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December 2011

Get Festive! Over 101 activities in our

Holiday Fun Guide


Yuletide recipes with a healthy twist 10 ways to beat holiday stress

Presence vs.


What your kids really need

Win Great Prizes! • Enter Every Day!


Days of

As our gift to you this holiday season, we're giving away a DAILY PRIZE PACKAGE from December 1- 12. Each package features great products, local offers and tickets to local attractions and is valued at over $300! Enter at 12-days-contest and join us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Happy Holidays from your friends at MetroFamily Magazine! 2 | December 2011

December 2011 |


• Click


Sign up to be eligible for these great prizes at contests.

Sarah T., age 5 of Edmond, celebrates the holiday season by mailing a letter to Santa at Macy's. Find hundreds of ways to make the holiday special at our website,

We may not have a partridge in a pear tree, but we do have 12 fantastic prize packs to give away in our 12 Days of December giveaway set for December 1 – 12! Our gift to you, this fun contest features a new prize package worth over $300 each day. We can’t promise five golden rings but we can promise you awesome games, DVDs, family-friendly products, tickets to local attractions and more.

The busyness of the holidays creates more “to do's” than most of us can handle... but our award-winning website,, can help you manage it better. Let our online listings guide you through the Christmas season.

1. Holiday Fun Guide: Over 100 events and activities to enjoy with your family. 2. Winter Break Camp Guide: Find great options for keeping your kids busy over the long winter break. 3. Guide to Giving Back: Learn about all the local opportunities your family has to show your altruism and holiday spirit. 4. Places to Make Gifts: Find local places where your kids (or you!) can make special gifts for family and friends. 5. Places to Find Santa: Be sure Santa has your kid’s list (and you have a great photo)! MetroFamily Field Guides Did you know there are learning opportunities for your family in the most unexpected places? Places such as the local museum, the park and the zoo? Use our Field Guides to make your local excursions even more fun—just don’t tell your kids that they are also learning! Download them at www. educational-field-guides. And check often for new guides!

Two New MetroFamily Blogs The Creative Parenting blog provides easy-to-do crafts using common household items to learn and create together. The Adventures in Homeschooling blog follows two families as they share their everyday challenges and triumphs as they navigate the world of homeschooling. Find all of our blogs at www.

Join the MetroFamily community of active local parents at


You could WIN big! | December 2011

Find all the details and a link to enter at Be sure to enter every day! • Our December Giveaway features many great family products valued at over $400. Deadline is December 15. • Like us on Facebook (www., follow us on Twitter (www. and subscribe to Weekend Picks (www. to be reminded about the current contests and learn of other “exclusive” contests.

You could SAVE big! Find valuable coupons to these businesses at metrofamilymagazine. com/okc-family-discounts. • Norman Ice Rink • Edmond Outdoor Ice Rink • Monarch Dental • Play Nation playground sets • Jump!Zone • Gymboree classes • GattiTown PLUS, save at over 30 Oklahoma attractions with Kids Pass!


Holiday Family Fun to the Max

Photo courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.

December 2011 6

Dear MetroFamily


Family Shorts

Editor’s Note

Community news & information

11 More Holiday Tips

What your kids really need from you for Christmas, plus local gift and toy ideas.

14 Your Healthy Family

Commit to having a healthy holiday this year with these great recipes, tips and tricks.

18 Real Moms of the Metro


16 26 34

Turn your hectic holiday into a happy one with our expert tips to help you manage seasonal stresses and enjoy your time to the fullest. With over 100 events and activities, our jampacked Holiday Fun Guide will help you to plan a festive month of fun with your family. Don’t let a safety slip up stop your holiday fun! We’ve got solutions for the 10 most common safety mistakes.

ON OUR COVER: Eleanor Truesdell, 21-month-old daughter of Reese Truesdell and Margaret Kinkeade of Norman. The photo was taken near Andrews Park in Norman. PHOTO BY: Sarah Warmker Photography, OKC •

Meet Amy Urbach: mom and blended family advocate.

20 Oklahoma Reads Great reads for all.

22 Exploring Oklahoma

Why you should visit Wings, a new special needs community, this holiday season.

36 Focus on Education

Homework! How to help your kids make the most of it.

39 Calendar

Fun events, activities and classes.

46 Photo Gallery

Our readers share their favorite holiday photos.

December 2011 |


Dear MetroFamily, It seems to me that the older I get, the faster the years go by, until it seems the years are slipping past before I feel I have firm footing to appreciate them. It seems unbelievable that those days leading up to the holidays aren’t shorter than they were when I was a kid; I remember that December seemed to be the longest month on the calendar, as I anxiously anticipated all that the holiday season would bring. Winter vacation from school and the possibility of snow; time spent with our extended family (which usually meant upwards of 30 people at holiday celebrations); hearty meals and special treats (like Grandma’s cranberry bread and rosette cookies). Not to mention all the other magical parts, like decorations, TV specials, peppermint sticks as big as your arm and a visit from Santa himself. As a kid, I never saw how those details were handled behind the scenes, and now that I’m the one in charge of the holiday fun, I realize how much work it really is—and how much I took for granted as a kid! While I want to make sure that the holidays are stress-free for my loved ones, I am trying to not stress myself out. Are you feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of your holiday? This month we offer ways to beat stress, stay safe and most importantly— make time for fun with the people who mean the most to you. And when you’re ready for fun? Check out our Holiday Fun Guide for the best in holiday events and activities, all around the metro and state. We at MetroFamily wish all of you a most blessed and happy holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you next year. Cheers,

Photos, from top: Christmas through the years. Spencer’s first Christmas, 2002. Lauren’s first Christmas, 2004. Last year on Christmas morning.


P.S. Visit to read my blog, “Keeping it Real,” about my personal adventures in the ups and downs of parenting. I'm now in a 30-day parenting challenge; come join me! | December 2011

Info And Questions: 405-601-2081 To submit events to our calendar Publisher Sarah L. Taylor Editor Mari M. Farthing Art Director Kathryne Taylor Advertising Sales Athena Delce Dana Price Amy Lou Tuzicka Office and Distribution Manager Kathy Alberty Assistant Editor Brooke Barnett Calendar Editor Sara Riester Special Projects Assistant Terri Fields Contributing Writers Brooke Barnett, Julie Dill, Shannon Fields, Sandra Gordon, Karen Mitchell, Heide Smith-Luedtke Circulation 35,000 – OKC, Edmond, Nichols Hills, Norman, Moore, Midwest City, Yukon Also available as a digital edition at Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11th, Suite 204 • Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Fax: 405-445-7509 E-mail: ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2011, All Rights Reserved. Volume 14, Number 12

December 2011 |


Contributing writers: Brooke Barnett, Mari Farthing

Our Readers Share Their Favorite Holiday Fare Whether it’s turkey dressing, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, some foods are just synonymous with the holiday season. Be it a classic family recipe passed down through generations or a new take on an old favorite, many of our holiday memories are tied to the fantastic food we enjoy together with family and friends.

Free Parenting Classes for Families in Crisis Established in 1981, NorthCare exists to promote recovery and independence to Oklahomans in need. Each year, NorthCare serves approximately 13,500 Oklahomans experiencing emotional, traumarelated or substance abuse issues, including over 2,000 children impacted by abuse and neglect. NorthCare offers services for families in crisis, including individual therapy, group therapy, crisis services and parenting classes. “All our parenting classes are offered at no cost to the community,” explains Sarah Rahhal, LCSW and Clinical Director at NorthCare. “They share great information and tools, such as positive parenting, how to get your children to listen, the benefits of taking care of yourself as a parent, the value of positive reinforcement and more.” Preregistration is required for all classes. Free classes include: • Down to Earth Parenting—Simple Strategies for Successful Parenting, held on Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:00pm at NorthCare’s Child Outpatient Office (4436 NW 50th). This eight-week course offers a different topic each week on a rotating schedule, and parents can attend any or all of the classes. • Circle of Security parenting group, which meets on Wednesdays from 11:30am – 12:30pm, and focuses on building secure relationships with children ages 0 – 5. Group sessions meet for eight consecutive weeks and new groups form at the end of each session. For more information or to preregister for a parenting class, call 405858-2700 or visit

Question of the Month: Instead of a question this month, we have a challenge.

We all have room for improvement, so in what way will you commit to improving your life in 2012? Choose from Health, Education, Creativity, Fun, Organization or Helping Others—and then tell us how and why you are going to do this. Visit to fill in the blank and enter your name in our monthly prize package drawing, valued at over $400. Deadline to enter is Thursday, December 15. Your comments may also be used in a future issue of MetroFamily Magazine or on our website. The full contents of the prize package are listed on the entry form.

8 | December 2011

Our November Question of the Month asked readers to share what recipes make holiday meals special. We were delighted to read great stories of recipes originally lovingly made by mothers or grandmothers, with many of the recipes still being made today by younger generations. For others, it is all about desserts, with everything from pumpkin to French silk pie making an appearance in your responses. Lastly, you shared with us some wonderful side dishes that really complete your meals and even some great holiday breakfast traditions. A common thread woven through almost all responses was that even more important than the food itself was who was sharing the meal together. It seems that, for MetroFamily readers, the family and friends gathered around the table are the most important “ingredient” for a perfect meal. Our readers shared more about those dishes that help define their holiday dining: For Jennifer J. of Oklahoma City, carrying on a tradition makes a side dish special. “My great-grandmother always made Lima beans every Thanksgiving. She passed away about 18 years ago. Now they are always on our Thanksgiving table, and I remember my greatgrandmother when I add them to my plate.” A secret stuffing recipe carries meaning in the family of Christi M. of Oklahoma City. “The recipe goes back many, many generations on my grandmother’s side. It has never been written down, but is passed from daughter to daughter. I look forward to passing on the tradition to my daughter.” Natalie S. of Edmond enjoys a breakfast tradition. “Starting the day with my great-grandmother's recipe for homemade buttermilk pancakes with real syrup.” Pie is the key to wonderful family memories for Dianna S. of Edmond. “My Grandma Katholeen’s lemon meringue pie. She passed away 10 years ago and she used to always bring that pie to holiday dinners. It was everyone’s favorite. Now that she has passed away, my mother makes her pie every year and it brings back the wonderful memories of my grandma.” For Becky M. of Oklahoma City the menu takes a back seat to the guests. “Our family and friends make it special. And, of course, pie!” Visit www. metrofamilymagazine. com/novemberreader-responses to read more about the food that makes the holidays special.

Character Corner: Generosity

Problem-Solvers When we hear about new or helpful products, we like to let our readers know! Here are a few of the interesting items we’ve recently found. Visit the product website for a list of local retailers.

Being generous means that you manage your resources carefully so that you are better able to give to those in need. Generosity breeds joy in the giver; giving brings more happiness than receiving. Being generous with others develops positive relationships between giver and recipient.


To promote generosity in your home:

You don’t really know what’s in that paint your child is using.


GLOB paints are made with all-natural organic extracts that are sustainable and gluten-free ($15 paint kit, $20 collage kit,


I will: … share what I have with others. … recycle. … not expect anything in return for my generosity. … give of my time and talents. … praise the good I see in others.


The Ms. & Mrs. Minimergency Kit for moms includes must-haves such as lip balm, facial tissues, hand sanitizer and mini crayons. ($16,

Contact Character First! for more character-building resources. To learn more, call 405-815-0001 or visit


You want a latte; he wants espresso; she wants a mocha.


Everyday Play: Making a Wreath

The Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolo coffee maker allows everyone in the kitchen to brew their perfect cup. ($100,

This fun holiday craft develops your child’s scissor skills and strengthens bilateral hand skills.



The Touro Mobile Pro 500GB drive connects to your computer’s USB port providing ample storage for thousands of photos. ($90, www.


Holiday cooking has done a stinky number on your garbage disposal!


Grab Green Garbage Disposal Freshener uses essential oils in three varieties to freshen your sink. ($5/12 pack,


You’re on the go; shouldn’t your music be, also?


The Chicboom Keychain Speaker is a tiny but mighty speaker in a cute little package. ($30,


You’re leaving the booster seat behind because it won’t fit in your suitcase!


Bring the Go Anywhere booster as a portable and sturdy option. ($40,

~ Percival Christopher Wren

• Help others with projects they may have trouble completing on their own. • Refrain from giving in to all desires in order to have money and time available for later needs. • Use time wisely: complete chores and homework in order to have time available to help other family members, or forego personal free time to help others. Encourage generosity in your home by committing to the following statements. Say these “I will” statements aloud with your children, and encourage them to apply them to situations in their everyday life.

You are away from home and having a mom emergency.

You need to ensure those holiday photos you took this season stay safe.

