Paragon Industries Inc.
3378 W. Oklahoma 117, Sapulpa
This lovely part of Sapulpa has a massive number of lights and acres of Christmas designs. Paragon’s annual light extravaganza offers anyone driving along a 3/4-mile stretch of Oklahoma HWY 117 a dazzling light show. A company spokesman recently said that nearly 2 million lights are used in the display, which they have put on for about 20 years. Our children’s eyes light up every year when we drive by.
Rhema Bible College
1025 W Kenosha St,
The good people at Rhema Bible College must be part Elf. Each year, they use millions of lights to transform the school grounds into a winter wonderland. Some people simply drive through while others park and walk through. Be prepared for a long line of cars and sometimes big crowds of people walking shoulder to shoulder through the lights. The mature trees are absolutely dripping with lights and the main walkthrough area features a great little winding sidewalk that meanders around a little creek for about a quarter of a mile. Favorite features are the tunnel of lights over a bridge, the synchronized lights to music show on the west lawn, and looking out at the freezing water fowl on the pond. Light concessions such as hot cocoa and popcorn, are available for purchase, and sometimes a food truck selling funnel cakes is set up on the parking lot. Horse-drawn carriage rides are also available and depart from an East paring lot.
My husband calls it “Reema” but I assure you, it’s “Rayma.” Growing up, loading up with my nine siblings in our 15 passenger “church van” to drive through the light display at Rhema was a much anticipated and much loved tradition. I thought no one enjoyed it quite as much as we did. I mean, who else had a van load of immediate family with whom to enjoy Christmas lights? Then my husband and I started dating, and we enjoyed walking through the lighted winter wonder land with our hearts in love and glowing brightest of all. Now that we have children, the tradition continues. Each season, I watch the weather forecast for a particularly warm night, which you can almost count on in Oklahoma, and I text my husband excitedly “It’s going to be 50 degrees tonight!” and he responds “Wanna go to Rhema?” and I say something sarcastic like “Duh!” Now my husband and I can barely hold hands with each other because we have one of our four children on each hand, but we steal glances that say “Remember when…?” and when I see young couples walking huddled together I smile to myself and wonder if they can possibly imagine what’s in store for them.
Bundle up with a bunch of family or friends and spend a evening at Rhema this Christmas season.
Utica Square Shopping Center
21st Street and Utica Avenue, Tulsa
Santa House Hours
Christmas Eve 10am-4pm
Those looking for that “timeless tradition” feel for the holidays should plan a visit out to Utica Square. Tulsa’s first “suburban shopping center” opened in 1952 on what was then the outskirts of town. It has remained a Tulsa treasure and favorite ever since. For over 40 years they’ve held their annual “Lights On” event on Thanksgiving night. While families gather round, Santa counts down and the Tulsa night sky is illuminated by 700,000 lights trimming 175 trees. Make sure you discover the 4 animatronic Nutcracker Suite scenes located throughout the shopping center. These vintage displays tell the Nutcracker story and have delighted children and adults for generations, and provide a great photo opportunity.
My boys, 3 & 6, had a blast finding the scenes and all the tall, colorful wooden Nutcrackers along the way. One favorite part that has become a family tradition is our visit to the Santa House. It is a small, quaint wooden structure where the jolly man and the missus reside during the season to hear Christmas lists, smile for a picture, and pass out scrumptious sugar cookies. One of the most engaging and charming Santas in the 918! Leave time to do some shopping in one of the many stores, grab a delicious bite to eat or a hot chocolate and enjoy the spirit of the holidays from days gone by.
71st & Lewis
Neighborhoods to the northeast and southeast of the intersection
The neighborhoods to the northeast and southeast of the 71st St S and Lewis intersection go all out. The streets are winding and nonsensical, so you can get lost in there for a while without knowing exactly where you are. It’s a great place to kill an evening while the kids are on break from school.
There are tons of lights to look at, and they have enough variety that you don’t feel like you’re driving down an airport runway. Some of the houses even join together to build fantastic light tunnels.