Barbie Piccinni—owner, trainer, and head instructor at White Fences Equestrian Center—has been riding since she was 5 years old. Her daughters, Angel and Gina, have been riding since before they were born. Backed by dozens of medals in different riding disciplines, this trio of Piccinni women heads the staff at White Fences, helping riders to steer their mounts during private, semi-private, and group lessons every day of the week. Their sessions aren't limited to the arena—guests can also trot around the center's 54 acres of serene Texas Hill country on trail rides, which are completely free of pedestrians, bikes, and sports cars revving their engines as a challenge to race.
Texas Jumping Beans launches earthbound kids into orbit from eight colorful inflatables housed in a 12,000-square-foot entertainment epicenter. Jumpers can come and go throughout the day to scramble across a pillowy caterpillar's rainbow frame like remorae over a shark. Sheath toes in socks before offspring scale a scarlet castle's knotted ropes or tiptoe through passageways that melt underfoot into steep slides. Blue, crimson, and yellow tones dominate a bouncy carousel stenciled with horses. Parents can surf the web on WiFi-enabled typewriters as pintsize patrons explore the bouncy terrain.
Ribbons of sunlight stream through the dense jungle canopy as you trudge atop the soggy soil. You brush away beads of sweat and inhale the thick, humid air that seems to radiate from the surrounding foliage. In the distance, a monkey shrieks, but nearby, something else catches your ear—the infectious melody of childish giggles. At Safari Champ, socked explorers bound through similar scenes seven days a week, toeing the line between imagination and reality while crawling through tubes, climbing up ropes, and soaring down slides. Parents are invited to join their cubs during indoor quests or enjoy some hard-earned free time by taking advantage of the facility's daycare options. Snacks, including pizza, ice cream, and lattes, are also available inside Safari Champ, which also swings open its bamboo doors to birthday parties throughout the year.
The indoor-fun wonderland offers a safe environment for your small fry to burn off excess foie-gras calories while socializing with their contemporaries. Children can climb cozily through well-cushioned tunnelways, traverse the netted maze of mystery, or bound their way down one of many sloped, wavy, and swirling slides. In the interest of supervision and safety, all of Jungle Java's equipment is built to accommodate simultaneous play between parents and their children. To further ease parental minds, all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each day. In between familial play dates, adults can relax on a plush leather couch in the café, sipping on a freshly steamed latte or refueling with one of Jungle Java's healthy menu selections, such as wraps, yogurts, fruits, and more. Regardless of food preference or age, all guests must wear socks in the play areas.
Shady Acres Pet Ranch is more like a farm than a typical boarding facility. On three acres of land, lush, green grass awaits hounds who can frolic in three play yards dappled with sunlight thanks to the property's 100-year-old oak trees. Pups spend their daylight hours playing with similarly-sized friends under the watchful eyes of pet-friendly staff members. Then, as the sun sets, they can hunker down in heated and air-conditioned closed-door suites that offer privacy for dogs who keep diaries. Though farm-like in many ways, the ranch does boast a number of modern amenities where it counts, including having a CPR– and First Aid–certified caretaker.
Beginning atop a 20-story cliff, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures's final zipline carries riders above Lake Travis for more than 2,500 feet at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. To reach the cliff, a pair of professionally trained guides lead 2.5-3 hour hikes through Texas Hill Country, affording panoramic views of Lake Travis along the way. Before the finale over the lake, groups stop at four other ziplines that snake through canyons and soar above inlets.
Back on land, the company reserves more than 10 acres of Lake Travis shore for post-tour picnics and beach games. For guests embarking on a nighttime zipline tour or looking to linger in central Texas, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures rents out private cabins. Accommodations include a front porch overlooking the lake, as well as access to two private beaches.