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Lights on for the holidays: Find the biggest holiday events
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Lights on for the holidays: Find the biggest holiday events

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Downtown Tulsa’s Guthrie Green will be lit up by thousands of colorful Christmas lights during Glow on the Green. 

‘Tis the season in Green Country, which means people from all over Oklahoma are preparing to deck the halls and celebrate the holidays.

No matter what intrigues you — vibrant light displays, Christmas markets, ice skating — these events in Tulsa and beyond offer fun for the whole family. With many of these holiday celebrations occurring in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, you won’t want to miss out.

Next week, the Tulsa World Weekend section will showcase the many area Christmas arts events and holiday shows.

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Arvest Winterfest has returned to downtown Tulsa.

Arvest Winterfest

BOK Center, 200 S. Denver Ave.

Nov. 19-Jan. 3

The 14th annual Arvest Winterfest returns to downtown Tulsa. This year will feature the return of the popular outdoor ice skating rink.

Guests can take rides in horse-drawn carriages for a fee every Friday and Saturday from 7-10 p.m. Visitors can enjoy free entertainment 4-7 p.m. every Saturday until Christmas Eve. A Winterfest Express Train, free and open to all ages, will be available every Saturday from noon until 3 p.m.

Sundays with Santa will be presented by Cox Communications. Get your photo taken with Santa Claus from 2-4 p.m. every Sunday from the start of the season until Christmas. On Dec. 18, families can head over to the Tulsa Convention Center for Breakfast with Santa.

A variety of weekly discounts are being offered. Courtesy of Arvest, patrons receive half-price admission for skating on Mondays with the donation of a non-perishable can of food benefiting the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Visitors receive half-price skating on Warmth Wednesdays with the donation of a new or gently used coat, blanket, scarf or pair of gloves benefiting Night Light Tulsa. Arvest customers will receive half-price general admission any day of the festival by showing their Arvest card or checkbook. tulsawinterfest.com

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Holiday lights decorate Utica Square.

Lights On Utica Square

1709 Utica Square

Nov. 25

Guests will pour into Utica Square for the 54th annual Lights On event Thanksgiving evening. Viewers can enjoy Christmas Carols performed by heralded saxophonist Grady Nichols, visit Santa (make sure to bring your Christmas list!) and watch as thousands of lights dazzle the outdoor shopping center. uticasquare.com

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Experience Christmas at the Castle of Muskogee.

Castle Christmas

3400 W. Fern Mountain Road, Muskogee

Nov. 25-Dec. 31 The Castle of Muskogee offers train rides through the Village, an old-fashioned hayride or rides on Christmas ponies and camels (all weather permitting). Guests can also enjoy food and beverages from Rudolph’s Cafe. okcastle.com

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Christmas lights shine at the Rhema Christmas Lights at Rhema Bible College in 2020.

Rhema Christmas lights

Rhema Bible Church, 1025 W. Kenosha Ave. in Broken Arrow

Nov. 25-Jan 2

More than 3 million colored lights adorn the buildings and grounds of Rhema Bible Church. Enjoy the display from the comfort of your car, or take a stroll around the property to see the lights up close. Guests can also purchase carriage rides to transport them around the property. rhemalights.org

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At night, guests can watch as thousands of lights illuminate the gardens at the Philbrook Festival.

Philbrook Festival

Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 S. Rockford Road

Nov. 26-Dec. 24

Philbrook Festival is now an all-day experience with a regular schedule of holiday-themed offerings and activities for the whole family. During the day, enjoy a variety of activities, special exhibitions, a community-sourced Lego Villa and festive decor, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. At night, guests can watch as thousands of lights illuminate the gardens. Celebrate the season with hot cocoa, musical light shows, make-and-take art projects, visits with Santa Claus and more. Advance timed entry ticket required. philbrook.org

Wonderland of Lights at Woolaroc

1925 Woolaroc Ranch Road, Bartlesville

Nov. 26-Dec. 19

Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, located just outside of Bartlesville, will become a magical winter wonderland as the Oklahoma ranch is adorned with over 750,000 lights. Guests can also enjoy wagon rides, Christmas cookies and hot chocolate in Woolaroc’s lodge. woolaroc.org

Garden of Lights at Tulsa Botanic Garden

3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive

Thursdays-Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 12

Nightly, Dec. 16-Jan. 2 (closed Dec. 24 and 25)

The Tulsa Botanic Garden will be decked out with colorful lights for an event that’s perfect for families or for date nights. Each night, guests can enjoy hot drinks (with spiked options), beer, wine, food trucks and s’mores kits available for purchase. Holiday hay mazes, snowball pits, photo stops and fire pits are also available nightly. Kids can expect to be visited by holiday favorites such as Botanical St. Nick as well as the Snow Queen and Snow Princess on certain nights. tulsabotanic.org

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The City of Owasso held a public lighting event in Redbud Festival Park in 2020, where it debuted a 30-foot Christmas tree in the heart of downtown.

