A zapping haven with historical awareness, the Shenaniganz laser tag arena pits up to 24 players against one another in the gloomy haze and vibrant lighting of a 12th-century Cambodian temple. Players can repurpose ancient temple ruins as opaque bunkers and unload some light on unsuspecting opponents. Safe and well maintained, the laser tag arena warms up trigger fingers for joysticked, button-mashing mayhem in the 7,000-square-foot arcade. Stocked with more than 100 games, the arcade zone is a sanctuary for prize-seeking ticket hoarders and friendly competitors alike. With $35 worth of credits, players might be able to swap jackpots for prizes ranging from candy to a life-sized portrait of Macaulay Culkin. While children go wild in the arcade, parents can relax at the on-site sports bar, with more than 40 flat-screen TVs and two 25-foot hi-definition movie screens. Shenaniganz also has a restaurant and state-of-the-art bowling center. No reservations are required for laser tag, though players can always phone ahead to ensure there's no private party or toddler rave occupying the arena.
Blase Family Farm creates a setting for seasonal memory-making with a bounty of fall activities. Around the 13-acre farm, hayrides meander through the woods, under leaves tinged with warm hues. Bulbous pumpkins rest at the base of tall trees, waiting for youngsters to claim them. When not searching for the best pumpkin—like the doctor who performed the Headless Horseman’s brain transplant—visitors can socialize with farm animals, such as goats and sheep, and earn their eternal love by feeding them. A farm train also chugs around the grounds, giving its passengers a more comprehensive view of the scenery. In the spring and summer, the farm offers pick-your-own blueberries, perfect for making into jam.
There are few places left in the world where humans and hippopotamuses can swim peacefully side by side. In fact, Wet Zone may be the last. Haley, the loveable mascot, wanders around the water park in a floral-print dress with pink eye shadow accentuating her smile while she high-fives birthday boys and girls at on-site parties. Like a queen in her castle, sculptures of her speckle the park's various splash pools, look out over the geysers and showering pipes, and welcome aquatic adventurers to Turtle Cove and the colorful Kiddie Playground. And Haley also lends inspiration, fortifying wee ones with the gusto necessary to tackle the park's two giant water slides or age-specific swim lessons.
While kiddies splash on multi-level playhouses, adults can sneak away from the large lap pool to gear up for aquatic battle at the Water Wars game. Then families can reunite on land for a game of volleyball, or head over to Haley's Hunger Hut for some nachos or hot dogs. Private, grass-roofed cabanas give sun-shunners a place to dodge the heat as they chow down, and free Wi-Fi allows furtive check-ins with work or information transmissions with the mother ship. Yet no one has an excuse to stay dry for long—an on-site gift shop is stocked with bathing suits and towels to equip the ill-prepared for a day spent swimming.
At Texas Skatium, roller skaters roam the rink as a disco ball spins from the center of the ceiling, with dozens of flags hanging above them and speakers pumping out Top 40 jams. Originally opened in 1989, the recently remodeled building houses both a roller rink and a play area complete with brand-new bounce houses and arcade games. The upgrades from the renovation also brought in a state-of-the-art A/V system and projection screen. The 33,000-square-foot space is ideal for private or public events, which range from kids' birthday parties to after-hours adult soirees with alcohol, a DJ, and screenings of uncut episodes of Murder, She Wrote.
It’s not easy to become an affiliate of the Handyman Service Group. First, potential members must pass a comprehensive prescreening process, ensuring that they are licensed, insured, and reputable. They must also pass a criminal-history background check, and prove their dependability by backing all work with a 12-month limited installation warranty. Once those requirements are met, they can use their expertise to meet the needs of homeowners with a cavalcade of around-the-house services. The team of craftsmen can handle large and small jobs ranging from door installation and furniture assembly to TV-wall-mount installation, drywall patching, and crown molding.
The aquatic playland at Surf and Swim aims to bring the quintessential beach experience to a controlled water park. Inner tubes and their passengers float atop a wave pool's sprawling waters, splashing as the sun lovingly stares deep into their eyes. Pipes, plastic animals, and fountains pepper the kids area, and the aptly named Chill and Grill Cafe serves up burgers and fries. On select nights, the park transforms into an outdoor movie theater, where groups can swim and bob for their ticket stubs while watching a full-size screen.