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.
Framed by the distant peaks of the Helderberg Mountains, Western Turnpike Golf Course's 27-hole layout blankets 250 acres of scenic terrain stitched by pine trees. Though the three nines connect to form three distinct 18-hole courses, the presence of multiple ponds, streams, and small, well-fortified greens act as a unifying feature across the entire grassy labyrinth. The horticultural haven is also peppered by a relatively sparse population of 37 sand bunkers, their scarcity due to the abundance of water hazards and previous issues with disoriented sunbathers. With three courses offering various levels of difficulty and four tee options on each course, Western Turnpike presents a sound golf challenge for bona fide aces, mid-handicappers, and those trying to play with a croquet mallet.