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.
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.
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.
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.
A tiger sits beneath the setting sun, her tail beating the ground as her gaze locks onto a man passing by. Luckily, the two aren’t deep in the jungle, but at Wild Animal Safari outside Atlanta, where guests view these majestic animals from the safety of slow-moving vehicles. During tours, personal cars and guided buses wind through 3.5 miles of the park’s territory, passing the habitats of 650 animals such as camels, zebras, and american bison. After the driving tour, safari groups set out on foot to spy smaller animals, including lemurs and peacocks, with opportunities to feed and pet some species. Afterward, pizza and burgers await the hungry at the safari café, and the Wild Animal gift shop offers mementos such as T-shirts and stuffed safari guides.
Big Rock Climbing Gym's 6,000-square-foot facility welcomes beginners and expert climbers of all ages to scale its varied walls. The gym includes a large main wall with top-rope and lead climbing, a bouldering island, and two bouldering caves. The staff also hosts belaying-certification courses.