Benjamin Allen believes outdoor pursuits can positively influence those in need. This belief has led him all over the continent, building a ropes course for an orphanage in Mexico and setting up two courses for troubled youth at Provo Canyon School, a bit closer to home. Wanting to share his knowledge of nature with the public, he set up a course, CLAS Ropes Course, near Utah Lake nearly 20 years ago. Benjamin and his crew have since erected more than 50 ropes courses around the country, continuing to inspect ropes and train others how to run them.
CLAS Ropes Course continues to grow each year, creating obstacles such as a giant swing that releases passengers 40 feet in the air, a 400-foot zipline that whizzes through forest canopy, and a "leap of faith," where adventure seekers jump from a treetop platform to a trapeze. A log balance beam hung 30 feet above the ground and a 24-foot-tall rock-climbing tower test agility and endurance, and a fleet of 20 canoes lets paddlers navigate a mile and a half of river. Many of these structures play host to team-building activities focused on developing a group's creativity and tolerance for hearing one another sing. Staff members tailor their instruction to families, dating groups, or athletic teams. They often apply their approach to athletes, such as a professional golfer who traveled all the way from Texas hoping to conquer her fear of not qualifying for tournaments. She defeated the log balance beam, departed victorious, and qualified during her next tryout two weeks later.
Seven Peaks' multiple locales thrill guests with attractions ranging from water slides to go-karts and paintball. At Seven Peaks Waterpark Provo, the aquatically inclined can cascade down water slides, seesaw around the mammoth half-pipe tube ride, or ride the crests of the 400,000-gallon wave pool. Guests can scan the attractions at Seven Peaks Waterpark Salt Lake City, such as unique water slides and the Amazon River, then plummet off the Cliffhanger, a curvy slide that ends with a sudden 5-foot drop into a pool. The Lehi and Orem locations house an assortment of waterless excursions, including mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, and laser tag.
The Utah Pass of All Passes gives guests access to paintball and laser-tag games. Pass holders also receive perks such as access to skating at Peaks Ice Arena, admission to events at Rocky Mountain Raceways, and admission to baseball and soccer games.
Thrill seekers and people looking to be moderately entertained can take the four arcade tokens and also choose any combination of the activities Trafalga has to offer. Aspiring kings and queens of the home-run derby can get 50 swats at the batting cages, and golf-ball haters can punish an orb throughout 18 brutal holes of mini-golf. Trafalga has two courses, one under the stars on the late-night cosmic golf course and the other beneath the glowing waves on the indoor undersea jungle black-light course. A round of five minutes or 25 laps on the go-karts will satisfy speed demons more than 60 inches tall, but shorter adrenaline junkies will have to ride shotgun and have it administered by a taller chaperone. Trafalga has four different XD theater rides to choose from, taking participants through four-dimensional experiences in outer space, under the sea, in the tunnels of a haunted mine, or on the kids' favorite urban flight alongside some jetpack-sporting companions. You can also trade one activity in for 25 tokens to bolster the four free ones and spend some time with the classic arcade machines such as skeeball. Take your adopted family of loving chimpanzees for a day of entertainment at Trafalga Fun Center and enjoy the simple pleasure that beating a relative at skeeball or hitting 50 home runs in a row in front of your date can afford.
The whirring carnival attractions inside Jungle Jim's Playland never pack up and leave town. Instead, the year-round kiddie complex keeps its stable of rides completely indoors at its climate-controlled facility. Proud parents look on or join the action for free as kids 11 and younger enjoy jungle patrol cars, a ground-level roller coaster, and a traditional carousel. In all, seven rides and a multilevel jungle gym provide all the fun of an outdoor carnival without having to endure sticky, summer heat and long carnie lectures about 17th-century Italian operas. Kids split up their bumper car sessions with Skee-Ball and other arcade games or sit at picnic tables and nosh on a house-made pizza from The Jungle Cafe concession stand.
On a climate-controlled indoor field, teammates covertly relay their group's signal for a surprise attack to one another. Swiftly, the group emerges from behind inflatable red pillars and obstacles and sprints across the turf floor releasing a barrage of colorful paintballs at the opposing team, who thought they were safe for the moment behind triangular barriers. As the colors fly, the scenes play itself out as it has many times at Paintball Addicts, where players take part in fast-paced battles of strategy, timing, and teamwork. Considering safety the most important factor in keeping things fun, trained referees supervise all matches and brief paintball teams before each match on the facility's safety rules and techniques. The paint-splattered arena also boasts a shop where gamers can pick up all the gear they need, as well as spectator areas where friends and family can take in all the action without being transformed into living pointillist paintings.
With more than 2,000 feet of climate-controlled indoor track, Fastkart Indoor Speedway rouses racers with the power to speed through courses, slide around corners, and compete with friends on their U.S.-made go-karts. Boasting two covered tracks with a slew of configurations, races even offer computerized timing and scoring to easily confirm winners of friendly competitions or the sudden-death settlement of literary-trivia debates. Between adrenaline escapades, racers can settle excited stomachs with a shared scrumptious selection from the snack bar, or take a break from the exhilarations of reality with a galvanizing video game in the arcade. If two 10-minute races aren't enough of a track-tearing session, this Groupon can be upgraded to 15 minutes (an additional $5 per race), a 40-lap race (an additional $10 per race), or a 60-lap race (an additional $20 per race) for uncontrollable cart cravings.