At Carlisle Sports Emporium, revelers hone their hand-eye coordination in an arcade with more than 100 games and two whimsical 18-hole miniature-golf courses. Sprawled across 20-acres, the complex houses the 7,500-square-foot two-tiered LASERTRON laser-tag arena alongside multiple go-kart tracks, defining it as a definitive place to play. Guests can shine up their short game on a medieval- or western-themed mini golf courses, practice their best back spins at the roller skating rink, or grab a homemade pizza or french fries at Victory Lane Caf?. Visitors can also stretch their sinews on the computerized indoor climbing wall?which can simulate classic climbs such as El Capitan or Devil?s Tower.
A group of former preschool teachers banded together to create Explore & More Hands-On Children's Museum, a space designed to engage visitors—specifically, those between the ages of 2 and 8—with educational play. Located in a vintage 1860s house, the museum consists of seven themed rooms. Guests can glimpse into the past by entering the 1860s room, which houses a historical general store, or learn about hermit crabs, frogs, and other creatures in the nature area. Children experience the power of magnets first-hand in the exploration room, where they can also stand inside a giant soap bubble.
At Allstar Family Amusement Complex, Go-karts race around a circular track or hug the twists and turns of a grand prix?style course. Lasers zip throughout a 4,000-square-foot black-lit laser-tag arena, and blips and bleeps sound from an arcade complete with a potpourri of video and redemption games. Towering windmills don't obstruct holes in one on Allstar Family Amusement Complex's two 18-hole miniature golf courses. Instead, babbling brooks and verdant trees surround natural obstacles such as sharp turns and rock patterns. Mini golf is one of many attractions encompassed on the year-round fun park.
The paranormal investigators and tour guides of After Dark Investigations specialize in small-group tours that provide customers with hands-on experience and equipment. Ghost tourists utilize EMF detectors, dowsing rods, and infrared-video cameras to capture any potential appearance of apparitions. The tours stretch to locations such as cemeteries or abandoned amusement parks near the location of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties by Parents magazine in 2010, Pump It Up's Frederick location sprawls across 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts that mandate dessert for breakfast. The ascending wall of the Vertical Rush challenges climbers with a hump-shaped obstacle, and attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play and lectures on refinancing treehouse mortgages, or they can tote along their own mini entourage for birthday party packages complete with private rooms, complimentary invitations, and a veritable stockpile of extras to customize the celebratory shenanigans.
Situated on a humble Hampstead farm, Happy on Hooves manufactures smiles while reintroducing guests to nature atop the gracious strides of its equine tenants. The horses, named Sadie, Marco, and Kat, among others, are the driving forces behind a variety of adventures, including trail rides and all-inclusive picnics set among the farm's stunning scenery. The good vibes that accompany every visit to the farm begin with the facility's newly built barn, outfitted with white pillars, brick walls, and open stalls, from which the ponies poke their heads and debate the American-ness of putting ketchup on barley. When they're not in their stalls or on trail rides, Happy on Hooves' horses are leading lessons that teach basic riding techniques.