RJ Johnson

When the temperatures outside drop to single digits and even below zero, only the heartiest of Alaskans dare to step outside and find their thrills in the fresh air. For the rest of us, even leaving the house can be somewhat of a task. If you are brave enough to head outside for some adventure, why not pick a place that can offer many different choices for entertainment in one location?

               The Castle on O’Malley has a fun center with several choices for one low price. After you have paid you will have all day access to pool, ping pong tables, darts, foosball, bean bag toss, shuffleboard and even a mini-movie theater with a screen perfect for the two-seater room. There are also chairs sized for your little ones so that the whole family can sprawl out and relax. The admission price also includes the classic indoor 18-hole miniature golf game that has been around for years. With scenic decorations including mountains and a grizzly bear fishing for salmon, you can pretend that you are in the great outdoors while remaining warm. If you pay attention, this course is themed around the history of Alaska, from the port of Skagway to the peaks of Denali, with gold mines, fishing, logging towns, and more. Designed and hand-built by a woodworker and avid golfer, you can even send your ball down the trans-Alaska pipeline. There is a concession stand available for snacks and drinks, so if you plan on making a trip out to the Castle, you can plan on having an entire day of fun, whether it is a family trip to escape this winter cabin fever, or just a way to get together with friends and decompress after the holidays.

               You will also find decorations themed to the state at another mini golf location — Putters Wild. This “extreme” 3D putt putt experience is unique with its two, 9-hole rooms. From neon crabs and fish on the walls, to a giant polar bear that looks like he is swimming beside you as your group attempts to make par or below. Each obstacle is also outlined in neon that illuminates the blacklight-enhanced rooms. If you are really needing to let go of some aggression try out the Blaster air cannon game, where you can shoot foam ammo back and forth across the room while trying to make it into nets located in front of your opponents’ faces. There is also a coin-operated arcade room, and even a Jumpshot trampoline basketball game.

The newest addition to the Putters Wild gaming complex and entertainment center is the Virtual Reality Arcade. Currently the location has over 20 games available including thrillers and puzzles such as Affected: The Manor and The Lab. You can also get some more physical activity with Smashbox Arena, a dodgeball style game that won’t hurt as badly as the torturous Phys-ed game we all remember. For adults that want to get wild there is even a game titled Drunkn Bar Fight, and for fans of phone gaming, Fruit Ninja VR will take you beyond the screen into this popular, fast-paced game that takes quick reactions to win.

Often the greatest adventures can be had by curling up with a good book. On Saturday, January 12th at the Mountain View Library, stop by for a mini golf that will be set up inside among the stacks of books. All levels of play are welcome for this course, so get the kids and head on down 120 Bragraw Street from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. under the guise of playing a few holes around the course for free, while you check out a couple books that will serve you well in case we get another cold snap that lasts as long as this one!

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