Founded by two graduates of Texas A&M’s Corpus Christi campus, Padre Island Surf Club caters to all levels of surfers, from first-timers to tube-riding competitors in the Texas Gulf Surfing Association. Instructors maintain a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio during youth surf camps, tailoring their lessons to campers between the ages of 5 and 17. The team also organizes girls’ and women’s camps and after-school programs that reinforce basic math concepts by requiring students to count the sum total of each day’s high-fives.
When they aren’t building campers’ self-esteem through lessons that become more challenging with each new skill mastered, instructors turns kids loose to have fun with kayaks and standup paddleboards and even schedule trips to the Texas State Aquarium. Padre Island Surf Club’s educational efforts have earned them sponsorships from top industry companies such as Billabong, Kustom, and Surfline.
The instructors at Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi help students focus their minds and calibrate them to their bodies. Thoughtful breathing exercises and strength-building poses are consistently the vehicles toward mental and physical balance, although the studio offers diverse challenges across 14 different class types ranging from 65 to 90 minutes each. Those just starting out can learn the ropes in a beginners session, whereas yogis looking for more intense workouts can attend Hatha flow classes, which build core strength and improve stamina through continuous movement and by teaching pupils how to apply papier mâché to their midsections. During hot-yoga classes, the instructors crank up the thermostat to 97.8 degrees, helping to loosen stiff muscles and joints, encourage detoxification, and increase flexibility during Vinyasa flow movements.
Funtrackers summons fun-seekers with a mother lode of scintillating attractions for guests of all ages. Drivers in tiny cars vanquish fellow racers with expert passing maneuvers and cloying drive-time radio jams across four different go-kart tracks, which range from a kiddie track built for drivers 3 aged and older to a pro track reserved for motorists with a valid driver’s license or permit. Floating in a 3-foot-deep pool, guests can douse each other with water from a squirt-gun turret built in to bumper boats, engaging comrades in a friendly rivalry to be continued at the 18-hole, tropical-themed miniature-golf course. Inside, buzzing sounds and whirring lights emanate from more than 50 arcade games, including skee-ball and air hockey, many of which reward success with tickets that can be redeemed for an assortment of fun prizes.
In keeping with its name, Crossroads Yoga acts as a meeting place for yoga practitioners of all backgrounds, ages, and skill sets. The certified instructors believe that devotion to yoga is an ever-evolving process that benefits from new experiences and styles. They draw upon their diverse training backgrounds, which include extensive traveling and lessons from yoga experts, during private and group classes. They also invite guest teachers to present a range of disciplines during workshops. Practice takes place atop hardwood floors within a picturesque pink-and-white house whose porch bears seasonal decorations.
On fall nights, Play Extreme Sports & Store's staff transport people a half-mile deep into the woods of a 30-acre outdoor entertainment arena and dare them to escape on a trail haunted by live actors. Twelve to 15 victims climb aboard a 2.5-ton military truck for a seemingly inconspicuous ride along the haunted trail each evening between 7:30 p.m. and midnight. At the epicenter of the paranormal playground, the truck mysteriously shuts down, abandoning riders, who must test internal compasses to find their way out. Explorers creep past trees dappled with severed heads while trying not to awaken sleeping pieces of possessed farm equipment. Costumed inhabitants draped in their finest layers of pond scum and spanish moss emerge from the shadows to cordially frighten wanderers frantically scouring the area in an attempt to find the exit. Face irrational inner fears by confronting scary props, spooky audio effects, and shadows that eerily mimic every move of the people they follow.
Children younger than 2 are admitted for free when accompanied by a paying child or admission is $3 per day if unaccompanied. Parents’ admission is free.
A nonprofit community venture, the Aurora Arts Theater strives to enrich the Corpus Christi area by providing live performances that showcase the talents of local artists. Based on the book by Terrence McNally, The Full Monty follows the au-naturel aspirations of a group of unemployed steel workers in Buffalo who concoct an unlikely money-making scheme after taking note of their wives' captivation with male strippers. As the story and the wardrobe unfurls, the men discover the importance of friendship and regular waxes while renewing self-esteem and reclaiming control over their destinies.
The Buc Days Festival has been celebrating pirate rabblerousing while raising money to gift upstanding landlubbers scholarships for more than 70 years. Festivities kick off with a mayoral dunking off of the ceremonial plank, whetting swashbuckling appetites for 10 more days of carnival tomfoolery, including music, pirate entertainment, and peg-leg pedicuring competitions.
