Since 2000, the experienced climbers at Boulders Sport Climbing Center have been helping visitors ascend not just walls, but also toward their goals. Each and every new climber undergoes the orientation and belay training, during which they get accustomed to the facility, the equipment, and chanting the mantra, "Don't Look Down." After that, they can try their hands and feet on the 40-foot walls, lead wall, free-standing boulder, or 30-foot rappel tower.
Plummeting into a hurricane?s eye. Tunneling through San Andreas?s interior. Zipping in and out of colliding galaxies. At Mayborn Science Theater, these sorts of adventures are par for the course. Here, wonders of the natural world beam onto a 60-foot digital screen that wraps around an entire 180-seat theater, creating immersive educational experiences. Screened during weekends and weekday matinees, science-minded shows focus on diverse, family-friendly topics such as stars and tropical reefs. Its laser light shows, on the other hand, eschew education for spectacle, dazzling audiences with 3D graphics and 15,000 watts of digital sound.
Outside the dome, Mayborn continues educating visitors at its gallery. Amidst rotating displays on subjects such as rocks and minerals, the Vice Space station showcases Hubble photographs and shares updates from the Mars rover. The exhibit?s recent acquisitions even include tiles from actual space shuttles, as well as tiles from actual Mahjong games played by astronauts sitting in NASA waiting rooms.
At Comanche Badlanz Paintball, players as young as 7 years old can hide behind stacked tires and shoot at opponents. If you're looking for a unique place to host a birthday party, fundraiser, or company outing, the facility will work with you to nail down the details. The paintball wonderland boasts five fields, including a PSP regulation-size speedball field with 5 acres of woodlands full of bunkers, bushes, and other obstacles.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Fishing trips for individuals or groups
Pro Tip: Weekday trips are more productive than weekend trips due to reduced boat traffic/fishing pressure.
Good for Kids: Yes
Around harvest time on Rising Star Vineyards' verdant acres, vines of chardonnay, merlot, and other Old-World grapes hang heavy, ready for their transformation into the small-batch wines the vineyard is famous for. As detailed in the Abilene Reporter-News, the grapes are trellised several feet off the ground, which owner Michael Oubre says “produces superior fruit” for their distinctive blends of Old-World flavor and Texan style. Their Salado cheesery and tasting room serves salads and sandwiches on locally baked bread for lunch, while vending cheese and other sundries exclusively made by Texas producers. In addition to cheese plates featuring fresh chevre from Bonney Goat Cheeses and Watonga flavored cheddars, the shop serves frozen wine margaritas to sip as talismans against the Samarian curses of the hot sun. The winery also holds regular wine-education and tasting classes, from a basic Wine 101 session to a food-and-wine-pairing session.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.