The sudden clatter of a billiards break. The quick shuffling of cards. A pinball machine's clanging bells. All can be heard at The Velvet Rail, where everything from regulation-size felt-topped tables to foosball and air hockey keep patrons of all ages entertained. As a digital jukebox pumps out tunes, snacks such as hot dogs, nachos, and hummus fuel games of snooker or pool, and free WiFi allows players to post online personal ads for "eight ball seeks corner pocket."
A small family-run European circus, a Dutch unicycling school, various roofs—these are just a few of the places where Cirque Amongus' staff of performers has been known to hang out. Through hands-on programs, teachers enrich students' sense of teamwork, motor skills, and self-esteem by teaching them circus-arts fundamentals, which they'll use to dazzle friends and families in performances. Voted one of the top places to host a child's birthday party in Michigan by eHow, Cirque Amongus lets kids sample acrobatics at birthday parties, perfect juggling routines at afterschool sessions, and run the mile in clown shoes during school visits. Children can also practice unicycling at drop-in workshops, or test out new magic tricks at open-stage nights.
• For $16, you get two dinner-and-a-show packages for a Wednesday performance (a $32 value). • For $20, you get two dinner-and-a-show packages for a Thursday performance (a $40 value). • For $27, you get two dinner-and-a-show packages for a Friday or Saturday performance (a $54 value).
Foam-topped pints of beer complement Timberwolf Tavern's menu of hearty pub food. Housemade bread and tortilla chips scoop up the kitchen's specialty cheese dip of the month—also the name of the award for Wisconsin's best swimmer—and vegetables join a blend of Mexican cheeses inside quesadillas. Timberwolf also makes crispy chicken strips that can be dipped in ranch and barbecue sauces. Buffalo wings, alternatively, can be dipped in six sauces, such as hickory, honey, and a five-alarm sauce.
Fun and flavor go hand-in-hand at Electric Stick, a bar that’s one part casual pool hall and one part restaurant. A fireplace warms the restaurant section, where servers deliver Italian and American fare such as burgers, pizzas, and pasta. Nearby, six pool tables host games of billiards, 17 televisions broadcast sports, and video games host rounds of virtual golf or darts. In addition, regular charity poker games let patrons showcase their Texas hold'em skills and collection of intimidating sunglasses while raising money for a worthy cause. :m]]
The gastro alchemists running Bumpers Bar and Grill cleverly mix their massive menu and full bar with live music and a nightclub atmosphere to create unforgettable evenings, even if the specifics are a bit fuzzy. The kitchen turns out a slew of pub-fare staples with Bumpers flair, such as burgers layered alternately with mushrooms and melted swiss ($6.75) or Five Alarm patties topped with pepper jack, jalapeños, hot sauce, and two heat-activated motion detectors ($6.50). Twelve-inch pizzas and calzones ($5.50 each) make an idea meal for sharing or smuggling pepperoni across state lines, respectively, and snackers looking for a light but filling bite can daintily devour mini tacos ($4.25), breaded mushrooms ($4.75), and loaded potato skins ($5.50) with a choice of dressing.