Within Abba! Bellydance's downtown Water Street studio, experienced belly dancer Blyth—a.k.a. Valkyrie Myst—schools hip-movers in the methods and techniques of traditional Middle Eastern dance. Under Myst's watchful eye, barefooted body-shakers begin to master their musculature, gradually gaining the ability to isolate their hips from their legs, their head from their shoulders, and their green M&Ms from the rest of the worthless bunch. The undulating, snake-like movements of this ancient art form can cultivate a sense of sensuality and femininity in the dancer, and can provide an intense and enjoyable cardio workout. Abba! Bellydance's courses aim to capture that consciousness, while at the same time introducing dancers to the foundations in isolations, veil movements, and zill patterns.
South Texas Speedway fulfills enthusiasts of distance divided by time with thrilling races and events for all ages. This summer features a full schedule of Saturday races that commence in the evenings at 7:30 p.m. and cover five different classes, from youth go-karts and front-wheel drive Front runners to entry-level Bomber cars. Pure stocks race around the quarter-mile dirt track with the speed and agility of a thoroughbred panther, and all races conclude with thrilling limited-modified laps.
Galaxy's somewhat predictably-themed, glow-in the-dark mini golf course beckons gamers of all ages and skill levels. Take on iridescent aliens, blazing rocket ships, and lazy, ball-blocking space stations for 18 holes of indoor fun. The glowing outer space hazards and moving obstacles make for challenging courses presenting dangers to wayward golf balls and wandering dark matter. Each ticket gets two avid gamers two full 18-hole rounds on the black-lit course, with the last hole awarding a prize to anyone making a hole-in-one. Mini-golfers with miniature mini-golfers can take advantage of children's tickets ($4) for a family fun night, day, or indeterminably-blacklit timeperiod.
Under the new management of Tom Lawless, the 2011 Hooks—the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros—look to proclaim bat-swinging dominance in the Texas League. Baseball supporters can claim seats at Whataburger Field, which is built to reflect the feel of a classic ballpark and can hold about 7,000 Hooks fans and three times as many foam fingers. Two wristbands adorn arms and grant access to extracurricular excursions in the Driscoll Children's Hospital Kids Zone, featuring a rock-climbing wall and a chimp-free jungle gym. Along with being able to see the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium from inside the park, fans can enjoy breath-robbing views of the Harbor Bridge and mascots removing their comically oversize heads to observe the National Anthem. After the game, fans can trade their baseball caps for 10-gallon hats as they take in a concert by Tejano rockers Texas Tornados or Green River Ordinance, a quintet of aspiring environmental attorneys moonlighting as talented musicians.
Tee 2 Green's two-level, PGA-recognized golf range summons swingers with stretches of practice fairway for swinging, putting, and chipping. Bask in basket Valhalla by skyrocketing 600 balls (12 baskets) into a vast stretch of green, punishing the dimpled spheres with well-executed swings that implement the forces of speed, velocity, and properly aimed physics textbooks. An 18-hole chipping and putting practice range rounds out focus from the long game to the particulars of short form. The lighted range allows golfers to swing past sunset, where they can imagine that the moon is a large golf flag, the stars are sand traps, and gravity is just a conspiracy perpetrated by the opponent. The monthly card at Tee 2 Green beguiles drivers with 100 balls a day, topping tees with around 3,000 opportunities for golfers to practice their swing.
Snap Fitness's licensed trainers and instructors motivate exercisers through a range of engaging and supportive group workouts. Put your body through the ringer in an intensive Boot Camp 101 class (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 a.m.) and use the collective motivation of your calorie-shedding cohorts to hone your core into a lean body fulcrum and your limbs into rippling levers.
Since he's a National Academy of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainer and owner of Pure Fitness Solutions, it may come as a bit of a surprise that Abel Gomez is a self-confessed pizza lover. But this fact, along with his sense of humor about his own weaknesses, is what makes the fitness pro and former member of the US Air Force so relatable to his clientele. "I always make a deal with myself," he says on his website, "I have to work out that day before I can have my favorite food."
Fortunately for Abel, and every member of Pure Fitness Solutions, his brand-new facility is open 24/7. Amid a rock-climbing wall, a childcare center, locker rooms, showers, and workout spaces full of boot-camp classes and Zumba are enough free weights and cardio equipment to carve out a diamond-hard body. And roaming amid all these are fellow N.A.S.M–certified personal trainers keeping their clients on track and accountable. In fact, every new member who signs up receives a complimentary fitness assessment by one of these personal trainers, providing immediate feedback about the client's physical condition and recommendations about how to get in shape and live a healthy, fit lifestyle.