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.
A motley collection of secure and sanitized play structures dominates each Catch Air location's indoor play arena to sate the lively imaginations of children as well as the safety concerns of their parents. Each of the four locations opens its doors seven days a week to unique lineups of attractions, including three-tiered castles covered in colorful nets and padding, with space shuttles attached to appease every child's love of anachronism. Tykes 12 and younger can wade through ball pits or take to an interactive, light-up dance floor to practice moves before they reach the age when practicing becomes embarrassing. The staff maintain a watchful eye at all times and clean every play structure daily before opening. Staffers also host parties to celebrate birthdays or the end of second-grade finals week.
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.
At Boomers!, thrill-seeking families and fun-enabling friends can attack a variety of appealing attractions, including mini golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and the button-mashing joys housed inside the exhilarating game room. The Vista location entertains families of sharpshooters with a blacklight-illuminated laser-tag arena before little ones climb and crawl through the Kidopolis play area. The El Cajon and San Diego locations let rivals celebrate the spirit of competition as they fly past each other in speedy go-karts or have a snail-paced Ferris wheel race at the kid's county fair. Unlimited pass holders at the El Cajon location can also scale the 32-foot-tall climbing wall, which, like America, enables citizens to climb to the top via myriad routes.
It's rare to see dinosaurs in real life. It's even rarer to see them at the mall. But Gwinnet Place Mall patrons will see just that this summer, thanks to Fantasy Magic World, a pop-up amusement park composed of magical interactive exhibits. Beyond Dinosaur Land, whose dinos range from T-rexes to creatures no bigger than a turkey, there's plenty of other exhibits. An array of giant robots tower more than 25-feet tall and a mystical talking tree passes on wisdom, like which mall shop has polo shirts on sale. A team of Chinese acrobats put on regular shows at the amusement park, and the myriad carnival attractions range from inflatables to a ferris wheel, also known as a unicycle for brave people.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center gives kids a little round-headed person's view of the world, surrounding them with blown-up versions of normally miniature plastic environments. At the Atlanta park, children ages 3 and older—and their adults—tour a factory that makes LEGO bricks, travel through a dungeon blasting skeletons with laser guns, and build and test their own race cars on a colorful track. Visitors can also enter the 4D Cinema, where 3D LEGO films are enhanced with in-theater weather effects such as wind and snow. They can also look out over LEGO-brick recreations of the local city that feature scale models of landmarks, trains, and airships.
An exploration of the bright world of plastic bricks doesn't have to end at the attractions. In a Master Builder Training Academy, experienced LEGO architects pass on their construction tips to eager students. To continue the fun at home, shops at each location house hundreds of current LEGO sets.