Consider activities that take about an hour to complete: a trip to the grocery store, a relaxing massage, watching a favorite television show. Rarely, if ever, do haunted houses fall into this category—unless you're talking about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth. In 2009, the attraction’s length caught the attention of Guinness World Records, which deemed Cutting Edge the longest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Looming in a section of the city dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” Cutting Edge populates an abandoned meatpacking plant that was originally built in the late 1920s. The plant’s equipment is still fully operational, and still resides inside—only today, it processes humans. To escape such a grisly fate, guests must grope through a multi-storied labyrinth replete with unthinkable horrors such as live monsters, realistic special effects, and salsas made in New York City. Cutting Edge is so terrifying, in fact, that it even earned the top spot on HauntedHouseRatings.com's list of the best haunted attractions in 2013.
Several years ago, Branndon Bargo and his brother set out on a mammoth adventure. Not sure what they were after, they biked 4,000 miles to Baja, Mexico from Alaska and found themselves submerged in the open waters of the Pacific, scuba diving with great white sharks. After a harrowing climb of Mount McKinley in Alaska, Branndon began questioning his motivations for staying at his desk job. So in 2005, he gently kissed his cubicle goodbye and founded Live Adventure as a means of encouraging others to challenge themselves while discovering deeper connections with the world around them. Within Cedar Hill State Park, Brandon organizes team-building programs and encourages groups to kayak, synchronize swim, and fish on Joe Pool Lake. Other expeditions include rock-climbing outings and custom guided jaunts around the planet.
Fast Action Airsoft sates thrill-based cravings with more than 19 acres of battlefields and urban-assault areas for squads of Airsoft combatants ages 12 and older. Twelve industrial buildings create a unique setting for sharpshooting duels that is roughly the size of a small city for humans or a huge city for stunt doubles from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Lone wolves or cooperating packs can spend the day exploring the warehouses to find strategic advantages or improvised cover when ambushed by rivals. Like bobbing for piranhas, full-seal goggles are required for every contest, and players must provide their own guns and a stock of biodegradable BB ammunition. Find a full description of equipment rules and regulations online.
Cindy Gibson hears a lot of ecstatic exclamations from first-time jumpers—including gratuitous use of the words "awesome" and "amazing"—but one of the most memorable remarks she ever heard came from a woman celebrating her 81st birthday. After landing, Cindy asked her why she waited so long to try skydiving. The woman replied that her husband never let her. Then she cracked a sly smile and said, "But now he's dead."
Cindy certainly understands the lifelong desire to skydive. "I don't remember a time when I didn’t want to jump out of airplanes," she says. But growing up, she figured you had to be paratrooper to do it. Then as a waitress in college, she overheard some customers talking about going skydiving, and she convinced them to take her along. The more she went, the more ways she found to improve the experience. With this newfound love and knowledge of the skydiving business, she sought out a parcel of land and a passionate team and founded Texas Skydiving Center.
Today, she and her team of instructors lead tandem jumps, static-line jumps, and solo free falls thousands of feet above their picturesque facility. Beyond using equipment and instructional methods that are compliant with the United States Parachute Association's standards, the instructors' claim their chief difference lies in the individual attention they give each client. Groups are kept small so that all are on a first-name basis, and the instructors ask each person what they hope to do in the air. A bunch of flips? Maybe a zen-like float? On the way down, they can even record the jumps with several filming options. An eco-friendly dropzone then awaits skydivers, where chattering guinea fowl snatch up insects, colorful songbirds flit through wildflowers, and a llama and alpaca knit their own wool into a commemorative scarf for each successful skydiver.
As a U.S. Open–qualifying and USTA Pro Circuit Classic event, past Grapevine Women's Tennis Classic contests have attracted top 200 female swatters from various regions of the globe. With your Groupon, you'll be able to take in both the semifinals and the ensuing finals, bearing witness to the tourney's culminating thwacks and grunts before the fittest and gruntiest takes home the $50,000 purse. While you rest your eyes from the court carnage, follow your nose toward food and drinks, armed with a $10 voucher toward eats and sips (excluding alcohol). There is no limit on the number of Groupons purchased per person, so snag a few extras to treat the family or the cul-de-sac to a day of tennis fun.
Big Barn Bar-B-Que's specialty dry-rubbed and pecan-smoked meats stock hungry mouths with succulent tastes backed by a cavalcade of sides. The menu enumerates a choice of 10 different meats, including two-meat plates that pair together savory combinations of carnivorous fare such as a tender arrangement of chopped brisket, classic baby back ribs, or jalapeño-cheddar sausage. Sides such as coleslaw and potato salad celebrate refreshing, cooling textures, and crisp fried okra and onion rings tantalize taste buds more completely than PhD students learn the alphabet. As duos, quartets, or sextets revel in smoky delights and share tastes, iced teas, fountain drinks, and coffee anoint liquid intake apparatuses in preparation for a finishing course of just desserts—seasonal cobblers packing a palatable punch of fruits such as strawberry or peach and Mama's famous banana pudding, which reveals a union of fresh-blended bananas and crisp vanilla wafers.