The façades of Galveston homes may not appear menacing by day, but when night falls, pitch-black shadows hint at the secrets hidden inside. Tracy Richardson, a medium, paranormal investigator, and the owner of Texas Ghost Tours, unearths these lingering evils during her two-hour walking tours of the city’s haunted sites. As a member of the Haunted Society, National Paranormal Society, and Galveston Historical Foundation, Tracy’s knowledge of the local lore is nearly as daunting as the task her tours tackle: to educate visitors about the existence of paranormal activity. After sunset, she leads the way to nearby buildings imprinted with past horrors, and the dilapidated Normandy Inn. She dives even deeper into the supernatural during paranormal investigations, during which she dons a bed sheet and a Sherlock Holmes hat.
Active learning is at the heart of Kids Bloom's mission. This means they facilitate intellectual development in children through exciting classes that forego the old, ineffective means of education?lectures, quizzes, and rote memorization. Instead, Kids Bloom kindles creativity and critical thinking with classes that help illuminate educational material by focusing on fun and interactive materials. Take, for example, the robotics classes?kids build drumming monkeys, airplanes, and remote controlled devices, all the while learning science and engineering without realizing it. Other classes focus on the arts, languages, and science, but in a way that's at once entertaining and instructive. Instructors strive to help children tap into problem solving, critical thinking, and creative skills while fostering teamwork and fine motor skills.
Small student-to-teacher ratios and individual attention—these are just two elements that make Gulf Gymnastics a sought-after destination for the graceful sport. Here, students as young as 3 begin building skills that boost their self-confidence, strength, and coordination, helping them whether they're turning cartwheels on the balance beam or vaulting to the front of the school cafeteria line. Students can also join competitive teams at Gulf Gymnastics, and work toward another win to match the boys team's first place at the 2011 Bryan Invitational and 2011 Juergens Invitational.
At each Jump!Zone locale nationwide, children aged 2–12 race through themed play areas, bounce on inflatables, and fly down giant slides. Boys and girls can become airborne in SpongeBob SquarePants and Atlantis-themed bouncers or slide near the vigilant figure of Batman, which, as in real life, is 16 feet tall and filled with air. Kids 18 months and older can tackle a multi-level play-zone maze, and the whole family can blast away in the ball-o-city ball-shooting arena. Meanwhile, Jump!Zone's interactive arcade caters to older children and teens who'd rather game than bounce.
Tots with aspirations to be firefighters slide into a bouncy fire truck, and hopeful time travelers acquaint themselves with their future by examining prehistory in the Jurassic Adventure. Pintsize play timers can dispatch their financial stresses in the Toddler Zone. While the kids play, their adult counterparts can enjoy complimentary coffee, relax in the café, use Jump!Zone's free WiFi and computer, and finally have time to recite the periodic table of elements in peace. Check the schedule for open-play hours.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
The jungle would be a safer place if the chin-high grass, towering trees, and wild animals were painted on the walls and everything three-dimensional was inflatable. This dream of a danger-free nature preserve comes to life at Jump N Jungle. Voted the Best Kids’ Party Place in the Bay Area Citizen Reader's Choice Awards, the jungle lets kids leap toward the rafters on inflatable jumpers, test the bounds of gravity on giant slides, and navigate an unending labyrinth of mazes and obstacle courses. Both locations play host to weekend birthday gatherings by supplying invitations, plates and plastic cutlery, as well as staff supervision in the party room and play areas. Additionally, its childcare services include an educational curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as before school and afterschool activities for older children.