Though its name suggests an industrial space rumbling and hissing with the engines of machines, The Factory fills its multifaceted play space instead with laughing children, chirping video games, and crashing bumper cars. An arcade brims with more than 100 shooting, driving, dancing, and adventure games that inspire players to bravely extend their winning streaks to a range of other attractions. Single and tandem go-karts careen around the turns and up the ramps of a two-story track. Groups bombard each other with infrared light inside an indoor laser-tag area. Parents can also indulge their child's natural curiosity about caddying on a nine-hole indoor mini-golf course that winds past the factory's high-ballocity foam factory, inflatable slide, and enclosed ball-tossing chamber.
To stay fueled for continued play, guests can drape their laps with napkins and dig into cuisine from an onsite steak house or an unlimited pizza buffet.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Bowling
Franklin Lanes and Skateway is a haven of family-friendly entertainment?the facility includes both classic skating rink and 24 shiny bowling lanes. Traditional bowling is streamlined with automatic scoring, and off-duty players can ogle the fresh masking units that conceal the pin system's inner workings. Revelers can refuel with southern-style eats and tipples from the tiki bar, which also hosts flat-screen TVs, live entertainment, karaoke, and crochet races. The on-site staff also mans a pro shop packed with all the bowling gear one could need, including shoes, balls, and bags.
Arts and crafts. Ultimate Frisbee. Digital photography. Horseback riding. Music lessons in guitar and drums. There's so much to do at Camp Blue Ridge that it's easy for kids to forget the few things they won't be doing, like surfing the Internet or learning economics. In two-week increments, campers ages 6 to 16 design their own curriculum and make the 250-acre facility in the Blue Ridge mountains their own. Whether they want to go canoeing on the two lakes or learn to rock climb in a given week is entirely in their own hands. The camp also offers regular field trips to destinations such as Six Flags Over Georgia and White Water. Featured in the New York Times, Camp Blue Ridge gives young people a taste of grown-up self-determination seasoned with a helping of skateboarding.
On the shores of Lake Hartwell, Harbor Light Marina's fleet of 16 new boats waits to cut through the water. Strictly maintained fishing boats, deck boats, and pontoons ferry fishermen or parties into the lake's middle or around its 1,000-mile shoreline, acting as suitable bases for catching striped bass or honing a cannonball. Icons of leisure, the pontoons vary in size to fit each guest's needs, the largest checking in at 28 feet—long enough to fit 16 passengers or set up an eye chart to test the captain’s vision. And all the vessels park in the marina's slips, alongside spaces rented out to other local aquanauts.
Founded more than 115 years ago in collaboration with Clemson College, the Foothills Area Family YMCA operates as a nonfacility YMCA. Choosing to focus on programs rather than gymnasiums filled with concrete slides, the Y caters to a large and diverse community. Programs reflect the diversity found in its members, with activities ranging from afterschool care and flag-football leagues to swim lessons and dog training. No matter the program, the Foothills Area Family YMCA strives to provide essential lifelong lessons and impart the YMCA’s four core characteristics: honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility.