Wayne Standefer, the head pilot at Balloon Adventures, is well versed in Dallas-area scenery and topography, knowledge that helps him regale passengers with information during flights. The adventure begins as the aircraft is brought to life before your eyes. Once his balloon reaches its full height—more than 10 stories—Standefer invites you inside the tightly woven wicker basket to soar above rooftops and trees and dip low over fields and rivers. Total flight time is usually around an hour, though the whole experience can take three times as long from start to finish.
Balloon Adventures also charters its services for weddings, arranges surprise flights for special occasions, and offers instruction in specific tasks such as rigging the balloon, navigating in-flight, and shooing away flocks of paper airplanes. In addition, the company participates in hot-air-balloon festivals, where clouds of bright purple, orange, and yellow balloons fill the daytime sky or illuminate the festival grounds at night.
KayakClasses.com sets groups off on the sparkling waters of Lake Lavon under the careful attention of ACA-certified kayaking instructors. They lead classes for all levels of kayakers, teaching newcomers how to paddle efficiently and experts how to perform rescues without the help of mermaids. In addition to lessons, instructors glide over the tranquil waters at sunset, leading kayakers on a guided tour of Lake Lavon in the dwindling light.
One might assume that 40 acres of meadowland in Parker, Texas, carries a certain tranquility and peacefulness. That is, unless, that chunk of land has been transformed into a gigantic battleground for paintball wars. Fort Paintball has done just that, divvying up its real estate into nine fields, highlighted by 5- and 10-man Lego fields and a Big Game field. On the expansive fields, competitors duck behind oil barrels and massive spools, dodging shots and acorns launched by squirrels who want to get in on the action. Players can either strap on their own gear or utilize rental packages that include guns, rounds, and masks.
At Texas Handgun Academy, state-licensed instructors focus on teaching concealed-handgun-license classes for both first-time and renewing CHL applicants. They lead an introductory handgun course, drilling students in pistol and revolver basics such as stance, breath control, and alignment in the academy's indoor range. For security professionals, instructors conduct specialized training in topics such as baton and handcuffing.
Upon first glance, those training and partying on Kick-em Training Facility's four indoor fields seem to be playing soccer. But they're actually engaging in futsal, a game whose smaller turf and heavier ball make it an ideal training opportunity for soccer players. Atop the green rectangles, athletes practice and casual guests enjoy open play. Birthday partiers can also celebrate sportily before fueling up with cake (prepared, perhaps, in the facility's industrial kitchen). The space also hosts dodge-ball games, and serves as a practice facility for students in mascot academies. Futsal leagues give the sport's local players a place to show off as friends cheer from wooden benches or unleash flocks of doves in their honor.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.