In one corner, young voices chant a karaoke tune over the sound system. In another, inflatable structures jump to the beat of kids bouncing inside. The Kids Expo sounds like kid heaven, but there’s plenty to engage their keepers, too, to counter the boredom of listening to the incessant sounds of youthful joy. Adults can browse a wide range of vendor booths and exhibits for new products for their families, and they can even sneak off to plan their little one’s next surprise party by consulting with children’s entertainers and representatives from kids’ play centers.
How long does it take a two-person inner tube to travel 1,161 feet when it’s impeded by misting water and several altitude changes, including an 81-foot drop? Well, as proven by the Green Extreme uphill water coaster, the answer is a little more than a minute. This extreme thrill ride is one of many aquatic attractions at NRH2o Family Water Park. Guests can also zip down enclosed and open-body slides, spin around tube slides, lounge on Beachside Bay’s sand beaches, or partake in family-friendly activities such as the 660-foot lazy river and the five-level water playground. Augmenting the splash-happy structures, the park hosts monthly events that range from fireworks to movie screenings in the 12,000-square-foot wave pool, which makes it more difficult for people to reserve entire rows of seats for their friends who haven’t arrived yet.
The smooth, pastel-tone corridors of Mountasia Family Fun Park‘s two 18-hole miniature golf courses encircle the rising crags of a central waterfall that cascades past greens of orb-rolling entertainment. Putt-putt parties of all ages can choose from two different courses, navigating around obstacles that include burbling rapids and caves. The turn-filled go-kart course provides tandem go-karts so youngsters can join the four-wheel fun, and inside batting cages patrons flail away using a trusty bat. Elsewhere onsite, water enthusiasts are invited to enjoy bumper boats, Mountasia's 30-foot rock wall beckons to altitude-immune adventurers, virtual thrills reside in the video arcade, and guests take aim at each other in a post-apocalyptic laser tag area.
Unlike many of its brethren, the Arlington Museum of Art does not maintain a permanent collection. Instead, it celebrates the ever-changing nature of art by featuring local artists in traveling exhibitions and curated shows. Also, since opening in 1952, the museum has been a headquarters for promoting artistic expression throughout the community. Gallery talks and artist lectures give visitors the chance to interactively learn, and summer art camps get kids motivated to create masterpieces.
Forum Roller World’s vast polished hardwood floor stretches below a similarly vast ceiling outfitted with festive lights. And between the two? A scrum of roller skaters gliding, weaving, and figure-eighting to the tune of music such as hip-hop and gospel. This large facility welcomes skaters of all levels to slip into a pair of skates and cruise the floors. On Sunday nights until 1 a.m., adults rule the roost, where they can skate at their own speed without having to dodge children or re-oil their training wheels.
Velocity's coaches, many of whom are trained in kinesiology and exercise science, lead heart-pounding fitness programs for adults and children ages 8 and older. The one-hour movement sessions gather an ever-shifting array of exercises calculated to increase kids' speed and agility and challenge grownups' coordination more than their offices' annual air-hockey-based performance reviews. Small groups of 15 people work to reach their peak performance level under the coach's custom-tailored tutelage. After the program, strengthened bodies may measure their tangible successes in greater endurance, improved metabolism, and an abandoned belief that stale Twizzler jousts counts as exercise.