Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
During the Halloween season, Pa's Pumpkin Patch converts a small corner of Long Beach into an autumnal fun land that encompasses rides, carnival games, and pumpkin fields. On grounds decorated with cornstalks and scarecrows, kids whip around Pa's wild roller coaster and slip down the giant inflatable slide. They then jump on ponies for leisurely lopes and pet goats and baby chicks at the petting zoo. Between reflective strolls through the mirror maze and bounce time at the Halloween Kastle inflatable, kids can also win stuffed animals and toys at carnival games. Before calling it a day, families can sip and nibble seasonal treats at the snack bar and then pick up a pumpkin to take home, carve, and enter into contests such as the presidential election.
Inflated structures, slides, and games await kids invading BounceU. Staff members closely monitor all activities as children try to conquer obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids.
In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program. Special events include parent's night out, when children take part in supervised activities while parents do grownup things, such as eat a dinner of marshmallows with a knife and fork. BounceU of Huntington Beach will happily throw a private party for birthdays, fundraisers, and other celebrations.
Frogs have evolved to be experts at jumping. Children are pretty good at it, too, though that’s more due to the supply of potential energy in their legs than anything else. Yet at Frogg’s Bounce House, tykes can ask advice from an expert as they bounce and play with Dancing Frogalina, a grown-up, felt-covered amphibian. Dancing Frogalina can show children how to jump with ease and breathe through their skin while they leap across 9,000 square feet of inflatable slides and fortresses.
Founded by a mom to give fellow parents a safe, fun place for their kids to play and exercise, Frogg’s Bounce House entertains all ages. Apart from its inflatable slides and obstacles, the jump emporium also boasts train tables, books, building blocks, a play house, fun cars, and a toddler gym for wee ones. Older siblings can play air-hockey, race through an obstacle course, or catch a flick in the movie lounge. Parents, meanwhile, can watch their progeny from the comfort of a seating area or they can surf the free WiFi or watch the game on TV.
A filming site for the original Karate Kid movie, Golf N Stuff also housed Timothy Roy in its mini-golf course's treehouse for a record-breaking period of more than one year. Four 18-hole miniature golf courses, flashy rides, bumper cars, and a host of other attractions greet thrill-seekers as they arrive to Golf N Stuff's miniature metropolis of family fun. Putt-putt protégés can test their mettle at one of the creatively themed mini-golf courses, tapping like a bugler at dawn through misting waterfalls, loitering elephants, and idle pirates.
Buccaneer Bay packs in more liquitechnics than an underwater merman metal concert. With several twisty, bright-colored waterslides right out of a novelty curly-straw factory, the Bay has everything for every member of the family (even small slides for wee ones). Parking is free and so is the use of life jackets and inner tubes. Between all the splashing and splishing, head to the green grass picnic area, where tired visitors can recharge with a bite to eat, such as hot dogs available for purchase ($1.50 each).