The treats at Control Tower Ice Cream are so tasty that they regularly cause pilots to land their planes near the shop. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Albany International Airport’s north runway is paved a few 100 yards from the creamery’s door. Regardless, from March to September, the staff serves nearly 20 specialty sundaes and more than 40 flavors of ice cream that woo adults and kids alike. More savory foods, such as hot dogs, burgers, and paninis, complement the desserts. After eating, guests can watch the planes land and take off or visit Control Tower’s go-kart track, miniature-golf course, or batting cages.
Putt-putting through a pirate ship might normally result in the putter walking the plank. Not so at FunPlex Fun Park, where on the 18-hole mini-golf course, players navigate ocean-themed greens populated by alligators, a lighthouse, and one grounded speedboat. Thirteen attractions, including a bounce house and bumper boats, promise diversion for kids of almost any age. Go-karts spin around an eighth-mile track at up to 20 miles per hour, and kids aged 3?10 zip around at 6 miles per hour on the mini go-kart track. In Captain Hook's House of Fun, kids clamber inside the tunnels of a multilevel play structure, descending tube slides and diving into a pit filled with plastic balls, more fun than the ones at school that are filled with homework.
Spooky, undead monsters and lively tunes combine to create a jovial atmosphere inside Monster Mini Golf's 10,000-square-foot, glow-in-the-dark course. As players navigate the 18 mind-boggling holes, a DJ spins tunes to awaken tone-deaf monsters, occasionally doling out prizes to golfers for reasons ranging from "craziest hair" to "smoothest celebration after a hole in eight." And after a wacky session of putting, guests can flex their thumb muscles inside a decked-out video arcade lined with both classic and modern games.
With an All-Day Pass in hand, merrymakers can limitlessly enjoy Mel's Funway Park's go-karts, batting cages, mini golf, driving range, laser tag, and laser maze. Motor around Mel's go-kart track, which tests rubber-burners with tight turns and a bridge. David Ortiz admirers can emulate Big Papi in Mel's batting cages, featuring a replica of the Fenway Park's Green Monster and pitches from 45 to 85 mph. Golf gurus can tap orbs around two mini-golf courses, or sharpen their power-drive on the driving range. Show off your laser-firing accuracy or settle trading disputes with the Galactic Emperor Zorgo by dueling in the laser plex, where fog and black lights fill the futuristic arena. Mel's laser maze presents an electrifying challenge, as calm contortionists achieve victory by maneuvering around 36 beams of emerald light.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
Chuckster's draws in fun-seekers of all ages with its sprawling haven of outdoor games, activities, and attractions. With 12,000 square feet of emerald carpet darting in between nine streams and ponds and 1,000 tons of boulders, Chuckster's remarkably long mini-golf course challenges putters with water features and inclines. Across the grounds, straining knuckles steer two-seat go-karts around the speedway, swing at fast- or slow-pitched balls at the batting cages, and grip onto colorful holds to ascend the 27-foot climbing wall. Duos can square off in a game of Shoot-N-Shower, a timed free-throw shooting challenge where the player who sinks the fewest freebies gets doused with water and scolded by an omnipotent Reggie Miller. Picnic tables nestled in the cool shade of umbrellas cradle patrons as they rejuvenate with ice cream, frappes, and soft drinks after a day at play.