Faces literally glow at Gamer Realm. That’s because they’re in front of luminescent screens playing more than a dozen PC and Xbox games such as Halo 4, FIFA 13, and World of Warcraft. The crew there also hosts LAN parties and tournaments for games such as StarCraft II, pitting seasoned and novice RTS player against each other and awarding prizes to winners.
Under strings of lanterns and the night's canopy of stars, kids scamper through a field filled with thousands of pumpkins, each one searching for the biggest, roundest one. Finding it is one thing; lifting it is another. The bountiful Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm began a bit by happenstance?the owners originally began selling pumpkins out of the back of their pickup and steadily added on amusements as more people came each year. More than 30 years later, the one-month harvest festival sets up each October with attractions ranging from pony rides to puppet shows. As they explore the area amid bales of hay, teepees, character cutouts, and other props, kids can feed baby goats and sheep at the petting zoo or sit on an authentic tractor from 1932. Once guests have procured the perfect pumpkin to carve into the likeness of their favorite monster, they can get their picture taken with Pumpkin Jack, hop on rides such as the Goliath Slide or Pumpkin City Express Train, or visit Gone Fishing, Knock 'Em Down, and other game booths.
Cherylin Von Aldenbruck has no treadmills or weights at her outdoor "gym." The equipment is leather instead of lead, and your workout partner isn't a beefy personal trainer—it's a horse. After realizing that sitting atop a horse requires muscles to continually stabilize and balance the body, Cherylin founded Equestricise as an alternative fitness venue for anyone who's curious about horseback-riding. Each of her lessons now serve as a strengthening workout for the core and limbs.
Cherylin and her team of certified instructors aren't only concerned with toning physiques, though. They also teach groups how to care for the horses, tack, and stables. Classes cover disciplines from basic equitation to hunt seat skills, and accommodate riders of all experience levels, from beginners to those who can steer a horse blindfolded, even when the horse is also blindfolded.