Between the dark, black walls at The Lazer Maze, green beams of light stretch from one wall to another, striking anyone willing to venture through their neon labyrinth. Levels of difficulty vary as beginners and pros nimbly crouch, tumble, and Macarena over and under laser beams, trying to beat the best time. The staff also equips a 3000-square-foot party room with party lighting, music, fog, and bubbles for birthday parties and other social events.
Tucked away amongst the rippling hillsides of rural Harvard, Countryside Christmas sprawls before visitors a winter wonderland of snow-peppered pine trees, winding streams, and meticulously groomed trails. During 30-minute sleigh rides, a duo of belgian draft horses leads a custom-built, luxury sleigh across the picturesque province, where flawless drifts and snowmen playing chess captivate passersby. Guests wrap themselves in cozy warmers and woven blankets, stretching comfortably across the sleigh’s padded velvet seats while seasonal music drifts from speakers to inflate trips with an extra dose of holiday spirit. As the two-horse open sleigh glides gracefully across frosty terrain, snacks and belly-warming beverages such as hot chocolate, cider, and coffee sprinkle yuletide odysseys with homely comforts. Complimentary jingle bells also amplify the magical ambiance by summoning wild herds of antlered Frank Sinatras from the woods. While waiting to board their sleigh, travelers can admire Countryside Christmas’s nativity scene and light display or settle into the Cozy Corral Theatre to take in a holiday television special.
Multicolored holds dot the climbing walls inside North Wall, granting visitors a variety of gripping surfaces and seemingly limitless routes during their scaling expeditions. Since 1994, the rock-climbing haven has been beckoning climbing enthusiasts to its sprawling confines, where it offers classes and private lessons for climbers of all abilities. Participants can even join teams, in which they can boost their skills for competitions or leisurely scrambles up the noses on Mt. Rushmore.
The Gladiator Assault Challenge confronts racers with a 5- to 7-mile course surrounded by scenic woodlands, cheering spectators, and up to 30 intense obstacles. Gladiators aged 18 and older go solo or join forces with other competitors to ford the waist-high waters of Mud Mayhem, rope-swing through Jungle Love, and use oversize novelty scissors to break the finish tape. Additional obstacles test physical stamina with 12-foot vertical walls, fallen trees, and cargo nets that act as moats blocking the finish line. After the Slideway ushers racers to a skidding finish, a complimentary beer and raucous after party lend ample time to scrawl "wash me" on opponents' backs.
Helmed by the friendly Schwartzwald family since 1984, Discovery Day Camp imparts helpful life lessons, youthful camaraderie, and physical activities to otherwise-bored children during summer’s sunny reign. With sessions broken into height-appropriate three-legged race heats, Discovery offers programs for kids in preschool to first grade (three days/week), preschool to second grade (five days/week), and senior camp for third through sixth graders. Rates for four weeks of camp (up to $2,150) or eight weeks of camp (up to $4,100) vary based on age, extended day, and transportation options.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up sprawls over 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts mandating dessert for breakfast. The ascending wall of the Vertical Rush challenges climbers with a hump-shaped obstacle, and attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play and lectures on refinancing mortgages on treehouses or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms, complimentary invites, and a veritable stockpile of extras to customize the celebratory shenanigans.
The Geneva Park District encompasses 50 parks and 3,000 annual programs over its 700 acres. Stone Creek, a river-themed mini-golf course with a windmill, water wheel, creek with real running water, and a wishing well offer playful variations on the sport of kings, and is great for groups, parties, or picnics.