Beyond its roaring arcade and indoor amusement park, The Funplex decrees that 8,000 of its 100,000-square-foot kingdom be annexed to the Realm where fantasy game MagiQuest disperses Magis on heroic adventurers through an interactive and spellbinding semivirtual lair. Carefully choose your Magi alias and grab your secret-yielding loaner wand (a $2 value) before embarking on a fantastical adventure filled with distinguished wizards, enchanting pixies, and cunning dragons. Seasoned with mystical spells and motion sensors, wands respond to trees, mountains, and flat screens sprinkled throughout the Realm, sharing clues so Magi can complete honorable tasks or surprise wicked goblins with an unexpected hug. With unlimited play (a $14.95 value), Magis can entreat the hours to swallow them into the transformative wormhole of role-playing bliss.
Fitness Cell Collective's disciples don't work out in a gym. Dubbed "The Compound," the Collective's roomy studio encompasses familiar fitness devices, such as kettlebells, as well as some unconventional equipment. Olympic-style rings dangle from the ceiling alongside suspension systems and ski machines, and a 40-foot-long set of monkey bars facilitates intense workouts and high-speed banana relays. With these tools, the certified trainers?who range from martial artists and professional weightlifters to dancers and triathletes?lead classes for all fitness levels. The classes?featured in New York magazine?range in scope to include kettlebell fitness, mixed martial arts, yoga, Pilates, and boot-camp training. The Compound houses more than just modern fitness equipment; postworkout, exercisers can purchase and refuel with fresh, locally made, organic snacks and signature protein drinks.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting?it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children?s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds.
As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
Though its wall-to-wall Japanese street-fighter games enticed many patrons, Chinatown Fair's most infamous attractions for more than 50 years were its chickens, according to an article in New York Times. The fowl competed against guests in games of Tic-Tac-Toe, and bags of fortune cookies awaited challengers who could end the chickens' impressive winning streaks. While the feathered opponents were gone when Chinatown Fair reopened in 2012, the arcade still lures plenty of gamers with arcade classics and contemporary favorites.
Washed "in bright candy colors, flashing lights and carnival-style music," as described by the Times, the arcade still keeps plenty of street-fighting games at hand, including Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition. Fighting alternatives include Guitar Hero, air hockey, basketball, skee-ball, ticketed and car racing games. To reward exceptional gaming, the prize counter stays stocked with goodies such as plastic green soldiers and a large selection of candy. The arcade's birthday packages allow partygoers to enjoy a slice of pizza and drinks before venturing into the main room to test their skill on the games.
Knights in shining armor. White horses. Fair maidens. All the magnificent trappings of a bygone era come to life at Medieval Times, where ironclad knights clash for the title of King's Champion in front of a wide-eyed audience that peppers the battlefield with cheers and jeers between bites of a four-course dinner. Each two-hour tournament channels the pageantry and spectacle of 11th-century Spain, pitting six competitors against each other inside a spacious, sand-filled arena for the honor of earning the title of champion and the favor of the royal court. A spirited musical score infuses epic onslaughts with an extra dose of tension as adversaries joust atop stallions, deflect ferocious blows, and slice through suits forged of authentic junk mail. To further immerse guests in the fairy tale, Medieval Times encourages each guest to declare their allegiance by cheering loudly for the knight in their corner.
Like royal guests centuries ago, spectators bask in the revelry while feasting upon a finger-friendly bill of fare without the aid of utensils or the "choo-choo" sounds of parents. The four-course feast includes a tomato-bisque soup starter, oven-roasted chicken with a garlic-bread side, single spare rib, and an herb-basted potato. Servers periodically fill patrons? goblets with soda or water, which adults can supplement with purchases from a full-service bar. Meals conclude with the castle's sweet pastry dessert.
Planet 301 plunges families into a world of friendly competition with two floors and 32,000 square feet of hands-on games and activities. Each three-hour pass turns gamers loose in Planet 301’s fully stocked funplex, unlocking complete access to its bowling and laser-tag arenas as well as acres of classic and state-of-the-art arcade games. After stealthily zapping foes with focused beams and busting piles of pins, patrons can hone real-world skills with a trip to the arcade, working on hand-eye coordination with a game of skee-ball, cataloging new breeds of waterfowl in a round of Wacky Ducks, and helping Donkey Kong register for community-college classes.