Putting requires intense concentration, which is especially difficult when you have an elephant watching over your shoulder. At Sport-N-Fun, miniature golfers putt their way through three 18-hole courses adorned with statues of exotic wildlife such as gorillas and giraffes. These distractions are one of the many obstacles on the terrain, where bank shots and undulating hills stand between players and holes-in-one.
Sport-N-Fun's other exhilarating activities likewise vie for visitors' attention. Thrill-seekers zip around the curves and down the straightaways of the Go-Kart track, or leap skyward while securely harnessed on the bungee trampoline. In seven batting cages, machines pitch balls toward batters at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour, offering a range for different skill levels. Inside, classic games blip and bleep as players smash buttons at the arcade. Amidst all the action, GG's Pizza renews energy with servings of pizza and fountain drinks.
Franklin Athletic Club's seasoned instructors shepherd racket wielders of all skill levels through comprehensive group classes designed to impart and bolster proper tennis fundamentals. During one-hour beginner group tennis clinics, four to six sphere swatters gather on one of the 13 air-conditioned tennis courts to learn basic techniques and rules. These experienced professionals mentor novices, helping them tell the difference between a backhand stroke, a forehand stroke, and the ill-advised no-hand stroke. Meanwhile, more practiced swingers can hone their crosscourt shots in advanced-beginner, intermediate, or advanced clinics.
As a benga beat pulses through the crowd, the Kenya Safari Acrobats defy gravity and the body's limitations as they leap through hoops, tumble from human towers, and limbo under bars. In one of their most famous and startling acts, a single performer stacks, climbs, and then balances on a single-file tower of rickety wooden chairs. Meanwhile, other performers juggle up to six straw hats, bend metal with their hands and teeth, or walk across a bed of nails. As artistic ambassadors of their native Kenya, the acrobats tie educational relevancy to their school performances in stories that highlight the importance of physical fitness, respect for elders and the true meaning of the Swahili phrase "hakuna matata," which The Lion King incorrectly translated as "get rich or die trying."
Summit on the Park’s sprawling fitness facilities house myriad aerobic and anaerobic activities, classes, equipment, and more. A troop of 50 lifeguards patrols the waters of the massive aquatic center, where legs can tread the zero-depth leisure pool, plunge down the 30-foot water slide, recline in the lazy river, and propel Olympic breaststrokers in the five-lane, 25-yard lap pool. Fitness-center inhabitants mingle with certified personal trainers who illuminate exercise routines with tips on how best to burn treadmill rubber. Daily group workouts fill weekly calendars with more than 70 land and aquatic fitness classes that help exercisers brush up on bi-spheral push-ups and diving-board-propelled jumping jacks.
The baseball and softball instructors at Great Lakes Baseball Academy share their passion for America's pastime with students as they draw upon accolades that include two national minor-league titles and a high-school state softball record for strikeouts in one year. Inside the year-round, 5,000-square-foot facility, coaches with experience at the major, minor, and high-school levels enrich players' skills during private lessons and team-training sessions. Line drives echo through three climate-controlled, 80-foot batting and pitching tunnels, which include Iron Mike pitching machines that hurtle balls from 40 to 90 mph and occasionally charge the plate. Along with their training grounds, the academy's shop stays stocked with such gear as the latest bats and gloves.