While chatting on the phone with a friend, Katrina Uhls had a startling realization: her kids had been playing video games for hours. She discovered that by effectively “unplugging” her kids, she could steer them toward more creative, introspective pastimes.
Now, as the owner of Unpluggits Playstudio, she fosters a safe, welcoming space where all kids can "unplug" and explore their artistic sides. Kids will find shelves stocked with play-doh, stamps, stencils, and other craft supplies. They can don smocks and wield nontoxic paints at miniature easels. Paint’n take projects give them personalized crafts to take home, such as picture frames and piggy banks useful for saving up to buy new toys or a gold-plated piggy bank. For more active playtime pursuits, kids can gambol toward the indoor playground, which features slides, a pirate ship, and air-hockey tables.
As kids explore the 3,000-square-foot studio, parents are welcome to cruise free WiFi or monitor tykes from the snack bar, which serves freshly ground organic coffee, juices, and soda. Special workshops open the space for toddler-specific activities, adults-only craft time, and parents' nights out.
European Formula EK20 karts whiz by on Pole Position Raceway’s quarter-mile track, cruising at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Spectators crank their heads to keep up. There’s no wind to battle against, no sun blinding the drivers’ eyes, and no birds rigging the race by dropping smoke bombs because all of Pole Position Raceway’s competitions happen inside. This is thanks to a fleet of electric-powered karts, which accelerate more quickly and hug curves more smoothly than gas-powered karts without dumping out clouds of exhaust.
To sate speed cravings, drivers simply arrive and drive—show up and nab one of 13 spots in the next race. Then with a DOT-approved racing helmet, they push the pedal to the floor for roughly 10 minutes, drafting their opponents to fly past them near the finish line. At the end of each race, drivers receive a SpeedSheet that displays their race results, fastest lap time, and the likelihood of getting their own action-movie franchise. For those seeking to dive deep into the world of racing, Pole Position Raceway offers driving clinics and youth racing camps, where younger racers pilot EK10 karts that peak at 20 mph.
Laser Quest's mazelike, multi-level arena lets up to 30 players weave through the clouded fog with the grace of a skydiving basket-maker—taking cover behind barriers, swooping around corners, and raining beam-bolts down from the upper decks. Players can compete either as friendly teams or as lone wolves. Once they are surrounded by intense crossfire rarely seen outside of stormtrooper raves, players must use strategy, stamina, and well-timed hand-mirror shields to defeat the opposition.
My Little Dollhouse’s team of playtime experts creates a pastel-hued paradise for kids. A hand-painted stage is the focal point of the playroom and provides a spot for kids to model princess costumes as music plays and a disco ball glints and shimmers. Little ones can also play in and out of playhouses or receive manicures at the nail-painting station.
In addition to open playtime, My Little Dollhouses also hosts themed birthday parties during which guests have access to the center’s cache of costumes and accessories in a private party room and can put on a fashion show or dance. Staff members take all the guesswork out of setting up and cleaning up, and they furnish partygoers with baked treats, balloons, and party favors.
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.
Imagine a tropical beach plopped down in the middle of Muskogee, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect at River Country Family Water Park. The azure waters of the Caribbean come to Oklahoma at this wet and wild adventure park, where guests can zip down twisting water slides or lounge in the gentle currents of a lazy river. There's plenty of sand to go with that water, too; kids can play on the tugboat beach while adults square off in games of volleyball or feast on sand-dipped nachos with that perfect crunch.