A local beacon of all-ages athletics, Austin Sports Arena provides the headquarters for adult and youth roller hockey leagues and offers sports and roller skating parties for kids of all ages. Between games, athletes can hit up the concession stand or gobble pixelated power pellets at a mini arcade. Those soaring beneath the skating rink's rotating gobos can bring their own skates or rent a high-end pair as onlookers skate across the Internet by taking advantage of the center’s free WiFi.
Scattered across the globe like so many building blocks in the playpen of a toddler architect-to-be, Gymboree Play and Music provides wee ones up to five years old with a safe place for enriching, educational play. At more than 500 facilities across 30 countries, grown-ups come along to observe art, music, and sports classes for toddlers up to five years old, as well as their signature Play and Learn sessions.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up unfurls imaginative indoor playgrounds and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings that populate the arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts mandating dessert for breakfast. The ascending wall of the Vertical Rush challenges climbers with a hump-shaped obstacle, whereas attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun. A calendar of events details dates and times for open play and lectures on refinancing mortgages on family treehouses.:m]]
Penfold Theatre Company takes offense to the notion that the best theater comes from New York. In every successful season, the Round Rock stock of actors and artists give the Great White Way a run for its money with inspired productions. Hatched in the summer of 2007—after an 18-hour road trip led its founders to the dramatic potential of the hills of north Travis and Williamson Counties—Penfold quickly blossomed into a community jewel and a critics’ darling. Winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Best Musical Production for the third year in a row, the troupe embarks on a new season filled with comedy, drama, and music—all while breeding new stocks of young thespians in their Penfold Players acting classes and summer camps.
After 22 years in the air force, Water 2 Wine–founder John McFadden established his first custom winery in San Antonio seven years ago. Already the business has spread as far as Milwaukee to the north and Denver to the west, bringing the country's vinophiles more than 100 wines, each of which are fermented on site and available for tastings every day. Those who want to get more involved in the crafting process may sign up to make their own wine and steep themselves in each step of the operation, from selecting the grape varieties, beginning the fermentation process, withstanding a wait of about 45 days, and finally christening their creation by smashing a tiny boat against the bottle. All custom-made wines are plastered with personalized labels made from one of Water 2 Wine’s templates or images that customers design from the ground up.
Across four compact, outdoor fields, goggled paintballers stealthily tread behind industrial-sized wooden spools and large inflated obstacles as candy-colored paintballs zip by. Teams of five to seven shooters might start by storming the citadel on Fort Field. After conquering the blockhouse through strategy and persistence, they can advance on the Hyperball field for a fast-paced game that relies more on reaction than strategy and teamwork. The tight quarters of the Spools field surround huge wooden spools left behind by giant seamstresses, whereas the Airball field spreads blue and red inflatables across a large swath of green grass to slow the action down. Teams can find respite between matches under the covered staging areas and refuel with snacks and beverages.