Though the creatures on display at Dinosaur World don’t need much space to roam, plenty of care has been taken to furnish them a comfortable habitat. They peer imposingly from the hillsides of Kentucky, crane their necks up through native trees, and stomp through prairie fields. Although a life-size mammoth or T. rex might be hard to miss, little visitors might still jump with delight at noticing a baby dino suddenly appear from behind a bush. Giant brachiosaurus necks arch high above treetops, while toothy meat-eaters and spiny stegosauruses roam the world below. The fiberglass, steel, and concrete models reach up to 80 feet in length, and are built according to the latest scientific discoveries about what dinosaurs looked like and what styles were trendy in the Mesozoic era.
The first Dinosaur World location was a former alligator farm in Florida and five years later another one was opened in Kentucky. As Swedish-born Christer Svensson began to fill it with statues, he consulted with experts around the world to not only create realistic reptiles but to surround them with fun, educational activities. Kids can sift through sand to find shark’s teeth, gastropod shells, and trilobites in a fossil dig, get to know some lizards a little better on the playground, or examine ancient eggs and raptor claws in the museum.
Landscaped holes sprawl across the grounds of Putt-Putt Fun Center's three locations, challenging visitors to take hold of putters and test their short game. Besides putt-putt golf, the center has batting cages that hurl baseballs and the occasional tomato at various speeds. The attractions at Alley Cats Entertainment Center, include kid-friendly laser tag, rock-climbing, and an arcade, as well as a bar with billiards for the grown-ups. Both locations are home to giant arcades featuring state-of-the-art games and redemption centers to cash in tickets for prizes.
Specials and parties are offered year-round including summer camps, which are offered through Alley Cats and Putt-Putt Fun Center's multiple locations. At camps, kids ages 5 to 13 experience daily themes in a classroom setting from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., from June 9 through August 22. All facilities are fully licensed for daycare and activities include days such as magic day, where children are taught tricks by a professional magician.
At Rockwood Gokart Track, drivers 4'8" and taller buckle up and burn rubber around the outdoor course's tight twists and serpentine turns. There's 12 colorful, single-seat go-karts to choose from, and parents can ferry their little ones (3'4" or taller) alongside them in one of four double-seat mini speed machines. Serious go-karters can also purchase parts or whole new go-karts at Rockwood Gokart Track, or get their current one running again with repairs and promises of oil sandwiches.
Consider activities that take about an hour to complete: a trip to the grocery store, a relaxing massage, watching a favorite television show. Rarely, if ever, do haunted houses fall into this category—unless you're talking about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth. In 2009, the attraction’s length caught the attention of Guinness World Records, which deemed Cutting Edge the longest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Looming in a section of the city dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” Cutting Edge populates an abandoned meatpacking plant that was originally built in the late 1920s. The plant’s equipment is still fully operational, and still resides inside—only today, it processes humans. To escape such a grisly fate, guests must grope through a multi-storied labyrinth replete with unthinkable horrors such as live monsters, realistic special effects, and salsas made in New York City. Cutting Edge is so terrifying, in fact, that it even earned the top spot on HauntedHouseRatings.com's list of the best haunted attractions in 2013.
The bright blue sky and the puffy clouds in the air might fool less-observant patrons, but Celebrations Indoor Adventure's 5,400-square-foot playground is all indoors. Inside, kids leap around in the bounce house and scoot down slides. In the main-street playset, they cruise in kid-sized cars, searching for a place where they don't have to parallel park. Games such as foosball and air hockey let older kids enjoy some friendly competition, while other toys entertain tykes as young as toddlers.
The smooth, pastel-tone corridors of Mountasia Family Fun Park‘s two 18-hole miniature golf courses encircle the rising crags of a central waterfall that cascades past greens of orb-rolling entertainment. Putt-putt parties of all ages can choose from two different courses, navigating around obstacles that include burbling rapids and caves. The turn-filled go-kart course provides tandem go-karts so youngsters can join the four-wheel fun, and inside batting cages patrons flail away using a trusty bat. Elsewhere onsite, water enthusiasts are invited to enjoy bumper boats, Mountasia's 30-foot rock wall beckons to altitude-immune adventurers, virtual thrills reside in the video arcade, and guests take aim at each other in a post-apocalyptic laser tag area.