Laser Quest's mazelike, multi-level arena lets up to 39 players weave through the clouded fog with the grace of a skydiving basket-maker—taking cover behind barriers, swooping around corners, and raining beam-bolts down from the upper decks. Players can compete either as friendly teams or as lone wolves. Once they are surrounded by intense crossfire rarely seen outside of stormtrooper raves, players must use strategy, stamina, and well-timed hand-mirror shields to defeat the opposition.
Nearly 50 years old and recognized as one of the Best Zoos for Kids by Parents magazine, the Lincoln Children's Zoo continues to foster an exciting educational atmosphere that encourages kids to interact firsthand with their furry, scaly, and leafy neighbors. There's already an ample, varied herd of animals that will be joined by the rare Humboldt penguins—the zoo is one of only 16 zoos nationwide to feature the warm-climate tuxedoed birds—and the mischievous squirrel monkeys. Curious kids and professional petters will want to flock to the hands-on exhibits. Feed a llama from your hand and listen closely for his penny-stock tips at the Firsthand Farm, or watch a friendly ZooCrew handler parade small creatures before youngsters at Critter Encounter. Because plants and animals are still reconciling creative differences, you can visit bodacious buds separately at the nearby botanical gardens, where a wide variety of plant species bedeck their expansive green areas.
Go-karts hug the twists and turns of a 1/4-mile track. Six batting cages hurl baseballs and softballs at speeds between 50 mph and 80 mph. An 18-hole miniature golf course coaxes putted balls down greens ranging from 75- to 185-feet in length. Elsewhere, water balloons fired from a launcher soak opponents stationed at battle zones. For 20 years, Papio Fun Park has enraptured families with abundant outdoor and indoor activities and games.
The indoor facility hosts trampoline-hopping players at Spaceball or Jumpshot, while an arcade brims with quarter-operated air hockey, pool tables, and laundry machines disguised as video games.
During BounceU's parties, kids bound through inflatable play structures—and occasionally glow in the dark. At the center's Cosmic bounce parties, the main lights are replaced by special-effects lighting, which coaxes light from glow-in-the-dark accessories. The center's new location, in operation since May 2013, complements its shindigs with open-play sessions and more structured classes, appropriate for kids aged 2 and older.
At Skate City Bellevue, exercise consists of pirouetting around groups of laughing friends and zipping atop skates at dashing speeds. At any given time throughout the week, the facility buzzes with activity—be it during public skating sessions, roller-skating classes, or roller-hockey league games. Off the rink, Skate City refuels skaters with a snack bar and challenges gamers with an arcade reminiscent of the one hidden behind the bookshelf in the Oval Office.
Mulligan Family Fun Center's three locations surround parents and kids with sprawling smorgasbords of kinetic entertainment. Outside, each park's sunny grounds encourage healthy activity with putt-testing miniature-golf courses and the hairpin turns of go-kart tracks. In the batting cages, aspiring sluggers test their swing while recognized major-league sluggers test their disguise against the park's do-not-admit posters. Back inside, climbers scale the rock wall’s vertical challenges and friends battle friends in laser tag’s intense light-based combat.
Each location also has its own signature activities. The Torrance location's rookie go-karts, for example, enable younger drivers to take a turn down the track, whereas the Palmdale location boasts a longer, 1,500-foot track for children and adults alike.