On Zao Island's two 18-hole mini-golf courses, players will encounter more than 20 fountains, 10 waterfalls, and several suspended bridges. But by the last hole, all they'll remember is the 30-foot, three-story mountain looming over the course and the mighty dragon that perches atop it. While the mythical winged beast stands guard over Zao Island, 45 real alligators occupy its waters, waiting for visitors to feed them with one of the gator exhibit's poles. The island's jungle-themed, black-lit laser-tag arena is devoid of strange creatures, however—save for droves of laser-armed humans.
While players dodge lasers, slow pitches and fastballs whiz by inside Zao Island's batting cages. Speed is also the name of the game on the park's 1,100-foot-long go-kart track, whose twists and turns stretch across a wooden high rise. Inflatable slides, bounce houses, and a massive arcade complete with redemption prizes round out the fun center's potpourri of attractions. To reenergize after long days of play, visitors can gather at Colada's Pizza for a celebratory slice.
Housed inside of an airplane-hanger-like building with a high, A-frame ceiling, Chicagoland Paintball's battleground yields paintballing matches during all seasons. The center suits up players in rental gear before sending them onto the green turf floor to navigate mammoth inflatable X- and barrel-shaped obstacles. After the paint clouds clear, teams can agree to an armistice as they nosh on pepperoni pizzas and slurp down slushies at the onsite snack bar. And in the adjoining lounge, they recharge and recover with free WiFi and cable TV, plus nearby shower facilities that promote cleaner car rides home.
Entertainment at the Crete Family Fun Center includes a Cannonball Wars arena, in which teams fire foam balls into the opposing crew’s net. Players work up a sweat while dodging focused light in an indoor laser-tag arena or playing classic and modern games in the arcade, and bumper cars provide catharsis for overworked driving instructors. Crete’s onsite restaurant dishes up treats such as pizzas, hot dogs, and burgers.
Go-karts roar across the racetrack, bumper boats collide, and the cracking sound of confined home runs rings out from batting cages. This multisensory symphony fills the landscaped grounds of Fun Time Square, where attraction after attraction beckons visitors of all ages to kiddie train rides, 18 holes of mini golf, and the blinking lights of pinball machines in the onsite arcade. More intense thrills unfold at a paintball field, where abandoned cars, inflated cover, and war-torn art teachers guard players from enemy paint.
For 50 years, Mont Clare Lanes & Banquets has been dismantling boredom with competitive 10-pin games and dismissing hunger with an onsite restaurant. The bowling center houses 32 lanes equipped with a slew of modern conveniences, such as automatic scoring machines, two video screens, and an electric fence at each fowl line. Themed event nights are peppered throughout the week, such as Cosmic Bowling night, in which lanes bathe in the glow of darkened light waves as glow-in-the-dark balls spin to the beats of a live DJ. A full-service restaurant and bar pleases palates with eats ranging from wings to house-made pizzas alongside sudsy brews, and an adjoining banquet room plays host to corporate events, birthday parties, and jubilant Groundhog Day celebrations.