Intrepid guests descend upon the four eerie haunted houses at Nights of Fear, voted the area's scariest venue by the Grand Rapids Press, boldly making their way through 80,000 square feet of terrifying spirits, lunatics, and extraterrestrials. Groups grasping through the Brainfield Sanitarium navigate decrepit hallways inhabited by deranged maniacs, and Rusty's Revenge traps patrons in a warehouse lab of sinister experiments, testing innocent subjects on the periodic table of elements. For terror with added depth, customers can tiptoe throughout the 3-D Maniac Mansion, where countless spirits patrol Victorian furnishings, or brave otherworldly fiends in Contact: Alien Encounter in 3-D, which is the site of a mysterious aircraft crash.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Centennial Fitness members can stop by the 18,000-square-foot facility for a workout tailored to their individual needs. Across five different training rooms, free weights and Hammer Strength equipment tone physiques, while the gentle whir of cardio machines signifies the rapid burning of calories. Certified personal trainers customize workouts, and instructors lead groups through kickboxing and zumba classes. The center’s sauna and steam room lull muscles into a state of relaxation, while an on-site daycare takes away the stress of finding a babysitter.
Since opening in 1930, Kent County Conservation League has sheltered shooting fields and courses dispersed among more than 170 acres of wooded and open land. Sharpshooters of all experience levels can mill about a sporting clay course's 13 shooting stations as they shatter targets flung from abundant angles or nestle into a five-stand course's covered range before eliminating 25 clays. The League's rifle range distributes targets at intervals between 50 and 300 yards and their pistol range remains lit for nighttime sessions. As they draw back a tightly strung bow on the archery course, patrons can finally live out their childhood Robin Hood fantasies without donning green tights in an effort to frighten neighborhood kings.
Certified instructor Tim Wiley gives pupils the benefit of more than 15 years' skeet shooting experience during group or private lessons on five fields huddled behind Kent County Conservation League's clubhouse. Visitors can find additional instruction at defensive shooting sessions or a shooting program for youngsters that covers trap, sporting clays, and skeet. Delectable bites await famished gunslingers at Shooter's Grill, and a pro shop equips patrons with gun-toting apparel and silver bullets for clays that transform into werewolves. Kent County Conservation League hosts private and public events annually, and their grounds have welcomed major shooting outings such as the 2010 Michigan Sporting Clays Championship.
Approaching its 50th anniversary and under new ownership, Cannonsburg Ski Area livens up winter with plentiful runs that invite skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels to fly safely down the slopes or develop their technique. Roughly 15 miles from Grand Rapids, a network of meticulously designed parks challenges sports folk with half a dozen jumps and more than 50 terrain features, and a newly overhauled snowmaking system keeps the tracks covered in fresh snow from brand-new snow guns and a duck whose quacks somehow control all weather.
Guests of all ages can hone their skills under the watchful eyes of instructors before hitting the mountain's 19 runs, which are served by ten lifts, including one magic carpet. After relishing rushes of downhill velocity, visitors can peruse the well-stocked shop or refresh themselves with treats from the Cedar Lounge restaurant.
• Orientation of the facilities and equipment • Unlimited access to tennis courts and fitness center (a $75 value) • No court fees (a $12–$20 value/hour) • Unlimited group fitness classes • 45-minute nutrition consultation with a dietitian (a $45 value) or a 60-minute tennis lesson (a $60 value) • The initiation fee (a $75 value) will be waived if the Groupon customer joins the gym after the 30-day membership expires.
The Coopersville & Marne Railway Company whisks riders back in time aboard passenger cars from the early 1900s, a diesel locomotive built in 1952, and tracks laid in 1858. Trained volunteers dressed in period uniforms welcome passengers, who then set out on a route through scenic fields and family-owned farmlands as a soundtrack of 1800s train music plays in the background. Throughout the ride, the conductor shares stories about the train and its route, filled with glimpses of deer, wild turkeys, and eagles, as well as several flowing creeks. Upon request, passengers may join the engineer in his cab to see how the train works or perform duets of “The Ballad of Casey Jones.”
The railway company regularly hosts special events aboard its trains, including the Great Train Robbery, a Wild West–themed escapade with volunteers playing Jesse James, the Earp brothers, and other legendary figures. To celebrate the holidays, the company operates a Santa train where kids can meet Kris Kringle; a bunny train with a walking, talking Easter bunny; and a fall-themed ride that includes a visit to a pumpkin patch.
Crowned Best Dry Cleaners by Grand Rapids Magazine, Sheldon Cleaners has been fighting the good fight against dud dirt and unpressed pants for more than 60 years. Its seasoned de-griming doctors will scrutinize each article and carefully tend to sweaters ($6.50), coats ($12.50), dresses ($12.50), and shirts ($4.99)—evicting fiber filth, obnoxious odors, and the stains of spilt wine and spilt blood from a rival poet. By using nonhazardous solutions, Sheldon Cleaners provides a thorough clothing cleanse and scores points with Mother Nature for its eco-friendly practices.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.