Go-karts hug the twists and turns of a 1/4-mile track. Six batting cages hurl baseballs and softballs at speeds between 50 mph and 80 mph. An 18-hole miniature golf course coaxes putted balls down greens ranging from 75- to 185-feet in length. Elsewhere, water balloons fired from a launcher soak opponents stationed at battle zones. For 20 years, Papio Fun Park has enraptured families with abundant outdoor and indoor activities and games.
The indoor facility hosts trampoline-hopping players at Spaceball or Jumpshot, while an arcade brims with quarter-operated air hockey, pool tables, and laundry machines disguised as video games.
During BounceU's parties, kids bound through inflatable play structures—and occasionally glow in the dark. At the center's Cosmic bounce parties, the main lights are replaced by special-effects lighting, which coaxes light from glow-in-the-dark accessories. The center's new location, in operation since May 2013, complements its shindigs with open-play sessions and more structured classes, appropriate for kids aged 2 and older.
Mulligan Family Fun Center's three locations surround parents and kids with sprawling smorgasbords of kinetic entertainment. Outside, each park's sunny grounds encourage healthy activity with putt-testing miniature-golf courses and the hairpin turns of go-kart tracks. In the batting cages, aspiring sluggers test their swing while recognized major-league sluggers test their disguise against the park's do-not-admit posters. Back inside, climbers scale the rock wall’s vertical challenges and friends battle friends in laser tag’s intense light-based combat.
Each location also has its own signature activities. The Torrance location's rookie go-karts, for example, enable younger drivers to take a turn down the track, whereas the Palmdale location boasts a longer, 1,500-foot track for children and adults alike.
Though its name implies a focus on inflatable attractions, the all-ages indoor playground at Pump It Up of Omaha also gets kids active on an 18-foot rock-climbing wall and building with huge imagination blocks. These attractions stand among a sea of air-filled slides and climbing structures, some designed by members of the management team. The bounce castles propel jumpers into the air; and the Chaos obstacle course lets racers run side-by-side or practice shaking hands while walking. The playground also holds special programs such as day camps for young and medium-young children, private birthday parties, and field trips. Many of Pump It Up's staffers are university students working toward education degrees; they often organize contests and games, and supervise visitors while playing on the same level as their smaller guests.
Controlling your hands when putting a golf ball can be a challenge in and of itself. Try to sink a testy putt after scaling a 24-foot wall, and that challenge takes it to another level. Boulder Creek Amusement Park offers the opportunity to try each. The outdoor fun center boasts an 18-hole mini golf course lined by waterfalls, streams, and greenery. On the same grounds, guests grasp holds as they ascend the climbing wall. For additional tests of hand-eye coordination, an 8-stall batting cage challenges batters with both baseball and slow- and fast-pitch softball deliveries.
Open since 1967, Putting Plus is a beloved Omaha leisure facility that brings out the inner child of adults, the inner teen of adults, and the inner golf-baller of any-aged folks. In all, there are three family-friendly miniature-golf courses ($5–$6 per course), featuring 18 holes of challenging curves, drops, water hazards, and mysterious holes that, when you reach in to retrieve your ball, cause your hand to pop out of another hole 20 yards away.