At The Gentle Zoo, youngsters feed pigs, pat ducklings, and interact with the other fuzzy residents. Elsewhere on the zoo’s 10 acres, guests can leap about on the bounce house, blast corn from the corn cannon, navigate the maze, or enjoy a leisurely ride on the tractor train. Such attractions enthrall kids at onsite birthday parties, while the mobile petting zoo’s 12–15 staff-supervised animals offer nuzzles and create memories in children's minds. The creatures also hit the road for the animal-encounters program, which combines hands-on animal contact with educational 45-minute presentations. The Gentle Zoo donates its proceeds from the program to its Creature Connection, Inc. nonprofit, which rehabilitates rescue animals before they participate in outreach programs for foster children and at-risk youth.
Founded in 2011 by New York theater veteran Jacob Thomas, Rockwall Summer Musicals blew audiences away in its first season with packed showings of The Sound of Music and Oklahoma! Refusing to rest on their laurels, the company's ambitious second season features Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy, continuing to bring Broadway to Rockwall without hijacking theater companies' tour buses at rest stops.
The GSO is Garland's only fully-professional arts organization. Founded in 1978, the GSO features a roster of musicians from 17 different countries. The 2010-11 Season is "A Symphony for All Seasons," featuring pieces from Vivaldi, Strauss, Mozart and others.
Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.
Imagine the moment when a shy, introverted young girl steps in front of a room full of people for the first time and speaks with confidence and clarity. This is a regular occurrence at Drama Kids International, where experienced teachers use a unique, copyrighted curriculum to help shape and focus outgoing children or draw shy children out of their shells. Classes for kids as young as 3 refine speech techniques, dramatic movement, and imagination, giving them the confidence to perform in front of an audience or finally ask their parents to change their names to Thespis. For older kids, aged 12–18, Drama Kids International offers the DKI Acting Academy, where serious theater kids can expand their speaking, acting, and auditioning skills through exercises and performances.
Featuring 6,516 yards of impeccably manicured landscape, Oakridge Country Club is a par 71 golf course designed to challenge everyone from first-time clubbers to full-time swingers. Conquer tight fairways, emerald greens, and challenging roughage while roaming among the scenic terrain and picturesque Duck Creek during your 18 holes of golf ($50 on weekends, $40 on weekdays). Water comes into play on several holes, along with more than 50 strategically placed bunkers—use a golf cart to travel to and around the obstacles. Before hitting the links, golfers can practice their swing and take aim at target greens with a bucket of balls ($7) at the driving range. While not included in this deal, Oakridge Country Club also boasts an onsite restaurant, offering daily lunch specials and a fully stocked bar. You can reserve your space seven days in advance, so call ahead to schedule your tee time.