The designers of Funway Ultimate Entertainment Center built the interactive, 5-acre playground to give friends and family access to engaging activities any time of the year. During warmer months, kids and energetic adults transform into watery pinballs at the bumper boats and pilot speedy go-karts on a 700-foot outdoor course. Batting cages let guests knock the covers off balls and the rust off their swings, and soccer cages give footy fans the chance to test their kicking and trapping skills. Guests can also soak in rays while putting around a wagon-trail-themed mini-golf course sporting 16 tricky holes, and the trampoline-enhanced game of Jump Shot creates a whole new way to enjoy basketball. When the weather is not as favorable, guests can head to the indoor area at Funway, which is packed with a plethora of activities for family daycations, including a modern 20-lane bowling alley and an old-fashioned roller rink with a choice of quads or inline skates. Bumper cars provide a dry alternative to the wet-and-wild bumper boats, and Rock & Roll indoor mini golf glows under black lights. Rounding out the rollicking activities is the arcade, boasting more than 75 video games and pinball machines, along with the laser maze and hunger-quenching Big R Corner Bar.
Jessica Ferris can trace her interest in sailing back to her childhood in Chicago and northern Michigan, where she plied Lake Michigan's waters with her family. As she grew up, she expanded her boating territory to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As an adult, she brought her talents home to Chicago as an ASA-certified keelboat captain and the founder of Skyline Sailing School. Here, she passes on her seafaring knowledge in classroom courses that teach sailing principles such as basic terminology, rules of open-water travel, points of sail, knot tying, and choosing the right shoulder parrot. She also engages students with hands-on open-water classes aboard 26-foot keelboats, which begin with an exploration of basic sailing skills and progress to lessons in more advanced maneuvers.
Like at a medieval fortress, a two-story structure made of wood and stone towers over a pool of water. And like the garbage chute that empties into the open mouth of a moat's crocodile, two diving platforms and a water slide deposit swimmers into the main pool at Batavia Park District's Harold Hall Quarry Beach—a 60,000-square-foot swimming hole chiseled into a former stone quarry. Though visitors can always brave the free falls, a zero-depth edge allows for a more leisurely entrance into the water, where guests of all ages swim laps in the lanes, practice slam-dunking on one another under the basketball hoop, or pull themselves onto a wooden island to sunbathe. On the shore, landlubbers can relax at the picnic area or head to the beach-volleyball court to prevent lobstermen from stealing the net.
At Initial TKD Martial Arts, Ms. Ke and Mr. D.—third-degree black-belt instructors and winners of the 2009 Illinois State Championship in Forms—combine 26 years of experience to foster strength and increased self-confidence in students aged 4 and older through tae kwon do practices. The duo operates under the philosophy that students flourish best in an atmosphere without pressure, and in order to foster a stress-free environment, the instructors personalize lessons to fit individual pupils’ needs. Natural light bathes the hardwood floors within the studio, and an area dedicated to viewers allows parents or guardians to watch their child, spouse, or ambitious pet kangaroo ascend through the dojo’s colored-belt system.
A well-loved wooden bar dominates O'Brien's Pub & Grill's interior, but it isn't the only place to comfortably lounge. An outdoor patio takes advantage of Chicago's temperate summers by providing a breezy venue for diners to enjoy one of the many sandwiches named after an O'Brien family member. The views of downtown Batavia's well-preserved historic district remind patrons of another era, before the invention of cell phones or noisy children. Inside, murals of happy drinkers in green getups frolic across the walls above the wood paneling.