Intrepid guests descend upon the four eerie haunted houses at Nights of Fear, voted the area's scariest venue by the Grand Rapids Press, boldly making their way through 80,000 square feet of terrifying spirits, lunatics, and extraterrestrials. Groups grasping through the Brainfield Sanitarium navigate decrepit hallways inhabited by deranged maniacs, and Rusty's Revenge traps patrons in a warehouse lab of sinister experiments, testing innocent subjects on the periodic table of elements. For terror with added depth, customers can tiptoe throughout the 3-D Maniac Mansion, where countless spirits patrol Victorian furnishings, or brave otherworldly fiends in Contact: Alien Encounter in 3-D, which is the site of a mysterious aircraft crash.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Centennial Fitness members can stop by the 18,000-square-foot facility for a workout tailored to their individual needs. Across five different training rooms, free weights and Hammer Strength equipment tone physiques, while the gentle whir of cardio machines signifies the rapid burning of calories. Certified personal trainers customize workouts, and instructors lead groups through kickboxing and zumba classes. The center’s sauna and steam room lull muscles into a state of relaxation, while an on-site daycare takes away the stress of finding a babysitter.
Since opening in 1930, Kent County Conservation League has sheltered shooting fields and courses dispersed among more than 170 acres of wooded and open land. Sharpshooters of all experience levels can mill about a sporting clay course's 13 shooting stations as they shatter targets flung from abundant angles or nestle into a five-stand course's covered range before eliminating 25 clays. The League's rifle range distributes targets at intervals between 50 and 300 yards and their pistol range remains lit for nighttime sessions. As they draw back a tightly strung bow on the archery course, patrons can finally live out their childhood Robin Hood fantasies without donning green tights in an effort to frighten neighborhood kings.
Certified instructor Tim Wiley gives pupils the benefit of more than 15 years' skeet shooting experience during group or private lessons on five fields huddled behind Kent County Conservation League's clubhouse. Visitors can find additional instruction at defensive shooting sessions or a shooting program for youngsters that covers trap, sporting clays, and skeet. Delectable bites await famished gunslingers at Shooter's Grill, and a pro shop equips patrons with gun-toting apparel and silver bullets for clays that transform into werewolves. Kent County Conservation League hosts private and public events annually, and their grounds have welcomed major shooting outings such as the 2010 Michigan Sporting Clays Championship.
Riverview Athletic Club gets hearts pumping inside an expansive facility that includes fitness studios, a cardio theater, and court space for tennis, basketball, and volleyball. A schedule of nearly 40 weekly classes offers such high-energy sessions as Zumba and cycling, as well as muscle-toning Pilates and boot-camp workouts. Parents can drop off tykes in the Kids Zone while they exercise or indulge in a massage to release pent-up stress incurred from being in charge of children.
Rick the Reptile Guy, the resident reptile connoisseur of Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, guides visitors through interactive reptile shows followed by tractor rides through the rest of the park’s sweeping expanse. During each private 45-minute reptile show, guests can pet and cavort with slithering wonders such as giant pythons, boa constrictors, and bodybuilding earthworms. Giant turtles and life forms of the crocodilian variety also preen for audiences. Outside the boundaries of the cold-blooded extravaganza, visitors can relax on a tractor ride through 80 acres of exotic creatures such as zebras, monkeys, and parrots that have retired from their careers as extremely blunt telemarketers. Groupon customers can bring additional guests to their private reptile show for an additional fee of $8 per person (the cost of park admission).
The Acorn Grille at Thousand Oaks Golf Club melds a variety of upscale dishes with wines and attentive service. The chefs and staff train their eyes on the details, whether manicuring platings or refining in-house recipes. Seafood options such as perch and scallops swim alongside aioli and pilaf, and pastas dress up veggies and proteins with bowties or tortellini pocket squares. Tender grilled or slow-cooked cuts of meat, including beef tenderloin and prime rib, incorporate robust ingredients including smoked gouda, garlic, and chipotle. The dining room sports high-gloss wooden tables, while the outdoor patio overlooks rolling acres of green hills, 100-year-old oak trees, and herds of golf balls that roam the 425-acre golf course.
Drenched 5K events soak participants in the name of good health, good fun, and raising money for local charities. Runners of all makes and models can skip monthly jogs through the neighborhood car wash to converge on 5-kilometer courses, which start out dry, but quickly become lively fetes fueled by H2O. Along the routes misters, sprinklers, and fire hoses activate as groups pass by. Spectators also do their worst, launching water balloons and spraying water weapons at runners from the sidelines. A final 75-foot water slide sends runners gliding across the finish line, where a festival stocked with refreshments, live entertainment, and other water-related activities greets them.