Most of the modern world is mapped—GPS devices capably guide people through entire road trips and atlases describe more terrain than most people could cover in an entire lifetime. While it's difficult to reawaken humanity’s sense of surprise and discovery, The Mid-South Maze is up for the challenge. Every year, the maze’s manufacturers spend months carving up their cornfield into clever patterns that, when viewed from the sky, might appear as a famed sports logo or the face of a long-departed pharaoh. On the ground, however, that pattern vanishes, leaving wanderers to use their wits to navigate the arching corn passageways.
The Mid-South Maze entertains with more than just its winding labyrinth. On Friday and Saturday nights in October, actors clad as ghostly apparitions haunt the herbaceous hallways of a spooky tractor ride. A giant jumping pillow launches kids skyward and gently cushions their falls, and a corn cannon fires ears of corn at targets up to 100 yards away. Anyone who hits a target wins a prize from one of the maze's sponsors and the right to eat nothing but popcorn balls until Thanksgiving.
Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of BounceU of Nashville's location. Staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne.
In addition to open sessions, the indoor play haven sets the stage for Daily Create and Bounce Summer Camps programs that teach art lessons and group activities. Special events include parent's night out, which lets parents spend an evening away from their kids, and cosmic bounce, which turns the facility into a black-lit arena to illuminate any lost socks.
In 2011, WBIR-TV reported that local racecar driver Trevor Bayne dropped by Oakes Farm to see his face carved into the cornfield. The farm had adopted Bayne as that year's maze theme, shaping the field to look like his face and his racecar when viewed from above. On the ground, however, the maze was a tangle of curves and dead ends that often took guests 90 minutes to solve, longer if they neglected to learn ancient Greek in order to ask the minotaur directions.
The farm updates its agricultural labyrinth annually to reflect a new motif, but it never fails to entertain explorers with its routes and interactive games. Just as delightful are the hayrides that ferry visitors to and from the pumpkin patch, the smell of autumnal sweets from the Cornfections stand, and the echoes of laughter from inside the Mine Shaft—a giant slide in the farm's Back 40 entertainment area. These attractions, alongside animal exhibits, pedal karts, and open zones for freeform play, draw families to the seasonal hotspot. In the days approaching Halloween, however, the farm endeavors to make patrons flee with its haunted attractions and pop quizzes for school children.
"Tread softly," say players on Insane Paintball?s outdoor forts course. No matter how careful you are on the ground, opponents likely lurk atop the field?s 14 one- and two-story buildings, waiting to strike on the unsuspecting players below. More buildings tower above the wooded field, where teams can take cover behind mounds and old, paint-splattered cars.
Those pellets fire from Insane Paintball?s semi-automatic rental guns, part of gear packages that include face masks and compressed-air bottles. Snacks await players after long stretches of recreational, scenario, or tournament games, as do shopping sprees inside an on-site 3,500-square-foot retail store. Besides stocking new gear, the store hosts certified technicians, who repair malfunctioning equipment such as guns that only let players load crayon nubs.
Slowly tiptoeing through a thicket of greenery, a warrior stumbles upon a stack of blocks hidden among glyphs. Lost in an attempt to decipher the etchings, he fails to hear the enemy approach, who then fires his weapon into the warrior's back. The warrior emerges unscathed, though his team has taken a hit in this round of tag in Laser Chase's 4,000-square-foot jungle-themed arena. Between 15-minute laser-blasting bouts, visitors can gather in the viewing area to watch other contests or amble into the arcades for battles on the small screen. Alongside open play sessions, Laser Chase also hosts birthdays, corporate cage fights, field trips, and gatherings with various party packages available.
Strike & Spare offers shipshape facilities, interactive entertainment, and a breathable oxygen atmosphere for the whole family. Each location features 30+ state-of-the-art lanes for pin-hating combatants to enjoy. Individuals who are mathematically averse or absolutely terrified of baby pencils will rejoice over automatic scoring, while bumpers help kids and wayward balls find their way. Bowlers can also eschew traditional electromagnetic wavelengths with the neon glow of deep space ball-hurling, held each week during cosmic bowling nights, with availability and times varying based on location. Those looking to fuel their magic on a lane, can also enjoy a plethora of snacks or sojourns to the lounge area.