One cannot be too generous.

You’ll need: • •

Paper plates Glue sticks or a small container of glue for dipping • Tissue paper • Child-safe scissors Show your child how to fold a paper plate in half and encourage her to cut a semi-circle around the inside of the plate. Remove the inside of the 6-year-old Murphy Barnett of Norman displays plate after it is cut, then her festive holiday wreath. unfold the plate to reveal a wreath. Help your child decorate the wreath by tearing small pieces of tissue paper and squeezing the paper into balls. Give her a glue stick to use to cover the wreath in glue, or dip each paper ball into glue and attach to the plate. To finish, help your child punch two holes at the top of the wreath and lace ribbon or yarn through the holes so she can hang her creation. In addition to creating a holiday decoration, you can also use the wreath as a frame for a picture or drawing, making a great handmade gift idea. Happy Holidays! Excerpted and used with permission from the Gryphon House book, Everyday Play: Fun Games to Develop the Fine Motor Skills Your Child Needs for School by Christy Isbell.

December 2011 |


New Guidelines for Toddler Screen Time New findings issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state that children under the age of 2 should have stricter media limits than previously defined. Through a recent survey, the AAP found that: 90 percent of parents allow their children under age 2 to watch electronic media, an average of up to two hours per day. • Programs for infants and toddlers marketed as “educational” do not have supporting evidence. • Television viewing around bedtime can cause poor sleep habits. • Young children with heavy media use are at risk for language development delays upon entering school. • Parental media use may negatively impact a young child’s learning from play. The AAP advises that unstructured play time is more valuable for brain development in young children and that children learn best from interaction with humans, not screens.

Holiday Media Guide A few titles to check out this holiday season:

New recommendations regarding screen time for babies and toddlers include: • Set limits on media exposure for all children. • Opt for independent play over time in front of screens. • Avoid electronic media in your child’s bedroom and recognize the effect that your media usage has on your children. According to Dr. Ari Brown, a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media, “In today’s achievement culture, the best thing you can do for your young child is to give her a chance to have unstructured play—both with you and independently. Children need this in order to figure out how the world works.” Learn more about this study at

Clues About Your Child’s Self-Esteem Kids often drop clues about how they feel about themselves, but many parents miss them. According to Renaye Thornborrow, founder and CEO of Adventures in Wisdom, “How kids feel about themselves is critical for their happiness and success in life. Kids with strong self-esteem tend to go for their goals and stand up to peer pressure whereas kids with lower selfesteem often drift through life and may be easily influenced by others.”

Chanukah Lights By Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda (Candlewick, hardcover pop-up, $35) Children of all ages will delight in this intearctive pop-up book about the history and meaning of Chanukah. La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story By Antonio Sacre, illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Abrams Books, hardcover, $17) Nina learns that a Cuban Christmas in Miami holds just as much magic as the snowy New England holiday she usually celebrates. Lumps: The Elf Coal Game (Continuum Games, $8) A dice game rumored to have been developed by Santa’s elves. Good children mean that the elves had too much coal, so they made this game. Fun for all ages and any number of players from 1 –100 players. Nickelodeon: Merry Christmas! (DVD, $15) A holiday extravaganza featuring Nickelodeon favorites Dora, Diego, the Wonder Pets, Blue, Team Umizoomi and Kai-lan. Little Bunny and the MAGIC Christmas Tree By David Martin, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev (Candlewick, hardcover pop-up, $16) Little Bunny goes on a Christmas Eve adventure and learns what’s most important to him. The Story of Christmas From the King James Bible, illustrated by Pamela Dalton (Handprint Books, hardcover, $18) A beautifully illustrated take on the story of the birth of Christ as taken from the King James version of the Bible. The Roof Top Hop By Michael Sheahan, illustrated Doug Wright (Michael Sheahan Books, hardcover with CD and DVD, $20) Did you know that Santa does a special dance on your roof top each year? Read the story or play the accompanying CD or DVD to listen and sing (and dance!) along.

That’s why the company provides a free “Assessing Self-Esteem” tool on their website, where kids can complete an assessment (on their own or with their parent) and rate themselves on a 1-10 scale. How kids rate themselves may help parents to understand where their kids need support. Other clues to self-esteem issues: • Negative talk. If kids compare themselves to others negatively they are showing signs of low self-esteem. • Shy interaction. Do kids jump in or hold back? Those avoiding new people or experiences may have self-esteem issues. • Negative emotions. Sadness, fear, anxiety or embarrassment often stem from self-doubt. Often, these traits may be a normal part of a child’s personality; but they could also be indicators of a larger problem. These clues, combined with the completed assessment, may help parents to address possible self-esteem issues with their children. Visit to learn more and find the Assessing Self-Esteem questionnaire.

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December 2011 |


What Kids Really Need for the Holidays By Heidi Smith Luedtke

My son’s holiday wish-list is longer than Santa’s arm. And it’s (partially) my fault. “Kids are not always able to distinguish between what they want and what they need,” says parent educator Nancy Samelin, M.S., author of Loving Without Spoiling. “Parents have to do it for them.” Wants and needs become synonymous when parents grant every wish. Kids develop a sense of entitlement, so they beg or throw tantrums when wants aren’t immediately fulfilled. Refocusing on what kids need can help parents bring indulgence under control. When parents meet these needs consistently and generously, kids have what their hearts’ desire. • Structure. Knowing what to expect diminishes stress. Decide which rules are non-negotiable—those related to fundamental values, health and safety top Samalin’s list. On matters of personal preference and style, offer options. When kids know what isn’t up for discussion, they stop negotiating. • Support. Trying something new can be scary. Kids need a secure base of exploration to facilitate risk-taking. Be available to talk, and coach your child to solve his own problems by asking “how could you handle that?” Kids need to know parents believe they can handle themselves and that we’re there to assist. • Undivided attention. Spending special time with your child only requires you. Give your child 100 percent of yourself, even if it’s just for ten minutes. “You may be great at multitasking at the office, but your child won’t feel you’re really involved with him if you’re loading the dishwasher or checking e-mail while playing a game together,” says Samalin. No parent dies wishing they’d spent more time on Facebook. • Apprenticeship. Playing with toys isn’t the only way to have fun. Let kids help with cooking or laundry. Yes, it takes a little longer and it’s messier, but carrots peeled by a preschooler taste sweeter than the ones you prepped yourself. Host a mother-daughter book club or change the car’s oil together. Those are the memories they’ll truly treasure. • Silliness. Let go of the need to act like a grown-up for just a few minutes, and watch your kids’ eyes light up. Wear a goofy hat. Bury yourself in a pile of leaves. Sneak a surprise into kids’ lunchboxes or eat a picnic dinner in the living room. Kids are under a lot of pressure to do it all and to perform flawlessly. Share the joy of a good laugh. • Patience. Kids who struggle with transitions or who want attention often drag their feet and delay progress when parents are in a rush. “Dawdling comes as naturally to young kids as breathing,” says Samalin. As often as possible, slow down. Live in the moment. Walk next to your son, not ahead of him. Small moments are significant. • Real conversation. Parents spend a great deal of time telling kids what to do: “Clean your room” or “Tell dad it’s time for dinner.” But kids need to be heard. Make a point to have a real conversation with your child each day. Ask questions, listen deeply, share experiences. Saying “no” to some of kids’ wants means you are choosing to lavish them with the structure, support and affection they need. And those are the gifts kids grow on.

12 | December 2011

Ten Places to Shop Locally This Holiday Want to find great gifts and support the local ecomony at the same time? Locally-owned and operated retail outlets often offer something unique and special We polled our readers for locally-owned places to find that perfect holiday gift and here are their top choices: 1. Blue 7 (5028 N May Ave) 2. Feathered Nest Market (6353 North MacArthur, Warr Acres) 3. The Plaza District (NW 16th between Classen & Penn) 4. Becky’s Gift Shoppe (8423 S. Western) 5. Copelin’s Kidoodles Toy Zone (425 W. Main, Norman) 6. On a Whim (5850 N. Classen) 7. The Rink Gallery (3200 N Rockwell, Bethany) 8. Caught in the Brambles (717 W. Main St, Yukon) 9. Cobblestone Gifts & Interiors (6714 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany) 10. Local museum gift shops Thanks to @CherGolding, @thelaurenbeck, Linda L, Kristen V, Erin H, Robin D, London W, Jaretta B and Kristi D for contributing to this list. Join us at to contribute to our next “Top 10” list poll. Happy shopping!

Toy Industry Association Play Safe Guidelines Finding an age-appropriate toy for your children can be difficult, and often the guidelines on the toy itself don’t offer much help. The Toy Industry Association (TIA) offers the following guidelines for parents to selecting toys for all ages: • Birth to six months. Look for toys with high-contrast colors and secure pieces to prevent choking. Avoid toys with strings longer than 12" to avoid choking hazards. • Six months to one year. Look for action toys that encourage banging or stacking, and cause and effect such as in and out, open and shut. • One to two years. Look for physical toys that encourage pushing, climbing, riding and walking and educational toys like tools and cooking. • Two to three years. Look for toys that encourage hand-eye coordination like arts and crafts, puppets, puzzles and blocks. • Three to six years. Look for toys that encourage imagination such as arts and crafts, dress up clothes or a doll or teddy bear to treasure. • Six to nine years. Look for strategic toys such as board games, science or magic kits and sports equipment. • Nine to 12 years. Look for advanced puzzles, craft or model kits, and other toys that will feed into life-long interests. Visit the Toy Industry Association website at www. for more information on age-appropriate toys and to download a free Fun Play Safe Play brochure.

December 2011 |


Your Healthy Family Tips for Healthful Holiday Eating


ith Thanksgiving behind us, many Oklahomans may already be feeling a little chubby and plump, much like a certain jolly old elf. The good news is, even if you overdid it and put on a couple of pounds over Turkey Day, the dawn of December doesn’t have to be a diet death sentence. Many factors contribute to holiday weight gain, which can average up to five pounds between Thanksgiving and the start of the New Year. One major culprit is stress, but having less time to work out and the ready availability of fat and calorie-rich holiday treats can easily combine to create an unpopular holiday trend: a tighter waistband. So how can we make the holidays healthier and eliminate the need for the New Year’s weight-loss resolution?

Beware of Stress and Treats Let’s face it; the holidays are stressful, even under the most ideal circumstances. There are gifts to buy, travel plans to make, and family relationships to contend with, all of which boils down to having less time to regroup. Moore resident Lisa Huggins is a pharmacist specializing in hormone replacement therapy and functional endocrinology. “The increased stress of the holidays can cause an increase in cortisol levels, which can affect adrenal and thyroid function. These increased levels can slow your metabolism,” notes Huggins. “The holidays are kind of a perfect storm. Most people aren’t exercising as much, because it’s cold outside, and they’re eating more, because there are parties and events to attend. All of those factors, combined with increased stress, can easily lead to weight gain.” To combat the effects of stress, get plenty of sleep and try to carve out personal time. December in Oklahoma can be fairly mild, so throw on a jacket and go for a walk. Increasing physical activity will also boost adrenal function and speed up your metabolism. In addition to the added stress of the holiday season, for many of us, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a nonstop parade of goodies, dropped off by neighbors, clients, family, and colleagues. (I try to avoid passing through the break room at my office during this time period.) While offerings such as these may be hard to avoid, it’s easy to make up for any damage done by cooking healthier meals at home during the holiday months.

Smart Substitutions Edmond resident Deanna Norris is a healthconscious vegetarian and an expectant mother.


After she gave birth to her first child in 2004, she became increasingly aware of the importance of a healthy diet. “After educating myself, I discovered that so many illnesses and diseases could be prevented or even reversed with healthy eating, so I made it a priority to eat whole foods, go organic when possible, and got rid of the artificial foods that come out of a box. For me, the key is to look at the ingredient list…or ideally, the lack thereof.” The holidays are no exception. While some splurging is expected and is perfectly acceptable, far too many people consider the holidays a free-for-all. Simple tricks can help offset the damage. In my family, we love to bake during the holidays, but in many recipes, you can reduce the amount of butter or oil and use applesauce instead. Norris

Roasted Apple and Winter Squash Soup 3 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 medium sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered 2 large cloves garlic, peeled ¼ cup olive oil 2 teaspoons Kosher salt 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves ½ teaspoon ground allspice 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth 1 medium sweet-tart apple (for garnish) Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the squash, apples, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme and allspice. Spread the vegetables/fruit on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast, turning once, until tender, about 40 minutes. Puree the roasted vegetables/fruit with the vegetable broth. If using an immersion blender, this may be done in a large pot. If using a food processor, this may be done in batches, transferring the puree to a large pot as you go along. Place the pot over medium heat and simmer until warmed through. If a thinner consistency is desired, add water or more broth. Taste and adjust seasonings. To serve, garnish with thinly sliced or diced apples. Sliced apples may be panfried in a little butter or olive oil until golden. Recipe courtesy of Deanna Norris. | December 2011

notes, “With anything that calls for vegetable shortening, I use coconut oil instead.” Coconut oil is natural and full of essential fatty acids, and is solid at room temperature, with a similar consistency to shortening. Norris also frequently substitutes date sugar for refined sugar. Healthy substitutions such as these can help make your holiday treats less damaging to your waistline. However, as with anything, moderation is key. Curbing stress by carving out time to regroup and increasing physical activity will all help to reduce or eliminate holiday weight gain. Shannon Fields is a freelance writer from Edmond and a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Innovative Pharmacy Solutions.

