FORT WORTH -- Caleb and Joshua Hinojosa used to complain each year when their parents dragged them to Colonial Country Club to watch the annual PGA Tour event.
"It was like, 'Aww, we have to walk and it's going to be hot,'" recalled Melissa Hinojosa, their mother.
But those days are definitely in the past, thanks in part to a sprawling, kid-friendly skybox on the 10th fairway reserved for children. Henry House Hideaway, created by TCU alum and golf professional J.J. Henry, is a place for kids to experience the tournament their way.
They don't have to be quiet. The chicken tenders, hot dogs and hamburgers are free. Here, they can hang out with friends, play Wii golf, do arts and crafts, or just watch the tournament in style.
"Now it's like, 'We get to hang out at Henry House,'" said Melissa Hinojosa, whose sons are ages 10 and 13. "They're excited."
Laura Moses, executive director of Henry House Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to children's health and well-being, said Henry came up with the idea four years ago to create a children's skybox at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
"He said, 'Let's do something a little bit different. How can we incorporate kids into the golf tournament?'" Moses said. "We had never seen a skybox for kids before. So we started that year and had about 200 kids come through. Last year, we had about 1,000 kids come through. We're open to the public, and it's a great reprieve for kids. They get to come in here and be kids for a little while."
Although Henry House Foundation pays for the skybox, Colonial provides a great space -- overlooking the 10th fairway and 18th green -- and more than 200 free tickets to give to children who otherwise might not experience the tournament.
Children affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Alliance for Children and Lena Pope Home were among those expected to hang out at Henry House Hideaway this weekend.
Around lunchtime Thursday, Aidan Richmond, 10, of Keller stopped by with her dad for a bite to eat and a game of Wii golf.
"It's pretty cool that J.J. Henry did this just for us kids," said Aidan, a huge golf fan who aspires to play professionally.
Her dad, Michael, remembered the first time he took Aidan to Colonial and she asked to go into one of the skyboxes.
"I said, 'Well, we can't get in there,'" Michael Richmond said. "This place makes them feel special and, as a parent, it's fun to see them get treated like this."
Erik Huseby, 17, of Fort Worth was eating a hamburger and taking it all in Thursday, thrilled to be experiencing a professional golf tournament for the first time.
"My dad got me started in golf about a year ago," said Huseby, a member of the First Tee of Fort Worth, an organization that introduces youth to golf. "I'm addicted to golf now. I think it's great that they are reaching out to the next generation of golfers. It's great that they recognize us and that they do this for us. I love it."
Melissa Hinojosa and her husband, Hector, said seeing children have a blast at Colonial makes it more fun for the parents.
"This is a place where kids can come to feel real special," Hector Hinojosa said. "We can't express how cool this is for the kids."
Melody McDonald, 817-390-7386