The sudden roar of gunfire rolls over Richmond Hunting Club's facilities, which sprawl across 850 untamed acres. The club's location nearly adjacent to Chain O' Lakes State Park draws sportspeople of all levels who can spend time shooting skeet, boarding a loyal hunting dog at the onsite kennel, paintballing, or stocking up on ammo at the pro shop. Outdoorsy folks who frequent the club often tie up their mountain goat outside and congregate inside the Bar & Grill, refueling weary trigger fingers with buffalo burgers and pheasant pot pies in a classic hunting-lodge setting.
Located less than 90 minutes from Chicago amidst Illinois's largest concentration of natural lakes, the Chain O' Lakes State Park Riding Stable sits on a 2,793-acre park neighbored by a 3,230-acre conservation area. There, horseback trail rides explore undulating hills and thick forest populated by deer, eagles, and the much-sought-after Keebler elf. Horse-drawn wagon rides—led by seasoned drivers along wooded trails—furnish especially colorful views in autumn, and the stable staff can curate optional cookouts at wooded picnic sites.
Held at rugged landscapes throughout the country, HARD CHARGE's races drench participants in mud, water, and sweat as they test their own strength, agility, and stamina against a series of tough obstacles. From the kickoff of the first heat, individuals and co-ed teams launch off to storm 30 challenges, which include crossing swift streams with no bridge but a single rope, navigating forests of hanging tires, scaling towers of hay bales and sand, and clambering over vertical cargo nets.
Competitors are separated into two levels, Charge for Fun and Charge for Glory. In the former level, racers navigate the course at their own pace, while the latter, which involves an additional $20 fee, chargers athletes to go all-out for a chance to appear in HARD CHARGE's upcoming televised series. In these heats, marshals watch over each obstacle, ensuring competitors successfully complete it without the help of guardian angels. However they complete the test, all participants gather to celebrate their personal achievement at a post-race party featuring music, food, and complimentary beer.
The experienced handlers at Animal Quest travel to a range of soirees and other events, introducing humans to more than 35 species of exotic and native animals. Based on audience preference, they showcase the natural attributes and behavior of creatures such as an albino Burmese python, a gargoyle gecko, a giant rabbit, and a parrot. Handlers can organize their parties in interactive game shows with the audience or themed performances focused on subjects such as pirates, ninjas, and detectives. They also perform casual, one-on-one animal presentations, where they move freely throughout the crowd.
Since all of Animal Quest's animals are comfortable being handled, the company encourages patron participation—inviting audience members to get up close, touch the creatures, and view slides from the animal's most recent vacation. The critters also perform in television, film, and advertising segments, and on-staff animal behaviorists also travel to homes to train domesticated animals.
The gym owners at Snap Fitness understand that the motivation to train might strike at any time: early morning, late at night, or immediately after having just barely escaped a bear. That’s why they keep their gyms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a convenient and affordable experience close to home. These four Facilities outside of Chicago feature woodway treadmills, strength training equipment, ellipticals, stairmasters, free weights, and power racks. Certain gyms have individual showering rooms and rowing machines. No matter which gym clients choose, certified personal trainers will conduct a one-on-one fitness consultation to get clients familiar with the equipment and started on a workout plan.
Some old-timey types of recreation are best left in the past—jousting, croquet, long pensive walks—but Skate on Grand gives roller-skating relevance to modern-day fun-seekers. A far cry from the roller rinks of yesteryear, its smooth, colorful skating surface comes to life beneath a rainbow of flashing lights and the sparkle of a disco ball. Its arcade also boasts contemporary bells and whistles including video games and an air hockey table. However, the snack bar’s staff recognizes that some things, such as ringing a bell to warn of invading enemy troops, simply can’t be improved upon, and dole out time-tested favorites such as pizza, hot dogs, and root-beer floats.