As a basket drifts against the twilight, the only sound one can hear is a burner whispering to invisible gas, commanding it to push the carriage higher into the evening sky. At Go Hot Air Ballooning, flights stay close enough to the ground to witness deer wandering the earth, and each excursion—from private rides to tethered convoys—takes off with passengers' well-being in mind. An FAA-licensed pilot with more than 20 years of ballooning experience—and a perfect safety record—takes the helm of each flight, personally confirming each reservation and watching up-to-date weather reports to ensure safe flight conditions. Though the in-air portion lasts only an hour, most journeys take up to four hours in all, allowing passengers to witness such behind-the-scenes action as the pilot inflating the entire balloon with his lungs.
A baseball and softball academy, D-Bat Tulsa welcomes players of all ages and levels to practice and train at its spacious facility. In addition to a fully equipped pro shop, batting cages, and gym, D-Bat Tulsa offers personal and group instruction, memberships, and summer camps.
Select Cinemas, the proprietors of RiverWalk Movies, believe that suburban moviegoers shouldn't have to go out of their way to catch Hollywood's latest offerings. They also believe that movie theaters can boost neighboring businesses, which is why everybody wins when they integrate themselves into communities. But movies matter most, and RiverWalk Movies has an edge on urban multiplexes. All eight of their screens are wall-to-wall. All auditoriums feature stadium, rocking-chair-style seating, which prevents neck craning when sitting behind Bigfoot, and digital surround sound fit for humans with 10 ears. RiverWalk also prides itself on its concessions, especially the popcorn, and offers free shows to satiate kids during summer vacations.
With an emphasis on safety, Oklahoma Safety & Security Source's owners Bart and Donna Batman seek to educate the Tulsa community on the fundamentals of firearm ownership and operation. Their instructors teach courses on various subjects, including the operation and maintenance of firearms, as well as NRA-certified courses. The team's professionals also advise law-enforcement agencies and consult on personal and business security needs. In addition to the gun and airsoft-gun range, they also host bouts in an indoor paintball facility.
If you ask an engineer what a bridge is made of, he or she might say steel and concrete. But if you ask the owners of Broken Arrow Roller Sports, the response might be polished floors and wheels. The facility doesn't construct bridges, per se, but it is in the business of connecting things–albeit families, friends, and different generations altogether. Groups find a common interest in gliding across the roller-skating floor, which Broken Arrow surrounds with a host of other activities that includes an arcade, a snack shop, and free Wi-Fi. The rink also rents itself out for private birthdays, enabling party hosts to invite as many guests as they want and avoid having to instill the one-in, one-out rule that dominates most other birthday parties.
Founded in 1985, Theatre Arts, Inc. has continued to honor its core mission of supplying Oklahomans with performance education and opportunities. Within a 7,900-square-foot facility, students train tapping toes in more than 10 styles of dance—including tap, jazz, and hip-hop—and channel their inner thespian in acting classes or private lessons that focus on both improvisation and script work. Private instruction and classes also accommodate vocalists who receive personalized tips on stage presence from the faculty and practice harmonizing by singing duets with humming radiators. Numerous alumni have harnessed their training into careers, working locally and nationally on television and Broadway, and two—Lauren Nelson and Shawntel Smith—have gone on to become Miss America.