Clad in masks and wielding toy weapons, combatants crouch, hustle, and weave their way through the many battlefields of Playland. Players trade colorful fusillades at Playland's newest arena?their outdoor paintball field?while in the indoor airsoft theater, challengers duke it out in military-style tactical scenarios. In the laser-tag arena, weaponized beams of light fill the air as fighters compete as the stadium tracks the accuracy of their shots, documents their kill/death ratio, and assigns them to several types of missions. Playland also opens its battlegrounds for the dart- and foam-flying fun of kids' Nerf games.
Jump Highway is constantly in motion. The "trampoline sports arena" is filled with more than 10,000 square feet of custom-built, steel-frame trampolines that cover the floor and climb partway up the walls. Here, visitors of all ages bound across the room and into foam pits large enough for use by professional gymnastics teams or a giant's naptime. In addition to freestyle jumping sessions, the center also hosts group dodgeball and basketball tournaments. The gym's Airobics class treats the trampolines as a whimsical track and field during its cardio-focused, low-impact, and low-gravity workouts.
Each piece of equipment is carefully inspected each day and the staff regulates the number of jumpers to prevent overcrowding. They also monitor the different trampoline zones, which include a separate jumping area just for smaller children. When guests are ready for the world to stop shaking, an on-site lounge feature leather furnishings and wireless internet.
Walking onto one of Scandia Family Center?s two award-winning golf courses feels like traversing a quaint corner of the Scandinavian countryside. Shingled houses and windmills dot the landscape, which kids of all ages eye while zooming past in a go-kart or bumper boat. Inside, toddlers climb, crawl, and slide in the three floors of the clubhouse, and up to 25 players take aim in the Lasertron-designed laser-tag facility. Before leaving, kids and adults face off at more than 200 arcade games or grab a bite to eat at the snack bar.
Blanketed in wall-to-wall trampolines, Sky High Sports delights barefoot fun seekers with springy terrain and an exclusive court for jumpers aged 8 and younger. Guests can hone front flips, backflips, and belly flops during intense free-bounce sessions. Each trampoline comes equipped with a specially designed spring-loaded frame and thick 2-inch safety pads that grant patrons a landing cushier than a corner office at a marshmallow factory. Stuffed with blocks of spongy, body-molding material, a foam pit dares treasure seekers to fling themselves in or scour its depths for the lost contents of bygone pockets. Pintsize aerialist posses can safely practice their synchronized salchows on 360 degrees of trampoline walls while court supervisors watch from the sidelines and award hard-earned praise with oversize scorecards. Sky High also offers AIRobics fitness classes to help jumpers explore the outermost stratospheres of trampoline possibilities.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart," vows Ebenezer Scrooge near the end of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, "and try to keep it all the year." For five weekends around Thanksgiving through Christmas, the 750-plus costumed performers at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair honor this declaration.
Lauded as "charmingly over-the-top" by the San Francisco Chronicle and "dazzling" by the San Francisco Examiner, the fest comprises more than three acres of exhibition halls. Inside, the fair's creative team recreates Dickens' Victorian-era London, complete with labyrinthine lanes, scone-scented bakeries, quaint pubs, and a rowdy dockside. In the streets and on seven stages, carolers entertain crowds alongside notable guests, including Queen Victoria and Scrooge himself. yelling that famous catchphrase, "Bah! An icky humbug! Somebody squish it!"
Paint flies all weekend long at Antioch Paintball Park, as teams of players vie for control of two fields littered with hay-bale obstacles or Sup'Air bunkers. Large nets next to the field protect observers and wayward butterflies from paintballs. The field boasts a large grill area for teammates to tell colorful war stories while eating grilled hot dogs and gulping down energy drinks after a quick rinse in the onsite showers.