The carnival is in town! In fact, the carnival is in Joplin every single day of the year.
Except for national holidays, of course.
This carnival is called Tilt Studio and it’s located inside of Northpark Mall, which makes it an ideal entertainment spot for when it’s so cold outside that even Elsa is bothered, or when it’s so scorching hot that Olaf becomes an instant puddle.
And our family certainly has racked up time here. As you can tell from the different outfits that my daughter is wearing in the photos below, we go there a lot.
Each time I step foot into Tilt, my senses rocket into overdrive: flashing lights, bright colors, roaring rides, musical games, the savory aroma of pizza coming from the kitchen. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I were in Vegas – well, the kid-appropriate version of Vegas, that is.
Our visits begin at the center of the store, where we purchase our plastic game cards. With all the choices of things to do, as well as the variety of pricing tiers and packages, I tend to get overwhelmed (like I’m trying to solve a word problem in front of my third-grade class – it’s not a pretty sight and my children usually pretend that they don’t know me by that point).
I’ve learned to save face by telling the staff members what we want to do and then have them choose the option that best suits our needs for that day.
Sometimes we’ll play video games.
Or modern versions of traditional carnival-style games (like the ones with the mechanical claws) where you can earn tickets for prizes.
I’m not sure why this is called Musical Chairs, but my daughter was really getting into it – as you can see from her swinging ponytail.
She earned 300 tickets playing this game. Wheel of Fortune, baby!
Ah, the ever-discouraging-try-to-grab-a-ball-with-a-clumsy-claw game…
…which I mastered, thank you very much!
When we’re ready to turn in our tickets (which are conveniently tallied on the plastic card), we go to the center of the store to the Island of Prizes (that’s what I call it, anyway).
That’s the mystical place where children go to select toys and trinkets that they’ll fight over the entire ride home.
Sometimes, we’ll also do some of the attractions during our visit to Tilt.
Miniature bowling. My poor child has become so accustomed to me taking photos for this blog that she’s adopted a Vanna White pose.
Jungle safari mini-golf with 18 holes under black lights – super fun for all ages!
The Bobsled – or Santa’s sleigh, according to my littlest.
The two-story jungle laser tag arena with TV monitors outside so that parents can watch the action.
Often, our visits to Tilt span several hours so we usually visit the snack bar to get a slice of pizza or something to drink.
There are also private party rooms located near the snack bar. My daughter had her birthday party here several years ago, and the kids had a blast.
How could they not? With a multitude of games and activities for people of all ages, Tilt is a year-round carnival in Joplin.
Notice how my daughter uses the crook of her neck to hold one of her prizes. I guess you’ve got to be resourceful when you score so much loot!
Tilt Studio is located inside Northpark Mall at 101 N. Range Line Road. Click here to visit its website. Keep up with special promotions by liking Tilt’s Facebook page.
To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.