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Oklahoma City, OK, 73105
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The Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) represents Oklahoma cities and towns working together for their mutual benefit. The OML acts as a central clearinghouse for information and services for its member municipalities.  

Holiday Events Blog

Oklahoma City’s Beloved Holiday Traditions Return to Downtown This Winter

Christy Christoffersen

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Click here to download press photos of Downtown in December events and attractions

 Oklahoma City, Okla. – Residents and visitors to downtown Oklahoma City can enjoy a collection of more than 30 holiday events and activities this winter, thanks to Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership and Devon Energy. Downtown in December is back for its 17th year and is made possible through generous sponsorships from many local businesses and organizations. Family and community traditions are returning to downtown in addition to four brand new events debuting this year.

Each holiday season, the Myriad Botanical Gardens transforms its seasonal plaza into the Devon Ice Rink. The holiday series’ signature attraction is returning for its eighth year. The Devon Ice Rink opens seven days a week at the corner of Robinson Avenue and Sheridan Avenue, and will host daily public skating, private parties, and special events all winter. Admission is $13 per person, which includes skate rental, and $8 per person with personal skates. The Devon Ice Rink opens November 9 and will run through January 27. For more information, including holiday hours and details about Rock ‘n’ Skate on Friday nights in December, which features a live DJ, visit DowntowninDecember.com.

Father Christmas will be making a special trip to the Devon Energy Center this holiday season during Devon’s Saturdays with Santa, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., December 1 and 8. Devon Energy will offer a variety of holiday activities and entertainment. Children and families can visit Santa and other holiday characters, make crafts, listen to live music, and more. Visits with Santa are first come, first served. Guests should register on-site upon arrival in the Devon rotunda and bring their own camera to take photos with Santa. The event is open to the public, and there is no cost to attend. Complimentary parking for the event is available in the Devon Energy Center garage via the northeast visitor entrance. For more information, visitDowntowninDecember.com.

A spectacular Oklahoma holiday tradition returns with Lyric Theatre’s production of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol presented by Devon Energy. Guests are invited to go on a magical journey with Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Tickets start at $25, and the show takes place at Lyric's Plaza Theater (1725 NW 16th Street). This year’s show opens on November 23, and the final performance will be a matinee on Christmas Eve. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit LyricTheatreOKC.com

One of the year’s most anticipated annual events, the Bricktown Tree Lighting Festival presented by SONIC, America’s Drive-In will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event serves as the official kickoff to the holiday season, as Mayor David Holt lights the Christmas Tree with Santa Claus. The first Tree Lighting Festival took place in 2002 and has since grown to include a live band, food trucks, face painting, and visits with Santa. The festival will be held on the Third Base Plaza at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive) and is free and open to the public. Visit DowntowninDecember.com for more information.

“Downtown in December has grown into a major local tradition, and this year promises some brand new additions as well as longtime favorites,” said Mayor David Holt. “Notably, starting in mid-December, citizens will have the opportunity to visit locations throughout downtown on the streetcar. Also, we have some exciting new ideas cooking for the annual tree lighting. I look forward to seeing all the people of Oklahoma City this year at Downtown in December!”

On Saturday, December 8, guests will be prancing in the streets of downtown Oklahoma City in the city’s most festive holiday race, SandRidge Santa Run. The Santa Run includes a 5K race and a one-mile Fun Run, plus a warm-up with Rumble the Bison. Activities at SandRidge Energy, which is the start and finish line for all races, include a photo booth, face painting, mascot appearances, build-your-own-trail-mix bar, and an impressive, highly-competitive costume contest with cash prizes. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the races begin at 8:45 a.m. at SandRidge Energy (123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.). For details and to register, visit DowntowninDecember.com.

 Free Holiday Water Taxi Rides will once again be a part of the Downtown in December festivities. On Thursday through Sunday evenings, November 23 through December 30, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., all are welcome to enjoy a fun-filled float down the beautifully-adorned Bricktown Canal free of charge, courtesy of the Downtown Business Improvement District. All of the canal’s holiday decorations will be visible on the narrated tour. Each round trip is approximately 25 minutes. VisitDowntowninDecember.com for more information.