Lights on Owasso

Redbud Festival Park, 200 S. Main St, Owasso

Nov. 27

Celebrate the Christmas season during Lights on Owasso at Redbud Festival Park. Enjoy a holiday lighting ceremony in Owasso’s brand new Redbud District, which will feature thousands of candy cane-colored bulbs decorating the area. Take pictures with Santa, dig into a variety of desserts from food trucks and watch a screening of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Guests will also hear Christmas carols, and little ones can create their own holiday-themed crafts. cityofowasso.com

Territorial Christmas Celebration

212 W. Oklahoma, Guthrie

Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11

Visit Guthrie for a traditional holiday celebration 35 years in the making. The city has much to offer this Christmas season, including a costumed Christmas parade through downtown Guthrie as well as Victorian Walk Evenings, featuring tours of historic Guthrie homes with carolers and other re-enactors recreating what it was like to live in Guthrie during the territorial era. guthriesterritorialchristmas.com

BA Ice Rink

418 S. Main St., Broken Arrow

Through Jan. 3

The BA Ice Rink returns for its sixth season at the Rose District in downtown Broken Arrow. Winter outdoor ice skating on 4,100 square feet of ice. In addition to ice skating, grab some warm drinks from Rise Grind & Ride Espresso Cafe. baicerink.com

Angel Tree

Various locations

Through Dec. 17

This holiday season, support a Tulsa child in need by participating in Angel Tree. Names of individuals in need and their desired Christmas gifts will be placed on Salvation Army Christmas trees across Tulsa (Woodland Hills Mall, various WalMart and Mattress Firm locations) for anyone to pick up. Angel families will pick up their gifts one week before Christmas Eve. Angels can also be adopted online on the Salvation Army website. tsamm.org

Big Spirit, Little Trees at the Museum Broken Arrow

400 S. Main Street, Broken Arrow

Through Dec. 10

The Museum Broken Arrow welcomes the holiday season by showcasing community-donated and decorated trees — all under 4 feet tall! — for its annual Christmas tree exhibit. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for a child under the age of 12 to be donated. brokenarrowmuseum.org

Sand Springs Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Parade

Downtown Sand Springs

Dec. 3

The oldest nighttime Christmas parade in Oklahoma will wind through downtown Sand Springs, with decorated floats, dance groups, musical groups and Santa. The theme of this year’s parade, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, is “The Joy of Giving” and focuses on organ donation. The grand marshals will be Carrie Schlehuber, the director of special education for Sand Springs Public Schools, and Susan Cox, a longtime friend of Schlehuber’s who donated a kidney to her in 2018. sandspringschamber.org

Christkindlmarkt

2301 E. 15th St.

Dec. 3-5

This unique holiday shopping experience is modeled after traditional German Christmas markets. Hosted by the German-American Society of Tulsa, this event will feature copious Christmas decor and German handcrafted goods, jewelry, wine, honey, food and much more. Guests are welcome to dine at the German-American Society Cafe, which features classic German dishes like beef gulasch soup, Bavarian cheesecake, bratwurst and Black Forest trifle. Children can enjoy the Bethlehem Village in the Kinderstube and visit Saint Nikolaus. There will also be a raffle to win one of two handmade quilts. gastulsa.com

Tulsa Symphony presents “The Polar Express”

Tulsa PAC, 101 E. Third St.

Dec. 4

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will perform the score to this animated version of the beloved Chris van Allsburg story of Christmas. Guests can expect to hear popular tracks from the film, including Josh Groban’s “Believe,” and “Hot Chocolate,” originally performed by Tom Hanks. tulsasymphony.org

Keystone Lake Christmas Boat Parade

1926 Hwy 151, Sand Springs

Dec. 4

This December, head to Keystone State Park to watch as decorated, lit-up boats parade across the water. The event begins at dusk and will features dozens of boaters. facebook.com/keystone-lake-christmas-boat-parade

Glow on the Green

111 E. Reconciliation Way

Dec. 6

Downtown Tulsa’s Guthrie Green will be lit up by thousands of colorful Christmas lights during Glow on the Green, hosted by News on 6 meteorologist Travis Meyer, joined by special guest Santa Claus later in the evening. The event will also feature live music, food, hot drinks and more than 30 market vendors. guthriegreen.com

Grady Nichols Christmas concert

Mabee Center, 7777 S. Lewis Ave.

Dec. 7

Tulsa’s beloved saxophonist Grady Nichols will take the stage at the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center for his annual Christmas show. Nichols will perform songs from his 2016 album “Falling In Love With Christmas” and many more. mabeecenter.com

Living Nativity at Shepherd’s Cross

16792 E. 450 Road, Claremore

Dec. 9-11

Travel back to biblical times at Shepherd’s Cross, a real working farm in Rogers County. The farm will feature over 100 costumed actors who will reenact the events of Jesus’ birth. The nativity scene will also feature sheep, mules, donkeys, chickens, guineas and horses. The Shepherd’s Shop will also be open for guests to purchase fresh pecans, pecan candies, baked goods and other Christmas gifts. shepherdscross.com

Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival

3800 S. Elm Place, Broken Arrow

Dec. 11

New Orleans Square’s inaugural Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival will be a celebration of the most wonderful time of the year, with vendors, children’s activities, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa Claus. brokenarrowok.gov

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Parade participants wave to the crowd at the Sand Springs Festival of Lights Christmas Parade.

Tulsa Christmas Parade

Downtown Tulsa

Dec. 11

The 95th Tulsa Christmas Parade, presented by American Waste Control, returns for a traditional parade experience this year. The parade is free to attend, but bleacher seats are available for purchase. The parade will begin at Sixth Street and Detroit Avenue and will conclude at Third Street and Cheyenne Avenue downtown. Interested parties can also submit applications to have their own floats, walking units, marching bands or decorated vehicles featured in the Christmas Parade tulsachristmasparade.org

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The Gathering Place will once again transform into a winter wonderland to celebrate the holidays.

 

Winter Wonderland at the Gathering Place

Gathering Place, 2650 S. John Williams Way

Dec. 17-26

The Gathering Place will once again transform into a Winter Wonderland to celebrate the holidays. There will be seasonal performances, carolers, festive food and holiday drinks. One can enjoy a ride on the Winter Wonderland Express and capture a family photo with Santa Claus. gatheringplace.org

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