ActivEdge Fitness Club's large, two-story fitness temple burns calories with its high-tech cardio deck featuring mounted flat-screen TVs, drowns them in a 25-meter lap pool, and scares them off with the help of peers in more than 20 fitness classes. On the first level, members pump free-weights on a carpeted floor that cushions joint strain, or on a variety of machines designed to sculpt lats, glutes, and thighs. As parents make a splash in aqua aerobics, their kids can burn off excess energy and talk about their favorite characters from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in the supervised childcare center. Members can also make use of the club's basketball court and follow it up with a trip to the tanning room. For a high-intensity full-body-blasting boot camp, the gym’s own GTX program answers with an intense cross-training regimen. Instructors lead groups through a series of interval stations where clients build muscle definition and whip cardiovascular systems into shape with the help of punching bags and medicine balls laid out on turf and rubber floors. During those training sessions, guests lift and push giant tractor tires, swing heavy ropes, and hop high onto plyometric boxes—all exercises that incorporate functional movements to help people perform everyday tasks, such as hurling giant tractor tires into the air and lassoing them with heavy ropes.
It may sound clichéd, but ask the staff members at The Play Station about their most memorable experience, and they'll probably say a new one happens every day. Specifically, it's the moment when a child walks in, sees the three-level play center, and lets out a gasp of excitement. The 12,000-square-foot facility's tube slides, ball pits, and other recreational equipment blossomed from the owners' relatively simple idea: create a place where our kids can be active whenever it's yucky outside. Today, kids 12 and younger climb, crawl, and slide through the play center or hit the game room to win tickets redeemable for prizes such as toys and an all-inclusive weekend in Moon Vegas.
While kids expend their energy, parents can relax nearby and socialize, watch television, or enjoy a menu of snacks, such as mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese sandwiches, and nachos. The Play Station's crew includes a team that organizes children's parties and books the facility for field trips, fundraisers, and private rentals.
A family-owned paradise of 10-pin punishment since 1972, the friendly atmosphere at Lancer Lanes promotes spirited competition for alley cats of all ages and abilities. Prospective strike pilots strap on their slick slippers and take to the lanes, guiding spherical saucers towards pin-shaped invaders on 1 of 24 hardwood runways. Bumpers are on hand to level the playing corridor for pint-sized players, while automatic scoring keeps track of points gained, aiding both arithmophobics and those just scared of pencils. While winter ushers in nightly leagues at 6 p.m., buyers who nab today's deal can redeem their Groupon during any open bowling hours, including glow bowling on Friday and Saturday nights.
Class A–affiliates of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Cedar Rapids Kernels field a roster of tomorrow's major leaguers on the fields of today. Led by manager Brent Del Chiaro and coaches Mike Eylward and Trevor Wilson, the band of savvy sluggers is set to continue its tradition of charitable efforts by donating baseball after baseball to needy attendees in the stands. As Midwest League champions in 1988, 1992, and 1994, the Kernels are hungry for this year's title and will stop at nothing—the Kane County Cougars included—to wrest it from the well-oiled gloves of wannabe winners.
The Science Station illuminates the minds of children and adults on the workings of science, math, and technology with hands-on exhibits, puzzles, and games. Play paleontologist with the Dinosaur Exploration Station, complete with time tunnel and dig box, or visit the Math Mania room to help kids hone number skills through games. In the Animal Clinic, tots can play doctor with faux-furry friends and learn how to care for real ones. The Science Station houses a Museum Store with education games for ongoing imagination stimulation. The Science Station is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.