Gifts that Do Good - MetroFamily Magazine
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Gifts that Do Good

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Reading Time: 8 minutes 

Support metro organizations this holiday season

Are you planning to give Oklahoma City a gift this holiday season? Too daunting a task? I’ve got good news for you: the perfect gift for our community is shopping locally for everyone on your list. Not only do you benefit from personalized service and higher quality products than when you shop at national chains, you also show some love to the environment by reducing waste and transportation.

Plus, of course, you’re supporting our local economy. According to Civic Economics, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy (compared to just $43 when you buy at a non-local business). Sales tax on your purchases helps provide vital services in the metro. And when you buy locally-made products, you’re helping ensure jobs for your neighbors and community members.

On top of all that, shopping locally just makes you feel good. Check out our top recommendations on places to shop in the metro this holiday season.

 

Gifts that give back

Jolly Jam

Pivot Preserves launched in October 2023 with the mission to provide job training and a variety of skills to the young people served by the nonprofit. Pivot offers a safe place to live, educational and vocational opportunities, and counseling, prevention, intervention and diversion services to young people ages 12 to 24 who are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness. The jams produced by Pivot Preserves are made, jarred, labeled, shipped and marketed by the young people and proceeds help continue the flourishing programs at Pivot.

Preserves are available in 4 or 8-ounce single jars or 4-ounce 3-jar bundles. Year-round flavors include Cherry Limeade, Mixed Berry and Peach, and special holiday releases include Apple Butter and Jalapeño Cranberry. pivotpreserves.org

Keep it Coo!

For tweens and teens who love graphic tees or for your favorite bird lover, remind them to Keep it Coo all year long! Sold by OKC’s American Pigeon Museum, proceeds from this hilarious shirt benefit the mission of the nonprofit museum to celebrate and educate visitors about humankind’s oldest feathered friend.

Sales, as well as donations, help keep admission to the museum entirely free, where visitors can meet a variety of live birds, learn how pigeons have been instrumental in warfare and get a glimpse into the world of pigeon racing. theamericanpigeonmuseum.org

Cookie Monster

There’s nothing better than freshly baked cookies, unless it’s sweet treats that also support a great cause. Catalyst Cookies is a program of ReMerge, a local diversion program for high-risk moms. The cookie company helps build job skills for ReMerge moms, many of whom have significant work gaps that prove a tremendous hindrance in their recovery and ability to care for their kids. This employment initiative not only helps moms’ future career success in earning a family-sustaining wage upon graduation from ReMerge, it also provides delicious products perfect for gifting.

Choose from tasty flavors like salted caramel pecan, birthday cake and triple chocolate chip. Orders are accepted daily, and cookie pick-ups are on Mondays. Cookie boxes or trays are perfect for teacher gifts, holiday parties or even leaving out for Santa! catalystcookies.org

Wrap Up Homelessness

After you’ve bought all those gifts, you’re going to need something to wrap them in. Each year, Curbside Chronicle, a project of the Homeless Alliance, produces wrapping paper with beautiful, creative designs by local artists. All proceeds support the organization’s mission to employ and empower people transitioning out of homelessness in OKC.

Purchase your wrapping paper from Curbside Chronicle vendors around town, at the Holiday Pop-Up Shops in Midtown or at Curbside Flowers (don’t miss their perfect-for-giving wreaths and tiny Christmas trees, created by employees transitioning out of homelessness, as well as 12 ounce bags of Curbside blend coffee). And, if you need custom screen printing for the holiday season, check out the group’s newest venture: Curbside Apparelwrapuphomelessness.org

 

Gifts that support local

Find exceptional customer service and locally made products for everyone on your list, from new babies to grandparents, on Small Business Saturday and throughout
the holiday season.

Baby Bonanza

For the littlest recipients on your list, check out Tiny Tulips in Norman. With a beautiful selection of board books, the softest Kickee brand sleepers, trendy tiny ball caps and unique gifts (think lovable jellycat plushies, adorable onesies and mesmerizing baby toys), you’ll score perfect, precious presents. @shop_tinytulips

Children’s Wonderland

Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books in northwest OKC offers a carefully curated product selection paired with exceptionally knowledgeable staff to make for a magical shopping experience. Share the age and interests of the child you’re shopping for and prepare to be wowed with toys, books and games that inspire curiosity, creativity and critical thinking for toddlers through tweens. learningtreeokc.com

Terrific for Tweens & Teens

Trendy, quirky and unexpected … adjectives that perfectly describe Plenty Mercantile and the tweens and teens in your life! Conscientious kids will appreciate the store’s focus on sustainability. Don’t miss their selection of 3D puzzles, crossbody bags, unique jewelry, teen-approved books, trendy hats and more. (You can also find unique gifts for teachers, grandparents, littles and just about anyone else on your list.) plentymercantile.com

Books for Everyone

You get a book and you get a book and you get a book! As the largest and oldest independent bookstore in Oklahoma, Full Circle carries a wide range of titles in every genre imaginable, and staff members are happy to make recommendations based on your recipient’s interests. Coordinate your shopping with breakfast, lunch or snack time to stop by their cafe for a delightful bite. fullcirclebooks.com 

