Hinkle Family Fun Center houses a multitude of yawn-busting attractions, from the whimsical Bumper Boats and Miniature Golf courses to a futuristic Lazer Tag arena and Virtual Reality pods. Under the direction of the Hinkles, the park has blossomed into a veritable utopia of thrills and amusements for all ages. Waterfalls douse bumper boats, paintballs explode in bursts of neon aqua across a 13,500-square-foot arena, and hidden obstacles spell the end of all but the craftiest golf balls. Indoors, the Nickel City Game Room and Prize Center and Fun Center Game Room and Prize Center brim with more than 200 games and more than 1,000 prizes, and strobe lights illuminate chest packs found throughout the laser-tag arena.
The 10’x10’ course simulator screens at Randy’s Indoor Golf vividly replicate the bucolic, short-grass corridors of famous courses from the comfort of an indoor, 18-hole golf studio. The fairway facsimiles allow golfers to strike real golf balls off of custom, divot-action golf mats that emulate clubs’ response on real grass without offending Mother Earth's curvaceous topography. Each simulated course is vibrantly brought to life using 3-D graphics, whisking club-toting clientele to courses modeled after 22 famous links such as Torrey Pines and Bethpage Black. Throughout each round, players also benefit from swing-analysis feedback on each shot, allowing them to savor the precise yardage of an extra-long drive or enlist concrete data during motivational speeches delivered to underperforming 6-irons. Before each round, players can also adjust the virtual weather to match their stormy temperament, reflect their sunny disposition, or satisfy their fixation with golf ball-size hail. In addition to golf, Randy's offers other virtual sports, including bowling, baseball, and hang gliding.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center, which has earned the attention of Frommer’s and Fodor's, guides visitors on a journey through Hispanic culture with an art museum, library, and store. The center’s art museum tantalizes eyes with a permanent collection full of work from traditional craftspeople and contemporary visionaries. Rotating current exhibitions showcase various collections including installations by Sandra Cisneros, acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street or collections of 200 beautiful clay figurines. Meanwhile, the center’s research library assembles 12,500 titles on Hispanic culture and history, and archives preserve documents in a haven more temperature-controlled than a refrigerator built out of air-conditioners. Exhibits offer glimpses into Hispanic life, such as Visas to Freedom, which recounts the valiant efforts of Spanish diplomats to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
The instructors at Deep Blue Scuba teach aquatic proficiency through the rigorous and comprehensive ANDI certification system. ANDI certification imparts pupils with the skills necessary to dive self-sufficiently or with companions, and trains students via pool sessions and open-water dives set in the crystalline Lake Travis. After mastering descent and ascent techniques, students can expand their knowledge base through a slew of specialty courses including underwater navigation, night diving, and wreck diving. Scuba instructors map out the best local dive locations and host periodic Discover Scuba outings where divers sample new gear and reacquaint themselves with watery skills. The diving enterprise also hosts expeditions to far-away waters, piloting trips that explore Australia and Mexico, and confront the notorious gangs of clownfish that lay claim to the Florida Keys.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Whether the name of the game is to have some family fun or to scream like a banshee, Cliff's Amusement Park has been the place to do it for more than 50 years. The first thing you'll notice as you drive up is the New Mexico Rattler, a 3,000-foot wooden roller coaster that twists and turns its way around the edges of the park and plunges—for a few terrifying seconds—into an underground tunnel. The Cliff Hanger makes an anticipation-building ascent before freefalling back to earth, and the SideWinder twirls passengers 80 feet into the air on a structure resembling Paul Bunyan's spare wagon wheel.
The jungle-themed WaterMania area lets youngsters climb like monkeys and race down slippery water slides. They also can enjoy slower-paced fun inside bumper cars, on the Tilt-A-Whirl, or during a leisurely trip around the park on an old-timey train.