Booming top 40 hits echo throughout Just for Fun Roller Rink’s two vast arenas, amping up the entertainment as skaters glide and showcase moves in open-skate sessions and parties. The glittering of disco balls and the surreal glow of black lights transform the colored wheels of rental roller skates, speed skates, or roller blades into vibrant blurs as they spin across polished floors. While smooth movers hold hands and stack themselves into speedy human pyramids, video-game enthusiasts can get their fix at the arcade games along the side of the rink, and food enthusiasts can whet their palate with pizza, hot dogs, and snacks. Come Saturday night, the rink transforms into a live-music venue for local bands, and on holidays and special occasions such as New Year's Eve, Halloween, and Insomniac-Appreciation Day it puts on all-night celebrations.
New releases get an old-fashioned treatment at McHenry Outdoor Theater, a 1950s-style drive-in screening two back-to-back movies every night. With a special focus on family films, the starlit screen shines across comforts including a concession stand vending burgers, brats, pizza, and hot dogs, and a dog-friendly policy to ensure everyone has someone cuddly to grab during the scary parts. While the story unfolds on screen, the theater pumps the sound through complimentary radios, and approximately half the viewing spots are equipped with vintage speakers that complete the timeless slice of Americana. Besides new releases, which are regularly updated every two weeks, the theater might show anything from golden oldies to alternative comedies to classic blockbusters.
In 1848, dairy cows grazed on the 30 acres that now host the Volo Auto Museum’s five showrooms. The mooing of heifers has given way to the imaginary roar of 200 collector cars and 100 gleaming autos that once graced movie and television sets—including a Batmobile from the 1966 TV series, a Herbie from the latest movie, and one of the first General Lees. After ogling the television and movie collection, guests can wander among vintage and antique vehicles and reminisce about the days when we still had to go places in person.
Nearby, the military exhibit’s realistic scenery surrounds vehicles ranging from a WWII BMW motorcycle with sidecar to a 1967 Bell helicopter shot down in Vietnam. After examining older artillery and artifacts, visitors can gaze at cases holding items retrieved from Saddam Hussein’s palace and from captured Iraqi soldiers. Those below driving age can explore kids’ attractions, including SpongeBob’s boatmobile.
Guests traverse the vast showrooms on foot or via a 1915, Victorian-style trolley, free on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Trolley tours begin by exploring autos that used to be stabled by the rich and famous alongside their unicorns. They then venture into the old dairy farm’s 19th-century barn, where activity by Civil War ghosts has drawn investigators from the Discover Channel’s Ghost Lab. Before leaving, visitors can refuel with an Angus-beef patty at the Betty Boop Burger Bar and Beer Garden or drop into four antique malls.
As owner and head trainer of ThoroughQuest Acres, Dundee Bartlett has given form to her belief in using a patient, kind approach to produce a well-rounded rider. Her team of seasoned instructors shares her perspective, training riders as young as 5 in the hunter and jumper styles of riding with subtle incorporation of dressage principles to help build balance and suppleness. The facility, with its large outdoor arena and pair of indoor arenas, anchors the outfit’s 15 acres, granting students ample space to practice their form. Each lesson program begins with the basics, such as mounting and dismounting, before moving on to more advanced techniques, such as trotting, cantering, and dismounting with an aerial toe touch.
Featuring an abundance of indoor inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses, Monkey Joe's caters to energetic kids 12 years and younger regardless of the day's forecast. Today's Groupon lets an adult and their youngster swing by for a bout of supervised bouncing during any of the gym's open hours, which take place every day of the week. Adults always get in for free, but are asked not to jump on the play equipment unless they are watching a child four years or younger or just won bingo. Instead, accompanying elders can relax while monitoring little ones in Monkey Joe's amenity-laden parent nook, which features comfortable seating, free wireless Internet, and flat-screen televisions that never need you to wipe their noses. Kids three years and younger can scoot confidently about the super-soft surfaces of the separate Mini Monkey Zone. After battling through inflatable obstacle courses and contending with bouncy minotaurs, kids can scuttle over to the arcade to use their six tokens for games of skee-ball, basketball, or jump rope; most games require one token.
Owner and head instructor Netta Schleden harnesses her training at the British Horse Society to enhance horses and their riders alike. Eleven lesson horses hold riders aloft during safety-oriented riding lessons, while a team of sale horses allows riders to select their very own steed for engaging mounted police officers in high-speed chases. Equidream's boarding house lavishes steeds with twice-a-day feedings in clean and secure lodgings, with Dr. Norman Cornelius standing at the ready to wield veterinary services for ailing equines. The grounds' 2 acres of grass pasture are fit for blissful galloping, and 10’x12’ stalls allow ample space for horse yoga.
Krussell Stables takes its name from professional horse trainer Ray Krussell, a highly decorated teacher who has produced numerous Reserve World Champion and World Champion horses and riders. Ray’s teaching style promotes learning and responsibility and preaches safety as the top priority. As such, his private and semiprivate lessons for students of all ages and skill levels are held in the discipline of english saddle seat, a safe, traditional manner of riding. A 60’x192’ arena houses each session, which parents and guests of riders can observe from a viewing window in the customer center. The center also sports WiFi and DirectTV, and the arena ensures comfortable lessons throughout the year by staying heated in the winter.