The animal kingdom encompasses species from every continent on the planet. But Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari cuts down on the need for excessive travel by bringing an eclectic array of exotic species to the heart of East Texas. The 300-acre preserve houses 36 exotic and endangered species in open areas similar to their native habitats. This allows visitors to see these majestic creatures firsthand while driving along the miles of roads that weave throughout the preserve's hills and savannahs. Over the course of the self-guided tour, visitors will have the opportunity to spot animals such as an alligator, Canadian wood bison, Arabian camel, red kangaroo, zebra, and holographic dodo, all from the safety of their vehicle. In addition to providing one-of-a-kind wildlife photo ops, the preserve also allows groups to feed some of the animals by dropping food pellets onto the ground.
Oil Bowl Lanes opens its 32 lanes of rolling glory to pin pushers every day of the week. A one-hour lane rental pits quartets of players against one another to see who can garner the highest score based on pins felled and the secret 11th frame, which is judged on the overall style of post-strike moonwalks. Eight rental shoes lend their aid to earthbound extremities, and a full pitcher of soda bubbles with between-frame refreshment or postgame head-dunk opportunities. Spheres rumble down Oil Bowl’s alleys between retro-futuristic murals and cheery checkered floors.
Longview Museum of Fine Arts seeks to expose the local community to art through its collection of more than 400 works including paintings, etchings, photographs, collages, and sculptures. The permanent collection primarily focuses on works from regional artists, and the museum's galleries also host traveling or temporary exhibits six times per year. Outside, visitors can tour a sculpture garden with rotating featured pieces.
At Witherspoon Ranch Arena, 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 Ranch Arena 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.
Drivers careen at a blinding 85 miles per hour around the track at Dallas Karting Complex. In order to take the wheel of a high-speed Rotax DD2 karts, racers must pass a few tests, including achieving a 74-second lap time on the 0.8-mile track, reaching 16 years of age, and being able to recite three quotes from The Fast and the Furious in iambic pentameter. Drivers who don't meet the high-octane criteria or are interested in a simpler ride can zip around the track's 17 turns in lower-speed karts, starting at the 30-miles-per-hour cadet carts for kids aged 7–15 or the karts for adults that burn rubber at highway speeds. The 25-acre facility has enough room to host racing parties for kids and adults, as well as corporate meetings to discuss the feasibility of commuting to work in a Rotax DD2.