At age 13, a few years after relocating to the United States from her native Australia, Cheryl West unearthed a passion for horseback riding. Since then, she has become accomplished in both the competitive and educational arenas, including snagging a master certification in equestrian instruction, operating a program for special-needs riders, and ghostwriting a memoir for Mister Ed. At West Equestrian Ranch, Cheryl and her team of seasoned instructors bestow their expertise upon pupils during camps and group and private lessons. Both are anchored in the philosophy that building a sturdy seat lays the foundation for adept trotting?the lessons gravitate toward English, Western, jumping, dressage, or trail methods, while summer camps fold similar techniques into days of riding, games, and horse care.
Cheryl and her staff also serve the equine community, rescuing one or two horses each year, rebuilding their strength and confidence, and giving them spots on the ranch's competitive team. Meanwhile, they allow kids free rein of a playground and picnic tables, where the stables' gentlest steed whinnies happily as kids finger-paint him with rainbows or complex mathematical equations.
The newly renovated Oilers Ice Center provides visitors with a regulation-size indoor rink designed for ice hockey, figure skating, curling, and public skating sessions. Four curling rings sit beneath the frozen carpet, which is kept smooth with frequent passes of a zamboni blasting classic R & B hits from its stereo. The venue doubles as the official practice space for Oklahoma’s Central Hockey League team, the Tulsa Oilers, and offers adult hockey leagues throughout the year. Busy families of dexterous ice veterans can take advantage of the center’s flexible hours, and adventurous couples can spend Friday nights using their skates to trace the shape of hearts or prenuptial-agreement fine print into the ice.
Clad in their families' colored tartans, members of more than 30 Scottish clans gather on festival grounds in Tulsa for the annual Scotfest, Oklahoma's largest Celtic music festival. Scottish traditions are passed on to festival patrons with a showcase of Highland crafts, educational workshops, and strongman Scottish games, in which more than 60 athletes compete in games that include tire flips, truck pulls, and tug of war.
Scotch tastings will feature Rubright & Hardagain answering questions about different types of scotch, the distilling process, and why some whiskies are resentful about being locked in barrels for years. Meanwhile, vendors refuel visitors with authentic Scottish food before sending them off to dance to traditional folk and Celtic rock acts such as Celtica, Tullamore, Wicked Tinkers, Seven Nations, Murder the Stout, and Celtic-influenced Texas rock band Cleghorn. A designated children's area is available for youngsters to play in.
In a twist of irony, Big Splash Water Park was nearly destroyed in a flood. That was in 1984, the first year the park was open. But the owners didn't want a watery grave to be the new park's fate. So they rebuilt it, and in the more than 30 years since, it has grown to far exceed the original in both size and scope.
Originally equipped with just a kiddie pool, the park now sprawls in every direction with colorful flumes, umbrella-shaded walkways, and a bevy of thrilling rides. For example, the famous Master Blaster tube-coaster shoots raft-riders through a course of gravity-defying twists and turns, and the towering Silver Bullet slide sends guests down a breathtaking 72-foot plummet. And after all the excitement, the Lazy River invites visitors to take it easy with a relaxing float free of kings hollering, "Get out of my moat!"
Since 1968, Skateland has hosted four-wheeled fun on its 75'x168' maple roller-skating rink. Public skating sessions allow guests to glide freely around the rink, and private parties employ the spinning skills of a DJ to play the partygoers' choice of tunes. Skaters can slide out of the rink to the adjacent snack bar to munch on pizza and snacks at bright yellow tables and orange seats. Adults take to the rink on Wednesday night for adult-skate events, during which they can unwind and do grown-up things, such blasting public radio over the PA system and enjoying a sugar-fueled, parent-free skating spree.
What began in 1965 as a traveling exhibit from the Jewish Museum in New York transformed into a permanent space for art pieces that encompass various aspects of Jewish life. The museum now bears the name of its first curator, Tulsa native Sherwin Miller, whose dedication to Judaism and art embodies the museum’s mission to "preserve and share the legacy of Jewish art, history and culture."
To cultivate its educational environment, The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art maintains permanent collections such as the Jewish History and Culture exhibition, in which visitors can peruse fine art in the form of brilliantly colored tapestries by Israeli artist Reuven Rubin and archeological artifacts from the Middle Bronze Age through the Iron Age. Other displays include the Kaiser Holocaust Exhibition on the first floor and the Oklahoma Jewish Experience, which tells the stories of immigrants and showcases memorabilia from Oklahoma synagogues and families. In addition to its collections, the museum also showcases rotating exhibits of visiting works of art and seasonal educational displays with craft projects geared toward specific holidays.