When he shuts up his workshop at the North Pole after another successful holiday season, Santa Claus doesn't simply hibernate until next December. Instead, he packs up his sleigh and heads to his summer home at the Fox River Valley's Santa's Village Azoosment Park. Open from May to October, the wonderland greets guests with three separate amusement experiences. The fun begins in Santa's Village, where quaint alpine building and expertly manicured pathways awaken feelings of nostalgia in hearts young and old. There, visitors can zoom down the original Santa's Tree House Slide, hitch a ride on the Kringle Convoy, or snap a picture at a recreation of Santa's North Pole home. They can also tap into the amusement rides including the antique carousel, the Tilt-A-Whirl, and Dracor the Dragon's Coaster.
A renowned lover of animals, Santa has also filled his park with a menagerie of creatures both familiar and exotic. After visiting Rudolph and company at Reindeer Ridge, visitors can grab a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh on their way to see the denizens of Parakeet Paradise, Tortoise Island, or Old MacDonald's Farm and Petting Zoo. In addition to grabbing up-close peeks of everything from a red-tailed boa to a fennec fox, visitors can also take in an exotic animal show that educates audience members about the park's wild residents.
Always in the holiday spirit, the park welcomes groups looking to add a spark to reunions, birthday, or group outings. This accommodating spirit even extends to the park's rule book: parking is free, and picnic baskets are encouraged.
Village Vintner Winery & Brewery poses a gastronomic triple threat, operating as not just a restaurant and winery, but also a fully functioning brewery. A battalion of stainless-steel machinery ferments the hand-selected wheat and barley that make up the vanilla-cream ale, the German-style hefeweizen, and the Vintner Hop Rocket, an 8.2% ABV varietal culminating from six types of hops and mad, mad science. At the tasting bar, guests can sample these brewery end products, along with Village Vintner’s expansive selection of homemade red, white, and fruit wines. The main restaurant area houses a wood-fired pizza oven, which bakes the pesto pizzas and smoldering baby back ribs that complement potables.
A spirit of good-natured fun permeates the copper-hued premises, as evidenced by a free monthly wine and mug club. Live music is a common occurrence on Friday nights, and Wednesdays star Chef Rob’s pork special.
3D Towing and Recovery's dependable technicians brandish the tools and know-how to tend to malfunctioned autos and scoop up inconvenienced commuters. Customers stranded outside cars that are broken down or nonviolently protesting speed limits can call for a tow truck to come and haul them toward the nurturing nest of a mechanic ($50 for in-town tow, $2/additional mile outside Amarillo loop). The trucks can also tote steely steeds to one of 3D Towing's partner auto shops ($40). The automotive enablers also perform feats of roadside athleticism such as swapping damaged tires for spares ($50), jump-starting dead batteries ($50), unlocking car doors ($50), or soothing mirrors crowded by objects looming close to their personal space.
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Dick Pond Athletics outfits runners, wrestlers, and athletes with a large selection of shoes made by brands such as Saucony, adidas, and Nike. Men's, women's, and youth track-and-field shoes allow runners to protect their feet from rough pavement and tracks littered with upside-down waffle cones. Men's shoes include Asics Gel Strike 2s ($44.95) and New Balance 760s ($74.95), and women's include Brooks Sports Lady Defyance 2s ($49.95) and Nike Lady Air Max Moto+ 5s ($53.95).