Though still the same game at heart, the bowling competitions at Valley Center Bowl take on a sci-fi spin. The center's 30 lanes use flat-screen televisions to report bowlers' scores, play 3-D graphics, and display a digital clock counting down to the robot uprising. During events such as the Rock-N-Bowl, black and colorful lights dance along the walls and floors while videos pour from six 42-inch screens. Electronic entertainment coaxes visitors away from the lanes an into a newly remodeled, 3,200-square-foot redemption arcade that sits beside the Lazer Frenzy laser maze. Recently renovated with comfortable seating and flat-panel screens, Monterey Lanes entices bowlers of all ages to strive for a perfect 300 score while enjoying good company and crisp refreshments from the cocktail lounge. Weekend glow bowling and an onsite arcade keep gamers amused, and the pro shop caters to more serious bowlers. Monterey Lanes routinely lends its slick surfaces to charity events, such as Bowl Over Breast Cancer.
Though guests to Island Waterpark might meet humans on their way to the water, they might also encounter Pelican Pete—a giant blue pelican in a floral-print shirt and bermuda shorts. He and an athletic lifeguard staff oversee guests as they wander among fountains and roaring water in attractions designed for everyone from toddlers to adults. Bright-blue tube slides spiral down into splash pools, a giant bucket tips gallons of water onto passersby, and a three-story open slide sends riders on a straight shot into a landing zone that pads their descent with a foot of water and a coral reef packaged in bubble wrap. Aquatic revelers can also float down an endless lazy river and children can frolic under arching fountains and waterfalls in the kids key largo lagoon.
Since 1955, the Rotary Storyland and Playland have sparked young imaginations and earned a place in the hearts of multiple generations. At Playland, classic amusement-park rides, such as a ferris wheel, tilt-o-whirl, and a historic carousel, induce merriment and occasional regret over eating multiple corn dogs immediately before boarding. In the center of Playland lies Splash Junction, a free place for patrons to cool off on hot days under jets of water. Across the lake, Storyland takes a different approach to fun, populating its grounds with themed playground equipment inspired by classic tales, such as the legend of King Arthur and the lesser-known story of Jack and Jill starting a bottled-water business.
Thrill-seeking families can choose two of the six available attractions. Settle traffic arguments by challenging an opposing driver to a duel on the go-karts. Or just cruise solo, banking curves and outdriving total strangers in a wild day of rubber-burning and dust-eating. For crashtastic thrills, climb aboard a bumper boat and drift on the waterscape, floating amok and gleefully broadsiding fellow captains. A bit of the briny seeps into the mini-golf range, where it creates a sparkling blue hazard to complement the verdant greens. Channel your inner warrior on the laser tag arena's black-light battleground, or finish the day with a feeling of accomplishment that comes only from climbing the big, giant rock wall, with a 32-foot climbing surface and a variety of handholds and different climbing options. Be sure to check Boomers! Fresno's hours before heading out.
Roars, growls, and clanking metal clamors from behind the castle walls. This is Camelot Park, where families can roar around curvy courses in growling go-karts and smack baseballs with aluminum bats at the batting cages. After chasing checkered flags and practicing their swings for the zombie apocalypse, guests take it down a notch to putt around waterfalls, a pink castle, and a painted pagoda on the 18-hole mini-golf course. Afterward, guests can play arcade and redemption games inside or fire streams of water at each other from aboard bumper boats. Party packages combine these attractions but throw in pizza, balloons, and a personal party host.
Although it originally opened in 1974 as a picnic, camping, and fishing site, the area currently known as Wild Water Adventure Park has changed dramatically over the decades. The three fishing lakes are still there—stocked with everything from bass and catfish to bluegill and sushi rolls—but its 52 verdant acres now hold 38 water slides and 20 different attractions, creating an expansive all-ages retreat at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
More than one million gallons of crystalline water power the massive wave pool's four-foot waves. On the slide side, tube-riders can brave the pitch-black twists of the Vortex and the Sidewinder's three-story plunge. Even younger children can savor appropriately scaled thrills in the play area's splash pool plus 15,000 square feet of toddler-friendly activities. This range of aquatic amenities has made Wild Water Adventure Park a perennial staple on The Fresno Bee's People's Choice Awards, routinely winning the title of Best Water Park.
Not every activity at Wild Water Adventure Park requires a bathing suit, however. Sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and a softball diamond all provide ample space for outdoor fun. Numerous barbecue stations dot the grass, allowing families to cook up a hearty lunch.