Logan Stovall of Monroe takes a turn putting on the miniature golf course at the newly renovated Sherwood Forest Entertainment Center in Conyers.
A desire to provide more family activities in east metro inspired Jeff Lenz and his older brother Jerry Lenz to refurbish the 20-year-old Sherwood Forest Family Entertainment Center. Sherwood Forest, closed for almost three years, is now up and running again, thanks to the Lenzes, with a newly landscaped miniature golf course, bumper cars, arcade and party room, and go-karts on the way.
"It just kind of seemed right. There's nothing for children and families to do (in the area). We were trying to better the community here," said Jeff Lenz, who runs the business with his brother Jerry.
Lenz said the facilities needed a lot of improvement and he and Jerry have worked since July, preparing for the official opening in September.
The Sherwood Forest Family Entertainment Center, located at 1047 Flat Shoals Road, will also feature the Haunted Forest beginning on Sept. 30 and running through October for the Halloween season.
The Lenzes converted the second miniature golf course at the facility into the Haunted Forest, essentially a haunted house located outdoors. Visitors will take a guided tour, led by a "park ranger," through the forest and learn the story of a nightmarish camping trip complete with zombies and other ghouls, played by live actors.
The Haunted Forest is designed for youth over age 13 and adults; the cost is $18. The attraction runs each Friday and Saturday night from sundown to 2 a.m.
Sundays, during the day, younger children may take a walking tour of the Haunted Forest for $12. There will also be pumpkin painting, caramel apple making, cookie decorating and inflatable bouncies for children.
Live music is also a new attraction at Sherwood Forest, and Lenz said he has hired local musicians to play each weekend.
"We dove into the live music so kids have place they can come and hang out in a safe environment," said Lenz.
The Lenz family has a history in the entertainment industry, having operated roller skating rinks in Athens and Porterdale. Jerry Lenz, 49, also managed movie theaters for Carmike and United Artists for 15 years and Jeff Lenz, 28, ran local movie theaters for 10 years.
Jeff Lenz said weekends at Sherwood Forest are busy, and he enjoys watching families patronize his establishment.
"It's fun. It's really nice. If you stand out in the parking lot, you see up to four generations playing golf and having a good time," Lenz said. "It makes you think you must be doing something right."
Hours for Sherwood Forest are from 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays, from 11 a.m. to midnight Saturdays, from noon to 9 p.m. Sundays and from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. The facility is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to accommodate private events.
For more information, call 770-656-9482 or visit www.sherwoodforestconyers.com.