Splash Kingdom Waterparks bring a bit of the ocean to Texas and Louisiana. Well, that's if the ocean was filled with twisting water slides and the occasional snack stand. The Splash Kingdom family consists of waterparks in Canton, Texas, Hudson Oaks, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana, with another location set to open in Greenville Park, Texas in 2015. Lazy rivers take visitors on leisurely floats around each of these parks, while giant wave pools simulate ocean tides and shake up floating inner tubes.
Each park also houses a kids' area as well as its own set of unique aquatic thrills. At Canton, The Royal Flush takes riders down a fast, twisting body slide that ends in a 4-foot free fall. Shreveport's side-by-side Bonzai slides send dueling riders down steep, face-first descents. A Wild West theme defines the attractions at Hudson Oaks. At the park's Snake Pit, five slides take the form of giant snakes, including a green mamba and a copperhead. Each species goes through a different set of twists and turns.
Splash Kingdom Waterparks is a Christian-run organization with a straightforward mission statement: "To glorify God while providing a safe and fun recreation experience for families."
The Toro Loco Challenge fuses the arts of mud running, obstacle navigation, and adventure into twin courses––one competitive and one recreational. On the Raging Bull path, challengers hurtle through muddy terrain while confronting obstacles such as ziplines and spinning balance beams. On the 5K Leisurely Longhorn Course, dogs and children run along with racers over ropes and puddles. Music fills the air at the finish line, and prizes are awarded to the boldest costumes, the most spirited teams, and the most nimble pups. Proceeds from the Toro Loco Challenge will benefit the Petfinder Foundation, and adoptable dogs will be on hand throughout the event.
At Witherspoon Ranch, it's not just about getting students into the saddle. Before tender-footed equestrians mount up, instructors work to lay the foundation, teaching fundamental horse-care and handling skills. Beginning by catching, grooming, and learning to saddle and bridle the horse, students become comfortable working around the animals, and build a solid basis from which to advance. But lessons aren't just for beginners; the trainers at Witherspoon also trot into more advanced, specialized territory, such as calf-roping and barrel racing, which can be put to use during their regularly held rodeos.
At Sip-n-Doodle, colors swirl, spread, and mix over canvases while lively conversations crackle. Artists walk students through step-by-step instructions, helping them fashion their own interpretation onto a painter’s canvas. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks and a beverage of their choice, the better to sip as they daringly work outside the lines. The studio provides all the necessary painting supplies, cups, and bottle openers, as well as blow dryers should works not be completely dry by the end of the night.