Putt-putting through a pirate ship might normally result in the putter walking the plank. Not so at FunPlex Fun Park, where on the 18-hole mini-golf course, players navigate ocean-themed greens populated by alligators, a lighthouse, and one grounded speedboat. Thirteen attractions, including a bounce house and bumper boats, promise diversion for kids of almost any age. Go-karts spin around an eighth-mile track at up to 20 miles per hour, and kids aged 3?10 zip around at 6 miles per hour on the mini go-kart track. In Captain Hook's House of Fun, kids clamber inside the tunnels of a multilevel play structure, descending tube slides and diving into a pit filled with plastic balls, more fun than the ones at school that are filled with homework.
The treats at Control Tower Ice Cream are so tasty that they regularly cause pilots to land their planes near the shop. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Albany International Airport’s north runway is paved a few 100 yards from the creamery’s door. Regardless, from March to September, the staff serves nearly 20 specialty sundaes and more than 40 flavors of ice cream that woo adults and kids alike. More savory foods, such as hot dogs, burgers, and paninis, complement the desserts. After eating, guests can watch the planes land and take off or visit Control Tower’s go-kart track, miniature-golf course, or batting cages.
Spooky, undead monsters and lively tunes combine to create a jovial atmosphere inside Monster Mini Golf's 10,000-square-foot, glow-in-the-dark course. As players navigate the 18 mind-boggling holes, a DJ spins tunes to awaken tone-deaf monsters, occasionally doling out prizes to golfers for reasons ranging from "craziest hair" to "smoothest celebration after a hole in eight." And after a wacky session of putting, guests can flex their thumb muscles inside a decked-out video arcade lined with both classic and modern games.
The Give Me Five pass grants access to five of any of the following activities: Kimball Farm's 300-yard driving range, nine-hole pitch-and-putt course, and batting cages will help golfers and batters adjust squeaky swings, and the Animal Adventures exhibit allows guests to interact with reptiles while discussing current events with talking birds. Give Me Fivers can also perform kinetic-energy experiments using colorful balls on the Waterfall Run or Forbidden Mine miniature-golf courses before boarding a bumper boat to faithfully recreate Star Wars on melted ice. The pass may also be used to acquire a play card (a $6 value) from the Olde Sawmill Midway Arcade.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
The 18-hole course at Rainbow Golf Club takes players careening across a 6,287-yard layout carved into the foothills of the Northern Catskill Mountains. Players rip tee shots from one of five sets of tees per hole, allowing for an enjoyable yet challenging round for greenhorns to green-jacket holders. As rental carts transport players across the well-manicured landscape, they must take care to avoid tree-lined fairways, undulating greens, and feral caddies looking to stock up on golf balls for winter's hibernation. The course's signature hole is the 13th, a 135-yard, par 3 that forces golfers to carry their tee shot over water onto an island green, the only known island in New York. A pro shop, practice facilities, and a restaurant with an outdoor patio overlooking the course all provide entertainment when golfers aren't practicing their postputt struts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,287 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 126 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole