Wayne Standefer, the head pilot at Balloon Adventures, is well versed in Dallas-area scenery and topography, knowledge that helps him regale passengers with information during flights. The adventure begins as the aircraft is brought to life before your eyes. Once his balloon reaches its full height—more than 10 stories—Standefer invites you inside the tightly woven wicker basket to soar above rooftops and trees and dip low over fields and rivers. Total flight time is usually around an hour, though the whole experience can take three times as long from start to finish.
Balloon Adventures also charters its services for weddings, arranges surprise flights for special occasions, and offers instruction in specific tasks such as rigging the balloon, navigating in-flight, and shooing away flocks of paper airplanes. In addition, the company participates in hot-air-balloon festivals, where clouds of bright purple, orange, and yellow balloons fill the daytime sky or illuminate the festival grounds at night.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium boasts three floors of interactive exhibits featuring rare and bizarre artifacts inspired by the oddball collection of worldwide explorer Robert Ripley. Get a glimpse into the world of weird with astonishing and outlandish displays including a piece of the Berlin Wall, the world's largest tire, replicas of prehistoric beasts, Lee Harvey Oswald's car, and iconic items of American and world history. The museum is open seven American standard days a week.
An autumn harvest fair. A Memorial Day celebration, punctuated by a 21-gun salute. A kids' summer camp complete with archery, swimming, and a meet-and-greet with a friendly raccoon mascot. These are just a few of the events hosted by Grand Prairie Parks & Rec, a department that has garnered a Gold Medal from the National Recreation and Parks Association. Its recreational facilities––including a pool with an aquatic climbing wall––and frequent social events bring the city together year round. Under the bright sun or starry skies, visitors can dance at a concert in the park, rather than just dancing to the rhythmic creak of a swing set. For longer excursions, the 791 lakeside acres of Loyd Park feature 221 campsites replete with cabins, picnic areas, and trails. There, visitors can paddle out on the water in a rented kayak, play a game of volleyball, or sleep overnight under the stars.
Boneyard Haunted House has been featured in numerous local media outlets, including in a story on CBS 11 news exploring whether or not the space is actually haunted. Rumors swirl that the large, formerly abandoned building that operator Dan Hall has converted into a haunted house harbors some very real ghosts. To give his guests a proper Halloween fright, Hall has outfitted the building's downstairs area with more than 40,000 square feet of realistic-looking skeleton scenes, elaborate designs, and passageways that reduce one’s line of sight to up the surprise factor. But, as Hall told CBS 11, other unintentional things have been happening inside the haunted house. Rolls of receipts have rolled across the floor and trash cans have accelerated across the room, all seemingly of their own volition. The phenomena have even caused paranormal investigators to come in with recording technology to try to contact the spirits of any lingering souls or prolific Ouija boards that might be stuck on the premises.
For guests who have walked through the haunted house in previous years, every season brings new and scary surprises. A writer from the North Dallas Gazette reported on the effort, noting that "each year, the haunt is completely taken down and the team starts fresh building exclusive rooms and new props." The attraction also boasts an indoor festival area with games, music, concessions, and vendors.
More than 65 vivid clan tents cover the grounds at each year’s Texas Scottish festival, where Scots strut proudly around, wearing kilts and displaying their clan tartans. The notes of bagpipes float through the air, blasted from the lungs of talented soloists or from the year’s featured pipe-and-drum band. Market stalls show off Scottish and Celtic wares, from kilts and tartans to artisan Celtic jewelry and art. Competition flourishes amid Scot-descended attendees and curious festgoers at professional or amateur athletics as well as in an all-Scottish-breed dog show. While multitudes of Scottish beers wet whistles and fortify bagpiping or kilt-twirling courage, food vendors sell American fair food alongside traditional Scottish sundries that include meat pies, Scotch eggs, and haggis—chopped meat cured in a sheep’s stomach to the sound of Highland lullabies.