A former brickyard may not be the first place one would think to build a golf course, but Old Brickyard Golf Course has succeeded in turning the one-time site of Ferris Brick Company into a fun-and-surprising 6,486-yard layout. By working around three former quarries, the course architect added stark elevation changes and wide-open vistas to the par 71 course. TifEagle greens roll atop land that was once nothing but rugged, natural clay, creating smooth, fast surfaces that make any two-putt a tricky proposition. Before taking to the course, golfers energize with hot dogs and drinks at the clubhouse, warm up swings at the all-grass driving range, or bury time capsules in the practice bunker so they can remember what life was like before their 18-hole rounds.
Course at a Glance:
Wayne Standefer, the head pilot at Balloon Adventures, is well versed in Dallas-area scenery and topography, knowledge that helps him regale passengers with information during flights. The adventure begins as the aircraft is brought to life before your eyes. Once his balloon reaches its full height—more than 10 stories—Standefer invites you inside the tightly woven wicker basket to soar above rooftops and trees and dip low over fields and rivers. Total flight time is usually around an hour, though the whole experience can take three times as long from start to finish.
Balloon Adventures also charters its services for weddings, arranges surprise flights for special occasions, and offers instruction in specific tasks such as rigging the balloon, navigating in-flight, and shooing away flocks of paper airplanes. In addition, the company participates in hot-air-balloon festivals, where clouds of bright purple, orange, and yellow balloons fill the daytime sky or illuminate the festival grounds at night.
Climbers negotiate a web of routes that snake up walls that stretch as far as 25 feet toward the roof inside Dyno-Rock Climbing Center’s cavernous, air-conditioned space. The center sprawls to 16,000 square feet in all, including 2,000 square feet dedicated exclusively to bouldering. Climbers of all stripes will find challenges suited to their skill level, from straightforward routes with large handholds for beginners to inverted ceiling climbs for advanced spider people. The center’s staff also regularly scrambles the routes and handholds to keep climbers on their toes. All first-time visitors must take a quick course that helps them climb confidently, understand gym rules, and ensure a safe experience for everyone in the gym.
After visiting BNB Jet Ski Rental, up to three wave wranglers per group can straddle a 2009 Sea-Doo watercraft for two hours of heart-racing fun. The buoyant personal cruisers volunteer their breeze-butchering services to riders of any age, allowing even children to forget about pending marriage proposals and let loose alongside adult drivers. To ensure the safety of each ebb conqueror, BNB adorns operators and passengers in sink-free, Coast Guard–approved safety vests that must be worn at all times and for all yearbook photos. A valid photo ID is required for rental, and BNB will not rent out speedsters to anyone intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or blinding power trips over subservient whitecaps.
Though the instructors at Dallas Concealed Carry recognize that some people want intense drill-sergeant-style training, they prefer the relaxed approach. The instructors maintain a light, friendly atmosphere with lively classroom training bolstered by multimedia presentations. They teach the basics of marksmanship and lead classes such as the certified concealed-handgun-license course, which includes classroom instruction taught by a certified instructor, range instruction with a certified firearms instructor, a range-proficiency test, and help filling out all the necessary paperwork to apply for a license.
Cindy Gibson hears a lot of ecstatic exclamations from first-time jumpers—including gratuitous use of the words "awesome" and "amazing"—but one of the most memorable remarks she ever heard came from a woman celebrating her 81st birthday. After landing, Cindy asked her why she waited so long to try skydiving. The woman replied that her husband never let her. Then she cracked a sly smile and said, "But now he's dead."
Cindy certainly understands the lifelong desire to skydive. "I don't remember a time when I didn’t want to jump out of airplanes," she says. But growing up, she figured you had to be paratrooper to do it. Then as a waitress in college, she overheard some customers talking about going skydiving, and she convinced them to take her along. The more she went, the more ways she found to improve the experience. With this newfound love and knowledge of the skydiving business, she sought out a parcel of land and a passionate team and founded Texas Skydiving Center.
Today, she and her team of instructors lead tandem jumps, static-line jumps, and solo free falls thousands of feet above their picturesque facility. Beyond using equipment and instructional methods that are compliant with the United States Parachute Association's standards, the instructors' claim their chief difference lies in the individual attention they give each client. Groups are kept small so that all are on a first-name basis, and the instructors ask each person what they hope to do in the air. A bunch of flips? Maybe a zen-like float? On the way down, they can even record the jumps with several filming options. An eco-friendly dropzone then awaits skydivers, where chattering guinea fowl snatch up insects, colorful songbirds flit through wildflowers, and a llama and alpaca knit their own wool into a commemorative scarf for each successful skydiver.
Supreme Golf makes maintaining an oft-pricey golf addiction a bit easier on the wallet by granting golfers discounts at golf courses and golf schools, as well as cutting the price of books, golf clubs, and nutritional supplements. Golfers can enjoy relaxing, discounted rounds at area courses in cities across the country including such area courses as Bear Creek Golf Club in Dallas, Gateway National Golf Links in St. Louis and St. Andrews Golf and Country Club in Atlanta, soaking in the sights and badgering local pros for analysis of the annual caddie draft.