Fun City’s family-friendly water park, arcade, go karts and bowling alley, together with bunkbed rooms in the Pzazz Hotel…or Catfish Bend Casino gaming, spa treatment and a boutique adults-only hotel. These two completely different concepts coexist in the Burlington, Iowa, Pzazz! Complex, though you’d never know when visiting one that the other is only a walkway away.
Just two years after the mega family entertainment complex opened, Iowa passed the 2007 law that allows land-based gambling. The Winegard family, who owned Pzazz, also owned the local floating casino boat. They closed the boat and built the Catfish Bend Casino on the same property as Fun City. Then they added a 40-room hotel, buffet restaurant, spa, gift shop and an event room. The entire complex falls under the Pzazz! umbrella.
On the warm summer day that I visited Pzazz!, the Huck’s Harbor outdoor water park was inviting. How fun it would be to zip down the water slides or float along the lazy river. Water activities in the heated indoor pool make swimming fun all year long.
Every kid or kid-at heart loves a good arcade, and the 12,000 square foot Arcadium is hard to beat, with 100 interactive games that range from classic video games to simulators. Earn tickets to redeem for prizes.
Challenge your climbing and balance skills on the Sky Trail, a maze of ropes and bridges. A harness and safety system keeps you safe. Sky Tykes is a similar system created just for little ones.
Electric go-karts bring racing fun indoors at speeds from 25 to 40 miles per hour. Fun City controls the speed at their discretion. Preschoolers have cars sized just for their age group that they can race up to five miles per hour.
The KingPins bowling alley rocks at night with blacklights and music. The automated system not only keeps score for you, it can bring up bumpers for little ones when it’s their turn to bowl.
Laser tag and BallocityTM, an interactive, multi-level attraction with thousands of foam balls, round out Fun City’s activities.
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There are plenty of dining options on the family side of Pzazz!, including a sports bar and fifties-style diner. Candy Alley is tempting for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Eleven of the Pzazz! Hotel’s 145 rooms have been converted to bunkbed rooms that have two, three or four bunkbed sets each, perfect for a large family or birthday celebration.
Stroll the length of the indoor “river walk,” and you’ll end up in the adults-only section of the Pzazz! complex.
The main attraction on the Catfish Bend side is the casino with almost 700 slot machines plus table games. Add to that a spa that offers manicures, pedicures, hair and massage services, a pool for adults only, fitness room, and buffet restaurant, and you have an entertainment package very different from the Fun City side of the complex but equally fun.
Over 90 percent of the items in the gift shop are Iowa made.
You must be 21 or older to stay in the 45-room boutique-type Catfish Bend hotel.
When I stayed at the Catfish Bend Hotel, I didn’t even know that the Fun City side existed until I took the tour. That’s how separated the two entities are. However, they’re close enough that if a Catfish Bend guest wants to take advantage of the bowling alley or waterpark, they’re just a walk away. Likewise, adult Pzazz! Hotel guests can easily hop over to the casino to try their luck on casino gaming.
Pzazz!, is located at 3001 Winegard Drive in Burlington Iowa. Check the web site for additional information or to make hotel reservations.
Disclosure: My visit to Pzazz! was hosted by the Iowa Tourism Office, but any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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