Building a new home? Here are things to keep in mind.

Certainty in the Tulsa market is inspiring new home construction. Here are the latest trends you need to know.



This newly built Farabough Homes model features many in-demand amenities for today’s custom construction, including open shelving on either side of the gas fireplace.

Each year, thousands of Tulsans and soon-to-be Tulsans buy houses. Many are able to change their lives for the better with existing homes that perfectly fit their budgets, location needs and personal tastes.

But for many others, nothing compares to the satisfaction and thrill of being the first person to move into a newly constructed home days after workers complete the finishing touches.

The demand for new homes never truly dies off, even when the economy hits Tulsa hard. But, when the economy and consumer confidence improves, the appetite for home construction skyrockets. And 2017 was a very busy year for area home builders.

An estimated 2,829 residential building permits were issued last year, according to permit tracking service New Orders Weekly. That’s the most construction activity experienced in the metro area since the recession hit a decade ago.

Confidence restored in the market means a growing demand for new construction

Ryan Farabough, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and president and CEO of Farabough Homes LLC, says growing numbers of local residents are feeling bold enough to take the plunge on new houses. “We got past the election, and now there’s certainty in the market,” he says. “People know what to expect. When people don’t, they tend to hold back until things become more stable.”

Farabough also says that, beyond the improving economy, Tulsa is becoming a more attractive place to live, with continued downtown development and the imminent completion of the mammoth Gathering Place project along the Arkansas River.

Ryan Farabough

Leland Chinowth, president of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors and a Realtor with Chinowth and Cohen, says the days of cautious lenders and restricted loans are long over. “With the market strong in Tulsa and prices going up, lenders are becoming more flexible with financing options for existing homes and new homes alike,” Chinowth says.

Tulsa's Top 100 Real Estate Professionals

Builders also have regained their confidence. Although many new homes are built at the request of a specific buyer, others are constructed speculatively in the hopes of finding a buyer later. These builds dried up almost entirely during the recession, but Farabough says there’s now plenty to choose from — though most builders find buyers in just a few months.

Most model homes tend to be built with small or medium-sized floorplans, Farabough says. As homes get bigger, the potential buying pool shrinks, and builders are more likely to wait for a specific buyer to come along before breaking ground.

As with the prices of existing homes, prices of new homes have gradually increased in recent years. This increase is likely to continue as long as the economy stays steady. But unlike the meteoric rises seen on the coasts during the housing bubble, yearly increases in local housing costs remain small and Tulsa homes represent a great value.

“I don’t think the price increases we’ve seen have been enough to scare people from the market,” Farabough says.

Though price averages for new home sales aren’t tracked, the GTAR estimates the average price of all homes sold in 2017 — which includes nearly 80 percent of all new homes sold — increased 6 percent over 2016, which is in line with other post-recession years.

Location and timing are major factors in getting your dream home

Purchasing a home, whether it’s new or existing, requires a major investment of money, time and effort. But when buying a new home, especially one that’s designed from the ground up to fit your specific tastes, plenty of additional considerations come into play.

For instance, choosing a new home will narrow down your location options in the Tulsa area. In 2017, as in other recent years, most new construction occurred in south Tulsa and the suburbs, especially Broken Arrow, Owasso, Jenks and Bixby.

Though these areas are popular with new home buyers on their own merits, builders also turn to them by necessity. “Other than a few infill teardowns, Tulsa doesn’t have a lot of extra area to keep expanding,” Farabough says.

One of the few new home communities in midtown is Barnard Terrace, located near East 17th Street and South Lewis Avenue. Eighteen lots featuring single-family, custom homes sit where Barnard Elementary School once stood.

If a buyer is set on living near the shops, restaurants and other amenities of midtown Tulsa, new homes are hard to come by, beyond teardowns and infill construction. Chinowth is seeing an increase in midtown teardowns, with luxury homes built on those lots.

New home buyers also will find their choice of location influenced by the style of each subdivision — one development area might have the perfect location, but the homes might not be the buyer’s preferred size.

Many subdivisions built in the last couple of decades did not include neighborhood amenities, which has been one of the few criticisms Chinowth has heard from buyers moving to Tulsa from out of state.

“Buyers are saying they value the ‘community feel’ neighborhoods have that offer lots of activities within their subdivision,” Chinowth says. “We’re working with developers now that are designing subdivisions that not only include pools, but also parks, kids’ play areas, fishing ponds, clubhouses and shopping options.”

Broken Arrow’s Aspen Ridge development includes amenities such as designated trails through mature trees, sitting areas, fire pits and picnic tables. A park and basketball court make for a development ripe with activity for homeowners. While it is near big-city amenities like the Warren Movie Theater, grocery stores and highway access, the community provides a quiet setting.

Another consideration is time. Chinowth says new homes typically take at least six months to build, or closer to a year for a large luxury home. That makes buying new difficult if the move was sparked by a new job or the desire to transfer to a new school district before fall.

Farabough says certain sizes and features can take even longer.

