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Guide to Christmas light shows, holiday festivals, shopping and seasonal events around Tulsa

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Part of what makes the holiday season special is sharing long-standing traditions with our family and friends. Many of Tulsa’s holiday events have been held for decades, with the Tulsa Christmas Parade as the granddaddy of them all at nearly 100 years running.

Whether you gather every year to gaze upon the lights at Rhema Bible Church and Utica Square or look forward to skating on the Winterfest ice rink outside the BOK Center, there are plenty of opportunities to make new memories in the coming weeks.

Read on for our compilation of area holiday events, lights displays, festivals and markets. For holiday concerts and arts performances, watch for our story in the Nov. 30 edition.


Rhema Bible Christmas Lights

Millions of lights shine at the popular Rhema Christmas Lights display at Rhema Bible College.

Rhema Christmas lights

Nov. 23-Jan. 1

1025 W. Kenosha Ave., Broken Arrow

More than 3 million colorful lights make up the popular display at Rhema Bible Church. This event has been delighting visitors for over 40 years. Enjoy the lights from the comfort of your car or walk around to get the full experience. See a 50-figure nativity scene and a gingerbread family, complete with lollipops and gumdrops. Carriage rides and concessions are available for a fee. rhemalights.org


Arvest Winterfest

Nov. 25-Jan. 8

200 S. Denver Ave.

Bundle up and hit the ice at the 15th annual Winterfest to skate on its 9,000-square-foot outdoor rink outside the BOK Center. The rink opens at noon on the weekend and at 5 p.m. on weekdays unless closed for a private event. (A full calendar is on the Winterfest website.) Horse-drawn carriage rides are offered for a fee. A Winterfest Express Train, free and open to all ages, will be available from noon until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Winterfest is unveiling an upgraded Christmas tree this year. It is 20 feet in diameter, has 42,400 LED lights and 2,670 ornaments and a 6-foot star is at the top. At 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, there will be a tree-lighting ceremony. Another new addition this year is the pop-up holiday shops on select weekends. tulsawinterfest.com


Route 66 Christmas Chute

Walk historic Route 66 by way of the Christmas Chute. The 800-foot-long canopies are filled with ornaments and decor in 10 magical Christmas themes.

Route 66 Christmas Chute

Through Jan. 1

Dewey Avenue between Main and Elm streets, Sapulpa

At this new destination, visitors can walk historic Route 66 under 800-foot-long canopies filled with ornaments and decor in 10 magical Christmas themes. There are events every weekend, as well as pop-up shops, restaurants and downtown retailers. route66christmaschute.com


Claremore Lake Lights and Parade

Nov. 23-Jan. 6

East Blue Starr Drive entrance

Claremore Lake Park will be lit up again this year. Visitors are invited to drive through the park, starting at the Blue Starr Drive entrance, and enjoy the Christmas lights. This is a free event. On Saturday, Dec. 3, the Claremore Christmas Parade, hosted by the Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 6 p.m. in downtown Claremore. visitclaremore.org

Festival of the Trees Opening Night

Nov. 24

15 E. Needles Ave., Bixby

The Bixby Historical Society presents the Festival of the Trees at Santa’s Village. Over 120 trees will be lit to music for a magical Christmas light show. Guests can visit Santa’s workshop, stroll through North Pole Candyland and shop at Mrs. Clause’s Candy Shoppe. bixbyhistoricalsociety.com


Garden of Lights

Christmas lights shine at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee during the Garden of Lights.

Garden of Lights

Nov. 24-Jan. 1

1400 Honor Heights Drive, Muskogee

Visitors can drive through a stunning display as Honor Heights Park is lit with 1.2 million shimmering lights that enhance the natural beauty of the park’s gardens, waterfalls and ponds. Hayrides are by reservation-only. Admission is $5 per car. and $10 for bus/passenger vans. facebook.com/GardenofLightsMuskogee


Philbrook Festival

Select dates Nov. 25-Dec. 24

2727 S. Rockford Road

At Philbrook Museum of Art’s Philbrook Festival, experience holiday-themed activities for the whole family. Celebrate the season with hot chocolate, musical light shows, arts and crafts, visits with Santa, a community-sourced Lego Villa and more. Advance timed entry ticket required. philbrook.org

Botanic Garden of Lights

Select dates Nov. 25-Dec. 30

3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive

The Tulsa Botanic Garden will be illuminated with colorful lights and busy with many holiday events. Visitors can make s’mores over fire pits, enjoy holiday music and take in the spirit of the season in a magical garden escape. Botanical St. Nick will make appearances, and train rides for kids are offered nightly except Sundays. The Snow Queen, Snow Princess and friends also will visit. Pop-up crafts are offered on Thursday nights, and live jazz performances are on Sunday nights. tulsabotanic.org

Wonderland of Lights at Woolaroc

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 25-Dec. 18

1925 Woolaroc Ranch Road, Bartlesville

Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, located just outside of Bartlesville, turns into a magical winter wonderland as the iconic ranch is decorated with over 750,000 lights. Guests can also enjoy wagon rides, Christmas cookies and hot chocolate in the lodge. Again this year, the main drive to the campus will be reversed, allowing guests the unique view seen only at this time of year. woolaroc.org


Lights On at Utica Square

It’s been more than 50 years since Utica Square began its Thanksgiving night tradition of turning on more than 1 million lights that adorn the shopping center. Enjoy some hot cocoa, sing carols and watch Santa count down to the switch-flipping. 

