Wind whistles and engines roar as custom go-karts zip around Jet Karting's outdoor race track at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Rented – along with all necessary safety equipment – to guests of all experience levels, the low-riding vehicles cruise the course in 15-minute bouts, during which up to 15 riders race each other. Speed School classes tailored to three different age groups prep more experienced racers to take laps in powerful spec racers and Rotax karts. The staff recommends guests bring long pants, close-toed shoes, and a desire to move quickly while basically in the fetal position.
Costumed actors hide inside Heaps Haunted Corn Maze, ready to scare all those who dare enter. Alternatively, the flashlight maze is completely unhaunted and challenges visitors instead with a series of dead ends, switchbacks, and branching paths that they must navigate armed only with a flashlight. After walking through the maze of their choice, guests can unwind during a half-hour moonlight tractor ride, staying in the mood by singing the Scooby-Doo theme song under their breath.
River Heights Golf Course amalgamates traditional and links-style holes for a challenging, varied game enhanced by the Kishwaukee River’s scenic backdrop. Duffer duos and dulcet barbershop quartets dart across the par 72 course in speedy motorized carts, encountering shallow greens, long pars, water hazards, and river bridges built by visit-hungry grandmothers. Many holes are hugged by curvaceous river waters, lending cool breezes to the shady course. Players must take into account the strength of the wind, perilous bunker positions, and unsolicited advice from overeager golf clubs in order to deliver balls to their destination. After matches, golfers can relax at the clubhouse, with a wraparound porch and full bar that beckon to players with promises of relaxation and refreshment.
The equine experts at AZ Acres squire steed bestriders of all abilities during hands-on one-hour lessons. Classes are capped at four students to ensure individualized attention and to cultivate an intimate learning environment that doesn't call attention to the fact that horses can't count to five. Form your own Lone Ranger-Tonto diametric in a two-person saddle-straddling session, or perform mathematically problematic reenactments of scenes from The Magnificent Seven in a four-person outing. For both options, sessions last about one hour, which includes 15 minutes of grooming and tacking oat-powered vehicles before riders toe the stirrups on a 45-minute cruise. With expertise in a variety of riding styles, instructors help pupils build skills and forge centaur-like bonds between their human selves and the horse world without the expense of gene-splicing.
Huddled within a 20,000-square-foot facility, Bounce Town's private and semiprivate play arenas encourage sock-clad youngsters to bound, glide, and frolic atop abundant inflatables. Air-filled mazes and 50-foot obstacle courses challenge participants to traverse hurdles and twists, while frog- and Batman-themed bounce houses accommodate leaping youths. Kids who have conquered their brief bounds into midair and gained an understanding of how physics works can also find new challenges scaling the rock-climbing wall. When gathering a group for play time or birthdays, throw parties overseen by personal attendants or bring the celebration home with a bounce-house rental or a Bounce Town photo-booth rental.
Since the first fairway drive in 1923, players at Sycamore Golf Club have sent their golf balls cruising down tree-lined chutes blanketed in pristine bentgrass in effort to conquer the course par of 71. The 18-hole course straddles the Kishwaukee River and extends to a total length of 5,817 yards from the back tees and 5,302 yards from the front tees. A meticulous maintenance team keeps the course in excellent condition, meaning golfers will rarely have to hit out of fairway divots or find their golf ball running away with vagabond gangs of crabgrass tumbleweeds.
Course at a Glance: