Rave Motion Pictures screens the summer blockbusters in 20 auditoriums outfitted with stadium seating. The theaters' digital projectors allow projectionists to easily play such gripping tales as Scream 4, a documentary about Sidney Prescott's return to Woodsboro, where Ghostface threatens the townspeople's safety (movies playing subject to change). Stretch out while watching as rows are spaced 48 inches apart from one another, one for each of the states recognized by most public-school systems. Check showtimes online for all the movies screening throughout the summer.
The landscape is constantly changing at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, a pair of wilderness sanctuaries spread across two campuses at The University of Michigan. As spring pops around the city, the botanical gardens put on their brightest seasonal finery. In the Great Lakes Gardens, hundreds of species of indigenous ferns, woody plants, and wildflowers awaken after a dormant winter with the color and life that make Michigan famous. Other outdoor gardens include the kid-friendly Gaffield Children's Garden and formal gardens filled with bonsai trees, perennials and fragrant herbs. The gardens stay busy even on the season's rainy days; guests can stay dry while exploring indoor attractions such as the Conservatory?a large greenhouse that contains tropical, temperate, and arid biomes?and the art installations created by the university's students and faculty.
Across the city at the Central Campus, Nichols Arboretum contains a network of wooded trails that wind past giant magnolias, oaks, and the Peony Garden that erupts with color near the end of May each year. As they look at the flowers, guests might find themselves transported to scenes from Shakespeare's midsummer, which is fitting; each June, the arboretum hosts Shakespeare in the Arb, an outdoor theatre program inspired by the Bard's love of natural settings.
At Lazer Planet, laser-tag players find lots to keep their attention. First, seven modes of play, including variations on capture the flag and tag, keep battles lively, as players duke it out in a black-lit arena adorned with alien cutouts. In the arcade, video and redemption games challenge hand-eye coordination, and players can redeem their tickets for stuffed animals, candy, and lava lamps.
Happy Hooves Riding Academy introduces riders to the joy of horsemanship starting with a classical foundation. Lessons begin with basic skills, including grooming and animal care, and progress through dressage and riding comfortably.
Zap Zone's eight locations in Michigan and two locations in Canada each feature a unique combination of attractions?anything from bumper cars to the Jump Zone's cushioned obstacle course. In the laser-tag arena, both kids and adults demonstrate their teamwork skills by outscoring opponents in fast-paced games that take place inside black-lit mazes of neon-tinged hallways. Arcades also round out every location's attractions, tempting passersby to drop a few tokens on racing games and skee-ball, or a lot of tokens on the claw game filled with Faberg? eggs.
Jungle Java was designed to create a space where parents could enjoy a good cup of coffee while watching their children play in a safe and soft environment where tykes traipse through a well-padded multilevel maze of forest huts and treehouses. Toddlers can take time away from the fray in a separate safari area equipped with soft tunnels, slides, and age-appropriate cryptograms. As children romp, parents plunk themselves in the soft folds of a leather couch or power through some work on the free WiFi network. Jungle Java's caf? carries a menu of coffee drinks, smoothies, and snacks that include all-beef hot dogs and turkey and avocado sandwiches on eight-grain bread.