"It's like throwing a party every day," Byron Severance, who co-owns The Jumpy Place along with his wife, Cathy, told the Hays Free Press. "It's the most fun I've ever had in a job." Byron and Cathy's indoor playground—kept immaculate with a strict socks-only policy, daily disinfectant washes, and an unbudging ban on trashcan-dwelling Grouches—relieves the endemic of excess energy common to youths aged 10 and younger. As children bounce in and slide down air-filled fortresses, adults entertain themselves with complimentary coffee, WiFi, and cartoon-free television. Both locations are open every day except Tuesday, and each admission grants all-day access that allows families to come and go as they please.
Wazoo's 15,000-square-foot facility invites kids 13 and younger to let their imaginations loose while playing on eight inflatable attractions. The sound of laughter emanates from the bouncy castles, fills obstacle courses, and silences the pleas of candy-filled animals in the piñata zone. Towering over the facility, a 24-foot slide harnesses the power of gravity to create kid-friendly thrills. Elsewhere, the aptly named Toddler Town boasts age-appropriate toys and inflatables that let younger ones in on the fun. Wazoo's other features include a concession stand and big-screen TVs that keep parents up to date on the political climate of nearby bouncy castles.
Locomotion Inflatable Play disguises healthy servings of exercise with hours of fun and games at its colorful, indoor activity center. Inside, socked adventurers are set free to explore or count each of the facility's 12,000 square feet, which are covered in bouncy inflatables and themed play areas. Playrooms for toddlers keep younger guests separate from older kids, and a miniature town encourages its visitors to cook up their own scenarios at a theater, grocery store, and 1950s-style diner. In addition to open-play sessions, Locomotion hosts birthday parties, and also features a Stuffin' Station, where kids build their own stuffed lions, bears, and dinosaurs to play with when their imaginary friends are busy.
More than 500 exotic animals prowl, scamper, and crawl through their expansively recreated habitats at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo. In the venomous-snake enclosure, the eyes and scaled hood of the monocled cobra hypnotize visitors, and a bright green temple viper camouflages itself among jade vegetation. Guests quake with curiosity as they watch the slithering reptiles' jaws clamp down on prey during feedings, or enjoy seeing bigger beasts getting their fill at the alligator and crocodile ponds. Patrons can interact with cuddlier critters at the petting zoo, where dozens of fluffy goats, alpacas, and llamas gather to tie-dye their coats. Elsewhere, cackles of hyenas reverberate throughout the grounds, spurring a pack of wolves to emit a more introspective sound by baying at the moon. Wizened tortoises bask in a field of lettuce and racing trophies as a duo of ring-tailed lemurs relax in their tire swing.
The opened jaws of a great white shark are usually no place for a child. But at Kidz 'n' Play, the shark is just another air-filled component of an inflatable playhouse, where kids can race friends down slides or scamper through a Finding Nemo-themed escape tunnel. Designed for ages 10 and under, Kidz 'n' Play's indoor playground includes giant Legos for building, toy tea sets for pretend snacking, and a reading nook stocked with picture books. Though they can pass the time surfing free Wi-Fi or building a pillow fort around their minivans in the parking lot, parents are encouraged to play with their sock-clad youngsters.
With horrifying haunts designed to elicit new shrieks each year, House of Torment Haunted House keeps bones chilled well below room temperature. HauntWorld.com ranked House of Torment in its Top 13 Haunts in 2011, praising it as a "dynamic and ultra-creative attraction" that is "widely considered to be one of the most innovated haunted houses in the country." Other rave reviewers include the Travel Channel and the Wall Street Journal, who call the haunted house "20,000 square feet of terror." Though House of Torment's attractions change annually, its wall of shame exists as an immortal photo catalog of all those who have squealed in fright or received bunny ears on its premises.
The Resort at Schlitterbahn and its attendant water park combine a veritable city of water-filled fun zones with generous hotel suites where swimsuited families can rest before embarking on further adventures. The resort welcomes overnight revelers to relax in one of its rooms or suites, which boast accommodations that can include water-park views, outdoor decks, cable TV, WiFi, and kitchenettes to facilitate interfamily bake-offs.