To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
Supplied with more than 30,000 gallons of seawater, Atlantic City Aquarium showcases more than 100 varieties of marine life. A plethora of abyssal exhibits take explorers into underwater lands, allowing them to peer into the natural habitats of endangered diamond-back terrapins and intimidating sharp-toothed piranhas, or have a glance at what a clown fish does when not constructing balloon plankton. A tank of the ocean's oddities offers a glimpse at unusual nautical fauna, such as the deadly stonefish, which exemplify nature's infinite variety and bizarre adaptations. On the aquarium's shores, the tropical rainforest and exotic animal show provide a genuine zoological experience completely free from high-heels and feather boas.
Staring into the Fresnal lens atop Absecon Lighthouse is like looking into a giant, all-seeing eye?one that's guarded New Jersey for more than 150 years. It was 1857 when a lighthouse keeper first climbed the tower's 228 steps and brought the lens to life, offering safe passage to ships and fish with poor night vision. In 1999, the tower opened to the public, solidifying Absecon Lighthouse's current role as a museum and educational center.
Today, Absecon Lighthouse lets visitors climb its spiral staircase and gaze out from the third tallest lighthouse in the United States. Beyond the view, expansive grounds house a replica of the original keeper's dwelling, as well as several exhibits showcasing photos from the 1800s, info on shipwrecks, and much more. Absecon Lighthouse also hosts fun and offbeat events, from fashion shows to murder mysteries.
With services for both boat owners and renters, Atlantic City Boatyard is for everyone. Fishing parties of up to four can cast lines off the 16' rented skiffs for up to eight hours, and can stock up on bait and tackle at the marine store before heading out on the water. Those who already own boats can gas up at the boatyard or enjoy a bite to eat at the waterfront restaurant.
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.