Downtown in December is an annual holiday festival in the center of Oklahoma City, featuring two months of Christmas events, winter activities, holiday shopping, and performances. The entire downtown area is lit up with holiday lights, and daily events mean that there is always something happening to enjoy.
The 18th annual Downtown in December festivities begin on November 8, 2019, and run until January 11, 2020. The full calendar of events can be found on the event webpage and include these seasonal highlights.
Holiday Light Displays
The beginning of the holiday season is usually accompanied by illuminated trees, buildings, and streets, and Oklahoma City is no exception. Visitors can enjoy lights all over downtown, but the main light displays are located in Automobile Alley and the Bricktown Canal.
Automobile Alley is the trendy neighborhood that's worth visiting year-round for the classic brick buildings and vintage neon signage. During Downtown in December, the area is decorated with over 230,000 colorful LED lights, which you can enjoy while shopping in the boutiques or having a drink in one of the many hip bars. The lights are located on Broadway Avenue between NW Fourth and 10th streets. Don't miss the opening event on November 23, 2019, when the lights are turned on and many of the local businesses offer special deals. The lights are free to the public and turned on nightly until January 11, 2020.
The Bricktown Canal, a popular tourist destination in Oklahoma City, becomes even more magical during the holidays. The lights along the canal and reflected in the water make for a spectacular view and a very Instagrammable experience. Stroll the canal and its many shops and eateries while enjoying the holiday lights from November 29, 2019, through January 11, 2020.
Holiday Water Taxi
While it's fun to stroll the canal on foot and visit the waterfront shops, the best way to experience the Bricktown Canal lights is on the holiday water taxi. Best of all, it's completely free of charge. Hop on the taxi at the port located in front of Brickopolis, and take in the sights on this 30-minute, narrated tour up and down the canal. The holiday water taxi runs every Thursday-Sunday evening from November 30 through December 29, 2019, barring extreme weather events such as heavy rain or the canal freezing over.
Devon Ice Rink
Ice skating rinks are synonymous with wintertime activities, and the Devon Ice Rink is one of the premier holiday venues in Oklahoma City, located in the beautiful Myriad Botanical Garden. The rink is open seven days a week beginning November 8, 2019, through February 2, 2020, including holidays, and the cost is $13 per person including skates or $8 if you bring your own skates. For those who are interested in more than just skating, on certain days you can also take curling lessons.
Weekend With Santa
Santa flies into Oklahoma City the weekend of December 7–8, 2019, to visit children at the Myriad Botanical Garden. It's free to visit with Santa and take pictures using your own phone or camera, but visits are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Upon arrival, you must register with your phone number and you'll receive a text when Santa is ready for you. While you wait, stroll around the Gardens and enjoy the foliage and other holiday activities taking place, such as the Devon Ice Rink or holiday train.
One of the year's most anticipated holiday events is the tree lighting, located in front of the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Oklahoma City mayor and Santa Clause come together to kick-off the ceremony and light the holiday tree, taking place on November 30, 2019. Visitors can also enjoy live music, food trucks, face painting, and photos with Santa.
Sandridge Santa Run
The Sandridge Santa Run is a race through downtown, and participants can sign up for a 5K race or a one-mile fun run, both on December 14, 2019. Prizes are awarded to the top three males and top three females of the 5K race. If you're not an avid runner but still want to be part of a competition, run the race in costume and shoot for one of the prizes in the costume contest.
There are a variety of holiday-themed concerts and performances to enjoy throughout December. The annual production of "The Nutcracker" is a classic, put on by the Oklahoma City Ballet and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. This dreamy and magical show is sure to please the whole family and is a traditional part of the holiday season. The show runs from December 14–22, 2019.
For the ninth year, the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma will be performing "A Christmas Carol," from November 29 through December 24, 2019. Another holiday classic, this is a must-see show and elaborate production. You'll also be supporting the local community theater when you buy tickets, in case you needed another reason to see this performance.
First Church in downtown OKC is hosting the African Children's Choir on December 1, 2019, in a free concert that is part of their North American tour.
Other Downtown in December Events
The events during Downtown in December are neverending, and Oklahoma City goes all out to provide a magical holiday experience for both locals and visitors. Go snow tubing without having to drive up to the mountains at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, or head out to a bar crawl through downtown during the annual OKC Christmas Crawl. If you have a four-legged companion, Dog Day in December is a fundraiser where your pup can get a picture with Santa at the local dog park. See the full calendar of events for details and more wintertime activities.