White Christmas Potato and Ham Soup 8 cups diced potatoes 1 cup chopped onion 2 tablespoon butter 6 cups chicken broth ½ cup half and half 2 packages cream cheese, cubed (may use light if preferred) ½ pound diced turkey (or regular) ham shredded cheese, to garnish Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Sauté onion until just softened. Add broth and potatoes and simmer over medium heat until potatoes begin to soften. Add cubed cream cheese, half and half, and ham. Continue to simmer over low heat until ready to serve. Recipe courtesy of Shannon Fields.

Ginger Spice Cookies 2 cups all purpose flour 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cloves ¾ teaspoon salt ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar ½ cup coconut oil ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 large egg ¼ cup mild-flavored (light) molasses Date or Turbinado sugar Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger. Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, coconut oil, and butter in large bowl

until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Pour sugar in thick layer onto small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 1 minute. Carefully transfer to racks and cool. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.) Recipe courtesy of Deanna Norris.

And the winner is... Last month, we asked readers to submit their favorite holiday recipe for a chance to win a $100 Cooking Girl gift certificate. Congrats to Allison W., of Norman, for her winning recipe below. And our thanks to Christa Carratero of Cooking Girl for sponsoring the contest (

Sweet Potato and Banana Puree with Buttered Pecan Topping 3 pounds sweet potatoes 1 ripe banana (skin on) 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened ¼ cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ¼ teaspoon salt ½ pound pecans, chopped 3 tablespoons butter 1 tsp salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar Preheat oven to 425°F. Poke sweet potatoes several times with fork and bake on cookie sheet for 45 minutes. Place the entire banana on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Peel sweet potatoes and banana and mix together in bowl until chunky using mixer or food processor. Add the softened butter and syrup, pureeing until smooth. Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt, and mix to combine. Pour mixture to a baking dish and smooth. To make topping, melt the remaining butter in a skillet over low heat. Add pecans and salt, sauté for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Drain pecans on paper towels. Layer the nuts on top of the sweet potato mixture and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 300°F.

December 2011 |


Expert Tips on Handling

Holiday Havoc Do the visions of sugarplums dancing in your head get flattened by your massive “To Do” list each holiday season? Does the dream of a perfect white Christmas have you seeing red when it comes to dealing with family schedules? If your holiday travels have you wishing for your own private sleigh (with no children allowed) or if your kids are more interested in gifts than gratitude, we are here to help. We took 10 issues common to the holiday season and asked our panel of experts to weigh in with practical tips and solutions. By reducing your stress and strengthening your resolve, these tips can help you to create genuine joy with your family and friends during this festive time. Seasonal Stressor #1: How can I get everything done, but still have time to enjoy special family moments? Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Especially if everything on the “To Do” list is not necessarily kid-friendly, ask someone else to take care of your children while you tackle certain tasks. Then, when you are with your children, you can be more relaxed and truly enjoy those holiday moments. Also, prioritize the list. Differentiate between “nice to do” and “must do” items. What’s more important? Getting every little thing done and being a frazzled mess or focusing on the most meaningful activities and being your best self? In short, don’t try to do it all. Once you’ve prioritized your list and separated out the “must do” from the “nice to do” things, give yourself permission to occasionally leave the kids with a caring childcare provider so that you—and they—have a happier, less stressful holiday season. Karin Dallas is the owner of College Nannies & Tutors of Edmond. Visit

Seasonal Stressor #2: My husband and I are divorced. Any tips on how to share time between both sides of the family, without pulling our kids in every direction? First, be flexible. Let go of the fantasy of having the perfect “White Christmas.” Think outside the box, be creative, and start developing new traditions for your family. Second, change expectations. Try not to make your definition of a successful holiday as having your family spending one certain day or evening together. Instead, focus on special moments whenever they happen. Finally, be patient. New traditions are not created over night or over one holiday season. Try to implement some new traditions this year, reevaluate and renegotiate next year, and the next, until you come up with something that is

16 | December 2011

enjoyable and comfortable for your family. Trade important days and times like Christmas morning so that each family gets every other year. Vicki Reynolds is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Oklahoma City. Visit

Seasonal Stressor #3: Our son has recently discovered Santa isn’t real. How do I keep him from telling our younger daughter? Remind your son that Santa is more about the fun and excitement of the season, and encourage him to think about how that spirit of giving can extend beyond your home. Reminisce about holiday memories and encourage him to keep that joy alive for his younger siblings as long as possible. When your younger children sit down to write annual letters to Santa, grab your older children and join in the fun. Give a knowing wink and enjoy the excitement of sharing dreams with Santa, as well as how that spirit of giving can spread throughout your family and community. Suzy Martyn is an author, speaker, educator, and parenting consultant. Visit

Seasonal Stressor #4: My husband and I come from two different faiths. How do we combine traditions to help make a meaningful holiday for us all? You and your husband have already completed the first step to creating a meaningful holiday by deciding that you want your children to learn about each faith. One of the trickiest questions to answer is where you are going to celebrate. If you live near both of your extended families, it is important to decide with whom you are going to celebrate. This is a challenging decision even for couples that are of the same faith. Next, take inventory of the most important lessons each of you would like your children to experience. You can do this by sharing with each other what brought you the most joy when you celebrated as a child and make a commitment to incorporate that into your holiday. Once you know what you would really like to share, look for similarities. Are there common dates or traditions? Start with things you have in common and build from there. Brenda Trott, M.Ed. is a parenting coach who has worked with young children and families. Visit

Seasonal Stressor #5: My teenager has recently become a vegetarian. What can I cook for him? Traditional holiday foods offer a lot in the way of vegetarian-friendly fare. Think of classic side dishes that accompany the turkey and are usually meat free, such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans and bread. If you usually stuff your turkey with dressing or put meat-based broth in it, cook it on the side or use vegetable broth instead. Add a dish that features portabello mushrooms or a salad with garbanzo beans in it for added protein. Christa Carretero is the Founder and Chef of Cooking Girl, an Oklahoma City-based professional chef service that offers cooking classes and gourmet to-go meals. Visit

Seasonal Stressor #6: We experienced a death in our immediate family this year. How do I help my children celebrate the holidays despite our loss? Even when family members feel they are coping well enough, facing the holidays without a loved one can intensify feelings of loss and grief. Consider traditions you have honored in the past and then decide which ones you want to continue to celebrate now. Involve family members in these discussions. Sometimes making changes eases the pain. Lighting a candle, having a brief reading or writing something that celebrates the life of the one who died may help your family. Young children often enjoy drawing a picture. If you have always hosted the holiday dinner at your house, consider asking another relative to host it this year and offer to bring some of the favorite traditional dishes you always served. Remember, give yourself permission to let some of the past responsibilities go and be willing to ask for help from relatives and friends when you need it. Maribeth Govin is Program Director at Calm Water Center for Children and Families in Oklahoma City. Visit

Seasonal Stressor #7: How do I keep my house from become a total wreck during the holidays? • Decorate accordingly. Resist the temptation to bring out every holiday clearance knick-knack in your collection. Store some yearround decorations to make room for holiday trimmings. • Designate hiding spots. Cute baskets or bins for storing toys and homework allow you to quickly pick up entire piles and set them aside for later. • Clean as you go. Every time you walk from one room in the house to another, pick something up and put it away. Wipe down the sink or toilet when you’re in the bathroom. • Prioritize. Determine which areas in the house guests will see or will make you feel most sane if they’re clean, and keep that area clutter and mess-free to the best of your ability. • Set a timer. Limit your cleaning time to a set time (15 minutes or an hour) and see how much you can do in that time. • Adjust expectations. The holidays are meant to be a time when happy memories are made. Don’t let the stress of how your home looks override the fun you are having with those who are in it with you. Alexandra Kuykendall is the Editor of Mom and Leader Content for MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers). Visit

Seasonal Stressor #8: How do I teach my kids about the true meaning of the season, and that it’s not just about the gifts? Here are three quick suggestions to help you bring back the true meaning in your home.

• Set the tone. Make sure the activities and traditions you are choosing have the message you want to send. For example, skip the letter to Santa asking for toys and substitute it for a tradition of collecting food, clothing, or toys for those less fortunate. • Limit television exposure. Choose shows and movies with messages important to you. Also try muting TV commercials so that your kids aren’t constantly bombarded with ads. • Keep it simple. Simplicity is probably the easiest way for parents to reinforce the true meaning of Christmas, so cut back on gifts, expensive outings, and extravagant decorations and load up on quiet evenings at home playing games and making your own gifts and decorations. Polly Schlafhauser is the founder of and author of the free eBook, 8 Weeks to a Frazzle Free Christmas.

Seasonal Stressor #9: How do I reduce stress while traveling for the holidays? The key to making travel with the kids easier, especially during the rush and crunch of the holidays, is to be prepared and be early. • Pack early and make checklists to ensure nothing is left behind. • If flying, book early flights to try to avoid delays and arrive at the airport early. Use online check in to confirm seats together. Prepare children for what to expect at security and in-flight, especially if they’ve never flown before. • Send gifts ahead to avoid hassles at security. It might be cheaper than your baggage fees! • If driving, build in extra time for pit stops and traffic snarls that will inevitably occur. Use rest areas to help kids burn off energy. • Have a bag for each child with games, books, activities and snacks to keep them occupied. • Charge your electronics before you leave and don’t forget to bring chargers along with you. • Ensure necessary prescriptions are filled before you leave and carry an adequate supply along with you. Lissa Poirot is editor of, a family travel website that offers comprehensive family travel tips, vacation ideas, reviews and family travel deals.

Seasonal Stressor #10: I always seem to have a letdown after all the holiday excitement is over. How can I plan now to start the new year on an upswing? First, try to tame the upswing of intensity during the holiday season by filtering out all non-essential activities for your family. As much as possible, focus on tasks having to do with service to others and those that have meaning to your family. Once the holidays have passed, plan a fun activity like a family game night, prepare dinner together and enjoy an evening of fun. This is a simple but fun way to create meaningful memories for the whole family. Consider having a clean out day to gather toys, books and clothes to donate. Make a family visit to a local charity to donate the items. It's a good lesson in service to others and can help your child realize how fortunate they are to have what they do. Anastasia Gavalas is a mother, author, educational consultant and speaker. Visit Whatever your holiday entails, we hope these tips will help bring you a joyous and peaceful season.

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine. December 2011 |


Real Moms of the Metro Meet Amy Urbach: Advocate for Blended Families

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I grew up on a farm. I have slopped hogs, gathered eggs and worked a garden bigger than my yard. What are you passionate about? I am insanely passionate about supporting and helping blended families. I’ve had a stepmom since my parents divorced when I was five. I am a stepmom and my own kids have a stepmom. How has motherhood changed you? I became a mother at 19, so I grew up with my kids and they got to experience all of that with me. I love that I am a younger mom of older kids now, and I am really enjoying my friendship with them. I thought becoming a stepmom five years ago would just be an extension of my mom role, but I quickly realized I had to re-learn what my role is and adjust accordingly. My stepchildren are younger than my kids, so it was basically like starting over in some ways.

Quick Facts About Amy 1. What‘s on your playlist? Dido, Norah Jones, Chris Botti, Bon Jovi, Train, James Taylor 2. What can’t you live without? My iPhone and Twitter. 3. What’s your favorite date night venue? RePUBlic Gastro Pub and Cuppies and Joe afterwards 4. What’s always in your handbag? My debit card, because I never carry cash, and lotion 5. What’s your favorite movie? Steel Magnolias


How do you banish stress? Alone time is how I relax and recharge at the same time. For me, that means inside with no noise (no TV or music) or quiet time outdoors. I love nature and taking adventurous trips by myself. Photo by: Sarah Taylor


fter becoming a stepmother in 2006, Amy Urbach dedicated herself to connecting blended families with the resources to help them succeed. The 41-yearold mother of two children (Stephanie, 20 and Shawn, 16) and stepmother to three children (Cameron, 13; Sierra, 9 and Brianna, 7), Amy founded a nonprofit organization called Blended and Bonded in 2011. Working to help blended families grow, connect and bond keeps this Edmond area mom at the top of her game. Here’s more about Amy, her family and her work to make blended family life easier.

