Climbing in Athens

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Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.

8975 South Farm to Market 740
Forney,
TX
US

Imagine the moment when a shy, introverted young girl steps in front of a room full of people for the first time and speaks with confidence and clarity. This is a regular occurrence at Drama Kids International, where experienced teachers use a unique, copyrighted curriculum to help shape and focus outgoing children or draw shy children out of their shells. Classes for kids as young as 3 refine speech techniques, dramatic movement, and imagination, giving them the confidence to perform in front of an audience or finally ask their parents to change their names to Thespis. For older kids, aged 12–18, Drama Kids International offers the DKI Acting Academy, where serious theater kids can expand their speaking, acting, and auditioning skills through exercises and performances.

1208 New Market Road
Mesquite,
TX
US

Brad and Judy Lee are devoted environmentalists: Judy is a wildlife rehabilitator, and both received an award from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council in 2005 for their work. So it's hardly a surprise that after visiting a few aerial parks in the Northeast in 2012, the couple decided they wanted to give Texans a chance to mingle with Mother Nature, too. Spread across seven acres near Trinity River, the result?Trinity Forest Adventure Park?immerses visitors in a world free of cell phones, job worries, and pay-per-view sunsets.

Here, adventures unfold on six aerial obstacle courses in the trees, each with four degrees of difficulty. Thrill-seekers zip, dive, soar, and commando crawl through 200-year-old oaks as they conquer more than 70 rope bridges, ziplines, cargo nets, swing tires, and ladders, all while safely attached to a harness. No matter the course, though, trips are what guests make them: they can be laid back and appreciative of the surroundings, or adrenaline-pumping tests of mettle.

1820 Dowdy Ferry Rd.
Dallas,
TX
US

At Elevate Trampoline Park, an indoor jump center, guests can somersault and catapult across a slew of trampoline-lined arenas. The safely padded trampolines stretch from wall to wall, granting guests enough room to jump in place among friends or attempt aerial stunts. The center's two dodge-ball courts put a twist on the traditional game by adding a trampoline element, and three slam-dunk courts let players feel the thrill of a game-winning shot without the limitations of gravity or a strict pro basketball contract. For even more aerial thrills, the bungee-jump bounce lets guests hurtle more than 25 feet in the air from the safety of a bungee cord, while a 24-foot rock-climbing wall grants the fun of an outdoor climb amid indoor comforts. When the sun goes down, DJ music and colorful lights turn the bouncy arena into an all-out party.

2040 Redbud Blvd
McKinney,
TX
US

Surrounded by swaying trees and fresh air, the five ziplines of Zip Nac?s adrenaline-pumping course speed gliders through 90-minute trips across a towering forest canopy. Participants begin standing atop the first platform, then careen down lines ranging from a quick 225 feet to an invigorating 900-foot dual line that pairs riders side by side for races to the bottom or private auditions for the Miss Wind Tunnel competition. Seasoned guides help patrons strap into each line, where they can take solo trips. Little ones (weighing 60 pounds or less) can ride tandem with a guide, ensuring that every member of the family can zoom through the tree tops. In between lines two and three, visitors traverse the 60-foot sky bridge, which allows brief moments of repose amid the verdant outdoor setting. Gliders can rent GoPro cameras for a fee to capture their zipline experience on video. Nighttime zipline sessions grant heart-pumping adventures in the dark without the hassle of helping Edgar Allan Poe find the fuse box. Zip Nac also offers onsite overnight accommodations at their Zip Inn.

199 Brother John Rd.
Nacogdoches,
TX
US

Climbers negotiate a web of routes that snake up walls that stretch as far as 25 feet toward the roof inside Dyno-Rock Climbing Center’s cavernous, air-conditioned space. The center sprawls to 16,000 square feet in all, including 2,000 square feet dedicated exclusively to bouldering. Climbers of all stripes will find challenges suited to their skill level, from straightforward routes with large handholds for beginners to inverted ceiling climbs for advanced spider people. The center’s staff also regularly scrambles the routes and handholds to keep climbers on their toes. All first-time visitors must take a quick course that helps them climb confidently, understand gym rules, and ensure a safe experience for everyone in the gym.

608 E Front St.
Arlington,
TX
US