In 1992, my wife and I (we were dating at the time) went to downtown Oklahoma City to grab dinner before seeing a performance at the Civic Center. Not being that familiar with OKC at that stage of my life, I just assumed there would be plenty of options for things to do and places to eat downtown. Boy, was I wrong. The only real restaurant in Bricktown in 1992 was Spaghetti Warehouse. They were overly full, so we did not have time to eat there. The rest of the downtown landscape was dotted with a few street toughs and a passing tumbleweed. We ended up driving-thru a McDonald’s just west of downtown to find some nourishment before the show. Chicken McNuggets were not exactly what I had in mind for dinner that night, but they just had to do.
Fast forward 17 years. Today, Bricktown is one of the coolest locations in the state of Oklahoma. The streets are bustling with people, we have an NBA team occupying the newly built Ford Center, and the entire downtown has been revitalized. Thanks to the vision of city leaders and the tax revenue of the MAPS projects, downtown Oklahoma City is something the entire state can be proud of, and a destination for people to visit throughout the year . . . especially during the holidays.
Each December, Bricktown transforms into a winter wonderland with lots of options for what to do. Last Saturday night, the Connections Adult Fellowship Group at Wildwood (of which I am a part) had our Christmas party in Bricktown, so I thought for today’s blog post, I would highlight some of the fun to be had in downtown this December.
Eating: There are many great places to grab dinner downtown. From the less expensive (Falcone’s or Sonic) to the more moderately priced (Coach’s or Red Pin) to the upscale (Mickey Mantle’s or Nona’s), downtown has many more options than McDonald’s. Our group ate at the Coach’s restaurant located inside the Bricktown Ballpark. As an added bonus, the restaurant includes windows that overlook the inside of the stadium, and allowed us to see the tubing hill.
Boat ride: After dinner, many from our group hopped in a boat on the Oklahoma Canal that snakes through Bricktown for a 20 minute floating tour. Christmas lights are up and the tour is narrated to give the riders a sense of the history of downtown OKC.
Snow Tubing: Inside the Bricktown ballpark is a giant, man-made snow tubing hill. The hill is constructed out of wood and erected each December inside the stadium, forming a hill from the upper deck of the stadium to around the pitchers mound. $13 will get you 90 minutes of sledding (tubes are provided). It was a blast. NOTE: The tubing runs on sessions. They sell tickets to different 90 minute sessions. They only sell a limited number of tickets per session. It is kind of like buying a movie ticket with a showtime and a limited number of seats. Our session sold out, but our group was fine because we pre-purchased the tickets from their website. I would strongly recommend pre-purchasing tickets if you are going on a weekend night.
Ice Skating: Many others from our group went Ice Skating in downtown. In front of the Civic Center, they have created an outdoor ice rink for people to skate on. Cost is $8.
Roaming Characters: Throughout the bricktown area are roaming characters for you to get your picture with. Santas are riding around on Segues, Dickens characters are caroling, and others. Bring your camera!
Hope this review helps! More info on all these items can be found at http://www.downtownindecember.com