Whether grounded or airborne, balloons dominate the festivities at Old Celina Park. On the ground, the vibrantly patterned balloons glow and undulate as propane burners pump them with hot air. These bright shapes slowly diminish to colorful specks in the sky as the balloons ascend, leaving the fairgrounds far behind.
With this canopy of colored dots overhead, the festival’s entertainment comes alive as musical acts such as the Emerald City Band and Sonny Burgess take the stage. Pristine cars and trucks made as early as the 1930s shine at the classic-car show, a four-story inflatable slide promotes adrenaline rushes, and a beer garden fuels festival-goers with heady pours and margaritas. In the evening, when the balloons that have served as a backdrop all day finally land, each pilot contributes to the balloon glow, punctuating the dusk with jets of flame from their burners to illuminate their vessels in time to music.
When a building starts to sway, it's generally a sign of stiff winds or poorly maintained architecture. At Pump It Up, however, it's merely an indication that another energetic child has occupied one of the bouncy fortresses. The facility boasts a climate-controlled indoor playground, complete with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and, of course, houses that beg kids to safely bounce off the walls. The staff invite parents and kids for open playtime and also help host private birthday parties and camps that combine playtime with arts, crafts, and pizza.
Abrakadoodle's Art Education programs juice childlike creativity with the natural steroids of art, color, form, and design. Year-round classes include everything from Twoosy Doodlers for children ages 20 to 36 months to Doodlers for more advanced artists (grades K–8). Specialty classes help kids master the basics of anime, work with canvas painting, capture the horrors of war in sweeping cubist murals, and much more. Courses are offered at a variety of locations and times. View the schedule, course descriptions, and additional information here.
Inside CooCoos, a spacious, color-splashed play area accommodates pintsize patrons with full-size servings of fun. Stretched across more than 20,000 square feet, the recently opened facility buzzes with the giggles and squeals emitted from kids as they scramble and spite gravity during birthday parties, field trips, and open-play sessions held Monday through Friday. A lineup of unique zones, such as those with UFO, jungle-course, and alligator themes, whisks adventurers to far-away worlds, and 3-D carpeting and black-light sections enable youngsters to accurately mimic their favorite Grateful Dead–concert moments. For an extra dose of amusement, guests can visit on Friday Night Fun Night, when 3-D glasses help to transform playtime into a multidimensional experience.
JumpStreet's vast trampoline arena delights jumpers of all ages with a room covered top to bottom in springy surfaces and safe padding, cultivating a fun way to unleash pent-up energy and engage in physical activity. In addition to the bounce-inducing ground, tilted trampolines stretch midway up the wall for extended propulsion possibilities and airborne orations of the Gettysburg Address. Visitors aged 8 or older can gravitate toward the dodge-ball courts, where they strategize, aim, and propel soft orbs at opponents while undulating on an unstable surface. With fun passes, older kids can also cling to a bucking mechanical bull as it threatens to toss them onto the foam.