Briarstone Riding Academy’s Jena Larsen went “horse crazy,” as she puts it, around age 10—when she took her first horseback-riding lesson. She quickly developed her riding skill, competing in shows and eventually even training other riders. Now at Briarstone, which she opened nearly a decade ago, she brings that expertise to horseback-riding lessons, focusing not only on flawless showmanship, but also responsible horsemanship, sportsmanship, and fun.
Pairs cruise around The Ridge Golf Course's scenic tree-lined fairways in a four-wheeled conveyance, trying their hand at the par 3 through par 5 holes while carefully avoiding hazards. Located on the site of an old farm, the 18-hole playground provides a vintage, homey backdrop to four hours of meandering play. After finishing tee-projectile sessions, duos can refuel stomach supplies with a $10 credit at the Log Cabin Restaurant. Set inside a 240-year-old wooden dwelling, the eatery serves up homestyle cooking to links-rambling souls in need of a good meal to celebrate accidentally hitting that defunct Soviet satellite.
Interactive bumper cars, 80 arcade games, and the tubes, tunnels, and slides of a soft playground all nestle within the 12,000-square-foot Swing-a-Round Fun Town facility in Fenton. Outside, waterfalls and fountains surround three professionally designed outdoor mini golf courses, and a mammoth pond accommodates 15 colliding bumper boats. The fun continues at the kiddie kart track for youngsters 3?8 years old or the more than 1,100-foot adult track, where kids can join a parent in a double-seat go-kart whose second steering wheel allows tykes to pretend drive and practice ignoring hitchhikers. Elsewhere, nine batting cages test players' homerun hitting skills with softball slow and fast pitches or baseballs flung at 35?80 mph. Swing-a-Round Fun Town's St. Charles location hosts nine batting cages as well, plus two 18-hole miniature golf courses and an arcade.
The multitalented team of instructors, which includes trainers certified in Agatsu Kettlebell and Commando Krav Maga, helps to strengthen hearts, bodies, and minds during self-defense, fitness, and fight courses. Instructors lead beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of kettlebell fitness, a class that incorporates fundamental swings, cleans, snatches, and Turkish getups to simultaneously work several muscle groups at once.
The team also helps to build endurance by leading participants through Latin dance steps in Zumba and through a tapestry of kicks and punches in cardio kickboxing. Additionally, trainers helm courses in krav maga, a form of martial arts designed to increase confidence, protection, and Bruce Lee comparisons. Following a functional warm-up, instructors run through drills to teach students how to escape from chokes and disarm an opponent using lighting-quick pressure and weakness-point attacks.
At three years old, most kids are just beginning to learn how to get along with one another and form sentences. But in the Lil' Dragons program at Kelly's Championship Martial Arts, they building a foundation—one of integrity, self-control, and discipline. These are just some of the driving forces behind each of the facility's curriculum, including martial arts programs for teens and MMA training for adults. More than just fighting techniques, Kelly's equips students with skills to succeed in their everyday life or lives where they have to save the Speaker of the House from aliens. It’s a theme that carries into fitness classes, too, including daily sessions of kickboxing, cage fitness, bootcamp, and boxing.
More than a century ago, the architects of The Lemp Brewery complex faced a problem: how should they keep their beer cold? Refrigerators weren't yet around, and it'd be too difficult to tow an iceberg down from the Arctic. Their solution: going 100 feet underground, where old caves were naturally cool... or so they thought. In fact, the chilly air here wasn't caused by lack of sunlight?it was the result of an ancient curse. Today, visitors can still tour the subterranean brewery, now appropriately known as the Abyss. It's hardly abandoned. Around every turn waits a new monster, none of whom are friendly enough to offer any complimentary growlers.
The Abyss is just one of Scarefest's three chilling destinations. Creepyworld houses 12 attractions, including a series of mazes filled with everything from burning cars to ravenous zombies. In another part of town, a haunted house known as The Darkness plunges visitors into a world of terror. In its two-decade history, the haunted house has even shown up on national TV, which is not too bad a gig for a place infested by deranged clowns.