Golf shots soar high over the grounds of Raymond Heights Family Golf Center, looking down upon a beginner-friendly complex that encompasses a nine-hole, par-3 course, a driving range, and a miniature golf course. With five holes measuring in at 100 yards or shorter, the lilliputian links help beginners find their swings and give aces a chance to flaunt their short-game prowess without having to aim chip shots at next-door neighbors' mailboxes.
Open as early as 8 a.m., the 30-stall driving range—equipped with both artificial and natural-grass hitting areas—enables late-night practice sessions with lights that activate after sundown. Glowing balls trace the night sky or roll across turf runways during moonlight play, which Raymond Heights hosts at both the par-3 course and its 18-hole mini golf course, made possible by shimmering flagsticks and caddies that locate hazards using echolocation. After a day on the links, vintage vinyl barstools offer a respite for spiky-soled shoes at the Center's full-service restaurant and bar.
The certified instructors at Scooter Tow Hang Gliding School have designed their curriculum to encourage potential students that hang-gliding can be for anyone. In doing so, they introduce beginners to the sport gradually by scheduling flights in the early morning and late afternoon—when the atmosphere is at its calmest—and having them start by only going 2–3 feet off the ground. Once they're more experienced, flyers can join the crew for organized brewery tours and the school's hang-gliding club.
Amur tigers stretch out in the sun, red kangaroos hop leisurely along, and orangutans groom each other in the shade while tree pythons and box turtles roam their tanks, oblivious of each other and everything outside. Nearby, budgies, storks, cormorants, and screech owls roost on perches and soar over the heads of their human visitors. These creatures join a menagerie of more than 250 animals—representing 76 different species—that mingle across 32 acres of natural habitat at the Racine Zoo. Together with their staff counterparts, these animals speak to the zoo’s efforts toward conservation and strengthening the bond between humans and their wild neighbors.
Though they can get up close to animal enclosures, visitors also explore more immersive wildlife education through seasonal and year-round attractions. Giraffe encounters allow guests to participate in the supervised feeding of a masai giraffe, and Animal Chats prompt visitors to ask questions of the caretakers, such as how they feed the zoo's carnivores and which of the herbivores prefer italian dressing. At the Benstead Discovery Center, guests greet reptiles and amphibians and watch fish swim in a 2,000-gallon saltwater tank. In the open-air Norco Aviary, visitors can behave as flocks of Australian budgies, rosellas, or cockatiels. Children, meanwhile, frolic across the two-story climbing structure, slides, and zipline at the PlayZoo Playground, or board a colorful, seasonal miniature express train.
Fueled by the belief that fitness and nutrition go hand in hand, WCA-lauded chiropractor Dr. Ken Krimpelbein puts his knowledge of the human body and skills in diet management to use helping people transform their lifestyles. In addition to offering exercise classes, such as Zumba and yoga, Dr. Krimpelbein and his team stock their naturally lit, TV-lined workout area with free weights, plate-loaded equipment, and cardio machines, including Woodway treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bicycles. On the nutrition side of the spectrum, they offer weight-loss and detoxification guidance via their FirstLine Therapy program. They also run an onsite juice bar, where members can rev up with a healthful snack and a smoothie.
Razor Sharp Fitness wants to ensure that all of their members will be able to find the fitness routine perfect for them. That's why they offer myriad amenities such as an indoor track, CrossFit classes, and sports-performance training. But where Razor Sharp really shines is in its staff of personal trainers, each with a different set of specialties ranging from weight-loss to sports-specific and military-preparedness training. They work one on one with guests of all fitness levels to help them achieve their fitness goals through a variety of challenging workouts.
Within the cream-colored brick exterior of a century-old city building, Papa Luigi’s II marries an Italian restaurant with a bowling alley. Amid the wood paneling, wine-red carpet, and chandeliers of the dining room, taste buds can warm up with the house’s favorite appetizer—sicilian eggplant lathered in Papa’s special marinara sauce. Thin-n-crispy pizzas, which Papa Luigi’s II has been perfecting for 23 years, come loaded with canadian bacon or shrimp.
After meals, guests can adjourn to the newly remodeled, smoke-free bowling alley. Here, shining orbs hurtle down 10 lanes whose automatic bumpers forgive shaky aim, and an automatic scoring system lets bowlers tuck their personal mathematicians back into the trunks of their cars. Between rounds, players can refuel at a pub-style bar by tipping back chilled mugs brimming with imported tap beers and gazing at a trio of plasma televisions. Those seeking a new arena for competition can drop by the game room or rent the upstairs gym for shooting hoops.
From outside, Innovative Health & Fitness' sprawling 52,545-square-foot facility looks more like a school or a corporation than a gym. However, once you enter the gleaming, modern building’s doors, there is no mistaking its true purpose: fitness. The mega-center encompasses three pools, two floors lined with strength training and cardio machines, and two group-class studios. Here, the certified fitness instructors lead yoga, Zumba, BodyPump, spinning, and kickboxing classes. They emphasize long-term results over quick fixes, and help guests lead healthier lives with personal-training sessions and nutrition counseling.
To augment workouts, exercisers can stop at the spa for a massage, mani-pedi, or tanning, or harvest the café for its smoothies, healthful snacks, and Popeye's other favorite food: Juice Plus+ vitamins.