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Lets talk about the Family Entertainment Center

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While not every town has a Six Flags or Cedar Fair or any other theme park, there is one type of park found in many suburbias across the world. I'm talking about the family entertainment center... you know, the place with a mini golf course, an arcade, and maybe laser tag or bumper boats.


I'll start off by discussing my local hangouts;



Livingstons is this place a few blocks away from where I live. Recently they moved to a new location and have added a LOT of things to do. Its primarily a pool hall/bar/arcade, but they have added Nascarts and a new type of game that is a mix of laser tag and paintball. However, the laser paintball thing still hasn't opened (it was supposed to open in November)... Oh yeah, the go karts suck, you can't pass your opponents without shunting them into a wall and like half of the course is designated as a "NO PASSING ZONE." Ugh...



Primarily a driving range, a few years ago they added a mini golf course. Its a decent course with a cool waterfall hole, other than that, its a pretty nice course.


Smuggler's Cove

Its a pirate themed mini golf course, enough said... haven't been there in years though.


Pirates Cove

Ah, the infamous ghetto-tacular Pirates Cove... if you want a nice overview of the place with pics, take a look at This Trip Report. The laser tag is decent there, not sure about the karts (I bet they have to be a LOT better than Livingston's). The outside is a different story and everything there has seen better days. As a matter of fact, the land the park sits on could be redeveloped into more business.


Talk about your local Family Entertainment Centers here!

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The only ones that are around my area are...


Ozzy's Sports Fun Center

It has one or two kiddie rides, a removed go-kart track (there's also another one, but I don't know what happened to that one) an arial ropes course, roller skating, bumper boats with sqirters, 2 mini golf courses, a kids play thing, laser tag and an arcade.


Schells Miniature Golf

I think it's a great entertainment center even though it's only mini golf. With 28 holes, they usually have championships there. It's also home to an ice cream parlor and a resturant.


Does Laser Quest count?

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There use to be one in Nicholasville a town South, Southwest of Lexington. It was called Entertainment Xpress, then Party something, then its last name was The Stadium Fun Park. It had batting cages, mini golf, go karts, arcade, and a ball pit thing. It has since closed and is being turned into a buisness park, the first building is already built, sad.


The Lexington area needs an amusement park badly. No one really like SFKK and everyones has been to Kings Island over and over again.



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Its more of an indoor arcade, but us Bostonians have a place about 10 minutes from where I live called Good Times. They have Go-Carts, Bumper Cars, a Lazer Tag Game, a HUGE arcade, a bar, a bowling alley, some pool tables, a Basketball Hoop, Batting Cadges, and a Hymalaya! Also, you can get six Cedar Point credits there, I have two . Its very surprising how big Good Times is because of its lack of space and almost no parking room outside it, but its still HUGE!

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We had 2 around here but one closed.


Recreation Center

It was about a half hour south. It had 2 mini golfs, Basket Ball courts, Bumper Boats, an Arcade, Batting Cages, and A Go-Kart track.


It closed a year ago and the owner had plans on relocating but changed his mind. Today a Sheetz is where it used to be. He did keep the Go-Karts open.


Family First Sports Park

It is located in Erie and has 2 Golf Courses, Rock Climing, An indoor Driving Range, Batting Cages, A Skating Rink, an Arcade, Trampolines, and a Go-Kart track.

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The 2 main ones in my area are:


Happy Tymes - An arcade, go karts, batting cages, a frog hopper, a space train, monster buckets (teacup ride), climbing wall and a bowling alley, mini golf. It's really for little kids as there are few video games and they are older games.


Garden Golf And Go Karts - a small arcade, go karts, batting cages, mini golf


I rarely go to either place except to Garden Golf and Go Karts to play Pump It Up once in a while.

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Even though we have KI here, Cincinnati also has the famous, or is that INFAMOUS, Wonderpark at the Cincinnati Mills Mall. We used to have this awesome place called "Family Fun Center" on the east side of town, but all of a sudden they just rolled up their carpet and closed. It was a bummer because they had batting cages, basketball, putt-putt and small token operated games and rides, plus a "ball crawl". They also had an outside go kart track open during the warm weather months. My stepdaughters loved it when they were little.



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I have a place called 202 sports a 10 or 15 minute drive from my house, that has a resteraunt, ice cream stand, driving range, batting cage, minigolf, and gokarts. Just a little further down the road from it, there is another mini-golf place that I forget the name of. For the most part, I don't care at all about either of them, I'd rather just take the hour and a half drive to SFNE.

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We've got a Boomers, with some mini-golf, a pretty craptastic bumper boats, and a really boring go-kart track, along with games inside, and a rock wall. We've also got Blackbeard's, which is somewhat ghetto, but still good. They've got waterslides (the hardcore cement ones from the 70's), some rides, batting cages, really good mini-golf, very good go-karts, pretty good bumper boats, games, and some other weird things (including basketball with FUNKY BACKBOARDS oooh).

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Growing up we had all kinds of place to choose from when it came to these family fun centers. We had...


- Malibu Grand Prix

- Putt-Putt Game Center

- Cap'n Bogey's

- Slick Track

...their all gone now! Now all we have left is Chuck E. Cheese and Wonderpark, (previously mentioned in Cincinnati).


There is one place locally called Magic Castle that's pretty sweet. It's themed around Knights, Wizards, and Dragons. And they offer mini golf, batting cages, water balloon wars, video games, and soft play. We'd like to talk to the owner, (he's loaded), into building an indoor park like the Partheon at Mt. O. Why? Because winters around here suck, and it would be something to do. Have a mouse coaster, disko, some kiddie stuff...we'd be set.

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Around here we have the Falls which is in Marlton, about 20 minutes away. They have go karts, mini golf, an arcade, bumper boats, rides, an a driving range.


And then were not far from SFGADV but we are about 40 minutes from the Jersey Shore so we go to Jenkinsons alot.

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Swings N Things! It's actually a pretty cool little place, they have a HUGE 2-story arcade, an indoor laser tag-ish game called Ground Zero (you don't shoot your opponents, you have to shoot targets on the other team's wall). The indoor part also has a children's play area and an ice cream parlor/small restaurant. Outside, they have 2 go kart tracks, one is a small "Rookie Track" and the other one is full-size karts. There's a batting cage with 9 stalls (40 to 80 MPH), and they recently installed "Paintball Village" because kids around here LOVE paintball. There's 2 18-hole mini golf courses, and I think they still have the bumper boats...not totally sure. They also had a small rollercoaster a few years back (similar to a Dragon Wagon but a little bigger), it's not on RCDB and I'd email Duane about it but I have no clue what its name was, what company built it, or what year it opened/closed.


*Edit* They have a website actually: http://www.swings-n-things.com/

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