Christmas in Tulsa: Family-Friendly Activities and Events

Christmas is less than a week away. You probably have a whole agenda lined up to occupy your children’s schedule while they are on their winter breaks. However, if you are still fishing for ideas, here are some of Tulsa, Oklahoma‘s best holiday family fun activities and events.

How to Spend your Christmas in Tulsa

Ride, Shop, and Skate

Christmas in Tulsa: Christmas Train in Dry Gulch, USA
Christmas Train in Dry Gulch, USA (Image courtesy of Explore Tulsa)

If you have young kids, a day spent at the Christmas Train in Dry Gulch, U.S.A. might be the best way to spend your Christmas in Tulsa . This summer camp turned Christmas village is just an hour northeast of Tulsa, and features an authentic steam engine train you can ride to view the lights and decorations. In addition to the train ride, there are live music shows, workshop for kids, and stores selling local crafts. There are also festival type entertainment like wagon rides, go-karts, and carousel rides. This event sells out quickly, so check out the website before going.

One of the best things about visiting Germany in winter is visiting a Christmas market. However, if flying across the Atlantic is not an option, head over to Tulsa’s Christkindlmarkt instead. This Christmas market, hosted by the German-American Society of Tulsa, features booths selling traditional German crafted gifts, food, and drinks. Get your hands on imported ornaments and try some authentic Christmas stollen while your kids enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. To top the experience off, kids will also get a visit from St. Nicholas, the patron saint of gift giving.

Christmas in Tulsa: Winterfest
Winterfest Tulsa (Image courtesy of Tulsa World)

No one can honestly say that they have experienced Christmas in Tulsa without a visit to Winterfest. This long-standing tradition begins with “Lights On”, a yearly tree lighting ceremony held in Utica Square that features an appearance by Santa Claus, who flips the switch and illuminates many of downtown Tulsa hotels and buildings. The trail continues towards the BOK Center where an outdoor ice skating rink stands, allowing visitors to skate underneath the glitter of Tulsa’s art deco skyline. Winterfest also features live music, food vendors, and plenty of hot cocoa to go around.

Light Displays and Traditional Holiday Performances

Christmas in Tulsa
Philbrook Festival of Trees

A great way to have fun with the family and support a cause is to visit the Philbrook Festival of Trees. Thousands of lights and ornaments adorn the gardens at this critically acclaimed museum. Starting the week before Thanksgiving until the middle of December, the museum hosts a number of events ranging from ornament competitions to the “Children’s Party”, a fun-filled afternoon complete with holiday themed events such as decorating Christmas trees and designing Christmas cookies. Kids will also get to take their picture with Santa. Inside the museum, there are booths selling gingerbread houses and unique gifts created by local children and artists. Proceeds from sales go directly to fund the museum’s educational programs.

Christmas in Tulsa: Rhema Christmas Lights in Tulsa
Rhema Christmas Lights

For a truly breathtaking display of lights, pay a visit to the Rhema Christmas Light Extravaganza in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. A mere 20-minute drive southeast of Tulsa, this light display begins in the Rose District and culminates at the Rhema Bible Church. With over 200,000 visitors annually, this is one of the largest and best displays of Christmas lights in the state of Oklahoma.

Just like Winterfest, the American Theatre Company’s production of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is long-standing Tulsa tradition. Played annually at the elegantly designed Tulsa Performing Arts Center, it narrates Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a cold-hearted person to a gentleman. The stage adaptation comes with musical performances that are delightful to watch. Ticket prices start at $32.

Christmas in Tulsa: Child Ballerinas at Tulsa's Nutcracker Ballet
Child Ballerinas at Tulsa’s Nutcracker Ballet (Image courtesy of Tulsa World)

Finally, what is Christmas without watching a ballet performance of The Nutcracker? The Tulsa Ballet, accompanied by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, presents this classic holiday piece that will take you into a magical world of dancing toy soldiers, ballerinas, and fairies twirling to the whimsical music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The performances run from mid-December until the weekend before Christmas and are also held at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Visiting these fun and festive cultural attractions will ensure your Christmas in Tulsa  are especially magical and they will definitely fill you and your family with Christmas spirit.

Traveling to Tulsa for the holiday season? Book your hotel accommodation in Tulsa now to take advantage of last-minute deals on downtown hotels near the BOK center.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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