It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It is fun to go out and experience the Christmas season in new ways. This year, our family has been exploring our hometown, Oklahoma City, and nearby areas to see what great holiday fun Oklahoma has to offer. We have found that there is NO shortage of holiday events happening here in the Sooner State. We recently headed an hour northeast of Oklahoma City to Stillwater, OK, home to Oklahoma State University. There we saw the Polar Express come to life, played reindeer games, meet a real life reindeer, and so much more! If you are looking for holiday fun in NE Oklahoma, be sure to visit Stillwater, OK.
Holidays in Stillwater OK
Stillwater is known as “America’s Friendliest College Town”. It’s home to the OSU Cowboys and where you’ll find local favorites Eskimo Joes, Hideaway Pizza, and Aspen Coffee Company. It may be a college town, but there are some great places for family fun. Our family was invited by the Visit Stillwater to come and experience this holiday fun for ourselves.
All Aboard the Polar Express
Dancing chefs serve hot chocolate and cookies as you take a train ride through the Stillwater countryside and then magically arrive at the North Pole. There Santa Claus boards the train and visits with all the good boys and girls, giving those who believe a special surprise.
The Polar Express train experience is a fun event for families to enjoy. It may be the only Polar Express experience in the country to sing “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, a 1953 song that was created as a fundraiser to bring hippos to the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Meet a Real Reindeer
The one thing I never thought I’d see in Oklahoma is a reindeer. But the Reindeer Club of Oklahoma brings two of Santa’s reindeer to Downtown Stillwater for families to view, pet, and take photos with.
Inside a tented area next to the Stillwater train depot, children can write letters to Santa, play reindeer inspired games, and take photos. Young children will love the opportunity to ask questions about Santa’s reindeer.
Cupcakes with Mrs. Claus
After the Polar Express ride and Reeindeer games, we headed to the Oklahoma WONDERtorium for Cupcakes with Mrs. Claus. Weekends in December, this children’s play museum hosts a holiday themed story time and cupcake decorating class with children. Children can sit in and hear a special story from Mrs. Claus, create a tasty treat, and then go off to play in the museum.
The Oklahoma WONDERtorium is a great place for kids to play indoors. Oklahoma weather can be a little erratic. When we visited, it was windy and quite cold outside. This hands-on museum can provide hours of fun regardless of what mother-nature has outside. There are stations set up for children to explore, build, create, and imagine.
Other Stillwater OK holiday fun
The area is host to other holiday events that we didn’t get to participate in like the milk and cookies with Santa at The Atherton Hotel or Downtown Stillwater carriage rides. Visit visitstillwater.org for more information about these events and other area happenings.
Local Restaurants in Stillwater
Stillwater is home to some great local restaurants: Eskimo Joes, 1907 Meat Company, Hideaway Pizza, and Aspen Coffee Company. This may be a small college town, but you will not be at a loss for great food.
Eskimo Joes is a Stillwater institution and has been for over 40. Now trip to Stillwater would be complete without a stop here. This burger joint serves up burgers, famous cheese fries, and tasty shacks in a fun atmosphere. While you are waiting for a table, head over to the Eskimo Joes store to outfit your family in tees, hoodies, or pick up their signature plastic cups and create a string of Cowboy Christmas Lights.
1907 Meat Company is a local, whole-animal butcher shop that offers locally raised, pasture-fed meat. Working with both an amazing pastry chef and award-winning chef, they are also serving up amazing food for breakfast and lunch. Our family enjoyed our Saturday lunch here so much, we went back for Sunday brunch.
I love finding shops like theirs that are working with local farms (22 to date) to support the community and offer transparency in the food process. Watch for more about this butcher shop and local eatery soon.
Hotels in Stillwater
The city has a variety of lodging options for families. Although Stillwater is only an hour from home, we wanted to make a weekend of our visit to Stillwater. We stayed at the Best Western PLUS Cimarron Hotel and Suites during our visit. It was conveniently located to campus, dining, and entertainment venues.
The hotel is a good place to rest your weary head after a fun day of family fun, events, and great local food. The indoor heated pool is ideal for kids to have fun and expend any extra energy before bed. A complimentary breakfast buffet is included with your stay.
We had a great time in Stillwater OK for the holidays. It was great to get out of the city, take a short road trip up there, and try some new places. A huge thank you to Visit Stillwater, Best Western PLUS Cimarron Hotel and Suites, Eastern Flyer Polar Express, Eskimo Joes, 1907 Meat Company, and OK WONDERtorium for providing us with some an amazing family adventure. We appreciate the complimentary tickets to come and enjoy Stillwater. Note: although this was a sponsored trip on behalf of Visit Stillwater, all opinions expressed are my own.
Where will you travel to next to experience a little holiday fun?