With 3,400 square feet devoted to the fine art of mud molding, Springfield Pottery hosts the works of well-known clayshapers from across the country. Stop in and peruse a selection of tumblers ($18–$28) and pick up spoons to show babies how to fling caviar with gusto ($5–$42). Purchase a pottery mug from Justin Rothshank ($39) or stock up on wooden bowls from Brad McCullum and outfit miniature dollhouses with makeshift hot tubs ($60–$90).
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.
Outside the World’s Largest Toy Museum, two larger-than-life toy soldiers flank the entranceway, which leads to a collection of more than one million toys from the 19th century to today. The proprietors have neatly organized their eclectic memorabilia on wooden and glass shelving, and bigger items hang from the ceilings. Visitors experience fascination and nostalgia while browsing antique tin fire trucks, a 1959 British Embassy Rolls-Royce, superhero action figures, and retro lunchboxes, a more compact version of the dinner trays kids used to carry to school.
The Harold Bell Wright Museum is a special area of the World’s Largest Toy Museum dedicated to a local hero and scribe. Learn about the author’s life and dedication to penning articles, screenplays, and novels, including 1907’s The Shepherd of the Hills. This story, which was once a staple of required classroom reading, helped make Branson, Missouri, a popular spot for tourists.
In their native environments, tropical butterflies flutter among the rainforest’s palm trees and blooming orchids. The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure adds humans to that equation, permitting visitors to walk through a tropical aviary designed to be a living rainforest. Here, thousands of butterflies imported from rainforests the world over, including Costa Rica and Australia, freely roam alongside tropical birds and exotic plants.
Other rainforest inhabitants such as red eyed tree frogs and chameleons reside inside The Butterfly Palace’s Living Rainforest Science Center. A nearby screening room hosts a documentary on the Monarch migration and a 3D movie of the butterfly life cycle. The facility's other immersive attractions include the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze and the Great Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure, simulating a real Banyan Tree from the rainforest.
Inside most haunted attractions, guests are de facto spectators—willing victims for ghouls and monsters with no ability to fight back. No longer: Castle of Chaos topples that convention with a 5D, interactive experience in which you can strap into your seat, pick up an evil-obliterating weapon, and take aim at a flurry of monsters and undead antagonists. The drama plays out in a movie-theatre style space that immerses intrepid fighters amidst novel graphics and heart-pounding 3D visual effects. The game's top marksmen are displayed on the screen so everyone knows who would be the most valuable companion in the event of a zombie apocalypse or Furby uprising.