What inspires you? Nature. The beauty of it and how it interacts with me inspires me to enjoy and appreciate what I’m blessed with. I connect spiritually through nature. Along with your job as a mom, what do you do? I just recently stepped out of a position at It was an honor to work with such a great staff over the past 5 years. I will be focusing on Blended & Bonded and a few other things that may come my way. What is on your wish list? My personal wish is to travel to Bora Bora someday. What are you most proud of? I am super proud of my daughter and the leadership she is displaying as president of her sorority. I am proud of my son and his dedication to his passions, as well as my husband and his persistence to pursue his relationship with his kids despite sometimes difficult situations. What motivates you? Seeing others realize that they can be and do more than what they think they have in them to do. How do you find balance in your life? I tend to live life in a sprint mode rather than marathon mode. I go until I crash and then I have to regroup before I go full force again. I recognize that there are seasons in life that are going to be busier than others. I try to give 100 percent during that time and rest as much as I can when I’m not in a busy season. Advice for other moms? Time flies, so enjoy every moment with your kids. Sometimes when you are in the thick of it, the days seem long but the years are short. You blink and they will be grown! | December 2011

The Urbach family. Front row: Brianna Urbach, 7; Sierra Urbach, 9. Back row: Cameron Urbach, 13; parents Eric and Amy; Shawn Chilvers, 16; Stephanie Chilvers, 20.

Where are you from originally? What brought you to Oklahoma? I was born and raised in Oklahoma, but I have lived in Texas and Missouri. What’s the biggest challenge in your life? Managing my high expectations of those around me with what I want for my family. How do you help others? I have a nonprofit called Blended & Bonded ( that provides resources and support for blended families, I lead workshops for blended families and offer support for stepmoms. What is your parenting style? I like a very structured house that involves taking care of your own surroundings, picking up after yourself and respecting others in the process. Since my kids are older, my role is now to help guide them in the decision-making process. Favorite quote or advice about motherhood? “We must not raise young people who believe that the world is all about them. Parents who do not have a life apart from their kids teach the kids that the universe revolves around them. Meet the child’s needs, and then require him to meet his own while you meet yours.” (From Gifted to Lead by Nancy Beach)

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

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December 2011 |


Oklahoma Reads Great Reads for All Early Readers Over and Under the Snow By Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle Kids, hardcover, $17) Join a young girl and her father as they explore the woods and learn how animals live during the winter. Mealtime By Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marieka Heinlen (Free Spirit, board book, $8) Your little one will learn valuable manners and skills through this colorful book all about mealtime. Includes parent resources. The Boy Who Cried Ninja By Alex Latimer (Peachtree, hardcover, $16) What happens if a ninja really did eat the last piece of cake? Or if a giant squid really did eat his book bag? Find out with this book about a young boy who tells the truth.

Middle Readers Secret Agent Jack Stalwart By Elizabeth Singer Hunt (Weinstein books, softcover, $6 each) Join young adventurer Jack on his continuing adventure series as he ventures to Nepal and Egypt in books 13 and 14 of the popular series. A Crafty Girl’s Planner (American Girl, spiral bound, $10) Creative girls will get a boost with this planner that includes a space to record information for each day, plus creative ideas. Papermania! (Silver Dolphin, softcover, $17) An activity book for older kids with 48 pop-out projects to color, cut and crease.

Reviews by MetroFamily Magazine editor Mari Farthing.

20 | December 2011

Dragonolgy Chronicles: The Dragon’s Apprentice By Dugald A. Steer (Candlewick, softcover, $8) Third in the popular dragon series, this title follows the Cook family’s adventures as they open a sanctuary for orphan dragons and deal with the resulting events.­­­

Adults The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution By Elizabeth Pantley (McGraw Hill, softcover, $17) Parents faced with a picky eater will learn ways to get him to eat a wider variety of foods without yelling or crying by either party. Bake Something Great! By Jill Snider (Robert Rose, spiral, $30) Bring your dreams of sugarplums to fruition with this full-color guide to 400 varieties of cookies, bars and squares. Novice bakers will learn tips for success while expert bakers will find new and unique recipes. The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask By Dr. Susan Bartell (Source Books, softcover, $11 each) Two volumes (for kids preschool-grade two or grades three-five) help you to address the tough questions that your children might be asking. Includes questions, what might be driving the question and suggestions for answers. Parenting a Defiant Child By Phillip S. Hall, PhD & Nancy D. Hall, EdD (AMACOM, softcover, $15) Parents do you feel like the terrible twos never ended at your house? This book provides a step-bystep approach to parenting defiant children.

December 2011 |


Exploring Oklahoma Wings: Helping Others to Soar


ooking for a unique Christmas gift this holiday season? Shop at the Wings gift shop, 13700 N Eastern Avenue in Edmond, to buy one-of-a kind items hand made by artists at this special needs community center. You’ll be supporting a wonderful cause while making the difference in the lives of many. How? Read on.

As parents, we all dream of our children’s long-term happiness. We want the peace of knowing that they’ll be confident, contributing members of society—to know that they can fly on their own even before we have passed on. For parents of children with special needs, having that peace can be more challenging. But Gary and Shouna Olson of Edmond, parents of a son with Down Syndrome, have teamed with other local parents to provide a solution for metro-area families. This solution is a community where special needs adults can live, learn and grow independently. After a nationwide search, these families found the model they were looking for in Brookshire, Texas, just outside of Houston, Shouna Olson explains. Brookwood Community has all that the Olsons had envisioned for their son, Preston, now 24: a safe, residential community that addressed the vocational, social and residential needs of functional special needs adults. They set a goal to develop such a community in the Oklahoma City metro area for their kids and others. In 2002, a non-profit organization, Special Needs Adult Communities, Inc., doing business as Wings, was created and a master plan eventually developed with a mission to “provide a Christ-centered community where adults with special needs can live and thrive.” The name, Wings “gives a picture of freedom or soaring,” said Olson, which embodies the independence that all parents want for their kids. And that’s a part of the group’s stated vision, “to provide a community where individuals can reach the full potential of all God created them to be.” As of October 1, Wings began operating its day program in south Edmond (at the former Seller’s Event Center at Boulevard and Memorial). Through this program, students learn vocational skills and receive social interaction so important to their long-term road to independence, said Olson. An example of vocational skill development provided at the center is the work participants do several days a week in the art studio. With the help of staff and volunteers, participants are learning to create items that are sold in the gift shop including wall art, pottery and greeting cards. “I like making the ornaments,”


I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40) This Bible verse is in the Wings Master Plan. The Wings Mission Statement: To provide a Christ-centered community where adults with special needs can live and thrive within an environment guided by the principles of the Bible and Christ-centered leadership. says James Price, a 22-year old participant. As James carefully paints glaze onto un-fired ceramic Christmas ornaments, his mother, Margo, explains that the organization is also currently raising money to purchase their own firing kiln. “Right now, we are taking the pottery to another location.” Having their own kiln will keep all of the production in house and give the students another learning opportunity, Margo explained. Proceeds from items sold at the gift shop benefit the program. Some of Wings’ participants work off-site and participate in the organization’s social activities. For example, Rachel Fielder, 29, likes to attend the quarterly, “Saturday Night Life” dances or go to movie nights. The

Learn More About Wings Come to Wings on December 14 for a public tour to view the art studio, learn about the organization’s vision and visit the gift shop. The tour will be held from noon – 1:00pm, lunch provided. Register by December 7. For information about tours, volunteering or events, call Wynter Olson-Casalles at 405242-4646, by email or visit www. | December 2011

social events give the participants a vehicle in which to interact and learn vital social skills, says her mother, Marianna Fielder. According to Olson, the ultimate goal is to build a complete residential community that will meet the spiritual, vocational, social, safety and residential needs of the students. While leasing their current location, plans are to build a permanent facility on property owned by the organization. A 2006 feasibility study led the board of directors to initiate a $7 million fundraising campaign to begin building the community. These funds will be raised totally through private donations and fundraising events, with no government funding. Wings is well on its way to getting the dream of a special needs community off the ground. The impressive master plans show a developed community complete with a town center, chapel, residential homes, green-belt areas and other community structures. This holiday season, pay a visit to Wings and find out how you can help this worthwhile group soar.

Karen Mitchell, a lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, lives in Edmond with her husband Mark, teenage son, Ryan, and one spoiled Welsh corgi. Daughter Megan attends OSU in Stillwater.

December 2011 |


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24 | December 2011

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December 2011 |


Photos courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.

Welcome to MetroFamily's

holiday fun GUIDE ONGOING EVENTS Through December 17 FREE Devon Energy Saturdays with Santa at the Myriad Gardens (Reno & Hudson, OKC) includes visits with Santa as well as letters to Santa, pictures in Santa's sleigh, arts & crafts & the new Myriad Gardens' children's park. Saturdays, noon-3pm. www.

Through December 23 Christmas Light Display at the Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western) features more than half a million lights by train, $8 per person. Friday-Saturday, 6-9pm. 799-FARM, Pottery Sale at the City Arts Center (3000 General Pershing) benefits the pottery facility at the City Arts Center. Monday-Thursday, 9am-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am-5pm. Extended Holiday Hours at Be Wild for Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman) offers more opportunity to create the perfect holiday gift. Last day for guaranteed Christmas pick up 12/17. Extended hours Thursday-Saturday, 10am-9pm. 307-9971,

Through December 24 Holiday Gift Gallery 2011 at the Firehouse Art Center (444 S Flood, Norman) offers a wide assortment of holiday gifts including blown glass bowls, vases or


'tis the season for family fun!

ornaments, handmade ceramic dishes & decorative items, hand carved wooden items, a wide range of handmade jewelry & more. MondayFriday, 9:30am-5:30pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm. 329-4523, Deck the Zoo at the OKC Zoo. Bring an edible ornament & receive admission for $1. Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights at the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve (1925 Woolaroc Ranch, Bartlesville) features lights, live entertainment, holiday refreshments & a visit with Santa Claus. $4 adults, $1 children. Friday-Sunday, 5-9pm. 918-336-0307, www. FREE Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops (200 Bass Pro) features holiday crafts, cookie decorating & free picture with Santa. See website for a full schedule of events. 218-5200, Metro’s Only Non-Profit Santa at Northpark Mall (Northwest 122nd & May) offers free visits for kids and $5 photos, weekends through 12/5 and daily from 12/1024. Proceeds benefit the charity projects of the NW Rotary Club of OKC. 751-1453, Santa Visits at Quail Spring Mall (2501 W Memorial, OKC) Dogs & cats welcome to take pictures with Santa on 12/5 & 12/12 beginning at 6pm. Holiday lights show every hour from 5pm-close. Santa Visits at Sooner Mall (3301 W Main, Norman) in the JC Penney wing. Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 12-6pm. 360-0341, | December 2011

Through December 25 FREE Wimgo Holidays on the Canal on the Bricktown canal (Mickey Mantle Drive across from RedHawks Field) invites all ages to enjoy a fun-filled float down the beautifully adorned Bricktown canal. Thursday-Sunday, 6-9:30pm.

Through December 30 FREE Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City features over 100 million lights to drive through or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Sunday-Thursday 6-10pm, Friday-Saturday 6-11pm. 739-1293, FREE Ardmore Festival of Lights at Regional Park (exit 33 off I-35). Weekdays, 6-10pm; Weekends, 6-11pm. 580-223-7765, FREE Crystal Christmas at Crystal Beach Park in Woodward features lighted walking tours, gift shop, live nativity, visit & pictures with Santa. 6-10pm. 800-3645352, FREE Kingfisher in Lights at Kingfisher Park showcases over 80 lighted & animated displays featuring over two million lights including a lighted historic 1903 swinging bridge. Miniature train and horse-drawn carriage rides available. Sunday-Thursday 6-10pm, Friday-Saturday 6-11pm. 375-4445, www. FREE Festival of Angels in Ponca City features lighted displays at various locations throughout the city. 6-10pm. 375-4650,

Through December 31 FREE Edmond Christmas Light Displays presented at various locations including Downtown, Spring Creek Plaza & Village, First Baptist Church, UCO Campus & OC Campus. 341-4344. Christmas in the Park at City Park (2200 S Holly, Yukon) Chisholm Trail Park & Freedom Trail Playground (500 W Vandament, Yukon) offers a 3-park complex of light displays that visitors may drive, walk, ride a train or take a horse drawn carriage ride through. Donations accepted. 6-11pm nightly. 354-8442, www.cityofyukonok. gov.

each Sunday from 6-9pm. www.downtownindecember. com.

