Zipping around a quarter-mile go-kart course. Careening into friends aboard a bumper boat. Playing any of the 40 games inside the arcade. At Adventure Speedway, you don't have to choose just one of these options. That's because the family fun center pairs visitors with all of the above at every single one of its 10 locations. It also offers up group outings and birthday parties, plus a snack area complete with goodies to fuel all-day races with neighborhood squirrels.
Safari Niagara provides a home for more than 750 exotic and domestic animals. The park’s conservationists lead educational presentations on threatened species and aim to shape children into the world’s future caretakers through up-close interactions with the park’s most social residents. Alpacas, river otters, grey wolves, and falcons are among the many animals that prowl the 110-acre facility, which also hosts an amphitheater where guests can watch musicians shimmy and shake in their natural habitat.
Perched at the bow of the pirate ship, the captain's parrot braces for stormy weather. But in the case of the pirate-ship inflatable at Pirates Plank, the feeling of choppy waves isn't generated by water below, but by the youngsters hopping on it. Kids can also jump around on a _Pirates of the Caribbean_–themed bounce house before navigating around the tranquil ponds decorating the 18-hole miniature-golf course.
Elsewhere, Pirates Plank hosts races on its go-kart track, gamers in its video arcade, and players in its batting cages aiming for homers or to hit balls back into the machine they came from. The snack bar keeps visitors reenergized with tasty treats, and birthday parties entice attendees with unlimited soda and popcorn, arcade tokens for each guest, and mini-golf passes for future visits.
Predator. Viper. Red Hawk. Though these could be the monikers of assassins in Kill Bill: Volume 3, they're actually the names of a few of Darien Lake Amusement Park's thrilling roller coasters. The park has 11 daring thrill rides, ranging from classic wooden coasters to the Ride of Steel, which boasts speeds of up to 75 mph and a 205-foot plunge. But it's not all about scream-inducing coasters. The park also features water excursions and kid- and family-friendly rides, such as the nostalgic Grande Carousel or Moose on the Loose, not to be confused with the less popular Mole on a Stroll.
Those interested in aquatic fun can venture into Splashtown, Darien Lake's adjoining water park. Here, patrons of all ages enjoy looping tube slides, a heated lazy river, and the popular Tornado?a 132-foot-long tunnel that shoots you into a giant funnel at 20 mph. And if a day trip to the park just won't do, check out Darien Lake's lodging options, which include camping, glamping (ready-made campsites), RV rentals, cabins, and more.
Putting Edge's phosphorescent indoor mini-golf course challenges the eyes, ears, and short-game prowess of players of all ages. The 18-hole course confronts club wielders with twists and turns amid a glowing battleground populated by painted neon trees, glowing statues, and iridescent wildlife conservationists. Upbeat music channels players' adrenalin as they expertly navigate their way through the incandescent irrigation routes and prove to competitors that their putting skills, like the bottom of Lake Michigan and Celine Dion's hair, are untouchable. Both golfers are equipped with a glow bracelet that shines as brightly as the course's black-lit critters, ensuring that no visitors are hazed by glowing parakeets. Though not included in this Groupon, players may also hone joystick skills and grapple for prizes at Putting Edge's arcade. The glow-in-the-dark atmosphere encourages friendly competition for players of all fitness levels, birthday parties, and group gatherings.
The eZone entices players of all ages with more than 30,000 square feet of space for energetic group games. The majestic sport of WhirlyBall combines the tenets of bumper cars, hockey, and lacrosse in a brilliant amalgamation that was carelessly overlooked by Mother Nature. WhirlyBallers in the heat of combat must steer their WhirlyBug cars with one hand while simultaneously using a plastic scoop to fling a wiffle ball at an elevated goal. Groups of up to 10 people can zoom around the court for 30 minutes or can use two Groupons for a full hour of fast frenzy. First-time players might be surprised by the intensity and speed of the game, which thuds and whizzes its strapped-in participants on an electronic court. Each car sports a special steering mechanism that enables the driver to steer in any direction, maximizes control, and makes it easier to parallel park in absolute darkness.