Amusement Parks in Rice

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At Tilt Studio, black lights shine down on mini golfers playing 18 holes, the glow of neon green, pink, and orange fixtures lighting up their faces. Paintings of grinning roller-coaster riders look down on them as they shoot for hole-in-ones, sending balls flying beneath a bright blue replica of the Eiffel Tower. In the jungle-themed laser-tag arena, players duck behind mock rocks and hide in the shadows beneath luminescent images of twisting pythons and laser-toting apes. This jungle theme extends into the arcade, where players will see a snarling King Kong picking a helicopter out of the air. By filling their space with neon and larger-than-life decor, Tilt Studio transports patrons to another world, much like the elevator that connects Earth and Mars.

5000 Katy Mills Cir
Katy,
TX
US

Aromas of grilled Black Angus burgers waft through All Stars Family Grill, where play spaces for toddlers to 12-year-olds are as much of an attraction as the hearty American fare. Entrees, sandwiches, and kid-size meals appear at the pickup counter with complimentary soft-serve ice cream, which incentivizes alfresco dining at picnic benches on the large, concrete patios. A pair of playgrounds, one designed for toddlers and the other for ages 5?12, entertains kids with slides and tunnels. Inside, wooden tables sprawl out under a checkerboard ceiling, which also decorates three private rooms ready with 50-inch plasma high-definition TVs and AV equipment. An arcade buzzes with 13 games including Madden and Target Terror, and flat-screen TVs sprinkled throughout the restaurant display sports, breaking news, and cartoons.

26440 FM 1093 Rd, Ste 400
Richmond,
TX
US

With the sound of fast-approaching engines roaring in your ear, you jam your foot down even harder on the gas pedal and narrow your eyes at the upcoming left-hand turn, determined not to let up even for an instant. If you do, there’s a good chance that your new view will consist of your competition gloating triumphantly while they zip past you on the track. You may only be driving a GT-5 Sodikart, and not a tricked-out racecar, but you absolutely refuse to let any of the other adult or—gulp—junior drivers beat you.

Track 21 lets speed-demons careen around one of three indoor go-kart tracks at speeds of up to 40 mph as they try to edge past other karts, competing with fellow birthday partiers or coworkers to reach the finish line before it decides to become a finish wall. In case competition gets too fierce, the karts are surrounded by heavy nylon bumpers and rubber blocks designed to absorb impact from all sides.

Friendly rivalries continue on foot inside Area 21, a two-story laser-tag battleground beset with fog, obstacles, and space-age scenery. Sharpshooters zap each other's targets in pursuit of a grander mission, such as capturing the opposing base or stealing the enemy's supply of light, before matches end and scores are tallied on a stats sheet. Glowing decor also illuminates a jungle-themed nine-hole mini-golf course, where gorilla and lion statues bask in the black lights. Track 21’s arcade demands timing and button-smashing dexterity from gamers, and a track-side casino sets up rounds of blackjack, poker, and craps.

4815 Highway 6 N
Houston,
TX
US

At Funplex, a pair of roller skates can take you across the country—or at least a smaller version of it. Gigantic murals of iconic American skylines surround the Roller City USA Skating Rink, while fog, lasers, and music add to the excitement and accurately recreate the feeling of teleportation. But this five-acre fun park isn't rooted to the rink. The indoor go-kart car track launches kids and adults alike into dreams of being a race-car driver as they accelerate to up to 22 miles per hour. And the rest of Funplex brims with attractions both fast and slow: bumper cars, a ferris wheel, and a full-size bowling alley with 40 lanes.

13700 Beechnut St
Houston,
TX
US

Reservations/Appointments: Required

Established: 2010

Parking: Parking lot

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Recommended Age Group: Kids

Pro Tip: Make sure children have socks so that they can enjoy the inflatables.

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Bounce houses

Q&A with Sue, Manager

When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?

After having children of my own, I discovered how difficult it can be to find a nice, secure place for them to play and release some energy. Seeing the faces of the kids light up when they enter the inflatable room is the best part of this job. They enter the facility thinking it is just another business?until they see the inflatables and that's when the excitement begins.

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?

We have an indoor inflatable room where kids can run around and have some fun without being outside in the heat.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

Arcade room is also part of the weekday play, and it doesn't require coins. On weekdays only, unlimited play runs Monday?Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kids also receive a drink and a snack with their entrance during these times. Weekends are reserved for private parties.

10950 Westheimer Rd.
Houston,
TX
US

Blanketed in wall-to-wall trampolines, Sky High Sports delights barefoot fun-seekers with springy terrain and an exclusive court for jumpers 8 and younger. Guests can hone front flips, back flips, and belly flops during intense free-bounce sessions. Each trampoline comes equipped with a specially designed spring-loaded frame and thick, 2-inch safety pads that grant patrons a landing cushier than a corner office at a marshmallow factory. Stuffed with blocks of spongy, body-molding material, a foam pit dares treasure-seekers to fling themselves in or scour its depths for the lost contents of bygone pockets. Pintsize aerialist posses can safely practice their synchronized Salchows on 360 degrees of trampoline walls while court supervisors watch from the sidelines and award hard-earned praise with oversize scorecards.

Sky High also offers AIRobics fitness classes and monthly dodge-ball tournaments to help jumpers explore the outermost stratospheres of trampoline possibilities.

10510 Westview Dr
Houston,
TX
US