Through January 3 Edmond Outdoor Ice Skating Rink at Festival Market Place (1st & Broadway, Edmond) offers an outdoor skating rink, concessions & holiday lights. Santa & Mrs. Claus visit the rink on 12/10, 4-6pm. $1 discounts Mondays for bringing a non-perishable food item for the Hope Center. $8 with skates, $5 without skates, $5 for children 5 & under. Noon-10pm daily. www.expressice. com/edmondok.

FREE Festival of Light in Chickasha is a top ten nationally recognized holiday light show featuring over 3.5 million lights, a computer animated light show, carriage rides, pictures with Santa, & cinnamon rolls. 6-11pm daily. 224-9627, www.chickahsafestivaloflight. com.

Norman’s 1st Annual Holiday Rink at Marc Heitz Chevrolet (I-35 & Lindsey, Norman) will benefit the Regional Food Bank/Food 4 Kids Program. Features holiday decorations, music, outdoor Christmas Movies, Santa visits & more. $8 with skate rental, $5 without skates. Weekdays, Noon-9pm; Saturdays, 10am-9pm; Sundays, 1-7pm. 488-7971.

FREE Garden of Lights at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee features animated displays & over a million lights. 918-684-6302,

December 9-January 22

FREE Christmas in the Park in Elk City features millions of lights, Christmas music & Santa’s gift shop. Ride through on a double-decker bus, a horse-drawn wagon, Centennial Carousel or a miniature train. Nightly, 6-9pm. 580-225-0207, Christmas Kingdom at the Castle in Muskogee features thousands of inflatable displays & an astonishing display of lights, hayrides, petting zoo, carriage rides, holiday movies, Santa Claus, the Grinch, crafts & more. FREE to drive through to view inflatables & lights. 6-10pm. 918-687-3625, OK CityScape (1100 N Broadway) invites the public to come see more than 2 million toy bricks used to construct a model of OKC sights. Includes a Kid Construction Zone where kids can build their own creations. Benefits Oklahoma City Educare. $5 adults, $3 ages 3-12, 2 & under FREE. Monday-Friday, 128pm; Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 12-6pm. www.

Through January 1 FREE Rhema Christmas Lights at Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow. Donations accepted. Open nightly dusk to 11:30pm. 918-258-1588, www.

The Nativity art exhibit at Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee) features etchings, engravings and woodcuts. 878-5300,

to life, with historic building tours, holiday decorations, treats, crafts & a visit from Santa. 5:30-8:30pm. 2354058, A Territorial Christmas Carol at the Pollard Theatre (120 Harrison, Guthrie) is an adaptation of Charles Dickens novel set in the days of the Oklahoma Land Run. Benefits Central Christian Camp, home of Make Promises Happen. $30 & up. 8pm. 282-2811, www.

1-3 The Christmas Show presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall shares the joy of the holiday season & stars Judy McLane. $15 & up. Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm. 297-2264,

1-4 FREE Journey to Bethlehem at Forest Hill Christian Church (2121 N MacArthur) invites the public to travel back in time to experience the birth of Jesus through live, interactive drama. Hot chocolate & cookies served at end of tour. Tours depart every two minutes. 6-9pm. 495-0439,


DAILY EVENTS 1 • Thursday FREE Rose State College Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Rose State College (6420 SE 15, Midwest City) features Santa, tree-lighting, horse carriage rides, hot chocolate, s'mores & live music. 5-8pm. www.rose. edu. FREE Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights will take place at Shannon Miller Park in Edmond. Parade of Lights will follow the Tree Lighting in Downtown Edmond. 6pm. 359-4630. FREE Holiday Happening at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History features holiday music, crafts, story telling, shopping, FREE admission to the museum & more. 6-9pm. Territorial Christmas Celebration at the Harn Homestead depicts a territorial 1880s Christmas come

Yule Be Swingin’ at UCO Jazz Lab (100 E 5, Edmond) shares holiday spirit with your favorite holiday tunes. Thursday-Sunday, 8pm. 974-3375,

1-11 A Christmas Carol presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre at OCU Burg Theatre is based on the Charles Dickens classic. $9 adults, $6 children 2-12. Thursday, 11am; Friday, 11am & 8pm; Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 951-0011, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre. org.

2 • Friday FREE Holiday Festival at the Norman Public Library includes crafts, music, photos with Santa, performances by the community bell choir & Norman Singers. All ages. Activities begin 5:30pm, tree lighting at 6pm.

10th Annual Downtown in December Winter Celebration in Downtown OKC features holiday cheer with outdoor ice-skating, snow tubing, water taxi rides, 5K run, & holiday lights. 235-3500, www. FREE Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway from 4th to 10th Street features more than 130,000 colorful LED lights. Chesapeake Energy Snow Tubing at the RedHawks Field (2 Mickey Mantle, OKC). Call to reserve your session. See website for available dates & times. $10 per person for a 90-minute session. 218-1000, www. OG&E Garden Lights & FREE Crystal Bridge Sundays at the Myriad Gardens offers beautifully illuminated gardens each night during Downtown in December & FREE admission to the Crystal Bridge

Find Sonic Segway Santa in downtown OKC and Bricktown.

December 2011 |


Breakfast With Santa at the Norman Senior Center (329 S Peters, Norman) includes a pancake breakfast, pictures with Santa, holiday crafts & candy cane hunt. $5. 8:30am. 366-5472, Breakfast with Santa at the Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western) pancake breakfast, story time & carols with Santa. Includes one train ride & one carousel ride. $12.50 per person, reservations required. 10am-noon. 799-FARM, Also held: 12/10, 17. 29th Annual Christmas Bazaar at Mustang United Methodist Church (211 W State Hwy 152, Mustang) features arts & crafts, vendor booths, silent auction, bake sale, prizes, food & more. 9am-4pm. 376-3139, NorthCare Reindeer Run at NorthCare (4436 NW 50) benefits crisis counseling for children with a 5K, 10K & Reindeer Run. $20 in advance, $25 race day, FREE Reindeer Run. 9:30am. 858-2831, Ice skating rinks are located in four metro locations this year. This photo shows the Devon Ice Rink, located this year at Myriad Gardens in downtown OKC.

19th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Andrews Park in Norman features festive music by local choirs, fun for kids, free hot chocolate and cookies and Santa Claus. 366-5472, FREE Old Town Christmas Tree Lighting & Moore Public Library Holiday Gala at Old Town Moore & the Moore Public Library features a Christmas tree lighting, Santa visits, carriage rides, music & snacks. 6-8:30pm. 793-4332, FREE Moore Santa Express Toy Drive at the Moore Community Center (301 S Howard) invites the public to bring an unwrapped toy & enjoy inflatables, Bricktown Clowns & snacks. Toys may also be donated at any Moore Fire Station until 12/23. Donations also accepted online. 6-9pm. 793-5110, FREE WinterGlow at UCO Nigh University Center (100 N University, Edmond) presents a winter celebration with children’s crafts, activities, refreshments & more. 6-9pm. 974-3587. FREE 2nd Annual Cowboy Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Stockyards City Main Street (1305 S Agnew Ave) includes a district-wide open house, holiday concert & refreshments. 6:30pm. 235-7267, www.

plum fairy as she tries to find a replacement for her dance after she can’t fit into her costume. Group rates available. $9 adults, $6 children 2-12. Wednesdays & Fridays, 11am; Saturdays & Sundays, 2pm. 951-0011,

FREE Open House with the 23rd Street Jazz Trio at the Bethany Library features holiday tunes. 2-3pm.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever presented by the OKC Theatre Company at the Civic Center Music Hall Freede Little Theatre follows the hilarious story of a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant with the challenge of casting the most inventively awful kids in history. $10 & up. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 297-2264,

Christmas Tea with the Queen presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare at OCU Wanda L. Bass Music Center Atrium (2501 N Blackwelder) features tea, coffee & hor d’oeuvres with a fashion show including historic costumes, fantastic gift packages, works of art & FREE giveaways for guests of Her Majesty. $20. 2-4pm. 2353700,

3 • Saturday

FREE Saturdays for Kids-Ornament Making at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum invites kids make a special ornament for the family tree or to help decorate the old schoolhouse tree at the Museum. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Includes museum admission for one child and one accompanying adult. 10am-noon.

Breakfast & a Movie with Santa at Quail Springs Mall benefits the Salvation Army. Breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A & Quail Springs Mall & will screen a newly released 3D feature film. All ages required to have a ticket. Tickets on sale 11/22-12/2. $6. 8:30am, doors open at 8am. 755-6530, events/311242435553161.

2-4 FREE Boys Ranch Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant (5100 SE 33, Edmond) is a living drive through nativity complete with children & animals. Donations accepted. 7-9pm. 341-3606,

2-11 The Nutcracker at OU Rupel Jones Theatre (563 Parrington Oval, Norman).Thursday-Friday, 8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 3pm & 8pm (No late performance on 12/11). 325-4101,

2-18 The Sugar Plum Fairy presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre at the Children’s Center for the Arts on the OCU campus follows the story of the sugar


FREE Gingerbread House Contest at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond). For ages 5 & up. Pre-registration required. 2-3:30pm. 340-0078,, | December 2011

FREE Holiday Gospel Concert at Successful Word Church (Hwy 66 & Commercial, Warwick) features "A

December 2011 |


Williamson Family Christmas", Willie Roberts & David Real. A love offering will be taken. 356-4051.

6 • Tuesday

students & seniors. 7:30-8:30pm. 364-8962, www.


FREE OU Percussion Holiday Concert at OU Catlett Music Center in Gothic Hall (500 W Boyd, Norman). 1:30-2:30pm. 325-4101,


Bliss Holiday Market in the Modern Living Building at State Fair Park offers an indoor event featuring a unique selection of holiday gifts, arts & crafts. Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm.

3-24 FREE A Territorial Christmas in Guthrie includes a production at the Pollard Theatre, historic home tours, Victorian Walk evenings, live performances at the Double Stop Music Hall & more. 282-1947, www. FREE Dickens of a Christmas-Festival of the Trees in Downtown Edmond features merchants dressed in period costumes with special events & sales each Saturday in December until Christmas. 249-9391, www.

4 • Sunday

8 • Thursday FREE Harp Studio Holiday Concert at OU Catlett Music Center in Gothic Hall (500 W Boyd, Norman). 2:30-3:30pm. 325-4101,


Fancy! & Friends Winter Market hosted by Fancy Like That! at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond) offers jewelry, fine art, photography, massages & more. Friday, 1-5pm; Saturday, 1-4pm. 401-0736.


FREE Pictures with Santa at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) invites children to take pictures with Santa & receive a treat. Thursday, 5-7:30pm; Friday, 10am-1pm. 376-3411,

FREE Nativity Display & Cantata at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(5020 NW 63rd) features more than 600 nativity scenes from 30 countries & live seasonal music. 1-9pm, Christmas Cantata nightly at 7pm.

9 • Friday


Amahl & the Night Visitors presented by the Cimarron Opera at the Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Arts (1809 Stubbeman, Norman) tells the story of a young boy who meets the Wise Men. $15 adults, $10

The Nutcracker presented by the OKC Ballet at the Civic Center Music Hall. $31 & up. Friday, 7pm; Saturday, 2pm & 7pm; Sunday, 2pm. 843-9898, www.okcballet. com.

Horseshoes & Holly Open House at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Store invites guests to enjoy festive holiday touches, including light refreshments, free parking, free gift wrapping & more. 11am-5pm. 478-2250 ext. 228, www. Also held: 12/11 & 18. FREE Holiday Concert with Spiritful Voices Choir at the Belle Isle Library features holiday tunes. 3-4pm. Sutton Concert Series: Christmas at OU at OU Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center (500 W Boyd, Norman) features OU choirs, brass, percussion & organ. $9 adults, $5 students/OU faculty & staff/seniors. 3-5pm. 325-4101, Canterbury Christmas presented by the Canterbury Choral Society at the Civic Center Music Hall features the Canterbury Youth Choruses, OCU Surrey Singers, Bell Ringers from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Blackwelder Brass & organ. Includes singa-long & reception. $25 & up. 7pm. 232-SING, www. Humphrey Abstract's Christmas in the Village at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center (405 S 4th, Enid) features carolers, concerts in the church, holiday ornaments, visits with Santa, tours of the Glidewell home, writing letters to Santa in the Post Office, holiday shopping in the Museum Store & a tree-lighting. $3 adults, FREE children 12 & under. 2-5:30pm. 580-2371907, Also held from 1-3pm on: 12/10 & 12/17. Cocoa & Carols presented by the Oklahoma Christian University Music Department at Hardeman Auditorium (2501 E Memorial, Edmond). 7:30pm. 425-5530, www.

