Painted Earth makes it simple for amateur artisans and ceramic virtuosos to produce colorful pottery pieces using a variety of stencils, stamps, and patterns. Start by choosing your desired vessel from a vast selection of more than 500 ceramic pieces ($6–$70), including coffee mugs ($10–$17), dinner plates ($14–$20), and miniature figurines ($8–$30) to festoon with the likeness of a pet or distant relative. Pick a design from the store's volumes of idea books, select from more than 100 colors, and then create a design for an earthenware masterpiece. For artists suffering from painter's block, Painted Earth hosts an online inspiration gallery, and friendly staff members stand ready to assist with the pigmenting process. Glazing, firing, and vibrantly hued paints are included in the flat studio fee ($6 per person per visit), and polished objects are ready one week later.
Fiesta Village provides fun-seeking families with a multifaceted recreational destination. Unlike 100-yard dashes, the winding Fiesta Raceway gives lead-footed youngsters the chance to put their metallic extremities to good use, and a pair of mini-golf courses provides an all-you-can-putt birdie buffet. Head for the roller rink for a leisurely leg cruise, or hit the ride park for attractions such as the tilt-a-whirl, Bogey's Bounce House, and Slugger's Super Slide, which shows kids that gravity does more than just keep us from bumping into clouds. A 2,400-square-foot laser tag arena allows children to wield future weapons with mock-deadly cunning. Fiesta Village offers a concentrated dose of entertainment that surpasses the diluted offerings of much bigger recreational municipalities, such as Funky Towns and Paradise Cities.
At Fast Lap, the shouts of competitive camaraderie drift above buzzing gas-powered engines as riders whiz through traffic and maneuver around a track designed by former racers of the International Kart Federation and driven on by the likes of Kyle Busch and Ricky Carmichael. Pedals scoot toward metal during trips around the 1,200-foot-long, 20-foot-wide speedway, and knuckles whiten in the cockpit of a Honda-powered go-kart that reaches speeds up to 50 miles per hour. For the uninitiated, Fast Lap hosts classes that teach riders how to hug turns and get a second date afterward.
Under strings of lanterns and the night's canopy of stars, kids scamper through a field filled with thousands of pumpkins, each one searching for the biggest, roundest one. Finding it is one thing; lifting it is another. The bountiful Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm began a bit by happenstance—the owners originally began selling pumpkins out of the back of their pickup and steadily added on amusements as more people came each year. More than 30 years later, the one-month harvest festival sets up each October with attractions ranging from pony rides to puppet shows. As they explore the area amid bales of hay, teepees, character cutouts, and other props, kids can feed baby goats and sheep at the petting zoo or sit on an authentic tractor from 1932. Once guests have procured the perfect pumpkin to carve into the likeness of their favorite monster, they can get their picture taken with Pumpkin Jack, hop on rides such as the Goliath Slide or Pumpkin City Express Train, or visit Gone Fishing, Knock 'Em Down, and other game booths.