Connected to William K. Vanderbilt II’s 24-room mansion, the 60-foot domed planetarium seats 238 in the Sky Theater, using a Goto star projector and dozens of perimeter slide projectors to display 11,369 stars. Settle in at 8 p.m. to see Journey Through the Solar System, a visually and audibly engaging look at the history, contents, and personality flaws of our beloved solar system, as well as its most ardent explorer, NASA. A video library and laser disks supplement stationary images with moving pictures, an effect that makes the universe and time seem to fly by. Afterward, examine the meteorites and 6-foot-wide moon globe on display in the lobby.
Strikes and spares abound at Larkfield Lanes, where balls have tumbled down 20 lanes since 1949. The sport hasn?t changed much in the intervening years, though the alley certainly has. Every Friday and Saturday night, for instance, the house lights go down for glow bowling, where special-effect lighting and upbeat tunes turn the alley into a nightclub-style setting. Complimentary bumpers, meanwhile, ensure that balls never wander into gutters, and four-week Learn to Bowl classes ready kids for future bumper-free games. Once they have the basics down, youngsters can even enter one of Larkfield Lanes? leagues, which the alley also hosts for adults and senior citizens.
While Elwood Cinema shows the latest, hottest movies, it still retains that family-friendly neighborhood vibe. First opened in the 1960s, it's been updated since, with four screens, digitally mastered production technology, and updated plush seating with ample room for moviegoers to stretch out their legs. The theater shows appreciation for its many loyal customers by gifting them with free snacks and, every few months, free screenings of classic movies such as The Sandlot, The Breakfast Club, and that Felix the Cat biopic. The staff also does a great job of hosting birthday parties complete with pizza and unlimited popcorn.