Tips for selecting the right builder

Most local builders specialize in specific size or price ranges, and many tend to have specific building styles or certain amenities they can offer. Buyers must communicate with the builder throughout the build process, especially for builds involving custom floorplans. Real estate professionals can help in this process, connecting buyers with reputable builders, construction financing and guiding through the contract process, according to Laura Grunewald, a Realtor with McGraw Realtors.

Before embarking on a build, buyers will need to undertake some of the same research they would for buying an existing home, such as looking into the prices of comparable homes in the area to ensure the builder’s asking price is fair.

Grunewald suggests checking out a potential builder with the local Home Builders Association and calling the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed.

“Building a home is a long-term commitment you are making with the builder,” she says. “You need to choose someone you can trust with your time and money.”

Additionally, new home buyers also should schedule professional inspections after the home is finished to ensure no surprise issues crop up down the road.

One good idea is to tour a builder’s other homes to get a feel for what they’re capable of, Chinowth says.

Home trends catching on in Tulsa

Once a buyer has selected a builder, it’s time to mold the home of their dreams. Farabough says trends tend to be driven in part by what buyers see on TV shows. Right now, features like shiplap siding, barn doors and open shelves have caught on in Tulsa.

Sometimes, owners can get truly creative. “There are definitely people who want James Bond features in their homes, like rooms hidden behind bookcases,” Farabough says.

But the tiny home craze, once featured endlessly on HGTV, never truly caught on in Tulsa, Farabough says.

“Tiny homes were a flash in the pan,” he says. “It started happening, people tried to do it and it has already fizzled out.”

Chinowth says he’s starting to see more requests for multilevel homes with multiple bedrooms on the first floor, which can keep both young children and aging parents away from stairs.

Though new homes can be found in almost any size, Chinowth says he’s seeing significant amounts of construction in the $300,000-$550,000 range.

“We’re seeing a lot of baby boomers who are downsizing and millennials looking to buy their first home, so they’re converging on those sizes,” he says.

Though part of the fun is designing a new house to perfectly match the buyer, Chinowth says it’s usually a good idea to keep in mind what will help a home’s eventual resale value and be aware that not all trends are here to stay. Things like heavy wall texture and glazing that were popular in homes a decade ago now put owners looking to sell at a disadvantage.

“New construction homes are seeing cleaner lines in design, lots of windows and a reduction in formal dining rooms,” Grunewald says.

To afford a new home, balance expectations and budget in planning phase

Assuming a buyer is flexible, budgeting for construction of a new home shouldn’t involve too many negotiations, Farabough says. Often, it’s simply a matter of balancing square footage, the desired amenities and the amount buyers are willing to pay.

“If you want granite countertops, that will cost a certain amount,” he says. “If you tell us in the planning stage, we can work to make sure it comes in on that particular budget.”

Chinowth says communication is key.

“It’s always a good idea for the buyer to think of as many amenities and features as possible and put them in the contract before construction begins to make sure there’s no surprises at the end, and also not to surprise the builder with expectations he doesn’t know about,” he says.

Farabough says many larger builders have dedicated sales staff to help every step in the process.

Even so, most builders like working with real estate professionals to find buyers. “Everyone builds relationships and works with different Realtors to sell their homes,” Farabough says.

 

10 Highest Subdivision Home Starts for 2017

These communities are popular choices for new home construction.

New home starts / Subdivision

72    Highland Creek, Wagoner County

71    Yorktown I, Jenks

66    Stone Horse, Broken Arrow

66    Trails at White Hawk, Bixby

52    Cypress Creek, Tulsa

51    Sugar Hill, Coweta

43    Carrington Point, Owasso

43    Silverleaf, Broken Arrow

42    Seven Lakes I-II-IV, Bixby

42    Shadow Trails, Broken Arrow

Source: New Orders Weekly Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017

 

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June 2019

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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BROKEN ARROW COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE Presents “Godspell” 2012 Revised Version Conceived and Originally Directed by JOHN-MICHAEL TEBELAK MUSIC AND NEW LYRICS BY STEPHEN SCHWARTZ Originally...

Cost: $13-$18

Where:
Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
1800 S. Main St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Sponsor: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
Telephone: 918-258-0077
Contact Name: Broken Arrow Community Playhouse
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Where:
Los Cabos - Broken Arrow
151 Bass Pro Dr
Broken Arrow, OK
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Los Cabos - Jenks
300 Riverwalk Terrace
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Hodges Bend
823 E 3rd St
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Tulsa, OK


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Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
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Downtown Tulsa
Tulsa, OK


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Guthrie Green
111 E Reconciliation Way
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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Think you can't do something? Think again! Step out of your comfort zone and try something new at the I Can't workshops this summer, featuring all new community partners.

Cost: Free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong
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Magi 4 Christ Campers meet each Monday at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM. At 4241 S. 37th W. Ave., Tulsa, OK. 74107.  We are a Christian group of camping enthusiasts. We are family friendly. Meeting...

