Olympia Hills Golf Course takes duffers through 6,923 yards of exceedingly well-maintained fairways sculpted into picturesque, naturally undulating terrain. Begin an afternoon of friendly competition or rapidly escalating one-upmanship with a stint at the complex's full-length driving range (range balls only included with weekday option), where sculpted target greens soak up a steady rain of well-struck orbs. Masterful command of each club will be needed to bisect the Bermuda-grass fairways of Olympia Hills Course, which hosts a relatively challenging gauntlet of manmade mounds, scrupulously placed bunkers, and towering oak trees. Although the course is demanding, its inclusion of four tee layouts makes the round traversable for players of all abilities. Naturalists will enjoy the course's ubiquitous outgrowths of South Texas vegetation and wildlife, with seven holes featuring breathtaking elevation changes of 50 feet or more to challenge golfers' ability to properly select clubs based on both distance and altitude, adjust their stance for awkward slopes, and coax cowardly carts down steep precipices.
Laser Legend's black-lit arena surrounds players in a scene that seems straight out of a science-fiction movie. Glowing planets and stars backdrop the 5,000-square-foot space, where fog creeps out from behind neon-blue walls and 14 robots guard bases. Up to eight teams fire lasers across two levels, competing during match types such as capture the flag or tickle the flag until it says uncle. The phosphorescent ambience also extends to the Glo Golf course, where alien forests and caves surround golfers as they line up putts. The course employs a multi-hole system that allows Laser Legend?s intergalactic greenskeepers to change the cup locations each week. Elsewhere, more than 40 games, such as Sno Cross, Dirty Driving, Doodle Jump, and Juke-n-Box, create a symphony of electronic beeps in the arcade.
The aromas of fresh-baked breadsticks lure visitors into the onsite restaurant, Noble Roman's Pizza, where chefs fry chicken wings, assemble italian-beef subs, and slide pepperoni pizzas into the oven. This casual Italian cuisine also fuels stomachs within Laser Legend's party rooms, where guests can watch satellite TV and birthday kids eat a breadstick for every year they've had teeth.
"It's like throwing a party every day," Byron Severance, who co-owns The Jumpy Place along with his wife, Cathy, told the Hays Free Press. "It's the most fun I've ever had in a job." Byron and Cathy's indoor playground—kept immaculate with a strict socks-only policy, daily disinfectant washes, and an unbudging ban on trashcan-dwelling Grouches—relieves the endemic of excess energy common to youths aged 10 and younger. As children bounce in and slide down air-filled fortresses, adults entertain themselves with complimentary coffee, WiFi, and cartoon-free television. Both locations are open every day except Tuesday, and each admission grants all-day access that allows families to come and go as they please.
Wine is an effective cure for ailments such as boredom, conversationitis, and pasta-mouth. At Dry Comal Creek, you’ll imbibe a wide range of home-bred, adult grape beverages that are complex and stimulating in a way that makes grape-juice boxes flush with jealousy. You and a friend will taste an array of 10 wines, from dry whites and reds to demi-sweet wines. The Mongrel Bastardo offers a tongueful of sweetness laced with pineapple and lemon, and Comal Red IX pairs perfectly with barbecue, lending its powerful bouquet of blackberry, cherry, and chocolate. With 10 educational palate-pleasers in your repertoire, you'll get one non-reserve bottle to take home.
As the wakeboards, waterskies, and skateboards of The Texas Ski Ranch zoom about outside, the Spring Loaded Indoor Trampoline Park facility holds airborne activities of its own. Trampolines stretch across the more than 15,000-square-foot facility, pulsating beneath the socks of leaping, tumbling, and flipping adults and youngsters alike. The venue also houses inflatable bounce houses for tinier guests, and come Tuesday nights, colorful balls sail through the air during weekly dodge-ball games. The staff hosts birthdays throughout the year, along with Mommy and Me sessions and fitness classes.
A crackling fire warms guests perched at white-draped tables in the candlelit wine cellar. Upstairs, diners marvel at the picturesque views of the vineyard and rose garden filling the glass-enclosed patio's windows or deeply inhale the aroma of wildflowers drifting onto the vine-covered porch. It's against these intimate backdrops that servers at The Vineyards Restaurant deliver steak, seafood, and other upscale dishes to tables, which come aglow with candlelight as dusk falls.
The chefs work hard to make each bite as special as the surroundings. They age beef-tenderloin fillets for 45 days before plating them atop garlic-and-mushroom sauce and slowly marinate chicken in a spicy chipotle-garlic oil before nestling it in a bed of pasta covered in cilantro cream sauce.
With such food in such a setting, a regular night out at The Vineyards is one to remember, but a special occasion there is truly magical. For marriage proposals, anniversaries, and the reunions of long-lost pairs of socks, staffers lead guests down a candle-strewn path to a private table set for dessert among the vineyard's rows of grapevines. The Vineyards has held more than 500 weddings in its open-air pavilion, and its on-staff wedding coordinator and floral designer help plan picture-perfect ceremonies.