Family Fun Center


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Summer is here! School is finally out, and for working families, that means finding childcare that meets your needs. If you live near Frederick; Adventure Park USA offers an exciting and unique summer program for elementary and middle school-aged children that is fun, physically active and educational. Plus, what kid doesn’t want to go to an amusement park every day? Here are just some of the many reasons to send your child to summer camp at Adventure Park USA: 

Daily amusement park rides:  Crater Lake Bumper Boats, Blazing Trail Go-Karts, the Wild West Express, and Wild Cat roller coasters, Mini Golf, Road Runner Scrambler, Tilt-a-whirl 

No one wants to be stuck inside on bad-weather days, especially if you have young children. The kids need to burn off some of that boundless energy, but mom and dad want to have some fun too. If you live in Frederick, Mt. Airy or New Market, it can be a challenge to find indoor activities that will appeal to adults and children alike. Does such a place exist? Yes, there is! Adventure Park USA (APUSA) is Maryland’s only true Family Entertainment Center. It’s truly a place where families can play together. Take a look at some of their offerings: 

  • Exciting outdoor attractions such as the Skycoaster, Crater Lake Bumper Boats, Blazing Trail Go-Karts, the Wild West Express, and Wild Cat roller coasters and so much more. 
  • With two challenging courses; Thunderin’ Falls and Dry Gulch, your family will bond over this classic American pastime. 
  • World-class child-care, summer camp, before and aftercare, and a pre-school program with the Adventure Park Academy. 
  • A variety of enjoyable family events every month. Including the upcoming Fall Festiv-All ( September 27th- October 31st). 
  • Family owned and operated since 2005. 

 Parents are always looking for active, educational and hands-on ways for their children to engage with the world around them. As the season’s change, finding facilities with enough space can be a challenge. Luckily, Frederick county has some locally owned family-centered places to take your kids on those bad weather days. I spoke to Ellen Pryzbocki of The Orginal Playhouse in New Market, and Joe Said of Spinners Pinball Arcade in Frederick about what makes them unique. 

Interview Spotlight: Ellen Pryzbocki of The Original Playhouse in New Market 

Tell me a little about yourself and the idea behind The Original Playhouse? 

EP: I was a special education and reading intervention teacher with FCPS for 17 years. In the fall of that 17th year, I took my daughter to a children’s museum in Gettysburg and fell in love with everything about it. Being surrounded by giggling kids playing in a space free of technology really spoke to me. I left with a voice in my head telling me to open something similar in Frederick and a year later, the fall of 2013, The Original Playhouse opened its doors. My family has since moved to the area from downtown Frederick, and we love the east side of Frederick County and its surrounding areas. 

What kinds of birthday party offerings do you have? 

EP: We offer two options. The first is to have a private party and the entire Playhouse is open exclusively to the birthday child’s family and friends. These are 2 hours long and run Friday early evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Most birthday kids are between the ages of 4 and 7, but we’re starting to get some younger and older kids. The second option is for smaller groups and runs during our open hours. The birthday child’s family and friends have 2 hours at the Playhouse while we remain open to the public. Our parties are a huge hit in the area and the most frequent feedback I hear from moms is how easy it is to celebrate a birthday at the Playhouse, and how much their kids loved it. There’s pretty much something for every type of child. 

What do you love most about your job? 

EP: I have met the coolest families since opening the Playhouse and that’s probably the best part about having this business, getting to know this community on a personal level and watching so many kids grow up at the Playhouse. I didn’t realize that was going to be a part of owning a small business and it’s definitely a gift I hadn’t considered. 

Do you have any special classes or events? 

EP: We have monthly thematic parties that are posted on our website and Facebook events page. Our Parents’ Night Out is the 4th Friday of every month for kids 4 and above. Parents who choose to dine next door to Vintage get a free dessert with their dinner. Check out our Facebook events page for more details about her upcoming events. 

Interview Spotlight: Joe Said of Spinners Pinball EDU Center 

What inspired you to start Spinner’s pinball arcade? 

JS: I am a certified Autism specialist by the IBCCES and have an extensive background in assistive technology. I’ve been a pinball fanatic for most of my adult life and was inspired to open Spinners Pinball Arcade a Pinball EDU center after witnessing how pinball has changed people’s lives (like Robert Gagno from the movie, Wizard Mode). I believe that pinball and other gaming can positively impact children, adults, and families in a profound way. I want to see inclusive community centers like Spinners open up across the country.  

What are your favorite games to play? 

JS: Although it’s always exciting to see the newest and shiniest pinball machines out on the scene today, vintage pinball machines have such uniqueness and challenge to them that continues to inspire.  

Tell me about your birthday party offerings. Do you have birthday party packages? What’s included in a birthday party package? 

JS: Spinners pinball arcade has become a favorite destination of birthday parties for kids and adults alike. We offer both private and public options for parties. Public parties offer the entire space during our hours of operation with an option to add the use of our private party room while our private party option allows guests to take over our entire pinball arcade during off-hours.   

Do you have any regular family events? 

JS: We host a weekly pinball league (Thursdays at 8 PM) for all ages and skill levels, and every Sunday we welcome volunteers into the space to help restore games and learn a bit more about Pinball EDU and our mission.   

Both the Original Playhouse and Spinners Pinball Arcade offer a distinctive experience for families in New Market, Frederick and Mt. Airy. They are just part of the intricate mosaic of locally-owned venues that make Frederick county such a great place to live. APUSA believes in supporting local businesses and non-profit organizations because they got their start as a small family-run franchise called Frederick Putt-Putt Golf and Games. The owners take pride in being part of the Frederick community for nearly 40 years.  

As Maryland’s only Family Entertainment Center, APUSA is truly one of a kind. Let’s take an in-depth look at the kind of offerings that set them apart from other similar venues.