Craig’s Cruisers is a Blast for Kids AND Mom and Dad
Is West Michigan Weather Giving Your Family Cabin Fever?
I admit it. I’m THAT mom. I’m the mom that takes her kids on adventures, but sits back and watches in the name of frugality and reserve.
Living about a mile from Craig’s Cruisers, and not being a fan of the cold, we often go to Craig’s Cruisers. We have even hosted a birthday party at their Family Fun Center. I love having an outdoor and indoor spot to let my kids blow off some energy, any time of the year.
Craig’s Cruisers graciously provided tickets for this review. All opinions are my own.
Buckle Up For These 7 Things You’ll Love About Craig’s Cruisers
We visited earlier this week and it was different! Not only have they renovated and expanded greatly, but this time I participated, too, and will never again walk the arcade cross-armed watching everyone else having fun. Here are the 7 top things to do when you visit this family fun center:
Take the Go-Karts for a Spin
Everyone knows that Craig’s Cruisers Family Fun Centers are famous for go-karts. Outdoor, indoor, kiddie karts, electric, double – you name it, they have it. Our first stop was the place where you can go!
My seven-year-old hopped in an electric kart with his dad, while the thirteen-year-old, his friend, and I each rode solo. Even with the wind whipping and the music playing, I could still hear constant shouts of joy and laughter from my kids with each lap.
I was concerned that I wouldn’t know how to go, when to stop, or where to exit. Happily, the staff instructions were super clear with great signs and hand motions that even made me look like a pro.
(Drivers need to be 54”. Passengers as young as three-years-old can ride along with someone over 18.)
Yep, Grand Rapids has a Roller Coaster – the Cruiser Coaster
Who would have thought you could put an exciting roller coaster indoors, in Grand Rapids? As a former resident of Orlando and annual passholder to the world of THE Mouse, I’m hard to impress with attractions. The Craig’s Cruisers new coaster is a safe thrill ride that we all enjoyed – twice.
(Kids must be 36” and four-years-old to ride. An adult must accompany children under 48”. For the tall parents, 6’5” is the maximum height.)
Laser Tag – Don’t sit this one out, Mom + Dad!
The improved Laser Tag Area is a small scale model of Grand Rapids, complete with La Grande Vitesse and the Blue Bridge.
Anyone who can wear the vest and carry the phaser is able to play. I was intimidated by all the options I learned in the briefing room. Entering the black-lit room with ramps, bases, and hidden nooks didn’t ease my insecurities. But once we started, I had a blast.
The best part was, when one of my three targets was hit, I just waited a few seconds and I could go again. It was impossible to not get sucked into the game. It was exciting to hide, strategize, and surprise my family. I think I surprised myself the most with the highest shot accuracy score, despite my team’s loss and my base being destroyed.
The Ninja Course Ups the Indoor Fun
“American Ninja Warrior” has come to West Michigan. My husband and youngest son couldn’t wait to check this out. A commentator talks contestants through the course (and entertains onlookers) while they leap, bounce, run, climb, jump, and slide their way to the finish. The record time of 1:03:11 was displayed on the screen and seemed hard to beat.
My son started strong as he lunged side to side on the boards, then bounced from ball to ball. He made it to the top of the backward, uphill treadmill with no hands. The rock wall was a bit tricky though, and he fell to the padding before attempting the ramps.
My husband then took a turn. He flew through the challenges easily, but a pause before the ramp cost him some time and he completed the course just after the days’ record time.
The teens went next. Our friend’s athleticism was clear as he made light work of the obstacles and finished in the blink of an eye. He set a new record of 0:44:23. My older son wasn’t far behind as he finished the course just nine seconds over his buddy’s time.
(Participants must be 44” tall and sneakers are required.)
Of Course there is a Trampoline Park!
I expected a smaller version of many competitor trampoline parks since Craig’s Cruisers has so much else to offer. Boy, was I wrong… there are trampolines galore, with boxes to jump from and side ramps for tricks. But that’s just the beginning.
Dodgeball was a favorite among my boys. Soft bright balls and bouncy trampolines provided had-to-drag-them-away fun for over an hour.
The slam dunk basketball court helped me to relive my high school basketball days, except I could make a basket there with the help of the trampolines and I didn’t have to sit the bench. Even smaller kids have their own basketball and play area, safely away from other activities.
We hopped up a level to the foam block pits and giant pillow. I dare anyone to have the restraint not to run and jump into the giant vat of foam cubes.
If that’s not enough, you can climb across a rock wall over a foam pit. I got really brave and challenged the 7-year-old to the battle beam. We each took up a battering ram and tried to stay on the padded beam that crosses a pool of soft blocks. It’s a win-win, even if you fall.
The biggest, cushiest pillow I have ever seen is in the corner, surrounded by carpeted giant stairs, a box with a rope swing, and trampolines. We flung ourselves onto this pillow in any way imaginable and struggled to swim out between belly laughs.
Prepare to eat Pizza – and Everythings Else – if you Get the Family-Friendly Buffet
Craig’s Cruisers has food that makes me and the kiddos happy. With the exception of Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, you can visit the huge buffet with something for everyone.
There are four large stations of salad, pizza, pasta, chicken, hot dogs, fruit, soup, mac n’ cheese, cookies to die for, cobbler, and ice cream. Soda fountain beverages are also included in the buffet pricing. We never leave hungry or disappointed.
To top it off you can sit in one of three dining rooms and enjoy the latest Disney movie, catch the big game, or feel like you’re at the race track. Party rooms are also available.
If the buffet is closed or you aren’t raising teenagers, you can simply order pizzas, drinks, and snacks from the counter at any time. It is all delicious, but seriously those cookies…
Don’t Forget to Check for Specials Before Your Visit
Craig’s Cruisers makes indoor fun easy on the budget, too. They are always running specials and promotions to give you the most bang for your buck.
We found that a wristband was our ultimate pass to unlimited, worry-free entertainment. We didn’t have to count turns or check the clock, and we all did everything we wanted more than once. Wednesdays in Grand Rapids provide an even bigger deal with wristbands for only $26 from 4-9PM. You get unlimited attractions, one hour of jump time in the Trampoline Park, and three hours of access to the buffet.
If you’re just popping in and want a select few things to do, Craig’s Cruisers has great deals and packages too.
We can’t wait to let our teen try Glow Nights. On Fridays from 8-11PM, students can experience a jump party in the blacklights plus a Works Fun Wristband for $19.99.
Smaller ones can have enormous fun at Toddler Time on Wednesdays from 10AM to noon. Kids six and under can explore the Trampoline Park with parental supervision and no worries of bouncing into bigger kids.
Important Pointers Before You Go
- Wear comfy clothes. Jumping, climbing, running, and racing are busy activities and much easier in clothing that moves. Sneakers are required in the Ninja Course and quieter when sneaking up on the enemy in Laser Tag.
- Prepare to pay extra for trampoline socks. They are $3 and required. Wash and save them for next time. If you have some already, bring them.
- Bring a hair tie. If your hair is past your shoulders, they will have you tie it back for safety on the Go-Karts. There are mechanical components that don’t get along with long hair.
- Limit the valuable items you bring in. I put a debit card and phone in my pocket. There are coat racks for outerwear and storage bins by the Ninja Course for shoes and everything else. Only clothing that will be worn can go into the Trampoline Park. Lockers can also be rented near the storage bins.
- Prepare to sign a waiver for EVERY jumper in the Trampoline Park. You can fill it out online before your arrival. My friend filled one out for her son for us without even stepping foot in the building.