At each Jump!Zone locale nationwide, children aged 2–12 race through themed play areas, bounce on inflatables, and fly down giant slides. Boys and girls can become airborne in SpongeBob SquarePants and Atlantis-themed bouncers or slide near the vigilant figure of Batman, which, as in real life, is 16 feet tall and filled with air. Kids 18 months and older can tackle a multi-level play-zone maze, and the whole family can blast away in the ball-o-city ball-shooting arena. Meanwhile, Jump!Zone's interactive arcade caters to older children and teens who'd rather game than bounce.
Tots with aspirations to be firefighters slide into a bouncy fire truck, and hopeful time travelers acquaint themselves with their future by examining prehistory in the Jurassic Adventure. Pintsize play timers can dispatch their financial stresses in the Toddler Zone. While the kids play, their adult counterparts can enjoy complimentary coffee, relax in the café, use Jump!Zone's free WiFi and computer, and finally have time to recite the periodic table of elements in peace. Check the schedule for open-play hours.
Small student-to-teacher ratios and individual attention—these are just two elements that make Gulf Gymnastics a sought-after destination for the graceful sport. Here, students as young as 3 begin building skills that boost their self-confidence, strength, and coordination, helping them whether they're turning cartwheels on the balance beam or vaulting to the front of the school cafeteria line. Students can also join competitive teams at Gulf Gymnastics, and work toward another win to match the boys team's first place at the 2011 Bryan Invitational and 2011 Juergens Invitational.
There are five teams in the coalition: the Lone Star Cowgirls, Las Diablas, the Bayside Bombshells, the Homicidal Housewives, and the Texas Outlaws All Stars. A game goes like this: at the front of the pack are two pivots, one from each team, acting as the last line of defense. Just behind them are the blockers, a pack of merciless foot soldiers who do the brute work of the match. And coming up behind are the jammers, who score points by passing players on the opposing team. Texas Outlaws' training regimen teaches roller derby basics, including falling safely and other basic skills, while burning up to 1,000 calories in a single session.
The sun reflects off the chassis of a crimson Cobra as its engine lets out a declarative roar. Suddenly, gears shift and the driver makes their way onto the track. At Racing Adventures, thrilling moments are a normal occurrence as instructors show visitors how to handle vintage racecars and exotic sports vehicles from the inside of the cockpit. In two models of American muscle cars, a Porsche 911, or a Carrera, guests taste the adrenaline rush of high-performance driving during full-day racing adventures, laps around racetracks, or excursions on skill-testing roads in Arizona and Colorado.
Racing Adventures’ team also educates thrill-seekers in more aggressive styles of driving in its school. After outfitting students with suits and helmets, instructors demonstrate the basic principles and advanced techniques of racing before letting students practice on a real racetrack. Students can take the wheel of a Cobra, Corvette, or Porsche during three levels of driving experiences, and graduates of the program earn a certificate of achievement.
From 14,000 feet above the earth, cities and farms look like tiny brown circuit boards below. Excited shrieks, bent by speeds of up to 120 mph, drift through the cool air, the only sound. Parachutes blossom colorfully on the backs of patrons strapped to Skydive Spaceland's instructors, all of whom have a minimum of 800 jumps under their carefully tightened belts. The professional skydivers can take thrill-seekers on tandem jumps, help them achieve a U.S. Parachute Association license in as little as one week, or allow them a rare glimpse of Superman’s bald spot.
Skydive Spaceland's owner, Steve Boyd, built the park from the ground up exclusively for skydiving. At any given moment across the 130 acres, you can find divers prepping in an air-conditioned packing area, watching dives from an observation deck, or nibbling sandwiches at an onsite deli.
It's easy to picture what life was like in centuries past at Matagorda County Museum. That's because the museum highlights the county's most memorable events with both detailed recreations and actual artifacts. Guests can absorb the county's nautical history by viewing a cannon and other artifacts recovered from a shipwreck at the bottom of Matagorda Bay. They can also learn about indigenous family life or discover the charms and hardships of life in a covered wagon thanks to exhibits on those topics.
For an even more immersive experience, families need only step in to the award-winning children's section of the museum. There, kids can discover what life was really like more than 100 years ago in a recreation of a late 19th-century town. Newly minted citizens can swing by the town's O.K. Corral to drop off their horses, stop into the barber shop for a shave and a haircut, or head to the one-room schoolhouse to look over education primers. Other places of interest include an opera house, a post office, and, in case anyone at the post office gets caught opening letters not addressed to them, a jail.