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Ever have one of those, like, totally gnarly arcade and mini-golf birthdays in the fourth grade that was totally ruined when Susie Whatsherface dumped you and poured OK Soda down your back, instantly ensuring years of expensive therapy? Yeah, um, neither did I. Supposing that you DID experience that awful scenario, it's time to quit your shrink, because Castle Park will heal all of those hypothetical wounds. It has a royal assortment of retro-kid delights — three courses of mini-golf, an up-to-date arcade and batting cages, including slow-pitch. The regally rad birthday packages may only appeal to children (actual, not inner), but at least Susie (or Timmy) Whatsherface isn't invited. This time, you can machine-gun the balls off video game zombies and score holes in one (or 10) in relative peace and harmony — even if you're the oldest “kid” there (and you will be). 4989 Sepulveda Blvd., Sherman Oaks. (818) 756-9459, laparks.org/shermanoaks_castlepk/index.htm.

—Paul T. Bradley

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