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.
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.
The instructors of Origins Dance Academy have traveled far and wide to learn and practice their craft, from choreographing in Los Angeles to dancing in prestigious European and Canadian ballet companies to appearing in area musicals. That wide range of experience allows them to teach youngsters in a wide variety of classes, including tap, ballet, and hip-hop. Origins also occasionally presents its students in performances and sends them to competitions judged by technique, difficulty, and how well the dancers perform sequences from Swan Lake while partnered with real swans.
As a teaching professional since 1994, Tim Lewis of Aahh! Golf Lessons! teaches the traditional swing while expounding on the unique but consistent playing style of Canadian Hall of Famer “Pipeline” Moe Norman, whose unorthodox swing and quirky personality are the stuff of legend. A guiding principle of the swing is keeping the club on a single plane, which minimizes the possibility that the club head ventures off course to produce erratic ball flights. Tim combines these swing mechanics with the Vardon grip, also known as the overlapping grip or the grip that finally captured Godzilla.
Designed by renowned course architect Edmund Ault in 1967, Christmas Lake Golf Course is a verdant haven carved out of rolling hills and lush valleys. Before tee time, shoulders and their owners can test out their oscillating aptitude by taking the included buckets of balls for a swing-honing ride on the driving range. Next, dynamic clubbing duos take to the links, perfecting their announcer stage whispers among the zoysia-grass tees and bent-grass greens as they comment on one another’s divot-repairing skills. Enjoy a speedy commute across the flat front nine or the hillier back nine aboard a motorized cart that carries heavy bags and ensures quick getaways from argyle-clad, fairway-dwelling hobgoblins. Postgame, weary wedge wielders can trek to the Club House for celebratory libations and victuals (costs not included in today’s Groupon).
Mud oozes through fingers, toes, and other places mud should never ooze through during Mudathlon, a challenge that puts 3 miles and more than 40 obstacles between racers and the finish line. With multiple stops across the country, Mudathlon transforms its destinations into messy, muck-riddled swamplands, where participants ascend walls, zip down slides, and always end up in the same place—back in the mud. Course marshals stationed along each route keep feet moving in the right direction, and at the finish line, the top three male and female competitors receive Top Mudder awards for finishing fastest while ingesting the government’s daily recommended serving of mud. After the race, individuals and teams gather to celebrate at a country-themed party, which continues the festivities with live music, costume contests, and an abundance of food and beer.
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.