5 • Monday FREE Tree Fest Lighting at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) enjoy Christmas lights, special music choirs, photos with Santa, children’s crafts, hot chocolate & cookies. Attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy or gift card for the Canadian County Foster Children Toy Drive. 6-9pm. 376-3411, jheasley@

30 | December 2011

This year's SandRidge Santa Run will be held December 10 in downtown OKC.


16 & up. $20 per person/member, $25 per person/ nonmember. 9-11:30am.

A Christmas Carol presented by Lyric Theatre at the Plaza is Charles Dickens’ classic tale as the ghosts of Past, Present & Future that lead Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation. Ages 5 & up. $40. TuesdayThursday, 8:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm. 524-9312,

11 • Sunday

10 • Saturday

Dear Santa…OK City Chorus & Friends Celebrate Christmas at Del City high School (1900 S Sunnylane, Del City) features guest artist Edgar Cruz. $15, $10 child/student. 2:30-5:30pm. 720-SING,

Breakfast with Santa at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang). Advance tickets required. $5 per child. 8am & 10am. 376-3411. Breakfast with Santa benefitting MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) at First Presbyterian Church (1001 S Rankin, Edmond). Includes pastries, donuts and drinks as well as photo opportunities with Santa. Suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 per family. 8-11am.!/event. php?eid=238904326169289. Cupcakes with Santa at the OKC Zoo invites children to decorate a holiday cupcake while enjoying a glass of milk, holiday craft & Santa. Adults are FREE with a paid child, but space is limited. Only 2 adults per child. $18 member, $20 nonmember. 10:30am-noon & 1-2:30pm. Also held: 12/17. FREE Cowboy Christmas Parade at Stockyards City Main Street (1305 S Agnew Ave) includes 100 longhorn steer, rodeo cowboys, antique cars, native dancers & more. Photos with Cowboy Santa available after parade. 10am. 235-7267, FREE 2011 Christmas Parade in Downtown Norman features bands, floats, horses and Santa. 10am. www.

FREE Holiday Open House – A Festival of Trees at the Downtown Library features pictures with Santa, crafts & holiday music. 1:30-4:30pm.

Holiday Pipes at OU Catlett Music Center in Sharp Concert Hall (500 W Boyd, Norman) features a seasonal tapestry of music. $9. 3-5pm. 325-4101, finearts/events.

13 • Tuesday

15 • Thursday

FREE Christmas Rhythmical Lapsit at the Blanchard Library for children ages 1 month-2 years. Includes musical activities for caregiver & child, bounce & more. 10:30-11:15am.

Preschool Ornament Decorating at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) for preschoolers to bring their own ornament to decorate with the provided decorations. $3 per child. 10:30am & 5:30pm. 376-3411, www.

Holiday Cookie Decorating at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) provides the cookies, decorating supplies & clean up for a session of cookie decorating. Preregister. $5 per child/parent. 10:30am, 4:30pm & 7pm. 376-3411,

13 & 15 Holiday Painting at Paint’n Station (7906 N May) invites guests to paint pottery for the holidays including holly bowls, Christmas trees, hand/foot print platters & more. Reservations,. 842-7770.

FREE Cupcake Social at the Choctaw Library invites teens to enjoy a cupcake & hot chocolate social that features cupcake decorating, hot chocolate, music, & more. 6-7pm. FREE Pinecone Picture Frame Ornament at the Moore Library invites teens to create a pinecone picture frame ornament. Preregister. 6-7pm. Sounds of the Season presented by the OKC Philharmonic at Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium (850 Yukon). $5. 7:30-9:30pm. 350-8937,

2nd Annual Kwaanza Table Scape Contest at the Oklahoma Black Museum & Performing Arts Center (4701 N Lincoln) invites people to design a table for two using a Kwaanza theme. Prizes will be awarded. 11am5pm. 213-8007. SandRidge Santa Run at Leadership Square (211 N Robinson) features a 5K, 1-mile Fun Run & FREE Kids Dash as well as a $500 first prize & information regarding health & exercise. $25-$30 5K, $10 adults & $5 children 12 & under for the Fun Run. 5K, 9am; Kids Dash, 9:30am; Fun Run, 10am. www. FREE Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno) celebrates the season with Scrooge, Cratchit, Marley & the ghosts. 2-4pm. 7324828, North Pole Holiday Adventure at Mitch Park MAC in Edmond invites children to play in fake snow, decorate cookies, make holiday themed arts & crafts, put together mini-gingerbread houses, listen to carolers & more. $5 per child, FREE adults & non-walking children. 2-4pm. 359-4630. Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Chesapeake Energy Arena features a unique combination of story-telling, virtuoso musicianship & over-the-top production. $29 & up. 3pm & 8pm. Wreath Making Class at the OKC Zoo invites families to create and customize their own holiday wreath from plants grown on Zoo grounds. Materials provided. Ages

December 2011 |


18 • Sunday

22 • Thursday

FREE Christmas Guns Celebration at Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne, El Reno) features a timeless celebration from German & American folklore on the Post Parade Grounds with cannons & guns blasting, snacks, story telling & a visit from Santa. 2-4pm. 2623987,

FREE Holiday Movie at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang, Mustang) will be showing Polar Express. FREE popcorn for all guests. Tickets may be acquired at the annual tree lighting on December 5. 7pm. 3763411,

Celtic Thunder Christmas at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center (111 W Purdue, Enid) showcases a Celtic music concert by Celtic Thunder for the entire family. 6:30pm. 580-237-0238,

20 • Tuesday Christmas Party at Bouncin Craze (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond). 4-7pm. 607-2020,

21 • Wednesday Pet Presents at the OKC Zoo invites children to create unique presents for their pets and those at the animal shelter. Ages 6-12 years. Allergy alert! Class may use peanut butter, dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts and other possible allergens. $20 member, $25 nonmember. 9am-noon.

25 • Sunday FREE Christmas Community Dinner at Norman High School (911 W Main). offers a holiday meal to the public. Volunteers needed to cook, serve and donate food. 11am-2pm. 364-3273.

27-30 FREE Admission at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in celebration of the holidays.

December 31 Opening Night in Downtown OKC is a family friendly New Year's Eve celebration with music, dancing, theater & fireworks. 7pm-12am. 270-4848, www.artscouncilokc. com.

SandRidge Christmas Tree, located on the Bricktown Canal on Mickey Mantle Drive.

16 • Friday Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas Ball at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a yuletide dance featuring Murphey headlining an evening of entertainment for the entire family including a buffet & visit from Santa. $60 members, $75 nonmembers, $25 children 12 & under. 7pm.

17 • Saturday FREE Brookhaven Village Sleigh Day & Santa at Brookhaven Village (NW 36 & Robinson, Norman) includes horse drawn sleigh rides, pictures with Santa & treats. Activities are free & fun for the whole family. 1-4pm. 321-7500. FREE Adventures with the Uptown Elf at Uptown Kids (5840 N Classen) 10:30am. 418-8881, www. Find the Lost Elf at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) invites participants to enjoy an exciting scavenger hunt in search for Buddy the Elf around Town Center. $3. 10:30am. 376-3411, FREE Holly, Jolly Holiday Party at the Ralph Ellison Library features pictures with Santa, crafts, holiday treats & gifts. 1-4pm. Santa Cookies & Milk Party at Be Wild For Art (1006 24th Ave NW #130, Norman) invites guests to paint Santa’s cookie & milk set while enjoying chocolate chip cookies & cocoa. $30 per set. 7-9pm. 307-9971, www.


Opening Night is OKC's New Year's Eve family-friendly festival, with activities located throughout downtown. | December 2011

December 2011 |


y a d i l Ho y t e f a S s p u p i l S Considering how often we find ourselves rushing, taking shortcuts, or checking e-mail instead of keeping an eye on the stove (what’s that smell?), it’s clear that home is not only where the heart is—it’s where accidents happen. In fact, 21 million Americans seek medical attention due to home injuries each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The holidays can be especially treacherous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 12,000 of us are treated in hospital emergency departments nationwide due to holiday-related decorating incidents. Fortunately, turning your home into a safety zone around the holidays and the rest of the year is just a matter of making a few precautionary tweaks around the house. Here are small risks you may be taking without realizing it that can lead to big problems, and our tips for avoiding them.

34 | December 2011

In the Kitchen Slip-up: Walking away from the stove. Cooking fires are the leading cause of the 386,500 home fires that occur in the U.S. each year. “Frying is especially dangerous because a pan fire from oil that ignites can get big fast and catch things around it on fire,” says Meri-K Appy, the president of Safe Kids USA in Washington, D.C. Safety fix: Watch your pots. Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking on the stove. And keep burner temperatures low. If you have to exit the kitchen for some reason (the doorbell rings, your child wants you), turn off the burner or take an oven mitt with you as a reminder to return to the kitchen. And no matter what, don’t put the pan on low, then leave to pick up your kids from school or run to the store. Even if you plan to be right back, you just might get distracted and forget about it. Slip-up: Rushing with food and liquids fresh from the microwave, especially if your microwave is above your head. When you’re changing levels, going from up to down, hot liquids can more easily slosh onto your face and skin, causing serious burns. Safety fix: Use gloved oven mitts (not open-face pot holders) with rubber treads so you can get a great grip on whatever you’re carrying. Also, slow down. “Every time you reach into your microwave to take something hot down, think danger, danger, danger,” Appy says. And take a look around to make sure your pets or your kids aren’t underfoot. Slip-up: Carrying your child with a cup of hot chocolate in tow. Hot liquids and babies or toddlers are never a good mix especially when you consider that younger skin is thinner than an adult’s and more apt to burn. Safety fix: Put a lid on it. Don’t carry your child when you’re drinking anything hot. Also, use a travel mug, even at home, so that if your child reaches for the mug or tips it over by say, grabbing the tablecloth to pull herself up, there’s an added layer of protection from dangerous spills. Slip-up: Using a kitchen chair when you need a step stool. Safety fix: Invest in a step stool with a handle, which is built for climbing and balance. To play it safe, hold onto the handle as you reach to pull something from above your head. Don’t use the stool if you feel tired or woozy. Slip-up: Not having a working smoke alarm. Safety fix: A working smoke alarm is essential for home safety around the holidays and any time of year. It cuts your risk of dying in a home fire by half. If you haven’t replaced yours in the last ten years, get a new one. The latest models are wireless and interconnected, so when one alarm sounds, they all go off, says Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for the National Fire Protection Association. Choose alarms with the UL label. Put them outside each sleeping area, inside each bedroom, and on each floor.

In the Living Room and Bedrooms Slip-up: Buying holiday toys meant for children older than your child. Although you may think a more “advanced” toy will present a welcome challenge, it’s a choking hazard for kids under 3 if it has small parts. Safety fix: Buy according to your child’s age. Look for the manufacturer's recommended age range on the toy package—and take it seriously. Age grading can alert you to a possible choking hazard, the presence of small parts, and other dangers. It also relates to a toy’s play value. Keep all small, round or oval objects, including coins, balls, and marbles, away from kids under three.

Slip-up: Neglecting your Christmas tree. Heated rooms can dehydrate a tree quickly. Dried-out Christmas trees are involved in roughly 400 fires each holiday season, causing an average of 17 deaths and $13 million in property damage annually. Safety fix: Water your tree every day. A well-watered tree can still ignite, but you’ll have more time to get out of your house should a fire start than with a tree that’s not. But even then, it’s not much time. “Thirty years ago, we had an average of 17 minutes to get out of the house if our Christmas tree started to smolder. But because more household items, such as upholstery, rugs, curtains and carpet, are now made from synthetic material, which is highly flammable, we have just two to three minutes to escape before a flashover occurs—when your home becomes engulfed in flames,” says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at Underwriters Laboratories, in Northbrook, Illinois. Keep your tree away from vents, radiators, fireplaces and regular candles, too. Slip-up: Using regular candles. Lit candles cause roughly 17,000 home fires each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Massachusetts. More than half of these fires happened when something combustible came too close to the flame. Safety fix: Go flameless. Battery-operated flameless candles flicker just like the real thing so you get the ambience affect without the risk. If the power goes out, use flash lights.

