These are the sounds of summer in Eureka Springs. Families can enjoy the new Ozark Mountain Ziplines, Intrigue Theater, ghost tours and tales of the macabre at the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, 34 new big cats at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and all water sports on Beaver Lake. These and dozens of other family-friendly venues and events located in and happening around Eureka Springs this summer can be booked online in one easy step.
When the question is inevitably asked, “What’s there to do in Eureka Springs, especially for kids and families?” it can now be answered quite easily and enthusiastically. Heading that list for 2013 is the new Ozark Mountain Ziplines (OMZ). This popular, nationwide craze, which originated in Costa Rica, has never seen a better setting than the Arkansas Ozarks in and around Eureka Springs. OMZ allows guests -ages three to 83- to soar more than 200 feet high over vast, gorgeous, beautiful hardwood trees and limestone cliffs with cable lengths up to 1,800 feet, the length of six football fields.
Another relatively new attraction is Intrigue Theater. Set in a eerie and intimate redeveloped Victorian church, this show takes audience members on a magical, humorous, and mind-blowing venture into the world of telepathy. The audience actually become part of the performance… unfolding, mystical tales, magical demonstrations and introductions to special guests from ‘the other side’ become an interactive experience. Members of the audience often take the stage and, while under hypnosis, regress back to a previous life only to return with physical proof of having crossed over.
And speaking of “the other side”, no building is more famous for their “guests who check out but never leave” than the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Well-respected as a mountaintop spa resort and wedding destination, this Historic Hotel of America takes guests on a hotel ghost tour every night giving them the chance to perhaps meet apparitions like Michael, Theodora, or the Lady In The Mist.
Recognized by many as America’s most haunted hotel, the Crescent has added a late-night nuance to their presentation of the paranormal. “Flickering Tales” has guests, especially teens, sitting around an open campfire -in chairs- and being introduced to regional ghost stories almost lost to history. These macabre stories are theatrically spun by noted international thespian, Keith Scales. Once the hair is suitably standing up on the back of patrons’ necks, Scales leads them into a special trip to the hotel’s infamous “morgue” as the grand finale.
One of the biggest guesses at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) is wondering just how many big cats do they take care of at this 450-acre ranch located just a few minutes from downtown Eureka Springs. But guests should never be too quick to hit the total button because it seems the folks at TCWR are adding to the number of abused, abandoned and neglected lions and tigers (and a bear) all the time.
Most recently, TCWR rescued nearly three-dozen big cats from a nearby county where they were being inadequately housed and cared for by a lady, due to her age and health condition, who could no longer give the animals proper care. With this transition in its final stages, guests can meet the latest “cool cats” at this magnificent and breathtaking refuge that now houses nearly 150 animals including 138 big cats including mountain lions, cougars, panthers, bobcats, oh… and a bear.
On one of America’s most popular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ lakes, Beaver Lake, sits Starkey Marina, located just west of Eureka Springs. This floating cavalcade of watercrafts is the lake’s most popular stop for those who like to play on the water. Explore the clear blue 28,370-acre lake with its 480 miles of shoreline for some summer fun.
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