Alaska Baseball Development Program has hosted youth baseball camps in Anchorage and its surrounding communities for the past 15 years. Every summer, director Andre Toliver?a former player for the Chicago White Sox?rounds up the best available high school and college coaches to lead ABDP's camps and instructional programs. Thanks to the efforts of Andre and ABDP, many past students have advanced to compete at the high school and college levels.
At Jewel Lake, home to Professional Bowlers Association Masters winner Sean Rash, armies of pins stand ready to fall as posses of patrons hurl spheres down its friction-fighting lanes. A little friendly competition breaks the ice in any potentially awkward social situation, from introducing significant others to parents to accidentally releasing a ball backward at a group of coworkers. During extreme bowling, a live DJ serenades strikes and spares on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons as kickball teams and troupes of toddlers hone their skills beneath black lights that illuminate futuristic light shows and lingering fog. Although not included in today's Groupon, groups can fuel pin knockouts at the alley's café or peruse the pro shop for bags, gloves, or prank bowling balls that double as Chinese finger traps.
While Center Bowl’s neon marquee has retained its vintage look for over 50 years, the bowling alley's modern innards include 30 updated Brunswick synthetic lanes with touchscreen scoring and automated gutter guards. The lights go dim on weekend nights for neon-bowling sessions, during which bowling balls and toothpaste stains glow in the dark. Between frames, bowlers can refuel at the concessions stand, which doles out pizza, wings, soft drinks, and beer.
Air-filled structures within Pump It Up's indoor play-haven offer hours of safe bouncing enjoyment for youngsters two and older. Kids leap around in bounce houses during drop-in pop-in playtime sessions during weekdays, where they interact with other bouncers while getting exercise. An obstacle course adds challenges to their enjoyment, and inflatable slides bring kids back down to earth to start games anew. Pump It Up's space can be rented out for private events, such as birthdays, grade-school graduations, and a kid's first steps on the moon. Not just for children, Pump it Up also hosts teambuilding corporate events for adults and hosts family play times where parents are encouraged to jump along with kids.
From April through September, baseballs and softballs hurl toward awaiting batters in The Cage's eight outdoor batting cages. As batters warm up, they choose between slow pitch or fast pitch options for softball batting and from four speeds for baseball pitching. Each $1 token grants participants 12 chances to practice their bunting, homering, or pausing balls in midair if they believe hard enough. Monday through Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., players can visit the facility to work on their batting, stock up on baseball apparel or gloves at the facility's shop, or celebrate a birthday with packages that include cage-rental time, a cake, and a gift for the celebrator.
The Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum takes visitors on a flyby of the the state's aeronautical history. The vast facility—composed of five hangars of planes and exhibits, a restoration hangar, and three theaters—covers aviation history from the early days of flight to modern military aviation. More than 20 vintage aircraft can be found throughout, including a 1931 Fairchild Pilgrim 100B, a 1943 Grumman G44 Widgeon, and a 1981 Boeing B737-290C. Meanwhile, the museum's spot on the south shore of Lake Hood—the busiest seaplane base in the world—gives visitors a glimpse of modern planes in action.