Surrounded by lush, green trees and grassy areas for lounging, Wild River Country overflows with 13 watery attractions such as the Cyclone, which sends groups of four tubing down a slippery slide for a big splash at the end. After getting the water and Poseidon's bickering out of their ears from the wave pool or the rip-roaring Accelerator, parents and kids can grab a bite to eat at the Cookhouse Grill and enjoy it at the picnic area. The Tad Pool lets the little ones splash and play, and the Lazy River lets tubers linger in the sun for a relaxed float while the Pipeline slings threesomes zooming bobsled-like down the slide in a raft. Family-oriented, and safe for all ages, the water park doesn't allow smoking or alcohol in the facility and offers clean restrooms and showers.
At Arkansas Skatium, visitors don ice or roller skates to indulge in family-friendly, frictionless fun atop spacious rinks. During group ice-skating classes, certified instructors show bladers aged 5 and older the fundamentals of gliding before letting them fan across the ice to work through new maneuvers. When the clock strikes 10 p.m., the rink morphs into a broomball stadium where up to 25 athletes take to the ice for sneaker-clad fun.
Arkansas Skatium's snack bar vends sodas, cappuccinos, pizza, and funnel cake to those tuckered out from eight-wheeled and single-bladed maneuvers. The ProShop sells all manner of gliding gear and houses a repair shop for skates dulled by nervous biting before hockey games.
Color Me Rad stages 5K races that transform runners into mobile rainbows by launching cheerful barrages of colored cornstarch. Each color station along the racetrack flings a new, nontoxic pigment at passersby, who wear white shirts to enhance the chromatic onslaught's costuming effects. Brilliant neon-blue, green, purple, and yellow clouds dapple participants along the way, and the race concludes with a prismatic finish-line finale as sprinters chuck colors at each other in celebration. The race's noncompetitive credo shifts the emphasis from speed to silliness, and a portion of its proceeds go to local charities.
Upon registration, each runner collects a Color Me Rad T-shirt, sunglasses, sponsor gifts, and a race bib. Though they don't receive a gift packet, runners younger than 8 years old can sprint for free, provided they have a waiver signed by a guardian and won't give in to demands for gold from confused leprechauns.
Thanks to The Gauntlet, butterflies fill visitors' stomachs long before they even enter Magic Springs and Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park. The coaster looms high over the parking lot—forming a bright yellow web out of some 2,200 feet of steel track. Then, shrieks echo as riders plunge down a 110-foot drop and rocket through five inverted loops before finally planting their feet back on solid ground. And that's just the beginning.
Sprawling across the grounds are dozens of other attractions that cater to all levels of thrill-seeker. While the X-Coaster dangles riders and inspires avant-garde hair styles with its slowed-down loop, the family-friendly Big Bad John takes others on a runaway train ride through the forest. Elsewhere, a kiddie airplane ride and a carousel delight tiny visitors, and everyone can break to eat at the Lakeside Ice Cream Parlor.
When Buddy and Miranda Grimes opened Hog Wild Family Fun Center on August 16, 2009, it initially hosted 32 arcade games and a cozy pizzeria. In less than a year, however, the center had already grown beyond its 4,000 square feet. Now housed in a 25,000-square-foot facility, Hog Wild hosts more than 100 arcade and redemption games, from skeeball to Terminator: Salvation, where players help Arnold Schwarzenegger search scripts for a new career-defining role. With enough tickets, avid players can even net prizes such as basketballs and giant stuffed Smurf dolls.
The arcade aside, Hog Wild also rolls out other fun-center staples, from five inflatables to a pirate-themed mini-golf course aglow in black lights. A massive laser-tag arena with laser maze and cozy bumper-car zone round out Hog Wild, where visitors can reenergize in between activities with snacks such as chicken fingers and frozen lemonade.