We had two and a half days off school last week due to snow and although the boys spent a fair bit of time in the yard playing, they eventually got tired of tearing around shrieking and pelting each other with snowballs and ended up tearing around inside the house shrieking and pelting each other with foam darts. Surprisingly, they seemed to enjoy this more than playing out in the yard. It even appeared that they liked the idea of aiming for a target that much that I wouldn’t be shocked if they ask me to look for an electronic dart board so they have much harder targets to hit than eachother. I actually think that that would be a good idea to consider as it could be fun for all the family, and who doesn’t love to have the bragging rights? And if it stopped them from running havoc around the house, I’m all for it. So, at that moment my thoughts didn’t turn to bubble baths à la vintage Calgon ads, but instead to the large indoor playground called the FunZone that we so enjoyed at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.
Although I don’t remember ever getting free access to a bunch of giant inflatable jungle gyms when I was a child, there was something charmingly old school about the pleasure to be had in the FunZone. Maybe it’s the obstacle course, which inspired fiercely competitive races among every school-aged boy in the room (and Olympics-worthy celebrations by the winners):
Or the homemade table golf game, which is played with pool cues:
Or the miniature golf (this one played on the floor with putters):
Or the giant slides:
Or the charming choo-choo, which is actually intended for younger children, although that didn’t deter Teddy:
There is a small arcade in the FunZone too. Teddy wasted no time in trying to persuade the first attractive young woman that he saw that she should use the pile of tickets she had won to get some Silly Bandz for him. She demurred, especially when told that he has six million of them at home.
I didn’t have much change, but Tommy did put what little I had to good use playing skee ball.
That was before he tried to beat Matt at ping pong.
I think that my favorite thing about the FunZone was that when I walked in I saw lots of families enjoying themselves together. A brother and sister raced each other down the giant slides, giggling deliriously. A fit mother with the matted hair that can only be earned by a day wearing a ski helmet leaned over one of the Ping Pong tables, cheeks flushed, paddles clutched in her hand, as she rallied against her equally pink-faced son. “We Got the Beat” blasted on the sound system and a man in the company of two teenage boys exclaimed with delight when he discovered the shuffleboard table. Before long all three of them were engaged in a game that was still going on 45 minutes later as we bundled Tommy and Teddy out into the frigid night. No one was staring at a screen, and everyone was smiling.
Smuggs bills itself as being a great place for family fun, and I think that the Fun Zone lives up to that promise. It makes for a fun evening out after a day on the slopes and offers the absolute guarantee that your children will fall into instantaneous and total slumber the moment you get back to your accommodations.
So as I take measurements in my backyard to see if I’ve got room to build an indoor inflatable wonderland for the inevitable snow days to come, I ask what is your Monday dream?
(And by the way, you may have guessed from the boys’ attire that these were pictures were taken on the day of the NFC Divisional Playoff game. I’m sure you can tell where our loyalties lie – and what Matt’s Monday Dream for this week is.)
Many thanks to Smugglers’ Notch for providing accommodations, lessons, lift tickets, and lessons to me and my family.