In 1998, the clack of billiards balls met the clink of cold beers at the first Fast Eddie’s Sports Tavern and Social Clubs in Amarillo. Since then, 17 more Fast Eddie's locations have sprung up across Texas and Louisiana, each letting guests sink corner shots at 8- and 9-foot Olhausen pool tables while sharing a few drinks and snacks such as deep-fried hot dogs. Beyond the felt, home runs and touchdowns play out on multiple big-screen TVs as darts fly into targets and foosball tables re-create the exciting theatrics of gymnasts struggling to play soccer.
Eagle Pointe Recreational Complex promotes athletic excellence with its terrain of tennis and racquetball courts, jogging trails, and an indoor heated lap pool. Members will enjoy unlimited access to 35 group classes per week, including yoga, Pilates, and Zumba, taught by nationally certified instructors. Feel for the eye of the tiger with an aerobic kickboxing class, punctuated by freestanding punching bags, or water a pet tiger lily during a gentle water-aerobics class for older adults. Prior to getting started, all members will receive a weight-room orientation and complimentary fitness evaluation performed by a nationally certified fitness specialist. Free strength, endurance, flexibility, and wingspan tests are also available to calibrate a starting point before setting sail into the sweaty seas.
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.
Located at the base of the towering San Jacinto Monument, the San Jacinto Museum of History chronicles the formation of Texas lore. This year marks the 175th anniversary of Texas independence, and the museum provides festive fact-gatherers with a moveable feast of 17,000 local objects, 18,000 volumes, and 700 feet of historic party streamers gathered from Texas and New Spain, the United States, and Mexico. While admission to the museum is free, member benefits include access to special exhibits and the Jesse H. Jones Theatre. Members are also granted access to the San Jacinto Monument’s observation deck, which provides a hang-glider's view of the Houston skyline and the mighty Battleship Texas.
Feet patter across three information-packed floors stacked inside the Ocean Star, a former drilling rig that spends its retirement as a museum and education center on Galveston's Pier 19. After two decades drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the rig has since been revamped and outfitted with interactive models and displays that illustrate the story of offshore oil, gas, and the energies that lurk beneath the world's oceans. Visitors can tap into videos for explanations of drilling, geology, and seismic topics, or stand next to scale models of production platforms. In addition to its lineup of eye-popping sites, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center harbors ongoing exhibits showcasing the industry's careers, history, and safety measures. Self-guided tours seven days a week enable guests to explore the rig's nooks at their own pace, while an onboard staff stands by to answer questions and courteously laugh at all petroleum-related knock-knock jokes.
As twilight falls over the battlefield, the inflatable bunkers and forts starting to fade in the darkness; the soldiers don't relent. The field's lights come on, suddenly illuminating the flat bermuda grass, and snipers continue battering their opponents. At Galveston Island Paintball, referees oversee skirmishes at two venues—the aforementioned X-ball field, which staffers reorganize on a monthly basis, or a rec-ball arena equipped with forts and spools. Catering to all levels of players, weekend drop-in sessions host a variety of action-packed scenarios as spectators watch from afar, supporting the war effort by drawing posters of old men angrily pointing at things. Outside the battles, an onsite shop equips with brand-name gear and occasional two-day clinics impart tips for safety, equipment maintenance, and playing fairly.