Since 1952, North Park Batting Range has facilitated outdoor baseball training on its open-air range. In each of 10 open-air baseball cages, automated pitching machines fire balls into the strike zone at 30–80 miles per hour. Five open-air softball cages loft pitches at various speeds for batters training for slow-pitch or fast-pitch leagues. On the 18-hole, par 40 miniature golf course, family-owned and operated since 1961, flourishing shrubs, sharp corners, water hazards, hills, and windmills create obstructions for golfers.
Three Rivers Batting Cages, run by former professional players Denny Bair and Scott Seabol, imparts professional hitting and pitching techniques to amateur players in an indoor facility. During each hitting session, non-sentient pitching machines hurl baseballs 40–80 miles per hour, based on players' ages and level of experience, while Bair (a former Chicago Cubs farmhand) and Seabol (who played for the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals) personally offer advice on technique, form, and knee-high sock trends. Thirty minutes of one-on-one hitting instruction from Seabol combine power and finesse, and a 30-minute pitching lesson with Bair is aided and abetted by a speed-trapping radar gun. Helmet, bat, and giant-foam-finger rentals are all included with this Groupon.
Stop N Sock's owners have transformed their corner of New Brighton into a family-friendly labyrinth of golf-inspired games. Their expansive outdoor facility—with 43 acres of rolling greens—allows adults and kids to putt and ricochet balls around the 18-hole golf course lined with trees, shrubs, and spouting fountains, or toss tiny saucers into metal baskets at disc golf. With short links and wide fairways, their pitch-and-putt course lets kids develop interest in golf, and challenges experienced club swingers to hone their short game. Stop N Sock's driving range, however, gives everyone the opportunity to work on their long game, with 27 stations equipped with grass practice areas and automatic ball dispensers. To mix it up, the golf-centric center's batting cages lets individuals solidify their stance, perfect their focus, and keep the rust and barnacles off their swing.
In theory, a family could visit Fun Fore All once a week for two months and always find something new to do. During one visit, they might putt their way past waterfalls on two 18-hole mini golf courses; during the next, they might race around the go-kart track or use a round of bumper boats to decide who has to pay that month's yacht insurance.
But if those seasonal and year-round attractions aren't enough, Fun Fore All has even more to offer in the form of batting cages, an arcade, and Ballocity?a three-story play area outfitted with 30-plus interactive features, including a four-story slide. For budding rock climbers or anyone looking for a challenge, there's 26-feet of rock to climb, and the Kiddie Rides include Mini Tea Cups, a Happy Swing and the Kiddie Coaster. Guests can stay properly fueled for all this action, too, thanks to a snack bar stocked with sandwiches, pizza, wings, and wraps.
Putt-Putt Fun Center's diminutive diversions pack a full-size dose of afternoon entertainment for fun-seeking families and putt-putt enthusiasts alike. Grab a putter and whack dimpled balls into 18 holes spread across three mini golf courses. Play the angles and employ your secret mini swing to achieve that satisfying ball-in-cup clink while keeping score in pencil, an erasable alternative for situations requiring mulligans or tactical alterations of your opponent’s stroke numbers. Children 5 and younger can play at Putt-Putt Fun Center for $1, so feel free to bring the entire family for a relaxing day of club swinging.
Established in 1933, The Hub has since excelled at cooking up simmering chili, grilled dogs, burgers, and fries to please its patrons. Check the menu and try the franks with or without The Hub’s original chili sauce and onions ($0.99), or wrap your meat cylinder in a thick blanket of batter and call it a corn dog ($1.29). The Hub's burger with cheese ($4.50) pairs well with a boat of fries and sauce ($4.75) or crispy onion rings ($4). Customers can eat indoors or, when the weather warms up, consume their chili-clad cache under a canopy of sunlight while watching the bats and balls frolicking inside the adjoining batting cages.