What began over 40 years ago as a bowling alley built in an old schoolhouse has since expanded into multi-level entertainment enclave known as RollAway Family Fun Center. In the second-floor roller skating rink, skaters glide across a glossy hardwood floor, cast in lights that flash to the beat of tunes spun by an on-site DJ. Below, on the first floor, players honor the center’s original purpose, sending pins a-clattering in the updated bowling alley. Guests can also settle scores or start fun, new blood feuds with games of laser tag and outdoor mini golf.
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.
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.
Built by Irish farmers in 1937 and still family-owned, Grattan Irish Pub serves its steaks, dusted perch, and house-brined kraut and corned beef with a hearty side of tradition. Deep kelly green booths dot the interior, tucked along walls covered with Irish decor. The kitchen produces authentic dishes made from carefully guarded family recipes and serves soups alongside local, hormone-free steaks that are hand cut and never marinated. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, live music sails through the air, and a weekly burrito special is definitely not Irish but involves a burrito, so nothing else matters.
At Arts & Carafes Studio painting events, students mingle over glasses of wine as they unlock their creative instincts and learn to create stunning, colorful images on canvas. Guests paint everything from Grand Rapid's skyline at night to swaying dancers to vibrant peacocks, both at Arts & Carafes's studio and at local restaurants. All the materials are provided, including studio-grade acrylic paint, so students won't have to make a stop at a craft store or mix their own from leftover condiment packets before the session starts.