GREEN Fast go-cart rides, miniature golf and 32 flavors of ice cream can mean only one thing: Summer has arrived and the new Green Family FunZone is now up and running.
Located on the southwest corner of Massillon and Greensburg roads, the amusement complex just celebrated its opening in June. Included at the site are an 18 hole miniature golf course, a race track and a snack bar and party room where 32 flavors of Hershey Ice Cream are served, along with hot dogs, pop corn, cookies, drinks and other snacks.
So far the "Zone" has been doing a brisk business, according to co-owner Scott Plummer.
"We have had a steady flow of customers as word about complex has gotten out," Plummer said.
Recently, there were people there from Ellet, Massillon, Hartville and visitors from Los Angles. All said they had either heard about it from friends or had driven by and decided to check it out.
Plummer is happy so far with the customer turnout.
"It is really nice to see families come in and have a great time," he said. "No cell phones, no texting, just being out here together having fun. That is what it is all about. Simple fun, nothing elaborate, just a good family experience."
The 18 hole miniature golf course has several difficult water hazards that are challenging, to say the least.
"Each water hole has around 5,000 gallons of water in it," said Plummer. "Plus, we have others that the player has to putt the ball between rock outcrops, so it can be a very challenging."
The go-carts at the "Thunderball Speedway" are electric powered and can go up to 20 miles an hour. During the five minute ride, the driver has the option of hitting the boost button for 20 seconds of extra speed. There are two types of cars, single and double occupancy, so little kids can ride with their parents. Minimum height to drive the cars is 52 inches, with no age restrictions, and the drivers must wear their seat belts for safety. The curved track does test the driver's skill, and it does take some getting use to if you have never driven a go-cart before.
"We find that people will get the general package and after they complete it they get another one, especially for the go-cart ride," said Plummer. "We offer several package deals which are better than buying things individually, and there are also coupons available for discounts."
For example, an individual game of mini-golf is $6 while the go-cart ride is $8, but the special deal has both those and an ice cream cone for $13; or two rides, golf, and ice cream for $20.
The Westford family from Massillon tried it once and got another round after that.
"We saw it driving past," said father, Randy, "and decided to stop. We had a great time, and will come back again."
Jason Skeggs came to the "Zone" with his two children and mother who lives in Ellet. He was visiting from Los Angles and brought the family out over the Fourth of July weekend.
"We had a good time, and especially enjoyed the turbo power of the cars," he said.
His young son, Quinter, really got into the racing.
"I really liked it," he said with a big smile on his face. "I want to go again so we can win."
Ella Moore, from Hartville, liked another aspect of the complex. After a round of miniature golf with her family, she got a big ice cream cone and enjoyed the cool treat in the shade of the enclosed snack bar.
"I just loved all of it," she said between licks of her ice cream cone.
The "Zone" also offers a party room to host special events, like birthdays, which they can cater.
"Nothing fancy", said Plummer. "Just basic foods and desserts. And we have 32 flavors of Hershey Ice Cream, which we also use to make our milk shakes.
"One nice aspect of the park is that it is staffed by students from Green schools. We have 20 kids working here, including my son and daughter. The kids do a great job and we have had no problem getting people to work. That's one nice advantage of being here in Green.
For more information on the Green FunZone, call 1-330-896-ZONE, or go to its website at www.gotothezone.com.