The roar of engines bounces off 20-foot ceilings as go-karts zip by at up to 42 miles per hour. The track winds through the 138,000-square-foot space as up to 14 racers compete in eight-minute sessions, their lap times recorded on projection screens for spectators to keep track of or use for their next lottery ticket. At Melrose Park Indoor Grand Prix, drivers first undergo a 15-minute safety briefing before racing, and afterward, go home with a boast-worthy printout of their lap times. Each of the facility's 37 single-seater carts is powered by eco-friendly propane gas and goes through regular rigorous testing to prevent malfunction or acquisition of an English accent.
Pump It Up's two indoor inflatable arenas bounce socked striplings high off the ground with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Trained, amiable staffers supervise fun-filled visits where parents can leap around with their kids through gargantuan, air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Attendees can also focus their free play for special events, such as custom birthday parties and themed, private team parties. These themed soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. Both giant arenas are climate controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by the well-trained staff and local police. Supplementing its thorough rule enforcement with expert installation and anchoring, Pump It Up holds itself to strict safety standards.
For their willingness to brave the winter waters of Lake Michigan, the hosts of NBC’s Today Show called the crew at Third Coast Surf Shop a “philosophical group of hardy souls.” The surfers have accepted their lot in life with cheer, working with what they have by pioneering the art of lake surfing. They’ve also shown up on the CBS's The Early Show, National Public Radio, and Newsweek in their effort to expose Midwesterners to surfing and paddleboarding and expound upon the advantages of the Great Lakes as a surfing venue. Along the sweeping shorelines, six quadrillion gallons of fresh water rise up in wind-generated waves, which are more manageable for beginners than the larger swells in the ocean and less likely to contain depressing submarines tangled in plastic bags. When not fitting patrons with paddleboards, the team of instructors leads camps, where young surfers find their sea legs, construct sand castles, and play soccer while building social skills.: