Okie Kids Playground Now Open in Edmond

Last year, the Nielsen Co. reported that children’s television viewing had reached an eight-year high. Children ages 2 to 5 watched TV or a tablet for more than 32 hours a week. While parents try to give their children a head start with the best of intentions, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the most important stepping stone little ones should be mastering before heading off to school, is good old-fashioned play.

That’s why Okie Kids Playground, 321 W. 15th St. in Edmond, was built on the idea of good old-fashioned play with no coin-operated machines, no noise toys and no televisions, but instead with multiple play areas that are geared specifically to engage and stimulate a young child’s mind.

Okie Kids Playground is a purposeful play learning atmosphere geared for children under the age of 6. Activities include multiple museum-quality exhibits, six custom-designed pretend playhouses with fun activities equipped to boost different learning skills, a large craft area to express creativity and an indoor soft play system that is child- and parent-friendly. Children will navigate through tubes, tunnels and race down slides. There is a special toddler area separated from the larger unit for children learning to walk and/or needing a smaller area to play in. For babies, an area is set aside to give them a clean, shoe-free place to explore and relax in swings.

Owner Annalisa Douglass says dozens of activities will be scheduled through the year.

“We will have story time, Kindermusik, special craft days, parent support groups, wellness classes and so much more,” she says. “We will also have big kid and family game nights for our older brothers and sisters to come play too. We strive to be not only an educational play center but a community changer. A percentage of all admissions will be donated to a different charity being sponsored each month.”

For more information about Okie Kids Playground, hours, admission, membership and party rental, visit OkieKids.com.

Matteson Custom Homes

Matteson Custom Homes is a local home builder that is committed to delivering high-quality homes to every client. Matteson Custom Homes is committed to fine craftsmanship, building science and managing a profitable company. Matteson is a family-owned and -operated custom home building company. The company is not the area’s largest builder, but rather it focuses on building custom homes designed to maximize comfort, energy savings and structural strength while providing timeless design. 

Matteson Custom Homes was recently awarded, for the second year in a row, the Houzz Customer Service Award. The company also is thrilled to be featured on “Today’s Builder Television Show” airing on ABC in early spring. It will showcase Matteson’s custom homes, the building process and testimonials from satisfied customers. Matteson Custom Homes has also been chosen to be one of the few builders featured in the Street of Dreams this upcoming fall. The Street of Dreams is a single-site, luxury home tour event planned, promoted and produced by the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association Inc. It will take place over the course of approximately two weeks and three weekends in October. The homes will be open to the public each day. Tickets will be sold to the general public to tour the homes, learn about each builder and their design concepts. 

If you are interested in building a custom home or if you are just starting to get ideas and need some direction, John and Amy Matteson would love to sit down with you and help you make your dream a reality.

Holiday Match Campaign Raised $4.2 Million to Fight Hunger

Thanks to the generosity of APMEX.com, the Cresap Family Foundation, Chesapeake Energy Corporation and generous Oklahomans, more than $4.2 million was raised for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma through the nonprofit’s Holiday Match campaign.

“Hunger never takes a holiday,” Katie Fitzgerald, CEO of the Regional Food Bank, said. “It is something that our neighbors face every day. Thanks to the generous matching gifts from APMEX.com, the Cresap Family Foundation and Chesapeake Energy, financial donations made between November 15 and January 15 were matched, up to $600,000.  We are grateful for their support and for the amazing response from the generous donors.”

In total, financial donations raised through the match will provide more than 21.1 million meals for Oklahomans struggling to make ends meet.

Oklahoma is consistently one of the hungriest states in the nation. In fact, one in four children in Oklahoma has inconsistent access to healthy food.

The need for food assistance in Oklahoma continues to rise. Last year, the Regional Food Bank provided more than 43.4 million meals to Oklahomans living with hunger in central and western Oklahoma. The Regional Food Bank anticipates this number to increase this year, which is why the Holiday Match was so important.

It’s not too late to join the fight against hunger. Visit RegionalFoodBank.org or call 405.972.1111 to make a tax-deductible donation today or learn more about volunteering. 

Myriad Botanical Gardens to Hold 
Easter Fun 

The Myriad Botanical Gardens will hold Easter events for the whole family on March 31!

The fourth annual Dog Easter Egg Hunt will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. New this year are separate hunts for big and small dogs. Bring your leashed dog to the Great Lawn for a tail-wagging good time. When your dog touches one of the plastic eggs with their nose, into your basket it goes. Pup prizes for the lucky pooches who sniff out eggs with stickers. Dogs must be leashed and have proof of current vaccinations. Members: $5 per dog; nonmembers: $10 per dog. 

The Easter Egg Hunt begins promptly at 2:30 p.m. at the Great Lawn and Bandshell. This is best for ages 8 and under. The Great Lawn will be roped into sections by age groups. A limited number of spaces are available. The Easter Bunny will be on-site to take photos. Members: $8/wristband, nonmembers: $10/wristband, adults: free. After, stick around for the Easter Eggstravanganza—wristbands are good for all-day activities.

Family activities begin at 3 p.m. It will be a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family including face painting, music, food trucks and tulips for sale. Visit the festive booths that include an Easter activity as kids collect a guaranteed 20 eggs and receive a printed photo with the Easter Bunny to take home. Tinker Federal Credit Union’s Save-A-Tron will be on-site and a few lucky children will win $200 SaveAbles Kids Club account. Guests can also participate in the Easter Hat Parade, Egg Roll and Bunny Hop. The afternoon will wind down with a performance from the Sugar Free Allstars at 4:30 p.m.

Painting in the Gardens with Wine & Palette will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members: $20; register by calling 405.227.0230; nonmembers: $35, register online at 
WineAndPalette.com. Family Workshop: Natural Easter Egg Dyeing will be from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Members: $12; nonmembers: $15. For more information, visit