Bo Poole's family farm is a working farm—complete with harvests of sweet corn, eggplant, and purple-hull peas—but it is also a family destination for autumnal fun. The farm's country store also allows visitors to stock up on honey harvested onsite, pumpkin-cake mixes, and corncobs that may be taken home and popped or planted in hopes of sprouting a popcorn bush. Along with developing P-6 Farms' yearly harvest, Bo develops the public's agricultural know-how with an annual fall festival filled with family-friendly activities. Tractor-drawn hayrides give passengers a first-hand look at farm life, and the 8-acre corn maze allows them to get up close and personal with America's most celebrated crop as they navigate twists and turns in search of the exit. Other autumnal amusements include a life-size human spider, target-shooting with a kid-friendly water canon, and a pumpkin patch.
Live Love Paddle matches clients up with rental kayaks and nudges them out onto Lady Bird Lake for guided tours or self-directed exploration. Rentals are available by the hour. Live Love Paddle's hallmark tour, however, is the Austin Congress Bridge Bat Tour, which leads kayakers up to the urban bat colony that resides beneath the bridge and leaves them with a great vantage point from which to observe the mammals' nocturnal movements. Full-day river trips, two-day overnight kayaking and camping trips, and team building activities are also available.
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.
After 13 years as a skydiver, Joseph Johnson leapt into a new mission: to become the first franchised skydiving operation in the country. With two locations in two states under his belt so far, he aims to rise above his competitors by offering distinctive features such as a choice of altitudes (13,000, 18,000, or 24,000 feet) and pre-jump training that equips skydivers with the ability to deploy, steer, and land their own chute, even when they’re flying tandem with a licensed instructor. Planes can carry as many as 17 people in one trip, making it ideal for group outings and airborne performances by jazz orchestras, and helmet cams capture the audio and visuals of the entire flight.