For more than 50 years, the monks of Marmion Abbey have tended 300 acres of farmland. They started with Christmas trees, and now maintain 120 acres of pines, spruces, and firs that smell exactly like car freshener. On the remaining acres, they tend pumpkin vines and corn mazes, interspersing these areas with scenic picnic groves.
Throughout the year, the monks open their land to the public. In the autumn, they host Pumpkin Daze, a harvest festival with tractor wagon rides and a petting zoo. Around mid-November, they grant access to their tree farm, supplying visitors with rental saws for you-cut trees and bellowing "Timber!" just like Paul Bunyan did when he fell into bed at night. The monks stock their farm store with handcrafted goods that complement the season, whether caramel apples in the fall or quilts in the winter.
As part of its efforts to change negative perceptions and boost physical fitness and self-esteem, Special Olympics Illinois offers year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Continued opportunities to participate in Olympic-type sports, such as gymnastics and soccer, help these athletes experience personal growth and friendship as they share their skills with families, other Special Olympics athletes, and their community.
Throughout Illinois today, more than 21,000 adults and more than 11,000 young adults with intellectual disabilities train and compete through Special Olympics.
DMZ Tactical—which operates out of Homer Glen—boasts an outdoor shooting range that allots ample space for tactical-training courses. Instructors—many of whom tout military and law-enforcement backgrounds––offer classes that range from tactical pistol fundamentals to advanced firearms manipulation. The classes promote safety and survival by teaching students to use firearms in a responsible, effective manner. To ensure students’ safety, DMZ Tactical upholds a 1:1 safety-officer-to-student ratio.
It was love at first sight between antique dealer Chuck Springob and a bench he found at the Third Sunday Market in Bloomington. But as the Daily Herald reports, it also turned out to be love at first sight between Chuck and the bench’s owner, Mary. Now married, the Springobs furnish their five-bedroom two-story home with antiques from their combined eight storage units; the remaining stock fills their backyard barn.
Along with fellow enthusiast Maureen Little, the couple shares its passion for antiques with Sunday at Sandwich Antiques, held at the Sandwich Fairgrounds. From May to October, dealers from four states gather one Sunday each month to sell their collectibles and crafts at an all-day festival with food and free parking.
A sizeable beer list keeps the party going at Stone City Saloon, a sports bar and grill with regular karaoke nights and an outdoor patio for bags-tossing. The kitchen cooks up classic pub food, including a signature spinach artichoke dip, wings, burgers, and sandwiches, while bartenders pour tap brews from makers such as Dogfish Head, Bell's, Revolution, and Three Floyds. Eight- and nine-ball pool leagues gather around the felt several times a week.
Seven extreme athletes and one Royal Marine banded together to design Spartan Races' intense miles-long courses, each strewn with obstacles to test resilience, stamina, and strength. Clad in event T-shirts, runners collect smudges and stains as they clamber across mud pits, slide unscathed under barbed wire, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as three miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.