Named the Best Place to go Bowling in Indy Week’s Best of the Triangle 2011 and 2012, The Alley exhibits a genuine retro charm with 24 original hardwood lanes and classic paper scorecards. They also seek to appeal to night owls with a 1 a.m. closing time Friday and Saturday. After spending hours toppling pins, bowlers can divert their attention with flat-screen TVs showing laneside sports and a state-of-the-art sound system blasting toe-tapping didgeridoo drones. They can also purchase lunch and dinner fare from the expanding menu at The Balcony, which replenishes famished bowlers with savory burgers and fries.
The sound of rubber wheels rolling and clacking across a hardwood floor is a familiar one to generations of American families. At Jellybeans Super Skate Center, those wheels roll to the beat of both contemporary pop music and golden oldies in a winking nod to roller skating's timelessness. As the music mingles with the sound of laughter, colored lights trace patterns on the hardwood floor and the skaters gliding along on both quad and inline skates. During breaks, skaters can also refuel with pizza and snacks at the concession stand and give their upper extremities a workout in the arcade. In addition to open skates, the center hosts birthday parties and skating classes, which teach four-wheeled fundamentals to aspiring skaters.
Attractions such as miniature golf, batting cages, and laser tag make Adventure Landing an ideal location for getting in fun, interactive family time. Whether the kids opt for a heart-accelerating whip around the go-kart track or a few swings of the bat, the fun center gives families every excuse to band together or square off against one another in friendly competition. School, church, and corporate outings are available as well, giving groups of all ages a place to gather, nosh on pizza, and create complex victory dances.
Buffaloe Lanes facilitates retro entertainment by offering open bowling, leagues for all ages, and arcade games. Each lane boasts bumper capabilities, which makes games easier for younger bowlers or those with oval-shaped bowling balls. Bowlers can also host parties at Buffaloe Lanes, during which groups gather in one of the private rooms to unwrap presents and sing to cakes before eating them. The smoke-free and alcohol-free facilities also host snack bars with soft drinks and concessions.
A multifaceted family entertainment center, Go Bananaz delights kids with inflatable play places, bumper cars, and arcade games. A pirate ship lifts children up to 18 feet in the air, the arcade area boasts classic games such as air hockey, and a separate toddler area allows tots to play safely. With all-encompassing party packages, kids can play video games, enjoy pizza, and sip juice.
MacNair’s Country Acres’ riding instructors have brought man and steed together on a nearly 300-acre educational ranch for more than 40 years. The beginners' group lesson instructs future derby winners—adult and children as young as 6 alike—in the skills needed to saddle up in style. Each two-hour course imparts the importance of horsemanship by showing the basics of grooming and tacking up, as well as where on the gums to apply peanut butter for realistic-looking speech. Riding is the most anticipated part of the course, and students spend an hour applying all they’ve learned on the ground atop a pseudo Secretariat with coaching from one of MacNair’s professional instructors.