Aesthetes and anthropologists can devour an eyeful of wide-ranging cultural artifacts and extensive fine art collections at the Mabee-Gerrer. The permanent collection of Egyptian art claims Oklahoma's only mummy that's not living, and the antiquities section features sculpture and pottery from ancient Greece, China, and Mesopotamia. Visitors can also set their sights on a broad sweep of American works, including timeworn Aztec textiles housed in the Arts of Ancient America collection, present-day paintings by Oklahoma artists in the Contemporary Art section, and the unpainted canvases hanging in the museum's 23rd-century collection.
Located near the Oklahoma–Arkansas border, Lake Wister State Park is a gateway to the Ouachita National Forest, an area known for its hiking trails and mountain scenery. There are five camping areas throughout the park, each filled with a mix of cabins and sites for tents and RVs. Although the area is surrounded by wilderness, you won’t have to rough it—each site has access to amenities such as comfort stations with showers, full kitchens, and picnic shelters.
Naturally, most visit the state park for its many outdoor pursuits. There’s 115 miles of shoreline, which include a swimming beach and lighted boat ramp. The area is especially popular in the summer, when Lake Wister bustles with water-skiers and anglers out for the water’s catfish and sand bass. Meanwhile, the cabins have direct access to nature trails that show off the resident white-tailed deer, rabbits, and bald eagles. You can also learn more about the local wildlife by checking out the exhibits at the park’s nature center. When the kids aren’t out exploring nature, they can take enjoy the onsite water spray park and miniature golf course.
The word "extreme" is often overused by sodas, tortilla chips, and Vanilla Ices, but it definitely applies to the rough-and-tumble Grave Digger Race. In a merciless 5-mile course, competitors huff, puff, and soil their skivvies as they charge across intense, soggy terrain in their quest for victory. Along the muddy path, racers must hurdle a slew of 23 daunting obstacles, including walls made of tires, walls made of rope, and walls made of wall. Beer, food, showers, and contestant medals help alleviate postrace fatigue, and proceeds from the race benefit the Oklahoma chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse.
Practical Shooting's live-fire training takes place at an outdoor range, which accommodates handgun, rifle, shotgun, and long-range training.
Customers usually bring their own firearms, though instructors supply equipment during certain classes, including the Youth Firearms Safety Class and the Home Defense Course that uses Simunition, a non-lethal training ammunition.
A member of the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Department possessing weapons certifications including a federal firearms license, Wes Elliott continues more than a decade of teaching firearm operation to military personnel, law-enforcement officials, and everyday citizens. On Practical Shooting's outdoor range, Elliott and his team lead handgun and rifle courses, covering a catalog of weaponry that spans pistols to shotguns. Beyond shooting instruction, Elliott teaches executive-protection tactics, and his facility also hosts Simunition matches.
Guiding golfers along a lush chlorophyll carpet that stretches for 6,524 yards from the back tees, the course at Choctaw Creek challenges all oncomers with tight, tree-lined fairways and treacherous approaches into elevated greens. The course's titular creek snakes its way through seven holes of the front nine, demanding cautious attention from golfers wary of the unplayable lies and amphibious gophers likely hiding in its murky depths. The back nine demands precise bifurcation of narrow fairways, lest drives stray into the fairway-lining foliage or greenside bunkers. After golfers work up ravenous appetites over 18 holes, the Creekside Grill stands at the ready to refuel them with sandwiches and house-made soups.
Course at a Glance:
6,524 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 71.2 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 118 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Paintball Club of Choctaw’s eight playing fields accommodate all skill levels, including tikes as young as 8. Players select from various gaming styles such as capture the flag, fast-paced air ball, and themed objectives of protecting the team fort. Abiding by the club's field rules, players conquer obstacles such as picket-fence forts, wooden teepees, giant arrowheads, and cardboard trees.
Paintball Club of Choctaw has recently expended their simulated-warfare offerings, as they also host games of outdoor laser tag on two fields. During downtime, combatants can grab a bite to eat at the snack stand or simply take a breather at one of the nearby tables, where they can rethink strategy and consult dog-eared copies of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.