Malibu Water Park isn’t your average water park. The six-acre outdoor swimming hole tucks neatly into scenic surroundings. Happy shouts echo across sandy beaches and verdant foliage. Three waterslides zig-zag down the banks of the lake, sending riders careening into the water like boring books thrown from a sailboat. For the younger set, there are interactive mushroom-shaped spray features in the shallow water. Colorful kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats slip out onto the 50-acre lake, whose tree-lined shores beg to be explored. On the weekends, guests circle around bonfires and enjoy BYOB picnics at available barbecue pits while bands play. Catering is available upon request.
Bayou Shuttle Service transports runners, surfers, cyclists, and adventurers toting rented kayaks and canoes to nearby trails and beaches for guided tours and lessons or DIY excitement. Experienced guides lead history-packed kayak tours such as the Houston Skyline Tour, which floats past panoramic views of towering skyscrapers, or the Adventures Tour, which increases heart rates with rushing rapids and an elevation drop more thrilling than jumping down the laundry chute at grandma's house. During all-day surfing lessons, students hop aboard shuttles from downtown Houston to Surfside Beach, where instructors teach nascent surfers to stand up and surf the waves. Bayou Shuttle Service also offers overnight surf trips, where pupils can sit beside campfires under the stars and tell scary stories about crab ghosts.
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.
In its earliest incarnations, stand-up paddleboarding wasn't a sport. It was just something surfers in Hawaii did to reach far-away waves or cross huge hotel bathtubs. Over time, the practice evolved into an activity in its own right, and one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. The team at Island Paddle is fully on top of the trend, hosting 5K SUP races. Of course, man cannot live on stand-up paddle-boards alone, so the team outfits folks with all manner of self-propelled aquatic vehicles, including kayaks. They even have the water crafts delivered so patrons can row their boards on whichever waves they like.
An affiliate school of the American Sailing Association, All Points of Sail Sailing School teaches students of all levels how to sail with confidence under the tutelage of experienced guides and instructors. Instructors sprinkle landlubbers with the knowledge necessary to tear through the water on any size vessel, ranging from large-keel boats to windsurfing boards and kayaks. The school's diverse coterie of courses covers crucial nautical subjects, including sailing certification, coastal navigation, chartering, and night sailing. The expert captains also lead charters through the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay as well as summer camps in which kids man kayaks and Sunfish sailboats to gain hands-on practice, which is believed to be the second-best teacher after self-hypnosis.
A crescent moon casts its soft glow over the waterfront, shining just enough light to illuminate a deer as it scurries back into the forest. Nearby, a group of kayakers float silently, watching as the event unfolds. Packed with wildlife and winding waterways, the Armand Bayou serves as the perfect playground for Pinky's Water Sports' stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. On guided trips, these vessels float through the bayou as its waters twinkle beneath the colors of dawn, dusk, or the moon's strobe lights. Pinky's also facilitates motorized excursions with rentals of Jet Skis and fishing boats.