Owned by the same people who created Jeronimo!, Putt 'N Play awakens the competitive spirit in guests of all ages with an indoor mini golf course. Lined with wooden rails, the 18 putting corridors present tricky slopes and transit-themed obstacles such as stop lights, train cars, and wormholes. On weekends, Putt 'N Play dims the lights and transforms the course into a visually enchanting neon, glow-in-the-dark circuit. With all the play areas laid out in one large, open room, Putt 'N Play makes it easy for adults to oversee groups of free-roaming tots or casual Freemason meetings.
Awash in lighting effects, an 8,000-square-foot rink accommodates roller skaters as they circle the facility to the thumping beat of contemporary pop music. Overhead, a disco ball 3 feet in diameter—featured in the remake of _Footloose_—further illumines the rink with its sparkling effervescence.
Meanwhile, participants clad in 78 Skate's velcro suit leap toward the velcro wall to see if they'll stick, and more than 30 arcade and redemption games challenge prize-seeking players. Gamesmanship continues at a pair of billiards tables nestled beneath two large screen televisions in the snack bar, which reenergizes customers with tasty treats and beverages. Elsewhere, a full-service skate shop equips patrons with new wheels for blading sessions in their bathtub, and twice weekly Zumba classes, led by a certified instructor, burn calories with exercise moves modeled after salsa dancing.
Competitive angler Rob Jordan pilots year-round adventures on Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre haven for blueblack herring, shad, bluegill, and trophy-winning magnum spotted bass. He and groups of passengers embark on guided trips aboard his Triton 21 HP bass boat equipped with Lowrance HDS sonar that spots schools of fish in the depths and shipwrecks' bounties of free plywood. The captain explains the craft's technology and helps his charges reel in squirmy swimmers the old-fashioned way as well. He also provides all rods and gear as well as drinks, snacks, and a digital camera to document catches levitating from the pier.
Ron Carroll's fascination with helicopters began in Vietnam, when the aircraft transported him and his fellow infantry through the jungles to the front lines. Two Purple Hearts, nearly 20 years, and a stint in the publishing industry later, Carroll happened upon a copy of Flying magazine and his interest quickly rekindled. He continued with flying lessons, deepening his desire to become a helicopter pilot.
Today, Carroll possesses a Gold Seal CFI certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and helms a team of three pilots with more than 25,000 combined hours of flight experience. With a fleet comprising Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters—as well as a TruFlite H flight simulator that lets aspiring pilots practice operating a helicopter while singing and without leaving the ground—the team has trained throngs of airmen, including governor Sonny Perdue.
Multicolored globes illuminate the wood skating floor of Skate Along USA, along with the skaters strolling rhythmically to high-energy dance tunes. Throughout the week the Skate Along USA DJs look over the floor from the elevated sound booth, where they select songs for skating sessions and sound effects for the rocket-skating mishaps of cartoon coyotes. On certain nights the DJs will host themed playlists including Top 40 tracks from the realms of hip-hop and R & B, kid-friendly afternoon playlists, and late-night tunes for adults age 18 and older. An onsite pro shop vends skating accessories, including glowing items for black-light skating, and the facility's internet café and arcade gives skaters a break from the arena's centripetal force.
Nestled in the high branches of Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, a network of ropes, ladders, and bridges invites amateur adventurers to scurry across their lengths. Although Treetop Quest’s ropes courses hover as high as 55 feet above the ground, guests stay safe thanks to a belay system that’s impossible to detach at canopy level. During self-guided adventures, they encounter more than 70 obstacles, whooshing along ziplines, scaling rope nets, and carefully crossing suspension and monkey bridges. Before guests ascend through the branches, instructors issue them harnesses and gloves and give them a thorough safety briefing. The courses vary in difficulty and height to accommodate all experience levels and ages, allowing visitors as young as 4 to enjoy a challenge, even if it’s just trying to sweet-talk a squirrel into sharing his stash of Corn Nuts.
Amid the excitement, Treetop Quest educates patrons on the surrounding environment through plaques and info boards at each course level. The courses operate sustainably to respect their arboreal hosts; the structures are treatment-free and don’t puncture the trees in any way.