Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the floor and ceiling by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
In the dark, all that's visible are the colored neon shapes that indicate what team's territory players are trespassing on. And, of course: the vests and phasers of one's enemy. This is LaserCraze, where players tag one another in the black-lit depths of a mysterious, futuristic world. "Organized chaos," says a sign on the lobbies' walls, and for players in the throes of an intense laser-tag game, that's exactly what LaserCraze offers.
While laser tag is the specialty, LaserCraze has an equally extensive arcade room whose beeping, shimmering, and ticket-spitting amusements compete for fun-lovers' affections. Ticket harvesters can reward themselves at the prize center, with 1,500 tickets buying a stuffed animal and 150,000,000,000 tickets buying an original copy of the Constitution. Gamers can celebrate their victories or plan strategies for next time at Craze Cafe, which serves made-to-order pizza and slushies. And no matter the adventure, guests only have to worry about their health in the virtual world when playing laser tag or arcade games, as LaserCraze sanitizes its facilities to provide a hygienic, safe space.
At Fun2Paint, artists of all ages adorn plaster vessels with individualized designs, crafting masterpieces in the studio to take home immediately. After selecting a choice piece from hundreds of options (starting at $10.99), fledgling Van Goghs can embellish with studio-supplied paints and brushes, creating a vibrant flower, a realistic butterfly, or a mustached Batman. The resident spray wizard will then coat finished figures with a magical paint-fixing spray-finish, so artists can take their master works home that day.
Celebrities from Busta Rhymes to Gisele Bündchen have visited Limelight Stage & Studios, a karaoke lounge designed to give every guest—even ones who have not joined Hollywood’s ranks—a chance to shine onstage. Performers can belt out their favorite tunes on a general stage while an emcee waits in the wings; alternatively, groups can retire to private karaoke studios that accommodate up to 30 for a more intimate vibe. The studios’ Mixr technology allows singers to personalize their sets by choosing their own songs, videos, lighting, and foreign accents. As stars show off their vocal cords, a team of waiters delivers platters of cocktails and finger food such as egg rolls and chicken tenders.
Nestled in Homewood, Meat and Three Cafeteria keeps American culinary traditions alive with home-cooked comfort food for customers either dining in or just passing through. Just as a dining-room table hosts different portions for all tastes, the menu features an array of country-style meats and vegetarian-friendly sides from which patrons can customize their own platters. Dishes such as beef tips, chicken and dumplings, and fried catfish join steaming servings of sautéed squash, fried okra, or yams, and desserts such as fresh pecan pie keep sweet teeth from storming out of their gums in envy.