With the sound of fast-approaching engines roaring in your ear, you jam your foot down even harder on the gas pedal and narrow your eyes at the upcoming left-hand turn, determined not to let up even for an instant. If you do, there?s a good chance that your new view will consist of your competition gloating triumphantly while they zip past you on the track. You may only be driving a GT-5 Sodikart, and not a tricked-out racecar, but you absolutely refuse to let any of the other adult or?gulp?junior drivers beat you.
Track 21 lets speed-demons careen around one of three indoor go-kart tracks at speeds of up to 40 mph as they try to edge past other karts, competing with fellow birthday partiers or coworkers to reach the finish line before it decides to become a finish wall. In case competition gets too fierce, the karts are surrounded by heavy nylon bumpers and rubber blocks designed to absorb impact from all sides.
Friendly rivalries continue on foot inside Area 21, a two-story laser-tag battleground beset with fog, obstacles, and space-age scenery. Sharpshooters zap each other's targets in pursuit of a grander mission, such as capturing the opposing base or stealing the enemy's supply of light, before matches end and scores are tallied on a stats sheet. Glowing decor also illuminates a jungle-themed nine-hole mini-golf course, where gorilla and lion statues bask in the black lights. Track 21?s arcade demands timing and button-smashing dexterity from gamers, and a track-side casino sets up rounds of blackjack, poker, and craps.
Ripley?s has enthralled audiences for more than nine decades with its dedication to revealing odd and unexplainable rarities from around the globe. But it all began with one man: Robert Ripley, a wildly successful and eccentric character who rose to fame during the first half of the 20th century. After selling his first cartoon to Life magazine at age 14, he set out on a quick-paced career of drawing sports cartoons for the New York Globe. During a slow day at the office, he sketched nine unusual sporting events and finished his work with a title: ?Believe It or Not!? It became immensely popular, allowing Ripley to travel the world in search of more bizarre stories to put into his comic strips. While visiting relatively unknown areas in locales such as India, China, and the inside of his neighbor?s chimney, he picked up a slew of unbelievable souvenirs that later became fixtures in several of Ripley?s museums, or as they?re affectionately called today, Odditoriums. Ripley?s now encompasses publications, attractions, a television show, and a blog, all of which carry Ripley?s tradition of reporting on the world?s curiosities.
While strolling the halls of Madrid's famous Prado Museum in the 1950s, Texas oilman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows fell in love with the rich tradition of Spanish art. Gradually building a collection of Iberian masterworks from throughout the centuries, Meadows helped found his eponymous museum to house and display the art. Now among the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, the Meadows Museum surrounds visitors with masterpieces from the 10th century through the 21st. The collection's highlights include Goya's darkly evocative Yard with Madmen, Picasso's patchwork Still Life in a Landscape, and Míró's colorfully surreal Queen Louise of Prussia.
Outside the museum's elegant colonnade, an encircling garden recalls Renaissance palaces with manicured bushes, stately gravel paths, and feral court jesters. Beautiful sculptures by modern greats fleck the garden, with such pieces as the 13-foot, wireframe head Sho, by modern Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa. Below the plaza, Santiago Calatrava's monumental Wave dominates the approach to the museum, with gently undulating iron beams, suspended over a serene reflecting pool that will itself never know the joy of forming a wave.
According to his bio, Stunt Ranch owner Steve Wolf specializes in "professional training for people who like to play with matches and run with scissors." Or at least, how to look like they're playing with matches and running with scissors. Throughout his 25 years in television and film production, Steve developed an affinity for stunt work and special effects, supplying his expertise to shows such as MTV's Call to Greatness and feature films such as Hustle & Flow. Still active in the industry, Steve also shares his passion for throwing spectacle-laden events through heading up multiple enterprises that include Wolf Stuntworks, Stunt Ranch?which also encompasses paintball and stunt parites?and Science in the Movies. Through these companies, Steve's experienced team of special effects professionals is able to stage professional fireworks shows, train people in creating controlled explosions, and applying special-effects makeup to help zombies look human again.
TH3 arcade brings joystick jocks together in a dynamic space that fosters multiple styles of simulated competition and collaboration. Guests can exhaust their digital trigger-fingers at TH3 Zone, a green-lit gallery of 22 Xbox systems where clients seated in leather chairs engage in the hyper-realistic, strategic carnage of the Halo, Modern Warfare, or Wheel of Fortune franchises, viewed through the prism of a personal 1080p LED monitor. For serious tournament or cooperative play, gamers 16 years and older can descend into TH3 Bunker, where two private rooms allow teams to make tactical adjustments without being overheard by enemy surveillance. For more casual simulated dabbling, guests can chill out at TH3 Lounge, where they can tap into multiple gaming consoles plugged into monitors set up opposite cushy couches.
TH3 arcade keeps parched gamers playing with concessions that can be delivered to gaming stations with the touch of a button, allowing players uninterrupted concentration during final-round showdowns or attempts to name every controller in the complex.
Balls hurtle down 40 polished pathways at Fiesta Lanes as bowlers lace up rented shoes and set their sights on demolishing 10-pin clusters. Flashing lights illuminate players? faces as they plot out angles on the lanes, and pop music blares through the loudspeakers to heighten the drama of each frame. Seasoned staffers fit patrons for custom balls and tri-tone kicks in the pro shop, and partygoers shot put balls toward pin-shaped pi?atas in one of three large meeting rooms. Chirps and beeps fill the air in a full video arcade, and bowling rivalries reignite on billiard tables. Players can warm up their fingers before games by lifting burgers or hot pizza slices at Frankie?s Sports Grill, located next door.