With the sound of fast-approaching engines roaring in your ear, you jam your foot down even harder on the gas pedal and narrow your eyes at the upcoming left-hand turn, determined not to let up even for an instant. If you do, there’s a good chance that your new view will consist of your competition gloating triumphantly while they zip past you on the track. You may only be driving a GT-5 Sodikart, and not a tricked-out racecar, but you absolutely refuse to let any of the other adult or—gulp—junior drivers beat you.
Track 21 lets speed-demons careen around one of three indoor go-kart tracks at speeds of up to 40 mph as they try to edge past other karts, competing with fellow birthday partiers or coworkers to reach the finish line before it decides to become a finish wall. In case competition gets too fierce, the karts are surrounded by heavy nylon bumpers and rubber blocks designed to absorb impact from all sides.
Friendly rivalries continue on foot inside Area 21, a two-story laser-tag battleground beset with fog, obstacles, and space-age scenery. Sharpshooters zap each other's targets in pursuit of a grander mission, such as capturing the opposing base or stealing the enemy's supply of light, before matches end and scores are tallied on a stats sheet. Glowing decor also illuminates a jungle-themed nine-hole mini-golf course, where gorilla and lion statues bask in the black lights. Track 21’s arcade demands timing and button-smashing dexterity from gamers, and a track-side casino sets up rounds of blackjack, poker, and craps.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, of the 6.3 trillion bumper boat crashes in 1998, more than seven-eighths resulted in extreme fun. If you want to experience the ecstasy of a bumper-boat collision, get today's Groupon for an all-day pass to Mountasia Entertainment Park.
Whether by land, water, or skee-ball chute, Zuma Fun Center packs attractions that entertain family members of all ages. Siblings enjoy friendly competition while trading putts across mountain-adventure mini-golf courses lined with waterfall, or while trading paint around the corners of the outdoor go-kart track. The bumper-boat pool gives parents and kids the chance to ram repeatedly into one another in open waters, just like the pilgrims did when racing to discover America. The fun center's video arcade also draws guests inside to deposit tokens into air-hockey tables, redemption-ticket games, and a spread of classic and new game cabinets.
Shankz Black Light Miniature Golf has two locations that encompass 18 holes apiece, with each course set aglow in neon and covered with exotic creatures. As they travel through the indoor facilities, each putter must navigate around wrecked pirate ships, shoot between stubby dinosaur legs, and wrest their clubs from the mouths of tigers in what typically amounts to a 35- to 60-minute round of golf. To accentuate the course's glowing artwork and scenery, golfers can opt to put on a pair of 3-D glasses. Beyond the neon greens, Shankz also features the Balladium and Ballaster game rooms, in which competitors fire Nerf balls from air cannons at targets and at each other to score points and ward off encroaching Nerf army tanks.
Golf Etc. features a bevy of bogey-friendly products from brands such as Titleist, Ping, Bridgestone Golf, Adidas, Callaway, TaylorMade, and more. In addition to its armory of traditional fairway artillery, Golf Etc. also builds, repairs, re-grips, and re-shafts trusty clubs at its on-site workshop. Re-gripping is $3 per club, plus the price of grip, and can be completed the day the clubs are brought in. If your club handle is already gripped for success, you can opt for a one-hour video golf lesson ($80), which uses a digital coaching system known only as V-1 to give golfers a clearer understanding of their swing and teach them how to harness its inherent energy to jump-start a dead golf-cart battery. Golfers can also get their drivers fitted ($75) and find out which long-distance clubber is best for their game using the Swing Labs Digital Fitting System. Short-gamers can practice putts on a 280-square-foot indoor green that features authentic challenging breaks. Prices provided are from the Pearland store and may vary by location.
A 7,100-yarder with a par of 72, the course at Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club represents the design vision of famed PGA Tour champion Greg Norman, nicknamed “The Shark” for his tendency to chew a course's grass before deciding to play it. Norman’s own turf company supplied the hybrid Bermudagrass tees, fairways, and rough for the course, while Floradwarf constitutes the gently undulating and generously rewarding putting surfaces. This greenery is surrounded by native prairie grasses, wetlands, and wildflowers as well as a majestic hardwood forest.
Before tackling the course, players can bring their game up to speed at the club’s Player Development Center. The same GN-1 turf featured out on the course covers the tee areas at the driving range as well as the pitching greens and practice fairway. And all areas are stocked with towels and fresh water for drinking or dumping on your instructor when your swing finally clicks.