The highest suspension bridge in America straddles the Royal Gorge as patrons gaze out across sweeping vistas from an aerial tramway, a steep railway, and a Skycoaster ride. Jaws drop on the bridge, a National Register of Historic Places structure that dangles above millions of years' worth of rock layers to delight amateur geologists like a volcano full of candy. Guests cruise 1,178 feet above the canyon base during the aerial tram ride and learn about the Native Americans who hunted and camped in the region. Granite walls tower above the incline railway, a conveyance built in 1931 that carries the adventurous on a 45-degree trip to the bottom of the canyon, where visitors feel cool river spray without insulting a trout. The one-hour terrain trail ride carries riders into Royal Gorge country on mule back to ogle mountain-range panoramas, and the Royal Rush Skycoaster plunges gleefully screaming guests in free fall at up to 50 miles per hour before dangling them over the canyon's lip. Park-goers romp through a variety of other attractions, including the plaza theater, a historical display, and a wildlife park.
Laser Quest's mazelike, multi-level arena lets up to 39 players weave through the clouded fog with the grace of a skydiving basket-maker—taking cover behind barriers, swooping around corners, and raining beam-bolts down from the upper decks. Players can compete either as friendly teams or as lone wolves. Once they are surrounded by intense crossfire rarely seen outside of stormtrooper raves, players must use strategy, stamina, and well-timed hand-mirror shields to defeat the opposition.
Harmony Bowl caters to ten-pin proclivities with fully kitted-out alleys. Today's deal can be redeemed for solo strike practice, shared among a group of up to 10 friends, or used to calm one terrified, time-travelling caveman with a familiar form of recreation. The option of bumper-equipped lanes allows gutter-ball-prone players to compete against more seasoned opponents. Though not included in this Groupon, hungry bowlers can avail themselves of the on-site snack bar and lounge, wetting mouths left dry from valiantly trying to blow over pins.
Skate City's rinks are havens for roller-skaters tired of rough asphalt and bumpy sidewalks. Within each, a smooth white plane stretches out in front of every pair of wheels, beckoning and tempting maximum speeds. And during open-skate sessions, these rinks become mini metropolises, stirring with skaters of all ages rolling to upbeat music. Each Skate City has its own lineup of special offerings, too: at some, Sunday nights mean free slices of pizza, whereas at others, Friday nights are reserved for teenagers tired of just sitting around, getting taller. When they aren't buzzing with public skating sessions, skating instruction, and hockey games, Skate City locations also transform into the ideal spots for birthday parties.
Balls tumble down 24 synthetic lanes at Pinz Bowling Center, where automatic scoring tracks each strike, spare, and gutter ball on 32-inch flat-screen monitors. The monitors get a workout: The facility's open bowl accommodates rollers until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday, adult and youth leagues face off every Saturday morning, and tournaments take place each Saturday night, beginning with strongmen poking holes into round rocks until everybody has a ball. Tournament play continues with biweekly horseshoe competitions at Rodz Lounge, where guests can watch the game on a big-screen TV, sink 8-balls at the billiards table, and test their aim at the dartboard. For music fans, Rodz hosts Friday-night rounds of karaoke and performances from live bands on Saturday night.
At Lollipop Park Children's Indoor Amusement Park kids ricocheting around the bounce house don't have to set foot on solid ground until they're good and ready. That's because the indoor amusement park doesn't impose a time limit?on rides or the length of birthday parties. Kids ages 10 and younger are free to stay on the miniature Ferris wheel for dozens of ascents or whirl around the carousel until they figure out which horse is the fastest. Of course, these are just two of the rides in the park's collection. Spinning teacups, a tiny train, and suspended swings all thrill their riders, and entry wristbands entitle everyone to unlimited go-rounds.
For more than 30 years, Lollipop Park Children's Indoor Amusement Park has served as a beacon of relaxed fun, and its longstanding commitment to young smiles is evident in the thousands of grateful letters on display from children's charities that have received contributions from the park. A snack bar divvies up? pizza and drinks for lunch breaks, while a lollipop stand harkens back to the golden age of carnivals.