Glossy bowling lanes explode with the sounds of crashing pins at Aaron's Family Fun Center, where an arcade, outdoor mini-golf course, and six sand volleyball courts keep all manner of attentions entertained. The 32-lane array gives ample space for individual and league play, though larger parties can opt to reserve The Den, a private, elegant bowling alley featuring six lanes, library-paneled walls, and no restrictions on false old-timey mustaches. The mini-golf course challenges putters to 18 holes with a range of colorful obstacles for year-round enjoyment, though unfavorable weather may limit off-season play to all but the most wind-resistant of miniature athletes.
Quick—what are the colors of a rainbow? If you hesitated in answering that question, participating in an all-ages Gnarly Neon 5K could provide you with a wearable cheat sheet. During the race, spectators armed with nontoxic, washable powder make it rain blue, pink, yellow, green, and orange on runners as a live DJ pumps out high-energy beats. Each Gnarly Neon race raises money for charities like Children's Miracle Network and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The acoustic whoosh of swooping golf clubs welcomes players to Peculiar Golf & Learning Center, where a stable of 16 driving range stalls fosters flusher drives and straighter approaches for players of all abilities. The range features both natural grass and artificial turf hitting surfaces, and clubbers can take aim at distant targets or windswept parade floats from covered or open-air hitting bays, all of which are illuminated by towering lights for late-night practice. A staff of resident aces presides over lessons conducted at the Center, where they help correct swing imbalances and illiterate clubs at the Center's practice green or sand bunker. A fully-stocked pro shop rounds out the Center's deep reservoir of golf resources with an array of clubs, bags, apparel, and other golf gear from brands such as Ping, Callaway, Nike, and TaylorMade.
An emerald jewel set into the 1,000-acre framework of a residential community, the championship course at Creekmoor meanders along ridges and conceals daunting holes in tree-shaded valleys. The course's lush zoysia fairways and 65 sand bunkers challenge both greenthumb golfers and green-jacket holders as they hunt eagles and birdies across its 18 holes. Their path to glory takes hazardous turns at the crystalline lake that borders hole seven, while prevailing winds push balls off course near the ninth hole?a 660-yard behemoth known as The Monster at Creekmoor. Before launching their dimpled projectiles at that unholy beast, golfers can practice knightly strokes and parries on the course's driving range.
Course at a Glance:
At any of the 15 Great Life Golf and Fitness locations, guests are encouraged to invent their own triathlon of gusto, switching from swimming in the pool to getting a total body workout to playing a round of golf. Great Life has facilities scattered throughout Kansas and Missouri, including golf courses such as the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks and the links at The Oaks, which were designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in the 1920s. Golfers looking for quick rounds can drop by the nine-hole courses at Maple Creek, Abilene, and CedarBrook. Gyms such as the 14,000-square-foot fitness center at Berkshire allow members or guests to pump iron or run on treadmills when they aren’t helping their golf balls safely reach the greens by paying golf carts to drink all of the water hazards dry. Although amenities vary at each club, all of Great Life Golf and Fitness’s venues boast a pro shop, and the courses at Berkshire and Prairie View maintain driving ranges where golfers can make golf balls practice flying without their parachutes.
Bookended by par 5s on holes 1 and 18, River Oaks Golf Course welcomes golfers into its grassy embrace with wide fairways, tricky bunkering, and water hazards in play on seven holes. The course checks in at 6,380 yards from the furthest of three tees, a manageable length that will neither give beginners fits nor cause more seasoned players to fall asleep in their own backswings. The course is accompanied by an extensive fitness center, where visitors can increase their driving distance and intimidation factor with barbells, dumbells, and weight machines.