The exotic animals at Tiger Safari have a more important role than just posing for people; they educate the public on conservation efforts. All of the park’s programs serve to educate others about the conservation needs of Earth’s wildlife in an effort to safeguard the planet’s ecosystems and the critters that live within them. With help from the park’s caretakers, lemurs, tigers, pythons, foxes, and monkeys venture to homes and picnics to celebrate birthday parties, corporate events, or graduation parties, all while trained staffers share facts about the animals’ diet and ecosystem. During safaris and camping excursions, groups of children journey through the park to catch glimpses of kangaroos, tortoises, crocodiles, and dads observed without their shirts tucked in.
In 1972, when most other 7-year-olds were building their baseball-card and bottle-cap collections, Jay Villemarette began collecting skulls. His lifetime hobby evolved into a full-time vocation in 1990 after he opened Skulls Unlimited, a one-of-a-kind bone-replica shop that earned the limelight on popular TV shows such as Dirty Jobs and Ripley's Believe It or Not!. By 2010, Jay's widespread success led him to establish the Museum of Osteology, which currently houses the largest privately held collection of osteological specimens in the world, with more than 300 skeletons and, most importantly, zero zombie sightings to date.
Education abounds throughout the 7,000-square-foot space as visitors investigate rare species, skulls, and skeletons from all corners of the world. The form and function of the skeletal system weave a common thread through each of the museum's exhibits, which showcase topics such as adaptation, locomotion, and specific categories of animals, including marsupials, birds, and reptiles. After exploring displays and begging skeletons for their teeth-whitening regimen, interim osteologists can visit the gift shop, where souvenirs, toys, and replicas of museum models are available to start personal collections.
While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100—a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans—as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
The Voodoo Bayou has proven to be Trail of Fear's most intense experience, where ghastly creatures dart from their swampland dens to spook trespassers and ask directions to the nearest zombie hoedown. Elsewhere, a maniacal ringmaster oversees the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, and malformed test subjects rise from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites. Laughter and gasps join the chorus of screams at the Crispy Family Carnival, where performers inject dark humor into their classic sideshow acts, which can be viewed at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.
The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center educates old ranch hands and rootin’-tootin’ greenhorns about the cattle drives of the 19th and 20th centuries with multimedia presentations and interactive exhibits. Wannabe bovine chaperones can try their hand at roping a steer, learn how to tell the age of cattle, and watch animatronic cowboys discuss life on the trail and successful ways to impersonate humans. Inside the multisensory Experience Theater, viewers are transported along on a cattle drive as they smell the flowers of the prairie, hear the sounds of cattle, and feel the wind and water of a storm. An interactive video game lets kids play the part of a rancher trying to get a herd to the railroad, and a branding station helps exercise creativity by marking property, such as video games or siblings.
Set upon a bucolic farm with vineyards and a pond, the vines at Native Spirits Winery yield cabernet sauvignon, riesling, and syrah grapes. Vintners squish and craft these grapes into a variety of vintages, including sweet and dry reds and whites such as merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay, and shiraz. All wines are available for taste and purchase in the tasting room, and Native Spirits Winery frequently holds events that feature wine tastings joined by live music.