Holiday Entertainment on a Budget

posted in: Fun things to do | 2

(photo source: blog.newsok.com)

I’m always looking for a deal.  Especially this time of year when I feel like money is flying out the door on Christmas presents and spontaneous decor purchases at Hobby Lobby and Pier 1.  If I can save money on fun activities all the better.  Here’s my list of fun stuff to do in Oklahoma City and Norman for free or pretty dern cheap.

There’s a whole lot happening in Oklahoma City this December.  Here’s a list of the FREE stuff.  Check out the Downtown in December website for a complete list of attractions.

  • Myriad Gardens Light Display sponsored by OG&E  Free  tours of the Crystal Bridge from 6 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Bring your friends and family to the Myriad Botanical Gardens for the holiday season as they are transformed into a North Pole wonderland.  Children can mail their letters to Santa in an official North Pole mailbox. Before entering the Crystal Bridge, visitors will enjoy viewing the Wonderland Express, a whizzing and whistling G scale model train. Guests of the Gardens will receive free admission to the Crystal Bridge each Sunday, November 25 to December 23 from 6-9pm. Enjoy free hot cocoa and entertainment.  For more information check out the event calendar at Myriad Gardens
  • Free movies  Harkins Theaters is offering free Christmas movies every Monday, 7:00 p.m., November 26th through the end of December.  For me it’s just not Christmas until I get to watch It’s a Wonderful Life.  You must register online prior to the screening so make sure to check the Downtown in December website for dates and registration.
  • Saturdays with Santa  Nothing chaps my hide more than standing in line to see Santa and then being charged an arm and a leg for the picture.  No thank you!  Every Saturday in December, bring your kiddos to meet Santa, take your own pictures for free and lots of fun, free activities.  Devon Energy Center, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturdays only Nov. 24 through Dec. 22  There is even free parking for Saturday with Santa guests in the Devon parking garage off Harvey Ave.  Thanks Devon for getting in the Christmas spirit!
  • Free Water Taxi Rides  Nothing says Merry Christmas like a water taxi.  Ummmm…well, maybe not but it’s free and I’m sure it’s fun.  Thursdays through Sundays, December 1 – Dec. 31, 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Chesapeake Energy holiday lights  Stroll through the Chesapeake Energy campus and marvel at their lighting ability.  The number of lights they put up is redonculous.  Cost: free.

There is always something happening in Norman.  Concerts, parades, ballet, museums…their kicking it into high gear for the holidays.  Here’s the haps in Norman

  • Oklahoma Nutcracker  The Norman Ballet Company presents the Nutcracker, Oklahoma style.  It’s a cute twist on the original version and a great way to kick off the holiday season.  November 25th, 3:00.  Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at ticketstorm.com.  At $20 a pop this is the most expensive item on this list but if your heart is set on seeing the Nutcracker it a less expensive option than seeing it in Oklahoma City.
  • White Christmas presented by The Sooner Theatre  November 23-25, November 30-December 2, & December 7-9.  Ticket prices range from $18- $23, $15 for children 12 and under.  Seriously, is there anything more Christmas-y than an entire musical of Bing Crosby music.  Tickets can be purchased online the Sooner Theater website.
  • Breakfast with Santa  Saturday, December 1st, 8:00 at the Norman Senior Center (329 S. Peters) Enjoy pancakes with Santa, crafts and a candy cane hunt.  Bring your camera for pictures with St. Nick.  Children ages 2-8, $5.  Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 366-5472
  • Holiday Happening at Sam Noble Museum of Natural History  December 6, 5:30 – 8:30.  Visit Santa, free museum admission, crafts, live music and story telling.  This is you will find me and my crew giving our Christmas list to Santa.
  • City of Norman Annual Holiday Celebration Friday, December 7, 5:30 – 7:30 at Andrew’s Park.  Free cookies and hot cocoa, moon bounces, musical performances, tree lighting ceremony and bring your camera for pictures with Santa.  Cost: Free.
  • Main Street Christmas Holiday Parade  December 8, 10:00 – noon, historic downtown Norman.  There is something about bundling the kids up, drinking hot cocoa and standing on the street watching the home-made floats go by that makes me feel like I’m in a Norman Rockwell painting.  Also – I love how this is both a Christmas and a Holiday parade.  Because Norman has a schizophrenic personality, conservative Christians and left-wing liberals.  God love ’em both.  Somehow we all get along.
  • Santa’s Calling Monday, December 10th between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to call children  (ages pre-K through 2nd grade) and talk to them about their wish list and if they have been naughty or nice.  Go to the city website to register your information to get a call from Santa and stay close to the phone!
  • Mark Heitz Chevrolet Ice Rink  Weekdays: noon – 9:00 p.m., Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sundays: 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Cost: $10 (includes skates) $7 if you bring your own skates, $5 for ages 5 & under.  No, it’s not free but the proceeds benefit Assistance League of Norman.
  • Downs Family Christmas Light Ministry  This family goes all out with their synchronized light display.  November 22nd – January 1st, 6:00 p.m. to midnight.  72nd Ave. NE off of Hwy 9.  Bring a non-perishable food donation to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, pull into their yard, tune your radio to the station listed on the sign, sit back and enjoy the show.  In 2011 this fun holiday tradition collected 7,391 pounds of food and $37,208.31 in cash donations for the Food Bank.  Wow!

2 Responses

  1. Jennifer sanders

    Don’t forget FREE pictures with Santa and fun Christmas crafts/activities at Bass Pro!

    • Yes! Bass Pro has a great Santa set up. Don’t forget to check their flier or call ahead to see when Santa will be there. We found out the hard way two years ago that he’s not there all day, everyday.

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