After starting off your evening at Regatta Park Landing, you'll glide along a seven-mile stretch down the Oklahoma River that takes you past the gorgeous sights of the city and alongside riverbanks where enterprising frogs and crickets exhibit their paintings. The 90-minute cruise includes music, light appetizers, soft drinks, and a modest cash bar so that you can relax on the deck in the company of fresh breezes or celebrate inside the climate-controlled cabin. During the cruise, the boat will lazily circle back to swallow its own wake, dropping you off where you started in a perfect ouroboros.
From his 1889 arrival in Oklahoma City until his death in 1915, Henry Overholser was an instrumental force in the city's growth. Beyond his involvement in the metropolis's first waterworks project and trolley-car system, he built more than 35 buildings, including the United States Courthouse, the state fairgrounds, and a giant catapult to protect it from invading Kansans.
In addition to civic pride, Overholser also took time to care for his own habitat. In 1903, he completed construction of his home, a gargantuan, three-story chateau measuring more than 11,000 square feet paired with a smaller but no less stately 4,000-square-foot carriage house. These days, guided tours of the Henry Overholser Mansion begin there before moving into the main house, whose original furnishings and antwerp oak interior remain intact. The meticulously maintained dwelling retains most of its signature fixtures, which were picked out by Overholser himself, treating guests to glimpses of elegance including its original hand-painted canvas walls and stained-glass windows.
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.
After a lifetime of practice as an ob-gyn and 10 years as an amateur winemaker, Gary Strebel’s vinting hobby hit a bump in the road: His fermenting creations were taking up too much space in the kitchen, and his wife, Sherry, was tired of the mess. After a lengthy licensing process, Gary moved his operation into the barn, first taking his wines to the public in 2007. The now-renovated hundred-year-old barn currently serves as both a winery and gift shop, which frees the Strebels’ kitchen space for the family and frees visitors from having to wedge themselves between the refrigerator and the dishwasher. In addition to its overflowing wine racks, the gift shop also fills its rustic bounds with paraphernalia such as glasses, billfolds, jewelry, scarves and purses, and Cowboy and Sooner memorabilia.
Ultimate Terrors is the sprawling, aptly named abode of the storied Skull family, as well as the area's prime destination for professionally administered Halloween thrills. Unlike generic VIP passes, which are only good for complimentary escargot-encrusted monocles, this VIP pass gains fast access to the park’s three central attractions. VIPs can enter each exhibit before others via the Speed Pass line, a sanctioned short cut that does not violate any federal cuts, butts, or coconuts ordinances. Start the happily horrific ordeal in one of Oklahoma’s largest haunted houses—the 18-room 4,000-square-foot Skull Manor––and meet its undead, perpetually behind-in-rent tenants. Next, visit Code Blue, a haunted hospital whose 16 rooms showcase ghoulish inpatients and predictably foul-smelling cafeteria fare. Finally, the realm of 3-D Chaos inspires last-minute self-reflection after victims get lost in its maze-like twists, turns, and inherently evil shrubbery. Those who make it through the dark triptych alive will receive a commemorative photo.
As Halloween approaches, dozens of macabre vistas appear across the country, frightening but somehow also beckoning groups of visitors. The masterminds behind these apparitions? America Is Haunted, a company that has fear down to a science. That starts with the element of surprise, as each location holds its own secrets and scares. Six terrifying mazes, eight mini-shows, more than 300 monsters, goblins, and ghouls including larger-than-life rats, spiders, and gargoyles, as well as interactive experiences, gory vignettes, and costumed actors await throughout each attraction. The escorted journey may begin with a disorienting, technicolor maze where each turn brings guests face to face with some new horror. Other locales might include a maximum-security prison where the inmates run wild or a grocery store where the cereal is all the healthy kind.