A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race sends runners into an obstacle-filled odyssey of muddy endurance. The 5-kilometer course features more than epic 25 obstacles, with participants scaling towers of stacked shipping containers, crawling through underground tunnels, and leaping over fire. After the race, live music and cold beer invite triumphant runners to unwind. Those with excess energy can head over to even more kinetic activities such as mechanical bull riding, beach volleyball, and adult-sized bounce houses.
You clutch your bow with the arrow to your chest, slinking along the cavern walls toward the dark opening in the distance. You think you hear a scuffle to your left, but aren't sure if the sound came from your own feet. You press on, about to make a run for it, until someone emerges from behind a pile of wooden palates up ahead. You take aim and fire—but instead of piercing them, the arrow just bounces off their body; it has a soft foam tip.
That's because this isn't a real battle, it's archery tag, one of the many games featured at Extreme Underground. Located beneath the Earth's surface in a former U.S. Army bunker, the gaming arena also pits competitors in matches of indoor/outdoor laser tag and game-room classics such as foosball and billiards. There's a black-lit miniature golf course, as well as speleobox, a wooden maze that simulates crawling through low caves. Eighty linear feet of climbing walls fit in perfectly with the bunker's cavernous architecture, and more modern games such as Makoto Arena challenge participants to touch their hands and feet to the LED lights intermittently emitted from a six-foot tower. Gamers are welcome to drop in, or reserve the arena for birthday parties, overnight excursions, or to prepare for the inevitable robot coup.
The new owners of The Oaks Golf Club renovated the nine-hole Oaks course by expanding greens and adding dimension, resulting in 2,573 rolling yards with elevation variations as high as 50 feet. Take to the par 35 course with a fellow divot devotee and launch dimpled orbs through the air in spirited re-creations of the Apollo 12 moon landing. Each green on the course is now an average of 5,000 square feet in size, with recently built mounding around the holes adding nuance and difficulty to each putt and slice. A recently installed irrigation system helps playing surfaces stay fresh for birdies and impromptu company picnics.
Fort Leavenworth FMWR, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of soldiers and their families, welcomes military members and civilians alike to swing their way through the Trails West Golf Course. According to Trails West, when President Eisenhower was attending nearby Command & General Staff College, he used to drop by the 18-hole, par 71 course, where he developed his lifelong passion for caddying for Mamie. For more than 90 years, the 190-acre facility has inspired many other players to waltz across the fairways of zoysia grass and onto the bent-grass putting greens. Holes 2, 3, 10, and 13 present challenging par 5s, and hole 6 claims the title of signature hole by virtue of an elevated tee from which players must send their dimpled orbs flying over a creek and onto an elevated green with subtle breaks and a shape-shifting hole.
Trails West Golf Course invites golfers to warm up at its lighted, covered driving range and two putting greens. Players can purchase gloves, clubs, and trees that grow golf balls at the pro shop or hone their game with instruction from PGA professionals. After a morning on the greens, players can drop by the Fairway Grille to munch a chicken-club sandwich or old-fashioned cheeseburger out on the patio.
Course at a Glance
GCW Retro-Cade welcomes guests of all ages into a beeping, flashing wonderland of classic and modern arcade games that's coin-free?players pay a flat hourly fee for unfettered access to each title. Visitors pass the time with the shiny graphics of high-tech new arcade games, or feed their nostalgia with old-school titles. After saving the universe from aliens or gobbling up power pellets, patrons sip soda and dine on snacks. Guests can also bring in their home consoles for repair and tune-ups.