Monday, April 30, 2012

Sparkles' Family Fun Center Travel Piece

Sparkles Roller Rink Travel

Retro Gliding

     The entrance of Sparkles' Family Fun Center in Gwinnett County is like a giant colorful chamber that acts to disinfect your body of all modern day conformity before venturing into the rest of the building. As you approach the door, the wall slightly vibrates with a low rumble, as if it is struggling to hold a beast inside.

     Opening the door, blaring music rolls past your ears back into the chamber. Inside you can find a small arcade in the corner, a play place that towers near the entrance, and the main attraction, a large almost rectangular roller rink covering the majority of the floor space.

     “I used to go to roller rinks as a kid,” says Kari Austin, who is 31 and a mother of a 9-year-old boy. “It's an unique experience I remember fondly and want my child to have too.”
     That feeling of nostalgia seems to resonate through the whole place, as the location almost feels it is trapped in the 1970s. The rink itself is partly responsible for that, with walls covered in bright neon art, and two spinning disco balls that hang overhead on opposite ends of the rink. Underneath, colored lights dash across the floor while masses of skaters circle the rink to a wide array of tracks from both the 60s and 70s, as well as more modern releases. No matter what generation the music comes from, Sparkles Family Fun Center's Gwinnet general manager, Sharon Mauldin, assures that all tracks are clean, so the entire family can enjoy them.

     There is more to do than just skate though, a small arcade corner contains some classics, ranging from “Pac-Man” and “Galaga” to “San Francisco Rush 2049” and “House of the Dead.” The corner also has a pool table, as well as ticket games where players can win novelty prizes.  While obviously not for the adults of the family, the location has a play place which kids can crawl through. Even if you are a parent who just wants to relax while your child plays, the site has plenty of seating and free Wi-Fi.

     Visitors can rent skates on site for a few bucks, or they can bring their old favorite pair to use. However, skates or not, everyone has to pay admission fees.

     So if you are longing to drag out those old skates from the back of your closet or just want to introduce your child to the world of skating, you may want to check out Sparkles' Family Fun Center.

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