Within Buccaneer Bay Water Park Center’s sprawling 9,000 square feet of space, the delighted shrieks of frolicking children ricochet off the cavernous ceilings. Surrounded by ranks of slowly nodding palm trees, kids scramble up the sides of a replica pirate ship before whooshing down the slick red slides, landing feet-first in the clean water, or else skimming the surface like a smooth rock or a pelican thrown overhand. The churning warmth of a hot tub turns tension into soothed sighs, which drift toward an arcade full of flashing redemption machines. Gaggles of youngsters celebrating birthdays cannonball into the pool, fueled by slices of cake.
Encompassing 5 acres of family-centric fun, Greatimes Family Fun Park's attractions provide safe jollity for children and adults. While most outdoor attractions—such as bumper boats and mini-golf—require agreeable weather, the center's 22,000-square-foot indoor play haven grants rain-or-shine merriment, as well as an arcade and prize-redemption games that include classic skee-ball. As pintsize family members ramble through the playland, three ball pits urge energetic jumping, and slides and tunnels add varying terrain to afternoon play. Pizzas and sub sandwiches from the play center's restaurant also supply noshes for family meals celebrating go-kart victories or the long-awaited engagement of Pac-Man to Ms. Pac-Man.
Frolicking in a 500,000-gallon wave pool, plummeting from 100-foot free-fall slides, and drifting along a 1,200-foot lazy river with 5 mph currents are just a few of the diversions found within Seven Peaks' net of water parks. The aquatic havens spread across Utah, and Indiana, luring families and adventurous kayakers with forests of twisting water slides such as the Provo location's Boomerang, which sends passengers ricocheting down three stories. Calmer fun awaits at child-friendly areas such as the Salt Lake location's Dinosaur Bay, where toddlers splash and ride small slides, and lazy rivers welcome both whippersnappers and adults hoping to relax.
In addition to its water parks, Seven Peaks manages a fleet of fun centers. Visitors to the Sandy location try for strikes in bowling and guests at the Lehi location enjoy rides on a pirate ship or in bumper boats. The Orem location lets you putt through a glowing, neon mini-golf jungle lit by black lights or whack at the imagined faces of arch-nemeses in the batting cages.
Each year during early spring, the frost clinging to Indiana's Calumet region thaws, clearing the way for fresh grass, budding flowers, and smooth go-kart tracks. It's along the banked turns of Zig-E's Funland's Rippin' Raceway that drivers experience the cool breezes of the freshly temperate outdoors while careening over a 1/5-mile track. Zig-E's friendly staff is on hand to point visitors in the direction of the new tactical laser tag, bungee trampoline, or toward the waterfall-flanked greens of the 18-hole mini-golf course that blankets the 3.4-acre property. Inside, a year-round arcade is packed with more than 50 video and redemption games that buzz and blip as players pass virtual levels and amass tokens. Throughout the day, staffers at the snack shop reenergize fun seekers with tasty snacks and drinks and tales of the day humans first came down from the mountain to play Laser Tag.
A classic lazy river drifts in a circle around Splash House Water Park's more than 30,000 square feet of deck as visitors soak in the sun in between dips in the water. An undulating wave pool tosses tube-riding swimmers to and fro, and twin waterslides whip riders in high-speed loops before firing them out into a pool of water or a misplaced Super Big Gulp container. Younger visitors frolic in the semi-submerged kids' play zone, constructed of nets, colorful piping, and bright yellow platforms with hidden, water-spewing spouts. Concession stands fuel the continuous fun with cool drinks, hot eats, and room-temperature napkins.
Indiana Beach, with more than 40 rides and attractions nestled on the shores of Lake Shafer, delights nearly 750,000 visiting thrill-seekers annually. Six rollycoasters challenge guests with spins, drops, and the mathematics of mentally computing children's heights into inches. Classic rides such as the tilt-a-whirl and bumper cars tickle youngsters with antiquated charm, and Dr. Frankenstein's Haunted Castle spooks families with ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. The Steel Hawg delivers daredevils 10 stories into the atmosphere before plummeting at a 111-degree angle, a drop designed to kick-start hearts and uncook chickens. Guests can dip their little piggies in the sand beach and swimming area or embark on aquatic adventures on six waterslides that twist swimmers through high-speed turns before plunking them into a splashdown pool.