Lights On Utica Square

Nov. 24

1709 Utica Square

The 55th annual Lights On event takes place on Thanksgiving night. Attendees can enjoy Christmas carols performed by saxophonist Grady Nichols, visit Santa Claus and enjoy the atmosphere under 700,000 lights. uticasquare.com


Lights On Owasso

Nov. 26

109 N. Main St, Owasso

The Christmas season gets underway in Owasso with the lighting of a 34-foot tree at Redbud Festival Park. Festivities include pictures with Santa, food trucks and live entertainment. cityofowasso.com/718/Lights-On-Owasso

Route 66 Village Lights On

Nov. 26

3770 Southwest Blvd.

Back for the 12th year, this event in west Tulsa offers an evening of lights, Christmas music, holiday treats, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa Claus.


Castle Christmas pony rides

Ride the Christmas ponies, weather permitting, at the Castle of Muskogee.

Castle Christmas

Nov. 24-Dec. 31

3400 W. Fern Mountain Road, Muskogee

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


Territorial Christmas Celebration and Parade

Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10

212 W. Oklahoma, Guthrie

Although it’s a bit farther away than other events in this guide, Guthrie’s Territorial Christmas is worth a mention. For over 35 years, this attraction has been giving guests a taste of Oklahoma history. Festivities include a Christmas parade through downtown Guthrie, as well as Victorian Walk Nights, featuring tours of historic Guthrie homes with carolers and other reenactors re-creating what it was like to live in Guthrie during the territorial era. The lighted parade is the evening of Nov. 26. facebook.com/GuthriesTerritorialChristmas

Christmas Wonderland at Tulsa Promenade mall

Dec. 1-18

4107 S. Yale Ave., on the second floor

Visitors to the mall’s Christmas village will be greeted by about 25 activities that include a giant post office where children can write Santa a letter, an elf workshop, a build-a-snowman shop and an attack-the-Grinch snowball game. Also featured will be a play reindeer barn, a room immersed in life-like falling show, Christmas-themed virtual reality games and a Christmas tree maze as long as a football field. Tickets are required and can be purchased online. The event is put on by locally based nonprofit CityServe Oklahoma. thechristmaswonderland.com

BA Ice Rink

Through Jan. 2

418 S. Main St., Broken Arrow

The BA Ice Rink returns for its seventh season at the Rose District in downtown Broken Arrow. Enjoy outdoor ice skating on 4,200 square feet of ice. baicerink.com

Salvation Army Angel Tree

Various locations

Through Dec. 10

This holiday season, support a Tulsa child or senior citizen in need by participating in Angel Tree, a tradition since 1979. Names of individuals in need and their desired gifts will be placed on Salvation Army Christmas trees across Tulsa (see a map of locations online). Angels can also be adopted online on the Salvation Army website. tsamm.org/angeltree

Sand Springs Festival of Lights Christmas Parade

Dec. 2

Downtown Sand Springs

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 “Christmas at the Movies.” sandspringschamber.org/events-2


glowart

Glow on the Green has become an annual event during the holiday season at Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa. Tulsa World file

Glow on the Green

Dec. 2

111 E. Reconciliation Way

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 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer, joined by Santa Claus later in the evening. The event will also feature live music, food, hot drinks and more than 35 vendors. guthriegreen.com


Big Spirit, Little Trees at the Museum Broken Arrow

Through Dec. 9

400 S. Main St., Broken Arrow

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

12 Nights of Lights

Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights starting Dec. 2

8377 E. Hwy. 88, Oologah

Enjoy a free drive-through Christmas lights display at Hawthorne Bluff Campground at Oologah Lake. On Dec. 10, see the Oologah Christmas Parade. Oologah FFA will be giving out cookies, gifts, hot chocolate and playing games while children wait in line to see Santa after the parade. The Grinch will also be on hand for pictures and cookies.

