Christmas is right around the corner and, for many Oklahomans, this is a time when family members from far and wide will come together to begin their holiday celebrations. The last few days before Christmas Eve are a time to transition from planning your holidays to actually enjoying them.
If you are playing host to out-of-town guests this year, you may be grasping for entertainment ideas, especially if you're trying to entertain people of varied ages on a limited budget.
Fortunately, there are more holiday offerings in and around Oklahoma City this year than ever before. From downtown to Bricktown and the burgeoning arts and entertainment districts such as the Plaza District and Midtown, chances are, the evolving city has much to amaze and amuse your visiting friends and family.
Here are some entertainment options to keep your family happy and on budget for the holidays.
Downtown in December
Visit Santa from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Devon Energy Center, 333 W Sheridan Ave. Free entertainment includes holiday crafts and music. Santa and his crew will be on hand for pictures, and kids can write last-minute letters to the North Pole.
Enjoy the tropical bounty of the Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, free from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Free hot cocoa and entertainment will be provided.
Head to Bricktown for free Water Taxi rides. From 6 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 31, all ages are invited to take in the holiday lights and adornments along the Bricktown Canal. Board the boats on Mickey Mantle Drive across from the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
While downtown, take a tour of the holiday lights that blanket buildings along Broadway in Automobile Alley, twinkle throughout Bricktown and brighten the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
North of downtown, the Chesapeake Energy Holiday Lights Display is a must-see that features about eight city blocks decked out for the holiday season surrounding Chesapeake Energy's main Oklahoma City campus. Bundle up the kids and head to the intersection of NW 63 and Western to see more than 61,000 strands of lights containing 4.3 million LED lights that decorate the trees and buildings of the area.
Oklahoma may not be covered in natural ice and snow, but the man-made stuff makes some of the season's most popular outdoor winter sports possible.
Careen down one of the country's largest man-made snow tubing slopes at Chesapeake Energy's Snow Tubing at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. For $10, you get an hour-and-a-half session of tubing fun. Snow tubing will be open Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 5 with sessions beginning at noon, 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. The attraction will be closed Christmas Day, and the last session on Christmas Eve will be at 4 p.m. For more information, call 218-1000.