Greek immigrant Louis Santikos founded his first movie theater in San Antonio in 1911, when silent moving pictures of train robberies and slapstick comedy were an exciting novelty. Today, the thriving regional theater empire continues the family tradition of dazzling audiences with attractions such as IMAX sensory journeys.
Santikos's expansive theaters house up to 19 screens of first-run cinematic entertainment at some locations. Equipped with popcorn and sodas, moviegoers can nervously munch and sip their way through every pulse-pounding car chase, tragic missed connection, or gripping montage of drying paint. Screenings in 3-D of select films are brought to life by the gloriously immersive illuminations of Xpand 3-D projectors.
Tank's Paintball Park has hosted chromatic combatants in the Houston area for more than 17 years. It recently added a Sugarland paintball complex, which covers 29 acres of woodland. There's even a central creek, which can act as a strategic border or a place for cheaters looking to wash paint from their clothes. Casual players can take advantage of rental equipment for open games, and there are buckets of field paint to help keep veteran players' markers topped off. The field also offers SplatMaster games, which employ special, low-impact markers so kids up to the age of 12 can explore the sport.
Golf Etc. features a bevy of bogey-friendly products from brands such as Titleist, Ping, Bridgestone Golf, Adidas, Callaway, TaylorMade, and more. In addition to its armory of traditional fairway artillery, Golf Etc. also builds, repairs, re-grips, and re-shafts trusty clubs at its on-site workshop. Re-gripping is $3 per club, plus the price of grip, and can be completed the day the clubs are brought in. If your club handle is already gripped for success, you can opt for a one-hour video golf lesson ($80), which uses a digital coaching system known only as V-1 to give golfers a clearer understanding of their swing and teach them how to harness its inherent energy to jump-start a dead golf-cart battery. Golfers can also get their drivers fitted ($75) and find out which long-distance clubber is best for their game using the Swing Labs Digital Fitting System. Short-gamers can practice putts on a 280-square-foot indoor green that features authentic challenging breaks. Prices provided are from the Pearland store and may vary by location.
Iron Cross Gymnastics equips children with the ability to safely leap and tumble through a variety of encouraging gymnastics classes and summer camps. Split by age level and gender, weekly gymnastics classes train youth to perform gravity-defying physical feats on tumbling mats and aboveground apparati without previous experience or flying carpets. Children ages 2 to 5 learn to follow direction and share during preschool classes, which focus on enhancing basic motor function and agility as students climb and roll through obstacle courses. For more advanced acrobatic maneuvers, 70-minute boys' and girls' recreational programs help kids ages 6 and up build strength and coordination with routines on trampolines and the tumble track. Girls hone balance and agility with special practice on the uneven bars and beam, and boys receive special instruction in the rings, parallel bars, and beard trimmer.
George Ranch Historical Park, only half an hour southwest of Houston, is more than a representation of Texas history?it?s the hundred-year story of a ranching family who lived their lives on the park?s very soil. The attractions tell their story, beginning with the Jones Stock Farm?a cattle operation circa 1830?where interpreters demonstrate old-fashioned skills amidst a traditional dog-trot log cabin. The Ryon Prairie Home unveils an 1860s image of a Texas Ranch home in the golden age of the cattle drive, and the Davis Mansion contains artifacts from Victorian-era Texas enjoyed by the wealthiest citizens of the 1890s. The final site, the George Ranch Complex, demonstrates ranching life as it happened in the 1930s, including barn structures and daily cattle demonstrations. Guides show off each building and era with historic tours, demonstrations, and living history exhibits such as a working blacksmith shop.
The park?s directors breathe life back into this history with interactive events, as well. They also schedule an array of yearly events such as military reenactments, and holiday-themed history lessons.
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.