Who said golf was a rich man's game? We didn't. It was a filthy, lying cyber-bully. You know which one we're talking about, the one with perfectly quaffed hair, a button-less future shirt, and a smug grin taunting you—almost daring you—to challenge him to an enunciation contest (he has never lost). But don't be intimidated by the way his eyes twinkle under the Canadian moonlight or how he stands on water as if he were Moses, he's incredibly self-conscious of his inability to inflect.
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Family fun and education
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Featuring 85 sessions in English and Spanish put on by more than 75 presenters and entertainers, including Radio Disney performers, author Heidi Murkoff, and nationally recognized pediatricians such as Dr. Joseph Wright, Healthy Children Conference + Expo entertains every member of the family. More than that, though, the organizers work to educate families about kids' health. The two-day expo, produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, features a truly diverse array of presentations focused on newborn care, bullying, fitness, and breastfeeding and parenting to allergies. When the panels and educational sessions conclude, visitors can then head to interactive pavilions and ample vendor booths to learn more about keeping kids healthy or to pick up fitness tips from Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel.
BADASS Dash?s organizers live in a world of imagination. Where others see cargo nets, they see giant webs to be scaled. School buses become climbing walls and bales of hay turn into tunnels filled with grass and mud. In city after city, they place 30+ of these obstacles along a 7-kilometer course, and invite individuals and teams to compete against each other in elite matches, or beat their personal best in recreational races. Afterward, the organizers throw a celebratory bash filled with bonfires, food, and prizes for top finishers. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the charity Autism Speaks.
Each week in a different city, the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows celebrate the world of motorsports with stunt sessions and a collection of flashy MotoGP bikes, motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs. While celebrating the glamorous side of motorsports, the event’s roots remain tied to a do-it-yourself spirit, as evidenced by seminars helmed by motorsports experts on topics such as the science of suspension and the mechanics of making a really loud vroom noise with your lips. The shows also feature a selection of gear and accessories, a custom bike show, and competitions.
At any moment, visitors to Wilderness Falls might run into the resident moose. He isn’t grazing: Maddux the Moose, the family fun center’s fuzzy mascot, spends his time playing its two 18-hole, outdoor mini-golf courses and accepting high-fives and hugs from enthusiastic guests. Maddux isn’t the only fixture that may make guests feel as though they’ve wandered into the woods¬; the two mini-golf courses are pretty rugged themselves. The Bear Course, which hosts the annual Chicago Mini-Golf Championship, leads putters past a 35-foot waterfall, into a dark cave, and across creaking wooden walkways, just like the race all of Harrison Ford’s clones run to determine which one will get to play Indiana Jones. Alternatively, the Eagle Course leads players around winding rivers and on a climb to the top of a 40-foot mountain of rock.
Of course, it’s not all roughing it. In the middle of the greens sits the tented arena that holds Wilderness Falls’ batting cages, including six baseball cages and three softball cages. An arcade lights up the indoor space with the glowing screens of video games, and party rooms hold birthday and team celebrations.
Parent-chaperoned youngsters take their first, wobbling steps on ice skates while the hockey stars they may one day become whiz around the rink, perfecting their technique. Skaters of all skill levels practice side by side during open skates at Rocket Ice Arena. Their nonskating supporters can look on from the Lake Placid Lodge, sipping drinks from the onsite café and using the lodge’s free Wi-Fi to check an app that tells them whether their glass is half empty or half full.
Home to the Sabres Youth Hockey Club, the rink also offers instruction in icebound sports. Their hockey instructors can introduce novices to the sport or train more experienced skaters how to compete on high-resistance synthetic ice. A separate team of instructors specializes in figure skating and synchronized skating, which is the art of synchronizing your feet to go in a single direction. Youngsters can also explore the rink during skate parties, which come with an on-ice instructor, decorations, and balloons.