01 December 2009

Play Day

Quite out of the ordinary, I spent the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend at The Hinkle Family Fun Center.  Mini-golf, go carts, climbing walls, jumpers, skeeball , pizza and pitchers of soda.  Pretty outside the normal routine of daily work and commute, and weekends trying to catch up on housework and errands with a little fun squeezed into the corners.

The day at The Hinkle Family Fun Center reminded me that it’s important to play and take time out to just have some silly fun. Three kids and three grownups all pulled golf balls from frigid, elbow deep waters in the mini-golf course, some of the grown men got a little crazy with pin ball and I had the great fortune to remember how much I love air hockey. Playing with the boys was pretty rough. The puck was flying in all directions off the table. We definitely got a few looks as we crawled under the other amusements retrieving the puck. I was proud to have held my own with the rough boys too.

Seeing the dads come to the table with a pizza and two pitchers of soda brought me back to my childhood. I hadn’t seen soda in a plastic pitcher in years. There was a pizza spot when I was about 10 that was very popular in my hometown. There was a pipe organ and it accompanied old silent movies on a big screen. I remember going there with kids from school for birthday parties and with my family. Pitchers of soda brought me back to a simpler time when fun was plentiful and easy to come by and all kids ate a little greasy pizza and soda now and again.

Things were a little different than when I was a kid. Now you put cash on a debit card and slide it through the pay box in each game.  But in old-fashioned style, we ended up with piles of tickets from playing the games that had to be redeemed and we left with a small dolphin stuffed animal and some candy.

After a couple of hours out in the cold followed by the loud din of the arcade (that’s the adult in me talking) we were all ready to head for home and a nice Saturday nap. Over the next couple of days the kids were still talking about all the fun they had at The Hinkle Family Fun Center and I was impressed with how invigorating it was to do something so un-grown up for a while and live life on the simple side. I recommend it to all, a day playing like a kid. You might just find your own “air hockey” love again.

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