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.
Since its asphalt cooled in 1968, Texas World Speedway has hosted races big and small, gaining renown as “the world’s fastest speedway” in 1973 when Mario Andretti set his closed-course speed record there. The racing mecca continues to expand its repertoire with a performance driving school, which couples classroom learning with on-road experience, as well as through a work-drive program that lets young racers exchange a day of toil for everyday practice on the track. Frequent visitors can reap the rewards of the speedway‘s membership program, which grants holders access to benefits such as gear, discounts, exclusive events, and secret handshakes that produce motor oil.
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.
The Rumfolo family's blood seems to have mixed with oil somewhere in the past. It probably happened in the 1950s, when Walter Rumfolo founded the first incarnation of The Showboat Drive-in—a restaurant where his children worked throughout their teenage years. His children must have carried it with them, because today his grandchildren, Johnny and Chris, operate a drive-in movie theater by the same name. They've preserved the original venue's neighborly vibe and kept the family’s blood intertwined with car engines by employing Johnny's sons to sell tickets and run the projector. Today, the small-town ambiance has a much larger area to cover, and each of the theater's two jumbo screens steps up to the task by accommodating 400 cars full of spectators.
Guests park at dusk for a night at the movies—a full night, with double features painting the sky silver for hours. Audiences access the films' sound through their FM radios so that they don’t have to swipe a copy of the script and have their children read the parts. Together, families and dates can sit on lawn chairs, blankets, or inside the car as they lose themselves in the plot and munch concessions that range from burgers to candy and popcorn. The staff caters to viewers at any point during the films or intermission, providing a playground for restless youngsters and jumping cars if their batteries fizzle.
From above, the cluster of red umbrellas on GenuWine Tasting Room?s patio looks like grapes, an homage to the cabernets that flow from the selectively curated bottles inside. A wealth of specialty and boutique wines await the curious, and the store's racks of bottles display vintages both accessible and challengingly unique. A weekly tasting helps to introduce patrons to the shop?s wares, delivering a palatable tour through varietals ranging from sparkling proseccos to pinots smoother than a dolphin?s saxophone solos. The sounds of live music, aquatic or otherwise, draw passersby through the tasting room's doors on many nights, filling ears with sounds as sweet as the elixirs the venue uncorks. Sippers hankering for solid nourishment peruse a menu flush with salads, pizzas, and flights of aged cheese. Before they leave, patrons can stop into the boutique, where wine-themed T-shirts and aprons entreat visitors to flaunt their passion for fermentation.
The U.S. All Star Federation, a committee that regulates competitive dance and cheer, has stamped its seal of approval on Spring Creek Athletics, one of the elite gyms to have earned USASF certification. That’s probably because Spring Creek’s coaches have led their all-star cheer team, the Spring Creek Spinners, to national victory. Despite these intimidating credentials, the athletic complex still welcomes pupils of all ages and abilities to enjoy the health-boosting benefits of tumbling, cheerleading, hip-hop dancing, and break dancing, and it runs camps to introduce novices to the spirited world of athletics.