In a twist of irony, Big Splash Water Park was nearly destroyed in a flood. That was in 1984, the first year the park was open. But the owners didn't want a watery grave to be the new park's fate. So they rebuilt it, and in the more than 30 years since, it has grown to far exceed the original in both size and scope.
Originally equipped with just a kiddie pool, the park now sprawls in every direction with colorful flumes, umbrella-shaded walkways, and a bevy of thrilling rides. For example, the famous Master Blaster tube-coaster shoots raft-riders through a course of gravity-defying twists and turns, and the towering Silver Bullet slide sends guests down a breathtaking 72-foot plummet. And after all the excitement, the Lazy River invites visitors to take it easy with a relaxing float free of kings hollering, "Get out of my moat!"
While chatting on the phone with a friend, Katrina Uhls had a startling realization: her kids had been playing video games for hours. She discovered that by effectively “unplugging” her kids, she could steer them toward more creative, introspective pastimes.
Now, as the owner of Unpluggits Playstudio, she fosters a safe, welcoming space where all kids can "unplug" and explore their artistic sides. Kids will find shelves stocked with play-doh, stamps, stencils, and other craft supplies. They can don smocks and wield nontoxic paints at miniature easels. Paint’n take projects give them personalized crafts to take home, such as picture frames and piggy banks useful for saving up to buy new toys or a gold-plated piggy bank. For more active playtime pursuits, kids can gambol toward the indoor playground, which features slides, a pirate ship, and air-hockey tables.
As kids explore the 3,000-square-foot studio, parents are welcome to cruise free WiFi or monitor tykes from the snack bar, which serves freshly ground organic coffee, juices, and soda. Special workshops open the space for toddler-specific activities, adults-only craft time, and parents' nights out.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
My Little Dollhouse’s team of playtime experts creates a pastel-hued paradise for kids. A hand-painted stage is the focal point of the playroom and provides a spot for kids to model princess costumes as music plays and a disco ball glints and shimmers. Little ones can also play in and out of playhouses or receive manicures at the nail-painting station.
In addition to open playtime, My Little Dollhouses also hosts themed birthday parties during which guests have access to the center’s cache of costumes and accessories in a private party room and can put on a fashion show or dance. Staff members take all the guesswork out of setting up and cleaning up, and they furnish partygoers with baked treats, balloons, and party favors.
Clad in their families' colored tartans, members of more than 30 Scottish clans gather on festival grounds in Tulsa for the annual Scotfest, Oklahoma's largest Celtic music festival. Scottish traditions are passed on to festival patrons with a showcase of Highland crafts, educational workshops, and strongman Scottish games, in which more than 60 athletes compete in games that include tire flips, truck pulls, and tug of war.
Scotch tastings will feature Rubright & Hardagain answering questions about different types of scotch, the distilling process, and why some whiskies are resentful about being locked in barrels for years. Meanwhile, vendors refuel visitors with authentic Scottish food before sending them off to dance to traditional folk and Celtic rock acts such as Celtica, Tullamore, Wicked Tinkers, Seven Nations, Murder the Stout, and Celtic-influenced Texas rock band Cleghorn. A designated children's area is available for youngsters to play in.
Imagine a tropical beach plopped down in the middle of Muskogee, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect at River Country Family Water Park. The azure waters of the Caribbean come to Oklahoma at this wet and wild adventure park, where guests can zip down twisting water slides or lounge in the gentle currents of a lazy river. There's plenty of sand to go with that water, too; kids can play on the tugboat beach while adults square off in games of volleyball or feast on sand-dipped nachos with that perfect crunch.