What's shaking, American Midwest?
December 1, 2007 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I have a semi-unexpected week's vacation starting next Saturday, and a yen to do some leisurely road-tripping. I have no shopping to do, no planned events to attend, no one I owe a visit, and in general nothing to recommend any city within 500-ish miles of Oklahoma City over any other. So... what events of unusual interest are happening December 8th - 15th in the Central U.S.? Santa Fe or St. Louis; Denver or Memphis; Kansas City or Austin or any other metropolis within a day's drive of Oklahoma - anything going down in your burg that week that would justify a visit?
posted by ormondsacker to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
There's supposed to be a Dallas meetup on the 16th... perhaps you could swing by on the way back up?
posted by MadamM at 2:14 PM on December 1, 2007

I live in Albuquerque, and have a sister who used to live in Edmond, so I know a little about the route from New Mexico to Oklahoma. It's a pretty long drive, and the part that goes through Texas is lined with cattle feed lots, so be prepared not to stop there.
New Mexico is beautiful this time of year. If you come here, don't spend all your time in Santa Fe.
posted by Sara Anne at 2:50 PM on December 1, 2007

This time of year from Oklahoma City (surprisingly nice place, btw) I would head south to Austin. I love that city and it should be a great place to visit in December - not too cold. If you end up there, be sure and visit O'Henry's home and museum. I know, there's a lot of things to do in Austin and may seem odd to suggest such a small attraction, but I thought it was great!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 2:54 PM on December 1, 2007

If you're heading to St. Louis, check out the River Front Times for all you need to know about local happenings.
posted by mynameismandab at 3:02 PM on December 1, 2007

Austin's Trail of Lights and the Zilker Tree will be up and running -- you could join our tradition of twirling under the lights until you fall down.
There's also the opening of the Armadillo Bazaar, for Austin-style Christmas shopping and live music. If you could stick it out til Monday the 17th, you'd get to hear the Austin Lounge Lizards, who are lots of fun.
If you make it through Dallas, you could go to the downtown Neiman Marcus (the flagship store at Main and Ervay) and see their Christmas displays.
posted by katemonster at 6:16 PM on December 1, 2007

If you're up St. Louie way on the 15th, there's a beer tasting in my neighborhood. Oddly enough, it's for Sam Adams beer, but there's excellent sandwiches and wings to be had. If you've got nothing else going on, and are up this way, it's something fun. We usually have some participants over (walking distance) afterwards and burn stuff and drink more in our backyard.
posted by notsnot at 9:26 PM on December 1, 2007

There are quilting and glass art exhibitions at a local museum. And some of my pals have gallery art exhibitions going on, and I feel sure there'll be some shows during that week. I believe there's one of those multicourse beer tasting dinner things at the local brewpub. These are all things I'd enjoy, but you get the drift. I wouldn't make it my whole trip, but if you're going past Little Rock, pop in and visit.
posted by box at 9:25 AM on December 2, 2007

The New York Times published 36 hours in St. Louis last year.

That should be a good start, but oddly they left out some essential St. Louis cuisine, like slingers, St. Louis style pizza, toasted ravioli and frozen custard. Slingers are best sampled at the Eat Rite Diner just north of the Soulard neighborhood, following a night out at John D. McGurks Irish pub. I'd also recommend checking out at least one of the great Italian restaurants on The Hill.

As for that time of year, I might also suggest seeing the Christmas light display at National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows a few miles away in Illinois. The reknowned Body Worlds show will still be in town. The Holocaust Museum's new exhibit on ethnic cleansing in Bosnia has received national attention.

We're lucky to have a lot of really great museums in St. Louis, and except for special exhibits, most of them don't an charge admission fee. That includes the science center and planetarium, art museum, history museum and the St. Louis Zoo.
posted by tomwheeler at 11:26 AM on December 2, 2007

Thanks all. I'm best-answering tomwheeler and katemonster for the comprehensive agendas, but I appreciate everyone's suggestions.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:15 AM on December 3, 2007

Oh christ, how could I forget to mention the City museum? It's a giant playground for kids. Not a time-sensitive gig, but still.
posted by notsnot at 3:54 PM on December 3, 2007

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