Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
An opening in the rock face slides open, and the warriors pour into the bizarre archaeological site. Rough-hewn blocks, cool to the touch, form close tunnels that let fast breaths echo. Light trickles in through a hole in the ceiling, as though something else had gotten here first. Suddenly, the warriors scatter, and adrenaline-tinged shouts drift up through the constant fire of up to 60 laser guns as the explorers tear through the 20,000-square-foot, newly expanded space. As they sprint past shrouded aliens and desiccated palm trees, their suits transmit stats to the outside world, where real-time scoreboards track their prowess and battle-cry harmonies, and plasma monitors display shootouts taking place in the fog-filled arena.
Extreme Laser Tag sets the stage for space-age combat with its labyrinth of smoky corridors, ramps, and neon-lit walls. Equipped with Nexus Generation laser-tag technology, the arena can host up to 60 vested combatants as they split into teams and vie for points by scoring chest shots on their opponents.
Large plasma monitors outside the arena display the hectic battles in real time, with beam-by-beam battle stats showing who is the scoring leader and who has been melted into plasmic goo. The facility frequently accommodates birthday parties, large corporate gatherings, and fundraiser groups; everyday customers and private partiers often join in battlefield alliances, exacting laser-powered revenge on bosses and double-crossing imaginary friends.
Babe's Sports Grille offers a rollicking combination of sports-bar charm and nightlife options, with live music on the weekends, a breezy outdoor patio, and hearty eats. Eyes hustle across the menu and into the defensive line of hefty appetizers, including sautéed Cajun shrimp salad ($8) and Babe's famous wings, accompanied by one of seven sauce options such as garlic-parmesan or barbecue ($7.50 for a dozen). Guests can sink baying canine teeth into a 14-ounce strip steak, served with garlic bread ($14), or pop breaded shrimp, fries, and coleslaw into gaping maws ($8). Specialty pizzas harbor time-tested culinary combinations such as the barbecue chicken ($10) and the four-meat Italian Feast ($14), and Babe’s make-your-own pies ($9+) challenge patrons to elect their own toppings, like bite-sized state senators. Fridays and Saturdays showcase the stylings of DJs and die-hard dancers, proving that, when performed correctly, modern dance can be considered a sport.