildforart.com, 307-9971.
Steffanie Halley Photography Beautiful and simple, portraits make the best gifts for friends & family during the holiday season and are perfect to showcase on your holiday cards! There is still time to book a portrait session and by mentioning this gift guide, you will receive 25% off your sitting fee and a free 8x12 print. www.steffaniehalley. com, 912-247-0003.
Once Upon a Child Give the gift of thrift while keeping kids picture perfect for the holidays and yearround with a gift card from Once Upon a Child. The second-hand shop carries the latest in new and gently used brand name clothes, toys, books, equipment and furniture. 13801 N. Pennsylvania, Ste. G., www. onceuponachildokcnorth.com, 286-3114.
The Learning Tree The Mini Micro 3in1 is the award-winning ride-on toy and scooter that “grows” with children ages 1 to 5. From a ride-on seat up to a stand-on scooter, you’ll love watching your children have fun with it for years. $115. The Learning Tree at 7638 N. Western Ave. 848-1415, www.learningtreeokc.com
The Vintage Pearl The Vintage Pearl creates personalized jewelry and keepsakes that are handstamped and customized with any names, initials, dates or words of inspiration. Their handstamped jewelry is created using sterling silver, freshwater pearls and birthstone crystals and makes the perfect unique and meaningful gift. 1289 E. 15th St. #112, www.thevintagepearl. com, 330-0010.
Museum of Osteology The 4D Human Anatomy Exploded Skull is the perfect gift for educators, physicians and science lovers. The model head has 17 individual parts to form a near perfect anatomic model. $30. Museum of Osteology at 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd. 814-0006, www. museumofosteology.org.
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Green Bambino These holiday punch-out friends are made of thick, sturdy shapes and promise hours of fun for families and young children. $11. 5120 N. Shartel Ave., www.green-bambino.com, 848- 2330.
Unpluggits Playstudio Paint a piece of pottery for anyone on your holiday list and they will treasure it forever because it was created by you. 575 Enterprise Dr., Edmond, www.unpluggits. com, 340-7584.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Natural stones are presented in beautiful settings in the Circle of Life earrings by Rocki Gorman. The earrings are available in multicolored, red coral or turquoise stones. $395. Oklahoma Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum at 1700 N.E. 63rd. 478-2250, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org
Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum Give friends and family the gift of wit with hand-painted, wooden signs featuring sayings from notable Oklahomans like Will Rogers, Wanda Bass, James Garner and rodeo great Jim Shoulders. Custom-made signs available on request. $28-32. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum at 1400 Classen Dr. 235-4458, www.oklahomaheritage.com
Cadence Equestrian Give your child the gift of a new skill this season with horseback riding lessons. As a holiday special, enjoy eight lessons for $295. 14150 S Air Depot Blvd., www. cadenceequestrian.com, 348-7469.
Paint ’N Station Paint a one-of-a-kind specialty piece—a truly unique gift. Pick a project to fit anyone on your list, including cute coffee mugs. Pottery items start at $3 and up. 7906 N. May Ave., www.paintnstation.com, 842-7770.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art The perfect combination of art and functionality, the Eames Espresso Set makes the perfect gift. Four espresso cups and matching saucers feature stylish designs inspired by the classic Eames icon. $64.95. 415 Couch Dr., www.okcmoa.com, 236-3100. University of Oklahoma Women’s Basketball Your family will enjoy a fun family outing as they cheer on the OU Women’s Basketball Team this season. Family packs are available, with tickets only $10 (a minimum of four tickets must be purchased; $5 concession certificate included; seats located in the upper level, general admission area). www.soonersports.com
Sam Noble Museum Bring home Einstein’s extraordinary curiosity for understanding the mysteries of science with this premium bobble head, $20-$30. Other historic characters are available in Excavations at the Sam Noble Museum at 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman. 325-4712, www.samnoblemuseum.org
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Skate Galaxy Dart Skates are available to order in many colors. Each skate purchased in December will include a free skate pass. $99. 5800 NW 36th St., www. skategalaxyokc.com, 605-2758.
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Our â€œMerry Christmasâ€? gift to you, our terrific readers! The most wonderful time of the year also means our biggest giveaways of the year! Enter our 12 Days of December contests once per day Dec. 1-12. www.metrofamilymagazine.com/12-days-contest
Prizes include an American Girl Doll, tickets to local attractions, a Mini-Glider Tricycle and other classic toys, art supplies and even gifts for grown-ups.
Merry Christmas from the staff of MetroFamily Magazine And may your holiday be filled with family memories both old and new!
Visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/12-days-contest to participate.
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