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.
A Triple-A affiliate of the 2010 and 2011 American League Champion Texas Rangers, Round Rock Express players bat, slide, steal, and knock spherical things out of The Dell Diamond. Managed by former Rangers' outfielder Bobby Jones, the team receives its silent hand signals and coaching from former major-league player Spike Owen, pitching coach Terry Clark, and star of Major League: Back to the Minors Scott Bakula. Watch this squad of dynamos take on their bat-swinging foes, and catch air-conditioned respites in the chic, WiFi-enabled Intel Club during slow innings, rain delays, or catastrophic nacho spills.
Seasoned kayaker John Cline paddles with a local hotel concierge along the Colorado River, periodically explaining that kayaking is perfectly safe for beginners and an ideal way to savor the pleasant Texas weather. Suddenly, the sky erupts and an onslaught of rain drenches the waterborne duo. They rest their paddles on their laps, look at each other, and start laughing. Rising Phoenix Adventures' kayak and canoe trips create these unique memories so regularly that one Belgian businesswoman even makes annual trips to the area just to ride the class-1 river. Since establishing the outdoor-excursion company in 2004 with barely 10 kayaks and canoes, Cline has more than quadrupled his fleet to accommodate the ever-increasing demand. After alighting one of the trusty vessels, adventurers set off to navigate through the river's islands and beneath a scenic half-mile tree canopy, where the shores offer glimpses of wild pigs, great blue herons, and undomesticated beach umbrellas.
Briarcrest Country Club's cardio-tennis camp gets hearts pumping with group classes that combine tennis instruction with boot-camp-style circuits in a high-energy workout environment. This one-hour outdoor class is peppered with calorie-burning aerobic tennis drills and agility training exercises such as ladder hopping, cone weaving, and snapping-turtle shuttle runs. Each session includes a warm-up segment, 30–50 minutes of cardio, and a short cool down, and the added use of a heart-rate monitor helps ensure workouts are safe for all participants and that no disguised cheetahs have been able to sneak in.
The seventh annual Art Outside Festival quenches creative appetites with live music, artists, and a plentitude of interactive workshops and performances. Over 70 bands ally to form the three-day musical lineup, featuring musicians such as Hobotech, Stereo Is A Lie, and Pumpkin. Austin-area youths Residual Kid will move crowds with driving beats even though they aren't old enough to apply for learner's permits, and lots house art cars and geared wildlife from the Austin Bike Zoo to occupy vehicle aficionados. Lay hands on creativity through interactive video displays or marvel at artists filling the tented gallery with freshly painted pieces. Aerial-acrobatic and fire-sculpture demonstrations stretch the imagination as yoga classes stretch the body, and giant artworks stretch canvas over dilapidated barn doors.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.