Memorial City Mall’s chirping cash registers and department-store scanners give way to the scraping of blades against ice inside Ice Skate USA. There, a full-sized rink large enough to host official IHL and NHL games reinvigorates bodies worn from shopping by imparting the freedom and fun of uninhibited speed during open-skate sessions. The rink also keeps a squad of instructors on hand who host hockey academies to sharpen everything from basic skating skills to puck control to discerning between team mascots and roving packs of wolves. Additionally, Ice Skate USA also works to expand the community’s appreciation for ice-bound culture during scheduled events such as The Nutcracker on Ice, with try-outs for the production encouraged for all students, and open to skaters of any skill and age.
Inducted into the National League in 1962, the Houston Astros have since netted six Hall of Fame players and a trip to the World Series. In 2000, the club made its home at Minute Maid Field, a 42,000-capacity stadium replete with red-brick walls, natural grass, and a 242-foot retractable roof. Throughout every game, kids can interact with mascot Junction Jack, a rabbit and train conductor who harkens back to the era when Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish sheepdog, controlled half the Union's railroads.
There aren't too many places that kids, teens, adults, and seniors can all enjoy equally. Among that small number, though, is Quillian Recreation Center, which has hosted all-ages recreational activities since 1958?the same year the U.S. declared hobbies legal. Anchored by a caring staff, the facility's features include two lighted softball fields, fitness trails, soccer fields, and an aquatic venue with a diving board and slides. And that's just outside; inside, Quillian boasts a gymnasium, a game room, and even a climbing wall. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the facility year-round, though the center does offer special summer programs and summer camps for kids and teens.
There are five teams in the coalition: the Lone Star Cowgirls, Las Diablas, the Bayside Bombshells, the Homicidal Housewives, and the Texas Outlaws All Stars. A game goes like this: at the front of the pack are two pivots, one from each team, acting as the last line of defense. Just behind them are the blockers, a pack of merciless foot soldiers who do the brute work of the match. And coming up behind are the jammers, who score points by passing players on the opposing team. Texas Outlaws' training regimen teaches roller derby basics, including falling safely and other basic skills, while burning up to 1,000 calories in a single session.
FunDMental Hoops is a basketball training organization whose camps, clinics, and events launch young players toward trophies. Its courts are the domain of founders Karon Bradley and Jeremiah Boswell, a retired pro basketball player whose credentials and awards speak to his sharply honed skills. Karon helped put his Marquette University team in the NCAA Final Four, while Jeremiah earned two Defensive Player of the Year awards at Columbia University. Today they both play professionally overseas?where basketballs spin counterclockwise instead of clockwise?but when they're stateside they're coaching kids alongside fellow FunDMental trainers.
Water streams from wooden aqueducts and cascades down rock formations as families putt through Colorado Canyon's two 18-hole mini-golf courses. After rounds, guests can visit the arcade to play skee ball, build their own stuffed animals, or mine for gemstones and fossils, then hit the snack bar for some Noble Roman's pizza.