Holiday Happenings 2012 in Central Oklahoma Frontier Country
The holidays are upon us and central Oklahoma is FULL of many wonderful holiday happenings to enjoy with the whole family. From light displays and parades to theater and music, here are a few highlights of the season:
The City of Yukon’s Christmas in the Park is an illuminated, self-guided tour of 4.5 million twinkling lights, 360 lighted displays, music and movement spanning 100 acres of three interconnecting parks. The 55-foot Colossal Christmas Tree is the feature with more than 12,000 multi-colored lights at City Park. Walk, drive or ride the Santa Express Train through nearly three miles of colorful lights. Christmas in the Park is free and runs Nov. 17 through Dec. 31 from 6 to 11 p.m. nightly.
Midwest City is home to the Holiday Lights Spectacular. With more than one million twinkling lights, the Joe B. Barnes Regional Park is transformed into a winter wonderland to drive through from Nov. 16 to Dec. 30. This free holiday attraction features more than 90 dazzling displays, including the majestic 118-foot Christmas tree lit with 9,000 bulbs. Enjoy the lights from 6 to 11 p.m. nightly by vehicle or a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Festival of Light in Chickasha is one of the top-rated light displays in the region and brings in more than 300,000 visitors from across the United States each year. Only 35 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, the 43-acre Shannon Springs Park can be toured for free by car, carriage ride or by foot along paved trails from Nov. 20 to Dec. 31 from 6 to 11 p.m. nightly. The Festival of Light features 3.5 million lights, hundreds of displays with music and movement, live nativity and warm gift shop with homemade cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, gifts and more.
See more lights at Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway Nov. 23-Jan. 1 as a part of Oklahoma City’s Downtown in December celebration. From 4th Street to 10th Street on Broadway Avenue, in downtown Oklahoma City, historic buildings are covered top to bottom with more than 150,000 colorful LED lights.
Theatre & Music
Central Oklahoma Ballet performs its 18th production of the classic The Nutcracker along with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra Dec. 1-2 at the Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium in Yukon. Two performances of The Nutcracker are schedule for Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 at the door.
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma presents A Christmas Carol on Lyric’s Plaza Theatre stage in Oklahoma City from Nov. 30 through Dec. 29. Relive the cherished tale of Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and a host of unforgettable characters with this new Lyric Theatre holiday tradition. Performance times vary and tickets are $40.
The Oklahoma City Philharmonic presents The Christmas Show November 29 through Dec. 1 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City. With four performances, this fully-staged holiday production stars actress and singer Michele Ragusa alongside singers, dancers, sparkling sets, costumes, arrangements, specials guests and the beloved Oklahoma City Philharmonic conducted by Joel Levine. Performance times and ticket prices vary.
Sooner Theatre’s White Christmas is based on the beloved, timeless film and this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. White Christmas is on stage at Sooner Theatre in downtown Norman Nov. 23-25, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and Dec.7-9. Performance times vary and ticket prices are $23 and under.
Other Can’t-Miss Holiday Events
Explore downtown Oklahoma City this the holiday season during the annual Downtown in December winter celebration Nov. 23-Jan. 1. Events kick off with the Christmas Tree Lighting Festival Nov. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. For 40 days, Downtown in December features an abundance of holiday activities including an outdoor ice skating rink at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, snow tubing at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, a Segway Santa, free movie Mondays at Harkins Bricktown Theater, free Water Taxi rides along the beautifully-lit Bricktown Canal and more.
The Territorial Christmas Celebration in Guthrie kicks off Dec. 1 with the opening night ceremonies and Christmas Tree Lighting. This celebration of the holidays in Territorial-style features a variety of activities including candlelight trolley tours, historic home tours, Pollard Theatre productions of A Territorial Christmas Carol and Victorian Walks. Victorian Walk evenings take place Dec. 8 and 15 at 5 p.m. with music and carolers as you stroll along the lighted streets of historic downtown Guthrie to see live window scenes with patrons in territorial dress and shop for Christmas gifts in the specialty shops.
El Reno’s Christmas on the Western Frontier Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. includes an old fashioned Christmas parade, trolley rides, Santa, strolling carolers, Christmas treats, lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, children's craft projects, shopping and more of the small town charm of El Reno.
Historic Stockyard’s City in Oklahoma City hosts the annual Cowboy Christmas with the annual tree lighting ceremony in the historic district at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 30. Saturday, Dec. 1 features the Cowboy Christmas parade, pictures with Santa and more beginning at 10 a.m.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City hosts Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas Ball Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. The 18th anniversary of this yuletide dance features Murphey headlining an evening of entertainment for the entire family and includes a buffet and a visit from Santa. Reservations are required for this event and prices vary.
Opening Night hosted by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City is OKC’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration Dec. 31. From 7 p.m. to midnight, enjoy live music, fireworks and watch the ball rise as you ring in 2013 in a family-friendly environment in downtown Oklahoma City. Wristbands for Opening Night are $8 in advance or $10 at the event and allow admission to all venues, all night long.
For a complete list of holiday events happening in central Oklahoma, visit our calendar page here.