Local spots offer Spring Break fun

Take a journey through a tropical rainforest, free fall from a 16-story tower and do the Texas two-step to the country sounds of Cory Morrow and Clay Walker.

Who says you can’t have an exhilarating Spring Break right here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?

The Dallas World Aquarium

If you can’t make it to the Venezuelan tropics, make the short drive to The Dallas World Aquarium near the West End entertainment district for a tropical excursion through the jungle and into the ocean.

The journey begins amid a Venezuelan treetop canopy surrounded by the sounds, smells and intensity of the jungle. A waterfall roars in the distance and birds fly above your head while monkeys swing from tree to tree. As the tour continues, visitors can stop at the cantina to have a drink before going on to see jaguars, flamingos, Goliath bird-eating tarantulas and other creepy-crawlers.

As visitors continue along the bamboo-lined pathways toward the underworld, they see crocodiles resting in a pool of piranhas, 40-pound swimming turtles and sea dragons floating around tropical reef. Sharks swarm around every direction while visitors pass through an underwater tunnel.

Paula Powell, the director of animal husbandry, said the aquarium was specially designed to simulate the animals’ natural environment so visitors would be able to experience the sights and sounds of the tropics as close to reality as possible.

“This place is unlike any other,” Powell said. “It’s really interactive. That’s why we get so many visitors.”

Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park

After the tropical journey, head to the Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park to experience the extreme.

The park attracts thrill-seekers from all over the world, park officials said.

According to the park’s Web site, Zero Gravity is the world’s only thrill amusement park.

“Everybody else is scared,” park manager Nick Bocksell said.

Visitors can free fall 100 feet into a giant safety net in the “Nothin’ but Net” free fall and blast 150 feet into the sky in the Texas Blastoff Vertical accelerator. Other attractions include a hang gliding-skydiving simulator and a bungee jump from a seven-story platform.

“[Visitors] get to experience something that they’d never get to anywhere else and can’t wait to go tell their friends about it,” Bocksell said.

Billy Bob’s Texas

After experiencing the extreme, two-step over to the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk” in the Stockyards to hear the country sounds of Cory Morrow and Clay Walker.

A Billy Bob’s spokesperson called both artists great performers. Sharon Harris, who has worked at Billy Bob’s for the past 16 years, said Morrow typically attracts a younger crowd and Walker attracts fans of all ages.

She said Billy Bob’s is a good place to go over the break because it’s a great place to meet people and enjoy excellent music.

Cory Morrow will perform March 14 and Clay Walker on March 15.