Hot Skates Roller Skating Center tempts skilled skaters and fledgling gliders alike with a spacious facility, themed events, and refreshing snacks. As hit songs drift overhead, patrons strap on a pair of four-wheeled loafers to flit about the facility’s spacious wooden floor in daily public-skate sessions, 2.5–4 hours depending on the day. Wednesday freestyle nights let skaters 18 and older show off their best tricks—including the figure eight and the itemized tax deduction—from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and gospel nights keep families rolling with spiritual tunes on Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Novices receive assistance from one of Hot Skate’s helpful skate mates, a triangular contraption designed to prop up rollers-in-training. Between songs, skaters nosh on pizza and sip soft drinks to fuel up, preventing hunger-induced distraction and dangerous mid-rink chili cook-offs.
Brunswick Zone has been a trusted name in recreational pin pulverizing for more than a century, providing good times to patrons across the country. Friends and families season afternoons with a pleasant peppering of strikes, spares, and easygoing gutter balls under classic bowling conditions, or take the next bold step in ball-hurling evolution and engage in a round of cosmic bowling, where dancing lights, thumping tunes, and black-lit gear light up the full sensorium. At XL locations, game rooms beckon with nimble joystick workouts on classic and modern arcade games.
This sort of deft dodging is required at the 5,000-square-foot arena in Owings Mills. Teams compete in one of ten missions during each game of Frontal Assault tactical laser tag, which are inspired by popular video games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
The snack bar at XP Laser Sport reenergizes players with Polar Shock slushies and personal pizzas. Meanwhile, windmills, loops, and carousels obstruct the path of LED mini-golf balls tumbling down the nine-hole indoor course. The facility's projection screens broadcast the latest angry faces of professional sports coaches, and two 25-foot screens let up to eight guests compete in Xbox 360 games such as Mortal Kombat.
Reisterstown Sportsplex seamlessly melds competitive fire and ice with a regulation NHL skating rink and a similarly spacious indoor field for lacrosse and soccer. Since opening in 2008, the facility has expanded to host both serious and recreational events, from birthday parties and broomball matches to figure-skating lessons and hockey leagues for all ages. The center frequently hosts open public-skating hours, giving fledgling figure skaters the chance to prepare for real-world, high-pressure job interviews at the local RollerBurger.
The American Visionary Art Museum devotes its space to original work by self-taught artists who honed their craft—often unintentionally—while operating on the outskirts of the formal art world. As temporary exhibitions explore a particular artist or theme in depth, the permanent collection displays thousands of powerful and often whimsical items, such as Wayne Kusy’s Lusitania, a detailed toothpick replica of the doomed vessel, or the haunting Applewood Figure, an emaciated sculpture said to wince whenever someone eats a piece of fruit. The museum spreads its arresting pieces throughout three historical buildings, including the expansive main building, which boasts a reflective mirrored-mosaic exterior and neighbors the Tall Sculpture Barn, an ex-whiskey warehouse fully equipped with 45-foot ceilings for large-scale projects. A wildflower garden—complete with meditation chapel—and a sculpture plaza featuring a 55-foot whirligig beckon visitors to the museum's outdoor space, where envious clouds shape themselves into crude versions of Pietà. Completing any trip, the museum's Sideshow gift shop stuffs shopping bags with an ever-rotating collection of eclectic artwork, jewelry, toys, and more.