Though the staff claims that The Fun Spot is the oldest business in town, it continues to beckon both kids and adults to glide across its glossy hardwood floor. When wheels grow weary from rolling across the planks, skaters can refuel at the snack bar or work out their upper extremities in the game room. Also, the bounce house provides the perfect arena for kids to discuss the laws of gravity and whether they believe in Isaac Newton.
The Kalamazoo Wedding Affair sets brides-to-be and their fianc?s loose to explore, meet, and bounce ideas off some of west Michigan's most sought-after wedding experts. Dozens of exhibitors converge to create a buffet of possibilities that range from bridal fashions, cakes, and catering to gift registries and photographers. Couples can also scope out postceremony services, including reception halls and honeymoon destinations.
More than 2,000 animals populate John Ball Zoo, crawling, swimming, and flying from five different continents and more than 250 different species. The zoo has some other impressive stats: in 2013 alone, for instance, more than 500,000 visitors flocked to John Ball Zoo to marvel at its collection of creatures. Animal-lovers can spot critters big and small, from lions and bears to lizards and lemurs. In the North America section, they come nose-to-nose with grizzlies, and on the Far Side of the World Trail, they get close enough to smell the wallabies' cologne.
At some exhibits, the view is even closer. Visitors can pet stingrays and sharks, ride atop the humps of a camel, and stop by the petting zoo at Red's Hobby Farm. For an adrenaline fix, zoo adventures include the zip line, offering bird's-eye views of the farm from a four-story, 300-foot line.
At Griff's IceHouse, two blank slates invite visitors to trace their favorite shapes on an icy canvass, from giant ovals to compact figure eights. Guests may draw inspiration from Olympic figure skaters and others from the Grand Rapids Griffins, whose blades tattoo this ice while the team dishes out slap-shot sandwiches and body checks to rival teams. Snack-filled concession stands fuel glides, spins, and jumps during open-skate sessions, which welcome skaters of all levels with skate rentals and freshly smoothed ice. In addition to leading skating classes, the facility hosts lessons, camps, and league play for hockey enthusiasts and adventurous actors getting ready to audition for King Lear on Ice.
Patterson Ice Center sends skaters gliding gracefully across NHL- and Olympic-size rinks. Recreational-, speed-, and figure-skating sessions slice through the facility seven days per week, and a spacious, 5,000-square-foot lobby overlooking both glacial sheets lets parents, friends, and easily chilled zambonis survey icy action while staying warm. During lessons—which are open to beginners through advanced skaters—double gold medalist and skating director April Treado draws from 25 years of experience to help students improve. Additionally, Patterson Ice Center also hosts parties, catered events, and USA Hockey–sanctioned adult leagues, as well as an onsite pro shop stocked with the latest gear and equipment.
A two-story, 16-lane facility, Wengers Bowl invites bowlers of all experience levels to pummel pins and fill frames with strikes. An onsite pro shop outfits visitors with bags and a broad collection of bowling balls, from polyester Brunswick T Zone balls to DV8 Misfit orbs, all with finger holes drilled onsite. Bowling leagues bring together players of all experience levels for 10-week recreational sessions on Sunday or Monday nights, and players can bowl until 2 a.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to see whether bowling balls turn into pumpkins after midnight.