Top 5 Affordable Holiday Family Fun Ideas - MetroFamily Magazine
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Top 5 Affordable Holiday Family Fun Ideas

by Lexie Gilmartin

As a newer mom here in Oklahoma City (just shy of a year), I am always on the hunt for fun activities our whole family can enjoy. With so many holiday options right in our backyard, I look for a variety of budget-friendly options. From free to affordable, I’ve got the low down on some of the places you’ll want to be sure to check out this holiday season:

  1. Edmond Electric’s Luminance. The city of Edmond has made this beautiful walk-through display of lights an annual event at Mitch Park. Bundle up and enjoy the sights as you walk through this FREE display with a ton of photo ops. The light tunnel and row of golden snowmen were definitely highlights for my girls. Stop by before dark and allow your kids to get some energy out on the playground right in the middle of the decorations. Lights are on from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 5. If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your evening, cross the parking lot and check out the outdoor Edmond Ice Rink.
  2. Holiday Lights Spectacular in Midwest City. We truly enjoyed this drive-through display, which has been going for nearly 25 nears and spans 1.5 miles through Joe B. Barnes Regional Park. Admission is absolutely FREE (cash donations are accepted at the end). Tune your car radio to the station provided and let your family ooh and aah without any complaints of being cold. Our family had some extra time the evening we visited so we also enjoyed the beautiful tree in Town Center Plaza surrounded by lots of shopping and food options. This light spectacular runs until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends through Christmas evening. 
  3. Yukon’s Christmas in the Park. If you want to be wowed, this light display is one you won’t want to miss! It winds through Freedom Trail and ends at Chisholm Trail Park. There are multiple options for enjoying the lights: driving through (FREE), walking through (FREE) and/or riding the train (only $3 per person). We watched the weather to ensure we went on a warmer evening so we could fully enjoy this experience. We made the decision to do all three options for seeing the lights, and if I had it to do over again, I would do it just the same. Each option takes you through slightly different areas so you get a different experience in your car, on foot or in the train. There is a little food truck by the train stop with snacks and drinks and many great photo ops, including a chance to snap a photo with Santa himself. This display runs nightly from 6 to 11 p.m. through Dec. 31.
  4. Devon Ice Rink. Fun, fun and more fun! We had an absolute blast ice skating outside in downtown OKC. This is one activity my girls ask to do multiple times a year, so they were tickled when we surprised them with an afternoon of ice skating at this rink beautifully located next to the Myriad Gardens right in the heart of the city. Tickets, including ice skate rental, are $13 per person or only $7 for Myriad Gardens members. The rink has a small snack cart with reasonably priced drinks and snacks for sale. We rented a penguin ice-skating assistant for our 4-year-old for $10 per hour. This little friend made everyone’s experience more pleasant and gave our girl the independence she craved. Pro tip: Go during the day with smaller children before the crowds arrive. The Devon Ice Rink is open daily through Jan. 27, including a live DJ on Friday nights. 
  5. Holiday Water Taxi. I’m sure you’ve all heard of, seen or taken a ride on the water taxi in Bricktown, but did you know they do holiday water taxi rides for FREE?! Hop in line next to the canal and wait for your ride down the water where you’ll see beautiful lights, a glimpse of the city and gain knowledge on all the great restaurants and activities in the area. Our boat driver made all the difference, sharing local facts, telling stories, cracking jokes and leading us in a couple of Christmas carols. It was a ride to remember and another great activity suited for family members of all ages. After a nice time on the boat, we walked up the stairs to enjoy a delicious meal at Charleston’s. The restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere, cozy seating, moderately priced menu and some of the tastiest key lime pie. If you are looking for extra activities close by, grab a horse and carriage ride (for a fee) or pop over to Bass Pro Shop for a meet-and-greet with Santa, including a free photo and craft. 

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy one or many of these activities! Bundle up and make some unforgettable memories with the ones you love right here in this beautiful city many of us get to call home.

Lexie Gilmartin of @thegilmartingirls is a stay-at-home mom of two little girls, with one on the way. The OKC blogger loves to share her family’s adventures near and far.