10 Things You Can Expect At Downtown Tulsa's Winterfest
Friday, November 28th 2014, 2:15 PM CST
The big news is that the celebration under the skyline will be open for 52 days this season and will have extended hours until 11 p.m. on select nights. The rink is open to the public from Nov. 28 - Jan.18, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
It extends the festival two weeks longer than in years past.
This is the seventh annual Winterfest, and in 2013, more than 140,000 people attended, organizers said.
Every winter since it opened, visitors have laced up their skates and swirled around the outdoor rink next on Third Street next to BOK Center. The rink is already one of the largest outdoor rinks in the U.S., and this year, the experience will boast an even bigger and better, 60 x 150 custom-made ice rink with sparkling lights and more decorations.
The centerpiece -- a Christmas tree that will twinkle round the clock -- is about four stories tall.
There will be free inflatables for kids again, and rink spectators or parents can watch the festivities from a climate-controlled tent.
Here are 10 things you can expect at this year's Winterfest:
* A 9,000-square foot rink that bests the 7,000-square foot rink at New York City's Rockefeller Plaza.
* The tree lighting ceremony -- featuring a 44-foot tall tree with a bottom diameter of more than 30 feet -- will be held in conjunction with "Ready, Set, GLOW" on Sunday, Nov. 30. John Hope Reconciliation Park (5:40 p.m.), Guthrie Green (6 p.m.), Winterfest (6:20 p.m.), the Deco District (6:40 p.m.) all will begin twinkling in a progressive lighting ceremony.
* Parents and children can sign up to have breakfast with Santa on Dec. 6 at the BOK Center. There will be two sessions on that day. The cost is $5 per person and you must make a reservation.
* Downtown carriage rides will be available on select dates.
Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
* If you have your own skates, it's just $5 to zip around the rink. This year, you can rent ice skates if you need them. The kiosk accepts VISA, Mastercard and cash. It costs $10 for skate rental and admission to the rink. There also are group rates for skating.
* An outdoor stage will present live music on Nov. 29 and every Saturday night in December. The concerts will take place from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. on those dates.
* Immediately following the Parade of Lights on Dec. 13, Winterfest will have a fireworks display and a tour of gingerbread houses.
* A Winterfest fireworks display also will light up the downtown sky on New Year's Eve.
* Every Monday, patrons will receive half-price admission for skating with the donation of a non-perishable can of food to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
* Every Wednesday, visitors receive half-price skating or admission with the donation of a new or gently used coat, blanket, scarf or pair of gloves. Those donations benefit the Tulsa Day Center.