Gusts of steam blasting out of vents, the eerie black eyes of neon-green aliens, and fiery-mouthed craters set the stage at Outer Zone Laser Tag’s 5,000-square-foot arena. Within this extraterrestrial combat zone, players scurry up a 175-foot ramp system and duck behind columns to avoid enemy fire or any existential crises that crop up when aiming the phaser at a best friend. Flickering of strobe lights and swirls of fog hamper vision as players crawl through tunnels and aim their lasers at opponents’ LED-lit vests, hoping for direct hits and big points. Before each session, groups learn the game rules in a briefing room and gear up with the help of a zone commander in the vesting room. Outer Zone Laser Tag also welcomes birthday parties, inviting celebrants to shimmy on a dance floor after taking down enemies in the arena.
FunPlex Fun Park engages joy-seekers of all ages with a diverse array of family-friendly outdoor activities. Guests wielding the power of a Fun Card can select any 10 attractions from the recreational buffet. Familial compatriots can battle for control of the top bunk or first dibs on the classified listings over 18 nautically-themed holes of miniature golf or on the 25 vibrant and eclectically-oriented hoops of the bank-shot basketball court.
At Fort Ballocity, TreePaad Fun Center's centerpiece adventure, kids and adults fire soft balls at targets, load them into buckets, and disappear beneath a foam-ball shower. Within the same three-story structure, 30 feet of waterless slides send visitors racing through more colorful twists and turns than an Alfred Hitchcock comic strip. However, Fort Ballocity is only one of TreePaad's indoor attractions. Neon lights paint a laser-tag arena, rock-climbing walls stretch to the ceiling, and a video arcade creates an orchestra of electronic beeps. Kids younger than 4 can join the fun in the toddler play area, filled with soft surfaces on which to climb and slide.
This sprawling fun haven can set the stage for parties, office outings, or simply spontaneous visits. For kids' birthdays, an on-staff party coach organizes each moment of the festivities, from serving food to helping kids create stuffed animals at the Stuff-n-Fluff area.
The 2013 Schoharie County Sunshine Fair is a weeklong celebration of farm life and summertime. This year's entertainment lineup includes everything from tractor pulls and monster trucks in the grandstand to live music and dancing every night in the party tent. By day, kids and adults can traverse the grounds to enjoy Rosaire's pig races, a petting zoo, juggling demonstrations, and the works of Brian Ruth, a chainsaw sculptor. The fair's parade, which takes place on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., will be led by the Beekman Boys, Schoharie County natives and winners of the The Amazing Race.
Howe Caverns, a series of underground expanses dating back six million years, awes visitors with its colorful collection of stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone. An aboveground animatronic show starring discoverer Lester Howe welcomes guests before passengers embark on a 32-second elevator ride that descends 156 feet underground. Experienced guides then forge the trail on the 80-minute traditional tour, which covers a distance of approximately 12 city blocks. As cave connoisseurs expound on the caverns’ ongoing conservation efforts and history as Batman’s original lair, spelunkers pass geologic features such as the Sentinels, Titan’s Temple, and the Giant Formation. Halfway through the tour, a boat casts off the shores of the Lake of Venus, ferrying subterranean pilgrims 15 minutes downriver to a place few humans have seen or vandalized in more than 100 years. The journey concludes with a serpentine route through the 500-foot Winding Way passage carved over millennia by water erosion.
Windsor Mountain International Summer Camp hosts families on five-day rustic retreats on 365 acres of rural white-pine forest. Parents, accompanied by their children, can return to the days of bunking in cabins and dorms, roasting marshmallows, and kindling campfires with only a piece of flint and a smartphone. A daily activities schedule abounds with aquatic endeavors, such as canoeing, sailing, and swimming; adventurous challenges, such as zip lining and ropes courses; and creative activities, including music, theater, and arts and crafts. A winding network of hiking trails transports forest explorers along the shores of hidden lakes and through dense pine woodlands, where hikers can seek answers to the philosophical question of whether it’s possible to hear a falling tree’s cries for help.