A golf course for everyone, movies by twilight, feats of derring-do … let the good times roll
BEST SPORTS LEAGUE MOGUL
Founder, Underdog Sports Leagues, Portland
It’s easy to be jealous of Woody Adams. As the mastermind behind Portland’s Underdog Sports Leagues, he’s the kingpin of Rose City adult playground chicanery, which means that pretty much all he ever thinks about is fun—and how to have a whole lot more of it. “This is my real job,” he laughs. The self-titled “consultant of leisure” began in 2005 with—what else?—a bowling league, which started small but quickly grew to multiple teams. Then he introduced leagues for kickball, flag football, and dodgeball. Wild successes, all. Now Underdog has reached what Adams calls “critical mass”: 6,000 members playing everything from volleyball to Ultimate Frisbee. In fact, Underdog is so successful that Adams quit his job in TV production last year and made the league his full-time gig. But lest you think that organizing a sports league is stressful—and somewhat like work—think again. “It’s not so much about being competitive,” Adams says. “It’s about playing, drinking some beers, maybe winning a championship or two.” But mainly, he says, the point is just to have fun. You should trust him—after all, he’s a professional.
FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
Various public pools
You’d rather clean out your gutters than take the kiddos to another family-friendly flick, but you don’t want to be a downer, either. What’s a good parent to do? Just add water. While catching a dusk-lit movie outdoors lends extra oomph to animated films like Bee Movie, catching a film while lounging in a pool (yes, not by the pool, but in it) adds real depth to the experience. At city-owned pools around town this month, you can bring your own blow-up air mattress or inner tube (and five bucks) and lounge in the heated waters to help stave off any chill-induced fussiness during the show. Just be sure to keep your hands dry—there’s nothing quite so unsettling as soggy, chlorine-flavored popcorn.
PLACE TO BLOW OFF STEAM
Even the most soft-spoken, earth-loving, peace-rallying Portlander has a little Dirty Harry inside. And the Place to Shoot is just the spot to unleash him. Here’s how it works: For $35, you get your choice of one of eight pistols and any target you please (criminal with gun, criminal with hostage, criminal who looks like Stallone from his Rambo days). If you’re feeling a little trigger-shy, or you’re not sure if your days of winging tin cans with your Red Ryder BB gun count as solid shooting experience, the staff are happy to walk first-timers through the process in their Basic Handgun class. And since earplugs are mandatory, nobody will hear you grunting out tough-guy lines like, “You had me at”—ka-plow!—“hello.”
WAY TO STRETCH A DOLLAR
From the outside, where the antique marquee glitters above a sign reading “Fantastic Fun Machines,” to the inside, where the pings, jingles, and clanks of a pinball arcade fill the room, the Avalon Theatre is the high holy church of retro entertainment. If you’ve got a pocketful of change, you can choose from over 100 classic games to geek out on—from Star Wars to Big Buck Hunter to a brand-new Indiana Jones pinball machine, all of which run on nickels, shiny or dull. Once your wrist gets sore from the joystick action, you can settle into one of Avalon’s two movie theaters, which feature the type of brainless cinematic eye candy—10,000 B.C., for example—that most of us are willing to watch only if it’s at least half off normal theater prices. (At the Avalon, tickets are only $2.50.) With a low-priced selection of ice cream and popcorn at the concession stand to accompany all this zaniness, it feels like the carnival’s in town every day of the year.