5 easy recipes for the perfect picnic

Create the perfect picnic with these make-at-home or pick-up items.



Valerie Wei-Haas

It’s hard to think of a better way to celebrate good food, good friends and beautiful weather than with a picnic.

And the many green spaces, shade trees and parks in Tulsa make it a perfect picnic city.

A little planning makes a picnic more fun, but don’t put off lunch on a blanket or picnic table because you don’t have cute gingham napkins or a wicker basket.

June is a great month for picnicking. Beat the heat with an early lunch and playtime at the park with kids. Or, if it’s for a date night or fun with a group of friends, go in the evening, and find a big shade tree. Bring a blanket or two and a few pillows for watching the sunset.

Something as simple as eating sandwiches at the park is how some of the best memories are made. So go out and make them!

Here are some of our favorite picnic recipes.

Sub spinach for arugula or sundried tomatoes for the roasted peppers in this forgiving (and delicious) sandwich.

Pressed Picnic Sandwiches 

Serves 4

1    ciabatta baguette, halved lengthwise

1    tablespoon olive oil

1    garlic clove

8-10 ounces deli meats (salami, capocollo, turkey, ham)

1    pound fresh sliced mozzarella

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2    large tomatoes, cut into slices

½    cup roasted red bell peppers, sliced

1    cup fresh basil, leaves separated

1    bunch arugula, rinsed and dried

Balsamic vinegar

 

Brush the bottom half of each piece of bread with olive oil and rub with the cut end of the garlic. Top with a layer of deli meat, mozzarella and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Top with the tomato slices and roasted bell peppers. Top with basil leaves and arugula. Brush the remaining bread with olive oil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, then place on top.

Tightly wrap sandwich in wax paper or parchment paper. Set a heavy skillet or brick on top of the sandwiches while you prepare for the picnic.



This fresh and pretty salad is great to take on a picnic because it can be made ahead without getting soggy.

Lebanese Chopped Salad

Serves 4

½    head romaine lettuce, chopped

1    pint cherry tomatoes

1    cucumber, chopped

1    can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3    cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3    cup chopped fresh mint

1/3    cup chopped fresh basil

½    cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1    tablespoon minced garlic

1    teaspoon kosher salt

½    teaspoon black pepper

½    cup olive oil

8    ounces feta cheese

Toasted pita bread, for serving

 

In a large salad bowl, place the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint and basil and gently toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat. Add feta. Serve with toasted pita bread.



This is such a fun recipe, and will be a nice surprise at the end of a picnic.

Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar

Serves 6

12    vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed

2    tablespoons butter, melted

2    tablespoons granulated sugar

6    (½-pint) canning jars with lids

1-pound package strawberries, sliced

1    (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1    tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½    cup granulated sugar

½    cup heavy cream, whipped

 

In a bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Divide mixture evenly among six jars, and gently press into bottoms.

Chop strawberries, leaving a few whole for garnish.

With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar in bowl until smooth. Fold in whipped cream and chopped berries, and divide evenly among jars (about ½ cup each). Garnish with whole berries, and cover with lids. Chill at least 2 hours. Transport to picnic in cooler.



These old-fashioned bars get a pop of color from M&M candies.

Magic Cookie Bars

Makes 16 bars

½    cup butter

1 ½    cups graham cracker crumbs (about 11 whole graham crackers)

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

½    cup milk chocolate chips

2    cups M&Ms (divided)

1 ½    cups flake sweetened coconut

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place stick of butter in an 11-by-7-inch pan. Let the butter melt while the pan is preheating, but watch carefully after about 4 minutes to make sure butter doesn’t burn.

When butter is melted, remove pan from oven and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Press lightly with the back of a spoon. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the crumb layer. Sprinkle chocolate chips and 1 cup of the M&Ms over the sweetened condensed milk layer. Sprinkle all of the coconut on top. Then sprinkle with remaining half of M&Ms.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. 



