Tours in Battle Creek

Select Local Merchants

For proof of how frightening Psycho Ward & Nightmares Haunted House truly is, you need only look at the chicken list. It keeps track of the number of people who couldn't make it through the two eerie indoor/outdoor attractions without high-tailing it to the nearest exit. There were 265 fraidy cats in 2012 alone, although that should come as no surprise, given the property's assortment of ghouls and maniacs.

Inside Psycho Ward, the experiments of the mad Dr. Floyd Cranston are eager to reconnect with other humans after years of unspeakable treatments and surgeries. Meanwhile, in the nearby Nightmares Haunted House, fears come to life in all forms, from demonic clowns to a radio that only plays John Tesh songs. Naturally, it's recommended that only guests 12 and older venture onto the haunted grounds.

7656 Ravine Road
Oshtemo,
MI
US

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.

84 North Douglas
Plainwell,
Michigan
US

After respective careers as a research scientist and an educator, Larry and Pam Satek were ready to settle into retirement. They anticipated relaxing on the plot of land purchased by Pam's great-grandfather in 1915—a verdant space that had matured from an apple orchard into an overgrown tangle, and which the Sateks turned into a commercial vineyard where other Indiana wineries bought their grapes. Now that they had escaped the daily grind, the Sateks' plan was to begin crafting their own wine. They did so with well-recognized aplomb, and soon, their "retirement business" was winning awards at the INDY International Wine Competition. In the past three years, almost 80% of their wines have medaled—the 2012 contest alone landed them 23 awards, including two Concordance Golds, which signify a unanimous decision by the judges. Their success is hardly surprising, though, if one looks at the descriptions of their wines. They deem their Old Vine red zinfandel "a searing of lightning and poetry," and liken the sweet Mango Mania to "sunshine in your glass."

The Sateks remain continually tapped into the community in an effort to share these wines, many of which are made from exclusively locally grown fruit. Their Twitter feed and Facebook page keep fans posted regarding new releases and suddenly sold-out varieties, and those hoping for a closer look can take a tour of the vineyard and bottling facilities. Additionally, special events such as dinners and pairing classes teach visitors how to expertly marry sips to bites without disappointing both of their families.

6208 N Van Guilder Rd
Fremont,
IN
US

In 1939, Everett Cook purchased what would become the Cook family farm and was told it was the worst investment he had ever made. But in the spirit of tenacious American homesteaders, three generations of Cooks turned that bad investment into a thriving bison ranch. After years of research, Peter Cook—Everett’s grandson—became a member of the National Bison Association, and ordered the ranch's first 30 bison in 1998. The hulking, majestic curiosities began drawing in groups from area schools, cross-country motor-coach tours, and time-traveling harmonica players to the 83-acre farm in northern Indiana's Amish country.

During the ranch’s signature one-hour tour, guests board a wagon and venture out to interact with and feed the animals as guides regale them with facts about North American bison. After the tour, groups can also sit down for a meal of bison burgers or bison brats. The animals receive no growth hormones or stimulants and graze on the ranch's own hay and grain, which produces tender and healthy meat, unlike animals fed with growth hormones, which produces meat that won’t stop quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Bison burgers, brats, and steaks are available for purchase online or inside the ranch's gift shop. In addition to the tours, the ranch also allows guests to hunt their own game during guided hunts, taking home bison, deer, and wild turkey.

5645 E 600 S
Wolcottville,
IN
US

At 222 feet long and 88 feet high, the Players Riverboat Casino II wouldn't fit on parts of the upper Mississippi River. So when it had to leave its Louisiana home for a new job in Detroit, it took the long way there, passing around Florida, Maine, and Nova Scotia until it chugged through the Gulf of St. Lawrence. All this was just the beginning of the boat's journey?the next step was a thorough transformation from a scrapped gambling vessel into an opulent cruise ship. The staff gussied up its interior, installed several kitchens, and gave it a new royal title: the Detroit Princess Riverboat.

Today, the Detroit Princess is a coveted venue for high-energy celebrations and relaxing cruises alike. Its five tiers of outdoor decks afford dual skyline views of Detroit and Windsor and up-close glimpses of the Ambassador Bridge, the crucial link that keeps Canada from floating away. Inside each of the boat's four stories, passengers can visit a full bar and socialize inside heated and air-conditioned rooms. The biggest of these boast dining areas anchored by prime-rib buffets and sprawling dance floors where DJs or live Motown groups prompt guests to boogie down. Holiday parties, late-night excursions, and private charters take the nightclub vibe to the water, and floating wedding ceremonies and receptions let even the merfolk branch of the family be a part of the fun.

3621 Jefferson Hwy
Grand Ledge,
MI
US

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 weight-shift trikes. Silver Lining's team takes prospective pilots on introductory flights that allow them to experience aircrafts such as the Evolution Trikes Weight Shift Trike 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 provide 24/7 support, and cook oil soup to feed hungry aircraft.

3001 W Airport Rd
Hastings,
MI
US