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.
Raging Buffalo's adrenaline junkies have turned their athletic addiction into a successful enterprise by offering snowboarding and wakeboarding lessons to beginners and experienced riders. In the summer, their instructors take to the wake for lessons that start at the wakeboard school?open since 2001?before taking students on 15-minute riding sessions. When winter comes, the instructors dry-dock their boards in local bear caves and show students how to navigate the drifts with snowboard lessons at their ski park, which opened in 1992. Additionally, Raging Buffalo plays host to a variety of events, from rail jams to USASA competitions.
Every day at Big Time Boxing Fitness, people are lacing up their gloves to take aim at their fitness goals. Boxing, kickboxing, and CrossFit sessions get groups sweating together, and personal-training options include mitt work, speed and agility training, and strength and conditioning workouts. Classes and personal-training sessions alike are hosted in the professional fitness facility. Amid high ceilings and utilitarian, unadorned walls, Big Time features an extensive grid of punching bags, an area for weight and cardio machines, and a spacious, green plot of imitation grass on which exercisers run and practice full-contact croquet.
At Ballistic Fighting Methods, parents and teachers train alongside law-enforcement agents as they learn Bruce Lee’s personal martial-arts system, jeet kune do. Adults learn practical, real-world self-defense skills, and antibullying seminars teach conflict resolution and martial arts to children. Instructors build cardio-kickboxing classes around real boxing and kickboxing techniques, so students learn how to harness a fierce right cross while simultaneously sculpting and shaping a stronger body.
When paintballers feel ready for action but aren't sure where they'd like to do battle, they point their browsers to www.paintballpromos.com. There they'll find packages for nearby paintball fields, so they don't have to litter their own backyards with empty oil barrels and fill tiny water balloons with tempera paint. Packages usually include the rental of a marker and mask; paintballs and air fills are an extra charge at the field.
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.