Interactive bumper cars, 80 arcade games, and the tubes, tunnels, and slides of a soft playground all nestle within the 12,000-square-foot Swing-A-Round Fun Town facility in Fenton. Outside, waterfalls and fountains surround three professionally designed outdoor mini golf courses, and a mammoth pond accommodates 15 colliding bumper boats. The fun continues at the kiddie kart track for youngsters 3?8 years old or the more than 1,100-foot adult track, where kids can join a parent in a double-seat go-kart whose second steering wheel allows tykes to pretend drive and practice ignoring hitchhikers. Elsewhere, nine batting cages test players' homerun hitting skills with softball slow and fast pitches or baseballs flung at 35?80 mph. Swing-A-Round Fun Town's St. Charles location hosts nine batting cages as well, plus two 18-hole miniature golf courses and an arcade.
Abundant rides and games find their way into every corner of Tee Time Family Fun Center's indoor and outdoor playgrounds, which keeps guests of all ages enthralled throughout their visit. After entering the facility, it's not long before kids are hugging the racetrack?s turns from behind go-kart wheels, accelerating their bumper cars or bumper boats into fellow participants? vessels, or parading their putting skills at an 18-hole mini golf course, voted Best Miniature Golf in 2009 by Riverfront Times. A 3-D maze coaxes puzzle solvers through its black-lit labyrinth, and a multi-level soft-play area accommodates crawling tykes with its tunnels, tubes, and crawling seminars taught by worms. After playing racing games in the arcade, patrons can re-energize with pizza, chicken wings, or a slice of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory at the snack bar.
The course at Perche Creek Golf Club is comprised of 18 par-3 holes that gently introduce beginners to the game while still challenging veterans with ample opportunities for short-game improvement. Nine ponds delineate the holes and loom large as players line up their attacks from the tee, ready to gulp down errant shots. The flat layout allows players to nail down their iron distances, a crucial ingredient for proper course management. On nice evenings, course superintendents turn on the front nine's area lights, making for easier night play without having to give an alien a Walkman in exchange for plutonium golf balls. Perche Creek's driving range gives players a variety of targets to attack from 50 hitting stations and 20 synthetic-grass mats, earning it a spot on Golf Range Magazine's list of the top 100 ranges in the nation. The club also encompasses an 18-hole miniature-golf course, which challenges players with curvy putting corridors flanked by rocks and water hazards.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $7.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.69 value).
Though kids need to frolic and play, they must also learn financial responsibility if they're ever to grow up and pay for their parents' dinner. At Hammer's Food & Fun, an electronic game card opens the door to Hammer’s array of indoor rides and arcade games, teaching kids the mystical power—and responsibility—contained within a magnetic stripe. Indeed, after games such as Big Bass Wheel and Space Balls dispense points redeemable for prizes, kids can retain the balance on the card for future visits—an educational precursor to saving money in a grownup bank's vault filled with 50/50 raffle tickets. Before exploring the indoor attractions—which range from go-karts and mini golf to inflatable bounce houses and a checkered dance floor—families fill their bellies at Hammer’s extensive buffet. Made fresh daily using local beef from Twin Hills Farm, slices of pizza in more than 20 varieties sit on circular trays, and elsewhere, a line of sweet desserts taunts the salad bar filled with crispy vegetables trying desperately to sprout ice-cream-flavored leaves.
Golf Headquarters attracts golfers of all stripes with three courses, including the 18-hole executive Pheasant Run Golf Course, an 18-hole pitch-and-putt course, and an 18-hole miniature-golf course. The par 57 Pheasant Run Golf Course challenges players to send orbs spinning past bunkers and water hazards even after the sun has set, when lights illuminate the zoysia fairways for golfers who haven’t yet acquired an owl familiar to guide them through the night. When winter blows in, players can take to the driving range, where 12 of the 40 hitting stations are covered and heated, and aim balls toward raised target greens. At the clubhouse, a 2,500-square-foot pro shop nestles alongside the Roost, where guests can perch at a horseshoe-shaped oak bar or rest by a gas fireplace on the patio as they drink in views of golfers sprinting across the finish line at the 18th hole.
More casual players can tackle the pitch-and-putt course, where balls must cross distances of 40–100 yards to reach the full-size greens, or hone their short game at the miniature-golf course, dotted with serene ponds, streams, and waterfalls.