Founded by two graduates of Texas A&M’s Corpus Christi campus, Padre Island Surf Club caters to all levels of surfers, from first-timers to tube-riding competitors in the Texas Gulf Surfing Association. Instructors maintain a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio during youth surf camps, tailoring their lessons to campers between the ages of 5 and 17. The team also organizes girls’ and women’s camps and after-school programs that reinforce basic math concepts by requiring students to count the sum total of each day’s high-fives.
When they aren’t building campers’ self-esteem through lessons that become more challenging with each new skill mastered, instructors turns kids loose to have fun with kayaks and standup paddleboards and even schedule trips to the Texas State Aquarium. Padre Island Surf Club’s educational efforts have earned them sponsorships from top industry companies such as Billabong, Kustom, and Surfline.
Under the new management of Tom Lawless, the 2011 Hooks—the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros—look to proclaim bat-swinging dominance in the Texas League. Baseball supporters can claim seats at Whataburger Field, which is built to reflect the feel of a classic ballpark and can hold about 7,000 Hooks fans and three times as many foam fingers. Two wristbands adorn arms and grant access to extracurricular excursions in the Driscoll Children's Hospital Kids Zone, featuring a rock-climbing wall and a chimp-free jungle gym. Along with being able to see the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium from inside the park, fans can enjoy breath-robbing views of the Harbor Bridge and mascots removing their comically oversize heads to observe the National Anthem. After the game, fans can trade their baseball caps for 10-gallon hats as they take in a concert by Tejano rockers Texas Tornados or Green River Ordinance, a quintet of aspiring environmental attorneys moonlighting as talented musicians.
Tee 2 Green's two-level, PGA-recognized golf range summons swingers with stretches of practice fairway for swinging, putting, and chipping. Bask in basket Valhalla by skyrocketing 600 balls (12 baskets) into a vast stretch of green, punishing the dimpled spheres with well-executed swings that implement the forces of speed, velocity, and properly aimed physics textbooks. An 18-hole chipping and putting practice range rounds out focus from the long game to the particulars of short form. The lighted range allows golfers to swing past sunset, where they can imagine that the moon is a large golf flag, the stars are sand traps, and gravity is just a conspiracy perpetrated by the opponent. The monthly card at Tee 2 Green beguiles drivers with 100 balls a day, topping tees with around 3,000 opportunities for golfers to practice their swing.
South Texas Speedway fulfills enthusiasts of distance divided by time with thrilling races and events for all ages. This summer features a full schedule of Saturday races that commence in the evenings at 7:30 p.m. and cover five different classes, from youth go-karts and front-wheel drive Front runners to entry-level Bomber cars. Pure stocks race around the quarter-mile dirt track with the speed and agility of a thoroughbred panther, and all races conclude with thrilling limited-modified laps.
Galaxy's somewhat predictably-themed, glow-in the-dark mini golf course beckons gamers of all ages and skill levels. Take on iridescent aliens, blazing rocket ships, and lazy, ball-blocking space stations for 18 holes of indoor fun. The glowing outer space hazards and moving obstacles make for challenging courses presenting dangers to wayward golf balls and wandering dark matter. Each ticket gets two avid gamers two full 18-hole rounds on the black-lit course, with the last hole awarding a prize to anyone making a hole-in-one. Mini-golfers with miniature mini-golfers can take advantage of children's tickets ($4) for a family fun night, day, or indeterminably-blacklit timeperiod.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Fishing isn't always about chasing fish around lakes, rivers, and seas with your line in the water. Sometimes, it's about waiting for the fish to come to you. Lets Go Fishing CC TX's guides specialize in surf and pier fishing, and they know the right times to hit the shoreline in order to hook the best haul. They lead four-hour excursions during daylight hours, providing rods and bait and unhooking fish from the line when a customer makes a catch. They also conduct a few more specialized sessions, such as midnight pier-fishing excursions to catch sharks or trips from the shore in kayaks to hunt alligator gar, an unusual fish whose long, toothy mouth resembles an alligator's maw and whose tenor resembles Art Garfunkel's.