By: Renee Profitt | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: December 2009
The Christmas Kingdom at the Castle of Muskogee has more than a 1,500 inflatable lighted displays to enjoy.
One of the largest displays of holiday spirit in Northeast Oklahoma can be found in Muskogee, a short 35-minute drive from Tulsa. At the Castle of Muskogee’s Christmas Kingdom, you can take a slow drive through a Christmas wonderland filled with thousands of lights and more than 1,500 lighted inflatable displays – with many new ones for 2009. In nearby Honor Heights Park, the Garden of Lights has been a popular event, attracting thousands of viewers to enjoy millions of lights displayed throughout the park. Both events are free.
For a change of pace, you can choose to view the Christmas Kingdom from a horse carriage ride or a tractor drawn hay ride, which travel through a very special part of the village that is not accessible to cars.
Santa’s Workshop, where children can make small gifts, is open each evening. The Garden Room is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. so you can also purchase inflatables for your own home, as well as an assortment of Christmas items – all at incredible prices. Cookies, hot chocolate and more are available nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as self-guided tours of the Castle. Some of the area’s finest artisans will be on hand showing unique, handmade gifts.
Visit with Father Christmas at the Castle November 28, December 4-5, 11-12, and 18-22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is no cost to talk to Father Christmas, but pictures will be available for a nominal fee.
Gates open to the Garden of Lights in Honor Heights Park every night at 5:30.
The 2009 Christmas Kingdom uses only top quality inflatables. They range from four feet in height to a towering 20 feet tall. You’ll see all of your favorite Christmas characters, including Santa, the elves, snowmen, reindeer, penguins, polar bears, and more. Also, you will see many of your favorite fun characters, including Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Scooby Doo, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, the Grinch, Elmo, Frosty the Snowman, Homer and Bart Simpson, plus many more. “This is the world’s largest display of inflatables,” says Matt Hiller, vice president and advertising director of the Castle of Muskogee.
The Garden of Lights celebration includes a free drive-through display of over a million shimmering lights throughout the park. Honor Heights Park, internationally known for its annual Azalea Festival, draws up to a half million visitors annually. The park’s 122 acres are planted with more than 30,000 azalea bushes and thousands of trees, beautifully situated among the park’s scenic hilltop drive. Christmas lights are placed on trees, bushes and structures throughout the park to enhance the natural beauty of the gardens, waterfalls and ponds. Gates open at 5:30 nightly.
The Christmas Kingdom takes place nightly now through New Year’s Eve, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free; donations are accepted. “Bring the whole family for a fun, wholesome evening to celebrate the holidays,” says Hiller. Visit the castle online at www.okcastle.com for more information.