So between now and the end of the year – the kids are out of school for the better part of THREE WEEKS. Wow. That could make even Mother Teresa go a little nuts.
However, there are so many options of activities to do with the lil’ darlins (and even a camp where you can drop them off!). And if you have family in town – (or worse – IN LAWS…just kidding – I know I love mine), never fear – this list is family friendly and sure to entertain even Aunt Edna.
Red Bud Valley – for you lovers of the great outdoors – this is a hidden treasure in the Tulsa area. Red Bud Valley is a nature preserve east of Tulsa that has kid-friendly hiking trails, caves to explore and much more. Open daily. And it’s free! Let those kids burn off all that sugar…
Turkey Mountain is another outdoor treasure for Tulsans. This urban wilderness area has several trails from half a mile to a four mile loop that overlooks the Arkansas River. It is especially pretty this time of year. Trust me – I know. Just don’t ask me to be your guide. (you can read why here…)
Christmas Lights Extravaganza at Rhema Bible Church – This amazing city of lights is a favorite of ours – and it is one of the biggest light displays in the country! You can either drive through or park and walk through the dazzling displays throughout Rhema’s campus. It’s free – but donations are accepted. November 23 – January 1, 2012.
Lights on the Hill at Chandler Park – Another free light display – and it’s a drive through (yay to those of us with wayward toddlers!). West of the River, Chandler Park winds up a hill filled with light displays. They’ve made a lot of improvements over the years – it is definitely worth the trip. Again, it is free to the public, but they accept donations. November 25-December 25 (Friday, Saturday and Sundays only).
Deco District Holiday Pop Up Shops (downtown) – I think I am the most excited about this new addition to the holidays! Opening the Monday after Thanksgiving – over 10 retailers will open up “Pop Up” shops in downtown Tulsa on Boston Avenue. Images of old fashioned Christmas window shopping, carolers, hot chocolate run through my head – this is how Christmas Shopping should be! Avoid the mall and head downtown. Grand opening is Nov. 30 with Santa, the lighting of a 200 foot light tunnel over Boston Avenue, food, drink carolers, and of course – shopping! Nov. 30- Dec. 30. Shops open daily except Sundays and open late Wednesday evenings.
Arvest Winterfest presented with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation returns to Downtown Tulsa from November 25, 2011-January 2, 2012. The month-long celebration will include outdoor ice skating, photographs with “Segway Santa,” a towering Christmas Tree, horse and carriage rides, delicious concessions, and free holiday entertainment on the ONEOK Stage. New enhancements for 2011 include the expansion of the holiday market, a new climate-controlled seating and hospitality tent, and additional charity skating promotions. *Tip. Don’t try and take three small children to skate when you are pregnant. Not a good idea.
Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights – A wonderful holiday tradition returns again this year at Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve with their Wonderland of Lights spectacular. The grounds and buildings of Woolaroc will be covered with over 650,000 lights as the historic ranch transforms itself into a magical winter wonderland! The lights will be turned on Friday, November 25th and will be on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 24th. Admission to Wonderland of Lights is $4 for adults and $1 for children 11 and under. The hours for Wonderland of Lights is 5-9 pm.
Shopping for Angels – What a better way to spend time with family than by helping those less fortunate. Our family adopts a family every year. We let each child shop for their “angel”. They love to pick out the gifts and help wrap them. It is a great way to teach your children about giving back. And there are so many programs that can use help. Salvation Army angel tree, Youth Services of Tulsa, Family and Children Services just to name a few.
Loughridge Winter Camp – This place is amazing in the summer – so I can only imagine what it is like in winter! For those parents who have to work during the two week break (or just need a break from the kiddos)– no worries – Camp Loughridge can keep them entertained! Dec. 19th -23rd and only $50 a day! Seriously – that is cheaper than a baby-sitter and they will have so much more fun (and you can do one day at a time, or the entire week.). Activities include snow forts, snowfamily building, archery, arts & crafts, canoeing, challenge and ropes events, chapel, court sports and games, dance, and nature hikes. Just like summer camp, your fee covers a hot lunch and regular snacks.
So there you have it. That’s enough stuff to keep the kids from driving you crazy. Well, maybe not…but it will help. Happy Holidays!