Cruise down historic Automobile Alley for the district’s holiday open house and the first day of this year’s stunning light display with the annual Lights On Broadway Event on Saturday, Nov. 17, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Broadway Avenue and side streets between Northwest 4th Street and Northwest 10th Street. Retail shops and restaurants will feature buzz-worthy holiday window displays in addition to children’s activities, special promotions, and giveaways. There will be complimentary carriage rides, visits with Santa, live artists and musicians, a free photo booth, an outdoor screening of classic holiday cartoons, and more! The OKC Streetcar will be out for their third Track Meet at the Automobile Alley Platform for attendees to learn about the new streetcar system. Join us in discovering the Alley “in the new old-fashioned way!” This event is sponsored by RCB Bank and the Automobile Alley Association. For more information, visit DowntowninDecember.com.

Join EMBARK, MAPS3, and The City of Oklahoma City on Friday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. at Leadership Square for the officialOklahoma City Streetcar Ribbon Cutting. The event will commemorate the official start of the Oklahoma City Streetcar. Streetcar service will be open to the public immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony. To learn more about the OKC Streetcar and the grand opening events, visit OKCStreetcar.com.

Oklahoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, presented by Devon Energy returns to the Civic Center Music Hall Dec. 14 through Dec. 23. Choreographed by Oklahoma City Ballet’s Artistic Director Robert Mills, The Nutcracker is a holiday favorite and is the perfect way to fill your heart with the spirit of the season. The production will also feature over 100 students from The Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. The Nutcracker creates special holiday memories that will last a lifetime. For more information, including performance schedules, visitOKCBallet.com.

Deluxe Winter Market celebrates their 11th year this holiday season on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., inside Leadership Square (211 N. Robinson Ave.). The market will offer an opportunity for guests to do their holiday shopping at more than 60 vendor booths featuring all local and handmade goods. The event offers free admission, an auction benefitting Curbside Chronicle, and complimentary kids activities. For more information, visit DeluxeOK.net.

The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are returning to the Midtown district in downtown Oklahoma City for their seventh year. Visitors can shop at 35 Oklahoma-owned shops. For five weeks this holiday season Bishop John Carrol school will host an urban tree lot at the same location. Be the first to shop each week with a Top Shopper Pass, which are available for $25. Although the Holiday Pop-Ups are free and open to the public, the Top Shopper Pass allows access to four preview shopping nights with adult beverages before the shops open. Shops rotate weekly through a set of geodesic domes at Northwest 10th Street and Hudson N. Avenue. The holiday shopping village is open to the public every Thursday through Sunday, beginning Black Friday. Entry is free. For details, including hours and list of shops, visit OKCPopUps.com.

The seventh annual Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare, a stair-climbing athletic event in several downtown office towers, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1 starting at Leadership Square at 8 a.m. Registrants can choose their level of participation by how many floors they aim to climb, and all proceeds benefit The Homeless Alliance. For details, visitLittleWilliesTripleDogDare.com.

Bring the pups and enjoy a pet-friendly holiday party and fundraiser, A Dog Day in December, on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Midtown Mutts Dog Park, (407 W. Park Place), benefitting the Midtown Association. Dogs can take photos with Santa for a small donation and enjoy “puppuccinos” while the humans enjoy COOP beer, a silent auction, DJ, food trucks, and more. Skip the line for dog photos with Santa and purchase an “early bird” ticket for $20. Early bird tickets go on sale November 15 and early bird entrance begins at 5:00 p.m. Purchase a goodie bags filled with treats, toys, Midtown swag, and a ticket to the After Party at the Holiday Pop-Ups Shops where guests will receive a drink ticket to redeem at The Big Friendly Beer Bus. This event is sponsored by the Midtown Association and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit DowntowninDecember.com.

