Putt-putting through a pirate ship might normally result in the putter walking the plank. Not so at FunPlex Fun Park, where on the 18-hole mini-golf course, players navigate ocean-themed greens populated by alligators, a lighthouse, and one grounded speedboat. Thirteen attractions, including a bounce house and bumper boats, promise diversion for kids of almost any age. Go-karts spin around an eighth-mile track at up to 20 miles per hour, and kids aged 3?10 zip around at 6 miles per hour on the mini go-kart track. In Captain Hook's House of Fun, kids clamber inside the tunnels of a multilevel play structure, descending tube slides and diving into a pit filled with plastic balls, more fun than the ones at school that are filled with homework.
With three stories worth of ball pits, ropes, nets, and slides to explore, kids can spend hours playing and expending energy in the climate-controlled vastness of Big Adventures. In addition to play areas, kids will also find a wide variety of interactive video games, arcade games, carnival-style games, and a ticket redemption store where they can buy out all the bouncy balls. Party packages are also available to celebrate a kid's special day with pizzas, soda, pi?atas, and access to the whole facility. And because safety's important at Big Adventures, the 40,000 balls in the ball pit are sanitized twice a week, more than 30 security cameras monitor the facility, and there is a strict no-dragon policy, even if they went to obedience school.
Gusts of steam blasting out of vents, the eerie black eyes of neon-green aliens, and fiery-mouthed craters set the stage at Outer Zone Laser Tag’s 5,000-square-foot arena. Within this extraterrestrial combat zone, players scurry up a 175-foot ramp system and duck behind columns to avoid enemy fire or any existential crises that crop up when aiming the phaser at a best friend. Flickering of strobe lights and swirls of fog hamper vision as players crawl through tunnels and aim their lasers at opponents’ LED-lit vests, hoping for direct hits and big points. Before each session, groups learn the game rules in a briefing room and gear up with the help of a zone commander in the vesting room. Outer Zone Laser Tag also welcomes birthday parties, inviting celebrants to shimmy on a dance floor after taking down enemies in the arena.
During whirlyball, players ride in bumper cars, carry racquets, and maneuver balls into goals. These bumper cars glide smoothly over the court and turn on a whim, giving players the opportunity to duck past their opponents on their quest to win the game. After a team is crowned champion, players can hang out in the gaming area and play pool or chat about their favorite moments from the game in the lounge.
A lifelong small-scale-speedmobile builder and driver, Rapid Raceway co-owner Rick "Rapid" Raducha initiates aspiring 1:32-scale motorists into the ways of the controller with two massive slot-car courses. Racers can challenge the grooves of the 145-foot Grandstand track, where they’ll command their electrified speedsters through its tricky S-curves before flooring it on two 13-foot straightaways. Or, fast fingers can test their abilities on The Whip, which Rapid Raceway says is America’s fastest road course, featuring two 34-degree banked turns and an 89-foot lap length that leaves drivers little time to break for NASCAR’s traditional blueberry-scone halftime show. Today's deal provides a rental car and remote so that casual competitors don't have to propel cars through mind-control, though slot-car gurus are welcome to bring their own models. Rapid Raceway also sells scale racing parts and accessories and does repairs and custom design.
Don't be fooled. Though it looks like a relatively small coaster, the Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark packs some serious thrills. A turnaround through a pitch-black tunnel and ample amounts of "air time" have made this coaster a favorite for many; in fact, The Coaster Critic put it on the list of the top 25 wooden coasters in 2012. And that's just 1 of more than 20 attractions sprinkled across the park grounds.
Once home to a summer resort, Quassy Amusement Park first began with a picnic area, paddleboats and a carousel. But Quassy really took shape around 1952, when the owners purchased some children's rides. A couple of the rides are still around today, including a boat ride that skims the surface of a circular trough filled with water, and two-seat jet fighters that send flyers up in an aircraft worthy of Flash Gordon. Of course, new kids' attractions have arrived over the decades, including the Frog Hopper, a seating platform that soars up a 16-foot tower and then descends with a series of quick, gentle drops.
Other areas cater to the whole family. The Grand Carousel spins with jumping horses and other animals that have the patience to sit perfectly still.
The largest attraction at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark is Lake Quassapaug, and the park makes great use of its waterfront location. In addition to lounging on the beach, visitors can take a boat tour or charter their own voyages on paddle boats.
Inside tip: When not on rides, park visitors should play a game of Whac-A-Mole or order some ribs at Quassy Restaurant.
Take a virtual ride on the park's star attraction, the Wooden Warrior.