Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 16 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
Bulldog Interactive Fitness began as a facility exclusively for kids, combining fitness with summer camps, birthday parties, and other fun activities. From there, the trainers expanded to include the whole family. Kids play dodge ball, practice hip-hop cheer, or compete in bouts of indoor floor hockey, while adults kickbox or stretch into yoga poses. Should parents' workouts last longer than their offsprings', the kids can head to the supervised games area for electronic or tabletop amusements.
At In Play Inc.'s weekly Kids Night Out, parents drop off kids ages 4–12 for four hours' worth of food and fun supervised by a staff of watchful grownups at an expansive indoor activity centre. Amateur earthlings flourish in the facility's gargantuan indoor playground, a multihued, multilevelled jungle gym equipped with a zip line, moving tunnels, a punching-bag forest, and beach-ball savannah. Younger children can play in a toddler area tucked away from the main flow of playground traffic, in which pretend toys such as a kitchenette and beauty salon are available for imaginative imaginations.
At Balanced Body Pilates & Yoga Studio, certified instructors strive to help yogis of all levels build strength, flexibility, balance, and focus through private, semiprivate, and group lessons held in its homey, intimate studio. Programs range from beginner yoga, which covers basic poses, breathing techniques, and methods of alignment and relaxation, to flow yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath and movements in a seamless dance resembling the Bohemian schottische. A gentle yoga course, comprised of leisurely Hatha–style poses, contrasts with power yoga, a vigorous Vinyasa–style workout. Patrons can choose from one-on-one lessons, semiprivate classes for two, or group class. Balanced Body Pilates & Yoga Studio will provide the equipment you need from its stockpile of mats, balls, and porkpie hats.
Located on Hammer St. behind Toys R Us, Barrie Sports Dome spans 350 feet in length and contains facilities for exercising golf swings, kicking soccer balls, and annihilating frenemies in paint ball. The setup of the professional paint ball field changes weekly, and players employ the aid of reballs, a soft, lightweight rubber ball that feels like a regular paint ball without the cost or influence of messy, inconsiderate paint. Choose the driving range option to take advantage of one hour of indoor golf under the glow of Barrie Sports Dome’s 4 million BTU furnace.
Setters' Ghost Golf Club charms iron wielders with an 18-hole semi-private course that unravels its emerald links across 6,350 yards of rolling farmlands. With four sets of tee decks, birdie hunters of all levels can comb the velvet fairways while breath-abating views of the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay distract them from wayward approach shots and singing telegram caddies. Camel-coloured bunkers and pockets of pasture grass dapple the fertile splendour and swallow dimpled pills yearning for a more victorious landing. Settlers' Ghost challenges scratch players with a sinuous orientation, and its bent grass tees and magnificent vistas beckon casual shooters.
Radio Café whips up a midday menu of light lunch offerings. Diners can graze on whole wheat, plain, or sun-dried tomato wraps ($5.95) filled with such proteins as Thai curry chicken salad or smoked salmon and cream cheese, and those craving pressed and wrinkle-free fare can fill their feedbags with a grilled panini ($6.75) on thin focaccia, encasing grilled vegetables and goat cheese or rosemary ham, glazed onions, and Monterey Jack. A fresh-baked daily quiche ($5.09) bears a rotating cast of ingredients such as braised leeks, fresh thyme, and goat cheese. To quench thirst and caffeine cravings, Radio Café brews up a selection of specialty coffee drinks made from its own fair-trade MacLaren blend (starting at $1.48), as well as an array of loose-leaf organic teas ($1.67). Visitors can lunch next to a modern brick fireplace in the café's cozy interior or eat outdoors in the gallery's sculpture courtyard when the weather cooperates and the statuary isn't feeling standoffish.
Boasting 18 computerized lanes, Kempview Bowl delights five-pin hitters with recently renovated amenities and an energy-boosting sound system. A group of six friends or one-and-half barbershop quartets can tame the lanes for two hours while munching on unlimited popcorn and showing off comfortably functional bowling shoes. The modern billiard hall entreats the senses with wall-to-wall flat screens, which display bowler-requested music videos and sporting events, and entertains kids with fun-enhancing gutter bumpers. On Friday and Saturday, glo bowl lights up the lanes, offering a comforting neon oasis for ball whirlers who often find themselves covered in felt Grateful Dead posters.
