Originally developed in France and named art du deplacement, modern-day parkour teaches students how to embrace the full range of natural human movement while imparting a greater sense of control and self-discipline. Urban Movement's parkour classes cater to adults and children as young as 7, giving and give them the skills they need to navigate through natural or manmade areas while overcoming physical obstacles with graceful, fluid, and efficient movements. With their emphasis on running, jumping, climbing, rolling, and more, these indoor and outdoor classes help students develop greater strength, stamina, and balance, as well as mental fortitude and self-confidence. Urban Movement welcomes attendees of virtually any skill and fitness level, creating a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to appreciate, and master the art of parkour.
In an effort to raise money for wildlife relief efforts, The Houston Zombie Walk of 2011 rounds up costumed participants for a mile-long loop around downtown. At 5 p.m. on September 24, the gates will open at Jones Plaza, where entertainment options include three bands, a zombie dance crew, a Halloween DJ, and cooking demonstrations that show ideal pairings for brains. The walk itself lasts from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and participants may bring controlled canines. After the plaza closes at 10 p.m., revelers can continue on to zombie-friendly bars that serve up drink specials and host headless can-can dancers.
Get Active! Get Social! helps singles and couples bust out of ruts to discover fun activities throughout the city, designing outings so that members make new friends as they go. "We like to think of ourselves as a downtown social club," says the event leader. She's in charge of organizing an itinerary of three or more activities per week that range from private cocktail parties and theater outings to skydiving and weekly social dance classes. Here, members connect through genres of Latin, swing, and country/western, which rotate on a monthly basis. "We strongly believe in the 'Live, Work and Play' motto," she says, "And it's fabulous when you can do it all in the same general area, and build friendships with those in your neighborhood."
Inside Texas Rock Gym, over 14,000 square feet of climbable surface wait to be gripped and clambered over by novice and expert climbers, who navigate routes that are regularly altered to keep things fresh. The gym’s mandatory orientation ensures that each visitor observes proper safety measures during their climb. Following orientation, climbers can strap themselves to a harness at one of more than 40 rope stations and begin top-rope climbing up lofty heights, while more advanced climbers lead trips up over complex courses or the stone faces of former presidents. Climbers can also skip the harnesses altogether and try their hand at bouldering across height-restricted surfaces, or head to one of the gym’s Tai Chi or Yoga classes.
There aren't too many places that kids, teens, adults, and seniors can all enjoy equally. Among that small number, though, is Quillian Recreation Center, which has hosted all-ages recreational activities since 1958—the same year the U.S. declared hobbies legal. Anchored by a caring staff, the facility's features include two lighted softball fields, fitness trails, soccer fields, and an aquatic venue with a diving board and slides. And that's just outside; inside, Quillian boasts a gymnasium, a game room, and even a climbing wall. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the facility year-round, though the center does offer special summer programs and summer camps for kids and teens.
In Body Evolution's recently renovated gym, rows of traditional cardio machines whir alongside an updated aerobics room and an indoor basketball court. To inaugurate their new square footage, the trainers kicked off a variety of classes, which include Zumba, boot camps, various forms of yoga, and cardio salsa. When not leading personal-training sessions or doling out nutrition advice, the staff keeps the doors unlocked 24 hours a day for all-night access to the circuit- and strength-training equipment. Ramping up results, the staff plugs patrons into a machine-assisted metabolism test that helps make nutritional recommendations such as, "Stop trying to eat this machine." To get families fit together, the gym's Kidz Zone incorporates play and health into programs such as the Wii Fit workout.