This year’s Downtown in December will also include a variety of holiday events at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. In addition to many ongoing, free activities taking place every Saturday throughout the park, the Gardens will host several workshops and classes for a fee, including “Living Wreath Workshops,” “Gingerbread House Workshop,” “December Drop-Ins,” “Polar Express PJ and Pancake Party,” and many more. For more information, visit MyriadGardens.org.

See the historic buildings of Automobile Alley in a whole new light during Automobile Alley’s Light Display. More than 180,000 colorful LED lights will curtain the buildings along eight blocks of North Broadway and district side streets making for a magical holiday wonderland Saturday, Nov. 17 through Jan. 1.

The Bricktown Canal Light Display will brighten your Bricktown experience from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1. Stroll the canal and enjoy the dining and shopping throughout Bricktown, OKC's premier entertainment district under the gorgeous holiday lights. The display is free to the public and begins at dusk each evening.

Holly Jolly Shops at the Brick is a two-day event featuring retailers, food, and fun on the concourse of the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The open-air market takes place on Saturday, Dec. 8, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is located at 2 S. Mickey Mantle Dr. For more information, visit RevolveProductions.com.

As downtown Oklahoma City comes to life this holiday season, the Skirvin Hilton once again will host several wintertime events, including a Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, December High Tea Series, Breakfast with Santa, and more. Plus, enjoy a fabulous Skirvin holiday brunch on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. For reservations or more information, visit SkirvinHilton.com.

The Sheraton Hotel will also host holiday events at its location in the heart of downtown. Be on the lookout for storytelling Santa, an elfie selfie station, and more this holiday season. The Sheraton Hotel is located at 1 N. Broadway Ave. For more information, visit SheratonOKC.com.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will feature holiday-themed art installations, drop-in art making, SONIC Free Family Day on Dec. 2, a New Year’s Eve event, and more. The new exhibition ‘Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement” is open now at the museum and runs through Jan. 9. For more information, visitOKCMOA.com.

Enjoy the Bricktown Holiday Parklet this winter season. The parklet will be decorated with lights and holiday garland for pedestrians to enjoy during holiday shopping and strolling throughout Bricktown. A parklet is a temporary, pop-up park. The Bricktown Holiday Parklet was purchased by The Bricktown Association and the Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership in 2016 as a placemaking project to create additional seating in downtown OKC’s entertainment district. The Bricktown Parklet is sponsored through the generous support of First Maintenance Company. For more information, visit DowntownInDecember.com.

Join First United Bank for their Grand Opening event on Thursday, Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy rooftop views, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and door prizes. The new First United Bank is located in Automobile Alley at 512 N. Broadway Ave.

Additional Downtown in December events include:

  • American Banjo Museum’s Candy Cane Christmas

  • Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Opening Night

  • Canterbury Christmas at The Civic Center

  • Film Row Light Display 

  • Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s The Christmas Show

  • Red Earth Treefest and Holiday Open House

  • Pambe Ghana’s Global Market

  • Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop

All the aforementioned activities and events and others listed online, are part of Downtown in December presented by Devon, many of which are free of charge to the community. In addition to our event partners, sponsorship is provided by Automobile Alley Association, BancFirst, Bank of Oklahoma, Bricktown Association, Charleston’s Restaurant Bricktown, Downtown Business Improvement District, EMBARK, First United Bank, Jones PR, MetroPCS, Midtown Association, Robinson Park, Oklahoma City Streetcar, Oklahoma Gazette, RCB Bank, Tinker Federal Credit Union, Tyler Outdoor Advertising, and many more. For a full list of Downtown in December events and sponsorships, visit DowntownInDecember.com

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The Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership (DOKC) is a non-profit organization that promotes and markets downtown Oklahoma City in conjunction with numerous downtown stakeholders through advocacy, promotion, and placemaking. DOKC also manages the downtown Business Improvement District, funds public art projects and hosts more than 20 annual community events. For more information, visit DowntownOKC.com.