What’s to Love: We’ve been going to the Family Fun Center for the past 8+ years, and it remains one of our absolute favorite destinations. I cannot say enough good things about the place. The staff members are friendly and responsive, the entire place is clean, there are SO MANY options for fun both indoor and outdoor, and they continually upgrade the attractions. Since we first went back in 2007, they’ve added a Sky Trail ropes course, Soaring Eagle Zipline, a new Kidopolis playland, cool new arcade and video games, and the awesome XD Dark Ride. Check out all the attractions here.
During nice weather, we usually start our visit outside. The family fun center offers two 18-hole putt-putt golf courses, go-carts, batting cages, rock climbing spire, bumper boats, the Sky Trail ropes course, and Soaring Eagle Zipline. We’ve done all of them, but we rarely leave without playing a game of mini-golf. If you want to splurge a bit, the Soaring Eagle is a lot of fun, even though it’s a pretty short ride. Here is a YouTube video.
For indoor fun, you’ll find the major attractions like Kidopolis, Max Flight Cyber, Frog Hopper, XD Dark Ride, and our favorite, Lazer Tag. In addition to the major attractions, the Family Fun Center offers a wide variety of ticket-redeemable arcade games (all ages) and the latest video games. There are classics like skeet ball, air hockey, basketball shooting, and carnival-style games. Cash-in your tickets at the end of your visit for a a prize. Here is their promotional video
Caveats: If you plan on checking-out all the attractions and playing both video and arcade games, it can be a bit costly, especially if you’re buying them ala-carte. Check “inside-info” for a way around some of these expenses.
Try to plan your visit during a slower time, or simply get there right when they open. On a hot summer day, things can get a bit crowded around the outdoor attractions, especially miniature golf. Their hours can vary based-on the school calendar and holidays. I always consult this page before heading out.
Distance from Portland: With 20 miles of downtown Portland. Here is a Google Map.
Recommended Ages: Probably the best things about the Fun Center is that it appeals to a wide variety of ages – including teens! For kids two and under, this is probably not the best place to go. Parents will have fun too!
Parental Stress Factor: Low stress! There is free wi-fi, so some parents just find a quiet place to hang-out while their kids have the run of the place. Bullwinkle’s Restaurant is often a great place to get out of the sun and relax.
Physical Difficulty: WARNING…the Kidopolis playland will hurt your knees if you’re over 5 feet tall! Crawling around in these tunnels made for kids is not easy. If you’re looking for a good workout, chase your kid around, and you will get worked.
Family Fun Factor: High! There are so many options here for fun that even the biggest curmudgeon will cut loose.
Pet Friendly: No pets.
Weather Considerations: Great spot – open year round with both indoor and outdoor activities.
Insider Info: Several years ago, the Fun Center converted all their games to accept “Fun Cards.” I love these cards, because you don’t have to carry around cash or your credit cards, and kids can have their own card. These cards keep track of their cash balance and ticket balance, which can easily be checked with machines on-site, or even online! Some arcade games still take tokens, but for the most part, the cards make everything much easier.
If you plan on doing multiple activities, try grouping the activities into packaged deals. There are several options available on their website including a Family Fun Night. Make sure you understand the differences with these packaged deals. For instance, some might cover unlimited video games, but NOT games that give tickets. Talk through everything when purchasing Fun Cards, even if there is a line! I’ve found that the staff members are all very knowledgeable about these deals, and will work with you to get you the best deal for your family.
Family Tips: To save money, we bring all necessary food/snacks along. There are plenty of places, especially outdoors, to sit and enjoy your food. If you’re trying to keep your kids away from video game exposure, make sure you come during good weather, so you can experience all the outdoor attractions. If you need to be inside and want to avoid video games, head over to Kidopolis’ indoor playland.
Inside the playland area, there is not a lot of room for coats, shoes and hats, etc. Try to leave most of this stuff in the car, and you’ll have an easier time once inside the playland.
Technorati Tags: Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center, Wilsonville, Oregon, arcade games for kids, carnival games for kids, climbing wall, go-carts, mini-golf, putt-putt golf, bumper boats, kidopolis, indoor play structure
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