Whatever size room you receive, all guest rooms come outfitted with Marriott's signature "Revive" bed, which is (hopefully) the closest you'll ever experience to falling asleep inside a wedding cake. "Revive" mattresses are thicker than normal ones and have a plush topper for added comfort, along with a down comforter, extra pillows, and 300-thread-count sheets. It'll be a welcome respite after a day of sampling the many activities within convenient distance from the Marriott: shopping at Greenspoint Mall, loudly suggesting that racehorses run faster at the Sam Houston Race Park, or just swimming in the hotel's indoor pool. You'll also enjoy amenities such as an on-site fitness center, in-room coffee and tea, and gorgeous views of the Houston skyline in all its colors (Houston has more than half of the colors on the ROYGBIV spectrum).
Among the dark and twisted trappings of its haunted house, the Terror Dome takes time to find fear in the ordinary. A typical doctor's visit ends in involuntary surgery, a trip to the butcher reveals the madness of cannibals, and an midday chase by a chainsaw maniac becomes a nuisance when Jeopardy! is on. Live actors scream contradictory instructions to interlopers, as insane inmates warn passersby to leave and ghostly pale mothers ask them to stay. A grimy, haunted cemetery gives way to a demonic funhouse populated by vicious clowns. Hollywood-quality props bring a intense edge to the deadly endeavor, especially the prop chainsaws that the house-runners bitterly remark are more expensive than real chainsaws.
The blades of Vertex Aviation Group’s Schweizer, Bell, and Robinson helicopters slice the sky as their team of pilots carries passengers to and fro throughout the South. The pilots provide a wealth of services via their aerial vantage point, from surveying land and power lines to eradicating agricultural pests. Meanwhile, the company’s FAA-certified trainers teach budding pilots to helm helicopters through ground instruction and hands-on flights, a curriculum more effective than the original helicopter training, running around in a propeller hat.
A fleet of segways ferries tour takers to scenic outposts in downtown Houston and along the historic bayou during four tours, seven days per week. Guides lead groups of up to eight riders in snapping sunset pictures during the Twilight Bayou tour and spout off historic anecdotes during the Houston History tour. In addition to tours of the city and scenery, friendly guides can travel with a brigade of segways to a client's home or office to teach friends, families, and coworkers how to navigate the two-wheeled steeds more effectively than a renowned segway whisperer.
In an effort to raise money for wildlife relief efforts, The Houston Zombie Walk of 2011 rounds up costumed participants for a mile-long loop around downtown. At 5 p.m. on September 24, the gates will open at Jones Plaza, where entertainment options include three bands, a zombie dance crew, a Halloween DJ, and cooking demonstrations that show ideal pairings for brains. The walk itself lasts from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants may bring controlled canines. After the plaza closes at 10 p.m., revelers can continue on to zombie-friendly bars that serve up drink specials and host headless can-can dancers.
The Gorilla Challenge’s name evokes its elusive staffers, who romp through the race area in gorilla suits; when a team hunts them down, the gorillas dole out special prizes. The race draws its true inspiration from the popular TV shows The Amazing Race and Fear Factor, fusing the mental challenge of a scavenger hunt with the physical challenge of running rather than just analyzing a fast-forwarding VHS tape of yourself walking. As they trek across the city, teams must decode about a dozen clues and power through physical obstacles.
Though the race brims with silliness, it does so with a dash of social consciousness. Certain clues draw racers’ attention to issues such as literacy, poverty, and environmental concerns, and every Gorilla Challenge benefits a local nonprofit, such as a food bank or a bank that doles out free money.