As red inflatable obstacles shield snipers on the Speedball field, the Hyperball field's blue barrels protect players from enemy fire. Tipped-over speedboats litter the greenery of the Docks, and thickets of woods shelter the wooden walls of the Amazon and colorful fragments of children's play structures scattered throughout the Playground.
Each of the six fields hosts a variety of gaming scenarios, ranging from elimination and capture-the-flag rounds to attack-and-defend sessions or multiple flag-station contests. Laser-tag players itching to compete on terrain other than H2 Paintball's 10 acres can call upon its Mobile Command Option, wherein H2 personnel convert offices or empty basement shark tanks into miniature laser-tag arenas.
Designed for mature audiences, Realm of Terror's maze winds past zombies hovering over hospital patients and masked madmen adorned in scarlet-stained clothes. A creative team of filmmakers, makeup artists, and set designers collaborates on the gory, over-the-top attraction, which uses actors, strobe lighting, startlingly loud noises, and whispered Danzig lyrics to spook guests as they duck, climb, and crawl through. While waiting in line to enter the critically lauded haunted house, guests can sip beverages from an onsite bar, which is stocked with soft drinks and alcohol for visitors of drinking age.
Each fall, terror descends upon downtown Elgin when Psychosis Haunted House opens its grounds to thrill-seeking visitors. The 20,000-square-foot haunted house stations its actors at unexpected intervals, building suspense and fear so that each monster elicits a scream. For an extra fee, guests can choose to be "kidnapped" and hustled inside, where they wait hidden among the shadows until their friends or the pizza delivery guy finally finds them. Psychosis Haunted House also makes live animals a part of the adventure and donates a portion of its proceeds to the Buddy Foundation, which provides care to stray, abused, and abandoned animals.
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.
At Woodwind Farm, trainers Bonnie and Megan Kittredge guide both riders and horses through professional instruction in a large indoor arena. In addition to honing horses’ show skill, the duo acquaints human students to riding fundamentals during group and private lessons for adults, teens, and children as young as 4 years old. Instructors with more than 120 years of combined experience preach the need for safety and proper horsemanship, helping beginners get comfortable in the saddle and experienced riders improve their form. The farm also instills a love of riding in its youngest students with children's birthday parties and the Showstoppers youth group, which raises funds for charitable organizations and keeps rebellious young horses from associating with gangs of streetwise chickens.
Chuck Masny describes himself as an “eternal student of the martial arts,” always learning more about his chosen disciplines despite the black belts in Goshin jiujitsu and American karate that already encircle his waist. Chuck brings his insatiable appetite for refinement to his classes, encouraging his students to ask why a technique is performed a certain way or to adjust motions to suit their unique physiques. This allows students to determine what mix of fitness exercise and self-defense training best suits their needs.
Chuck’s youth programs focus on developing not only the physical fitness skills that will grow into combat ability, but also the mental skills important to a child’s scholastic success. Kids practice listening and self-discipline and engage in a “bully-proofing” program in which they learn how to deflect insults by mentally transforming their bodies into rubber. Adult classes swing the focus to the practical underpinnings of self-defense, studying why and how certain moves and combinations work to arm students against real-world violence. Chuck also schedules cardio-enriched kickboxing classes, which incinerate calories in a furnace powered by flying fists and feet.