Since 1947, the Crosby Fair and Rodeo has kept the traditions of Texas alive with big BBQ cook-offs, bull riding, and a livestock auctions. What began as the "Crosby Roping Club" has come a long way, with professional cowboys strutting their stuff during the calf-roping competition, bull riding, and the cowboy hat flying competition. At the BBQ cook-off, participants compete against each other to determine who makes the best pork ribs, brisket, and margaritas, all while nightly entertainment lights up the grounds with the sounds of live music.
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.
True to its eponymous mascot, Armadilla Lanes has burrowed itself into the entertainment scenes of both Houston and Pasadena. Both facilities buzz throughout the week with organized league play, which invites bowlers of all ages to rack up strikes and spares and compete in themed competitions. Outside of league play, the alleys also indulge casual competitors with standard pick-up games, special music nights featuring live DJs, and with optional bumpers outfitted on every lane. And for truly casual guests, each alley’s full-service snack bar dishes out burgers, pizzas, and nachos, all of which give fingers a break from having to hold a ball or point with conviction at unblinking pins.
At Skate World, visitors glide atop one of the largest known pieces of Americana: the roller rink. Friends zoom past one another in competition as families take leisurely paths around the edges. During glow parties, neon glow sticks light up the room. Both Skate World locations come with the classic fixings, including skate rental, DJs, pizza, and ice cream—all of which are available in birthday-party and group packages. Private parties can rent out the entire rink by the hour, ensuring that no one disrupts their games or unconventional Civil War reenactments. At the Pasadena rink, a Lazer Runner Battle Station allows for intense rounds of laser tag.
Located at the base of the towering San Jacinto Monument, the San Jacinto Museum of History chronicles the formation of Texas lore. This year marks the 175th anniversary of Texas independence, and the museum provides festive fact-gatherers with a moveable feast of 17,000 local objects, 18,000 volumes, and 700 feet of historic party streamers gathered from Texas and New Spain, the United States, and Mexico. While admission to the museum is free, member benefits include access to special exhibits and the Jesse H. Jones Theatre. Members are also granted access to the San Jacinto Monument’s observation deck, which provides a hang-glider's view of the Houston skyline and the mighty Battleship Texas.
What makes your business stand out?
The Battleship Texas is located next to the San Jacinto Battleground, so visitors get an opportunity to experience two great historical sites in one location. Have a picnic under wonderful trees. Bring your camera and capture some great photographs.
What inspired you (or the owner) to start or run this business?
The Battleship Texas is the last remaining U.S. ship to serve in both WWI and WWII. It is also the last of the Dreadnought-style ships. We work hard to maintain her, and nothing makes us happier than when people come to visit The Might T.
What is your most popular offering?
Our Hard Hat Tours are offered five times each year. They occur in January, March, May, October, and November. You can make a reservation on on our website. We also offer an Overnight Education Program and we have hosted 40,000 children at our overnight camp.
Anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Visitors of all ages have visited The Texas since 1948 and continue to do so. Come walk the same decks where the heroes of yesterday answered our nation's call to protect America.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
Visiting [The] Texas can be deeply moving for many people. It is also highly educational for visitors of all ages. In 1914, The Texas was considered the most powerful weapon on the planet. To walk her decks provides memories for years to come.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Meeting visitors and having the opportunity to see their reactions to the experience of being on The Might T.
Established: Before 1950
Handicap Accessible: No
Staff Size: 25–50
Parking: Parking lot
Reservations/Appointments: Not necessary
Most popular offering: Tour the Last Dreadnought—100 years old
Pro Tip: Bring a camera. The Texas is located next to The San Jacinto Monument and Battleground.