In Bricks 4 Kidz hands-on programs, kids can learn to build anything from a motorized amusement park to a duck. But the building blocks aren't real bricks—they're LEGO blocks. Each of the company's summer camps, after-school classes, and birthday parties center around building themed LEGO model plans, designed by engineers and architects. By building structures that fit a zoo theme or a Minecraft theme—or by creating Lego scenes for stop-motion animation—kids learn science and math, teamwork, and problem solving skills, while having fun and getting their masters in LEGO architecture along the way.
The Rockwell County program is helmed by husband and wife team Kevin and Natalie Shepherd, who share a passion for educating children in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. To lead the program they utilize Natalie's background in counseling and play therapy, Kevin's knowledge as a practicing engineer, and their experiences parenting their daughter Sydney.
While many people might only think to use lasers to thwart tuxedo-wearing spies, Rockwall Laser Center uses them to help clients feel beautiful and confident—tuxedo or not. There, a staff of technicians–all of whom are certified by the Texas Department of State Health Service and most of whom are Certified Senior Laser Technicians–uses versatile lasers to remove unwanted hair, fight the signs of aging, and treat acne. The crew are also experts at removing unwanted tattoos, having removed a staggering 40,000 by 2013. The center's services also extend beyond the beam. During micro-needling therapy, aestheticians use a cartridge filled with precisely spaced, microscopic needles to create tiny perforations in the skin that jump-start healing processes, thereby helping to firm skin, soften fine lines, and banish little-brother cooties.
Guests turn in for the night to recline in plush beds as they listen to soft music and enjoy meals delivered by attentive staff members. Rather than venturing out in the morning to shop and sightsee, however, these lodgers would rather spend some quality time with a chew toy. When away from home, pet guests at Pappy's Pet Lodge lie in the lap of luxury with amenities typically found in four-star human resorts. Orthopedic, chew-proof Kuranda pet beds cosset pups while they rest from the day's three walks and bounty of play time with similar-sized dogs. Experienced trainers also lead classes that help banish bad behaviors, from chewing on the couch and barking excessively to borrowing the car without asking.
Kayak Instruction, Inc.'s tale begins in 2000, when Dave Holl and his friends went kayaking in the Grand Canyon. As he paddled through the crashing water and listened to the laughter of his friends, Dave came up with a plan to start his own kayaking school. He'd hire a crew of top instructors—certified teachers with a real love for the sport—and build a fleet of quality kayaks.
Today, Dave's crew of seasoned instructors boasts an abundance of kayaking certifications and awards. When the instructors aren't helping fledgling kayakers achieve mastery over their oars, they're parting Texas waters during tours of scenic landscapes populated by bald eagles, blue herons, and fluttering land sharks. The team also rents out an assortment of recreational, tandem, whitewater, and sea kayaks by the day.
Mirages are famed tricksters of the desert, illusions generated by heat waves and tired minds that reportedly depict comfort, safety, and luxury. Rowlett's Mirage Tanning Spa also summons such visions, though its many amenities are quite solid. The spa's staff foregoes the basic 20-minute tanning beds in favor of more opulent models, such as the standup booths or VIP and Platinum beds. The staff uses its bottled light in other ways as well—whitening teeth and smoothing skin to name a few. Staffers can also cut out the need for UV radiation altogether with Mystic spray-tan booths, darkening skin with a concoction of melanin-encouraging components. Mirage even offers automated massages, relaxing muscles with HydroMassage beds that use pressurized water to emulate the feeling of futuristic massage robots at work.