Prime Time Family Entertainment Center brings a chic, modern touch to the traditional bowling alley. Angular leather couches and sleek lighting set the scene for competition on the facility's smooth bowling lanes, which feature large screens that hover above and broadcast sports and entertainment for players. The lights drop and the pins become glowing targets during glow bowl, and a pool table invites bowlers to take a break with a game of nine-ball or stripes and solids between rounds. Prime Time is BYOB.
A day’s worth of revelry awaits patrons at the Putt-Putt Fun Center, with attractions designed to amuse fun-seekers of all ages. Settle family feuds on the 18-hole Putt-Putt golf course, which includes both mini scoring pencils and mini mulligans––if no one sees. After a rousing round of mini golf, bat-wielders can bludgeon sports spheres to their hearts' content in the Putt-Putt BatZone, where one token produces 20 pitches and 200 home runs earns "Eternal Glory" emblazoned across the onesie of the slugger's choice. Skee-ball all-stars can rack up a small fortune in winnings redeemable for prizes in the air-conditioned arcade.
Though the creatures on display at Dinosaur World don?t need much space to roam, plenty of care has been taken to furnish them a comfortable habitat. They peer imposingly from the hillsides, crane their necks up through native trees, and stomp through prairie fields. Although a life-size mammoth or T. rex might be hard to miss, little visitors might still jump with delight at noticing a baby dino suddenly appear from behind a bush. Giant brachiosaurus necks arch high above treetops, while toothy meat-eaters and spiny stegosauruses roam the world below. The fiberglass, steel, and concrete models reach up to 80 feet in length, and are built according to the latest scientific discoveries about what dinosaurs looked like and what styles were trendy in the Mesozoic era.
The first Dinosaur World location was a former alligator farm in Florida, and today it has spread to encompass outposts in Kentucky and Texas. As Swedish-born Christer Svensson began to fill it with statues, he consulted with experts around the world to not only create realistic reptiles but to surround them with fun, educational activities. Kids can sift through sand to find shark?s teeth, gastropod shells, and trilobites in a fossil dig, get to know some lizards a little better on the playground, or examine ancient eggs and raptor claws in the museum.
The 13-acre Abilene Zoo delights visitors with more than 600 animals from more than 200 species. Guests gaze upon bobcats, flamingos, and giraffes before visiting the new bird gardens, where road runners and burrowing owls face off in feather fluffing tournaments. The zoo participates in conservation efforts for African lions, black rhinos, and ring-tailed lemurs, as well as other threatened and endangered creatures, and the Abilene Reporter-News recently profiled their new horticulturist, who has helmed a “green renaissance” at the facility.
Created by a crew of local cowhands 26 years ago, the Western Heritage Classic has mushroomed into a three-day event bringing together thousands of lasso-loving Texans. The ranch rodeo ticket gets you inside the dirt-covered coliseum at 8 p.m. Friday, when rival ranchers test their mettle in a series of original events—roping calves, riding broncos, milking wild cows, branding cattle, and more recent additions such as team penning and bovine speed texting. Saturday's ground pass applies only to non-ranch-rodeo events, including the chuck wagon cook-off and the fiddler contest, in which bow masters pound out the jams to get cowboy boots shuffling. Those attending both days can hear the weathered verses of cowboy poets, the pastoral works of western artists and artisans, and witness rancher Charlier Trayer’s cowdog demonstrations.