It’s 1:29 p.m. and the wave pool at Great Waves Waterpark has been calm for nine minutes. The mood on the surface, however, is anything but. An anticipatory energy has been transmitted through the water as sunbathers migrate from the sun deck, giddy youngsters from the various kids’ areas, and thrill seekers from one of the park’s waterslides. The anticipation ends at 1:30 p.m. when three 80-horsepower motors begin to churn the large fans that whip the pool’s 475,000 gallons of water into waves as high as four feet for 10 minutes. This increment of waves—10 minutes on, 10 minutes off—runs like clockwork at the 20-acre facility, which also features dry attractions such as miniature golf, batting cages, and grassy areas for practicing the backstroke.
In addition to offering sun-soaked thrills of simulated waves, the park's Paradise Play boasts 30-foot slides, pogo sticks, rock walls, and a non-aqueous playground area. A faux beach with sand invites revelers to unwind while snacking on a funnel cake purchased from Riptide Café, while a nearby play pool with pint-sized slides lets little riders get into the summertime mix. After a full day of sliding and swimming, guests may purchase souvenirs from the Shark Shack gift shop.
Don't feel like spending money? Make your way to Arlington's Upton Hill Regional Park, and enjoy some fresh air at no extra cost.
Head on over to the in-house restaurant for a delectable meal.
Tots are more than welcome to hang with their parents at this park.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Golf requires power, precision, and soft touch, and Laurel Golf Center helps players hone all three at one location. Covered hitting stalls facilitate year-round practice at the driving range, where golfers can take aim at six target greens or try to nestle their golf ball inside a passing cloud. Short game practice areas let golfers hone chips, pitches, and shots with awkward lies from a practice bunker. To perfect their feel around the greens, guests can roll through the 18-hole miniature golf course.
Komodo dragons, quicksand, and headhunter’s darts are just some of the dangers that lurk in the jungle depths of the Perils of the Lost Jungle miniature golf course at Woody’s Golf Range, whose innovative attractions caught the eye of The Washington Post and earned it a place in Newsweek Magazine’s recommended mini-golf courses in 2005. Harder hitting clubs hone their swings at the driving range. Golfers can spend their time there digging up divots in Patriot-Bermuda-grass hitting stations or sending balls whistling over AstroTurf mats. The range’s heated, lighted, and covered stalls let players practice year-round. Along with separate practice areas for pitching and chipping, a sand trap invites golfers to practice the best way to get out of a bad lie—by digging an escape tunnel. Guests can trade in their clubs for bats at four softball cages and five baseball cages, and themed picnic areas enable groups to turn their visit into a day-long extravaganza.
It's an impressive achievement. Somehow, Central Park Fun-land has figured out the exact formula for fun for the whole family. Take more than seven acres of indoor and outdoor space. Add more than 20 rides and attractions—and then find even more room for 100 video and redemption arcade games. The end result: more than 100,000 guests a year of all ages and 364 days of nonstop laughter and glee.
Outdoor attractions welcome visitors to the park during warmer months, and oftentimes that includes the heart-pumping roar of
go-karts, which zoom around tracks at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Other areas contain carnival classics such as the Tilt-a-Whirl as well as a souped-up, adrenaline-packed take on the ferris wheel: the Rock-O-Plane, where each rider's gondola spins upside down.
While mini golf and the other outdoor activities take breaks for snowy weather or the occasional meatball storm, the fun never stops indoors. Here, a futuristic landscape spreads over a laser tag arena, and rock climbing walls stretch toward the ceiling—yet that's still only the beginning. Perhaps it's best to grab some pizza at the cafe and plan out the day's agenda.
The weather has a knack
for ruining kids' leisure time, but it doesn't have to be that way. At Kids N Motion, kids scamper indoors in two rooms filled with inflatable playground equipment while remaining safe from thunderstorms, sweltering heat, and their own shadows. Parents can let loose too, knowing their kids are burning excess energy leaping in bounce houses, scrambling up and down inflatable obstacle courses, and careening down air-filled slides. Birthday parties are no exception to all that fun, with celebrants getting to sit in a bright-colored throne and blowing out a sparkler-style candle.