Wiregrass Newsroom: Family Entertainment Venues Hoping for Foot Traffic

Dothan, AL (WSFA) -- As Christmas nears, money gets tighter, meaning less to spend on family outings. But for Angela Hall, Fun Zone in Dothan has a different meaning this year.

"This is christmas," says Hall.

A tight budget with little money for gifts brings Hall and her son to Fun Zone--a present that's a little easier on the wallet.

"He can come down here for less than $50 dollars probably and have a great time. And I couldn't buy him a gift for $50 dollars. I can't get any little thing that he wants because it's so expensive," says Hall.

Even with customers like Hall, the venue is still trying to bounce back from tough economic times.

Fun Zone owners say the fall was a shaky season, but Christmas is already brining more foot traffic.

"Parents don't have the extra beach money and trip money, but they are going to bring their kids [and] have fun with their kids locally. And that's what we want to see," says Fun Zone owner, Lisa McIlwain.

But across town, Patricia Lanes bowling center is feeling the crunch--to the tune of a 20 percent decrease in sales.

"Our leagues are down, open play has been down, and a lot of it was when gas was so high. And just the economy in general, it just is really bad," says Patricia Lanes owner, Toni Kramer.

It's a bad situation Kramer hopes will fix itself as Christmas brings families into town.

"Through the holidays, we're usually really busy. I don't know what it's going to do this year, so we can only keep our fingers crossed."

Fingers crossed, hoping next year is better than the last.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney