Sam Elias knows that being cooped up during long winter days can make people stir-crazy. So in 1993, after moving from Florida, land of palm trees and beaches, to Chicago, land of frigid winds and gray slush, he founded WhirlyBall as a way for people to release pent-up energy even as snow was falling outside. During each competitive WhirlyBall game, which combines aspects of basketball, hockey, and jai alai, players zoom across an indoor 50'x80' court in motorized cars called WhirlyBugs. They wield plastic scoops to toss a wiffle ball back and forth to their teammates before throwing the ball through an elevated goal. Refs keep watch during the games, eliminating score arguments that would otherwise end in sunrise duels. To fuel up for a bout, players nibble teriyaki chicken satay, gourmet pizzas, and prime rib, and swig draft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions such as video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey. The Vernon Hills location hosts an indoor rock-climbing wall, and both the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel Lasertron laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.
A full 18-hole course couldn't fit inside the windowed storefront or Golfer's Edge, a transporter of sorts does. The pro shop and practice facility's TruGolf simulator displays realistic images of famous courses from across the world on a large screen. Players can perfect swings on a simulated driving range or play a round on the famed Pebble Beach without having to travel, pay greens fees, or try to smuggle the famed pebbles out in their golf shoes. A simulator session can also help determine a player's correct measurements, such as loft and lie angle, for clubs purchased in the on-site pro shop.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray has upheld since 1912. Students dance with a partner, or the instructor, who provides a greater understanding of the dance style of their choosing with either method. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in a cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close; rumba moves and swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to one’s repertoire. Arthur Murray Dance Centers provide a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons superbly suited to slicing and dicing a rug until it is no longer recognizable.
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.
Article 2 Gun Range is an eight-range shop staffed by expert NRA-certified marksmen. They teach courses ranging from the basics of firearm handling to advanced pistol or NRA-qualification lessons. They also host quickshot tournaments, which challenge shooters to blast targets as fast as they can. Additionally, every Tuesday night, the range is the site of a zombie apocalypse, during which shooters purchase and take aim at gray-faced zombie targets filled with fake blood.
After the lecture portion of each lesson, instructors and students travel to a nearby range for live-fire instruction.
While many use their own firearms, instructors can also supply a practice firearm such as a .22 during training.
The instructors at Law Weapons & Supply believe knowledge is as vital to responsible firearm handling as attitude and technical knowhow. That's why each of their classes, which range from basic pistol training to women-only classes that focus on self-defense, teaches beginner through advanced shooters with a combination of classroom and live-fire instruction. Beyond the training facilities, Law Weapons & Supply extends to a pro shop with a Full-Service Gun-Smith on the premisses.