Cost: Donations only

Where:
Hope House
4241 S. 37th W. Ave.
South Door Activity Center
Tulsa, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Magi 4 Christ Campers
Telephone: 918-906-0564
Contact Name: Dorothy Brown

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OKPOP, a project of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is planning a special event to mark Juneteenth on Monday, June 17, from 7-8 p.m. at the Rudisill Regional Library, located at 1520 N. Hartford...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rudisill Regional Library
1520 N. Hartford Ave.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: OKPOP
Telephone: 405-326-1545
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

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Tulsa, OK


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Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
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The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
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823 E 3rd St
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116 S Elgin Ave
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3508 S Sheridan Rd
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
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2809 S Harvard Ave
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Tulsa PAC - Chapman Music Hall
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK
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Hard Rock Casino - The Joint
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
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Tulsa, OK


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Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Lefty's On Greenwood
10 N Greenwood Ave
Tulsa, OK
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1336 E 6th St
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111 E Reconciliation Way
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303 N MLK Jr Blvd
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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Every Wednesday Live Event Trivia is at The Willows Family Ales - Show starts at 7 and is free to play! Movie scenes, Finish the Lyric, Classic Trivia, and more! The crew from T-Town Tacos will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Telephone: (918) 895-6798
Contact Name: Julian Morgan
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

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The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

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Join Tulsa City-County Library’s Imagination Station for stories and songs in the park. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Afterward, cool off in the splash pad. Sponsored by the Tulsa Library...

Cost: Free

Where:
QuikTrip Plaza
41st and Riverside
Tulsa, OK  74132
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Sponsor: river parks
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell

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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Paws & Pictures: Tulsa SPCA Drive-In Movie Night promises a night of family- and pet-friendly fun followed by two drive-in feature films when the sun goes down. All proceeds benefit the Tulsa SPCA...

Cost: $7 for adults; $3 for kids under 12

Where:
Admiral Twin Drive-In
7355 E. Easton
Tulsa, OK  74115
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Third Thursdays in the Rainbow Room closes out its first season with Tulsa musical theatre veterans Pat Hobbs and John Orsulak in their two-man cabaret, “NEXTS!” Pat and John take the audience...

Cost: $15 Bistro / $10 GA

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: OKEQ / Pat Hobbs
Telephone: 918-637-25866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
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The Collinsville Chamber of Commerce is bringing back their much-anticipated Outdoor Summer Movies for a sixth year this summer. The movies will take place Thursday evenings in June at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Collinsville City Plaza
12th and Main Street
Collinsville, OK  74021
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Sponsor: Collinsville Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 918-371-4703
Contact Name: Megan Edwards
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
Website »

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Show More...
Show Less...

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

The Please Touch the Art exhibit breaks the rules of traditional art exhibits and makes art accessible, especially for visitors who are visually impaired or blind. Guests are encouraged to touch...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74135
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong

More information

Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 918-585-1234
Website »

More information

Celebrate the summer solstice by ending the longest day of the year at the Garden! Stroll in the Garden as the sun sets. Coffee House on Your Street food truck will be selling food/snacks and OK...

Cost: $10 for Garden members; $15 for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

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Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Cost: FREE

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Charles Page High School
500 N Adams Rd
Sand Springs, OK  74063
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Contact Name: CPHS Varsity Cheer
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Join us for our biggest antique event of the year! Shop over 200 booths of antiques, collectibles, memorabilia, vintage, retro, crafts, and more, plus the Tulsa Antique and Bottle Club's annual...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
River Spirit Expo at Expo Square
4145 E. 21st St.
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Flea Market
Telephone: 918-744-1386
Website »

More information

The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

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Join us on Saturday, June 22 from 10AM - 8PM in the wonderful Kendall Whittier Square at Admiral and Lewis. More than 40 local makers will be there to show off their talents and their wares!...

Cost: free

Where:
Whittier Square
Admiral and Lewis
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: 918Makers
Contact Name: Sarah Bowen
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Then, Here/Now: Creating Community in the Center is a group exhibition that illuminates the histories and presence/presents of LGBTQIA+ art collectives and projects that help to ensure visibility...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East M. B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Telephone: 918-585-1234
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Mallets & Moonlight is an exclusive fundraising event in Tulsa, Oklahoma featuring a Polo match, live music by Banana Seat, dancing, endless Hors’ doeuvres, complimentary bar and...

Cost: $500

Where:
Mohawk Park
5701 East 36th St N
Tulsa, OK  74115
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Sponsor: The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges
Telephone: 918-794-4514
Contact Name: Victoria Ladd
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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
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Come dressed in your favorite tropical evening attire and enjoy   • A delicious Caribbean Dinner • Tropical Rum Drinks and 2 Open Cash Bars • Music and Entertainment •...

Cost: 50.00 Individual

Where:
810 Ranch & Cattle Co.
800 N Country Club Road
Muskogee, OK  74403
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Sponsor: Kelly B Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-Muscular Center
Telephone: 918-683-4621
Contact Name: Sharon the Riggs
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Help DVIS and the Tulsa Drillers knock out violence! We are in our 16th year of raising funds for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us by pledging per home run or making a...

Cost: $1+

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: DVIS
Telephone: 918-508-2709
Contact Name: Jenée Day
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Where:
, OK


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Where:
Ninowski Rec Center
1367 E 71st St
Broken Arrow, OK
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