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.
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.
Youngsters clamor over air-filled merry-go-rounds, obstacle courses, and slides inside FunFlatables' indoor play arenas. Dyer's 12,00-square-foot facility houses giant aquariums, pirate ships, and 19-foot slides. Each bounce facility keeps toddlers from getting underfoot in dedicated Totland play spaces, complete with musical toys, miniature slides, and foam-covered floors.
Since 1995, the staff at Classic Bodyworks 24 Hour Gym & Fitness has kept the family-owned fitness studio in pristine condition?and now, it's accessible to members at any hour, day or night. Long lines of ellipticals and treadmills await inside, in addition to a variety of free-weights, machines, and little notes hidden here and there that simply read, "Flex." A number of group aerobics classes are also available to members in the airy studio. Personal trainers are frequently on-hand to work with visitors and help reach fitness or weight-loss goals.
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.