At Lone Star Trapeze Academy, nothing but air and a safety net fills the vast distance between you and the ground. Classes teach fledgling trapeze artists how to navigate that wide open space by flipping and somersaulting through the air. Experts lead these private and group classes for people of all skill levels, available to circophiles aged 6 and older. Students begin by jumping off a 25-foot platform, using bars and swings to maintain their altitude, in much the same way as early birds did. The instructors help with every step of the process, ensuring the utmost in safety by fixing everyone with a safety belt before each high-flying maneuver.
The North Pole's most famous resident descends from his workshop to share the lights, fun, and food of the holiday with revelers at Santa's Wonderland. For 15 years, the larger-than-life Christmas experience has dazzled visitors with sparkling, colorful light displays that stretch more than 37 acres, following a path traversable by car, horse and carriage, or hay ride. Said to be one of the largest Christmas attractions in Texas, this yuletide haven has been delighting families for more than a decade. After gazing upon the 2.5 million twinkling L.E.D. bulbs, visitors can head over to Santa's Town to enjoy a bite of barbecue and continue the festivities. Trumpeted by the owners as a "Texas Christmas Village," the community invites guests to shop at an old Western ghost town and little ones to hop aboard a kids' train before meeting Santa and one of his reindeer. Marshall Frostbite, the park's smiling officer, encourages visitors to watch a nightly holiday movie on a large screen, run their fingers through the fur of the barn animals in the petting zoo, and try their hand at riding a mechanical bull.
Ascending the rock wall or getting wild on the bumper boats, guests at Horseshoe Junction Family Fun Parks can experience a wide variety of attractions for the whole family. Play on each individually, or get a wristband to enjoy unlimited access to all the attractions throughout the day. Party packages are also available for birthdays, and include amenities such as pizza, soft drinks, arcade points, and the freedom to say "but it's my birthday" as many times as you want.
For eight weekends in the fall, a troupe of performing fairies, knights, royal personas, and jugging fools set up camp on the 55-acre grounds of the Texas Renaissance Faire. For 38 years, the Festival has re-created the 16th century’s appealing combination of simplicity and grandeur with more than 200 daily performances of live music, acrobatic comedies, and jousting. Actors portraying different levels of society—such as the English court and the pirates—roam the lolling landscape in character while performing comedic and informative bits including “Sound and Fury,” a Shakespearean vaudeville. At noon the Grande Marche parade catapults performers from the Globe Stage for a stroll throughout the park as they advertise their acts in a high-toned procession.
On a less precise schedule, craftsmen concoct tangible marvels with skills of glassblowing and blacksmithing, while food purveyors wander the beaten paths or call from their booths, selling fare that ranges from sugar-coated nuts to roasted turkey legs. At close of day, fireworks light the sky to celebrate the festival's victory over time.
Bo Poole's family farm is a working farm—complete with harvests of sweet corn, eggplant, and purple-hull peas—but it is also a family destination for autumnal fun. The farm's country store also allows visitors to stock up on honey harvested onsite, pumpkin-cake mixes, and corncobs that may be taken home and popped or planted in hopes of sprouting a popcorn bush. Along with developing P-6 Farms' yearly harvest, Bo develops the public's agricultural know-how with an annual fall festival filled with family-friendly activities. Tractor-drawn hayrides give passengers a first-hand look at farm life, and the 8-acre corn maze allows them to get up close and personal with America's most celebrated crop as they navigate twists and turns in search of the exit. Other autumnal amusements include a life-size human spider, target-shooting with a kid-friendly water canon, and a pumpkin patch.
An active outpost of the South Texas Hunter/Jumper Association, Edgebrook Equestrian Center hosts safe and comfortable riding lessons with the help of its two arenas, grassy pastures, and extensive network of trails. Instructors Suzy Pike and Sayer Townsend use these lush digs to teach the equestrian arts to beginners as young as 5, seasoned experts, and everyone in between. As part of their comprehensive horsemanship education, new riders learn grooming, proper tacking, and basic horse anatomy, enabling them to correctly point out the horse’s mane, tail, and feathers.