As the temperature heats up, your outdoor entertainment options in Oklahoma couldn’t be cooler. This summer, get your share of fun in the sun—or under a moonlit sky—at an alfresco concert, festival or movie.
For the movie buff, nothing compares with a big screen under the stars at an old-fashioned drive-in movie. At the Winchester
in Oklahoma City, you can see two new-release films. The Chief Drive-In Theatre
, in nearby Chickasha since 1949, shows double-features seven days a week during the summer, and even has a miniature golf course onsite to entertain you before the show. Talk about a blast from the past; these nostalgic Oklahoma fixtures have been in operation for decades, offering entertainment values plucked right out of a bygone era. For directions and show times, go to www.winchesterdrive-in.com and www.chiefdriveintheatre.com.
While you’re in the area, take in a free outdoor concert during the Sunday Twilight Concert Series at Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens. Spread your picnic blanket and get comfortable on the Grand Lawn as local performers serenade you. Myriad Gardens, located in the heart of the city’s downtown, boasts hundreds of trees and specialty gardens on 17 acres, along with the acclaimed Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. The annual concert series features music of every genre and runs Sunday evenings through August. Check out the entertainment schedule at www.artscouncilokc.com; additional details on the Myriad Botanical Gardens are available at www.myriadgardens.com.
If summertime gives you an appetite for something cool and juicy, check out the 45th annual Porter Peach Festival, July 14 through 16, 2011. Located southeast of Tulsa near Muskogee, Porter takes prides in this summer event, which offers something for everyone: A classic car show, 5K run, beauty pageant, arts and crafts, parade, live entertainment and much more. Maybe your dog has what it takes to be named the ugliest pet, or your daughter could earn the title “Miss Peach Bud.” From the tractor pull to the talent contest to frog jumping, the streets of Porter are certain to be alive with activity. For details, go to www.porterpeachfestivals.com.
In Eufaula, work up an appetite for something hot and juicy at Whole Hawg Days, July 28 through 30, 2011. Now in its 27th year, this festival brings thousands of visitors to the picturesque Lake Eufaula area for barbecue, arts and crafts, carnival rides and a rodeo. Two state parks provide campsites and access to Oklahoma’s largest manmade lake, a 100,000-plus acre reservoir with 600 miles of shoreline. Lake Eufaula State Park in Checotah (home of American Idol Carrie Underwood) and Arrowhead State Park in Canadian have everything you could want for a summer getaway – fishing, hiking, horseback riding and of course, cool lake water. For more information on the festival, both state parks and additional lodging options, visit www.eufaulachamberofcommerce.com.
Whether you plan a sunny summer daytrip or an evening of stargazing under the vast Oklahoma sky, get out while it’s hot. With festivals, concerts, movies and all kinds of munchies, summertime doesn’t get any better than it is here in the heartland.