Remote Control: I'm Dreaming of a Safe Christmas

6 minutes
Remote Control is the weekly blog for Oklahoma Today fall intern Abigail Hall. Check back each week as she discusses her work-from-home experience.
Week 1 Remote Control: Adapting
Week 2 Remote Control: The New Normal
Week 3 Remote Control: Check It Out
Week 4 Remote Control: Creating Usefulness
Week 5 Remote Control: Fair Not
Week 6 Remote Control: National American Indian Heritage Month

The winter holidays are here, and with them arrives year-long anticipated traditions from caroling to visits with Santa to sipping on a hot cup of cocoa. Some of your favorite activities or seasonal fun may have been canceled due to the spread of coronavirus, but never fear—here at Oklahoma Today we have rounded up a list of virtual and socially distanced events to help make up for the change in your plans. From a drive-through lighting ceremony and holiday parade in Muskogee and Durant to virtual lighting festivals in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, don’t miss out on all the festivities this holiday season has to offer from the safety of your couch or car:

Muskogee’s annual light display, Garden of Lights, will once again be a drive-through event through Honor Heights Park’s 130 acres of lit trees, bushes, water areas, and wooded creatures like deer, squirrels, and birds. View the natural beauty of Muskogee’s top park illuminated with color and shimmer lights. Admission is per car and costs $5 per car or $10 per bus and passenger vans. Additionally, admission is free on Mondays. November 26-January 1. Admission, Free-$10. (918) 684-6302 or muskogeeonline.org.

Santa is masking up and asking for kids to sign up online for any visits at Penn Square or Woodland Hills malls.

Santa is masking up and asking for kids to sign up online for any visits at Penn Square or Woodland Hills malls.

Santa is coming to town safely with the Simon Santa Photo Experience at Penn Square and Woodland Hills malls in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, respectively. Santa and his helpers will wear masks and participants must register online prior to attendance. Santa arrives on November 27 and will be available for socially distanced photo reservations 1-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday until Christmas Eve. November 27-December 24. Admission, $40-$50. (713) 224-9115 or simonsanta.com.

Kick off the holiday season with virtual lighting events across Oklahoma. Tulsa’s annual Utica Square Lights On ceremony and Oklahoma City’s Tree Lighting Festival will both be virtual for the first time this year. The Lights On ceremony will feature carols performed by the Grady Nichols Band and a display of 1,000,000 lights on 175 trees on Utica Square’s property. Lights On will be broadcast on Utica Square’s social media channels starting 6:30 p.m.

The Tree Lighting Festival will feature Santa sightings, carols, local performers, and the traditional tree lighting. Lyric Theatre’s cast of A Christmas Carol will perform a carol medley followed by hip-hop artist Jabee’s reading of the classic Twas the Night Before Christmas. Mayor David Holt will also be on-site in Bricktown to host the traditional countdown to the lighting of the tree. The livestream will be broadcast at 7 p.m. November 27-December 24. Admission, Free. (918) 510-1664 and (405) 235-3500 or uticasquare.com and downtownindecember.com/tree-lighting.

Enjoy a lighted art festival from a distance at Tulsa’s Philbrook Festival. The museum is hosting its annual holiday event completely socially distanced and outdoors with thousands of holiday lights, live music, sightings of Santa from afar, hot cocoa by the fire, and a new take-home art project. Wearing masks and social distancing of six feet is required. The event offers contactless check-in and timed entry with a required advance ticket purchase. Entry ranges from free to $5 for museum members and $3-$15 for non-members. November 27-December 26. Admission, Free-$15. (918) 749-7941 or philbrook.org/visit/fundraising/festival.

Durant invites the local community to a drive-by holiday tour version of its annual Hometown Holiday Tour parade. This year participants can drive by the community’s festive stationary floats and displays at local businesses and homes. Following the drive-by experience, participants are invited to vote online for their favorite display. December 1. Admission, Free. (580) 924-0848 or durantchamber.org.

As always, if you attend an event or want to share how you’re celebrating this holiday season safely, send me an email at abigail.hall@TravelOK.com.

Written By
Abigail Hall

Abigail Hall is Oklahoma Today's fall editorial intern.

Abigail Hall
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