Unlike a battle royale in a friend’s backyard, the fun doesn’t end at GloZone just because the sun is setting. Instead of shying away from the dark, GloZone revels in it, inviting guests to dart through shadows during laser tag or putt their way through two nine-hole glow-in-the-dark miniature-golf courses. In the murky depths of the laser-tag arena, combatants wear vests with fiber-optic target panels as they battle for rights to a penny they found simultaneously. On the mini-golf courses, meanwhile, black lights illuminate such obstacles as a neon yellow taxi, traffic signs, and fish as golfers putt their balls over contoured surfaces. Nearby, arcade games and air hockey entice guests to rack up high scores. In addition to its open-play times, GloZone hosts parties for kids celebrating the anniversary of their safe delivery by stork.
Though its name suggests an industrial space rumbling and hissing with the engines of machines, The Factory fills its multifaceted play space instead with laughing children, chirping video games, and crashing bumper cars. An arcade brims with more than 100 shooting, driving, dancing, and adventure games that inspire players to bravely extend their winning streaks to a range of other attractions. Single and tandem go-karts careen around the turns and up the ramps of a two-story track. Groups bombard each other with infrared light inside an indoor laser-tag area. Ten slicked-up lanes glow with blacklit projections during cosmic bowling every Friday night. Parents can also indulge their child's natural curiosity about caddying on a nine-hole indoor mini-golf course that winds past the factory's high-ballocity foam factory, inflatable slide, and enclosed ball-tossing chamber.
To stay fueled for continued play, guests can drape their laps with napkins and dig into cuisine from an onsite steak house or an unlimited pizza buffet.
At the start of every game, fog fills Surf's Up Family Fun Center’s multi-level, underwater-themed laser tag arena. It’s one of several obstacles that up to 60 players tackle as they sneak up on opponents and navigate labyrinthine corridors decked out in black-lit murals of aquatic critters.
Laser tag isn’t the only adrenaline-pumping activity to be found inside the 18,000-square foot fun center. Four challenging paths lead climbers to the summit of a 24-foot rock wall equipped with an auto-belay system. Meanwhile, pucks zip across air hockey tables in an arcade with more than 60 games, including Dance Dance Revolution and its classic sequel Rest Rest Revolution. Otherwise, twisting tubes connect the multi-level play structure in a soft play area for younger kids, who can also ride down slides or play rounds of skee-ball.
To refuel hungry guests, an all-you-can-eat buffet serves 10 types of pizza, as well as pastas, salads, desserts, and soft drinks.
Falls Park Golf & Games beckons to putt-putt protégés with an 18-hole mini golf course that runs through the center of its cozy, family-friendly space. With topsy-turvy slopes that make for perplexing breaking putts, the course promotes lively competition between siblings, friends, or rival dentists. A stationary golf cart sits in the middle of the course, surrounded by walls decorated with golf-themed festoons—including a caddyshack facade—that help set the scene. Along with more subtle undulations, the course requires players to putt through a tricky loopty-loop and explain the principles of centripetal force to any toddlers within a five-mile radius. After their round, guests can decompress in one of the space's various booths or tables, enjoy a refreshment, and tune in to the flickering images on a flat-panel TV.
Designed to look like an island retreat, Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark is more than just a place to beat the heat. It’s a fun-filled playground complete with slides, squirt guns, and a wave pool. The Big Splash Tree House is outfitted with 66 interactive features, including a giant bucket that drenches visitors with more than 1,000 gallons of water. The Tubular Twister sends riders shooting down a trio of 300-foot slides, while the Big Kahuna recreates the ocean’s waves in a 27,000-square foot pool. Little ones can play in gentler areas such as Lily Pad Lagoon and Otter Bay, which has a six-lane racer slide. In between aquatic activities, you can relax in the lazy river or stop by the concession stands for a quick bite.
High above the Catawba River and surrounding forest, ziplines up to 900 feet long cut a narrow path through the canopy, ferrying riders from treetop to treetop on tours that last up to 3.5 hours. Day and nighttime tours start atop a 70-foot tower that overlooks the 100-year-old oaks and dense foliage. Tours then descend on a series of up to nine separate ziplines, each connected to the other by nature trails suspension bridges.
Scampering through Lazer FX–Lazer Tag's 7,500-square-foot labyrinth, combatants volley photons in exhilarating 20-minute skirmishes. Laser soldiers don luminescent vests and DayGlo bowties before entering the arena, where a mix of 30-odd friends and foes dodge blasts while darting from refuge to refuge. For groups of four, the battle extends out of the arena and onto the 8,000-square-foot arcade floor. Here, more than 120 games—including pool tables, skee-ball lanes, driving simulators, and air hockey—promote hand-eye coordination more effectively than soccer.
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