Imagine the moment when a shy, introverted young girl steps in front of a room full of people for the first time and speaks with confidence and clarity. This is a regular occurrence at Drama Kids International, where experienced teachers use a unique, copyrighted curriculum to help shape and focus outgoing children or draw shy children out of their shells. Classes for kids as young as 3 refine speech techniques, dramatic movement, and imagination, giving them the confidence to perform in front of an audience or finally ask their parents to change their names to Thespis. For older kids, aged 12–18, Drama Kids International offers the DKI Acting Academy, where serious theater kids can expand their speaking, acting, and auditioning skills through exercises and performances.
The sun twinkles over the lakefront as a jet ski speeds across the water's surface, churning a trail of foam in its wake. This image is ever-present across Lake Ray Hubbard, where DFWJetskis' fleet of personal watercraft lets visitors steer themselves toward watery adventures and schools of wild goldfish crackers. The CPR-certified staff keeps a watchful eye as high-performance jet skis enter the water for single rides or rentals that last up to a day. For alternate modes of water transportation, staffers can rent out standup paddleboards or help to find a fish that's big enough for a saddle.
There are few places left in the world where humans and hippopotamuses can swim peacefully side by side. In fact, Wet Zone may be the last. Haley, the loveable mascot, wanders around the water park in a floral-print dress with pink eye shadow accentuating her smile while she high-fives birthday boys and girls at on-site parties. Like a queen in her castle, sculptures of her speckle the park's various splash pools, look out over the geysers and showering pipes, and welcome aquatic adventurers to Turtle Cove and the colorful Kiddie Playground. And Haley also lends inspiration, fortifying wee ones with the gusto necessary to tackle the park's two giant water slides or age-specific swim lessons.
While kiddies splash on multi-level playhouses, adults can sneak away from the large lap pool to gear up for aquatic battle at the Water Wars game. Then families can reunite on land for a game of volleyball, or head over to Haley's Hunger Hut for some nachos or turkey sandwiches. Private, grass-roofed cabanas give sun-shunners a place to dodge the heat as they chow down, and free Wi-Fi allows furtive check-ins with work or information transmissions with the mother ship. Yet no one has an excuse to stay dry for long—an on-site gift shop is stocked with bathing suits and towels to equip the ill-prepared for a day spent swimming.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to eke out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fit-seekers challenge themselves on Life Fitness and Hammer Strength cardio and strength machines and hoist free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or bop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Though the instructors at Dallas Concealed Carry recognize that some people want intense drill-sergeant-style training, they prefer the relaxed approach. The instructors maintain a light, friendly atmosphere with lively classroom training bolstered by multimedia presentations. They teach the basics of marksmanship and lead classes such as the certified concealed-handgun-license course, which includes classroom instruction taught by a certified instructor, range instruction with a certified firearms instructor, a range-proficiency test, and help filling out all the necessary paperwork to apply for a license.
As part of a premiere PADI five-star National Geographic instructor-development center, International Scuba’s team trains underwater explorers in a variety of courses that range from snorkeling and skin diving to open-water and rescue diving. The heated, indoor salt-water pool accommodates divers from ages 8 and older, and equipment packages ensure all students are outfitted for their dives. Beyond the student level, divers can also earn their master scuba-diver certification, thus becoming teachers themselves.
Students who master any of these levels can then elect a related specialty allowing them to dive under the ice, discover underwater wrecks, snap photographs of marine life, and help protect coral reefs from predatory plastic bags. Students who have completed their desired level of training but want to venture forth with a group can also participate in a trip diving in locations abroad and in 30 rivers, quarries, and beaches in and around Texas.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.