From the grinning rainbow-colored caterpillar to the rainbow-spiraled bouncy tent and red knight's castle, Texas Jumping Beans envelopes kids in a kaleidoscopic fun house. While sock-clad tots tumble through a 12,000-square-foot supervised playground, parents sit back with lemonade from the vending machines. As guardians surf the Internet, kids slip down giant air-filled slide and commandeer the mammoth inflatable pirate's ship before retiring to the lobby to eat their brown-bagged lunches brought from home. After filling up their food vesicles, toddlers wade through the 12'x10' ball pond and explore tunnels, and their bigger brethren burn energy ricocheting off the plush yellow dinosaurs they will clone for research later in their home laboratories. The bouncy playground also makes for energetic birthday parties, which the center can host any time of day, any day of the week, accommodating anything from a three-hour fiesta to an all-night slumber party. Additionally, Texas Jumping Beans rents springy houses and picnic tables for at-home shindigs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shore Club Restaurant & Bar serves up both gourmet food from the land and sea and a picturesque view of Volente Beach at Lake Travis. While staring out at the rippling water, diners devour Texas rib-eye steaks of marbled Angus beef and black-and-blue bacon burgers. From the sea comes barbecue bacon-wrapped shrimp?stuffed with jalape?os and glazed with Myers Rum barbecue sauce?as well as lobster mac 'n' cheese with lobster claw meat saut?ed in spiced coconut oil.
Shore Club Restaurant & Bar encourages folks to come in for a full meal in the restaurant or a quick bite at the bar in between jaunts to Shore Club Volente Beach's sprawling water park. After a day out on the water, many diners head to the bar's outdoor patio to sip cocktails and toast to not running into any krakens.