By: Tom Fink | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: December 2018
Few things evoke the spirit of the holiday season more than the sight of a Christmas light display.
While many choose to decorate their homes with lights, there are holiday light displays aplenty all around the state. No matter where you may live in Oklahoma, odds are there’s a dazzling holiday light display just a short drive away from wherever you are.
Regardless of how much or little you plan to decorate your own home for the holidays, treat yourself and your family to a visit to some of the illuminated winter wonderlands that Oklahoma has to offer.
Since 1982, Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow has delighted young and old alike with more than 2 million lights, including over 100,000 shimmering bulbs synchronized to Christmas tunes and carols.
As magical to drive through as it is to walk through, the season Christmas light display at Rhema’s Bible Church is a brilliant display of Christmas lights that creates an unforgettable experience for any who visit.
This can’t-miss holiday stop typically attracts 200,000 visitors per season and is free to attend.
Bundle up the kids and head over the Utica Square for a unique shopping and Christmas light walking tour experience. For more than 50 years, the merchants of Utica Square and the shopping center itself have celebrated the season with more than 700,000 lights adorning 175 trees that light up the evening sky.
The Castle of Muskogee becomes a winter wonderland this time of the year. Feel free to take a ride through the Christmas village, or – weather permitting – ride the ponies. Stop inside The Castle for the Christmas Shoppe, free family movies, unique merchants, and enjoy a bite at the Café. Visitors can make ornaments of their own in Santa’s workshop and warm up by the fireplace.
While Honor Heights Park is well-known for its vibrant azalea blooms in spring, the park keeps the magic alive through the wintry nights of December by swapping floral imagery for over one million dynamic lights and displays. As the park’s azaleas take to their wintry slumber, Honor Heights Park recreates the rich hues of spring by draping the hibernating rose and azalea bushes with bursts of holiday color. With over 120 acres of trees and water areas decorated for the holidays, and with animated displays of deer, squirrels and birds peppered along the park’s pathways, Muskogee’s Gardens of Light will transport visitors to a spellbinding holiday celebration of natural beauty.
The grounds and buildings of Woolaroc will be covered with more than 750,000 lights as the historic ranch is transformed into a magical holiday escape. In addition to the lights, there will be wagon rides, live entertainment, Santa Claus in the museum, hot cider and hot chocolate and cookies for sale in the Lodge, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the “Holiday Horseman,” covered in lights, riding across the grounds.
Wonderland of Lights at Woolaroc is 5-9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23. Admission is $6 for adults and $1 for children 11 and under.
During the Christmas season, the museum comes alive with holiday events, visits from Santa, train rides, Lego village, garden games, live music, holiday shopping, Christmas décor, and thousands of lights in the gardens to reflect the spirit of the season.
At a Festival Night, visitors can enjoy a new light show decorating the gardens and grounds, make and take activities, food and drink, including a cash bar and hot cocoa, special programming, and more.
Reconnect with family and friends in the garden illuminated with colorful lights. Attendees can make s’mores over fire pits, enjoy holiday music, and take in the spirit of the season in the magical garden escape.
Seasonal events include Wednesdays with Saint Nick, Musical Thursdays, which feature a variety of entertainers such as Holiday Gypsy Jazz, Bravo Performing Arts School, Cascia Hall Singers, Harpist Lorelei Barton, and more, and Holiday Express Train Rides.
Travel south of the Oklahoma City metro area and make your way to Chickasha for the city’s annual Festival of Light. This much-loved Christmas tradition, features an astounding 3.5 million shimmering lights. Visitors to this celebration of holiday cheer will delight in over four miles of lighted walkways and the festival’s illuminated 172-ft. Christmas tree, which can famously be seen for miles. Roam through Chickasha’s Shannon Springs Park from the comfort of your own vehicle to view hundreds of animated displays and a fantastic light show synchronized to traditional holiday tunes, or enjoy the scenery from a cozy horse-drawn carriage. Don’t forget to visit the on-site gift shop for holiday gifts as well as sweet candied nuts, deliciously warm cocoa and scrumptious cinnamon rolls.
For nearly 20 years, Midwest city has presented the Holiday Lights Spectacular – one of the state’s brightest and longest drive-through Christmas displays.
With more than 100 animated light displays, the Midwest City Holiday Lights Spectacular is a 1.5-mile long drive which boasts more than one million lights. Visitors can enjoy the 118-foot Christmas tree, illuminated with more than 9,000 LED bulbs, the tunnel of lights, Santa fly fishing in a 15-foot waterfall, elves baking in the candy factory, and much, much more.
For millions of bright lights, hundreds of Christmas displays and a wealth of family-friendly activities perfect for the holidays, head to Elk City’s annual Christmas in the Park celebration. View the lights from atop an English double-decker bus or take an exhilarating trip around Elk City’s Ackley Park onboard a miniature train. Get the most out of your visit by attending this wintry kingdom on Friday or Saturday, when carousel rides and horse-drawn carriage rides will be available to guests. Bring the little ones and enjoy free hot dogs, free cocoa and a Santa’s gift shop for the kids.
For additional holiday and Christmas light displays around the state, visit www.travelok.com.
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