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Water World

Summer can be a bummer when temperatures start to climb. So, grab your swimsuit and sunscreen and head to Safari Joe's H2O.

Michele Chiappetta
Darcy Daniels
May 28, 2019

As summer ramps up and temperatures soar toward the triple digits in Green Country, one thing is for sure: A lot of people will be taking advantage of the cool swimming and hot weather fun that can be had at Safari Joe’s H2O.

Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, and located next to Expo Square in midtown Tulsa, Safari Joe’s H2O is all about providing an excellent time for people. Co-owners Joe and Jasmine Estes, who also own Safari Joe’s Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary in Adair, Oklahoma, love making a difference, whether it’s saving animals or entertaining humans.

“We just want to make a difference in people’s lives,” says Jasmine. “That’s why we’re doing this — to make people smile.” A trip to the water park can be like a staycation, a little escape without leaving home.

Providing a pleasant, safe, visitor-centric escape from the daily routine for local families is something that everyone at Safari Joe’s is focused on this year. “Our guests are looking for the leisure time of enjoyment, so our goal is to provide that for them,” says Suzye Worley, the park’s customer service manager.

Providing a pleasant, safe, visitor-centric escape from the daily routine for local families is something that everyone at Safari Joe’s is focused on this year.
Providing a pleasant, safe, visitor-centric escape from the daily routine for local families is something that everyone at Safari Joe’s is focused on this year. (Photo: Darcy Daniels)

This year, the park’s goal is to level up the hospitality even more for park-goers. “We have an increased sense of awareness that our guests could be anywhere, but they chose to come spend the day with us,” says Worley. “So, we want them to have an enjoyable leisure experience while they’re here. We want Safari Joe’s to be a positive place where people can come and be glad to be.”

Of course, a water park’s entertainment begins with the rides they offer. The Reptile Rush Slides, a speedy and thrilling ride, towers over the park, providing a great view of the city. The Raptor Rapids is Oklahoma’s largest and only water roller coaster. Ride the Flumes, a choice of three twisty-turning slides. Or have a blast in the Shark Beach Wave Pool, which is one of the largest wave pools in the Southwest.

For more leisurely, laid-back fun, float on a tube along gentle Rex’s River. Visit the Activity Pool, where you can relax and sunbathe, or enjoy activities such as the high dive, water basketball, a rock wall, volleyball, and two small speed slides.

For little ones, visit The Lagoon, which has small, child-appropriate pools and activities ideal for young children. Parents can sit back and relax while their children play. There is also a playground area. And of course, there will be animals on display, mermaids, macaws, and more.

Ashley Rains (Photo: Darcy Daniels)
Ashley Rains (Photo: Darcy Daniels)

Throughout the summer, the park will host a variety of events. There will be music nights — Latin, ‘90s, Red Dirt, country, ‘80s rock, and ‘70s music will all be highlighted at different times. On Shark Beach Thursday nights, the park will cater to adults with an after-party at the Shark Beach Grill.

The park also hosts many family events, including the Hot Rods and Reptiles Father’s Day Car Show, superhero days, and family night, when families can gather to watch movies by the Activity Pool. On July 4, the park will stay open late for families to enjoy a special Independence Day celebration.

Beyond fun in the sun, Safari Joe’s also offers some delicious food and drink options. Among the new vendors is D’s Sweet Shoppe, a Tulsa bakery specializing in candy-bar cupcakes and their trademarked Cakearoons. “They’re similar to macaroons but a lot creamier,” says Jasmine.

The park will also offer candy, specialty cookies, and a brand-new ICEE product available in four flavors — caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, and mocha — all dairy-free. They’ll have a Dippin’ Dots product too — coffee that you can either eat like ice cream or add hot water to, to have a cup of coffee. It’s dairy free as well.

Visitors will also enjoy a variety of grilled foods, pizza, funnel cakes, and other options. And if you’re interested in bringing food, ask about the special cooler pass, which allows you to bring in food and nonalcoholic drinks (but no glass containers for safety reasons).

All in all, guests can expect to feel a sense of community at the park, something the whole team at Safari Joe’s works hard to foster. “At Safari Joe’s H2O, we are family,” says Darcy Daniels, marketing manager. “We get to know our guests and enjoy partnering with people in our community, whether that be in marketing, events, or added attractions to the park.”

One recent example of how the park employees connect to patrons is the story of Ashley Rains (who is the cover model for this issue of Preview 918). Daniels met Rains, along with many of her friends, at one of the park’s Shark Beach Thursdays. “She had amazing energy. People gravitated toward her,” says Daniels. “I knew right away she would be perfect for the cover.”

Although Rains had never modeled before, she was a fan of the park, so she was excited to take part in a photo shoot for the park’s benefit. “I was so shocked and excited when I got asked to take photos,” Rains says. “I was more than happy and proud to represent the park.”

Safari Joe’s H2O
4707 E. 21st St. | Tulsa
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday: 10a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon-6 p.m.
​Tuesdays Teen Night: 7-10 p.m.
Shark Beach Thursdays (adults only): 7 p.m.-2 a.m.