Upon departing from Chautauqua Choo-Choo Train Station, trains chug past the abundant attractions sprawled throughout the park during four-minute rides. Had the train existed at Midway State Park when it first opened as a trolley park in 1898, its 15-mile-per-hour jaunt would have surveyed a landscape dotted with playing fields, tennis courts, bathhouses, and a dancehall. These days, America's 16th oldest continually operating amusement park shelters the spinning and twirling cars of a Tilt-A-Whirl and other rides. A three-sided, 24-foot climbing wall challenges participants to spite gravity's tyrannical reign before ringing the buzzer at its peak, and guests in the helicopter ride can adjust their height with a bar attached to the aircraft. Elsewhere, youngsters captain a kiddie boat or steer retro-modeled cars past a miniature roadway's street signs. Between rides, visitors can munch on cotton candy while peering out toward the shores of Chautauqua Lake from one of several picnic areas.
Wildwood Highlands serves an all-ages buffet of adrenaline-filled rides and fun-soaked activities that visitors can access with fistfuls of tickets. For five-minute intervals, go-karts whip through a winding, 1,000-foot course that challenges mini-motorists' reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and familial bonds with each cutoff to the inner rail. Visitors can captain bumper boats through the 5,000-square-foot Wildwood waters, thumping vessels as they pass fountains and circumvent the island. Woody's Den enchants small children with calliope music and magical animals who steer tots toward the spinning slime-bucket ride and old-fashioned train. Two 18-hole miniature-golf courses school putters in the principles of geometry and psyching out competitors with inopportune coughs and cackles.
Wildwood's arcade entices button smashers with more than 70 games that they can play to win tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes such as stuffed animals, action figures, and pocket-sized copies of the Federalist Papers. While bouncing from attraction to attraction, thrill seekers can recharge their energy with pizzas, wraps, pretzels, and cotton candy at the snack bar.
Inflated structures and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses and slides. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne. In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.