Outward Bound Slip-up: When you’re putting up outside holiday lights, reaching to the side is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Each year, more than 164,000 of us are treated in hospital emergency departments due to falls from ladders, according to the CPSC. Another 300 people die from ladder falls each year. “Ladders are such a common tool that we don’t realize the inherent danger,” says Janet Rapp, the executive director of the American Ladder Institute in Chicago. Safety fix: Don’t go beyond the boundary of the rungs of the ladder. “Your belt buckle should always be in the center of the ladder,” Rapp says. If you feel the urge to stretch in either direction when hanging outdoor lights, get down and move the ladder over. Also, make sure the ladder is in good shape before using it (nothing’s bent, the rungs seem sturdy). Don’t climb on the last two steps from the top and maintain three points of contact at all times—either two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand. Slip-up: Stringing your home with iffy lights. Safety fix: Throw away lights with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Use only indoor and outdoor lights with the UL symbol, which signals they’ve been safety tested by nationally-recognized testing laboratory. Outdoor holiday lights are temporary decorations, not lighting fixtures, so don’t use them for longer than 90 days. Don’t use extension cords that feel hot to the touch either. That’s a sign the cord’s insulation has burned away, potentially allowing the inside wires to touch and short circuit.

Sandra Gordon writes about health, nutrition and parenting for websites and magazines. Find her at

December 2011 |


Focus on Education Homework Help for Parents and Students


ike death or taxes, homework is inevitable. While some parents complain of too much homework, others say there’s not enough. The expectation of completing homework is a responsibility that will shadow your child throughout school.

How Much Homework? With student skills and classroom expectations continuously increasing, it seems that students have more assignments than in years past, with homework being given to students as young as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Oklahoma City Public Schools, as well as most of the large metro school districts, do not have a standard homework policy. This leaves the amount of homework assigned left to teacher discretion. The National Parent Teacher Association ( suggests 10 – 20 minutes per night of homework in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade level thereafter (for example, 20 minutes for second grade, 120 minutes for 12th). High school students may sometimes do more, depending on their class load. These recommendations fall in line with general guidelines suggested by researcher Harris Cooper, author of The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents.

Teachers Weigh In “Homework gives the parent the resources


Resources • There’s an app for homework help. Homework Buddy (free in the iTunes app store) helps students organize assignments for classes. In addition, it is a social planner that allows parents and children to view assignments to better track what was assigned. • Get creative with learning by visiting The all-new MetroFamily Field Guides explore learning opportunities around our community. Take your family on a field trip to explore the metro and learn something in the process. Field Guides are targeted learning guides that explore math, social studies, reading and language arts using everyday places and experiences. necessary to help their child be successful,” says Nicole Abraham, pre-kindergarten teacher. In her class, students are expected to complete four homework assignments per week, typically the same homework routine each week, building on skills that the children work on in the classroom. Seventh grade math teacher Andrea Brock explains, “Homework for my class is an extension of what was started in class. Math requires practice just like sports. I tell my students that I can watch football all day, but that doesn’t mean that I can tackle. I usually assign homework three or four times a week; however, students are given the opportunity to begin it in class.” Staci Engles, ninth grade Algebra 1 & PreAP Geometry teacher, believes in quality, not quantity. “I think many teachers assign way too much homework, and it has a lot of negative effects on kids. They get overwhelmed and give up. I’d rather have a student do 10-15 good problems, show all the steps and be able to explain their answer than have them do 50 problems and rush through | December 2011

them. If a kid does 50 or more problems each night, and they do them incorrectly, then they have cemented the wrong way in their heads. That’s hard to fix. Kids need time to be kids too, 10-15 minutes or so each night on each subject is plenty—with the occasional exception of a project every now and then,” Engles said.

What are the Benefits of Homework? According to the National Education Association, homework is assigned to practice skills, prepare for learning new skills or to extend the current skill set. At the elementary level, homework can help students develop good study skills and habits and keep parents informed about the learning process. In later grades, homework is usually used to facilitate greater academic achievement. Homework helps parents become aware of the specific skills and curriculum that are being taught in their child’s class. In addition, when practice and repetition are needed for specific

skills, working at home can allow for more direct instructional time during the school day. The character trait and life skill of responsibility is practiced and perfected with homework assignments. Even in the earliest years, the responsibility of getting the homework folder to and from school extends accountability.

Homework Help Here are steps you can take at home to help your children successfully tackle homework: • Create a designated quiet space that will consistently be used for completing homework. • Anticipate what supplies will be needed for homework, and fill a supply box with the basics: pencils, scissors, glue, crayons. • Refrain from “helping” too much. In most cases, homework is supplemental practice that is reinforcement of a skill that has already been taught in class. • Allow plenty of time for completion. Rushing through an assignment is not meaningful learning and defeats the purpose. • When a large amount of homework is assigned, break it up in chunks, and allow for “brain” breaks every 30 minutes such as jumping jacks, movement, etc. Building good study habits now can help prepare your child for a successful future.

Julie Dill is a National Board Certified Teacher from Oklahoma City and mother of two.

’Tis the Season: Teacher Gift Ideas Recently, we asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter to give us ideas for great holiday gifts for your child’s teacher. Here are a few of their responses: • • • •

A Keep It Local card ( An ornament for their tree Homemade jams/jellies A gift card to a place with school supplies (Then, he or she can keep her money in her own pocket!) • A bottle of wine (or maybe two!) • A holiday song created just for her • A sweet treat • A Scentsy warmer with a nice scent (because a classroom full of kids can be stinky!) • A gift card for a day of pampering, a massage or to a classy restaurant • Post-it notes, pens, stickers and other necessities • Or, from a current teacher, “Anything that does not have an apple on it!” Our thanks to our Edwina M., Honorata G., Ana P., Tara W., Nicole C., Sara B., Tammie H., Lara G., Jamie H. , College Nannies & Tutors of Edmond, @OECU, @ambular24 and @ kristenhuffty for contributing their ideas! Join the dialogue at

December 2011 |


38 | December 2011

Downtown in December


The 10th annual Downtown in December is a 50-day series of holiday events and attractions in the heart of Oklahoma City.


This one-of-a-kind winter experience features outdoor ice skating, snow tube rides, visits with Santa Claus, a festive 5K and fun run, free water taxi excursions, enriching free museum Sundays and a creative LEGO exhibit, all surrounded by twinkling holiday lights. Most events are free of charge. For more information and a complete schedule of activities, visit www.


family fun!

For these & other festive events in the Oklahoma City metro area, check our Holiday Fun Guide at www. metrofamilymagazine. com/holiday-fun. Photo courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.

Free Museum Sundays

Automobile Alley Lights

Lyric's Christmas Carol

Admission is free at metro-area museums on the following days: American Banjo Museum (December 4), Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum (December 4 & 11), Oklahoma City Museum of Art (December 11) and the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum (December 18). For more information, call 405-235-3500 or visit

More than 130,000 colorful LED lights drape the historic buildings of Automobile Alley, located on Broadway between 4th and 10th street in downtown Oklahoma City. The lights are on view nightly through January 1. For more information, call 405-235-3500 or visit For other lighting displays in the metro, check out our Guide to Holiday Fun at www.

A new holiday tradition in Oklahoma City begins with the debut of Lyric Theatre's new production of a holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Performances will be held Tuesday through Sunday from December 9 - 31 at Lyric at the Plaza (1725 NW 16th St). Tickets are $40 and up. For more information, call 405-525-9312 or visit

Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Museum of Art.

Photo courtesy of Lyric Theatre Oklahoma.

Photo courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.

December 2011 |


Quick Reference American Banjo Museum 9 E Sheridan Ave, OKC 604-2793, City Arts Center Fair Park, 3000 Pershing Blvd, OKC 951-0000, Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards, Edmond 340-4481, Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave, Norman 325-3272, Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 13th & Shartel, OKC 235-4458, Museum of Osteology 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd, OKC 814-0006, Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W Reno, OKC 297-3995, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC 478-2250, Oklahoma Aquarium 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks 918-296-FISH, OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr, OKC 236-3100, OKC National Memorial 620 N Harvey, OKC 235-3313, OKC Zoo 2101 NE 50th St, OKC 424-3344, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC 606-7003, Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., OKC 522-5248, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 325-4712, Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC 602-6664,

Do you have an event for our calendar? Email All phone numbers are area code 405 unless otherwise noted. Information should be verified before attending events as details can change after press date.


Weekly Events Discovery Room programs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History are hands-on fun for toddlers through elementary age children. See website for complete list & details. All programs FREE with paid admission. FREE Admission at Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on Tuesdays. 10am-5pm. Activities include Art Adventures for children ages 3-5 with adult (10:30am). Family Fun Night at JumpZone (SW 104th & Western) includes 2 adults, 2 children, 1 large pizza, 2 liter pop for $25. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-8pm. 200-1691, FREE Tuesday Noon Concert Series at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art are 30-minute concerts are performed by OU music students & faculty. Admission to the museum is FREE on Tuesdays. FREE Playgroup with a Purpose at Wildwood Community Church (1501 24th Ave NE, Norman) provides fun, fellowship & character building for moms & children ages 6 & under. Snacks provided. Meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month through May. 9:45am. 301-7321, FREE Children’s Storytime at Barnes & Noble (13800 N May) Wednesdays & Saturdays, 11am. 755-1155, FREE Wednesday Night at the Movies at the Downtown Library. Wednesdays, 6-8pm. 231-8650. FREE Thursday Noon Tunes at the Downtown Library, 11:30-1pm. Unplugged After Hours at Unpluggits Playstudio invites adults only to enjoy time with friends or in quiet creation mode in the studios. Childcare available at KidzStreet. Held the 1st & 3rd Thursday, monthly. 6-8pm. 340-7584, The UCO Jazz Lab features performances each Friday & Saturday at 8pm. $7 adults, $5 age 12 & under. 3597989, FREE Children’s Storytime at Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expy) each Saturday, 10:15am. 842-2900, FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books, Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www. FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May, OKC), Ages 3 & up. Saturdays, 11am-3pm. 8588778, All-Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Yukon Lanes (500 E Main) invites differently-abled individuals, their families & friends to participate in an afternoon of bowling. $8 per week for 3 games & shoes. Saturdays, 1pm. 354-2516. Drop in Art at the OKC Museum of Art. Create art inspired by the Museum’s collection, exhibitions, & special occasions. FREE with paid admission. | December 2011

Saturdays, 1-4pm. FREE Green Earth Gang for ages 9-13 works on conservation projects in Martin Park. Saturdays 2-5pm. 755-0676,

Ongoing Events Through December 3 National Reining Horse Association Futurity & Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. $8 & up. Special event; Hometown Heroes Slide featuring local firefighters & police officers competing in reining events held 12/2, 5:30pm. 946-7400,

Through December 11 Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman). $23 & up, $15 children 12 & under. Friday-Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 321-9600,

Through December 30 Robert Rauschenberg: Prints from Universal Limited Art Editions, 1962-2008 at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art examines the extensive collaboration between Robert Rauschenberg & the fine art print publisher, Universal Limited Art Editions. No Heaven Awaits Us at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is an exhibition of contemporary Chinese photography & video.

Through December 31 The Uncanny Adventures of Okie Cartoonists at the Oklahoma History Center explores how Oklahomans have played a major role in the evolution of comic books, comic strips & editorial cartoons. Oklahoma Driven: Cars Collectors & the Birth of the Oklahoma Highway Commission at the Oklahoma History Center spotlights the exciting cars & new roads that accelerated the shaping of a young state. Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman at the OKC Museum of Art features 29 largescale photographs that evoke the nostalgia & wealth of a bygone era. Poodles & Pastries & Other Important Matters: New Paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz at the OKC Museum of Art features works by the San Antonio & New Yorkbased artist.

Through January 6 Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam at the GaylordPickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum features artifacts from the troopship General Nelson M. Walker.

Through January 8 Cowboys & Indians Revisited at Science Museum

Oklahoma features artwork that focuses on the rich heritage of Oklahoma’s frontier & how the dynamic between cowboys & Indians forever changed the landscape of the state. Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 13th Annual Exhibition & Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum showcases the work of TCAA members. Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is an interactive exhibit on the history & evolution of dogs. Ghost Ranch & The Faraway Nearby at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum features the work of fine-art photographer Craig Varjabedian as he portrays the longtime home of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Through February FREE Admission at the OKC Zoo on Mondays.

Through May Pickin’ & Grinnin’: Roy Clark, Hee Haw & Country Humor exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center celebrates Oklahoma’s ties to the television show.

Shawnee) includes dinner, wine, live & silent auctions & entertainment. $100. 878-5133, OKC Barons vs. San Antonio Rampage at the Cox Convention Center. 7pm. Tickets $14 & up. www. Other home games this month: 12/9, 13, 17, 27, 28, 31.

