By Carol Mowdy Bond
Oklahoma is reopening in phases, after an almost complete shut down due to COVID-19.
Here is an initial list of available local options for things to do at home, or places to go for an hour or a day, with little to no expense. These are in no particular order.
Remember that the virus is still active, and people are still ill. There is no vaccine as of this date. Think ahead and be wise and considerate, so you may protect yourself and your family and those around you. Stay home if you are unwell or have fever.
The City of Yukon says: Individuals over 65 or who are part of a vulnerable population should continue to strictly follow safer-at-home guidelines as prescribed by the State of Oklahoma; continue with social distancing practices of six feet or more between your family unit and others; wash your hands frequently; wear a mask or handkerchief covering the mouth and nose; carry your own items for sanitizing purposes.
If you have questions about City of Yukon locations, visit http://www.yukon.ok.gov or call (405) 350-3939.
CHESTER’S PARTY BARN AND FARM
Chester’s Party Barn and Farm, 5201 Cimarron Road in Piedmont, is reopening Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a picnic day. Chester and Crew Entertainment are following recommended CDC safety standards for each phase of reopening. Guests may bring their own picnic baskets or get their specially prepared picnic food from Yumhaus Kitchen on Chester’s Farm. Picnic day admission is $1 per person and gives the guest unlimited access to pony rides, petting zoo (with $1 zoo food cup extra charge), tractor-trailer hayrides to the giant slide, barnyard games, catch and release fishing (bring your own bait and tackle), music, and more.
After May 16, Chester’s will be open by appointment only for parties, picnics, and Chester’s new wedding venue “The Chesterfield.” Yumhaus Kitchen will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 4 p.m to 8 p.m., offering delivery and curbside pickup, as well as catering.
C BAR H SADDLERY
Clinton “Doc” Hole is a master saddle maker who does his own leather tool work. His shop is like a scene right out of the Old West, but he makes saddles that are used today by those in the cattle, horse, and other industries. Book an appointment to watch Doc make real saddles in his shop, C Bar H Saddlery, 316 Elm Avenue in Yukon. A maximum of five people are allowed in his shop at one time, and demonstration times are offered on Saturdays only. Guests should adhere to social distancing in his shop, and must book at least one week ahead by calling (405) 494-7780. There is no fee, but a tip jar will be available for you to show your gratitude.
YUKON COMMUNITY CENTER AND JACKIE COOPER GYM
The Yukon Community Center, 2200 S. Holly Avenue in Yukon, and the Jackie Cooper Gym, 1024 E. Main Street in Yukon, will open on Monday, March 18. Please bring your own exercise equipment if possible. If borrowing equipment, please sanitize after each use.
Each facility has specific regulations that they must follow, such as limiting the number of persons in the building, sanitization practices, and limited access to certain areas. Contact the facility you plan on visiting for more information, as the regulations are subject to change as state guidelines change. Jackie Cooper Gym (405) 350-8920 and Yukon Community Center (405) 354-8442.
MABEL C. FRY PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Mabel C. Fry Public Library, 1200 Lakeshore Drive in Yukon, will open, with limited service, on Monday, May 18. The library will be open to the public from noon until 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays with a limit of 25 people in the building at one time. Contact the library as (405) 354-8232 before you visit, as the regulations are subject to change as state guidelines change.
Curbside pickup of previously reserved items is still encouraged. After May 18, this service will be available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Returns are to be made in the outside book drops only.
Entry/Exit doors will be open, weather permitting, to avoid physical touch.
Social distancing guidelines will be followed.
The children’s area will be closed to the public. Library staff will pull items requested.
One person only in each row of the stacks.
Public access computers will be available during operating hours.
Please wear a face covering your mouth and nose. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
The library has a brand new Facebook page, and will be offering virtual programs on Facebook Live.
This summer, the library’s annual Summer Reading Program events and story times will be offered on the Facebook page.
A free Retro Cardio program will be offered on the Facebook page every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. beginning Wednesday, May 20, and running through Wednesday, July 8. Get your free ticket on the Facebook posting.
On Thursday, May 21, an adult cooking program, Air Fryer Fajitas, will be offered at 2:30 p.m. on the Facebook page. Get your free ticket on the Facebook posting.
On Thursday, May 28, an adult cooking program, Healthy Snacks for Kids, will be offered on Facebook at 2 p.m. See the Facebook posting to get your free ticket. You may watch the class live or watch later. The presentation will include easy snack ideas that your kids can even make themselves.
Take the opportunity to jog, walk, ride a bike, or walk your dog in the fresh air. The parks have numerous amenities such as actual paved trails, and places to enjoy and observe nature.
Take a blanket to spread on the ground, and a picnic basket with snacks or a meal, and have a great time.
City Park, Freedom Trail Park, and Chisholm Trail Park, all at 500 W Vandament, have an observation mound, and a pond.
The Oklahoma History Center is closed due to COVID-19. But you may take virtual tours, enjoy all kinds of on line history experiences, and even find grade-appropriate educational lessons by visiting: https://www.okhistory.org/historycenter/home .