Soft play areas on floors of bright, padded tile. A slide filled with rushing water. A vibrant palm tree, suspending bouncing balls striped in neon yellow, pink, and purple. These are just some of the 10 attractions at Yu Kids Island, a year-round playground that lets children play inside, keeping them away from the elements and from establishing Lego empires. For parents and players in need of refueling, a vibrant blue-and-green cafeteria serves Lavazza coffee and hot chocolate. Playground staffers also set up complete party packages with playground access and all materials included, eschewing the need to book performing clowns or ponies dressed as clowns.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game a phosphorescent update. Incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-light-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes.
Ballybunion Golf curates an approximately 340-yard range containing more than 60 practice tees to maximize days spent blowing off steam and rehearsing sending burdensome balls soaring. The area includes grass tees for those who like to stand on ground strands and heated stalls for golfing in the cold or unfreezing Brendan Fraser. A nearly 4,000-square-foot putting green, also on-site, allows patrons to hone their putting strokes in preparation for the big stage. Alternatively, the 18-hole Links of Ballybunion mini-golf course puts putters in contact with mini land-mass ridges and ardent obstacles before facing down the gauntlet of hounding media coverage.
LEVEL Fitness at the Arena gives exercisers a chance to custom-build their own workout and nutrition plan. Because coaches Kyle and Brett are experienced in a variety of wellness fields, including training and physical therapy, they can help clients reach a variety of goals: prepare for a fitness competition, recover from an injury, or prepare for a specific sport like football or full-body chess. Kyle and Brett are also help connect customers with the nutritional boosts that are right for them.
Organizing meet-and-greets with professional athletes, Sideline Marketing helps connect superstars with charities, major fans, and handwriting enthusiasts. Representing players with the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA alike, the agency has worked with such stars as Bo Jackson, Patrick Kane, Joakim Noah, and Kellen Davis. Through Sideline, these athletes?along with dozens more?have delivered inspiring speeches, sat for group photographs, and offered up their John Hancocks at memorabilia signings.
Sam Elias knows that being cooped up during long winter days can make people stir-crazy. So in 1993, after moving from Florida, land of palm trees and beaches, to Chicago, land of frigid winds and gray slush, he founded WhirlyBall as a way for people to release pent-up energy even as snow was falling outside. During each competitive WhirlyBall game, which combines aspects of basketball, hockey, and jai alai, players zoom across an indoor 50'x80' court in motorized cars called WhirlyBugs. They wield plastic scoops to toss a wiffle ball back and forth to their teammates before throwing the ball through an elevated goal. Refs keep watch during the games, eliminating score arguments that would otherwise end in sunrise duels. To fuel up for a bout, players nibble teriyaki chicken satay, gourmet pizzas, and prime rib, and swig draft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions such as video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey. The Vernon Hills location hosts an indoor rock-climbing wall, and both the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel Lasertron laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.