Raise Your Voice
A big fan of holiday tunes? Spread some joy by singing them in a caroling outing with friends or family.
Pro tips: Pick a handful of easy songs to memorize – from “Jingle Bells” to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” Ensure you’ve got a good range, from classics to more modern fare.
An ideal time to go caroling? Between dinner and bedtime. Perhaps your most enthusiast audience members will be kids, so don’t go too late.
Ensure your group of excited carolers dress for the weather, and bring flashlights to keep things safe.
And for the musically gifted groups, bring instruments to accompany the tunes, from guitars to tambourines.
Light Up the Night
Perhaps one of the most hassle-free holiday outings is a trip to see lights – and the state is absolutely decked out with a magical menagerie.
In the Tulsa metro, the Rhema Christmas Lights extravaganza in Broken Arrow runs through Jan. 2. The Rhema experience includes nearly three million lights on its 110-acre campus, plus public and private carriage rides.
Ketchum’s yuletide tradition, the Winter Wonderland Christmas Light Tour, takes place at the Pine Lodge Resort, with illuminated log cabins, antique cars and other twinkling goodies. The event runs through New Year’s Day.
In Yukon, Christmas in the Park is described as a “magical wonderland of visual entertainment,” running through New Year’s Eve. A drive-through event, Christmas in the Park begins in Yukon City Park and winds through Freedom Trail and Chisholm Trail Park.
For those in the Bartlesville area, the Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights is a weekends-only spectacular through Dec. 19, in which the historic ranch transforms with the help of 750,000 lights. Other festive offerings include wagon rides and cookies and hot cocoa.
Another drive-through event, the Ardmore Festival of Lights includes a 1.5-mile stretch of holiday goodness, replete with 150 animated displays at the Ardmore Regional Park through Dec. 30.
Until Christmas Day, the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Midwest City’s Joe B. Barnes Regional Park includes more than 100 animated light displays to peruse, along with a show-stopping, 118-foot Christmas tree.
Catch Kingfisher Winter Nights through Dec. 27 as it sets the city’s park alight with more than 60 lighted displays. Don’t miss Santa sightings, a scavenger hunt and family photo opportunities.
Another popular choice is the Chickasha Festival of Light, with Shannon Springs Park as a backdrop for 3.5 million twinkling bulbs. Stick around for the ice rink, available to patrons through New Year’s Eve.
Whether it’s a rousing family competition or a solo endeavor, making gingerbread houses is an ideal at-home activity. Oklahoma’s own Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, offers tips via her website, thepioneerwoman.com, to create a great succulent abode.
Use dough that’s tough, not soft or chewy. If you’re cooking up the dough yourself, wait for it to harden a bit before using it.
Use royal icing to ensure your gingerbread house stays together. This type of icing, easily found at the grocery store, is a hard white icing that includes egg whites, icing sugar and lemon or lime juice.
To create the perfect shape for your house, look online for printable templates. Then, use a paring knife or X-ACTO blade to cut out the shape.
Have patience. Wait an hour between constructing the walls and the roof, and 2-3 hours after that to decorate.
Fun decoration ingredients include cereal squares, pretzel sticks, sticks of gum, shredded coconut, sugar cubes, graham crackers and marshmallows.
For those not looking to tackle such a size able project, mini gingerbread houses can easily be made with graham crackers.
Crafts on Crafts
If the weather is frightful or you find saving money delightful, at-home holiday crafts are easy to find.
Start out with pinecone bird feeders, a quick, easy and simple craft that requires only a few ‘ingredients,’ like pine cones, peanut butter, Popsicle sticks, bird seed and string.
For those in the mood to decorate, popcorn and cranberry garlands are a festive choice. For this one, all you’ll need are threads, a needle, cranberries and popcorn.
To fulfill your artistic passion, homemade stockings are the way to go. Whether you purchase plain stockings and personalize them, or knit and customize the stocking yourselves, it’s a goodie that can last for seasons to come.
Want to fill up space on your tree? Make your own ornaments! Decorating plain bulbs is an ideal avenue to spend some time with loved ones and get creative.
Come Skate Away
If you want to burn off some calories from all the holiday treats, ice skating options abound.
Start with Tulsa’s Arvest Winterfest, offering its rink at the BOK Center through Jan. 3, with 9,000 glorious square feet of ice.