There’s nothing like fresh-squeezed lemonade at a picnic. Make it just as sweet as you want by controlling the amount of simple syrup you use. Adding fresh fruit, like raspberries or strawberries, adds great flavor. If you want to give it a try, just mash the fruit, then stir into each drink. 

Best Picnic Lemonade

Serves 6

1 cup sugar

1 cup water (for the simple syrup)

1 cup lemon juice

3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

 

Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Juice four to six lemons, or enough to make 1 cup of juice.

Add the juice and the simple syrup to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups cold water (depending on how strong you like your lemonade). Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Serve with ice and sliced lemons.


Picnic pick-up: Where to get picnic provisions to go

Putting together a picnic is fun for some, but a chore for others. If you would rather spend your time watching the clouds drift by than stuck in the kitchen, stop by your favorite spot to pick up food to-go to fill your picnic basket. Here are some of our favorites.

Cherry Street Kitchen | 1441 S. Quaker Ave.

This is our favorite spot for picnic packing. Just call ahead and let them know how many will be at your picnic, and the staff at Cherry Street Kitchen will have you covered. Chicken salad sandwiches with chips and a pickle ($10.50) are perfect, and if you have kids along, order peanut butter and honey ($4) or turkey and cheddar cheese ($4.50) on fresh wheat-berry bread. Iced tea and lemon bars, chocolate crinkle cookies and carrot cake are the perfect finishes for your picnic basket.

Lambrusco’z | 1344 E. 41st St.

Opening a box lunch from Lambrusco’z is like opening a present from a great gift giver. You just know you’re going to love whatever is inside. Any sandwich can be transformed into a box lunch for a $1 upcharge. One of our favorites is the Fiesta Wrap ($10), a wrap filled with jalapeño pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato and either ham, turkey, chicken or roast beef. It comes with chips and a cookie (the snickerdoodle and soft ginger are wonderful). If you want something more substantial for your picnic, try the meatloaf sandwich ($10) or a beef tenderloin pita with horseradish mayo ($10).

Kitch | 377 E. Main St., Jenks

Take-out sandwiches, cookies and salads at Kitch in Jenks are great for picnics. Food here is super fresh ­— just what you want when sitting in the sunshine at a picnic table. A banh mi ($11) is a good choice for a picnic food because it’s sturdy enough to hold up to travel. Here, a French baguette is filled with marinated pork, daikon, carrots, onion, cilantro and a spicy aioli. Kitch’s muffuletta ($11) is another sturdy sandwich. Kitch also has cookies worth the calories and other dreamy desserts, like 13 flavors of cupcakes.

Wanda J’s | 111 N. Greenwood Ave.

One of the most classic picnic foods is fried chicken. And let’s be real — almost none of us are frying chicken to pack for a picnic. So call ahead and order some of the best fried chicken in Tulsa at Wanda J’s. A two-piece meal is $10.59. All of the sides at Wanda J’s are good, but for a picnic you’ll want something that doesn’t need to be reheated. We suggest the coleslaw and brown beans. Wanda J’s turkey club sandwich ($8.59) is also good for tucking into a bag for an outdoor lunch. And don’t forget the sweet tea.

 

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October 2019

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Cost: $15

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Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
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Cost: 109

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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View map »


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Telephone: 918-599-0067
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More information

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Cost: $8 for ages 13+, $4 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.

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View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

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Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

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Tulsa, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

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Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
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2657 E 2070 Rd
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View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

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View map »


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More information

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Cost: $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free

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View map »


Telephone: 918-289-0330
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Website »

More information

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Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

More information

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Cost: $1,250

Where:
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2636 E. 61st St.
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View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

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View map »


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Contact Name: Tanner Wilburn
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10 / $15

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View map »


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Cost: 0.00

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View map »


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Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

Join us for Fall Story Times that will feature guest readers, and include a variety of activities including music, games and crafts.  Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after Story Time.  Free with...

