Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood tickle ribs in an evening of improvised comedy. Starting with suggestions form the audience, Mochrie and Sherwood fashion witty sketches that free guffaws from bellies and remind sad clowns what they've given up for their craft. Interactivity spices up the evening, with the comedic pair calling audience members to the stage to assist in chuckle-making scenes. The Hemmens Cultural Center ensconces guests in main-floor seats guaranteed to be within 100 feet of the stage, affording straight sightlines to onstage action and comfortable distance from the occasional gargoyle infestations of the balcony.
Home to a frog-tongue slide and bordered by a pair of serpentine water slides, Lords Park Aquatic Center’s 14,142-square-foot recreation pool mixes water with whimsy to the delight of guests of all ages. In addition to the child-friendly fare, the Elgin Parks and Recreation facility invites older splashers to use the cordoned-off lap-swimming area, where they can practice their freestyle strokes and flip turns. Outside the zero-depth pool borders lie a sand volleyball court, a concession area, and plenty of chairs for poolside relaxation.
Evil Intentions Haunted House evokes the details of its site’s checkered past to conjure the stuff of nightmares. The area the haunted house now occupies has been plagued with creepy occurrences for more than a century. Since the 1890s the expanse has been used as the premises of a coffin company, a stomping ground for escapees from a nearby mental institution, and a gathering place for the occult’s summer softball league.
Starting in 2005, the Evil Intentions Haunted House team slowly transformed this troubled spot into a haunted house that comes alive with shrieks once night falls. Visitors can leave their cars in the free parking lot and gather in the indoor waiting area before exploring more than 20,000 square feet of tortuous halls filled with dark decor and costumed frights. Demonic clowns, faceless butchers, and cleaver-wielding lunatics creep around corners and leap out of hidden alcoves, scaring both passing patrons and the actual ghosts who occupy the building.
Conceived by Las Vegas restaurateur Mark DiMartino, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery evokes Ireland by way of Vegas, with waitresses dressed in plaid mini kilts shouldering trays of chilled beer and pub fare. Like an enchilada stuffed with four-leaf clovers, the eatery’s Irish nachos interpret a south-of-the-border classic in a Celtic way, slathering potato chips in cheese sauce and seasoned ground beef; alternatively, pot roast and vegetables simmer traditionally in the Olde Dublin Irish stew’s Guinness-infused beef stock. Barkeeps pour a full bar’s worth of wine, cocktails, and beer, which surfaces in bottles, bombers, and multi-brew mixes such as the Blue Moon and Guinness combination. High-definition TVs glow with a ceaseless parade of professional and college baseball, basketball, and hockey, and live bands add to the entertainment smorgasbord on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Elgin History Museum seeks to preserve and share the history of the city of Elgin. Boasting Greek Revival-style architecture, the first floor exhibits show how Elgin developed form the 1830's to through the 1970's. Its museum focuses on the town's industry, its architecture, and, most importantly, its citizens. The second floor's thematic exhibits cover the world-renowned Elgin National Watch Factory, which employed generations of residents, and the Hiawatha Pageant, which was put on for 50 years to help preserve local Native American dances.
Size: five permanent exhibits, plus a handful of temporary exhibits
The Building: called Old Main, it was built in 1856 for the Elgin Academy prep school and is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Eye Catcher: Check out a replica of Elgin's first cabin, built by the Gifford family, who are credited as the city's founders
Permanent Mainstay: Elgin Road Races, which chronicles the competitions held in town beginning over 100 years ago in the early days of auto racing
Don't Miss: Explore Elgin Architecture illuminates the city's many design styles, from settlers' cobblestone homes to Victorian architecture to bungalows
Hands-On Exhibit: Watch Your Pocket allows kids to build a pocket-watch prototype as if they were working on the assembly line at the watch factory
Pro Tip: through the Adventure Pass program, Illinois residents can use their library card for free admission to this museum and 16 others