From 14,000 feet above the earth, cities and farms look like tiny brown circuit boards below. Excited shrieks, bent by speeds of up to 120 mph, drift through the cool air, the only sound. Parachutes blossom colorfully on the backs of patrons strapped to Skydive Spaceland's instructors, all of whom have a minimum of 800 jumps under their carefully tightened belts. The professional skydivers can take thrill-seekers on tandem jumps, help them achieve a U.S. Parachute Association license in as little as one week, or allow them a rare glimpse of Superman’s bald spot.
Skydive Spaceland's owner, Steve Boyd, built the park from the ground up exclusively for skydiving. At any given moment across the 130 acres, you can find divers prepping in an air-conditioned packing area, watching dives from an observation deck, or nibbling sandwiches at an onsite deli.
Athletic & Performing Arts Center is a one-stop shop for kids' fun and athletics. It was born when two of Houston's long-running kids' gymnastics and dance programs joined forces. Now under one name, the instructors lead a variety gymnastics classes from Teeter Toddler classes intended for tots 16 months-35 months old, to an assortment of tumbling classes for kids over 6 in a range of skill levels. Available dance classes include styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. They also host open-play sessions, in which kids can blow off steam after a long day at the lemonade stand.
Jerit Pogue, the owner of the newly unified APAC, says that he and his fellow trainers and teachers love seeing the glow of accomplishment on the kids they train, whether they just walked off stage or mastered a new trick in practice. "We have kids who cry everyday because they don't want to leave," he says.
Handicap Accessible: No
Staff Size: 25–50
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Gymnastics and dance classes
Pro Tip: Come prepared for kids to have fun and learn.
Before they set foot on Zombie Charge's 5K obstacle course, participants have a choice: remain human or join the undead. Hordes of ghouls chase runners navigating 8–12 challenges—such as climbing walls and tunnels—set up throughout woodland trails, open fields, and muddy swamps. Those crossing the finish line with at least one belt flag still attached are counted among the 5K's survivors; handlers stand by with antidotes for less fortunate racers. Afterward, a Survival Party lets participants unwind with games of tug of war and corn hole, live music, or photo ops with some of the event's undead.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Designed by famed course architects Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher, Sienna Plantation Golf Club's frequent elevation changes transform the flat landscape into rolling waves of green. These undulations are only the beginning of the challenges players face. On hole two, the narrow fairway and sand bunkers form a perfect storm of difficulty, forcing golfers to thread the needle or risk taking an unplanned trip to the beach. Elsewhere, flowing creeks wind around holes 16 and 17, where the promise of a rewarding score tempts players to take precise shots close to the water's edge. Live oaks and mature cedar elms along the fairways provide both scenic views of nature's beauty and ample shade for treating caddies to a picnic lunch.
Course at a Glance:
At xoco-latte, two local bakers create mouthwatering chocolate treats, pies, cupcakes, and rustic loaves of bread, all handmade and free of gluten. In the bakery, chefs whip up crusty baguettes, rich bonbons and truffles, and sweet cookies with gluten-free ingredients in a facility designed to prevent cross-contamination. The result is a bounty of sweet and savory treats ideal for anyone, whatever their dietary needs. Curious clients can expand their culinary skills with xoco-latte's classes, from lessons in making your own bonbons, to classes on how to interpret nuanced tastes.