Certified by the world's largest diving training organization, and located near some of Barrie's best scuba hot spots, Dive Central is perfectly positioned to take students sub-marine. After an in-class or online introductory session, PADI-certified instructors give students as young as 10 years old a chance to test their sea lungs and Marco Polo skills in the safety of an on-site pool.
In these confined dives, students will learn a watery cornucopia of aquatic aptitudes, including how to share or replace masks and how communicate in Welsh, the language of whales. Finally, students break Mother Earth's millennia-long stranglehold, striking out for the briny deep in a series of four open-water dives. After the run of classes, which can be completed in three or four days, you'll finally be able to dive to 60 feet with a partner, thus gaining the competitive edge at the neighbourhood apple-bobbing championship.
Masters Mini Putt's outdoor course pits short games against 18 challenging holes in the style of a traditional miniature golf course. Families putt through well-maintained greens, each with a name alluding to its unique challenge and reputation during its former career as a miniature football stadium. Aim orb launches through an illuminated windmill's narrow tunnel, or navigate varying elevation down two turf steps to complete the drop-zone hole. A traditional swinging log waits above one of the greens, ready to start on a pendulum course to block dimpled orbs from reaching the hole just beyond. Masters' mini putt course winds around the shores of two large man-made ponds brimming with bull rushes, lily pads, and marine archaeology students. Victorious groups may retire to the snack shop, where the friendly staff doles out mounds of ice cream atop cones or cups.
GoodLife Fitness augments a squadron of strength training and cardiovascular equipment with a packed schedule of energizing and encouraging group fitness classes led by skilled instructors. Delve into a Body pump barbell class, challenging muscle groups to a series of squats, presses, lifts, and increasingly complicated origami designs, or fortify weary musculature by wielding light weights during a Newbody class. Workout warriors can also test their mettle in intense Body Combat classes, merging martial arts disciplines to fill students with the strength and endurance to dodge roving packs of ice cream trucks.
bicycle rental and guided tours along waterfronts, country roads, abandoned rail trails and through majestic forest trails in Simcoe County.
Borden Golf Club has been a golfers’ sanctuary since its nine-hole course was sculpted into the rolling countryside in 1917, an emerald landscape that has expanded into a 27-hole golf complex. The original, nine-hole layout, known as Anderson Park Golf Course, presents a 3,209-yard Scottish links-style design, allowing clubbers to get in touch with the game’s roots without having to play a whole round with nothing but a mashie niblick and Loch Ness egg.
Built alongside its smaller predecessor in 1954, Circled Pine Golf Course ambles over 6,488 yards of contoured fairways and small greens. The course’s most difficult hole, the 448-yard, par 4 15th, will test even scratch golfers as they must bend shots around a dogleg left and find driftwood on which to float their bag across a creek stationed 60 yards in front of the green. After rounds, Borden Golf Club’s Players Lounge offers refuelling fare for golfers in the form of chicken pot pie, steak, and a variety of burgers and sandwiches.
Chirping birds and the wind in the trees are the only sounds that break the silence in Muskoka Forest. Until a human flies screaming through the canopy, that is. Treetop Trekking by Arbraska's seven aerial-rope courses wind through the forest canopies, challenging visitors with levels of difficulty increasing from beginner to advanced. Guides begin each adventure with a brief equipment-and-technique orientation, and gradually clear visitors for more difficult runs based on their performance.
Once they're cleared for climbing, participants scramble across bridges made of swinging, suspended logs. They crawl across webs of cargo netting, and swing through monkey cables. A series of ziplines completes each course. Guides help adventure-seekers navigate these treetop courses during regular day tours, or during more challenging night climbs, during which participants have only a headlamp and a guide to asking owls for directions.
Ducked behind two army transports and a crashed airplane, the teammates brace themselves before storming the Intermodal City’s three two-storey buildings. This urban setting often serves as the climatic location for big games at Georgina Paintball, where players duke it out on outdoor fields spread across 25 acres. On these fields, competitors snake among towers of tires, dive into sandbagged trenches, and face off in a Western-style duel inside a sheriff’s office.
Along with year-round, by-appointment games, the fields are used for laser tag bouts and Georgina Paintball’s summer camp, during which students learn shooting basics. After games and camp sessions wrap up, visitors can repair broken gear or update their paintball equipment at the pro-shop, which stocks brand-name markers, masks, and clothing.