Residents and visitors to downtown Oklahoma City can enjoy a collection of more than 20 holiday events and activities this winter thanks to Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership and Devon Energy. Downtown in December is back for its 19th year and is made possible through generous sponsorships from local businesses and organizations. Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership has reimagined a unique lineup of holiday and winter events outdoors with a strong emphasis on visitor safety.
"Downtown in December is our favorite way to end the year and though we know that this 2020 series of events will be different, we are looking forward to sharing this holiday tradition with you in new ways," said Jane Jenkins, President and CEO of Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership. "Everything that has changed about our programming was developed with the safety of our community in mind and with a goal of maintaining our seasonal celebrations.”
Each holiday season, the Myriad Botanical Gardens transforms its seasonal plaza into the Devon Ice Rink. This signature attraction is planning to return for its tenth year this winter at the corner of Robinson Avenue and Sheridan Avenue. Typically operating November through January, the opening of this year's Devon Ice Rink has been delayed. For more information, including opening date announcements, hours, and details about private events, visit DowntowninDecember.com.
Cruise down historic Automobile Alley for the district’s holiday open house and the first day of this year’s stunning light display at the Lights On Broadway Annual Event on Saturday, Nov. 21. Retail shops and restaurants on Broadway Avenue and side streets between Northwest 4th Street and Northwest 12th Street will feature holiday window displays in addition to activities for all ages, special promotions, and giveaways. To make the event as safe as possible and decrease sidewalk and in-store congestion, the event will span four Saturdays this season: Nov. 21, Nov. 28, Dec. 5, and Dec. 12 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be complimentary carriage rides that must be booked in advance, interactive Santa Claus snow globe, magic elf, and more. This event is sponsored by RCB Bank, Heartland, and the Automobile Alley Association. More than 230,000 colorful LED lights will curtain the buildings along ten blocks of North Broadway and side streets making for a magical holiday destination Nov. 21 through Jan. 10.
The start of the 2020 holiday season in downtown Oklahoma City will officially kick off next week with the Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival presented by SONIC Foundation. The celebration will stream online and on the News 9 app at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 and will include performances from various local celebrities and cultural groups, an appearance by Santa Claus, and the traditional countdown to the lighting of the Christmas tree by Mayor David Holt. "I'm looking forward to officially kicking off the holiday season once again at Oklahoma City's Tree Lighting Festival. In its 19th year, the festival continues to get bigger and better, showcasing the amazing and diverse talent that our city has to offer,” said Mayor David Holt. “Like everything else, this year’s event looks a little different, but streaming online likely means that more people will join us, watching from wherever they are comfortable. I invite everyone to be a part of this experience. It’s a wonderful OKC holiday tradition." The program will feature many much-loved, familiar sights as well as some new favorites filmed in the recently restored Yale Theater and other locations downtown. The tree will be on the display in Bricktown at the canal overlook (111 S Mickey Mantle Dr.) throughout the holiday season. Visit DowntowninDecember.com for more information.
The Santa Run is a family-friendly holiday run that brings young and old, and even pets, to downtown Oklahoma City for a festive 5K. The virtual Saints Santa Run can be completed on a treadmill from the comfort of home, around the neighborhood, on a favorite jogging trail, or on a suggested route in Midtown, the home the run's new sponsor, SSM Health – St. Anthony Hospital. This virtual 5K is a great way to stay active and spread holiday cheer, without spreading germs. Participants can run anytime during the month of December and will receive a commemorative 2020 Saints Santa Run t-shirt and finisher medal. For details and to register, visit DowntowninDecember.com.
EMBARK is once again making it even easier to get around downtown as they celebrate the Oklahoma City Streetcar's second year of service with free rides on the Oklahoma City Streetcars each weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) beginning Nov. 20 and continuing through Jan. 3. For a full list of programming, visit OKCStreetcar.com.
Lyric Theatre will celebrate the diamond anniversary of its production of “A Christmas Carol” this year with an all-new outdoor production, whisking audiences away to a magical holiday village nestled in the heart of Oklahoma City. The historic Harn Homestead (1721 N. Lincoln Blvd.) has been transformed into a Victorian Era setting for Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, magical spirits, and a host of unforgettable characters. Patrons will follow Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of transformation and redemption, as they are guided from scene to scene at the homestead. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit LyricTheatreOKC.com.
Oklahoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker: Short and Sweet presented by Devon Energy returns to the Civic Center Music Hall Dec. 12 through Dec. 20. Artistic Director Robert Mills’ beautiful staging of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker will warm hearts and fill them with the spirit of the holidays. This year’s production will be shortened to one act but will still include all the favorite characters from the dancing snowflakes to the Kingdom of Sweets. This Short & Sweet version is a great opportunity to introduce little ones or any ballet newcomers to live performance. For more information, including performance schedules, visit OKCBallet.com.
The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are returning to the Midtown district in downtown Oklahoma City for their ninth year. In an effort to provide the safest environment possible for the community to celebrate the holidays and support local shops, the Pop-Ups will be an all-outdoor event in 2020. The holiday market will feature local shops, set up in tents spread out on the corner of 10th and Hudson every Saturday and Sunday of the holiday season. The tents will be surrounded by the Bishop John Carroll tree lot and the 30-foot Midtown tree. Katiebug’s Hot Chocolate and Curbside Chronicle will return as well to take part in the holiday cheer. The holiday shopping village is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday, beginning Nov. 28 through Dec. 20. For details, including hours and list of shops, visit OKCPopUps.com.
Midtown merchants have come together to offer festive opportunities to eat, drink and be merry in Midtown this holiday season. Merry Midtown begins Nov. 27, making Midtown a destination for dining, holiday shopping, and general merriment with limited-time promotions and special holiday touches. For more information, visit MidtownOKC.com.
The Arts District is bringing Palm Springs vibes to OKC this holiday season with mid-century decor and a collaborative Christmas tree. Beginning Nov. 27, the Arts District Community Tree, designed by local artist Paul Bagley, will stand on the West Village platform at Fred Jones Avenue and Main Street. All are encouraged to help decorate the tree by visiting district businesses marked with a pink flamingo to receive a complimentary ornament to customize and add to the tree. Select businesses will be participating in A Palm Springs Holiday event on Nov. 27 where attendees can enjoy live music, holiday discounts, photo ops, giveaways, and a chance to win a trip to Palm Springs. For more information, visit DowntowninDecember.com.
Small Business Saturday celebrates the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants, as many small retailers rely heavily on the revenue from holiday sales each year. Downtown’s local merchants have updated their websites, introduced local delivery and pick-up options, along with putting in place a range of new safety protocols in their stores to ensure customers feel safe and confident when shopping during the pandemic. Support local businesses by pledging to shop and dine in downtown throughout the holiday season.
Join the Myriad Botanical Gardens for Merry and Bright Winter Holidays from Nov. 25 through Jan. 4. The grounds will be full of lights and festive décor that are free and open to the public. In addition to many ongoing free activities at the park, the Gardens will host several workshops and classes for a fee, including “Evergreen Wreath Workshops,” “Gingerbread House Workshop,” “Santa at the Gardens,” and many more. It’s also a perfect time to visit the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. It is warm and welcoming with its lush green foliage, tropical fruits, and plenty of places to take the perfect family picture. For more information, visit MyriadGardens.org.
The Bricktown Canal Light Display brightens the Bricktown experience Nov. 27 through Jan. 10. Stroll the canal and enjoy the dining and shopping throughout Bricktown, OKC's premier entertainment district, under the holiday lights. The display is free to the public and begins at dusk each evening. Plus, the new addition of the Bricktown Holiday Trees will brighten up the canal this season thanks to artists Nathan Hendrix and Stephen Tyler of True Façade. Take a photo or video and share this colorful new tradition with friends and family.
Additional Downtown in December events include:
- Canterbury Christmas at The Civic Center
- Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s “A Classic Christmas”
- ‘Tis the Season at Scissortail Park
- Deck the Halls with Crew Workspace & City Care
- OKC Museum of Art Holiday Events
- Painted Door Christmas Open House Party
- Canterbury Christmas at The Civic Center
- Skirvin Holiday Events
- The Melting Pot Holiday Events
- Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Opening Night
These activities and events are part of Downtown in December presented by Devon, many of which are free of charge to the community. In addition to event partners, sponsorship is provided by 405 Magazine, American Fidelity, Automobile Alley Association, BancFirst, Bank of Oklahoma, Claims Management Resources, Downtown Business Improvement District, First Maintenance, Hall Capital, Heartland, JE Dunn, Jones PR, Metro by T-Mobile, MetroFamily Magazine, Midtown Association, Midtown Renaissance, News 9, Painted Door Gift Boutique, Oklahoma Gazette, QuikPrint, RCB Bank, Robinson Park, SONIC Foundation, SSM Health – St. Anthony Hospital, Wiggin Properties, and many more. For a full list of Downtown in December events and sponsors, visit DowntownInDecember.com.