BowlBowlBowl.com boasts three ideal environments in which ball-slingers of all abilities can practice their pin-leveling. Groups of six or 12 old friends or recently assembled humanoids can embark on a two-hour orb-slinging outing through 20 frames of healthy competition and rapidly escalating one-upmanship. Each roller receives his or her own pair of rental shoes replete with soft, smooth soles to facilitate sliding into each stroke and executing celebratory moonwalks. Groups of up to six play in each lane, toasting spares and strikes with swigs of soda or socially lubricating suds while automatic electronic scoring keeps pin wreckage reliably tallied. After two hours of pin-pounding, patrons can saunter to Hillside or Classic Bowl’s Club 300, or one of Stardust Bowl's four lounges, which offer up new frontiers for friendly competition such as pool, darts, and bowling ball-imitation breakdances. Each location unfurls its own unique accouterment, whether it’s Stardust’s whopping 84 lanes, Hillside’s DJ booth and dance floor, or Classic Bowl’s outdoor patio and light-and-sound saturated Rage Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights. At every location, bowlers can watch multiple high-definition TVs and a full-service bar is often patronized by tired pins on their shift break.
In the winter, it looks as though an alien spacecraft has touched down at Links & Tees Golf Facility. Within this futuristic structure—actually an inflatable golf dome whose three layers trap heat—PGA professionals teach lessons and golfers practice their snow-clearing swings. This impressive indoor facility—along with an outdoor driving range that boasts more than 50 hitting stations, a 10,000-square foot putting green, and a 5,000-square foot chipping green—has repeatedly landed Links & Tees among Golf Range Magazine's Top 100 Golf Practice Facilities.
After warming up at the range, golfers can take to the tees and bentgrass fairways of a nine-hole executive course, where three ponds snatch up balls and a smattering of sand bunkers tempt hungry golfers to stop and dig for clams. They can also head for Putter’s Peak, an 18-hole miniature-golf course where tiki statues line fairways, the rumble of a Lilliputian waterfall fills the air, and putters must venture into the dark depths of a cave. After either a miniature or executive round of golf, visitors can pull off the plate armor that protects against mis-aimed balls, put down their clubs, and pick up a hot dog or pizza at the 4,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par-27 course * Length of 1,709 yards * Course rating of 35.5 * Slope rating of 113 * Link to course layout
Winner of the People’s Choice Award for best haunted house two years in a row from readers of Chicago Haunted House, Disturbia Torment of Fears sets spines to tingle with an arsenal of creepy attractions. Guests equipped with a V.I.P. speed pass skip to the front of the waiting line, receiving rapid entry and skipping otherwise-mandatory pat-downs from the house’s werewolf security guards. Upon entry, complete darkness envelops visitors as terrifying characters and nightmarish scenarios coerce screams out of hiding. Free parking keeps cars safe from the frights, and an indoor waiting area shields visitors from wind, weather, and jack-o’-lanterns that have developed self-awareness.
Dave Link boasts an extensive background in the sculpture and design industry—he's sculpted toys for Mattel and Hasbro, and worked with gaming-industry giants such as Sega and IGT. Mike Skodacek has spent more than 10 years designing and founding haunted houses, when not acting as a ghoul in full makeup or custom-building his own demolition-derby cars. These two artists have combined their visions into the 45,000-square-foot multilevel Asylum Xperiment Haunted House, blending Dave's affinity for intricate, movie-quality sets and Mike's unique brand of psychological horror that plays on real fears and phobias that could actually happen.
Their indoor haunted attraction spans 40 rooms and three haunts brimming with 40 animatronic monstrosities, realistic props, and film-style sets—where more than 100 actors present gory and spooky vignettes. Many of these sets pay tribute to classic Hollywood horror films, forming a show that culminates in a surprise ending and features a montage of the monsters trying on clothes.
In The House, adventurers navigate rooms and a graveyard crawling with zombies and ghouls. In Blackout, they feel their way through the black halls of a winding maze, body hairs standing up as they wonder whose hot breath just kissed their necks. The Armageddon attraction throws visitors into a post-apocalyptic cityscape replete with streets on fire, ruined buildings, and zombies disobeying traffic signals.
Through curls of fog lit by ultraviolet light, players find vantage points to take aim at their opponents in Lazer X's bilevel, 6,500-square-foot arena. Wearing computerized vests, players blast each other with phasers while avoiding distractions caused by pulsing strobe lights, animatronic creatures, and up-tempo music that begs them to stop and do the macarena. After the game, vests tally up points, and players can review their scores on a printout that will also detail the hits they made and received. Alternately, patrons can follow-up games with a trip to the arcade where they can keep their trigger fingers in tip-top condition.
With hands gripped to the wheels of karts capable of cresting 45 miles per hour, up to 12 racers hum around the hairpin turns and straightaways of K1 Speed's indoor track during adrenaline-spiking sprints toward the podium. This brand of excitement can be found at all 18 locations, where racers eschew the fumes and inflammatory skywriting of gas kart exhaust for European, eco-friendly electric karts designed to instantly accelerate out of curves, which are bordered by safety barriers that absorb impacts.
New racers get two races to use on the same day and a monthly license; those already holding a license receive three same-day races. During races, Bowman go-karts zoom around one of three tracks at up to 35 mph, the same speed as an underachieving cheetah.