Falls Park Golf & Games beckons to putt-putt protégés with an 18-hole mini golf course that runs through the center of its cozy, family-friendly space. With topsy-turvy slopes that make for perplexing breaking putts, the course promotes lively competition between siblings, friends, or rival dentists. A stationary golf cart sits in the middle of the course, surrounded by walls decorated with golf-themed festoons—including a caddyshack facade—that help set the scene. Along with more subtle undulations, the course requires players to putt through a tricky loopty-loop and explain the principles of centripetal force to any toddlers within a five-mile radius. After their round, guests can decompress in one of the space's various booths or tables, enjoy a refreshment, and tune in to the flickering images on a flat-panel TV.
PlayNation is an indoor playground where kids ages 1–9 can romp with abandon no matter the weather. The indoor play-set subdivision boasts an array of imagination-stimulating apparatuses, including climbing walls to foster future Mount Everest summiteers, and swings to provide valuable experience for future careers in aviation. Younglings can get exercise, expel pent-up energy, and play with their peers, and the designated seating area gives moms, dads, and umbrella-piloting nannies a place to catch up on adult interaction while children and charges frolic freely.
Tarheel Lanes Bowling Center celebrates the fine art of pin demolition with sleek, modern alleys set within a smoke-free facility. Arriving visitors are paired with a pair of bowling shoes designed to leave lanes un-scuffed and toes un-stubbed, before claiming a lane for two games’ worth of strikes, spares, and stern lectures to balls residing in the gutter. An automatic scoring system keeps cheating at bay and math skills dormant, and an on-site snack bar and game room encourages players to linger in the family-friendly facility long after the 10th frame. Tarheel Lanes is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Tropical Gardens Miniature Golf strips away the cartoonish aspects of the game found on many courses, instead situating its 18 putting greens amid a diverse landscape of ponds and blooming floras. As a waterfall trickles nearby, a flamboyance of fake flamingos perches under the shade of a tree, silently observing golfers' mannerisms to use in their upcoming novel. Aside from navigating the miniature fairways, players can swing at baseballs in the batting cages or reunite quarters with their captive brethren in the video arcade.
Adventure Landing sports ample free parking and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Friday and Saturday, when it keeps the courses open until midnight for party-animal clubbers. There are three different courses; each of them features well-manicured Astroturf, luscious landscapes, and challenges around every bend. Master a single green or experience all three shades without leaving the grounds or hailing a golf cart. In between rounds, explore all that this fun, pay-as-you-play factory has to offer, including arcade games, batting cages, and more. When your group's perfectionist is spending way too much time reading the wind, slip off to the nearby snack bar for a quick bite or sip while you wait.
Located on a 100-acre island with surrounding forest in the Catawba River, Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour boasts ziplines up to 900 feet long cut a narrow path through the canopy, ferrying riders from treetop to treetop on tours that last up to 3.5 hours. Tours start atop a 70-foot tower that overlooks the 100-year-old oaks and dense foliage. Tours then descend on a series of up to nine separate ziplines, each connected to the other by nature trails suspension bridges.