Looming 19 stories above the Oklahoma landscape, the Price Tower Arts Center was originally designed as the world headquarters for the pipeline masters of the H.C. Price Company. However, even at the time of its opening in 1956, the Prairie-style cantilevered building's origin far outstripped the reputation of its intended tenants: the tower is Frank Lloyd Wright's only completed skyscraper. The H.C. Price Company moved on in 1981, but its famous former home remained; today, the National Historic Landmark stands tall as the Price Tower Arts Center—a monument to American architecture and design of the 20th century.
Inside, a range of rotating special exhibits often focus on the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright as well as works by modern artists, both past and living, from around around the world. These exhibitions include work from the center's permanent collection, which spans drawings, furniture, textiles, and samples of building design from some of the era's finest architectural minds. Docents regularly reveal facts about these pieces of art, and the design of the building itself, on guided tours to its 19th-floor executive offices, art-filled lower mezzanines, and the secret shark tank under the elevator.
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.
Red Apple Bowling Center pits lane lords against gutter geeks in a family-friendly environment. The spring-camp program grants 10-pin tutelage to 5- to 12-year-olds, immersing the budding bowlers in four days of study and practice in the physics of propulsion and the subtleties of the strike. Camp participants benefit from video instruction, on-lane tutoring, and a snack lunch served daily to refuel pin-punishing wrist and shoulder muscles. As a smoke-free spot for families and friendly competitors, Red Apple Bowling Center packs in a variety of modern amenities such as the AMF XL Accuscore system and bumper bowling to keep wee ones clear of the gutter. Camp participants receive an official camp T-shirt as well as a pizza party upon graduation, where you can show off how far you've come by noshing on platters of eats, hurling heavy objects at neatly arranged knickknacks, and punching complicated arithmetic in its fancy, finagling face. Parents are welcome to bowl with their graduates at the party.
Seizing an opening, a boy manning a motorized boat slams into the boat in front of him. Before the other driver has time to retaliate, he turns the wheel 90 degrees and high-tails it to the other side of the bumper-boat pool. Safe, for the moment. Nearby, similarly minded motorists intent on reckless cruising race laps around a go-kart track, bounding off the track’s walls and off fellow drivers trying to practice their parallel-parking skills. High-pitched screams in the distance indicate that the Tiger Terror rollercoaster has begun its decent, and the swift crack of a baseball bat indicates the batting cage has met its match.
As the sun sets on another day at Route 66 Carousel Park, park-goers take in the twinkling lights of a towering ferris wheel and the smells of sweet and savory park confections wafting through the summer air. Whether at the park on a whim or celebrating a birthday, corporate event, or puppy’s first words, guests can keep the revelry going late into the evening.
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.