At Derby Family Entertainment Center, bowlers coast toward high scores atop 24 lanes outfitted with automatic scoring and bumpers for younger guests. On the weekends, cosmic bowling casts a celestial glow across frames. And during karaoke Fridays, competitors exchange balls for a microphone to serenade nearby pins until they fall over or at least pick up the bar tab. Away from the synthetic playing field, a 1,100-square-foot arcade jingles and jangles with games for all ages, and cheers leak out from inside Kegler's Sports Bar and Grill, which often broadcasts WSU or Kansas City Chiefs games on a massive, 60-inch screen.
Shrill giggles and the pitter-patter of tiny sock-swathed feet echo off the walls of Pump It Up, where lilliputian guests pinball through a metropolis of inflatable slides and bouncy enclosures. During glow pop-in play sessions, tykes frolic in the radiance of special lights, and in pirate-themed sessions, youngsters don costumes or just feel less self-conscious about the parrot permanently affixed to their shoulder. Small groups of ankle biters tear through the facility during private parties, plummeting down slides, scaling plush ladders, and bounding off of springy floors.
The annual Festival of Trees showcases the twinkling ornamental handiwork of expert tree artists during a series of family-friendly holiday celebrations. At the Party in the Pines, Christmas conifers are auctioned to the highest bidder, while the lowest bidders go home with imaginary consolation shrubbery. Taking home a prized, bedazzled tree helps fund Goodwill Industries' education and training programs for Kansans with disabilities and/or other barriers to employment (trees will be delivered the Monday or Tuesday following the event). A more sonically subdued silent auction will result in the dutiful doling out of wreaths and other holiday gifts. A palate-pleasing dinner is included, along with complimentary beer, wine, and soulful live tunes.
Botanica's 9.5-acre plant paradise is divided into more than 20 meticulously designed gardens, including a rose garden for contemplating roses and a wildflower meadow for frolicking in wildflowers. More than 3,600 species of plants are artfully arranged around calming streams, flowing waterfalls, and sculptures. Stop by the sensory garden to touch, smell, and telepathically understand plants' thoughts about hot dogs. A retreat to an urban garden can help soothe one’s sensibilities and wash away haunting memories of cubical confinement. Consult Botanica's bloom schedule to plan a trip to view your favored flora.
Each autumn, the Renyer family opens their farm to fun-seeking guests, who traipse through 17 autumn-themed activities. Tyke speedsters mount John Deere tricycles to careen around a dirt track before losing themselves in a 40-foot underground tube slide. Explore the natural world at the animal-viewing-and-feeding center, where goats bleat decrees to wide-eyed children. In the cool air, patrons cheer on the speediest oinkers at the pig races or wander through a corn maze as confounding as a scarecrow's fashion choices. For an additional cost, visitors can feast upon pulled pork sandwiches, curly fries, hot dogs, and funnel cakes at the farm's café. Though not included in this Groupon, families can also select future jack-o'-lanterns through séance at the pumpkin patch or participate in events such as the corn cannon ($1 for two ears), duck races ($1.50/duck), and pumpkin slingshot ($1 for four pumpkins).