The Jump Around caters to children 12 and under with a 10,000-square-foot facility full of bounceable terrain and rubberized apparatuses. A 30-day membership allows free admission during normal hours of operation, giving kids a safe and fun place to exercise and socialize. The Jump Around also houses a toddler area to engage smaller bouncers while free WiFi entertains adults looking to check their email or blog about scandalous Hollywood toupees.
Children and adults find plenty of merriment in the Putt Putt Fun Center's three 18-hole mini-golf courses and fleet of exciting arcade games. Patrons can go putter-to-putter in a round of 18-hole mini golf, ideal for family fun and teaching children to pity their elders by letting them win. A satchel’s worth of arcade tokens promises a good time in the game gallery, which boasts the ultimate test of skill at skee-ball machines. Gamers can then redeem their tickets in the prize center for stuffed animals, electronics, or the grand prize, a lecture about fiscal responsibility. Though not included in today's Groupon, the center also sates fun-fatigued appetites with a variety of treats and eats at its snack bar.
Since 1952, the family-operated lot at The Brazos Drive-in Theatre has invited carloads of movie-lovers to kill their engines, tune their radios to 89.1 FM, and recline as far as their seats allow for the evening’s double features. The historic theatre is the last of its kind in North Texas, and was almost obliterated near to its 50th anniversary when a tornado rampaged through the lot, ripping half of the screen apart and saving the audience from a Rob Schneider film. Refurbished to its former glory, the screen now lights up against the darkening sky to show recently run blockbusters.
Rose Park's racquet club boasts 15 courts where both novices and veterans swing their strings toward tennis prestige. Rose Park members are exempt from the court fees traditionally levied by sweat-banded court trolls, allowing unfettered access during regular hours that last until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 p.m. on weekends. Members also get special savings on tennis lessons, including $15 off group sessions, and $3–$6 off individual individual instructionals. Through drills and exercises, the center's tennis pros will help you adjust your grip, tune your backhand, and enhance your spit serve until you dominate every rally. Professional purchasers enjoy 5%–10% off pro-shop merchandise with membership (discount depends on the item).
The 13-acre Abilene Zoo delights visitors with more than 600 animals from more than 200 species. Guests gaze upon bobcats, flamingos, and giraffes before visiting the new bird gardens, where road runners and burrowing owls face off in feather fluffing tournaments. The zoo participates in conservation efforts for African lions, black rhinos, and ring-tailed lemurs, as well as other threatened and endangered creatures, and the Abilene Reporter-News recently profiled their new horticulturist, who has helmed a “green renaissance” at the facility.
Created by a crew of local cowhands 26 years ago, the Western Heritage Classic has mushroomed into a three-day event bringing together thousands of lasso-loving Texans. The ranch rodeo ticket gets you inside the dirt-covered coliseum at 8 p.m. Friday, when rival ranchers test their mettle in a series of original events—roping calves, riding broncos, milking wild cows, branding cattle, and more recent additions such as team penning and bovine speed texting. Saturday's ground pass applies only to non-ranch-rodeo events, including the chuck wagon cook-off and the fiddler contest, in which bow masters pound out the jams to get cowboy boots shuffling. Those attending both days can hear the weathered verses of cowboy poets, the pastoral works of western artists and artisans, and witness rancher Charlier Trayer’s cowdog demonstrations.
At Buffalo Gap Historic Village, wide-eyed visitors find themselves whisked back in time to turn-of-the-century Texas with a wealth of relics and historical landmarks dating back to the late 1800s. Complimentary guided-tour recordings accompany visitors as they explore elderly edifices, such as the home of Abilene’s first marshal, the two-room Cottonwood School, and the Taylor County Courthouse and Jail. Inside the agriculturally themed Wagon Barn are an antique carriage and a 1919 Model T hack, and the World War II-era doctor's office contains a collection of archaic medical instruments, inspiring visitors to compose heartfelt letters of appreciation to their anesthesiologists. Or peruse other turn-of-the-century relics, including a large Indian artifact and gun collection, a Western Cottage organ, and a framed copy of a time-traveling Michael J. Fox’s signature.