Now in its tenth season, the Edmond Ice Rink welcomes guests to Mitch Park through Jan. 3.
The BA Ice Rink, located at 418 S. Main St. in the Rose District, remains open through Jan. 3. After a skate, stick around for warm drinks like coffee and hot chocolate.
Running through Jan. 2 at 500 W. Vandament Ave., the Yukon Ice Rink presents 4,100 square feet of real ice, along with holiday light displays.
Crest on Ice, at 2550 Mt. Williams Dr. in Norman, gives guests all the winter fun they’ll need through Jan. 3.
At OKC’s Devon Ice Rink, the jolly joy runs all the way through Jan. 30, replete with 5,500 square feet of ice and seasonal food and beverage offerings.
In Enid, Holidays on Ice skates through the season until Jan. 2 at 400 S. Independence Ave.
Hop on one of many seasonal trains this month.
At OKC’s Oklahoma Railway Museum, the Polar Express offers train rides daily though New Year’s Eve.
At Blanchard’s Christmas on Main – located on the cross-streets of Main and Broadway – the whole family can partake in train and hayrides on Dec. 11, along with viewing a holiday parade.
Crystal Christmas, running through Dec. 31, presents lighted train rides, a nativity scene and photos with Santa at the Crystal Beach Park in Woodward.
Christmas in the Park, running through Dec. 18 in Elk City’s Akley Park, allows kiddos (and kids at heart) to ride the Candy Cane Train and the Centennial Carousel.
At the Twin Bridges Park of Lights in Fairland, patrons can drive through 50,000 twinkling lights and enjoy free photos and train rides through Dec. 30.
And fans of the Castle of Muskogee won’t want to miss the holiday activities this year, which include tractor-drawn hayrides, a Christmas Train and light displays through Dec. 31.
For those who believe the way to the heart is through the stomach, easy-to-make holiday culinary treats are just a Google search away, whether you’re an expert chef or a little wary of the kitchen.
Christmas tree brownies
Hot chocolate cookie cups
Sweet and salty holiday toffee
The most popular time of year to get into the spirit of giving is here, and Oklahoma nonprofits are hard at work making sure the less-fortunate have great celebrations. Below are some suggestions for those looking to help out:
Collect gently used toys, clothing and other item and donate to a shelter in need. Solid options include the Child Abuse Network, the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, the OKC Homeless Alliance and Dress for Success.
Write letters to soldiers stationed overseas. A good place to start is Soldiers’ Angels.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry to dispense items to those who need it. Try the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Become a bell ringer at the Salvation Army, or help with their giving tree programs.
Sign up for an ‘Adopt a Family’ program, where you can help families across the state struggling to rebuild after traumatic events. Try Domestic Violence Intervention Services.
Look into one of many events hosted by the American Red Cross, including blood drives and fundraisers for those suffering after a house fire.
See a Show
Lyric Theatre presents: A Christmas Carol
Through Dec. 23
Pollard Theatre presents: It’s a Wonderful Life
Through Dec. 23
Pollard Theatre, Guthrie
A Territorial Christmas Celebration
Through Dec. 11
Historic District Downtown, Guthrie
Miami Little Theatre presents:
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Coleman Theatre, Miami
OKC Philharmonic presents:
A Christmas Celebration
Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City
Tulsa Ballet presents: The Nutcracker
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
Oklahoma City Ballet presents:
Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City
OKC Broadway presents:
A Magical Cirque Christmas
Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City
The Santa Clause
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Miracle on 34th Street
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Muppet Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
It’s a Wonderful Life
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Story
A Christmas Carol
Feel the Community Come Alive
For a little bit of everything, a few community gatherings in the state’s major metros bring together numerous offerings for a month-long sojourn into festivity.
In Tulsa, the Philbrook Festival is a can’t-miss city tradition running through Dec. 31. With both day and night activities, the festival includes everything from special exhibitions to a Lego villa, expansive decor, beautiful light displays, musical light shows, hot cocoa, take-and-make art projects and visits with Santa.
Arvest Winterfest in downtown Tulsa includes carriage rides, ice skating, holiday treats and more through Jan. 3.
And in OKC, Downtown in December is truly an extravaganza, with a series of activities for just about everyone. From a Santa Run on Dec. 4 to philanthropic events all month long, ice skating and on-stage performances, you’ll never run out of things to do. Visit downtownindecember.com for a full list of events.