During the Cold War, anything could happen. The US military's response to this reality was to ring every major metropolitan area with defensive missile bases that could launch Nike antiaircraft supersonic missiles at any time. The goal was to make attacking the United States so costly that the Soviets would not dare try. One of the roughly 20 bases defending the Chicago area was Nike Missile Base C-47, a 14-acre site built between 1954 and 1956. Surrounded by 8-foot-tall cyclone fences, the base housed three underground concrete bunkers, three launchers, five radar towers, a fallout shelter, and day barracks.
Today, the Cold War is safely tucked in the nation's memory, but much of C-47 still remains. However, instead of military personnel coming and going throughout their 24-hour shifts, it's paintball and Airsoft players who creep along the 10 sprawling fields, simulating the warfare that luckily never occurred on the base. The terrain includes many of the original features—such as a mess hall, army barracks, and satellite towers, which host strategic meetings and midbattle naps. Referees enforce special safety rules for minors to keep games safe and organized.
Before expanding to five locations, the owners of the first Zoom Clean found that they couldn't get the results they wanted with just any old soaps and waxes. They soon tracked down a chemist, who glued the periodic table to every doorknob and helped them develop their own innovative line of cleaning products. The resulting detergents, shampoos, polishes, and protectants now cleanse chariots of all shapes and sizes?including semi-trucks, motorcycles, limousines, and boats?to a glossy shine in Zoom Clean's touchless automatic washes, DIY bays, and hand-wash stations. Z Clean 2-in-1 Powder, a highly concentrated multipurpose mixture, protects paint jobs by reducing friction during washing. When they aren't buffing and waxing autos in their detail center, resident technicians perform diagnostic checks, install 3M Window Film, and restore cloudy headlights. They can also steam-clean interiors, scour engines, and refill parched oil tanks.
The team sits silently, trigger fingers poised to unleash the simulated ammo in their laser-tag guns. Nearby, one of their teammates waits to be rescued. The team's leader creeps forward, checks the area, and gestures to the others. They locate their captured comrade, but something is amiss: the pilot's head is shaking. The air fills with flashes of light, and the battle is over.
Team Combat Live uses laser tag as a means to act out immersive tactical scenarios, foster team camaraderie, and covertly scan supermarket barcodes. In indoor and outdoor spaces, combatants run, crouch, and fire, using the same laser gear employed by SWAT teams and Special Forces. To further hone tactical skills, Team Combat Live sprinkles each battlefield with ammo boxes and medic locations. Their instructors, including a certified SWAT instructor, also host summer camps that teach tactical maneuvers.
Eight bags. Two platforms. Two six-inch holes. One distinctly American game. The origins of cornhole are shrouded in mystery. Some say it derives from a German game, while others claim it is a descendant of a similar sport played by Native Americans. But one thing is certain?it's serious business. That's why the American Cornhole Organization was formed in 2005. By setting the rules, establishing annual tournaments and competitions, and firmly banning the practice of using trained birds to dunk bags, these referees have codified the sport and elevate it to a professional level.
A lot has changed in the past 70 years: humans landed on the moon, rock 'n' roll stormed the charts, and the Internet revolutionized the way people laugh at cat pictures. While innovations are good for grabbing headlines, the chefs at Country lounge see the value of keeping things classic. In addition to juicy steaks and sauce-laden pastas, their bill of fare calls back to art deco decadence with bygone dishes such as shrimp de jonghe and oysters rockefeller. Dinners unfold at tables clad in burgundy-colored cloth, and a full-service bar offers post-meal cocktails.
County Line Orchard embraces guests with outstretched branches that hold more than 20 varieties of apples and a pumpkin patch flush with the warm and welcoming colors of the autumn harvest. Friends and families can traverse an orange-tinted wonderland with unlimited access to harvest activities of all sorts, from Moo-Choo tractor rides to fruit-picking excursions in the orchard. Those who attempt to navigate the two 10-acre corn mazes are well advised to fill rucksacks with butter, as even steadfast explorers must occasionally use their teeth to hack a path through the profusion of twists and turns. Bellies not filled with raw corn can make room for the bakery’s famous homemade donuts (not included in this Groupon) or an apple snagged from one of five U-Pick fields to which Grouponers enjoy unfettered access. Pumpkins available for purchase make ideal jack-o'-lanterns or catapult fodder, though honey farmers beseech guests to aim all launches away from the orchard’s active beehives.