Seizing an opening, a boy manning a motorized boat slams into the boat in front of him. Before the other driver has time to retaliate, he turns the wheel 90 degrees and high-tails it to the other side of the bumper-boat pool. Safe, for the moment. Nearby, similarly minded motorists intent on reckless cruising race laps around a go-kart track, bounding off the track’s walls and off fellow drivers trying to practice their parallel-parking skills. High-pitched screams in the distance indicate that the Tiger Terror rollercoaster has begun its decent, and the swift crack of a baseball bat indicates the batting cage has met its match.
As the sun sets on another day at Route 66 Carousel Park, park-goers take in the twinkling lights of a towering ferris wheel and the smells of sweet and savory park confections wafting through the summer air. Whether at the park on a whim or celebrating a birthday, corporate event, or puppy’s first words, guests can keep the revelry going late into the evening.
Kids of all ages literally bounce off the walls at Bouncers, an indoor play place cushioned by an inflatable jump zone. As kids test the limits of gravity, parents can watch from a distance with concessions in hand. Bouncers makes sure its play sessions are age-appropriate by offering specialized dates for toddler jumps, ensuring that little ones don’t get trampled or traded by older kids. The multipurpose center also hosts music lessons on Wednesdays as well as charitable fundraisers for such organizations as Republic High School and the Ronald McDonald House.
Lokomotion Family Fun Center paves the way for friendly competition and family fun in a multi-attraction complex filled with arcade games, mini golf, laser tag, go-karts, and bumper boats. Feed fistfuls of tokens ($0.25 value each) into a multitude of games to shoot hoops, smack air-hockey pucks, and recklessly race virtual cars without being grounded for hitting the neighbors' mailbox. Take aim at sibling rivalries during black-light laser-tag games or spray down peers in the bumper-boat pool. Thirty-six mini golf holes border an Illinois River tributary, setting a beautiful scene to knock grandma off the top of the family standings. Four different go-kart tracks separate racers by age with single-seat pro-track cars for licensed drivers and double-seated family-track cars that liberate backseat drivers.
As days start to shorten and the leaves start to fall, guests of all ages congregate at Campbell's Farm for an annual autumn celebration. General admission grants kids access to a petting zoo, a purple dragon bounce house, and a pumpkin-painting station, and extra amusements such as pony rides, face painting, or a challenging needle-in-a-haystack game provide enough family-friendly fun to last an entire afternoon. Children can also wind their way through the cornstalk-lined path of a 4-acre fun maze, while the bravest among them dare to navigate the labyrinth after dark, risking chance encounters with spooks around every twisting turn. After a spine-tingling tour on one of the farm's haunted hayrides, groups can also be spotted warming up around the glow of rented bonfires as they roast hot dogs or marshmallows to quell hunger pangs or construct extremely perishable birdhouses.
The guides at Moto-Zip of Branson show how to navigate the treetop canopies year-round. While zipping between platforms at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, guests get unique views of the surrounding Ozarks and the unsung puppeteers that control them. The secure lines use a backup-cable system that prevents accidents, ensuring trips along the 2-mile tracks occur without snags.
At Tilt Studio, black lights shine down on mini golfers playing 18 holes, the glow of neon green, pink, and orange fixtures lighting up their faces. Paintings of animal and human onlookers watch them as they shoot for hole-in-ones, sending balls flying beneath a bright obstacles, such as a miniature Eiffel Tower or a prowling tiger. In the jungle-themed laser-tag arena, players duck behind mock rocks and hide in the shadows beneath luminescent images of twisting pythons and laser-toting apes. This jungle theme extends into the arcade, where players will see a snarling King Kong looming above their heads. By filling their space with neon and larger-than-life decor, Tilt Studio transports patrons to another world, much like the elevator that connects Earth and Mars.