Maxwell Fun Center gathers families together for hours of memory-making fun on a picturesque 18-hole course. The miniature greens evoke a sense of local pride, featuring shrink-rayed townsfolk bustling amid lifelike replicas of Sonoma's historical mission and city hall. Though today's Groupon is only valid for golfing, putters can celebrate a successful outing with a tasty ice cream at Maxwell Fun Center's snack bar or regain lost mojo after an astronomically high stroke count by heading to the nearby arcade to play skee-ball and air hockey or flirt outrageously with Ms. Pac-Man.
Clad in masks and wielding toy weapons, combatants crouch, hustle, and weave their way through the many battlefields of Playland. Players trade colorful fusillades at Playland's newest arena—their outdoor paintball field—while in the indoor airsoft theater, challengers duke it out in military-style tactical scenarios. In the laser-tag arena, weaponized beams of light fill the air as fighters compete as the stadium tracks the accuracy of their shots, documents their kill/death ratio, and assigns them to several types of missions. Playland also opens its battlegrounds for the dart- and foam-flying fun of kids' Nerf games.
Jump Highway is constantly in motion. The "trampoline sports arena" is filled with more than 10,000 square feet of nearly custom-built, steel-frame trampolines that cover the floor and climb partway up the walls. Here, visitors of all ages bound across the room and into foam pits large enough for use by professional gymnastics teams or a giant's naptime. In addition to freestyle jumping sessions, the center also hosts group dodgeball and basketball tournaments. The gym's Airobics class treats the trampolines as a whimsical track and field during its cardio-focused, low-impact, and low-gravity workouts.
Each piece of equipment is carefully inspected each day and the staff regulates the number of jumpers to prevent overcrowding. They also monitor the different trampoline zones, which include a separate jumping area just for smaller children. When guests are ready for the world to stop shaking, a cafe and on-site lounge feature leather furnishings and wireless internet.
Walking onto one of Scandia Family Center’s two award-winning golf courses feels like traversing a quaint corner of the Scandinavian countryside. Shingled houses and windmills dot the landscape, which kids of all ages eye from atop a rock wall or while zooming past in a go-kart or bumper boat. Inside, toddlers climb, crawl, and slide in the three floors of the clubhouse, and up to 25 players take aim in the Lasertron-designed laser-tag facility. Before leaving, kids and adults face off at more than 200 arcade games or grab a bite to eat at the snack bar.
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.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart," vows Ebenezer Scrooge near the end of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, "and try to keep it all the year." For five weekends around Thanksgiving through Christmas, the 750-plus costumed performers at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair honor this declaration.
Lauded as "charmingly over-the-top" by the San Francisco Chronicle and "dazzling" by the San Francisco Examiner, the fest comprises more than three acres of exhibition halls. Inside, the fair's creative team recreates Dickens' Victorian-era London, complete with labyrinthine lanes, scone-scented bakeries, quaint pubs, and a rowdy dockside. In the streets and on seven stages, carolers entertain crowds alongside notable guests, including Queen Victoria and Scrooge himself. yelling that famous catchphrase, "Bah! An icky humbug! Somebody squish it!"
Dart Ops creates a safe indoor battlefield where players vie for victory using toy dart guns loaded with foam ammo propelled by short blasts of air. Neon-colored screens, walls made of mesh netting, and hanging targets pepper the arena space, which transforms into a monsoon of flying foam at the start of each friendly battle. As games progress, players can curl their trigger fingers around more advanced weaponry, including velcro-tipped darts that adhere to targets or the weak spots of enemy sock puppets. A marshall ensures fair play and organizes different types of game play, such as Free for All, Capture the Flag, and Protect the President. Aside from open play, Dart Ops' staff also host birthdays in a party booth and organize monthly Tour of Duty tournaments.