2-3 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features over 60 artists in 17 galleries. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-5pm. 525-2688, www.


3 • Friday OSU Football vs. Oklahoma at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. 7pm. FREE Introduction to Babywearing at Green Bambino (5120 N Shartel) invites caregivers to learn about babywearing safety, products & techniques. Different slings & carriers will be available to try on. 2-3pm. 848-2330,

Through June

Live Banjo Performance at the American Banjo Museum (9 E Sheridan). FREE with paid museum admission. 3-5pm. 604-2793, www. Also held: 12/10.

December Daily Events 1 • Thursday Jay Upchurch Book Signing for Tales from the Oklahoma Sooners Sideline at Best of Books (1313 E Danforth, Edmond). 340-9202, www. Cultural Arts Series: The Alley Cats at OCCC Bruce Owen Theater features the perfect blend of musical talent & comedic timing with an a capella doo-wop style applied to the great Christmas songs of the American Songbook as well as great songs of the 50s & 60s. 7pm. 682-7576,

2 • Friday Segway: The Day of Creation at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to experience the amazing science behind this celebrated innovation. FREE with paid admission. 9am-5pm. FREE Art After Hours at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art invites guests to get acquainted with works from the museum’s permanent collection in these 45-minute discussions. 6-7pm. Bringing the World To Oklahoma: Venice Gala at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur,


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Metropolitan Library System

The Music Man at Rose State Performing Arts Center (6420 SE 15, Midwest City) follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa. Friday-Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 2972264,

Bound to Please: A History of Corsets at the Carnegie Library (406 E Oklahoma, Guthrie) showcases undergarments as a symbol of growth in women’s history from the Middle Ages through the present. 2821889,

The Return of Elegance at the Oklahoma History Center features 29 evening gowns and accessories worn by Oklahoma women at inaugural balls & other special occasions from 1912-1985.


FREE Build & Grow Kid’s Clinics at Lowe’s stores offers kids an opportunity to complete a wooden project. Each participant receives apron, goggles, projectthemed patch, & certificate of merit. See website for schedule, 10am. Also held 12/10. FREE Mad Scientist Lab at the Midwest City Library invites children ages 6-12 to discover more about the world around them. Space is limited. Register at the Information Desk or by phone. 3:30-4:15pm. The Great Escape at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) invites kids ages 6-12 to enjoy dinner & fun Winter Olympic-themed activities while parents get a night out. Preregister. $15. 6-11pm. 376-3411,

Belle Isle.................5501 N Villa...........843-9601 Bethany................3510 N Mueller.........789-8363 Capitol Hill............ 334 SW 26th...........634-6308 Choctaw.................2525 Muzzy...........390-8418 Del City..................4509 SE 15th...........672-1377 Downtown.............300 Park Ave.......... 231-8650 Edmond............... 10 S Boulevard......... 341-9282 Midwest City......... 8143 E Reno........... 732-4828 Ralph Ellison....... 2000 NE 23rd...........424-1437 Southern Oaks....6900 S Walker.........631-4468 The Village........... 10307 N Penn.......... 755-0710 Warr Acres...........5901 NW 63rd...........721-2616 Harrah...............1930 N Church Ave.....454-2001 Jones.......................111 E Main............399-5471 Luther......................310 NE 3rd............ 277-9967 Nicoma Park...... 2240 Overholser........769-9452 Wright Library.... 2101 Exchange.........235-5035

Pioneer Library System

Blanchard............... 300 N Main............ 485-2275 McLoud....................133 N Main............964-2960 Moore.................... 225 S Howard.......... 793-5100 Newcastle............. 705 NW Tenth.......... 387-5076 Noble........................204 N 5th..............872-5713 Norman.................225 N Webster......... 701-2600 Purcell.................... 919 N Ninth............ 527-5546 Shawnee............101 N Philadelphia......275-6353 Tecumseh............114 N Broadway........598-5955

4 • Sunday FREE Curriculum Fair at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School (2801 S Shartel) invites the public to learn more about the school. 1pm. 631-8865, www.mountstmary. org. FREE Admission to the American Banjo Museum & the OKC National Memorial & Museum as part of Oklahoma City Community Foundation Free Museum Sundays. Winter Wind Concert Series: Darden Smith at the Performing Arts Studio (200 S Jones, Norman) features this singer songwriter as he weaves together rock, pop,

Looking for Holiday Events? See pages 26 – 30 for our Holiday Fun Guide, packed with fun and festive events from all around the state!

December 2011 |


country, folk & Americana influences. $15. 7pm. 3079320,

5 • Monday FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the first Monday of each month. 10am-5pm. Miracle Kids Camp at the Yellow Rose Theatre in Moore is free for Miracle kids & their immediate family. Additional guests are welcome to attend for $15 each. 6:30pm. 271-9043, www.childrenshospitalfoundation. net.

6 • Tuesday FREE Monthly Mini Model Build at Penn Square Mall’s Lego Store. Build a new model every month. Held the first Tuesday of the month. Quantities are limited. For ages 6-14. 5pm. 840-9993, www.Stores. Three Mo’ Tenors at Rose State Performing Arts Center (6420 SE 15, Midwest City) showcases the extraordinary versatility of African-American tenors beginning with classical opera. 7:30pm. 297-2264,

7 • Wednesday Lean & Green at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum encourages participants to learn how to reduce energy use. FREE Miracle Children of Oklahoma Calendar Lunch at Penn Square Mall Center Court. The Miracle Children in the calendars will sign autographs. 10:3011:30am. 271-2207, www.childrenshospitalfoundation. net. Esther Women Luncheon featuring speaker Lisa Boone at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (222 NW 15) creates meaningful dialogue & strengthens fellowship for Christian women as they navigate family, work & spiritual fulfillment. Held the first Wednesday of each month. Preregister. $20. 11:30am-1pm. 232-1371, FREE Toileting Triumph at the Edmond Library invites parents to come discuss ways to make potty training more fun & rewarding for the whole family. 3:30-5pm.

7-11 Melancholy Play presented by the OU School of Drama at E. Frank Gilson Theatre (640 Parrington Oval, Norman) is the story of a melancholy woman who inexplicable becomes happy, wreaking havoc on the lives of those around her. $14 & up. WednesdaySaturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. 325-4101, finearts.

8 • Thursday Dennis Swanberg at the Rose State Performing

42 | December 2011

Arts Theatre (6420 SE 15, Midwest City) presents the motivational speaker, preacher, author, counselor & humorist. $20 & up. 7:30pm. 297-2264,

9 • Friday FREE Art a la Carte at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features music, short films & art activity. 6-9pm. FREE Norman’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art is a monthly celebration of the arts connecting the downtown arts district with galleries, performance halls, & Campus Corner. Trolley service between venues available at minimal cost. 6-10pm. 360-1162, FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (NW 16th between Classen & Penn) on the second Friday of each month includes art walk, local artists, live music & shopping. 7-11pm.

10 • Saturday FREE College Tutors ACT Practice Test at Edmond Learning Center (1333 N Santa Fe). Space limited; registration required. 8:30am. 513-6060, www. Science Museum Oklahoma Minute to Win It features ten 60-second challenges using Science Shop merchandise and offers a 15% discount on purchases. Preregister. First 100 registrants receive FREE general admission to the museum. 10am. FREE Sugar Free All Stars at Uptown Kids (5840 N Classen) features music from the local kindie band. 10:30am. 418-8881, Route 66 Sightings Signing at Best of Books (1313 E Danforth, Edmond) features three nationally known photographers signing this book. 1-2:30pm. 340-9202, Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society Concert/Jam at the Oklahoma Country-Western Museum & Hall of Fame (3925 SE 29) features three professional bluegrass bands on stage & open jamming. $6, FREE ages 12 & under. 6:30pm. 677-7515,

11 • Sunday FREE Admission to the OKC Museum of Art & the OKC National Memorial & Museum as part of Oklahoma City Community Foundation Free Museum Sundays.

13 • Tuesday Storytime Science at Science Museum Oklahoma features the museum’s puppeteer for storytelling fun. 10am & 2pm. FREE with paid admission. FREE Lecture – A Generation at Risk: Impact of Divorce on Children presented by Oklahoma Marriage Initiative & OKDHS Family Support Services Division at the Oklahoma History Center features Dr.

Paul Amato. Noon-1pm. 521-3646,

14 • Wednesday

or caregiver. FREE with paid museum admission. 10am-noon.

Geometry Day at the Science Museum Oklahoma celebrates Edwin Abbott & the wonder of Flatland geometry. FREE with paid admission. 9am-5pm. FREE After School Make & Take Crafts at the Newcastle Library for grades K-5. 3-4pm.

15 • Thursday FREE ADD Just Doesn’t Add Up Workshop at the Brain & Eye Connection Vision Clinic (1530 SW 89) invites parents to learn about the many ways vision problems & ADD/ADHD look similar. 6-7pm. 703-3163, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. www.chesapeakearena. com.

17 • Saturday FREE Spaghetti Eddie CD Release Party at Uptown Kids (5849 N Classen) celebrates the band’s second children’s CD & their new DVD. $10 CD, $15 DVD. 10:30am. 418-8881, Geography Cub & Webelo Scouts Workshops at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History includes workshop & general admission for the scout & one adult per five scouts. Preregister. $10 per scout. Cub Scouts, 10am-2pm; Webelo Scouts, 11:30am-3pm. FREE Fort Reno Post Cemetery Wreath Laying at Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne, El Reno) invites the public to join the Fort Reno Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as they lay handmade wreaths on military graves in the old post cemetery. 1pm. 262-3987, 76th Annual All-College Basketball Classic at the Chesapeake Energy Arena features OU vs. Houston at 7pm & OSU vs. New Mexico at 9:30pm. 602-8700,

18 • Sunday FREE Admission to the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum as part of OKC Community Foundation Free Museum Sundays. www.

19 • Monday FREE Anime Club at the Belle Isle Library is open to teens who love to read manga, watch anime & enjoy gaming. Meets the 3rd Monday of every month. 4-5pm.

20 • Tuesday Tiny Tuesdays: Cool Trees at the OKC Museum of Art invite families for a come & go, open-ended art making activity geared towards children ages 2-5 with a parent

25 • Sunday The staff of MetroFamily Magazine wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy new year.

27 • Tuesday Johannes Kepler’s Birthday at Science Museum Oklahoma celebrates the laws of planetary motion & the life of Johannes Kepler. 9am-5pm.

27-30 FREE Admission at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art invites guests to celebrate the holidays with free admission. 10am-5pm.

31 • Saturday Reopening of Illuminations: Rediscovering the Dale Chihuly Collection at the OKC Museum of Art features 18 installations of glass by Dale Chihuly. Members' Preview, 6-8pm; Public Opening, 7-11pm.

JANUARY DAILY EVENTS January 2 FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the first Monday of each month. 10am-5pm

January 6-7 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features more than 60 artists in 17 galleries. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-5pm. 525-2688, www.

January 6-8 Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake invites the public to bring binoculars & dress warmly to look for Bald Eagles. Park office (9000 E 2nd, Edmond) will have information about where to find Eagles, raptor wingspan display, videos & other great information. $3 per vehicle. 7:30am-4:30pm. 216-7471,

January 7 Commoners & Kings presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall featuring Louis Lorte, piano & the works of Handel, RimskyKorsakov & Beethoven. $15 & up. 8pm. 842-5387, www.

December 2011 |


No matter what time of year or occasion, you'll find the BEST party-planning choices in the area right here.

44 | December 2011

Join our community! Subscribe to Weekend Picks, our popular weekly email giving you all the upcoming family events in the area Like us: Follow us:

December 2011 |


Lane B., age 1, of Norman ready to open presents.

Holiday Memories Joshua R., age 3, of Norman with dad John.

Tyler V., age 5, Oklahoma City.

In November, our readers submitted photos of their kids enjoying the holidays. View all submissions at www. december-2011-photos.

Aekadan N., age 5, & Mekala N., age 2, of Yukon opening gifts on Christmas Day.

Reid G. & Tyler G., age 3, of Edmond, hoping to see a reindeer in the backyard.

Jordan B., age 3, of Norman at the Latkes for Love fundraiser at OU.

Hannah N., age 6, Maddy N., age 11, Rebekah N. and Matthew N. of Midwest City, in Bricktown.

For our January issue, we'd love to see your generational photos—grandparents, parents and/or children together. For our February issue, we're seeking great sibling photos. Deadline for both categories is Thursday, December 15. Guidelines and a form to submit your photos can be found at

46 | December 2011

MetroFamily Magazine December 2011  

MetroFamily's December 2011 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.

MetroFamily Magazine December 2011  

MetroFamily's December 2011 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.