Founded by Joe Estes as a nonprofit operation, Safari Joe's Reptile World provides a 200-acre sanctuary for more than 250 exotic animals—including lions, leopards, alligators, pythons, and large tortoises—that were unwanted, abused, or neglected. Each week, five to six new animals are donated or abandoned at the facility. Though these animals cannot return to the wild, they receive nurturing care from a cadre of more than 30 volunteers.
While newly abandoned animals remain hidden from view within the sanctuary, the park also boasts exhibit such as Reptile World. This educational, hands-on environment encourages visitors to interact with a slew of exotic animals while learning about protecting each species and their natural habitats.
The Swim School of Joplin provides certification-level scuba lessons, diving vacations, and rental gear to help students to gain their underwater legs. Originally founded in Memphis in 1961, The Swim School of Joplin has since expanded aquatic operations to four states in the South and Midwest and runs scuba programs at both the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis. Instructional programs include everything from introductory swimming and snorkeling lessons to specialty courses in night diving, search-and-rescue diving, and diving while learning to play the guitar.
Kick'n Paintball Park's staffers organize games at hyperball, airball, and concept fields—including an indoor facility that stays open year round. At the start of each game, these spaces transform into simulated battlefields where acrylic paintballs rain down like pennies on Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Players dash across the indoor turf or outdoor grassy terrain, taking refuge behind towering pipes or red-and-blue inflatables. As the last paintball falls, players depart the field guilt-free as Kick'n Paintball Park uses 100% biodegradable paints. Away from the fields, staffers repair gear and sell new equipment within a pro shop. Paintball markers line the walls, and shelves hold ample supplies of carbon dioxide.
As visitors to The White Rose turn down the property's drive, they're instantly transported to a simpler time: on the left, a lush lawn sprawls before a house not yet visible, and on the right, rows upon rows of grapes keep rank to form a four-acre vineyard. Twisting around the bend, then, the house appears, with its elaborate porch, elegant columns, and white limestone reminiscent of Ireland's "penny walls."
Built in 1900, the home preserves its fair share of history, and today, it bridges the gap between generations by keeping its door open to guests. Four of the house's rooms serve as bed and breakfast getaways, each outfitted with antique furniture and decorative accents. The estate also churns out its own wine with an intricate, handcrafted process, which it shares with visitors during tastings in the parlor.
With iridescent miniature golf courses in malls throughout North America, Glowgolf adds elements of phosphorescent fun to shopping sessions. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent animals, and lush foliage reminiscent of the glowing trees on Neptune. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to get familiar with each hole's obstacles. Equipment is available on the spot, so players won't have to carry around personal clubs or seek out a bioluminescent caddie.
What was once primarily used by the military has now become a popular—and adrenaline-inducing—sport. Ozarks Skydive Center takes the fear out of skydiving with expert instruction and supportive tandem jumps. Harnessed to instructors, new and seasoned jumpers alike experience the thrilling feeling of falling from nearly 2 miles. Ozarks Skydive Center also offers solo-flying options for more experienced divers, as well as licensing courses that teach adventure junkies how to exit planes, fall into the fetal position, and react to an emergency.