Be a Tourist in Your Own Community

Story and photos provided by Visit Stillwater

Earlier this year we launched the series, “Be a Tourist in Your Own Community,” highlighting tips and suggestions about experiencing unique events and attractions in your own backyard.

Although the mild weather over the past month seems to say otherwise, the Christmas season in Stillwater is in full swing.  Over the summer, we learned that THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train ride was moving to Stillwater.  The Visit Stillwater team and local community partners have been in the holiday spirit for months and we couldn’t be more excited that ‘tis-the-season-festivities are finally upon us!  In every sense, it is full-speed ahead with seasonal experiences you won’t want to miss. From local shopping specials to reindeer sightings, Stillwater really is a holiday destination in its own right. Whether by plane or train or even horse-drawn carriage, we’re saying, “All Aboard in America’s Friendliest College Town!”

Holiday memory-making opportunities are right down the street and nostalgic moments can truly be captured in your own back yard this season.  Plan your December around a few of our favorite events and attractions:  

polarexpress-1021Depart on a Magical Journey to the North Pole: The classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, comes to life on this magical journey.   Once on board, passengers are served hot chocolate and cookies. When the train has arrived, Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Tickets are still available with various seating options and departure times. To purchase tickets over the phone, call 855-487-1430.


Catch a Carriage in Downtown Stillwater: Enjoy a free horse-drawn carriage ride daily through December 23 in the heart of Downtown Stillwater.  During the weekday, carriage rides will run from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The carriage picks up passengers at 8th Avenue and Duncan Street.  




Take a Selfie with Santa’s Reindeer:  The Reindeer Club of Oklahoma will be in Downtown Stillwater at the Armory Recreation Center at 315 E. 9th Avenue through December 23 in tandem with the daily THE POLAR EXPRESS™ departure times. Prancer and Vixen will most likely be Santa’s reindeer selected to visit Stillwater this season, but we also hear young Rudy will be making a Stillwater debut as well!  With a $5.00 per person admission fee, attendees will have the opportunity to take photos and write and mail letters to Santa via the Reindeer Express Mail Station. All children will receive a free Christmas Activity Book with admission as well.

Make Cupcakes with Mrs. Claus: Oklahoma WONDERtorium has a very special visitor in December!  Mrs. Claus invites families to join her as she reads a story about what she and the elves do when Santa’s delivering gifts. Afterward, children decorate and eat holiday cupcakes. Mrs. Claus will be visiting Oklahoma WONDERtorium the first three weekends in December. The event is included with general admission, but a timed ticket is required. To secure a time slot, call Oklahoma WONDERtorium at 405-533-3333.

To learn more about additional holiday events and attractions in Stillwater, go to The Visitor Information Center, located at 2617 W. 6th Avenue, is open 24/7 or call the Visit Stillwater office Monday-Friday at 405-743-3697.