Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
At Splash! Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, the sun's rays sift through tall palms and glisten on explosions of water as families rocket out of twirly slides into the pool. After shooting out of those slides, they can grab a tube and head for the lazy river, then clamber over a marooned pirate ship surrounded by cannon walls and benches made from wharf planks. A skull rock keeps watch while some take respite from the heat beneath canopies resembling sails. To keep kids 48" and shorter giggling, there's a Spray Pad Zone with fountains to run through and cascades of water, a zero-depth beach, and dumping buckets. The adjacent 25-yard pool is open to all ages, giving guests ample room to play Marco Polo or a game of underwater chess.
At the end of the day, everyone can refuel at the Big Backyard Grille. There, families dine on pizzas and burgers and keep cool with Hawaiian shaved ice. Splash! Buccaneer Bay Waterpark offers free parking, and life jackets and tubes are included at no extra charge.
Frogs have evolved to be experts at jumping. Children are pretty good at it, too, though that?s more due to the supply of potential energy in their legs than anything else. Yet at Frogg?s Bounce House, tykes can ask advice from an expert as they bounce and play with Dancing Frogalina, a grown-up, felt-covered amphibian. Dancing Frogalina can show children how to jump with ease and breathe through their skin while they leap across 9,000 square feet of inflatable slides and fortresses.
Founded by a mom to give fellow parents a safe, fun place for their kids to play and exercise, Frogg?s Bounce House entertains all ages. Apart from its inflatable slides and obstacles, the jump emporium also boasts train tables, books, building blocks, a play house, fun cars, and a toddler gym for wee ones. Older siblings can play air-hockey, race through an obstacle course, or catch a flick in the movie lounge. Parents, meanwhile, can watch their progeny from the comfort of a seating area or they can surf the free WiFi or watch the game on TV.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).
Scandia Amusement Park adds a Nordic theme to classic amusement-park rides. Towering over the park, the signature Scandia Screamer Coaster sends riders through more high-speed drops, twists, and turns than that time they tried to cartwheel down the stairs. Shrieks of excitement echo at Cliff Jumper, a 100-foot-drop tower, and the Viking Ship, which swings like a giant pendulum through the air. A kiddie section treats young visitors to less-intense rides, including a carousel and the aptly named Little Dipper Coaster.
Back on the ground, more than 12,000 vibrant flowers line two Scandavian-themed putt-putt courses. Waterfalls and trickling streams calm players as they putt golf balls through challenging obstacles such as a stone castle. The competition continues at batting cages, which hurl baseballs and scoops of ice cream at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. Aside from these everyday attractions, Scandia Amusement Park lures in visitors with birthday-party packages and a seasonal haunted house.
The sight of a medieval castle surrounded by tall cacti may seem anachronistic at first, but it's hard to question the image when one is trying to putt a mini golf ball into a grassy hole off the circulating paddles of a windmill. It's whimsical moments like this that make Golf N? Stuff's name feel understated. Beyond the two lush 18-hole mini golf courses that draw year-round visitors, the entertainment center boasts go-karts, bumper boats, and more than 100 arcade games. Batting cages let both kids and adults perfect their swings. Visitors can refuel on hot dogs, Dippin' Dots ice cream, and soda at the snack bar.