Air fills each piece of playground equipment at Inflatable Adventure Zone, which allows sock-footed kids aged 2–12 to safely jump, climb, and bounce. Kids can scale the towering double slide to reach the room’s highest vantage point, or frolic in an assortment of character-themed obstacles, from a Finding Nemo fortress to a Dora and Diego jumper for the shorter set. A snack area provides juice boxes and light snacks, as well as a place to discuss the bounce castle’s durability against invading packs of feral children.
Created by an early-childhood educator and mother, The Bright Spot is designed with the development, education, and interests of small children in mind. Fun-size frolickers will find a variety of play areas to suit their personalities, keeping them interested and capturing their imagination. Activities for children and parents are presented in classes like Curiosity Quest for preschool/kindergarten age ranges, in which kids create craft projects and experiment with science concepts like weather, gravity, and the human body's four basic humors. Environmentally friendly cleaners and VOC-free wall paint help protect little ones from harm, and the spacious play area is compact enough to keep careful watch.
When Maggie Carchrie voyaged to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, she hardly expected to discover a passion that would win her the U.S. Mòd Women's Championship in Gaelic Singing two years later. She was immediately enchanted by the traditional music of the region, planning her future travels around the areas of Cape Breton and Scotland and diving headfirst into the Celtic culture. With a college degree in music therapy and a resume that boasts subsequent studies at the Ceòlas Music School, she built a foundation for a life filled with award-winning Celtic performance and education. She lays claim to two albums, books several East Coast showcases throughout the year, and furthers the reach of Celtic stylings through the concerts and CDs of Mermaid Productions. Maggie draws from all of these experiences to act as director of the Callanish School of Celtic Arts. There, she instructs students of all ages in music, dance, and lyrical language, managing a non-competitive venue for guests to experiment with age-old harmonies and master a brogue without having to install a second tongue. From the high-stepping choreography of Scottish Highland Dance to the signature keening of the bagpipe, she outlines several levels of melodic techniques, all of which are steeped in rich history.
At each bowling center, balls hurtle down smooth, polished lanes as LCD screens keep track of scores and shimmering party lights illuminate the faces of determined bowlers. After lacing up some slide-enabling shoes and clearing the gutters of deciduous pins, bowlers set their sights on toppling 10-pin clusters. Carpets bedecked with psychedelic swirls lead to shelves stocked with neon-colored balls, which proffer their pin-busting talents to bowlers of various sizes. Fingers can warm up by mashing buttons in an arcade full of entrancing video games or bench-pressing french fries at the onsite grill and pub.
At Lutz Children's Museum, curious young ones aged 2 to 10 explore rotating hands-on exhibits to soak up knowledge and stoke imagination flames. Dismount aluminum covered wagons and kick off a terra firma cultural journey at the main street exhibit, which depicts a World War II-era American village, including a detailed shop and school. Meanwhile, the farm exhibit vividly displays 19th-century Connecticut farm life, where kids can collect eggs from hens, climb in a hayloft, milk the resident cow, or psychoanalyze their moos. Colorful works decorate the halls of the children's art gallery, which occasionally features the creative work of professional artists, while cuddleful perks await visitors of the rescued live animals, where a chinchilla named Bounce currently prowls the grounds alongside about 50 other cute creatures.
Before IMAX movies and online social networks, roller skating reigned supreme as the favorite pastime of American youth. Ron-A-Roll Indoor Roller Skating Center smacks of this blissful era, with its colorful retro murals, classic beach-wood floors, firm prohibition of halter-tops and baggy pants, and the gratuitous use of the word "hogwash." The beeps and whistles of arcade games jingle across the 14,000-square-foot roller skating rink, faintly audible beneath the boom of current hits. Spotlighted by strings of hanging lights, skaters of all ages soar across the rink during open skate, skate lessons, and fitness-skating classes held throughout the week.
Off the skate floor, a team of technicians staffs a pro shop, peddling inline skates and gear for rental or purchase while extending mechanical expertise toward repair work, wheel rotations, and cleanings. Meanwhile, in the concession stand, servers dole out boxes of popcorn and pitchers of soft drinks to fuel laps around the rink and inspire skaters to experiment with their popcorn-float recipe.