At Legends Batting Cages, a full roster of outdoor pitching machines fires practice balls at various speeds to help Little Leaguers and advanced batters hone their skills. The machines' weapons of choice are hollow-core MacGregor balls, which fly further than regular baseballs and help prevent broken bats and embarrassing off-key clinks. Pitch speeds range from 30 to 55 miles per hour for ages 5–9 and from to 40 to 90 miles per hour for ages 10 and older, topping out at 90 miles per hour in a cage suited for professional-level players. The facility also hosts an auxiliary batting cage, which up to 12 players may rent to test their stadium-light-shattering abilities.
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.
The trusty team of Quarter Horses at Broken Bow Ranch escorts visitors over the sprawling pastures and winding trails that grace the 1,400-acre working cattle ranch. Their owner, Gay Leigh Bingham, draws upon 25 years of experience when teaching new riders the subtleties of proper horsemanship. During private and group riding lessons, she aims to teach riders the proper way to confidently command a horse so they can ride comfortably on trails or help equine companions practice self-control when trotting through apple orchards. Not content to stop at the saddle, Ms. Bingham also invites visitors to enjoy her land for such pastimes as dove and duck hunting.
Starplex Cinemas Forney Stadium 12 adds a little extra shine to every screening with modern technology and screening rooms. Viewers are thrust right into the action of the film by 3-D projectors. Plush chairs—stacked stadium style—envelope audience members in comfort while also providing them with the unobstructed sightline required to see every production assistant’s name in the credits. Other welcome amenities include wall-to-wall screens, digital surround sound and projectors, and a concession stand that serves the theater’s signature $1 hot dogs.
International Scuba's PADI-certified crew of submarine-impersonating instructors offer open-water diver-certification classes that get students sea legal within days. Before beginning class, students should pick up the educational materials and brush up on basic cephalopod-communication skills. After three or four small-group confined-water sessions—held on weekday evenings or weekends—students venture to natural bodies of water for four checkout dives in their adopted aquatic habitat. Depending on the season and the student's desires, the open-water excursions can take place as near as the Clear Springs Scuba Park in Terrell or as far away as the Caribbean, should divers opt to join any of the center's tropical dive trips. Scuba-park entrance fees ($10–$30) are not included and vary by location, as does the likelihood of encountering shipwrecks packed with pirate ghosts.
Big Boar Tactical doesn't train their clientele on a typical gun range with stationary, paper targets. Instead, their trainers—each of whom has more than 12 years of professional armed bodyguard experience—take beginner shooters outdoors, where they move through a series of obstacles and shoot multiple targets set to various heights, distances, and parallel dimensions. Each drill teaches a relevant skill, from learning to draw a gun and move and shoot during the intro to handgun class to honing one-handed accuracy and using cover and concealment during the tactical combat handgun training course. Instructors can also help customers obtain concealed handgun licenses or master the use of various other firearms, including shotguns and rifles.