Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
Located a mere robin's hop from Chicago, Griffith Aviation flight school invites sky-goers to take the controls of a Piper Warrior and soar through the wide open skies of northern Indiana. The Discovery flight kicks off with a preflight inspection, during which pupil and certified flight instructor alike go through a startup checklist to make sure the craft is ready to be airborne without having to ask a cloud for a piggyback ride. After takeoff, students will spend 30–45 minutes in the air slicing through the big blue, taking in aerial views of Crown Point and Cedar Lake, and learning maneuvers including turning, climbing, and descending. The experienced instructor will safely return the plane to the runway, and then host a Q&A session in which students gather answers to such questions as “How long does it take to get an airplane license?” or “How many living sparrows can you fit into the pockets of your pants?"
Bravo hits the road with reality-television powerhouses, delivering an interactive Real Housewives gathering at the Horseshoe Casino’s spacious venue. Four Real Housewives from four cities—Sonja from New York City, Gretchen from Orange County, Kathy from New Jersey, and Phaedra from Atlanta—discuss their most talked about on-screen moments, answer audience questions, and share cast secrets, such as pressing gossip and gym-locker combinations. Orchestra seats place reality-television junkies in the middle of the venue and the VIP-ticket seats guests in the first 10 rows. In addition to up-close viewing, the VIP ticket includes an exclusive reception hosted by The Real Housewives with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a separate red-carpet entrance to the venue, and a limited-edition tour laminate with matching lanyard. Attendees must be over 21 or a master of fake mustaches to participate in the Red Carpet package.
At Yoga by Gretchen, students from all walks of life find inspiration to foster their personal growth, physical fitness, and mental clarity. Gretchen and her team of instructors lead up to 25 students in yoga classes based in the Hatha and Vinyasa traditions, accommodating a variety of needs and goals. Beginner classes introduce students to yoga basics, Booty Ab yoga provides a more traditional fitness-class routine to tone bodies, and vigorous Vinyasa flow classes strengthen and stretch muscles with a series of challenging postures connected by focused breaths. In addition to yoga, the instructors also lead Pilates, Zumba, and kickboxing/boxing classes, in which ladies learn self-defense techniques to protect themselves from punching-bag assailants. Kids are welcome in the studio as well, laying the foundation for a lifetime of wellness with kids Zumba, hip-hop, and teen yoga.
During the Gary SouthShore RailCats' inaugural season in 2002, the players spent an estimated 200 hours on buses—traveling approximately 12,000 miles without their own ballpark to call home. Indeed, the diamond at U.S. Steel Yard was still under construction, forcing the team to play its entire first season on the road. But while the trip could have been a rocky way for an organization to start out, it instead forecasted a wild ride ahead in which the RailCats never stopped moving. After just four years, the RailCats captured their first Northern League title, marking the first of five straight appearances in the championship series—a Northern League record.
Despite that first year away from home, the RailCats seem to have settled in well at U.S. Steel Yard. Within the park, views of the South Shore commuter train remind fans of the team's origins, and a 55-foot scoreboard towers over left-centerfield in much the same way early pitchers once towered over batters from atop a stack of milk crates.
Many families gather for holidays, weddings, and other special events. The Kambouris and Zaronias clans also convene to celebrate Greek and American cuisine at Maxim's Restaurant, their eatery, cocktail lounge, and catering service. Their lunch and dinner menu brims with hearty comfort food such as homemade soup, roast turkey with dressing, shish kebobs, and more than a dozen types of pasta dishes. Tivoli pizzas, one of the kitchen's specialties, can be ordered Greek-style with gyro meat and feta cheese or American-style with hamburger or barbecued pork. From 6 a.m. to midnight, the cooks also prepare homestyle breakfasts, including omelets, biscuits and gravy, and crepes with fruit or chocolate chips. In the lounge and sports bar, mixologists pour domestic drafts and craft colorful cocktails such as bloody marys and Maxim's fruit punch. The space also hosts toga parties teeming with ouzo shots, bottled beers, and music from a live DJ.
A smattering of 20 sauces and seasonings dripping from handspun wings coats patrons' fingers as they cheer on their favorite professional sports teams broadcast on Buffalo Wild Wings' TVs. Eyes are torn between watching teams dribble a ball, shoot a puck, and land a grand jeté, and plates of plentiful wings, burgers, wraps, salads, and ribs. For more entertainment, trivia games exercise brains, and the Blazin' Challenge offers recognition for those brave enough to down a dozen wings slathered in the eatery's hottest sauce in 6 minutes.