Charged only by the moon, glowing costumes, and a desire to help local charities, participants in the Firefly Run take over their city streets for friendly 5K and 10K competition. During the race, runners cut through the cool night air decked out in incandescent gear, leaving little neon trails behind them like a gaggle of baby comets. Participants are encouraged to sign up in teams and coordinate outfits for the postrace costume contest, and DJs and LED dance troupes gather around the finish line to welcome them back from moonlit journeys.
Hosted across the city from NASA’s Mission Control Center, Space City Con invites fans from Houston and beyond to meet their idols from sci-fi and fantasy movies, films, and print media. Celebrities from beloved franchises drop by to dole out autographs and photo opportunities, in addition to with comic-, anime-, and literature-industry artists and writers. The convention halls rattle with sound of polyhedral dice during ongoing tabletop gaming events, along with the bellows of LARPing elves as they fall from a perfectly executed lightning-bolt spell. Visitors can pay homage to their heroes at fan-film screenings and the yearly Masquerade costume, in which they can show off fandom-inspired cosplay get-ups or purely coincidental Stormtrooper armor.
Star Cinema Grill entertains screen-gazers with first-run films while simultaneously serving grill-style food and drinks to sate senses that can’t enjoy movies. Visitors can click on the now showing page to find a film before settling into a comfortable seat with a large popcorn and prepare to be wowed by jaw-dropping action, tear-evoking romance, or nightmare-inducing preshow cell-phone warnings. Although not included in this Groupon, Star Cinema Grill's wait staff will bring food and beverages to your table, so you can order dinner, sip a glass of foreign wine, or enjoy a domestic brew without having to leave the theater to brew your own.
Tank's Paintball Park has hosted chromatic combatants in the Houston area for more than 17 years. It recently added a Sugarland paintball complex, which covers 29 acres of woodland. There's even a central creek, which can act as a strategic border or a place for cheaters looking to wash paint from their clothes. Casual players can take advantage of rental equipment for open games, and there are buckets of field paint to help keep veteran players' markers topped off. The field also offers SplatMaster games, which employ special, low-impact markers so kids up to the age of 12 can explore the sport.
Standing atop a small hill and shrouded beneath low-lying branches, a hunter looks out over a pond. A thick expanse of brush lies on the far bank, and he knows that once his target flies, he'll only have seconds to shoot before it disappears beyond the foliage. The hunter, however, isn't actually hunting. He's warming up on one of Rio Brazos Hunting Preserve's two sporting-clays courses, which integrate the preserve's habitats of prairie grass, shore brush, and tree lines that are home to quail, chukar, and pheasant. Instructors lend insight to all levels of sport shooters, and hunting guides bring along trained bird dogs to recover downed game and feral squeaky toys. The preserve also allows fishing on its 15 lakes, each stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. A more than 5,000-square-foot pavilion lends a resting place between adventures in the field. The preserve's team can also help coordinate lodging with discounted rates at nearby hotels.
From 14,000 feet above the earth, cities and farms look like tiny brown circuit boards below. Excited shrieks, bent by speeds of up to 120 mph, drift through the cool air, the only sound. Parachutes blossom colorfully on the backs of patrons strapped to Skydive Spaceland's instructors, all of whom have a minimum of 800 jumps under their carefully tightened belts. The professional skydivers can take thrill-seekers on tandem jumps, help them achieve a U.S. Parachute Association license in as little as one week, or allow them a rare glimpse of Superman’s bald spot.
Skydive Spaceland's owner, Steve Boyd, built the park from the ground up exclusively for skydiving. At any given moment across the 130 acres, you can find divers prepping in an air-conditioned packing area, watching dives from an observation deck, or nibbling sandwiches at an onsite deli.