Tip-toeing around black columns illuminated with rings of neon, players catch and zap friends the second they show themselves under the fluorescent light's glow. This happens every day inside Rink Side Sports' 2,000-square-foot Laser Blast arena, which accommodates up to 20 players per match. Just outside that arena, an arcade erupts in a cacophony of bells and whistles emanating from more than 100 video and redemption games. Nearby on the ice rink, ice is carved during public skating hours and kids master the triple Lutz during figure-skating programs led by experienced instructors, many of whom belong to the Professional Skaters Association. These activities all exist under one roof, as well as a 2,700-square-foot 18-hole black-light mini-golf course and a snack bar, which serves hand-tossed pizzas that can be tossed by hand into eaters’ mouths.
In 2012, Jump America— located next door to Six Flags Great America— debuted more than 16,000 square feet of springy floor space—trampolines cover the floors and walls. A game of dodge ball gets an antigravity twist over two courts and jumpers can use a trampoline as a launching pad into a pit of foam. Guests aged 3 and up watch a safety video before embarking upon hours of bouncy play monitored by attentive staffers.
Hidden Creek AquaPark's water garden of delights fosters two water slides, a sand area ripe for beachy architecture, and abundant opportunities for entire afternoons of aquatic activity. A huge six-lane pool graduates gently from a toe-tickling zero-depth embankment to the deep-water swim zone, where cetaceans in training practice their whalesong. Set the diving board abuzz with a graceful cannonball or watch wee ones make mischievous use of the playground's dump-bucket from a dry, deck-side lounge chair, munching tasty treats from the concession stand. Admission also nets visitors access to occasional family-friendly events, such as this month's Guitar Hero BBQ, the buoyant big-screen attractions of the Flick 'n Float film series, and annual pool-noodle spaghetti dinners.
Par-King Skill Golf has been churning out rounds of family-friendly fun for the Chicagoland area since the 1950s. With two separate 18-hole courses, six water challenges, twelve moving obstacles, numerous curbs, and surprising elevation changes, Par-King is a step up from the flat mini-greens of yesteryear, and 3 club-lengths more entertaining than the regulation-sized greens of normal-sized golf. Play a full 18 holes as you gape and gander at twirling clowns, roller-coaster ramps in the vein of Rube Goldberg, elaborately-painted totem poles, and recreations of famous landmarks such as Mt. Rushmore and the Sears Tower. This colorful landscape of golf-based adventure is refurbished and repainted every winter to provide a consistently-beautiful, clean, and safe experience during April to October operations. Although the park is family-oriented, they maintain a stout 48-inch height requirement to play or playact in the playing area; this is enforced purely with safety in mind, as the challenging course terrain may prove hazardous to the diminutive.
America's Action Territory encourages familial bonding through amusements in session year-round indoors and seasonally outdoors. During warm weather, the park staff operates six outdoor activities, from bumper boats in a 75,000-gallon pool to paintball in a fully enclosed outdoor inflatable field. Back inside, kids can enter the smoky, black-lit laser-tag arena to demonstrate who is most deserving of parents' love, or challenge their progenitors to skee-ball at the arcade. Between games, an eatery supplies patrons with refreshments such as sandwiches, chicken strips, and pizzas on crust made without gluten or lasers. It also offers a wine and beer list for adults, as well as free WiFi. For special occasions, Action Territory's team can also arrange birthday parties and organize group packages.
Blanketed in wall-to-wall trampolines, Sky High Sports delights barefoot fun-seekers with springy terrain and an exclusive court for jumpers 8 and younger. Guests can hone front flips, back flips, and belly flops during intense free-bounce sessions. Each trampoline comes equipped with a specially designed spring-loaded frame and thick, 2-inch safety pads that grant patrons a landing cushier than a corner office at a marshmallow factory. Stuffed with blocks of spongy, body-molding material, a foam pit dares treasure-seekers to fling themselves in or scour its depths for the lost contents of bygone pockets. Pintsize aerialist posses can safely practice their synchronized Salchows on 360 degrees of trampoline walls while court supervisors watch from the sidelines and award hard-earned praise with oversize scorecards.
Sky High also offers AIRobics fitness classes and monthly dodge-ball tournaments to help jumpers explore the outermost stratospheres of trampoline possibilities.