Two-time Grammy Award–winner Rita Coolidge brandishes her dulcet tones and musical pedigree to celebrate the Wonderland of Lights Festival's 25th anniversary with a collaborative holiday-music performance. Under the direction of Stephen L. Hayes, Assistant Professor and Director of Music at Wiley College, the school's a cappella choir blends its melodious harmonies with Rita Coolidge's lead vocalizations as they collectively croon Christmas standards, holiday classics, and famous ballads penned by prodigious reindeer. Marshall Visual Art Center welcomes up to 350 concert-goers in the venue's large, open room with twinkle lights dotting the ceiling at night and unemployed flashlights during eclipses.
Clint Mace Sr.'s design of the The Challenge at Cypress Hills' golf course has earned its fair share of praise. Texas Outside called the 6,762-yard, par 71 course "clearly one of the best layouts in East Texas." The article highlights the designer's use of the local terrain to add additional difficulty to the holes. That's particularly true on the back nine, where each hole presents a unique challenge, be it up-hill blind shots, big ponds that bisect the fairway, or sharp dog legs that require precise drives.
With more than 13,000 divers certified under their tutelage since 1975, Scuba Ventures' instructors, dive-control specialists, and dive masters guide pupils through the three steps toward scuba certification. Students first learn diving and safety fundamentals during classroom training and practice sessions in Scuba Ventures' heated indoor pool. Then teachers whisk them away on two-day open-water training trips to locales such as the Caribbean or Lake Ouachita where, upon successful completion, they earn an open-water certification card and a free back scratch from a puffer fish.
Instructors also teach an array of training courses ranging from spearfishing sessions to lessons in underwater photography. Scuba Ventures also sponsors dive trips throughout the year, which guests can stock up for by renting or purchasing brand-name gear from the shop.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Kids as young as age 10 can splatter their friends with paint pellets at Splat Zone Paintball. Two fields invite friendly competition, including the fast-paced Graveyard field and the expansive 6-acre woodsball field, peppered with natural and manmade bunkers for players to duck behind. The company also boasts the Splat Zone Paintball Mobile Climbing Wall?a 25-foot structure that looks and feels like a real rock?that can handle up to four climbers at once with its state-of-the-art auto belay system.
Designed by renowned course architect Joe Lee, Squirrel Run Golf Club’s 27-hole course incorporates clusters of scenic trees, babbling waterways, immaculate fairways, and smooth, Champions grass greens. Players can fine-tune their swings before hitting the links with a regimen of 10 one-hour clinics, where one of Squirrel Run Golf Club’s PGA-certified aces demystifies the golf swing for small classes with their profound knowledge of golf mechanics and subtle use of hypnotic putter pendulums. Each of Squirrel Run’s three nine-hole courses feature harrowing water hazards on most holes that place a high premium on confident shots and deft club selection. Players loop any 18-hole combination of the 27-hole labyrinth, playing to a maximum length of 6,782 yards when combining the Steeple and Woods course. With five tee options, the treacherous monolith graciously caters to players of all abilities and golfers who insist on playing with bocce balls.