Lunar Bowl casts a nebular net across rounds of pin punishment, which unravel daily across 32 bowling lanes. The non-smoking, the 38,000-square-foot facility has played host to the PBA National Tour twice, including the tour's nationally televised finals and nontelevised slip 'n' slide experiments in the 11th frame. The center's celestial theme soars over into The Blue Moon Lounge, where bowlers can take a break from strikes and spares to watch big games or create deep-space shadow puppets on a 150-inch HD projector screen. Lunar Bowl drifts further into intergalactic realms with laser-lit cosmic bowling and a newly built arcade buzzing with the chimes of new high scores.
For more than 50 years, Cool Crest's owners have enchanted visitors with the fun park's abundance of family-friendly attractions. Flanked by emerald gardens, four 18-hole miniature golf courses lead participants to a bonus 19th hole, which rewards successful shots with a free game. Helpful staff enables drivers to hug the racetrack's corners while strapped into an open-wheel go-kart or, when in season, smack homers from batting cages hurling slow, medium, or fast pitches. Inside, a climbing playland and 7,000-square-foot arcade entertain guests throughout the year. To encourage kids to work as hard as they play, Cool Crest's staff rewards students brandishing recent report cards with up to 20 tokens, depending on their number of A's, B's, or the results from their PhD peer review. In between exhaustive sessions of play, a snack bar staff reenergizes guests with a slice or treat at Frankie's Pizzeria.
Known for its history as a pioneer town and home to former president Harry S. Truman, Independence welcomes visitors to its storied sites, making them more accessible with free trolley rides. Tour the 1859 Jail and Marshal's Home and Museum to glimpse a dwelling for law breakers next to a dwelling for a law keeper, and the clandestine tryst between the abodes that resulted in a museum. The Bingham-Waggoner Estate preserves many of the original art and furnishings of the famed Bingham and Waggoner families, while the National Frontier Trails Museum hails the starting point of the westbound pioneers with bronzed pieces of nuts, raisins, and chocolate bits tracing a path westward.
Diamond Bowl, a refreshing fusion of bowling alley and robust restaurant, serves as a hangout for pin-battering rollers hungry for lane-thundering action and thirsty for food. Games ($5) on Diamond’s eight lanes keep hook-happy fingers limber, and shoes ($3) safeguard feet from toe-stomping sore losers. Follow up your fourth turkey with tangible foodstuffs from Diamond's full menu, such as the blackened-salmon sandwich on a kaiser roll ($7.99), the well-rounded bowling burger ($7.49), or the crispy chicken-tender salad ($8.99). Serious contenders can take a break from finger calisthenics to enroll in one of Diamond Bowl's leagues, and casual players can pair their match play with drinks from Diamond’s fully stocked bar, or they can watch a less phalange-intensive sport on one of nine crystalline HD TVs. Hourly games are also available.
There, Leila Cohoon preserves and furthers the art form of hair-based crafts, which stretches back to the 1700s and beyond. In pre-photography days, Victorian artisans would create jewelry and decorative pieces with human hair as a means of remembering loved ones. In addition to these personal mementoes, Leila's collection includes 600 hair-based wreaths dating before 1900, and numerous reliquaries said to contain the hair of Mary, mother of Jesus, St. Anne, grandmother of Jesus, and pieces of the cross, all with their appropriate wax seals. Hair pieces belonging to Michael Jackson, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Lincoln, and other presidents also reside here. Although not hair-related, the museum also features a brooch that is said to contain threads from the coat of Joseph, father of Jesus. The quirky museum has attracted the attention of raconteurs from CNN as well as noted gadabout Anthony Bourdain, who also paid a visit during an episode of his show No Reservations.
Paradise Park started its life as a simple miniature-golf course in 1992. Since then, the park has grown with Lee's Summit, mirroring the suburb's population growth with additions that have turned it into a sprawling temple to family fun. Outdoors, guests can still show off their putts and best gopher impressions on the miniature-golf course, or head over to the go-kart track to face off against fellow drivers on a 1,000-foot road-inspired course. Inside the park's huge indoor area, kids play and learn at the Children's Edutainment Center or blast each other with air-propelled balls at the Foam Factory. A game room harks back to the arcades of old with token-fed classics such as Ms. Pac-Man, as well as offering new amusements including a SpongeBob SquarePants game.