For more than 30 years, Raceway to Fun's grounds have offered visitors six outlets for their adrenaline. Two miniature golf courses beckon players to putt their way around large rocks and down angled fairways or traverse bridges to strike through loops and other obstacles. In a pool, participants as young as six board colorful bumper boats whose guns can spray off even the most severe of grass stains. Nearby, sharp turns on a winding go-kart track challenge drivers behind the wheel of single or double-rider karts. Golfers at the driving range launch balls over green fields while sluggers stare into the eyes of 16 pitching machines at the batting cages. Visitors can engage in each activity until dusk, when the sun setting on the horizon and the sky fading to dark blue signal both closing time and the start of the man in the moon's terrible stand-up routine.
Through the tree line at Adventure Zone Paintball, visitors can often hear the scattered reports of paintball markers and the thwack of their projectiles finding their targets. These friendly conflicts take place on seven fields, each ranging in size and configuration to encourage different combat situations. The largest is Hidden Valley, a heavily forested arena interwoven by trails and spotted with cover. The Outback encourages long-distance play with its central clearing, with players hiding in sniper towers, squatting behind plank walls, and standing awkwardly to pretend they are just trees. The small Urban Chaos field facilitates fast-paced games as teams duck behind overturned barrels and underneath the gate of a pretend car wash.
To put it plainly, Splat Tag is massive. Twenty-two paintball fields sprawl across its 600 acres. Woods, brush, and felled trees make for strategic cover, and through every patch of forest could be something unexpected. A helicopter, a bunker, or perhaps an enemy base, right there for the taking—provided players have enough paint.
The high number of play areas encourages players to linger, as does Splat Tag's policies. Open admission grants unlimited access for the day, with referees setting up 15- to 20-minute games. The fields admit up to 200 players per day, ensuring everyone can find those of similar skill levels. Splat Tag also hosts private and special events, including an annual gathering with enough paintballs to blot out murals of of the sun.
As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.
The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.
At more than 35 current or soon to be open Sky Zone locations across the country, bouncers of all ages revel in gravity-defying flips and twists. Mammoth floor-to-wall trampolines cover the gyms, creating endless possibilities for bounding antics. Pits piled high with foam blocks allow for soft landings after springing from trampolines into sky-high aerobatic tumbles and tricks, whereas bouncy courts equipped with basketball hoops elicit soaring slam-dunk contests. Visitors also burn up to 1,000 calories per hour during trampoline-based SkyFitness classes that focus on the calisthenics and muscle-toning aerobics created by kangaroos. Other inventive activities on the courts include games of dodge ball. Each clean and safe facility provides excitement for the entire family and can also host birthdays and group celebrations.
One hundred thirty six steps lead to the top of the Eagle's Nest, Water Park of America's fastest body slide. From a perch on the 10th floor, visitors careen down five floors before rocketing into a pool of water. Greater drops await riders of the park's twin body slides, whose six-floor descent veers outside the building before ending in a big splash, and indoor family raft ride, which travels more than a mile down 10 stories.
Down on the main floor, a 500-gallon bucket douses the children's play area with water every 135 seconds. Games of basketball unfold around four hoops in the activity pool's shallows, and tubes float down a winding river past attractions named for Minnesotan bodies of water. At the Flowrider, guests battle gravity to stay upright on a surfboard positioned on a sheet of water that flows 25–30 mph.
More challenges await guests in an arcade stocked with classic games such as skeeball and air hockey, which requires players to blow on a puck until it reaches their opponent's goal. More than 70 games reward skilled visitors with tickets, which they can trade for prizes such as an X-Box 360. With cuisine including housemade pizza and entertainment such as six high-definition televisions, Water Park America's three restaurants re-energize guests after enduring full days of swimming, sliding, and gaming.
At AirMaxx Trampoline Park, age really does become just a number. Here, adults and teens giggle and frolic alongside their kid counterparts, channeling the unbridled energy stores from their youth years. The indoor facility houses multiple lanes of trampolines, which each incline into a slope at their trail's end, waiting to propel bouncers into spectacular flips and aerial tricks. In addition to family-friendly open-jump times, the facility dedicates late Friday nights to teen dates, filling the space with lower lights, louder music, and more regrettable haircuts. They also host arcade games, laser tag, mini golf, and an Extreme Dodgeball league during which competitors face off on the jump surfaces and avoid blazing tosses with impressive aerial stunts. During Maxxercise classes, the trampolines transform into workout havens as instructors lead sessions that combine aerobics moves with high-flying fun.