10 ideas for spring break staycation
Spring break is popping up on the calendar for Oklahoma schoolchildren and their families.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic lingering, many are opting to take a staycation rather than an out-of-town trip.
For those eager to find local family fun but in a safely socially distanced environment, here are 10 spring break events happening in the Oklahoma City area in the coming days:
1. Go to the dogs
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N Harvey Ave., will offer daily spring break activities Monday-March 19, starting at 11 a.m. Monday with an hourlong meet-and-greet and demonstration with the Ground Zero Rescue Dogs and Handlers. Not only will visitors get a chance to see the rescue dogs in action, but the first 50 children at the event also will receive a free stuffed canine.
The presentation is free with museum admission. For timed tickets and information, go to MemorialMuseum.com.
2. Pop in to see Plays in the Park
Oklahoma Children’s Theatre is presenting free pop-up performances of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” adapted by Elin Bhaird, and “The Wind In The Willows,” adapted by Terry Veal, Saturday-April 18 in Will Rogers Park, 3400 NW 36. Show times are at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and both productions are designed to allow for families to maintain social distancing while enjoying a show.
Like the company’s fall pop-up productions of “The Teddy Bears Picnic” and “ The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” the spring shows will use the park’s terrain to tell the classic children’s stories.
Attendees should park off NW 36 near Portland in the lot close to the tennis center and follow the signs to find the performances. For more information, go to www. oklahomachildrenstheatre.org/content/plays-park.
3. Hear the Future of Sound
OKC artist collective Factory Obscura will celebrate the spring equinox with its all-ages Future of Sound Fest from 3 to 9 p.m. March 20 outside its Automobile Alley headquarters, 25 NW 9.
A free, socially distanced spectacle of creative collaboration, the outdoor event will feature six local acts rocking out in Artist Alley to original music inspired by the collective’s “Mix-Tape” immersive art experience. The live music lineup features Stephen Salewon, Endocrine Twins, Changing FrEQuencies and more.
Capacity is limited in Artist Alley, and the event is first come, first served. For more information, go to www. factoryobscura.com/events/futureofsoundfest.
4. Spend a ‘Night at the Museum’
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, now is open late on Fridays, with hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Not only does that make the museum an ideal date night spot, but since admission to the downtown landmark is always free to children 17 and younger, it also makes it a perfect place for a pre- or post-dinner family outing.
It’s all the better to see the eye-popping exhibition “Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the Sixties and Seventies,” which is exclusive to the OKC Museum of Art. On view through May 16, “Moving Vision” includes more than 40 examples of Op, or optical, and Kinetic, or movement, art. In other words, the artworks are deliberately designed to play tricks on your eyes.
For tickets and information, go to www.okcmoa.com.
5. Circle the wagons
The Edmond Historical Society is loading up its inaugural Covered Wagon Courage and Conundrums spring break day camps from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday outside its Victorian Rodkey House, 410 S Littler Ave.
The camps will allow children ages 6 to 12 to explore an authentic covered wagon and learn how pioneers cooked, slept and dressed on their journey to Oklahoma Territory.
The Tuesday camp is full, but a few spots remain for the Wednesday session. Preregistration is required; the cost is $35.
In addition to the camps, the historical society will permit the public to check out and take photos with the 1889 covered wagon from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, go to www.edmondhistory.org.
6. Make indigenous-inspired art
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63, is offering Spring Break Drop-In Activities based on its blockbuster new exhibit “Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Families will have the chance to try their hands at a different make-and-take craft each day inspired by Oklahoma’s own Spiro Mounds, including figurative clay, scratch art gorgets and paper plate weaving.
The Spiro Mounds in LeFlore County are one of the United States’ most important ancient Native American sites, and the museum’s sprawling new exhibition digs deep into the ancient mysteries of the Spiroan people. On view through May 9, “Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World” is considered the first major presentation on the Spiro Mounds ever undertaken by a museum. For tickets and information, go to nationalcowboymuseum.org.
7. Sniff out an animal adventure
Always a favorite spring break staycation spot, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, 2000 Remington Place, is celebrating the season with its Spring Animal Enrichment Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 19.
The zoo’s various inhabitants will get treats for their snouts, trunks and beaks when staffers present them with scent-focused enrichment. The uniquely scented offerings, created especially for the assorted animals by their caretakers, will provide stimuli for the creatures by letting them sniff out flowers, spices, perfumes and more. Visitors can talk with zoo team members to learn more about the animal enrichment program.
The event is free with zoo admission. For tickets and information, go to okczoo.org.
8. Savor chocolaty inspiration
The Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11, plans a full slate of free, socially distanced family-friendly activities from noon to 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month. “Print Frenzy” is the theme for this Saturday’s festivities, inspired by the art center’s stunning exhibit “Ed Ruscha: OKLA,” which shows an array of works by the world-famous artist who grew up in OKC.
The exhibit’s grand finale is a reinstallation of Ruscha’s 1970 “Chocolate Room”: A treat for the eyes and nose, the room is shingled with sheets of paper screen-printed with real chocolate. So, the art center this Saturday is whipping up fun and funky printmaking activities, including demos by design cookie artist Kaleo Maclay and experimental printmaker Virginia Sitzes, who will be printmaking on food items like tortillas and bread with chocolate and mustard.
Admission is free to the arts center and Second Saturday activities, but timed tickets are required. For tickets and information, go to oklahomacontemporary.org.
9. Walk in the park
Enjoy spring flowers and the luck of the Irish on the all-ages St. Patrick’s Garden Walk from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday in Will Rogers Gardens, 3400 NW 36.
Participants will get a chance to see what plants are blooming, growing or dormant this time of year, and staffers will be giving away hardy shamrock plants to attendees.
The cost is $5 and preregistration is required. To register or get information, go to www.okc.gov/departments/parks-recreation/will-rogers-gardens.
10. Skate all night
Skate Galaxy OKC, 5800 NW 36, will host its St. Patrick’s Day All Night Skate from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday. The cost is $25 in advance and $50 the day of the event, and all youth skaters must be registered by a parent or guardian.
If skating all night isn’t quite your family’s speed, the rink also offers regular family nights from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and free learn-to-skate lessons from noon to 12:45 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, go to www.skategalaxyokc.com.