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.
At Tilt Studio, black lights shine down on mini golfers playing 18 holes, the glow of neon green, pink, and orange fixtures lighting up their faces. Paintings of animal and human onlookers watch them as they shoot for hole-in-ones, sending balls flying beneath a bright obstacles, such as a miniature Eiffel Tower or a prowling tiger. In the jungle-themed laser-tag arena, players duck behind mock rocks and hide in the shadows beneath luminescent images of twisting pythons and laser-toting apes. This jungle theme extends into the arcade, where players will see a snarling King Kong looming above their heads. By filling their space with neon and larger-than-life decor, Tilt Studio transports patrons to another world, much like the elevator that connects Earth and Mars.
Family members young and old enjoy hours of bowling, billiards, and arcade gaming inside the friendly confines of Carl Richard Bowling Centers. Visitors dine on food and soda from the snack bar, enjoy cold brews in the lounge, or perfect their game during tournaments or league matches for both adults and children, as well as blacklit bouts of cosmic bowling on Friday and Saturday nights.
The experienced strapclingers at Stay in the Saddle's Cactus Bars Ranch teach fledgling equestrians how to ride in the authentic Western riding style. Different from methods taught at most instructional facilities, the Stay in the Saddle method incorporates comfort, control, confidence, and telepathic communication to create an unbreakable bond between horse and rider. Stop by Cactus Bars Ranch for a challenging, on-site lesson, or take a digital ride with the Basic Western Horsemanship and Riding Lessons DVD, which provides safety, handling, grooming, tack, and riding know-how through comprehensive elucidations and demonstrations. The DVD's instructor, Janel Brookshire, teaches a deep and balanced seat and offers tips on buying your first horse while discussing ways to teach your second horse not to split its infinitives.
At Showplex Cinemas, it’s the same scene every night. The lights dim, and the crowd quickly falls silent. After some song-and-dance from the concession stand and a few thrilling trailers, main attractions from Hollywood’s biggest movie makers flicker to life on screen. Thanks to Showplex’s screening systems, moviegoers in five states share in this immersive entertainment tradition, which is as American as the hot dogs they sell in the lobby. Recently under the new management of Starplex Cinemas, Showplex has lowered ticket prices and added more items to the concessions lineup. The theaters’ Facebook page increases the community aspect, helping moviegoers stay abreast of the newest releases as well as flashback screenings of classic flicks.
The horses at Stepping Stone Ranch may as well be wearing plush bathrobes. At the full-care boarding facility, denizens enjoy such luxurious amenities as heated stalls—where automatic fly-spray systems keep their manes free from airborne pests—and 24-hour access to a 35-acre pasture, where they can gallop freely under the sun or channel the spirit of Secretariat in midnight séances. Stepping Stone Ranch's commitment to compassionate horse care ensures that equines will be in good spirits for riding lessons, during which clients learn from dressage enthusiast Vera Gannaway. Gannaway's lessons teach riders to find their balance in the saddle, develop soft hands on the reins, and calm bucking steeds by letting them get the Batman toy that the big boys have. In addition, Vera covers the basics of equestrian care in group horse-training classes, which prepare pupils to own and squire their own horses.