Rolling from the shore of Mountain Creek Lake, Prairie Lakes treats golfers to three picturesque, nine-hole courses featuring wide-open landing areas and terrain as tricky as it is tranquil. The golf course was honored for its renovations by avidgolfer in 2006. The golf course's website suggests tactics for avoiding the water traps on its White course, navigating the doglegs of its Blue course, and eluding the spiky turtles dropped by the Rolling Red course's Lakitu. You'll also find photos of the course's terrain and suggestions for hole-in-one exclamations. After the last putt has plunked, head to Eddlemon's, located on the premises, and waft whiffs of its signature barbecue brisket, sausage, and smoked meats perfected over half a century. This Groupon also includes a free small bucket of balls if redeemed after 11 a.m. Monday–Friday.
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.
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.
If a child tried to fire a paintball in the house, he or she would likely be grounded. At FCS Paintball, however, guests are free to launch the colorful spheres indoors without restraint or fear of consequence. Here, the 18,000-square-foot field’s roof shelters players from the elements. Visitors can battle during the day or the occasional night session, which, because they’re indoors, doesn’t require navigation via sonar.
Just off a straight stretch of the Trinity River, the sounds of laughter and victorious whooping grow louder. A curious look toward the hubbub yields a vision rarely seen in the city—helmet-clad athletes of all ages splash along the water's surface, launching their bodies in what looks like the offspring of waterskiing and snowboarding onto ramps, jumps, and railings that protrude from the water's surface like geometric islands. It's all part of a regular afternoon at Cowtown Wakepark, the watery brainchild of 20-year wakeboarding enthusiast Tommy Fambrough. During the course of three years, Tommy slowly formed the labyrinth of water-bound obstacles that visitors enjoy today, earning acclaim from the Trinity River Vision Authority's revitalization project for his riverside paradise's part in keeping the area an accessible and productive part of the community.
Each wakeboarding run begins when visitors strapped into their Liquid Force boards grab a cable and are pulled from the shore-side wooden platform across the water, cutting through the river's calm surface and pausing only to heckle passing fish. Spectators stick to the shore under covered tents and at picnic tables, or recline on the water's surface inside tented rafts. Onsite instructors can show first-timers the ropes, and also lead summer day camps to instill children aged 7–16 with wakeboarding, kneedboarding, and wakeskating basics.
Movie Tavern transfixes one's taste buds and imagination by blending all-digital cinema with premium seating and sit-down dining. Moviegoers are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to showtime, so that they can leisurely peruse an extensive menu of chef-inspired American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. Nimble and unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. At select locations, guests can opt to sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the bar before heading in to see a show. Audiences get to enjoy first-run films every week, retro cinema every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and breakfast food paired with early morning movies on Saturday and Sunday. While geared toward adults, the family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies along with film-inspired dishes. Guests can head to the bar or straight to the movie without ordering food, giving them some latitude in shaping their night out.
Additionally, Movie Tavern treats audiences to myriad benefits with their membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free movie ticket on the spot and one free ticket every year on their birthday, as well as invites to screenings and other special events.