Since 1959, the reigns that urge Circle Lanes forward have been handed down through three generations. While the establishment still cultivates the now-retro vibe that characterized its early years, it's also outfitted with modern accoutrements including AMF automatic scoring and regular laser-bowl sessions that set brightly colored accents aglow. The facility features 34 Heddon synthetic lanes, which beckon sure-footed bowlers and discerning woodchucks alike with wood approaches. Bumpers are also available for those who can't yet roll between the lines. Beyond the lanes, Circle Pizzeria stands ready to serve a menu that sates appetites at all hours. Breakfast food such as muffins, omelets, and egg sandwiches gives way midday to a selection that includes roast-beef club sandwiches and pizzas topped with meatballs. Nearby, fellow patrons sit at Cabaret Lounge's wooden bar to sip beer, wine, or mixed drinks. Dartboards, a pool table, and a big-screen television offer additional diversions, ideal for distracting opponents while filling the finger holes on their bowling balls with mustard.
Flying Lead Change is more than just a place where horses can live in comfort; it's a place where people can come to learn about riding and horsemanship. Originally from England, where she learned to ride, owner and instructor Jo Harrison has created a safe environment that both caters to new riders and reignites the passion of experienced equestrians. Lessons follow the curriculum of the British Horse Society and United States Pony Club, rewarding students with achievement patches as they advance in their knowledge of the animal, riding styles, and tacking procedure. Flying Lead Change offers regal boarding accommodations that feature a heated barn, 12’x12’ matted stalls with windows, 18 pastures, an Olympic-size outdoor ring, and a special area where gymnasts can come to re-shoe their pommel horses.
Dan Klemm, the self-professed “Snowmobile King,” reigns over two 6,000-square-foot barns filled with more than 400 snowmobiles and more than 50 motorcycles. His collection includes rare and one-of-a-kind sleds, such as a wooden replica of a 1924 Eliason motorized toboggan and a 1951 Ingham, as well as amphibious tracked machines including a Play Cat and a Ridge Runner, which traverse both water and land in much the same way as an octopus wearing hiking books. After marveling at the 1959 Air Sled prototype whose Lycoming airplane engine was intended to propel it through the skies, guests can wander among motorcycles from the 1900s to the 1970s made by the likes of Harley-Davidson and BMW. A 1922 Henderson Deluxe motorcycle with a sidecar nestles among Klemm’s rides, as does a plethora of mini bikes and scooters, pinball machines, typewriters, classic Crosley radios, and other vintage collectibles.
While visiting the museum, guests can step away from the motorized amusements to commune with farm animals ranging from pygmy goats and emus to guinea hens and ducks. Kids can also run around a miniature hook-and-ladder Crosley fire engine before settling down at picnic facilities to munch on sandwiches.
In the open countryside of the town of Sparta stands a red-brick, 17,000-square-foot training facility. Inside are not the Greek warriors of legend but the sporting heroes of tomorrow, still growing into their uniforms. At DreamField Sports, developing athletes train year-round to unveil their inner champion. The facility houses a spacious, brightly lit indoor field that allows for air-conditioned versions of outdoor sports, including football, baseball, softball, and soccer. The enormous field also divides via retractable curtains or is lifted by a troop of dislocated circus strongmen to reveal polished hardwood basketball and volleyball courts. Away from the courts, waiting areas with flat-screen televisions let parents catch up on the local news when they're not looking in on the training sessions through large windows. Each session is led by a group of experienced coaches, many of whom lived former lives as professional athletes and some of whom train current professional and Olympic athletes. Not only do these gurus provide technical instruction, they also encourage positive attitudes and fair sportsmanship and instill the confidence necessary to enter the Indy 500 on roller skates.
Passersby that peer inside the windows of CKO Kickboxing won’t see treadmills, ellipticals, or stairclimbers. Instead, they’ll spot rows of heavy bags lurching backward and sideways from the force of participants’ kicks and right hooks. The kickboxing-focused gym doesn’t need excessive equipment or a catalog full of workout programs—the high-intensity fitness regimen of kickboxing is more than enough to shape up CKO members. Students of all levels reap the system’s multifaceted benefits, burning up to 1,200 calories per class, releasing stress, and developing a six-pack more realistically than drawing on their midsections with a marker.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.