Christkindlmarkt and Tree Lighting

Dec. 1-4

2301 E. 15th St.

Celebrate the season with a traditional German Christmas market. Watch the outdoor tree lighting ceremony from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. From Dec. 2-4, find German food and music, sip warm Gluehwein and shop for gifts. A Bethlehem village has hundreds of figurines one could spend hours exploring. Children can enjoy the event in the Kinderstube and visit with Christkindl and Saint Nikolaus. gastulsa.com

Christmas at the Ranch

Dec. 2-4

3913 E. 181st St., Bixby

This family festival and shopping event, which is returning for the sixth year, features over 125 local artists, crafters, makers, food trucks and small businesses. On Friday, the event is for shopping only. On Saturday and Sunday, families can visit Santa, see the petting zoo, take a hayride, ride a pony, watch the aerial performances, get your face painted and more. Buy tickets at the ranch’s website. 181ranch.com

Jingle on the Hill at Chandler Park

Dec. 3

6500 W. 21st St.

This holiday event at Chandler Park offers many family-friendly activities for $1 per person, including an indoor snowball fight with yarn snowballs, STEM activities, cookie walk, decorate your own stocking, trim a Christmas tree, food and Santa and Mrs. Claus. facebook.com/chandlerparktulsa

Holiday events at Mother Road Market

Dec. 4, Dec. 10-11

1124 S. Lewis Ave.

Shop local favorites, hear live music and enjoy winter cocktails at the Holiday Market. Find the perfect gift at The Vault, Shops at Mother Road Market and more. While you’re shopping on Dec. 4, the kids can build and decorate homemade gingerbread houses with Ellen Bakes. The event is open to ages 8-15, and tickets are at eventbrite.com. On Dec. 10-11, Santa Claus will be on site in a classic car. Pictures are $5. motherroadmarket.com

Living Nativity and Pecan and Walnut Festival

Dec. 8-10, Dec. 15-17

16792 E. 450 Road, Claremore

Travel back to biblical times at Shepherd’s Cross, a real working farm in Rogers County. The farm will feature over 100 actors who will reenact the events of Jesus’ birth. See farm animals, live music, a wool mill and fiber arts demonstrations, a candy cane maze and more. The Shepherd’s Shop will also be open for guests to purchase fresh pecans, pecan candies, baked goods and other Christmas gifts. shepherdscross.com

Winter Wonderland at the Gathering Place

Select dates Dec. 9-25

Gathering Place, 2650 S. John Williams Way

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

Creepy Christmas Light Tour

Select dates Dec. 9-23

Meeting location sent at time of ticket purchase

Get spooky on this Christmas light tour. Learn about the disturbing legends, traditions, folklore and stories about Christmases all over the world while taking a bus ride through amazing Christmas lights. Tickets are $40. tulsaspirittours.com

Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival

Dec. 10

3800 S. Elm Place, Broken Arrow

New Orleans Square’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival returns for a second year. There will be vendors, children’s activities, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa Claus. brokenarrowok.gov

Santa Land

Dec. 10-11

923 S. Main St., Sapulpa

This event offers family fun, including free pictures with Santa Claus and Christmas crafts. Food trucks V'Fresco, Angels & Cowboys Chuck Wagon and Cactus Cones will be on site with special cones and hot chocolate. Bring a toy to donate to Caring Community Friends to help children have a magical Christmas. Santa Land is also running a free shuttle. facebook.com/dluxepropertiesok


Tulsa Christmas Parade

Dancers from Miss Trinita's Dance Studio walk to their float before last year's Tulsa Christmas Parade. The parade is a long-standing Tulsa tradition.

Tulsa Christmas Parade

Dec. 10

Downtown Tulsa

The Tulsa Christmas Parade has been a tradition for nearly a century. The downtown parade is free to attend, but bleacher seats are available for purchase. This year’s theme is “Art Deco the Halls.” tulsachristmasparade.org


A Greenwood Christmas

Dec. 16

322 N. Greenwood Ave.

The second annual A Greenwood Christmas event is held at the Greenwood Cultural Center. At this free event, get a picture with Santa and his elf and decorate your own ornaments and Christmas cookies. There will be a “Jingle Jangle” book reading and monologue performance by Majeste Pearson. Masks are required.

The Christmas Express

Dec. 16

50 W. Dawes Ave., Bixby

(Note: This event is SOLD OUT) Ride a trolley through downtown Bixby and experience the stories of the season. The Christmas Express will depart from Charley Young Event Park every 20 minutes. The ride will end at the Bixby Historical Society, where you can visit and take pictures with Santa, enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and view the Festival of the Trees. 

Kwanzaa: Celebrating Culture and Community

Dec. 26

1520 N. Hartford Ave.

Join the African American Resource Center in exploring the seven principles of Kwanzaa through dance, song and spoken word at this all-ages event at Rudisill Regional Library’s Ancestral Hall. events.tulsalibrary.org


Tulsa World Scene podcast: Thanksgiving traditions, the good ones and some bad ones

In this week's episode, Grace Wood, James Watts and Jimmie Tramel discuss Thanksgiving traditions and sides. So what about green bean casserole anyway? Also, a national touring production of the musical "Six" is coming to town, plus Daddy B's BBQ is open for business in south Tulsa.

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