Downtown in December brings Christmas to the city with twinkling lights on Broadway Avenue and a giant Christmas tree in Bricktown.
Downtown OKC, Inc. presents Downtown in December, a collection of holiday events throughout the month of December to help celebrate the holiday season. In all, there are more than 28 on-going and one-time events across the metro area. Many events are free to attend and all are open to the public.
Riley Cole, marketing assistant at Downtown OKC said Downtown in December helps unite the Oklahoma City community.
“I think Downtown in December is very important to the community because it creates a sense of unity,” Cole said. “There are so many things that happen during Downtown in December that when people take advantage of those, they’ll be able to see community members.”
Several Oklahoma Christian University students have taken advantage of Downtown in December including Edmond locals senior Emma Axtell and junior Tanner Bentley.
“I really like the Christmas season a lot and it’s a fun way to get into the Christmas season and participate in unique, local events that our city has to offer,” Axtell said.
Bentley said he enjoys seeing Oklahoma City lit up in the Christmas spirit. The Bricktown Canal and Automobile Alley are just a couple places the city can expect to be decked out in Christmas lighting this December.
“Everywhere downtown is decorated really well, all of the lights are up which always puts you in the festive mood, which is really nice,” Bentley said.
Some of the more popular events include the Devon Ice Rink, the Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown and the Winter Shoppes at the Myriad Gardens.
“I think my personal favorite would have to be the Devon Ice Rink,” Cole said. “There’s just so much to enjoy right in that area with Devon and the Myriad Gardens and you can easily make a night out of it, going out to dinner and then going ice-skating. It’s just a good time.”
The ice rink is open various times throughout the season, and costs $12 per guest, including skates. Prices are $8 if guests bring their own skates and $8 with skates for groups of more than 10 guests. Devon requests reservations for groups. Visit Downtown in December for a full schedule and to plan group skates.
For Bentley and Axtell, the shops in the Myriad Gardens and the pop-up shops at Midtown are also favorites.
“They have the pop-up shops that look like little igloos that you can go into and a lot of the local shops that have sales that are really good, I’ve gotten really good deals there,” Bentley said.
According to Axtell, the shops allow her to see retailers she might never heard of before as well as her favorites.
“I really like the holiday pop-up shops and then the little shops outside the Myriad Gardens because I get to go see all of my favorite shops all in one place and I also get to see shops that I’ve never been to,” Axtell said.
The pop-up shops are open Thursdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 20. The shops differ every week and are located at NW 10th and Hudson. There is no entry fee. Visit their website for more information.
The Winter Shoppes at Myriad Gardens are open various times throughout the season. They are located in the gardens on the North Plaza. See their website for more information.
Axtell said she also enjoys attending OKC Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” after spending many years performing it with a different troupe.
“I just really love going to see ballets, it’s something that I really enjoy,” Axtell said. “I really love the Nutcracker. I’ve been in the Nutcracker way too many times. It’s a fun holiday tradition to go see that every year.”
Numerous other activities are going on during December – free water taxi rides on the Bricktown Canal, snow tubing at the Bricktown Ballpark, the Sandridge Santa Run and holiday movies at Harkins Theater.
“It makes me want to go down there now. I had no idea there were 20-plus events you could get involved with,” Bentley said. “Everybody should just look out for it, it’s a good deal.”
“Downtown OKC is really thriving right now and I think it’s really important for people to invest in what’s going on,” Cole said. “I think when people take advantage of those events and stuff that they can get involved, they’ll realize how much they love their city.”