Zero Gravity Trampoline Park thrills visitors with an arena whose walls and floor are composed of 11,000 square feet of trampolines for flipping and turning airborne somersaults. On the dodge-ball courts—one of which can be rented for private parties—jumpers pelt each other with balls as the trampolines add a vertical component to a classic game. Meanwhile, basketball hoops set at different heights let visitors possessing all types of hops showcase their dunks, and a tot spot separates youngsters from their more mature counterparts. Lockers safeguard valuables during jump visits, and guests can take breaks in the Gravity Lounge, which is outfitted with vending machines and WiFi connectivity.
For more than 25 years, families have flocked to Goony Golf for family entertainment ranging from curvy putting greens to a video arcade. When fully operational, three 18-hole courses star a cast of colorful creatures, such as a pink kangaroo, Humpty Dumpty, and a bird in a mortarboard and graduation robe. Beyond the 36 holes, guests can rack up points on pinball machines or head to the air-hockey table to re-create Team USA’s miraculous 1980 victory over the Soviet Union’s giant plastic mallet.
In 1996, the Pro Billiards Tour declared Jimmy Wetch to be the fifth-best billiards player in the world. Now, the pro circulates among the 20 emerald felt plots at Jimmy's Pro Billiards, chatting with fellow billiards enthusiasts. At 9-foot and 7-foot Diamond and Gold Crown tables, players sink colorful spheres, and snooker tables encourage them to yell “snooker” as loud as they can. The staccato snap of the cue against a ball rhythmically fills the 10,000 feet of airy, high-ceilinged space. In the kitchen, the staff slices deli meats and pairs hand-pattied burgers with hand-cut french fries and beers with manually placed bubbles.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Out in a Limb Dance Company & School's professional instructors introduce kids and adults to styles as various as classical ballet, modern dance, acrobatics, and hip-hop. School performances let students show off what they've learned to family, friends, and Barbies whose legs refuse to plié, while summer intensives let young bundles of energy immerse themselves in the choreography of a full-scale musical production. Ballroom classes help casual students get comfortable for wedding-mandated whirls about the dance floor and nights out at salsa clubs. Teachers come from backgrounds including the sets of musical theater productions, the Moscow Ballet, and training with Paula Abdul, and all work to create a disciplined, distraction-free environment by asking that students adhere to a formal code of etiquette.
When struck with a cheese craving, Whitney McChane used to turn her sights toward Wisconsin. It wasn’t until the budding cheese connoisseur began to explore co-ops and cheese shops across Minnesota that she came to appreciate the skill and diversity of cheese artisans in her own backyard. In Faribault, she sampled cheeses aged in sandstone caves and in Mankato, she shook hands with the Alemar Cheese Company’s organic, creamy camembert. “People love artisan cheeses but are shocked to learn we have a cheese-making community here producing world-class cheeses,” she says.
Now, Ms. McChane unites those artisanal cheese aficionados—makers and mongers alike—for one day of gustatory exploration. In addition to sampling a clattering of cheeses, visitors can glean inspiration from recipe demos, cheese-pairing workshops, and roundtable discussions with cartoon mice. Additionally, local food trucks will dole out cheese-inspired dishes. The festival even includes a cheese-wrapping competition, wherein competitors skillfully enfold morsels with flavor-preserving Formaticum cheese paper. Ultimately, Ms. McChane hopes the festival will raise awareness of local cheese culture. “We have so many thriving dairy farms here,” says Ms. McChane. "And where there’s great milk, there’s great cheese."