On the second weekend in November, Vintage Market Days will once again fill the Farmers Public Market with clothing, furnishings, and knick-knacks from days past. Stacy Gray, or Calamity Jane as she's known in the "junk" business, brings this national event to Oklahoma City, helping local antique shoppers and treasure dealers meet and barter within the confines of a historic trading space.
And what a historic space it is; listed on the national register of historic places, the Farmers Public Market opened its doors in 1928, a time when farmers had no place but the roads to sell their wares and shoppers could only wait for mail-order groceries to be invented 50 years later. In its heyday, the market housed not only a variety of stores and markets, but also a concert space where country troubadours including Hank Williams Sr. and Bob Wills plucked at the heartstrings of rapt audiences.
The breadth activities at OKC Riversport is nearly as diverse as the natural terrain and wildlife that surround their locations. Adventure-seekers can test their mettle on the Air Express zipline and SandRidge Sky Trail, or explore the 13 miles of trails on a bike.
Like a cat equipped with scuba gear, OKC Riversport's visitors aren't relegated entirely to the land. Across Lake Overholser and the Oklahoma River, fleets of kayaks and standup paddleboards cut across the water. The sounds of drums fill the air as instructors teach students how to man the dragon boats—inspired by festive Chinese fishing vessels—or battle maritime knights. Pupils can discover a water sport for the first time or hone existing watercraft skills.
Water erupts in twin geysers from the tail end of riders' wakeboards as they're pulled around a lake holding a fast-moving cable. In the open water, these riders would be pulled by boats. But here, a complex series of cables runs from the hands of riders to a motor on a steel apparatus above, which drags them on high-speed rides around the lake’s circumference. Onlookers at adjacent picnic benches applaud the spectacular tricks or particularly powerful wipeouts they see, after which the dunked party swims back to shore to hop back in line for the next available cable.
Many days, visitors can find the park’s team of professional cable boarders pushing the envelope and developing new air-defying stunts off semi-submerged ramps and grind rails. The staff sets aside Mondays and Tuesdays exclusively for beginners, reserving all seven cable tows for newbies to practice gliding on the water's surface.
Earlywine Tennis Center helps amateur racket-wielders ascend to excellence with 12 well-lit outdoor courts and a fully stocked modern pro shop. Young beginners camps focus on imparting the fundamentals of the game to children age 5–9, and are held 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. More mature players looking to pick up a racket or those with prior forehand experience can take a swing at the older beginners or intermediates classes, which are designed for tennis lovers age 9–17, and are held 9 a.m.–11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Concentrating on footwork, score keeping, and ref flattery, older beginners or intermediates classes employ strategy and drills that become more challenging as the player's ability improves. Small class sizes ensure that each student receives individual instruction as focused as a laser beam viewed head-on through a microscope. All camps also include a free T-shirt and hard-court-flavored victory taffy.
The 18-hole course at Willow Creek Golf & Country Club stretches across 6,450 yards, bending around lakes and intersecting canals as it tunnels through a dense forest. Players must avoid sending golf balls into a shallow grave twice on the 15th hole, as tee shots must carry water to reach the fairway and approach shots must do the same to reach the green. On the par 37 back nine, three relatively short par 5s present birdie opportunities, with the 17th hole eminently reachable in two.
After rounds, players can head to one of the course’s culinary establishments—The Grill, The Dining Room, or the Fireside Room—to satisfy appetites and the need to brag about having the highest score.
Course at a Glance:
Whether at the retail store or beneath the water's surface, Bluewater Divers' crew maintains a commitment to helping their customers live life to the fullest. The staff, which includes PADI-certified instructors as well as an aptly named director of happiness, leads scuba classes at heated pools, natural bodies of water, or inside their own imaginations. After students master beginner courses, instructors can help them obtain PADI certification for open-water diving in the deep blue or learn advanced skills such as rescue diving. It’s not uncommon for students to foster new friendships with other divers or their instructors, especially during the school’s regularly scheduled social events and diving trips.
An authorized dealer for many leading brands, Bluewater Divers’ staff keeps the shop filled with necessary scuba equipment and accessories. The crew also runs a demo department, which lets divers test gear before they commit to living inside a giant fishbowl.