Fiendish ghouls and lost souls stagger across Chaos Crew Presents Mischief Manor and Chaos Academy, the successor to the 13-acre Texas Scaregrounds, which was lauded as one of the top haunted venues in the United States by Haunted Attraction magazine. After the twists, turns, and bloodcurdling screams of the dozens of strobe-light-filled rooms inside Mischief Manor Haunted House, visitors can try their luck at the interactive zombie-themed apocalypse training ground, an abandoned town where the leftover denizens' favorite food is brains. After surviving both attractions, visit Panic's Playground, where you can play games or get your face painted with the likeness of friendly zombie butterflies or carnivorous flowers.
Consider activities that take about an hour to complete: a trip to the grocery store, a relaxing massage, watching a favorite television show. Rarely, if ever, do haunted houses fall into this category—unless you're talking about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth. In 2009, the attraction’s length caught the attention of Guinness World Records, which deemed Cutting Edge the longest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Looming in a section of the city dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” Cutting Edge populates an abandoned meatpacking plant that was originally built in the late 1920s. The plant’s equipment is still fully operational, and still resides inside—only today, it processes humans. To escape such a grisly fate, guests must grope through a multi-storied labyrinth replete with unthinkable horrors such as live monsters, realistic special effects, and salsas made in New York City. Cutting Edge is so terrifying, in fact, that it even earned the top spot on HauntedHouseRatings.com's list of the best haunted attractions in 2013.
Log Cabin Village’s authentic historical houses and cabins give visitors an interactive look at life in 19th-century Texas. Through tours, artifact collections, and story hours led by Log Cabin Village’s four resident cats, visitors are transported back to a simpler time. Grab your family, friends, or trio of wind-up toy ducks and meander through the six cabins, the smokehouse, school, blacksmith shop, water-powered gristmill, and herb garden to see, smell, and hear about the frontier days of yore. Both the one-room schoolhouse and Seela cabin can be entered and explored in their entirety, and the other historical properties can be viewed behind a barrier. Various demonstrations, from embroidering to blacksmithing to stylish bonnet accessorizing, happen daily, and staff historical interpreters are always available to talk and answer questions.
At Rockwood Gokart Track, drivers 4'8" and taller buckle up and burn rubber around the outdoor course's tight twists and serpentine turns. There's 12 colorful, single-seat go-karts to choose from, and parents can ferry their little ones (3'4" or taller) alongside them in one of four double-seat mini speed machines. Serious go-karters can also purchase parts or whole new go-karts at Rockwood Gokart Track, or get their current one running again with repairs and promises of oil sandwiches.
Just off a straight stretch of the Trinity River, the sounds of laughter and victorious whooping grow louder. A curious look toward the hubbub yields a vision rarely seen in the city—helmet-clad athletes of all ages splash along the water's surface, launching their bodies in what looks like the offspring of water-skiing and snowboarding onto ramps, jumps, and railings that protrude from the water's surface like geometric islands. It's all part of a regular afternoon at Cowtown Wakepark, the watery brainchild of 20-year wakeboarding enthusiast Tommy Fambrough. During the course of three years, Tommy slowly formed the labyrinth of water-bound obstacles that visitors enjoy today, earning acclaim from the Trinity River Vision Authority's revitalization project for his riverside paradise's part in keeping the area an accessible and productive part of the community.
Each wakeboarding run begins when visitors strapped into their Liquid Force boards grab a cable and are pulled from the shore-side wooden platform across the water, cutting through the river's calm surface and pausing only to heckle passing fish. Spectators stick to the shore under covered tents and at picnic tables, or recline on the water's surface inside tented rafts. Onsite instructors can show first-timers the ropes, and also lead summer day camps to instill children aged 7–16 with wakeboarding, kneedboarding, and wakeskating basics.
Landscaped holes sprawl across the grounds of Putt-Putt Fun Center's three locations, challenging visitors to take hold of putters and test their short game. Besides putt-putt golf, the center has batting cages that hurl baseballs and the occasional tomato at various speeds. The attractions at Alley Cats Entertainment Center, include kid-friendly laser tag, rock-climbing, and an arcade, as well as a bar with billiards for the grown-ups. Both locations are home to giant arcades featuring state-of-the-art games and redemption centers to cash in tickets for prizes.
Specials and parties are offered year-round including summer camps, which are offered through Alley Cats and Putt-Putt Fun Center's multiple locations. At camps, kids ages 5 to 13 experience daily themes in a classroom setting from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., from June 9 through August 22. All facilities are fully licensed for daycare and activities include days such as magic day, where children are taught tricks by a professional magician.