Zao Island Amusement Center in Valparaiso, Indiana

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Zao Island Amusement Center in Valparaiso, Indiana

There's a lot of fun things to do at Zao Island.

There’s a lot of fun things to do at Zao Island.

You can’t miss Zao Island amusement center if you’re driving along U.S. 30 in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Its two miniature golf courses (featuring a three-story tall mountain and dragon) are visible from the highway, and it also features go-carts, laser tag, a game room, batting cages, a live alligator exhibit (we’ll talk more about that later), a slide and a bounce house!

Zao Island amusement center in Valparaiso, Indiana

I love taking the family to this Porter County attraction! Zao Island has two complete 18-hole miniature golf courses that take you over bridges, past water features (or should I say water hazards?), around the mountain and even straight through some on-land challenges.

The go-cart track is a blast, too!

They also have batting cages, an arcade (complete with the opportunity to win tickets that get you prizes at the prize counter), a large slide and bounce house. One of the newest attractions is a cool laser tag building. We play a few rounds of laser tag every time we’re there.

Valparaiso, Indiana Amusement Center

Zao Island, which goes with an island theme, also has a live baby alligator feeding area. You can even buy a bag of alligator feed to nourish the cute (??) little creatures during the summer.

What’s cool about Zao Island is that they have Colada’s pizzeria and bar right on site so you can fuel up in the middle of a day of playing. Zao Island owner Don Wright told me that old family recipes were used to create the tasty menu.

My favorite thing on the menu is the pizza! Zao Island, which was originally called Wright’s Barnyard, has been a Valparaiso favorite since 1980.

Go There

It’s also a great place for birthday parties and other group outings.

I went to a birthday party held at Zao Island Amusement Center in Chesterton, Indiana awhile back and everybody had a blast!

Don’t just live in the city–explore it! THIS is Big City, little Indiana!

Find pictures in Indiana on my Flickr photostream or on the new little Indiana Tumblr blog.

Just don’t forget to tell ’em that  little Indiana sent you!

Zao Island Amusement Center
1050 Horseprairie Avenue
Valparaiso, Indiana 46385
219.462.1194

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About the Author:

Ken Kosky is promotions director for Indiana Dunes Tourism, the destination marketing organization for Porter County, IN. Prior to joining the tourism team, he was a writer for The Times of Northwest Indiana.

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