With the height of his career 230 million years behind him, the 20-foot T. rex followed a path typical to many retirees: he decided to hit the golf course. Since 1958, the bright-orange behemoth has kept watch over the sixth hole at Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, dazzling visitors with his twin rows of gleaming incisors and spot-on Bob Hope impersonation. But the toothy star isn’t the only creature challenging players on this classic putt-putt course. Players must map their swings to navigate a roaring lion, yawning hippo, and towering gray elephant before testing their luck on the 18th hole, where only the most precise putts can succeed in ringing the siren and winning the player a free game.
Adjacent to the mini-golf fairways, four batting cages pitch balls at speeds of more than 85 miles per hour, and an arcade challenges players with classic video games, including Ice Ball. Come cool-down time, guests can usher in a sweet finish to their afternoon by storming the Dairy Castle to seize one of 26 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream, including black raspberry and maple walnut.
In 1958, Ryan Family Amusements founder James A. Ryan opened a simple, eight-lane bowling alley, planting the foundation for a slew of entertainment centers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At 10 locations, visitors enjoy a variety of arcade and skill games in addition to traditional candlepin, tenpin, or duckpin bowling. Every Friday and Saturday evening from 9 p.m. until midnight, bowling lanes take on an incandescent glow, allowing bowlers to experience futuristic entertainment without the inconvenience of rising jetpack-fuel prices. Bumper bowling is available for younger players, and an onsite concession stand refreshes responsible adults with glasses of beer and wine.
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.
Jump Around Parties & Playdates boasts a sprawling indoor gymnasium of inflatable bounce houses, obstacle courses, and interactive games designed to give kids' energetic limbs and imaginative minds a place to explore. During open-jump sessions, staff members supervise children while they take on winding obstacle courses, break free from gravity in the moon bounce, and sharpen their jump shot during bounce-enhanced basketball games. The facility's two private party rooms host birthday celebrations that dazzle kids with pizzas, Cold Stone Creamery cake, and balloons in between their romps inside the climate-controlled gym. The center's invitation-creation center makes up quality invites so parents can use their time party planning instead of mastering calligraphy.
Chris Congdon always wanted to own his own driving range. But before he could do that, he had to take care of a few things on the course, first. After turning pro in 1993, Congdon went on to win numerous tournaments, including the 2002 Boston Open. A short while later, after a detour into the world of sales, Chris returned to his passion by purchasing the former Airport Golf in North Attleboro in 2012. Almost immediately, Chris began to make the facility all his own, beginning first by renaming it Stix Fun Center. Soon after, he completely renovated the driving range, upgraded the facility?s batting cages, and even recarpeted the mini-golf course so that families could play and trash-talk one another on an even playing field. Stix Fun Center also serves Del's frozen lemonade.
When Malcolm and Mandy Sim welcomed two children into the world, the veterans of both the animation and theme-park industries visited numerous indoor play centers in Los Angeles, hoping to find the one that best suited their kids. Nothing quite clicked, however, which inspired the parents to call upon their entertainment backgrounds and develop their own indoor facility. Since relocating to the Boston area, the Sims have opened Jam Time, where youngsters ages 3 months to 6 years can surmount climbing structures, leap about in a bounce house, or shop in a pretend grocery market before whipping up faux soufflés in the playhouse kitchen. Classroom sessions further engage tykes with art projects, science classes, and princess-etiquette lessons, where young ladies learn to detect whether evil witches have booby-trapped their science projects. Soft play toys engage visiting toddlers and infants, while adults surf free WiFi, sip gourmet coffee, or enjoy a treat from the organic snack bar.