The Ice & Golf Center inspires family-friendly outings with 36 holes worth of mini-golf challenges seven days a week. Unlike traditional golf, gamers of all ages, experience levels, and trouser preferences can enjoy a round of this celebrated pastime. Practice greens welcome players to sharpen their putters and prepare for battle before choosing between two distinct 18-hole courses, and five ponds and two waterfalls proffer a scenic backdrop for taking commemorative hole-in-one snapshots or first-date cell-phone videos. Beyond the vast plains of synthetic turf, putt-putt pugilists can replenish their strength at The Ice & Golf Center's fully stocked concession stand or toast victories in the newly renovated sports bar.
Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children. During 10 fun-filled pop-in play visits, children can leap around these gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like legless snakes through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate controlled and cleanly maintained according to rigorous guidelines by well-trained staff. Parents bounce for free during family jump time, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow their neighbor’s kid or just win one by collecting enough cereal-box tops. Birthday party packages celebrate youthful energy with 1.5–2-hours of jumping, climbing, and scampering ($150–$425).
Back for its second year, the Halloween Spook-trac-ula scares souls and decorates the confines of the Texas Transportation Museum, which chronicles the history of San Antonio's transportation with a 1913 depot, model train layouts, and full-size engines, cars, and cabeese. An eerie Ghost Train will transport passengers to the depths of fear and back, and a haunted hayride totes fright-seekers around the grounds to witness the horrific, tremble-inducing decorations as they sit among possessed hay borrowed from zombie scarecrows. Visit the storyteller in the outdoor garden area to hear ghost stories, or catch a ride on the Train-sylvania Express to seek out the ghost of Dracula during his teenage phase as a train conductor. Although this event is sure to thrill and spook attendees of all ages, it is geared toward younger family members, shying away from typical blood, guts, and property tax displays.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (a $3.59 value).
Zombies usually hunger for flesh, or flesh-flavored soy products, but at University Bowl they crave strikes. Aptly begun on Friday the 13th, The Rolling Dead gathers bowlers together on a weekly basis to play entire games in full zombie garb. And this quirky approach to bowling runs throughout the rest of the alley as well. A Bowler Entertainment System, for instance, enlivens frames with themed graphics, and the 32 lanes come equipped with programmable bumpers to relieve players of gutter-ball anxiety. After their final rolls, guests can even pop into the 11th Frame Pub to unwind with some of the most lauded Texas-bred beers and cocktails while viewing sports blown up on an 88-inch projection screen. The result of all this excess: a bowling center that's regularly voted as San Antonio's best.
Far from the typical movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse subverts the industry standard by offering locally brewed beverages, a rotating snack menu, and an advertisement-free experience. Theater-goers can sip on wine and themed specialty cocktails while enjoying the custom shows that run before the feature in place of ads. Alamo Drafthouse projects first-run blockbusters and cult classics from crisp 35mm or digital film onto the silver screen, as surround sound submerges audiences in the cinematic experience. The theater's enormous shepherd's crook enforces a strict no-talking, no-texting policy, with the notable exception of fan-centric Quote-Along nights.