Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
Rick the Reptile Guy, the resident reptile connoisseur of Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, guides visitors through interactive reptile shows followed by tractor rides through the rest of the park’s sweeping expanse. During each private 45-minute reptile show, guests can pet and cavort with slithering wonders such as giant pythons, boa constrictors, and bodybuilding earthworms. Giant turtles and life forms of the crocodilian variety also preen for audiences. Outside the boundaries of the cold-blooded extravaganza, visitors can relax on a tractor ride through 80 acres of exotic creatures such as zebras, monkeys, and parrots that have retired from their careers as extremely blunt telemarketers. Groupon customers can bring additional guests to their private reptile show for an additional fee of $8 per person (the cost of park admission).
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.
Nestled among oak trees and apple orchards, the 18-hole, par 72 course at Deer Run Golf Club hosts weeping willows that have been ducking golf balls for more than four decades. Golfers start out at the course’s second-hardest hole, navigating a dogleg left in the last fourth of the fairway and hitting past two bunkers that stand sentry just in front of the green. The second hole, a handicap 18, lets players catch their breath or show off by wearing a diamond-studded blindfold while driving, but the 13th hole—the course’s toughest—gives even the most gifted swingers a challenge with a dogleg right and a green guarded by a slither of fairway-bifurcating water.
Before hitting the course, players warm up at one of the driving range’s 25 hitting stations or by bench-pressing a golf cart. After, they generally decamp to Deer Run's clubhouse, which complete with a hardwood dance floor and fireplace ready for hosting special occasions. Here, up to 250 guests can party away the night, celebrate weddings and other occasions, or host a conference on turning the state of Indiana into a 1,800-hole championship course.
Course at a Glance:
Despite the race’s assertion that, “the Old Farts course is no joke,” the 5K and full- and half-marathon event is still presented with quite a bit of levity. Top 10 finishers in the 5K, for instance, are awarded whoopee cushions for their efforts in a race known colloquially as the Who Cut the Cheese? 5K, and the full marathon crests a hill named after the actor and human punch line Chuck Norris. Amid this casual atmosphere, runners of all ages compete on wooded courses that are as beautiful as they are difficult. Hundreds of feet of elevation changes unfold as the course progresses through a mix of tree-lined trails, gravel roads, and pavement.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.