Dare to get your thrills at these area attractions
Soar in the Sky
The extreme sport of soaring uses sailplanes for motor-less flight so people can experience the feeling glide through the air. Located just east of Wallis, Texas, the Greater Houston Soaring Association offers gliding every weekend, weather permitting. Soaring in modern sailplanes gives you the opportunity to fly like the eagles. Today's sailplanes can fly for hours and cover great distances.
This isn't your grandpa's fishing trip. The experts at Galveston Fishing Guides have been casting lines in the waters of Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico for years. They know the hotspots for everything from redfish and trout to giant tarpon and sharks. Available for half day, full day and evening trips. While you're down in Galveston check out Gaidos, a landmark for fantastic seafood, or Gumbo's for Louisiana-style poboys.
Want to test your wakeboarding skills? You don't have to hit the open water for a thrilling experience, just head south of Houston to Wake Nation. Set on a man-made lake, this attraction boasts 35-foot steel towers carrying a unique overhead cable system that allows riders to wakeboard, water skate, water ski, and kneeboard without a boat. Novices can start out on a practice pond while the pros take to the lake outfitted with custom-built jumps, grind rails, and sliders.
Located on a 134-acre airpark 25 minutes south of the 610 Loop,Skydive Spaceland offers classes, tandem and individual skydiving experiences with some of the best instructors in the industry. Do a first-time jump with a tandem instructor or spend a week in training and get your skydiving license. Skydive Spaceland is open seven days a week and can handle as many as 300 first-time jumpers each day. The facility also welcomes large groups.
Ready, Aim, Fire
Whether you're an expert marksman or a novice, shooting sporting clays is a great time. A game designed to simulate wing shooting of various game birds, sporting clays is set up a lot like golf, with various stations around a course where clay targets are thrown in pairs. This is just one of the activities available at American Shooting Centers in West Houston's George Bush Park, which also offers skeet shooting and rifle and pistol bulls-eye shooting.
Ever want to see who would fare better in a combat situation, you or your buddies? Well whether you're a paintball pro or a complete novice, you'll get a full-throttle experience at Urban Warzone--and figure out who can really hack it in war. As you navigate the field and the various bunkers, you'll get that adrenaline rush you crave.
Rock the Cradle
If you dream of riding bowls, grinding rails, or cutting and sweeping through the largest cradle in the world, don't miss the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark. Designed by the premiere skatepark firm Gridline, this state-of-the-art, public 30,000 square-foot in-ground skate park is the first world-class, in-ground skatepark in the Houston region. If bigger is better, head north to Spring and conquer the United States largest free skate park,Greenspoint Spring Skatepark. At 72,000 square-feet, the park includes a competition-scale Texas bowl featuring a full pipe, a 12-foot vertical ramp, a 10-foot bowl, banked walls and speed hips. In addition, there is a section designed to emulate the street-skating experience and will have ledges, rails, benches, banks, quarter pipes and stair obstacles.
If jumping out of a plane isn't your thing, you can still feel the skydiving rush at iFly Houston. The indoor skydiving destination is located 11 miles west of Downtown. Guests from ages 3 and older can book a flight in the wind tunnel and experience the feeling of flight. Following a brief training session, flyers are given a jumpsuit, helmet and goggles before entering the tunnel with a certified instructor.
With 42 top rope stations and a dedicated bouldering area, Texas Rock Gym draws climbing enthusiasts from across the region to its West Houston facility. Texas Rock Gym offers a wide assortment of classes and clinics for climbers as well as team building activities and organized programs for schools, companies and other groups. Visitors can access Texas Rock Gym on a day pass or an ongoing membership. A series of packages and add-on extras such as shoe rental are also available.
Play with the Ponies
For a little open air fun on horseback, head north to Humble's Cypress Trails stables. This established equestrian center is open seven days a week for endurance and pleasure riding and offers rides by the hour or for longer periods and also provides lessons in general horsemanship and competitive riding.
If watching horse and rider in action is more your speed, check out the Houston Polo Club. Founded in 1928, the Houston Polo Club has a rich history and is home to more than 60 club players who compete in weekly tournaments. There are also regular matches by visiting international players, increasing the excitement of Sundays at the club. Polo clinics and private lessons are available for those looking to break into the sport of kings.
By AJ Mistretta