Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
Pocahontas Swim Club cements social bonds each summer, welcoming guests of all ages to swim, dive, and lounge in its 25-meter, six-lane pool. The family-oriented space prompts its patrons forget the heat as they time their laps or clamber aboard pool toys. To accommodate activities beyond swimming, the club surrounds its aquatic attraction with other amenities, including a shaded wading pool for youngsters, a covered picnic area complete with grill, and a sand-volleyball court. Party-planners can reserve these spaces for private barbecues and birthday get-togethers. While pool visitors practice their strokes, a seasoned staff oversees all amphibious endeavors. Coaches channel their own competitive experience to motivate swim- and dive-team members, and nurturing teachers guide students of all skill levels—from first-timers to athletes whose butterfly stroke hasn't gone completely airborne—during swim lessons. The swim club also gains considerable star power for summer 2012, when 1976 Olympic gold medalist Matt Vogel joins the team to manage the pool and assist the team trainers.
A professional basketball player for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Ron Howard founded Game Day Sports Camp with his wife, Reesha, as a way to both build kids’ characters and to prevent them from turning into stone due to sedentary lifestyles. During action-packed days, kids—led by thoroughly vetted, energetic counselors—shoot layups in basketball, practice intricate soccer footwork, and seize their opponents’ flags during games of football. Alternative activities supplement sports with team-building exercises and creative activities such as chalking sidewalks, crafting jewelry by hand, and building puppets. Special weekly events, such as Halloween in July, H20 Day, and Carnival Day, keep each week exciting. Above all, Ron and Reesha’s camp aims to honor life’s intangible victories, imparting in each participant the self-esteem and integrity necessary to handle all life’s challenges, whether dealing with relationships or wrestling an alligator during a gentlemanly duel.
Stepping into the Roller Dome Skate Center is like traveling back in time to the 1950s. The two retro rinks on the north and south side of town are still run by original owner Marg Wall—now in her 90s—who is proud to say that the centers' gleaming floors and '50s decor still draw skaters of all ages. But some things have changed. Amid modern amenities including with air conditioning, advanced sound systems, and lighting, skaters can enjoy turns round the rinks during open-skating sessions and special events, such as birthday parties and family nights. The seasoned instructors teach newbies how to skate during group lessons, and in speed-skating sessions, skaters learn how to quickly race around the track, practicing avoiding banana peels left by gorillas in go-karts. Both centers also offer on-site pro shops, where guests can outfit their skates with colorful wheels and skate bags.
Putt-Putt Fun Center combats the doldrums with the triumvirate of putt-putt golf, go-karts, and arcade games. The center boasts three themed putt putt golf courses, one of which rumbles the ground under golfers’ feet with a volcano that regularly spews a ball of fire 20 feet into the air after the sun sets. Meanwhile in the Race Zone, go-karts zip around a track designed to accommodate all ages of driver, and double-seated family karts allow underage riders to tag along. The arcades allows guests to continue the simulation of extreme experiences with games such as Big Buck Hunter Safari, which helps players to feel the hunter-gatherer’s feeling of elation at a kill or shame at having to return home with rock stew. After a long day of activity, the center’s Snack Shack facilitates the scarfing of pizza, hot dogs, and soft pretzels, which can be washed down with a bottled Coke.:m]]
Ultrazone Family Entertainment crafts adrenaline-filled afternoons, birthday parties, and events with a laser-tag arena and myriad in-house or rentable games and carnival attractions. Neon lights cast a hazy glow over the obstacles filling the state-of-the-art laser-tag battlefield, where combatants wield light-emitting artillery in 25-minute bouts. Guests and confused mountain goats scale the rock-climbing simulator overlooking the main hall's arcade and pinball games. The facility opens up the funscapades to birthday parties, complete with soda, Papa John's pizza, and two rounds of laser tag. Shindigs get customized with carnival rentals such as themed moonwalks, portable rock-climbing walls, and inflatable suits for sumo-wrestling matchups or attending balloon-animal weddings.