One Stop (Pop-Up) Shop

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

The iconic geodes of Midtown’s annual Holiday Pop-Up Shops have become an OKC holiday shopping staple. With dozens of shops rotating weekly, from Nov. 24 through Dec. 17, this can be your one-stop-shop to knock out your entire list in one afternoon. You can even purchase your live Christmas tree at the Bishop John Carroll tree lot, and don’t forget to reward yourself with a treat from the Katiebug’s Sips & Sweets food truck. The shops are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. okcpopups.com

Sweet (Clean) Treats

Made right here in OKC from bean to bar, Good Girl Chocolate produces exceptional truffles, bars and caramels you can feel extra good about gifting (and eating!). In the midst of her own health journey, founder Dr. Tabatha Carr, ND, created candies that are dairy free, gluten free, soy free, non GMO and use organic, plant-based sweeteners. So delicious they were featured in the Grammy’s gifting lounge and on QVC, choose from truffles (from 5 to 36 piece sets) in flavors like caramel cake, cookie dough and pecan fudge and decadent chocolate bars like brownie batter and dark fudge with almonds. goodgirlchocolate.com

 

Gifts beyond the box

If you could use less stuff in your life this holiday season, consider gifting (and requesting!) experiences instead. Whether for your kids, a family on your shopping list or even grandparents, local attraction memberships encourage time together, learning and adventure all year long.

Art Aficionados

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

With frequently changing exhibitions featuring world-renowned artists and collections, repeat visits to OKCMOA are a must. Kids 17 and under always get in free, and with an individual ($60) or dual ($100) membership, adults can enjoy free admission, too. Members also receive discounted rates for film tickets, programs, special events and the museum store, plus invitations to preview new exhibitions before the general public. okcmoa.com

Oklahoma Contemporary

PHOTO BY CASSANDRA WATSON. ROBERT
PETERSON’S IMPERFECTLY PERFECT,
TOGETHER (2023). © ROBERT PETERSON

While admission to Oklahoma Contemporary is always free, your membership helps keep the art accessible to the community and provides plenty of extra benefits. Individual ($65) or Dual ($110) memberships provide discounts on classes, camps and workshops, discounts in the cafe and museum shop and complimentary tickets to select exhibition opening events. oklahomacontemporary.org

 

Tree (& Animal!) Huggers

Myriad Gardens

Get back to nature — in the middle of downtown OKC! A Family membership is $85 and includes free admission to the newly renovated Inasmuch Foundation Crystal Bridge Conservatory for two adults and four children. Members at this level also receive two one-time guest passes to the Crystal Bridge and four one-time passes to ride Mo’s Carousel, plus free admission to Pumpkinville in October, skating for $10 at the Devon Ice Rink (including skate rental), discounts on programs, activities and party rentals and reciprocal membership to more than 300 public gardens nationwide. myriadgardens.org

OKC Zoo

Explore 130 acres to discover more than 1,000 animals. ZOOfriends Members receive discounts on summer camps and classes, Wild Encounter experiences, VIP tours and special events, including Safari Lights, Haunt the Zoo treat bags and more. Plus, you get a 10 percent discount in the gift stores and on concessions purchases. Select your level of membership “Passport” based on the number of people you’d like it to cover, with options ranging from 1 to 10 individuals. The $149 Passport for 4 gets free admission for four people ages 3+ over the course of 12 months. This membership pays for itself in just three visits! okczoo.org 

Scissortail Park

While you can enjoy all the active family fun in this downtown oasis for free, a membership provides some serious perks, especially if you’re a frequent park patron. A $75 Family membership provides benefits to two adults and up to four kids, including: free pedal boat and kayak rentals, free admission to the Sky Rink (plus quad or inline skates rental), free or discounted admission to special events, discounts at SPARK in the Park and discounts on concessions and party rental spaces. scissortailpark.org 

 

History Buffs

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Giddy up and mosey on over to this premier institution of Western history, art and culture — plus the kid-favorite experiences of life-sized cowtown Prosperity Junction and Indigenous dwellings in Liichokoshkomo’. The Cowboy Family membership is $100 and includes year-long admission for two adults and four children. Members receive discounts at museum eateries and the store. nationalcowboymuseum.org 

Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Experience Oklahoma through its people at this interactive museum ideal for multigenerational fun. Give at the Perseverance ($100) level to receive free admission to the museum for two adults and all household children for one year. Also attend free family fun days offered throughout the entire year. oklahomahof.com 

First Americans Museum 

Celebrate and learn about the cultural diversity, authentic history and contributions of the 39 Tribal Nations in Oklahoma today. Join at the FAMhousehold level for $125, which includes unlimited admission for two adults and up to four kids, plus a 10 percent discount at FAMStore, the cafe and restaurant and on classes and camps. famok.org

 

Pint-Sized Scientists 

Science Museum Oklahoma

STEAM and science come alive through hands-on activities, indoor play structures and mind-blowing shows. SMO 4 memberships are $175 and include admission for four people for one year. Members receive early registration and discounts for select programs and events, discounts on birthday parties and 10 percent discounts in the gift store and cafe. Plus, enjoy free or discounted admission to participating Association of Science-Technology Centers throughout the world. sciencemuseumok.org

Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum

Located less than an hour from OKC in Seminole, the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum encourages learning through play, particularly through interactive, career-focused exhibits that encourage kids to step into a variety of professions. A Family Fun 6 membership admits six people for a year (one must be a listed cardholder but you can bring different people each visit). Members also receive a 15 percent discount in the museum gift shop, discounts on special events and programs and half-price admission to more than 200 museums with the Association of Children’s Museum Reciprocal Network. jasminemoran.com 

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