Designed in a country-club style by PGA professional Gordon Cunningham, Woodbine Golf Course welcomes linkspeople with 6,020 yards of challenging tracts populated with bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens. The layout’s five ponds, natural-grass preservation areas, and clusters of grabby-branched trees have beckoned both low- and high-handicap golfers for nearly a quarter of a century. A contorted fairway and aquatic hazard make the 14th hole the course’s hardest, and the 4th hole ranks second hardest with a tricky dogleg left whose elbow hosts a sand bunker that lures distractible golfers with a siren song of sandcastles.
After games, golfers can retreat to Woodbine's clubhouse. At the Timber Restaurant and Bar, flat-screen TVs flicker above a long wooden bar, diners feast on pasta and pot roast, and a stone fireplace provides the ideal backdrop for tales about 9-irons that transformed into 10-irons with hard work and a little gumption.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 70 course
Length of 6,020 yards
Two tee options
See the scorecard
It's hard to believe that Dawn Pierson was not always in top shape. Still in maternity clothes at her daughter's first birthday party, she decided it was time to change her fitness routine. She hired a personal trainer to show her the correct way to work out, and over time, she watched her body transform. Six months after her first session, she quit her job to become a certified trainer, with the goal of helping others like herself to live healthier and happier lives.
At Piersonfitness, she fills her roster of classes with Zumba, boot-camp, and personal-training sessions. She offers free 30-minute personal-training sessions for first-timers to demonstrate the impact that personal training can have in their exercise routine. In addition to training, she also leads high-energy dance-based Zumba classes set to Latin, hip-hop, and country tunes, describing the fun, full-body-toning classes as "exercise in disguise."
Pretty Muddy's founders designed their 5K obstacle course with a simple goal: to provide a stress-free opportunity for women to cut loose and have a blast in the mud with their friends. Women run or walk at their own pace, encountering low-pressure architectural obstacles along the way that are devoid of hay, splintering plywood, and axe-wielding trolls. The finishers sport post-race looks ranging from mud-drenched to only lightly splattered, depending on their course strategies.
Though the course architects designed obstacles to be fun, Pretty Muddy team members are stationed at each one to provide assistance, and obliging signs point out alternative routes for those who’d rather keep walking. The team often reminds participants that it isn’t about how many obstacles they surmount, but about sucking every drop of fun out of the experience.
At least two aid stations are present on every Pretty Muddy course to keep everyone well hydrated. After they finish, muddy ladies can compete for costume prizes, grab a drink and listen to the music, or free themselves of icky attire at onsite rinsing and changing stations.
The Center has welcomed kids onto its farm since 1936. It probably wasn't as much of a novelty back then, when Illinois was home to more than 220,000 farms and the U.S. government issued everyone a farmer's hat at birth. But that number has decreased steadily with each decade, dropping to just 76,000 by 2010, per the USDA. Which means that today, The Children's Farm at The Center gives kids and their families something increasingly special: the chance to experience life on an independent rural farm. Here, chickens lay eggs, goats give milk, and horses eat hay harvested right on the farm. The staff also leads tours of these grounds and explains how each animal fits into farm life. They even let kids pet some of the livestock before finishing up tours with a hayride.
For a completely immersive experience, The Children's Farm hosts summer camps for ages 3–17. During each camp session, campers live on the farm for days or weeks at a time, spending their days riding horses and caring for the animals.
Comprised of two championship-length 18-hole courses and a 9-hole executive layout, Silver Lake Country Club unfurls across rolling terrain dotted with ponds and streams. The longest of the three courses, the North Course offers relatively open fairways for those who prefer to belt the ball with their driver or tow a small aircraft behind their golf cart. At the South Course, water hazards loom on 12 holes, including the treacherous par-3 ninth hole, where tee shots must travel 236 yards and clear a pond in order to reach the green in one.
The Rolling Hills Course presents seven par-3s and two par-4s in a 1,587-yard layout that incorporates a stream that intervenes through most of the course. Before taking on the golf course of their choice, golfers can warm up swings and teach breathing exercises to nervous irons at the driving range, which offers both natural-grass and turf hitting stalls and a short-game practice area.
Dedicated to creating a unique experience, Space Golf illuminates its indoor lunar landscape with 18 challenging putt-putt holes alive with neon day-glo paint under showers of black light. Throughout the course, golfers nudge their iridescent balls past a synthesized landscape of posed alien life forms, flying saucers, and real aliens trying to blend in. Adding to the scenery are life-size character replicas from beloved sci-fi films such as E.T. and Star Wars beside neon yellow bricks that pave the 18-hole way for explorers. Along with mini golf, Space Golf?s Alien Arcade grants players a chance to hone their hand-eye coordination to win tickets for use at the prize stand, and chefs in the Sci Fi Caf? whip up pizzas, hot dogs, and hand-dipped ice-cream cones.