Upon departing from Chautauqua Choo-Choo Train Station, trains chug past the abundant attractions sprawled throughout the park during four-minute rides. Had the train existed at Midway State Park when it first opened as a trolley park in 1898, its 15-mile-per-hour jaunt would have surveyed a landscape dotted with playing fields, tennis courts, bathhouses, and a dancehall. These days, America's 16th oldest continually operating amusement park shelters the spinning and twirling cars of a Tilt-A-Whirl and other rides. A three-sided, 24-foot climbing wall challenges participants to spite gravity's tyrannical reign before ringing the buzzer at its peak, and guests in the helicopter ride can adjust their height with a bar attached to the aircraft. Elsewhere, youngsters captain a kiddie boat or steer retro-modeled cars past a miniature roadway's street signs. Between rides, visitors can munch on cotton candy while peering out toward the shores of Chautauqua Lake from one of several picnic areas.
Perched at the bow of the pirate ship, the captain's parrot braces for stormy weather. But in the case of the pirate-ship inflatable at Pirates Plank, the feeling of choppy waves isn't generated by water below, but by the youngsters hopping on it. Kids can also jump around on a _Pirates of the Caribbean_–themed bounce house before navigating around the tranquil ponds decorating the 18-hole miniature-golf course.
Elsewhere, Pirates Plank hosts races on its go-kart track, gamers in its video arcade, and players in its batting cages aiming for homers or to hit balls back into the machine they came from. The snack bar keeps visitors reenergized with tasty treats, and birthday parties entice attendees with unlimited soda and popcorn, arcade tokens for each guest, and mini-golf passes for future visits.
Safari Niagara provides a home for more than 750 exotic and domestic animals. The park’s conservationists lead educational presentations on threatened species and aim to shape children into the world’s future caretakers through up-close interactions with the park’s most social residents. Alpacas, river otters, grey wolves, and falcons are among the many animals that prowl the 110-acre facility, which also hosts an amphitheater where guests can watch musicians shimmy and shake in their natural habitat.
Zipping around a quarter-mile go-kart course. Careening into friends aboard a bumper boat. Playing any of the 40 games inside the arcade. At Adventure Speedway, you don't have to choose just one of these options. That's because the family fun center pairs visitors with all of the above at every single one of its 10 locations. It also offers up group outings and birthday parties, plus a snack area complete with goodies to fuel all-day races with neighborhood squirrels.
During the spring and summer, laughter fills the air at Adventure Zone, where rollicking rides and challenging outdoor games keep spirits high from April to September. Visitors bond over friendly races at the go-kart track, compete for the ownership of plush toys at the center’s arcade, or hone their sporting skills on the miniature-golf course or within the batting cages. The park’s concession stand stocks a range of salty and sweet snacks, which help quell cravings or prevent midrace pizza runs.
From bungee trampolines that launch people up to four stories in the air to fast-paced rounds of outdoor laser tag, kids get their first taste of adrenaline while exploring Adventure Village's three acres of family attractions. If the trampolines aren't enough, guests can slip into a harness and scale a 25-foot climbing wall. Kids can also have fun planted firmly on the ground. Baseballs buzz through the air in nine batting cages that serve up both softballs and baseballs at up to 90 miles per hour. Kids also carom off of one another in round bumper cars that give drivers the surreal thrill of piloting a giant hockey puck.
A more laid-back form of recreation awaits at the miniature golf course, where guests navigate through tricky corridors lined with five waterfalls and six ponds. Perched atop a swinging wooden bridge, players can study the wooden ruins of two partially sunken ships that rise above the glassy waters or the fish swimming around the murky derelicts. The course also features trivia about South Ontarian history and geography, giving guests all the information they need to finally impress the ghostly teacher that haunts their dreams.