The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 7, 2013

Indoor activity: These places have space for when weather isn't great

By Zech Wheeler
Globe Columnist

JOPLIN, Mo. — The weather in Missouri can be anything but accommodating. Warm winter days perfect for hiking can give way to nasty, snowy, cold days that keep everyone inside.

That can mean kids can get bored quickly.

But there are plenty of different places that offer space and activities to help kids burn off energy. Whether it's cold, rainy or in the middle of summer heat, these spots can offer kids some needed steam-burning and parents some relaxation.

Game on

Tilt Studio has reopened in a larger space next to Vintage Stock, and offers much more than video games inside -- including a miniature bowling alley.

"We've opened up the whole place," Craig Racz, general manager. "We now have a two-story laser tag, (four-lane) blacklight minigolf. We have a bobsled roller coaster and we now have a restaurant that serves pizza."

Costs for laser tag are $6 per person for a 15 minute round while miniature golf runs for $5. Racz said that the new Tilt will also offer monthly play packages.

"Right now we're doing our March Madness where you can get one hour of unlimited video play and one attraction for $10," Racz said.

Details: 417-553-7902.

Fire away

Others who enjoy the thrill of laser tag may also enjoy Lazer Force, which is just a skip and a jump away at 408 Northpark Lane.

Lazer Force offers an arcade featuring older-generation video games and group rates on laser tag. It also offers single games for $7.50, and a group of four can play a round of tag and have pizza afterward for $42.

Details: 417-623-9400.

Staying fit

The Joplin Family Y remains a staple fitness institution. The Y offers a number of different fitness and athletics courses as well as a swimming pool, basketball and racquetball court in its two facilities at 3404 McIntosh Circle and 510 S. Wall Ave.

But the Y also offers programs that kids can attend without signing up for a course of lessons. Nurseries, open swim sessions and youth lounges with games, video games and activities are available for kids of just about any age. The Y can certainly keep kids busy.

Household memberships cost about $49 a month. Programs may have different costs between members and non-members.

Details: 417-781-9622.

Jump around

Bouncing off the walls doesn't work in your house, but it's encouraged at House of Bounce.

Located at 3684 N. Main St., the facility is filled with padded and inflatable features that allow kids to run wild, including bouncers, slides and obstacle courses.

The business offers several open sessions, where anyone can play for a while. Open hours are limited during weekends because of birthday parties and other facility rentals.

Details: 417-625-1082.

Alley cat hangout

Bowling is another good option for any family that wants to do something physical. There are a number of different options in the Joplin area.

Carl Richard's Bowl East, at 3131 Ten Pin Lane, and Fourth Street Bowl, at 1441 W. Fourth St., offer games at a rate of $4 per game and person. Both locations also offer weekly specials, including unlimited bowling on Tuesdays for $10 at Fourth Street Bowl.

Details: 417-624-5681, 417-624-8652.

Skating by

Rollerskating is another good way to stay active and have fun at the same time. Skateland, located 104 N. Madison in Webb City, is a popular spot for kids to hang out during the weekends.

During the week, $10 gets people in the door and on wheels. The rink also offer concessions and video games in the back for tired skaters.

Details: 417-673-1099.

Features editor Joe Hadsall contributed to this story.