Some wild tales have come out of Phobia House's first 11 Halloweens: tours grinding to a halt because guests are too frightened to move, real tarantulas prowling the grounds, people fleeing to the parking lot to escape the house's murderous lunatics, only to find that the chainsaw-wielding madmen were willing to follow them there. The house takes on a new theme every year, but it's a safe bet that if the maniacal clowns and hanging murder victims aren't back this year, something equally disturbing will be, though it likely won't be Candyman causing a rip in the fabric of space-time by saying his own name three times in front of a mirror.
Putter's Family Fun Center strengthens familial bonds and encourages friendly competition with mini golf, an arcade room, and batting cages. The 18-hole mini golf course ($5/person) thwarts shots with tricky terrain and obstacles, including waterfalls, fiberglass giraffes, and ACT testing. Fully charged children expend energy on batting cages ($15 for 30 minutes) and giant trampolines ($3), and the extensive arcade and water-balloon arena serve as battlegrounds for settling inter-family disputes over whose father is the better astronaut. The center also hosts free WiFi and a snack bar, serving energy-packed foods to sustain childish fits of fun long into the night.
When John and Mary Magocs opened the Capri Drive-In in August 1964, they had no idea the theater they ran with their two young sons would one day be highlighted as one of the most charming in the country. The New York Times once named it among 10 Drive-Ins Worth a Detour, noting its family ownership and stellar concessions. Capri boasts that its original 150'x75' screen is one of the largest in the country; in 1986, it expanded its viewing space by adding a second 80'x40' screen. Short-range FM radio stations broadcast audio from the drive-in's current showings to the spacious lot, which holds more than 900 cars. Viewers can swing by the snack bar to pick up barbecue-pork sandwiches, nachos, ice cream, and even mosquito coils, which repel bugs more easily than hurling a personalized insult at each one that flies by.
Since opening in 1930, Kent County Conservation League has sheltered shooting fields and courses dispersed among more than 170 acres of wooded and open land. Sharpshooters of all experience levels can mill about a sporting clay course's 13 shooting stations as they shatter targets flung from abundant angles or nestle into a five-stand course's covered range before eliminating 25 clays. The League's rifle range distributes targets at intervals between 50 and 300 yards and their pistol range remains lit for nighttime sessions. As they draw back a tightly strung bow on the archery course, patrons can finally live out their childhood Robin Hood fantasies without donning green tights in an effort to frighten neighborhood kings.
Certified instructor Tim Wiley gives pupils the benefit of more than 15 years' skeet shooting experience during group or private lessons on five fields huddled behind Kent County Conservation League's clubhouse. Visitors can find additional instruction at defensive shooting sessions or a shooting program for youngsters that covers trap, sporting clays, and skeet. Delectable bites await famished gunslingers at Shooter's Grill, and a pro shop equips patrons with gun-toting apparel and silver bullets for clays that transform into werewolves. Kent County Conservation League hosts private and public events annually, and their grounds have welcomed major shooting outings such as the 2010 Michigan Sporting Clays Championship.
Engines start to roar, propellers spin, and a large parachute expands into the sky, carrying a light aircraft and its passengers toward the clouds. Silver Lining Aviation's certified instructors create adventures like this every day as they teach visitors to soar behind the controls of sport aircrafts such as powered parachutes, weight-shift trikes, and gyroplanes. Led by licensed FAA flight instructor Craig Ewing, Silver Lining's team takes prospective pilots on introductory flights that allow them to experience aircrafts such as the Airwolf 912 and nibble on different flavors of clouds. The aviation experts also sell sport aircrafts, which patiently wait onsite as customers work through custom ground- and flight-training programs. In most cases, the flight instructors prepare their pupils for aerial navigation in as little as two weeks. They also assist new pilots with replacement parts, provide 24/7 support, and cook oil soup to feed hungry aircraft.
• Orientation of the facilities and equipment • Unlimited access to tennis courts and fitness center (a $75 value) • No court fees (a $12–$20 value/hour) • Unlimited group fitness classes • 45-minute nutrition consultation with a dietitian (a $45 value) or a 60-minute tennis lesson (a $60 value) • The initiation fee (a $75 value) will be waived if the Groupon customer joins the gym after the 30-day membership expires.
Binder Park Zoo hosts an exotic coterie of more than 140 animal species, all administered to in accordance with the exacting standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Navigate the map of habitats, or hop on the free Wilderness Tram for rapid transit straight to the Wild Africa portion of the grounds to glimpse an impala's prancings, a mangabey's antics, or an ostrich's rude refusal to acknowledge visitors. Fans of gargantuan gullets can drop some food into the stretched esophagi of seven reticulated giraffes at the Twiga Overlook, and a red kangaroo displays its preternatural quad strength by jumping and deadlifting a tree trunk. Once casual backpackers work up an appetite on the 1.3-mile hiking trail, they can refuel with the two combo meals from either Beulah's Restaurant or Kalahari Kitchen. Use the two tokens for rides on either the Z.O. & O. Railroad or the Binda Conservation Carousel.