As the summer sun dips lazily into the horizon, the air fills with an orchestra of buzzing go-karts and humming ziplines punctuated by floods of laughter. The revelry lasts into the night only to start anew the next morning, a cycle that will continue until Labor Day’s arrival sends Kentucky Shores Family Fun Center’s attractions into hibernation. Guests of all ages romp around the park’s verdant grounds, orchestrating aquatic collisions in the bumper boats or hopping aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a trip back in time without the hassle of having to arm-wrestle your past self. The 36-hole mini golf course adds a touch of the majestic to putting outings thanks to its two waterfalls and stainless steel sculptures forged by renowned artist George Bandarra. Indoors, an arcade beckons guests to video games and rounds of skeeball, and a snack bar staves off hunger pangs with frozen treats and gooey pizzas.
Gateway Fun Park delights visitors year-round with a range of entertainment attractions for all ages—from group outings and birthday parties to packs of friends wiling away the afternoon. Mini golfers aim for the green amid two 18-hole courses' babbling brooks, stone partitions, and miniature buildings. Drivers safely let loose their suppressed road rage by bouncing into each other in bumper cars. A full-scale go-cart track gives lead feet of any age a taste of the open road, and the kiddie track lets kids ages 4–9 finally take the wheel their parents normally refuse to let them eat.
Interactive bumper cars, 80 arcade games, and the tubes, tunnels, and slides of a soft playground all nestle within the 12,000-square-foot Swing-a-Round Fun Town facility in Fenton. Outside, waterfalls and fountains surround three professionally designed outdoor mini golf courses, and a mammoth pond accommodates 15 colliding bumper boats. The fun continues at the kiddie kart track for youngsters 3?8 years old or the more than 1,100-foot adult track, where kids can join a parent in a double-seat go-kart whose second steering wheel allows tykes to pretend drive and practice ignoring hitchhikers. Elsewhere, nine batting cages test players' homerun hitting skills with softball slow and fast pitches or baseballs flung at 35?80 mph. Swing-a-Round Fun Town's St. Charles location hosts nine batting cages as well, plus two 18-hole miniature golf courses and an arcade.
Abundant rides and games find their way into every corner of Tee Time Family Fun Center's indoor and outdoor playgrounds, which keeps guests of all ages enthralled throughout their visit. After entering the facility, it's not long before kids are hugging the racetrack?s turns from behind go-kart wheels, accelerating their bumper cars or bumper boats into fellow participants? vessels, or parading their putting skills at an 18-hole mini golf course, voted Best Miniature Golf in 2009 by Riverfront Times. A 3-D maze coaxes puzzle solvers through its black-lit labyrinth, and a multi-level soft-play area accommodates crawling tykes with its tunnels, tubes, and crawling seminars taught by worms. After playing racing games in the arcade, patrons can re-energize with pizza, chicken wings, or a slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory at the snack bar.
For 12 years, Tapestry of Community Offerings (TOCO) has delighted children, parents, and passing wildlife with its music festivals, all while raising money and awareness for important community organizations. Profits raised by the family festivals helps TOCO with its direct-service programs, such as providing free clothing to families in need and sponsoring youth summer camps. TOCO also supports several other community organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Helping Hands Food Pantry, and the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois.
Grant's Farm has been home to two titans of the US?one a general and president, the other a brewer who forever changed America's bar scene. The first of these was the farm's namesake, President Ulysses S. Grant, who in 1885 built a four-room cabin, needing only a few days, the help of some loyal friends, and an '80s-style montage. After a few transitional owners, August Busch Sr. bought the farm in 1907 and had that same cabin restored to its original condition.
While visitors to Grant Farm can still view that historic cabin today, the grounds have grown into much, much more. More than 280 acres host over 900 animals from 100 unique species, one of which has starred in commercials for decades: the Budweiser Clydesdales. A behind the scenes tour of the Clydesdale Stables reveals more than 50 of these stallions, from weanlings to full-grown, six-foot-tall equines. Meanwhile, Zebras, Black Buck Antelope, and other exotic animals roam across Deer Park, and Tier Garten hosts interactive elephant shows and goat feedings.
Back indoors, the bauernhof (farmstead) stands as a 19th-century relic with antique stables and carriages. It also houses non-antique bartenders, who pour complimentary samples for of-age visitors. They can also point families to more complete dining locations, including Grant's Farm Deli.