The seasoned paranormal investigators at the Spirit Quest Center instruct burgeoning ghostbusters in the art of spectral detection on its spine-tingling Spring Ghost Tour. Before embarking into the ectoplasmic world, Spirit Quest preps spirit walkers ages 10 and older with a Ghost Hunting 101 lesson. Students learn investigation techniques such as detecting magnetic-field disturbances, using dowsing rods to communicate directly with specters, and uncovering electric voice phenomena (EVP) in digital recordings that capture the kelpie vibrato of karaoke phantasms. A professional paranormal investigator then leads the tour past some of Old Town Spring's oldest buildings, regaling the fascinating history of the vexed settlement with frequent stops for ghostly apparitions and interaction. During the 2.5- to three-hour tour, phantom pursuers may get the chance to chat with the poltergeists through the medium’s translation, asking questions about ghostly life and what it’s like to hang out with Elvis.
Tucked away on 15 acres of timbered and trailed property, the family-owned, family-oriented Loveland Ranch sprawls before visitors a multitude of horseback-related activities. Guide-accompanied trail rides trot across the property and along Spring Creek, and private and group lessons instruct students in skills such as feeding, tacking, and grooming. During summer months, children's laughter gushes over the property as campers explore, fish, and swim in the creek.
While party music blasts through a speaker system, kids and adults take to the trampolines at Jumping World, where 35,000 square feet is dedicated to bouncing. The main trampoline court spans 10 lanes and features a foam pit, and staffers oversee matches on two dodge-ball courts. Before planting their feet at the arcade, visitors can refuel at the snack bar and sign up for convenient birthday-party packages that include a staffer to oversee set up and clean up.
Darolyn Butler spent her childhood riding near her family’s farm and ranch, exploring the countryside and sharpening the skills that would later serve her well during horse shows and barrel-racing competitions. After winning the title of Miss Rodeo Oklahoma, she went on to become Miss Ford Country, the cowgirl featured in ad campaigns for Ford Motor Company. College graduation brought numerous opportunities, but Darolyn always filled her spare time with shows and rodeos. Then she discovered endurance riding, a cross-country competitive sport with races that cover 50 or more miles. Over the years, she’s won several national championships and when she became a mother, Darolyn trained her two daughters in endurance, and they are now competitive riders as well.
When she isn't competing, Darolyn offers riding instruction and consultation services at Cypress Trails Equestrian Center. The ranch is open seven days a week and adjoins scenic and challenging trails, where students of all ages and skill levels can go on adventure rides aboard beautiful arabian, spanish-mustang, and appaloosa horses. Darolyn also boards horses, giving them access to plenty of pastureland, where they can roam freely or stand still in one spot staring at the ground and counting blades of grass.
Tickled Pink Party Palace's events are high-society affairs. After all, sometimes a princess shows up. The company's party planners specialize in organizing playful themed events for children, and they travel throughout the Houston area to do so. Some of their most ornate packages include character visits, during which a costumed royal greets the children and leads them through activities such as storytelling, interactive games, and the issuing of a decree to abolish nap time. Alternatively, dress-up tea parties immerse children in a theme of their choice, from mermaid to rock-star. Shimmering color-coordinated decor, elegant place settings, and snacks—such as frosting-topped cupcakes—are all suited to the theme.
Inside each Sky Zone location, a wall-to-wall montage of trampolines gives children and adults a venue where they can hop, bounce, and somersault to their hearts' content. The vast, taut, springy flooring doesn't end at the walls, but instead the trampolines continue upward to form angles perfect for crawling up, springing off, or sliding down. Visitors can meander along the bounceable terrain in the open trampoline arena, throw themselves into giant foam pits, or sharpen their competitive edges in trampoline-assisted sports such as dodgeball. SkyRobics classes merge gravity-defying fun with fitness during instructor-led workouts that include calisthenics, core exercises, and strength-building aerobics to help guests shed calories without hurting their joints or taking a wrong turn on a treadmill.