From the grinning rainbow-colored caterpillar to the rainbow-spiraled bouncy tent and red knight's castle, Texas Jumping Beans envelopes kids in a kaleidoscopic fun house. While sock-clad tots tumble through a 12,000-square-foot supervised playground, parents sit back with lemonade from the vending machines. As guardians surf the Internet, kids slip down giant air-filled slide and commandeer the mammoth inflatable pirate's ship before retiring to the lobby to eat their brown-bagged lunches brought from home. After filling up their food vesicles, toddlers wade through the 12'x10' ball pond and explore tunnels, and their bigger brethren burn energy ricocheting off the plush yellow dinosaurs they will clone for research later in their home laboratories. The bouncy playground also makes for energetic birthday parties, which the center can host any time of day, any day of the week, accommodating anything from a three-hour fiesta to an all-night slumber party. Additionally, Texas Jumping Beans rents springy houses and picnic tables for at-home shindigs.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities. Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine .
After 22 years in the air force, Water 2 Wine–founder John McFadden established his first custom winery in San Antonio seven years ago. Already the business has spread as far as Milwaukee to the north and Denver to the west, bringing the country's vinophiles more than 100 wines, each of which are fermented on site and available for tastings every day. Those who want to get more involved in the crafting process may sign up to make their own wine and steep themselves in each step of the operation, from selecting the grape varieties, beginning the fermentation process, withstanding a wait of about 45 days, and finally christening their creation by smashing a tiny boat against the bottle. All custom-made wines are plastered with personalized labels made from one of Water 2 Wine’s templates or images that customers design from the ground up.
Ribbons of sunlight stream through the dense jungle canopy as you trudge atop the soggy soil. You brush away beads of sweat and inhale the thick, humid air that seems to radiate from the surrounding foliage. In the distance, a monkey shrieks, but nearby, something else catches your ear?the infectious melody of childish giggles. At Safari Champ, socked explorers bound through similar scenes seven days a week, toeing the line between imagination and reality while crawling through tubes, climbing up ropes, and soaring down slides. Parents are invited to join their cubs during indoor quests or enjoy some hard-earned free time by taking advantage of the facility's daycare options. Snacks, including pizza, ice cream, and lattes, are also available inside Safari Champ, which also swings open its bamboo doors to birthday parties throughout the year.
A local beacon of all-ages athletics, Austin Sports Arena provides the headquarters for adult and youth roller hockey leagues and offers sports and roller skating parties for kids of all ages. Between games, athletes can hit up the concession stand or gobble pixelated power pellets at a mini arcade. Those soaring beneath the skating rink's rotating gobos can bring their own skates or rent a high-end pair as onlookers skate across the Internet by taking advantage of the center’s free WiFi.
The Yoga Room devotes itself to bringing the mental and physical benefits of yoga to all serenity-seeking students, regardless of experience and body type. With a focus on Hatha-style poses, The Yoga Room keeps movements true to classical yoga teaching during each encouraging class. Pop into one of the Gentle sessions for easygoing poses and centered breathing, or try out a vigorous Ashtanga experience—75 minutes of demanding yogic action in a heated room—to invigorate the body. New bend-and-stretchers can athleticize limbs in the Hatha class, whereas more experienced centers can twist up a frenzy in a Hatha flow session, excellent for wringing out stress, stiffness, and full-body dish towels.