Oklahoma City is a wonderland of lights in December, especially in Bricktown district. Bricktown is an entertainment district located east of downtown Oklahoma City. It is comprised of the Bricktown Ballpark which opened in 1998, a tree-lined three mile canal through the district which opened in 1999, and water taxis to carry visitors to different stops along the canal including restaurants, night clubs and specialty shops. During the Christmas season (from Thanksgiving to the end of the first week in January) the area is decked out with beautiful lights and holiday decor making it a virtual Christmas wonderland and a joy to behold.
There are many business establishments in Bricktown worth mentioning some of which are Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Sonic's Corporate Headquarters, The 16-screened Harkins Movie Theater and the Chesapeake Boathouse.
The Bricktown Ballpark is located at 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive and offers baseball games during the baseball season (April-September) and in the Christmas season (Thanksgiving-the first week in January) they offer Chesapeake Snow Tubing. There are two slides to choose from; one starts from the top deck of the stadium and goes all the way down into the field making it fast and quite exhilarating. The other is shorter, slower and not as steep for the younger children. Time slots of 1 ˝ hours are sold for tubing the slides. They are open every day except Christmas day during the Christmas season.
The Harkins Movie Theater is located on 150 E. Reno Avenue; it offers 16 screens to choose from and a daycare facility and playground in the lobby for the parent’s convenience.
The Bricktown Canal area is similar to San Antonio’s Riverwalk, in Texas. Water taxis take you to any shop along the canal you’d like to visit. In the Canal Zone walking is the ideal way to get around if you choose not to use the water taxis.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge Conservatory is located on 301 W. Reno Drive consists of 17 acres of beautiful tropical terrain with exotic tropical plants and landscaping. It was designed by I.M. Pei and opened in 1998. It has over 1000 different spices of plants divided between two areas, a Dry Tropical Zone and the Tropical Rain Forest Zone. It also features a six acre Children’s Garden with a hedge maze, story trees and climbing structures. They offer a Pavilion, Wave Fountain, Restaurant with seating, Dog Park (off leash area), Water Stage for theatrical performances and a Grand Event Lawn for outdoor bands and festivals. The Seasonal Plaza boasts an ice skating rink in the winter and dancing fountains in the summer months.
The Crystal Bridge Conservatory section is the only part of the Myriad Botanical Gardens that requires a small admission fee. The Crystal Bridge is a glass encased, beautiful indoor garden with a 35 foot waterfall in the midst of an exotic indoor tropical garden. It is often rented out for weddings and other special occasions. There is a gift shop available to purchase specialty gifts for your loved ones. The indoor gardens are open Monday–Saturday 9 AM–6 PM and Sunday Noon-6 PM. The outdoor gardens are open 6 AM-11 PM and require no admission fee.
The Chesapeake Boathouse is located at 725 S. Lincoln Boulevard and hosts Santa’s Adventures on the Oklahoma River during the Christmas season. They are open Monday-Saturday 9 AM-8 PM and Sunday 1 PM-5 PM. They offer a 200 foot Zip Line, Extreme Air Jumper, Rock Wall Climb and Inflatable Bounce Houses for children. There are 12 miles of scenic trails around the Oklahoma River area to ride bikes with your own bikes or you can choose to rent them there. Yoga Classes, Cardio and Weight training are available as well as locker rooms and showers. Get on the river to row, kayak or try dragon boating. The kids can try their paddling skills in the wading pool. The boats can also be rented if you don’t have your own.
A wonderful time to visit Oklahoma City is during the summer months as well as in the Christmas holiday season. It offers much to do for all family members with lots of variety. The only thing you really need to know about the Oklahoma City area is they enforce a city-wide curfew for minors. The curfew hours allow minors on the street until 12 AM on weekdays and 1 AM on weekends unless the minor is accompanied by a parent. The Bricktown section of the city has its own curfew and it is a bit earlier, only allowing minors to be on the streets until 11 PM all nights.
My tip for this trip is: Dress in comfortable clothes and shoes, although there are plenty of benches to rest upon, it requires lots of walking to get around. Enjoy the wonderful seasonal atmosphere that the sights and aroma create.
Photo Jigsaw Puzzle of Bricktown, Oklahoma City
Photo Mug of Johnny Bench Statue in Bricktown, Oklahoma City