In WhirlyBall, participants maneuver free-range bumper cars and use a handheld scoop to collect wiffle balls to launch at the overhead targets located on either end of the court. You'll work together in teams of up to five at a time (up to 20 players are allowed on the court at once, and at least 10 are required) to crush your opponents in a whirlywind of scoops and balls. Surrounded by safety bumpers, your vehicle enjoys a complete range of motion with powerful steering that allows you to turn on a whim or a dime. If more than 20 Whirlers are in the party, players can be rotated in and watch from the comfort of leather lounge couches instead of gathering posterior splinters on the end of a rigid bench.
At Great Play, kids are encouraged to break bottles—virtual ones, arranged on virtual shelves—in the center’s Interactive Arena. They are part of a hand-eye coordination game for kids, in which sensors track their “throws” and the computer-generated bottles projected onto the walls fall accordingly. Another version sees kids honing their throwing arms by aiming for an animated strike zone while a simulated crowd cheers.
But regardless of the specific games kids play on any given day in the 3,000-square-foot arena, each activity hews to the play center’s overall goal: to build kids’ motor skills and athletic abilities from an early age. Programs for younger kids focus on fundamentals, such as running, skipping, dodging, and tumbling. Meanwhile, athletic camps for older kids build skillsets that come in handy during pick-up games on the playground or at their first Olympic trials at age 3.
Lead-footed motorists and boatorists can experience the best of each with unlimited access to Malibu's high-performance go-karts and weaponized bumper boats. Zip around hairpin turns, pick up speed on straight-aways, and seem to fly over banked curves with a passenger in tow aboard Malibu's safe and speedy four-wheeled chariots. If other drivers cut you off at the pass, take out your frustrations on a group of hapless boaters. Your buoyant water skimmer is surrounded with bumpers to encourage planned crashes, and the vessel comes equipped with a mighty water cannon perfect for drenching enemies or spritzing overheated allies. After an afternoon of speed, slow down with the thoughtful, zen-like meditation that is miniature golf.
By day, The Bounce House Amusement Center's bouncers, slides, and obstacles courses are what you'd expect them to be: colorful inflatable surfaces where kids climb, clamor, and jump. At night, though, they function as cover for laser tag combatants, who sneak and shoot their way around the inflatable arena during 10- to 15-minute games. On Friday evenings and during full moons, patrons can enjoy the arcade, with The Bounce House switching on its nine 50-inch televisions for rounds of Xbox 360 and Wii games such as Lego Harry Potter and Call of Duty .
Along with open playtimes, the center hosts camps, as well as birthday parties built around its inflatable, laser tag, and video game attractions.
At Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, 27 challenging holes test the putting skills of players of all ages while steeping them in 18th-century pirate lore. As balls bank off rails and roll between obstacles such as boulders, the greens wind past colorful flower gardens under shady evergreens and a towering pirate ship. Throughout the course, a waterfall cascades into a stream that flows under wooden bridges, recalling how Blackbeard made his prisoners slowly walk the plank before doing a cannonball, for everyone's safety.
Atlanta Rocks' expansive vertical playground is home to hundreds of climbs, 50 top-rope stations, and more than 12,000 square feet of professionally set routes atop a safe climbing surface. All passionate climbers themselves, the staff has created interesting and intricate problems to solve for climbers of all skill levels. Climbers looking to enhance their know how can participate in one of the gym’s many programs, and the staff also drops knowledge on beginners with introductory climbing courses that include all required gear and cover subjects ranging from advanced lead climbing to the fundamentals of massaging knots out of tense rope.
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