A Double Dose of Distinctive Fun
WhirlyBall Twin Cities and Up Your Alley Serve Up Great Times
by Barry Zelickson
Greetings, thrill-seekers and fun enthusiasts! In this month’s column, we’re taking you on a wild ride to two exceptional destinations that share a common thread of high-energy excitement and unconventional sportsmanship. Buckle up as we delve into the heart-pounding world of WhirlyBall Twin Cities in Bloomington, Minn., and the all-encompassing entertainment haven, Up Your Alley in Schererville, Ind.
WhirlyBall Twin Cities – Bloomington, MN
When our host, Nate, arrived at the doorstep of WhirlyBall Twin Cities, he was greeted by owner Nick Lambrecht, who welcomed him with the enthusiasm that defines this unique establishment. Nick, a WhirlyBall aficionado, brought the concept to Minnesota after a fateful game in another state left him wondering why his home state didn’t boast such exhilarating fun. This is Nick’s second location, opened in the summer of 2019, located across from the Mall of America. His first site is located in Maple Grove, Minn.
So, what exactly is WhirlyBall? Originating in the ’70s in Salt Lake City, Utah, this high-octane sport melds basketball, lacrosse and hockey, all while driving electric “WhirlyBugs,” specially designed bumper cars. The court becomes a battleground of skill, strategy and unpredictable maneuvers as players zip around, creating an adrenaline-packed experience.
WhirlyBall is known for its social and inclusive nature, making it an ideal activity for friends, family, and corporate team-building events. The combination of skill, strategy, and the lighthearted fun of navigating WhirlyBugs makes this sport a memorable and enjoyable experience for participants of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a first-time player, WhirlyBall promises an adrenaline-packed adventure that fosters camaraderie and laughter in a one-of-a-kind setting.
In addition to their three WhirlyBall courts, the Bloomington facility also has laser tag, traditional and hyper bowling, private event spaces, two full bars and a rooftop patio. They have recently added escape rooms to their entertainment mix. WhirlyBall Twin Cities promises a full-blown entertainment extravaganza.
And it’s not just about the games – the Bloomington facility surprises guests with a top-notch food and beverage program. From scratch pizzas to culinary delights, it’s a feast for the senses. WhirlyBall Twin Cities is more than a venue; it’s a destination for unforgettable experiences, delicious bites, and endless fun.
Now on to the next one…
Up Your Alley – Schererville, IN
Stepping into Up Your Alley in Schererville, Ind., is like entering a realm where entertainment knows no bounds. With over 50,000 square feet of excitement, this adult-centric playground is not your typical hangout. General Manager Ross Carmody said their focus is on providing an experience that caters to everyone, especially the grown-up crowd. As you will see in our Fun Across America episode, they have achieved that goal.
As Nate explores, the expansive facility boasts a bar with one of the largest TV screens around, along with epicurean delights and refreshing drinks. But that’s just the beginning. Up Your Alley goes above and beyond with axe throwing, arcade games, 20 bowling lanes, laser tag and the captivating Cyber Sport.
Cyber Sport, a WhirlyBall variant that was developed by Lasertron, offers a unique twist with different cars and scoring targets. With illuminated team colors and a high-tech projected scoreboard, it’s a futuristic take on the classic game. As Nate attests, “It is harder than it looks,” adding a layer of challenge to the thrills.
Ross proudly declares Up Your Alley to be the premier entertainment destination in northwest Indiana, and Nate wholeheartedly agrees – it’s a guaranteed good time. From the delectable food to the array of activities, Up Your Alley stands alone in offering a one-stop-shop for an unforgettable night out.
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As you follow Nate’s adventures in our Fun Across America videos, one thing is clear: whether it’s WhirlyBall or Cyber Sport, you’re in for an absolute blast! We’d also like to extend a special thanks to our partners at Trainer-Tainment (trainertainment.net), who have the coaching services to elevate your place of fun to the next level.
Stay tuned to our YouTube channel every other Wednesday (www. youtube.com/funacrossamerica/videos), and in RePlay each month, as we continue our journey to new destinations. Keep the fun alive!
Barry Zelickson, is the co-creator of Fun Across America, a YouTube channel travelogue show. Zelickson has worked in the entertainment field for almost 30 years and has been awarded several IAAPA Brass Ring awards including one of the association’s highest honors, Family Entertainment Center of the World. His other projects include commercials, infomercials, feature films, documentaries, live events and entertainment centers.
Nate Reinhart, host and co-creator of Fun Across America, is a content creator for NalterDeeds and NalterCards on YouTube and content consultant for creators and businesses alike. After a shoutout from MrBeast, Nate has accumulated over 250,000 subscribers on his YouTube channels.