The friendly staffers at Bounce House's multiple Virginia locales breathe new life into the term sock hop, as well as lots of air into inflatable play surfaces. During Open Jump sessions and birthday parties, sock-clad moppets aged 1–12 can hop to their heels’ content across a cadre of themed inflatables, which catapult youngsters into TV-station simulacra and onto the surface of an air-hockey machine. As parents supervise, they can compare their children's bouncing with that of the stock market using complimentary WiFi. Each Bounce House fuels fun by keeping its snack bar fully stocked.
At Rebounderz of Newport News, parents need not cringe as they watch their kids literally jump off the walls. Safety is of the utmost importance to the staff, and it starts with the trampolines. Over 10,000 square feet of these jump boosters line the floors and jut outward at an angle on the walls. Their patented design boasts high-quality components that make them much safer than leaping off the garage roof with an umbrella as a parachute. As kids engage in friendly battle on the dodge-ball trampoline or practice their approach at the slam-dunk station, safety-trained referees keep a watchful eye on them at all times. And even though the pit is filled to the brim with foam bricks, jumpers don padded helmets and special shoes for protection. Kids and grownups can take a break from simulating molecular fusion at the arcade, earning tickets to trade in for prizes.
Though hiding from opponents deep within the jungles and cave mazes surrounding ancient Incan temple ruins would normally induce acute panic attacks, it's actually part of the fun at LazerRush. After viewing an instructional film that covers the game's rules, players equip themselves with a laser-sensitive vest and phaser. Once inside the 5,800-square-foot arena, they slalom through dark and smoky corridors on missions to defend their base, conquer their competitor's base, and confuse as many vagabond cats as possible.
After each game, scores reveal where participants placed, which opponents they hit, and which opponents hit them in turn. Outside the arena, meanwhile, scores keep spectators abreast of the action inside, as do large plasma monitors that stream each game.
Ice skaters of all stripes can find a home at Hampton Roads IcePlex. For budding figure skaters, the instructors offer lessons at 10 different levels. Beginners learn basic pivots and spins, and as skaters reach competitive levels, they cover double-axels, Arabian cartwheels, and turning ice into gold. Hockey players can also improve their skills at the complex?instructors lead leagues and workshops, which eschew figure skating's acrobatics and emphasize skating with speed and control. Even toddlers have a place at the rink?kids as young as 4 can take intro lessons that cover fundamentals such as falling safely. And those who want to just skate for fun can lace up rental blades during public skate sessions.
Arcadia Evolutions enthuses joystick jockeys of all dedication levels with more than 1,000 game titles, as well as multiplayer games boosted by high-speed Internet, high-definition television screens and computer monitors, and a variety of vintage and current gaming consoles. An all-day gaming pass grants avatar aficionados with unlimited game play on current consoles such as Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PS3, as well as retro machines that require human breath-blowing and other old-school tricks to remain in operating order. The gaming mecca houses multiple copies of each game to avoid long Paperboy lines and to encourage identical twins to creepily play Castlevania in tandem. Business hours stretch into late-night territory, allowing thumb athletes to swap hand-callus horror stories anytime between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. on weekends, or 10 p.m. on weeknights.
Every fall, as the leaves turn orange and the air becomes crisp, owners David and Patricia Hand open up a portion of their operating farm to the general public. Aptly named the Green Hand Farm Park, the agricultural attraction features an 8-acre corn maze that challenges families, students, and office groups to work together to find their way out. The labyrinth takes on a new theme each year?such as a salute to the American soldier?and incorporates facts and clues. As maze participants interrogate corn stalks for directions, hayrides journey to a pumpkin patch and young visitors leap and bound over bales of hay. At night, campfires spring to life for cooking hot dogs and s'mores. Aside from these attractions, there is a farm market to lure visitors.