On Zao Island's two 18-hole mini-golf courses, players will encounter more than 20 fountains, 10 waterfalls, and several suspended bridges. But by the last hole, all they'll remember is the 30-foot, three-story mountain looming over the course and the mighty dragon that perches atop it. While the mythical winged beast stands guard over Zao Island, 45 real alligators occupy its waters, waiting for visitors to feed them with one of the gator exhibit's poles. The island's jungle-themed, black-lit laser-tag arena is devoid of strange creatures, however—save for droves of laser-armed humans.
While players dodge lasers, slow pitches and fastballs whiz by inside Zao Island's batting cages. Speed is also the name of the game on the park's 1,100-foot-long go-kart track, whose twists and turns stretch across a wooden high rise. Inflatable slides, bounce houses, and a massive arcade complete with redemption prizes round out the fun center's potpourri of attractions. To reenergize after long days of play, visitors can gather at Colada's Pizza for a celebratory slice.
Housed inside of an airplane-hanger-like building with a high, A-frame ceiling, Chicagoland Paintball's battleground yields paintballing matches during all seasons. The center suits up players in rental gear before sending them onto the green turf floor to navigate mammoth inflatable X- and barrel-shaped obstacles. After the paint clouds clear, teams can agree to an armistice as they nosh on pepperoni pizzas and slurp down slushies at the onsite snack bar. And in the adjoining lounge, they recharge and recover with free WiFi and cable TV, plus nearby shower facilities that promote cleaner car rides home.
Entertainment at the Crete Family Fun Center includes a Cannonball Wars arena, in which teams fire foam balls into the opposing crew’s net. Players work up a sweat while dodging focused light in an indoor laser-tag arena or playing classic and modern games in the arcade, and bumper cars provide catharsis for overworked driving instructors. Crete’s onsite restaurant dishes up treats such as pizzas, hot dogs, and burgers.
Go-karts roar across the racetrack, bumper boats collide, and the cracking sound of confined home runs rings out from batting cages. This multisensory symphony fills the landscaped grounds of Fun Time Square, where attraction after attraction beckons visitors of all ages to kiddie train rides, 18 holes of mini golf, and the blinking lights of pinball machines in the onsite arcade. More intense thrills unfold at a paintball field, where abandoned cars, inflated cover, and war-torn art teachers guard players from enemy paint.
Housing whiz-bang activities sprung to life from the mind of owner and game designer J. Richard Oltmann, Enchanted Castle & Haunted Trails coax thrills from the young and young at heart. As pins are knocked over throughout the 66 mini-bowling lanes and an arcade rings with the peal of 250 games, Enchanted Castle?s 60,000-square-foot space fills with scenes fit for dream-like days of timeless tomfoolery. A laser-tag arena hosts light-based combat, bumper cars clunk together around a giant track, and an indoor go-kart course lets driver reenact the time that the Indianapolis 500 was hosted inside a local gymnasium. In addition to rides and games, kids can bounce around in the Inflatable Kingdom, visit the new Softplay area, or search for treasures in the prize redemption center. Platefuls of wings, pizzas, and sandwiches dot tabletops in the dining area, where visitors can feast in front of karaoke, big-screen TVs, and an animatronics stage show featuring in-house band the Jammin? Jesters.