Funtown Family-Center's 30,000-square-foot facility echoes with the shrieks and hollers emanating from kids as they careen across the gleaming hardwood ellipse of the roller rink or beneath the black lights of the laser-tag arena. An inflatable obstacle course and indoor playground quarantines hopping youngsters in between cafe-fare feasts beneath beach murals. An arcade offers a selection of video games, and a personal hostess oversees each Fun Town party, helping wrangle attendees as they launch endeavors fueled by pizza and celebratory cupcakes.
Galaxy Skateway corrals families for unlimited spins around a gleaming rink, jaunts through a kids-only Playzone, and chances at winning prizes on token-activated games. Duos or quintets can lace up sturdy skates and practice familiar moves, such as skating backward, skating while connecting pinkies, or skating while cartwheeling. After zooming up an appetite, participants can perch at tables nestled near bright wall paintings to sup on a pizza-and-soda feast. Tokens give game players a chance to score treasures such as stuffed animals, and the Playzone beckons tykes to its multihued structures where they can climb, hide, or engage in debates on the necessity of naptime.
Santa Claus is all about making wishes come true, and at Light Up Viera, jolly old Saint Nick grants one that most people never even knew they had: the chance to step inside a 15-ft. snow globe and pose for photos. That's just one of nine different attractions sprawling across this winter wonderland, where guests shop for holiday arts and crafts and even get to meet with Santa himself. But the big man isn't necessarily the biggest draw?the 40'x100' ice rink and the 90-ft. long Snowzilla Slide both have good claims to that title. Finally, there's the 30-foot tall Bouncy the Snowman, which beckons visitors inside to jump and experience the surprising warmth of a snowman's heart.
A few minutes from the sun-kissed sands of Cocoa Beach, things get a little colder. At Space Coast Iceplex, a 20,000 square foot International Ice Surface provides a fun place to cool off, offering public skating hours, hockey programs, and classes that help skating newbies acquire their ice legs. On Saturday nights, skaters glide to tunes spun by a live DJ as special effects lights illuminate the rink, and snack and sports bars continue to fuel the fun for skaters who need a break between laps.
Skatetown USA entertains speedsters with a slick rink full of friction-less fun during open-skate sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Skaters can careen in the company of a partner or assemble a gaggle of friends, family members, or doppelgängers to perform choreographed rink routines. Family packages help to replenish energy spent on glissading across the floor or perfecting quadruple axel jumps with a hot pizza and slurpable sodas. Bask in retro glory with four-wheeled skates or for an additional fee, spring for a pair of speed skates or rug-cutting roller blades to ensure hummingbird-paced conga lines.
A snowball’s throw away from the Disney World and Universal Studio theme parks, The Ice Factory of Central Florida extends the season of winter sports to a year-round festival of open-skate sessions and pickup or youth-league hockey matches. During public-skate hours, patrons lace up hockey or figure skates before hitting the NHL- and studio-size rinks to learn the ropes or gracefully carve the name of their favorite zamboni driver into the ice. Weekend DJ skates enliven outings with interactive games and prizes on Saturday afternoons and musical stylings on Saturday nights. After a fun-filled workout on the rink, grownup guests can unwind with a frosty beverage at the rinkside bar and lounge, and kids pass the time at the pool table or ring in birthdays with sodas, pizzas, and bouquets of balloons.
Novice skaters of all ages can master the skills and techniques of icemanship with beginners’ lessons or mock nature’s clearly defined seasons with ice-skating summer camps.