Voted a favorite place for party services by Carolina Parent readers from 2010-2013, Bounce U welcomes kids to descend upon an inflatable, climate-controlled playground where they can bounce and ricochet in safety. Along with birthday parties and group outings, Bounce U hosts open-bounce sessions that let sock wearers of all ages imagine they're synchronized leapers in a futuristic moon performance as they carom around the inflatable stadium, expending energy with every leap. Adults are welcome to act like 8-year-olds and join the vivacious youngsters in the playground.
The inflatable arena also opens its buoyant doors to technology-themed bounce camps and programs, where boys and girls spend half their time with brain-bolstering projects such as creating their own stop-motion animation movies or reprogramming the remote to skip all news channels. After stretching the limits of their imaginations, kids then spend the other half of the day stretching the limits of their limbs on the inflatable playground.
Attractions such as miniature golf, batting cages, and laser tag make Adventure Landing an ideal location for getting in fun, interactive family time. Whether the kids opt for a heart-accelerating whip around the go-kart track or a few swings of the bat, the fun center gives families every excuse to band together or square off against one another in friendly competition. School, church, and corporate outings are available as well, giving groups of all ages a place to gather, nosh on pizza, and create complex victory dances.
A member of a previously undiscovered species known as skateasaurus stakes its territory, tracing figure eights along the rink's hardwood floor. Dressed in blue-and-white shorts and a red trucker hat, the plush, green-and-yellow dinosaur—otherwise known as Skato—eschews eating children, and instead prompts them to shake it all about in rounds of Hokey Pokey. This fun ambiance extends to the rest of United Skates of America's roller rink, surrounded by lime-green walls and manned by a smiling staff.
At RushHour Karting, speed demons can kart to their spleens' content, regardless of the weather, on a challenging all-indoor track. The 1/3-mile course fills up drivers' adrenaline tanks with hairpin curves, winding turns, and high-speed straights. New SODI RX7 karts with 6.5-horsepower engines and improved safety features reach race speeds of up to 40 mph for an adult-sized dose of acceleration exhilaration for drivers 15 and up, while junior karts provide more manageable speeds for drivers 8 to 14 years old. Today's deal gets each driver onto the track for two eight-minute heats, providing an ample cure for the toe tingles that come with lead foot.
Opened as a roller-skating center in 1977, Wheels Fun Park broadened its ambitions in 1992 when it bloomed into a full-fledged family fun center. After its metamorphosis, the park incorporated attractions that include an 18-hole mini-golf course, five batting cages, and a quarter-mile go-kart track. Nothing overshadows its roots though, and today's 25,000-square-foot roller rink commands a 14-speaker sound system and a dazzling light show that twinkles in skaters' sparkling eyes along with the glow of two disco balls.
A 6,500-square-foot play gym allows tots to act out the story of the Minotaur of Crete in a labyrinthine system of climbing tubes. An onsite skate park treats boarders to a slew of supervised rails and spines as well as a mini halfpipe. During holidays and when school is not in session, day camps keep kids well fed and well educated in subjects such as the geometry of mini golf.
Each of the Monkey Joe's bounce houses and fun parks located in 17 states draws its inspiration from its eponymous mascot. Legend has it that the furry purple monkey discovered bouncing by accidentally falling out of a coconut tree, and he decided then and there to spread the fun with inflatable bounce houses and obstacles, slides, and jungle gyms.
Kids aged 12 and younger can split their time among the inflatable play center, and toddlers aged 3 and younger seek binky-laden treasure chests in special play areas. With an eye toward sanitation, the staffers oversee regular wipe-downs with Swisher Hygiene formulas. They also host parties, where video monitoring and identity bracelets keep track of guests to ensure safety.