Cost: $8 for ages 13+, $4 for ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

Willkommen to four days of Oompah (or Bavaria or Oktoberfest) in Oklahoma  with nationally known German bands, authentic European foods, arts and  crafters MarktHaus, full carnival, and fun...

Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
View map »


Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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Nimrod Journal and Booksmart Tulsa will host Write Night 2019 at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 18th, at the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum. Write Night will feature a reception and...

Cost: $0

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society and Museum
2445 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

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Join us for Nimrod Write Night, the opening event of our Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers weekend, on Friday, October 18th, at the Tulsa Historical Society, 6:30 p.m. Write Night is...

Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

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For the first time in 10 years, we will hear new music and get a new tour from three-time GRAMMY® Nominated, American Music Award and Dove Award winning recording artists Avalon. The group will...

Cost: $24.50-$75.00

Where:
Owasso First Assembly
9341 N. 129th E. Ave.
Owasso, OK  74055
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Sponsor: Compassion Live
Telephone: 877-234-3847
Contact Name: Carol
Website »

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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

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Signature Symphony at TCC celebrates the work of the late Ernie Fields, a Tulsa icon who had a career as a bandleader and trombonist. Fields’ music developed at a time when R&B, swing,...

Cost: $36 - $58

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
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Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

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Signature Symphony at TCC celebrates the work of the late Ernie Fields, a Tulsa icon who had a career as a bandleader and trombonist. Fields’ music developed at a time when R&B, swing,...

Cost: $36 - $58

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

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The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

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Nimrod Journal will host its annual Conference for Readers and Writers on Saturday, October 19th, at The University of Tulsa. The conference will feature workshops on fiction, poetry,...

Cost: $10-70

Where:
Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S Gary Ave
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: Nimrod
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

More information

Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry will host its annual Conference for Readers and Writers at The University of Tulsa on October 19th, 2019.   The Conference offers the...

Cost: $10-$70

Where:
TU's Allen Chapman Student Union
440 S. Gary Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

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Willkommen to four days of Oompah (or Bavaria or Oktoberfest) in Oklahoma  with nationally known German bands, authentic European foods, arts and  crafters MarktHaus, full carnival, and fun...

Cost: $10 at the gate or $7 in advance for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE.

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Resolute PR
Telephone: 903-292-7885
Contact Name: Zachary Johnston
Website »

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Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
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Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
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The Karbach Games and Competitions Arena becomes our own center of the universe Saturday at 2:00 PM for true fans of German bier. Why? Because it is ground zero for the Linde Oktoberfest Bavarian...

Cost: $40

Where:
River West Festival Park
2100 South Jackson Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: River Parks
Contact Name: Ryan Howell

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Folk Salad Radio Show celebrates its 20th anniversary with a potluck meal followed by a concert featuring Grammy-nominated singer songwriter John Fullbright and several other Tulsa musicians on...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Stone Church
4225 W. Fifth St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Folk Salad Radio Show
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Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
Website »

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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
View map »


Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Join us for Nimrod Write Night, the opening event of our Nimrod Conference for Readers and Writers weekend, on Friday, October 18th, at the Tulsa Historical Society, 6:30 p.m. Write Night is...

Cost: free

Where:
Tulsa Historical Society
2445 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Nimrod Journal
Telephone: 918-631-3080
Contact Name: Cassidy McCants
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

Flashes of vivid colors, laughter, dancers whirling around keeping pace with the energetic music, more laughter……this is what you will experience at Guthrie Green this Saturday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: SAPAF
Telephone: 918-665-6419
Contact Name: Mohan Kelkar
Website »

More information

Signature Symphony at TCC celebrates the work of the late Ernie Fields, a Tulsa icon who had a career as a bandleader and trombonist. Fields’ music developed at a time when R&B, swing,...

Cost: $36 - $58

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

More information

Tulsa in Harmony is a congregation of community choirs, lending their voices in one accord. They sing of their hopes and their faith and aspirations of a more unified community and a more unified...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Website »

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Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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