Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 17 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
Xtreme Trampolines safely sends guests of all ages ricocheting off the floors, up the walls, and into the lower stratosphere on an expanse of springy flooring. The 45,000-square-foot indoor facility houses five giant checkerboards composed of commercial-grade trampolines ready for full-body bouncing. Angled trampolines against the walls give bouncers the opportunity to spring from fun new angles and keep anyone from crashing into something other than the arena's soft foam pit. On the dodge-ball court, players use the trampolines to add a new dimension to ball evasion, performing high-flying ducks and dodges to avoid opponents' throws. Though Xtreme Trampolines offers a unique activity, injuries are infrequent and usually minor, occurring at a much lower rate than they do during common team sports such as baseball, soccer, or rattlesnake toss.
The thwack of bats hitting balls squarely on their stitched faces echoes throughout The Hitting Zone, a 16,000-square-foot indoor baseball and softball training center. There, skilled trainers draw on their own experiences in the field to help batters achieve that satisfying sound during private and group lessons. Coach Rick DeHart shares what he learned while playing for the Montreal Expos and the Kansas City Royals, and Chris Wilmot’s lessons are shaped by his time as a first baseman for the Cougars. Other trainers share stories of college ball and coaching high-school students while they demonstrate pro pitching and hitting techniques in six turfed training tunnels.
Budding swingers can also apply their newly learned skills in five baseball and fast-pitch-softball cages equipped with ATEC automatic pitching machines that aspire to play for the Yankees one day. A 12-inch slow-pitch-arc softball cage also awaits batters, who can fuel their efforts with refreshments from nearby vending machines. In addition, The Hitting Zone also welcomes birthday celebrants inside a 24'x27' party room, where they can eat cake in between whacking balls and listing all of the Great Bambino’s nicknames in alphabetical order.
A child's laughter precedes her as she emerges from a rainbow-colored tunnel on her hands and knees before scampering up the steps to meet her brother at the top of the spiral slide. When kids first enter the indoor playground, they're tasked with deciding which activity to tackle first: the GyroCopter or the Yo Yo Ball? Perhaps the maze of tunnels? The center is open for two-hour periods throughout the week, giving kids enough time to try each activity as well as take unlimited rides on the carousel or conjure a competing carousel for friends to ride on.
It’s commonly accepted that it’s not a good idea to build castles in the air, so the team at Monkey Zone built castles with air inside them instead. At their 40,000-square-foot indoor playground, they supervise tots expending energy as they ricochet off the walls of the Dora the Explorer inflatable and other air-filled fun houses. Good for kids aged 1–10, the Toddler Town bouncy house lets little ones roll about as bigger kids race invisible tractors at the barnyard blow-up. In the game room, kids delve further into their imaginations while playing arcade and crane games and sip soft drinks from the snack bar. Monkey Zone also hosts birthday parties with pizza, pop, and play for up to 50 guests in their fanciful space featuring jungle, circus, and aquatic murals.
In its more than 12 themed play areas, Kids Town not only entertains little ones, but also helps them develop skills for creative self-expression and social engagement. Kids explore the indoor pint-sized city, wandering through the central market with a kid-sized grocery cart before paying a visit to the princess palace, sheriff's office, fire department, and pet clinic. Afterward, youths can cozy up to the pretend-only fireplace to read a book on the petite plaid sofa or enter the dramatically lit party room, with its galactic carpet and Earth-bound walls. All the while, the facility keeps kids safe with careful sanitation—aided by a strict socks policy and nontoxic, all-natural BabyGanics cleansers—and by forbidding all peanut products.