Party Warehouse provides shindig throwers and goers with a fun-inducing stockpile of party supplies and favors. Delight friends and terrify pets with crooning balloons, Mylar helium containment devices that sing songs ($11.49). Party theme packages lend a jovial verisimilitude to Western-themed tea parties or Dungeons and Dragons–themed dance-offs. Celebrate graduations, birthdays, and baby’s first PhD with festivity-appropriate decorations, personalized cups and napkins, or kids’ party supplies such as the Pooh and Friends party favor pack ($8.99).
The guides at Fort Worth Tours & Trails seek out storied locales and dish out historical secrets of Panther City through the outfit's assortment of tours via bus or by foot. For walking tours, groups gather at one of two locations: the east lawn of the Courthouse for the Hell's Half-Acre to Sundance Square tour or in front of the Visitors' Center on Exchange Avenue for the Stockyards and Historic North Side tour. The former stops at several spots that figured prominently in the downtown area's early development, while the latter combs the brick streets of the historic north side, home to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the world's only longhorn herd that hasn't succumbed to Internet stardom as a dancing flash mob. On both excursions, tour-goers have the opportunity to hear a plethora of little-known facts and cocktail party-worthy anecdotes from the city's rich history.
In a feature showcasing Granbury Ghosts and Legends Tour, a My San Antonio writer mused, "Maybe the connection of the past to the present is stronger in old towns like Galveston and Granbury." Perhaps Granbury, which was founded in 1854, is a paranormal hot spot because it teems with unresolved murders and historic conflict. Legend has it that the infamous outlaw Jesse James died here, and that his final resting place is the grave of an unknown man.
The knowledgeable guides at Granbury Ghosts and Legends—mother-daughter team Coletta and Brandy—explore these centuries-old, supernatural conflicts with their historical tours. Dressed in Civil War period costume, they guide groups through the town square and presumably haunted buildings in pursuit of such celebrated local spirits as the Lady in Red, the Faceless Girl, and Indian Joe. The tour has been named one of the seven best ghost tours in the country by Frommer's.
Gene Estes suspects that growing up in the 'dry' precinct of Abilene, Texas may have inspired his alcohol-based ingenuity; he crafted his first batch of wine from Concord grape juice when he was just 23. Years later, after holding various pharmaceutical jobs and putting to use his Masters in Microbiology, Estes' interest in wine re-emerged with a full and passionate force. Today, as the president and vintner of Lost Oak Winery, Gene works alongside resident winemaker Jim Evans to craft a host of award-winning wines. Among them is the 2012 Viognier, which scored a double gold in the renowned San Francisco Chronicle International Wine competition—meaning all five judges awarded the varietal with top scores before gilding the bottle twice in molten gold.
The winery itself offers both guided and self-guided tours, offering visitors a glimpse into the wine-making process complete with samples straight from oak barrels. Additionally, special events draw guests to the lush grounds for live music, wine club events, and the pre-Christmas holiday open house, where they can place preemptive wine orders with Santa.