In the minds of politicians and geography teachers, Austin is the indisputable capital of Texas. But Arlington can at least claim to be the state's capital of adrenaline-inducing thrills. That's all thanks to Six Flags Over Texas and its collection of wooden and steel roller coasters. The tallest, Titan, sends riders racing down a 255-foot drop until they reach a top speed of 85 miles per hour?and that's only the beginning.
Beneath Titan's towering peak stretches a park that's home to more than 100 rides, live shows, and other attractions. Befitting the park's international theme, different areas pay homage to foreign countries such as France and Mexico. Texas has plenty of representation as well, namely the New Texas Giant. An updated version of the park's classic Texas Giant, this coaster features trains modeled after vintage Cadillacs.
Other sections of the park are ripped straight from the pages of a comic book. At Gotham City, Batman? The Ride turns the Caped Crusader into an inverted roller coaster; the ride will be even more thrilling when it's turned backwards this summer. Elsewhere, the Looney Tunes gang takes over Bugs Bunny Boomtown and its 10 kid-friendly attractions. Hang around for a while, and you might even get to shake hands with Bugs Bunny himself.
Here are a couple of tips to help you navigate the park:
With a veritable banquet of indoor and outdoor amusements, Putt-Putt Fun Center beckons fun-seekers to its three area locations. Challenging miniature-golf courses and variable-speed batting cages put competitors to the test while pixel professionals tackle the latest games inside raucous arcades. Friendly staff members handle all the details of birthday-party packages, laying out ice-cream cups, cutting cakes, and personally pre-opening all of the presents.
The Hurst location, the largest of the three, fields many additional games and rides. Go-karts zoom around dual tracks, bumper boats bob and ricochet in their pool, and rides such as teacups and planes teach youngsters important lessons about centrifugal force.:
At Rockwood Gokart Track, drivers 4'8" and taller buckle up and burn rubber around the outdoor course's tight twists and serpentine turns. There's 12 colorful, single-seat go-karts to choose from, and parents can ferry their little ones (3'4" or taller) alongside them in one of four double-seat mini speed machines. Serious go-karters can also purchase parts or whole new go-karts at Rockwood Gokart Track, or get their current one running again with repairs and promises of oil sandwiches.
Consider activities that take about an hour to complete: a trip to the grocery store, a relaxing massage, watching a favorite television show. Rarely, if ever, do haunted houses fall into this category—unless you're talking about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth. In 2009, the attraction’s length caught the attention of Guinness World Records, which deemed Cutting Edge the longest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Looming in a section of the city dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” Cutting Edge populates an abandoned meatpacking plant that was originally built in the late 1920s. The plant’s equipment is still fully operational, and still resides inside—only today, it processes humans. To escape such a grisly fate, guests must grope through a multi-storied labyrinth replete with unthinkable horrors such as live monsters, realistic special effects, and salsas made in New York City. Cutting Edge is so terrifying, in fact, that it even earned the top spot on HauntedHouseRatings.com's list of the best haunted attractions in 2013.
The bright blue sky and the puffy clouds in the air might fool less-observant patrons, but Celebrations Indoor Adventure's 5,400-square-foot playground is all indoors. Inside, kids leap around in the bounce house and scoot down slides. In the main-street playset, they cruise in kid-sized cars, searching for a place where they don't have to parallel park. Games such as foosball and air hockey let older kids enjoy some friendly competition, while other toys entertain tykes as young as toddlers.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.