Downtown in December: a guide
What is it that makes December the most wonderful time of the year in OKC? Simple: Downtown in December. This annual, month-long celebration brings a lot of OKC’s best lights, food, shopping, activities and more all into the same, convenient area: scenic downtown. And don’t let its name fool you: although it’ll be happening across the whole month of December, it began earlier in November and won’t be completely done until January 11.
But what is it that makes Downtown in December so highly anticipated every year? Well, to help you have the best possible winter experience in OKC, we’re outlining everything going on throughout the month of December:
Automobile Alley Light Display: Looking to view Automobile Alley in a new light? This display of more than 230,000 LED lights will be on display and free to the public through Jan. 11.
Bricktown Canal Lights: Looking to light up your Bricktown experience? This light display is free to the public and will be viewable through Jan. 11.
Devon Ice Rink: This local favorite is back for its ninth season in the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The rink will be open every day through Feb. 2, including Christmas and New Year’s days.
Devon’s Saturdays with Santa: Santa Claus is coming to OKC! More specifically, he’s coming to the Myriad Botanical Gardens on December 7 and 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. There will be photo opportunities, holiday games and crafts, storytelling, “Polar Express” train rides and more.
Free Holiday Water Taxi Rides: Every Thursday to Sundays, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., rides along the Bricktown Water Taxi are free. This is an excellent way to view the great light displays in the area!
Free Weekend Streetcar Rides: Happy birthday, OKC Streetcars! To celebrate, they’re offering complimentary fares on the weekends through January 5.
Holiday Events at ARTSPACE: Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., participate in a variety of holiday events and workshops at ARTSPACE at Untitled. Arrive before December 28 to see their Postcard Perspectives exhibition, which features over 2,000 small works of art that can be purchased right off the walls.
Holiday Pop-Up Shops at Midtown: The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are back for their eighth year! Shop local from a selection of over 30 Oklahoma-owned shops and visit their Christmas tree lot, too!
LifeShare WinterFest & Snow Tubing: Good news for all the local snow tubing fans, the LifeShare WinterFest is back with more snow tubing fun than ever. This event will be here through January and tickets for single-session snow tubing tickets are available.
Lyric’s A Christmas Carol: In its ninth year running, the Lyric Theatre is bringing this Christmas classic back to OKC. Exact show times can be found on Lyric's website, but the show is running almost every day through Christmas Eve.
Myriad Gardens Holiday Events: whether you want to ice skate, learn to curl, meet Santa, see some beautiful lights, build gingerbread houses, eat pancakes or more, the Myriad Garden’s got you covered this holiday season with, well, a myriad of holiday events running throughout the month. The full list and calendar is on the Downtown in December website.
OKCMOA Holiday Events: Thanks to events like SONIC Free Family Day and Drop-In Art, there’s no better time to visit the OKCMOA than December! Alongside the museum’s permanent collection, their current special exhibitions are Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression (on display through April 26, 2020) and From the Golden Age to the Moving Image: the Changing Face of the Permanent Collection (on display through December 31).
African Children’s Choir at First Church OKC: What better way to start December off than by a show by the African Children’s Choir? The performance will be December 1 at the First Church in downtown OKC at 7 p.m. Admission is free!
A Dog Day in December: Bring your dog(s) with you to the Midtown Mutts Dog Park on December 5 from 5:30-8 p.m. for a chance for them to get pictures with Santa, goodie bags, puppuccinos and more. This event is free, but donations are suggested.
OKC Philharmonic’s The Christmas Show: Running daily from December 5-7, this beloved show is a great way to get you into the Christmas spirit. After all, it’s the only spot where you can watch the tap dancing Santas.
Holly Jolly Shops at the Brick: Still need to do some holiday shopping? Shop local at the Holly Jolly Shops on the concourse of the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on December 7 and 8. Bring your kids along for a chance to visit Elsa, the Grinch, Buddy the Elf, and Santa.
Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare: This beloved stair climbing event is back for its 8th year on December 7 at Leadership Square. Proceeds will benefit the Homeless Alliance and Sunbeam Family Services. Did we mention there’s awards, too?
Mesta Park Holiday Home Tour: Ever wanted to look inside the historic homes of Mesta Park? The 42nd Annual Holiday Home Tour is December 7 and 8 from 6-11 p.m.
American Banjo museum Candy Cane Christmas: Come to the American Banjo Museum on December 8 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for a chance to sing along with performances of holiday favorites by the Okie Dokies and Johnny Baier. Admission is free for children 15 and younger.
Canterbury Christmas at The Civic Center: What better way to welcome the holiday season than by song? Hear the Canterbury Voices’ encore performance of Eugene Goosen’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah. This performance, only happening on December 8, features a full orchestra with two harps, four horns, a full wind section from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and more.
OKC Christmas Crawl: Returning for its sixth year on December 13 from 6-11 p.m., this charity fundraiser will let you crawl your way through a number of OKC’s best bars, food and drink specials.
Sugar Plum Promenade at Scissortail Park: Whether you’re in the mood for food, live entertainment, visits from characters like Elsa and the Grinch, a ride on the Holiday Train, or perhaps just another opportunity to get to know OKC’s new favorite park, the Sugar Plum Promenade on December 13 and 14 has it all.
OKC Streetcar Birthday Celebration: The streetcars have been so at-home in OKC that it’s hard to believe they’ve only been here for a year, isn’t it? Celebrate their first birthday on the streetcars on December 14 with activities, live music, giveaways and more throughout the routes. There will also be a ticketed beer event at Elk Valley Brewing that will benefit the Homeless Alliance.
OKC Ballet’s The Nutcracker: The OKC Ballet and Oklahoma City Philharmonic are working together to bring Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to the Civic Center Music Hall this holiday season. A full list of show dates and times are on the Downtown in December website, but there are shows from Dec. 14-22.
SandRidge Santa Run: Looking for a good holiday run? Wake up early on December 14 for this 5k race or one-mile fun run. There will be prizes and a costume contest, too.
Arts Council OKC’s Opening Night: In its 33 years in OKC, this New Year’s Eve festival is a local favorite for welcoming a new year. There will be live music, entertainment, food trucks, fireworks, a 5k race and more.
Skirvin Holiday Events: Feel like having brunch on Christmas? Still looking for a spot to spend New Year’s Eve? The Skirvin Hilton is hosting events on both days.
You can get more details or view the event calendar on Downtown in December’s website.