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Kids’ pick: Main Event 

The Gravity Ropes Course is a big winner. The indoor course takes guests high above the gaming floor. Photos by Melissa Lowrie
    Melissa Lowrie

Canoe Kids
By Melissa Lowrie

It was the last day of summer break.

Ahhh ... no sweeter words have ever been written for mamas. Can I get an amen?

But I digress.

As I was saying, it was the last day of summer 2014, so I let the kids decide on a fun adventure (with minimal input from the driver). Main Event Entertainment was the unanimous choice, so we headed to Alpharetta.

There weren’t places like Main Event when I was a kid. We had arcades with games and went armed with quarters or tokens. Those days are long gone. The 2014 version provides sit down dining with full bar service, an indoor ropes course, laser tag, flashy games and oh yeah, bowling ... old school, I know.

Apps have morphed into life-sized games.

Only open since June 26, Main Event is a chain with locations all over Texas and, according to the website, is opening additional locations in Illinois and Atlanta. An interesting hybrid between corporate event venue and a cool place for kids, there is plenty to do keep a group occupied.

    You probably haven’t played this version of Connect Four.

The kids each got a Summer Fun Pass ($15.95 each) which entitled them to unlimited bowling, laser tag and a spin around the ropes course. We started with bowling on the ultra-modern lanes, complete with massive screens playing the latest pop videos.

They soon moved on to the Gravity Ropes Course. Besides needing shoes, no flip-flops, and a 48 inch height requirement, anyone can try. (If you wear the wrong footwear, bowling shoes can be rented.) Suspended above the large, open game room, the course has narrow planks, rope bridges and other challenges. The harness system allows several to navigate the course at one time. This was a winner. While we were there, there were plenty of kids in the 8 to 12 age range ... all having fun.

Laser tag lets you compete against other teams through glowing pillars, arches and black-lit passageways. Admission to the ropes course, bowling and laser tag can also be purchased separately for $6 or $8 depending on the hours.

The games are the latest and greatest; many from apps your kids have on their iphones. Temple Run, Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump have morphed into life-sized arcade-type games. Instead of quarters, (which wouldn’t have bought anything anyway) the games take FUNcards. Put as much cash as you like on a card and play until your heart’s content. Games were not included in the Summer Fun Pass.

Points (tickets back in the 80s) won go on your FUNcard which get turned in for prizes. According to my 12-year-old, the prizes offered were “really cool stuff.” Clearly not your usual cheap stuffed animals or plastic spider ring.

My kids thought Main Event was “really nice and cool ... a better version of Stars and Strikes.” We went during the lunch hour on a weekday, so it wasn’t crowded. I’m sure it’s a different story on the weekends. There wasn’t much to do for really young kids, but the elementary to high school set will enjoy.

Check the hours and specials online before you visit, and wear the right shoes if you’d like to try the ropes course. If you can’t make it to Main Event, try another adventure with your Canoe Kids. Wherever you end up, have a great time.

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