Baby goats and calves lounge on straw in a petting zoo while wolves and black bears frolic just yards away. It's not a radical experiment in natural selection, though; it's just part of the varied attractions at Charmingfare Farm. After taking in the entire zoo?from pigs to camels?guests can avail themselves of such diversions as trail rides atop one of the farm's friendly horses. Horse-drawn hayrides and sleigh ride socials culminate in a stop at a roaring bonfire where guests can cook all the hotdogs and 'smores they've captured in the wild.
At Fun2Paint, artists of all ages adorn plaster vessels with individualized designs, crafting masterpieces in the studio to take home immediately. After selecting a choice piece from hundreds of options (starting at $10.99), fledgling Van Goghs can embellish with studio-supplied paints and brushes, creating a vibrant flower, a realistic butterfly, or a mustached Batman. The resident spray wizard will then coat finished figures with a magical paint-fixing spray-finish, so artists can take their master works home that day.
In the dark, all that's visible are the colored neon shapes that indicate what team's territory players are trespassing on. And, of course: the vests and phasers of one's enemy. This is LaserCraze, where players tag one another in the black-lit depths of a mysterious, futuristic world. "Organized chaos," says a sign on the lobbies' walls, and for players in the throes of an intense laser-tag game, that's exactly what LaserCraze offers.
While laser tag is the specialty, LaserCraze has an equally extensive arcade room whose beeping, shimmering, and ticket-spitting amusements compete for fun-lovers' affections. Ticket harvesters can reward themselves at the prize center, with 1,500 tickets buying a stuffed animal and 150,000,000,000 tickets buying an original copy of the Constitution. Gamers can celebrate their victories or plan strategies for next time at Craze Cafe, which serves made-to-order pizza and slushies. And no matter the adventure, guests only have to worry about their health in the virtual world when playing laser tag or arcade games, as LaserCraze sanitizes its facilities to provide a hygienic, safe space.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the floor and ceiling by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
A haven for exotic animals rescued from neglect or abandonment, Animal Adventures lets visitors interact with its furry and scaly refugees, teaching them firsthand to appreciate and respect the earth's diverse wildlife. Working with a rotating cast of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and marsupials, animal experts regale audiences with facts and the backstories of each animal, such as how they were rescued and which cartoon representative of their species best captures their regional accent. Though its denizens regularly find new homes, Animal Adventures's altruistic menagerie has included a massive alligator snapping turtle, a canadian lynx, and an asian water monitor. The sanctuary also offers day camps for youngsters looking to get closer with the animals, and an animal-adoption program for adults looking to support the cause by taking a critter home and putting it through college.