Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up pulses with inflatable play sets and actually encourages kids to bounce off the walls. Within the indoor playground, a stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings, such as a classic bounce castle and slick inflatable slide that cushions children's heartfelt reenactments of Cool Runnings. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play, or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms and complimentary invites. Parties come as straightforward packages or as themed events that place the birthday child in structured story adventures where they take on the role of a mighty and clever superhero or pirate captain that drank too much saltwater.
After buying their first canoe in 1942, Chester and Stella Heavner were hooked. So were their friends. After constantly loaning out their red-canvas Old Town canoe, the pair invested in two more and started charging a nominal rental fee. In 1953, they made it official with a patch of riverfront property, eight canoes, and a trailer.
Today, Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental is run by Chester and Stella’s eldest son, Alan. He and his staff manage an inventory of more than 200 canoes and kayaks, which they rent at three locations along the Huron River.
Colorful skeins of yarn line the walls at The Knitting Circle, where knitting enthusiasts and first-timers alike can acquire supplies or sit down for some knitting or crocheting in a comfy area. Guided sessions include two-hour knitting or crocheting classes, which teach participants how to weave yarn into scarves, hats, and finger and toe puppets. For DIYers, The Knitting Circle offers all of the patterns, accessories, and books necessary to get started on a new project or finish an old one.
At Wonderland Lanes, pins stand at the ready seven days a week to facilitate family-friendly group outings. Gather together a crew of up to six companions and lace up rental shoes for two hours of pin-crushing competition and Olympic-style genuflection. Between frames, bowlers can grab a refreshing soda from The Wonderland Grille and relax. Wonderland Lanes holds various events throughout the week, including nighttime Glow Bowling. Learn the art of telepathy or check their online schedule for hours and pricing.
MotorCity Trivia hosts ebullient live trivia shows at a variety of area bars and restaurants, letting teams and individuals alike munch on toothsome eats as their brains get tickled by challenging games. Monday-night munchers can detonate hunger with Lions & Tigers & Beers’ zing-infused Dynamite! burger ($8.99) laden with jalapeños and pepper jack cheese, and the Bayside Sports Grille’s macadamia-crusted Canadian whitefish ($16.95) sends mouths on a flavorful border-crossing sojourn on Wednesdays and Sundays. Those in search of circular sustenance during Friday and Saturday trivia fests can nibble through Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill’s comestibles, including a Caribbean jerk personal pizza ($12.59) festooned with sweet-and-spicy jerk sauce, bacon, and jalapeño steel drums. The chefs at CJ’s Brewing Company cloak Alaskan cod in a regal golden-ale beer batter when crafting their scrumptious fish 'n' chips ($10.99) for Thursday-evening feasts, and the burritos ($9.99) at Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern snuggle chicken or beef into soft flour-tortilla sleeping bags in honor of Tuesday dinner.