Bayou Shuttle Service transports runners, surfers, cyclists, and adventurers toting rented kayaks and canoes to nearby trails and beaches for guided tours and lessons or DIY excitement. Experienced guides lead history-packed kayak tours such as the Houston Skyline Tour, which floats past panoramic views of towering skyscrapers, or the Adventures Tour, which increases heart rates with rushing rapids and an elevation drop more thrilling than jumping down the laundry chute at grandma's house. During all-day surfing lessons, students hop aboard shuttles from downtown Houston to Surfside Beach, where instructors teach nascent surfers to stand up and surf the waves. Bayou Shuttle Service also offers overnight surf trips, where pupils can sit beside campfires under the stars and tell scary stories about crab ghosts.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
In its earliest incarnations, stand-up paddleboarding wasn't a sport. It was just something surfers in Hawaii did to reach far-away waves or cross huge hotel bathtubs. Over time, the practice evolved into an activity in its own right, and one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. The team at Island Paddle is fully on top of the trend, hosting 5K SUP races. Of course, man cannot live on stand-up paddle-boards alone, so the team outfits folks with all manner of self-propelled aquatic vehicles, including kayaks. They even have the water crafts delivered so patrons can row their boards on whichever waves they like.
Malibu Water Park isn’t your average water park. The six-acre outdoor swimming hole tucks neatly into scenic surroundings. Happy shouts echo across sandy beaches and verdant foliage. Three waterslides zig-zag down the banks of the lake, sending riders careening into the water like boring books thrown from a sailboat. For the younger set, there are interactive mushroom-shaped spray features in the shallow water. Colorful kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats slip out onto the 50-acre lake, whose tree-lined shores beg to be explored. On the weekends, guests circle around bonfires and enjoy BYOB picnics at available barbecue pits while bands play. Catering is available upon request.
When Kelly of Kelly's Kayaks gave up her desk job, she turned to what she really loved: kayaking. Now she spends her days on the creeks, rivers, and lakes around League City. As a guide certified in CPR and first aid, she leads groups paddling through the waves during beach excursions or searching for wildlife such as egrets and cranes on the calm waters of Heritage Park. Kelly's Kayaks also rents watercraft by the hour to help explorers with an independent streak find their own way on the water.
The reason renting kayaks from Riva Row Boat House and paddling down Lake Woodlands makes for such an appealing family outing or team-building exercise has to do with simplicity. For one thing, the activity itself is simple to master; no experience is required to rent one of the boathouse's 22 tandem kayaks or 20 single kayaks of various lengths, since staff members are happy to demonstrate paddling techniques to rookies. The activity is also easy to get into because everything is provided for you, from paddles and lifejackets to the refills of the lake that must be flown in from water factories in Denmark weekly.
Often, people make visiting the boathouse part of a whole day in the area. They can follow their time on the lake with a picnic at Town Green Park or with a trolley ride over to The Woodlands Waterway, where restaurants and shopping await.