Bowlers step up, drop, and roll balls down 20th Century Lanes' 24 modern lanes, ending in an eruption of clanking pins, hoots, and hollers. As the scattered pins are reset, the bowling alley's automatic system calculates the score while visitors lounge in plush purple chairs. Between frames, bowlers can fuel their forethoughts of turkeys with barbecue-beef sandwiches or pizza from the café, grab a cocktail from the Gaslight Lounge, or stroll into the pro shop to purchase a new bowling bag that matches their Sunday's best bowling gown. 20th Century Lanes also hosts events such as bowling tournaments and league play, and resident coaches lead private, couples, and team lessons.
As the early-morning sky lightens and the sun paints the horizon in purples, blues, oranges, and yellows, a fleet of balloons takes flight. These are Boise Hot Air Company’s balloons—colorful inflated vessels bedecked with purple and yellow stripes, red checkerboard patterns, and the stars and stripes of the American flag. Captains take groups aloft at 30 minutes before official sunrise in baskets equipped with seats and dividers for added safety. Flying only in fair weather and usually at speeds of no more than 8 miles per hour, the captains pilot leisurely flights low over the countryside of rolling hills from March through November.
There is no typical climb at Urban Ascent. With the help of a belaying partner to safeguard their ropes, visitors can scale up to 43 feet of weathered rockface on endurance climbs, or they can stick closer to the ground in the ropes-free bouldering area. Urban Ascent’s team challenges climbers by regularly revamping the 14,000-square-foot gym’s routes, rearranging footholds and installing pop-out boxing-glove gags to add an element of unpredictability to climbs. During private climbing lessons, instructors fine-tune veteran climbers’ techniques or teach newbies basic fundamentals. The staff also imparts climbing-safety basics to first-time belayers in 20-minute tutorials. Urban Ascent hosts summer camps, afterschool climbing activities for students, and corporate team-building workshops.
Founded in 1970 by Tom Cade, a former professor of Ornithology at Cornell University, The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey is a non-profit that strives to save birds of prey from extinction. Their efforts began nearly 40 years ago, when trying to save the Peregrine Falcon, which was eventually removed from the Endangered Species list in 1999. Today, at their 580-acre headquarter campus in Boise, Idaho, they focus on captive breeding of California Condors and Aplomado Falcons for the purposes of preservation.
At Shankz Glo-Par-Tee, larger-than-life dinosaurs, sea creatures, and volcanoes glow under black lights as guests play through 18 holes of miniature golf in the 6,000-square-foot facility. It can take about 30–40 minutes for players aged 3 and older to travel through the course’s glowing jungles, underwater worlds, and prehistoric locales, and even longer when they’re sporting Shankz’s ChromaDepth 3-D glasses, which inhibit the wearers’ ability to perceive the fourth dimension. In addition to mini golf, Shankz Glo-Par-Tee features a glowing arcade and themed party rooms where patrons can host birthday parties or private events.
At Fast Lane Indoor Kart Racing, low-riding Sodi go-karts, careen around the winding track at 40 miles per hour, powered by Honda GX270 and GX160 engines. These karts suspend drivers inches from the ground, which—according to staff—gives them the sensation of 80-mile-per-hour speeds without the hassle of putting a saddle on a cheetah. After a driving-and-safety briefing, riders don full-face helmets before starting the 10-minute race. Spectators can keep an eye on lap times on the electronic scoreboard and on monitors scattered throughout the facility, each measuring times to the thousandth of a second.