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.
Kids of all ages literally bounce off the walls at Bouncers, an indoor play place cushioned by an inflatable jump zone. As kids test the limits of gravity, parents can watch from a distance with concessions in hand. Bouncers makes sure its play sessions are age-appropriate by offering specialized dates for toddler jumps, ensuring that little ones don’t get trampled or traded by older kids. The multipurpose center also hosts music lessons on Wednesdays as well as charitable fundraisers for such organizations as Republic High School and the Ronald McDonald House.
Shires For Hire lead passengers on rolling, relaxing, and intimate horse-drawn carriage rides. Passengers nestle up close as their antique-style carriage trundles along a downtown street, elegantly pulls passengers away from a wedding, or schleps holiday wagons through the snow. Drivers delicately lead the ride, sporting cowboy hats, top hats for a black-tie affair, or hard hats when riding through a car wash.
Inside the more than 8,700 square feet of space, Jump Mania offers dual slides, obstacle courses, and a 31-foot tall basketball bounce house. Elsewhere, a toddler area enthralls little kids with age-appropriate attractions such as a farm-themed inflatable play area. Apart from inflatables, the facility houses a concession stand replete with snacks, beverages, National Geographic back issues, and free WiFi for parents. The staff also hosts birthday parties alongside open-jump sessions. Its soirees even earned Jump Mania a runner-up spot on 417 Magazine's 2011 list of Best Place for a Kid's Birthday Party.