The Resort at Schlitterbahn and its attendant water park combine a veritable city of water-filled fun zones with generous hotel suites where swimsuited families can rest before embarking on further adventures. The resort welcomes overnight revelers to relax in one of its rooms or suites, which boast accommodations that can include water-park views, outdoor decks, cable TV, WiFi, and kitchenettes to facilitate interfamily bake-offs.
More than 500 exotic animals prowl, scamper, and crawl through their expansively recreated habitats at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo. In the venomous-snake enclosure, the eyes and scaled hood of the monocled cobra hypnotize visitors, and a bright green temple viper camouflages itself among jade vegetation. Guests quake with curiosity as they watch the slithering reptiles' jaws clamp down on prey during feedings, or enjoy seeing bigger beasts getting their fill at the alligator and crocodile ponds. Patrons can interact with cuddlier critters at the petting zoo, where dozens of fluffy goats, alpacas, and llamas gather to tie-dye their coats. Elsewhere, cackles of hyenas reverberate throughout the grounds, spurring a pack of wolves to emit a more introspective sound by baying at the moon. Wizened tortoises bask in a field of lettuce and racing trophies as a duo of ring-tailed lemurs relax in their tire swing.
On Paintball Knights' nine pristine grassy play fields, combatants take cover behind inflatable obstacles and large tin drums while waging good-natured warfare against the opposing team. A referee for every 10 participants keeps things civil and fun by promising to foil cheaters and inaccurate Braveheart reenactments. Between matches, players can hatch master plans in the 50-table gravel staging area or refuel at the snack bar. The staff supplies biodegradable, easy-break paintballs that leave minimal stains and bruises, as well as complimentary lens cleaner and paper towels to scrub away colorful specks from skin, clothing, and monocles.
"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.
In 1925, Kiddie Park first opened its doors, and since then, generations of kids have flocked to the park, and its classic rides. After a renovation in 2009, the grounds were augmented with modern facilities such as a new entrance. The revamping efforts proved fruitful, and the San Antonio Current lauded the facility as the Best Kid-friendly Park (& Comeback Story) in 2010.
Now more than 85 years after its opening, Kiddie Park welcomes visitors for days of fun and nostalgia. A train winds through turns, while a ferris wheel proffers elevated views of the historic grounds and lollipops stuck in visitors' hair. Hand-carved in 1918, the park's flagship Herschell Spillman carousel still beckons visitors aboard its decades-old horses. Elsewhere, a snack bar tempts taste buds with classic treats such as funnel cakes and Cracker Jack.
Narcissus would certainly be at home in the Ultimate Mirror Maze Challenge, though he'd surely never find his way out once surrounded by infinite hordes of his own reflection. Maze visitors not distracted by their own chiseled jawlines must find their way through endless circles and dead-end paths in the black-lit, mirror-lined cavern. Once they've emerged victorious from the winding corridors, they can celebrate by morphing their appearances in "funky mirrors"—stretching themselves out, making themselves stout, or masquerading as clusters of beanpoles. Inside The Vault Laser Beam Challenge, players race the clock, dodging bright-green laser beams and maneuvering through tricky webs, careful to avoid breaking the light stream. They can play as many times as they wish to perfect their beam-evasion techniques or to practice craftily returning stolen art to museums.