Winner of the People’s Choice Award for best haunted house two years in a row from readers of Chicago Haunted House, Disturbia Torment of Fears sets spines to tingle with an arsenal of creepy attractions. Guests equipped with a V.I.P. speed pass skip to the front of the waiting line, receiving rapid entry and skipping otherwise-mandatory pat-downs from the house’s werewolf security guards. Upon entry, complete darkness envelops visitors as terrifying characters and nightmarish scenarios coerce screams out of hiding. Free parking keeps cars safe from the frights, and an indoor waiting area shields visitors from wind, weather, and jack-o’-lanterns that have developed self-awareness.
Through curls of fog lit by ultraviolet light, players find vantage points to take aim at their opponents in Lazer X's bilevel, 6,500-square-foot arena. Wearing computerized vests, players blast each other with phasers while avoiding distractions caused by pulsing strobe lights, animatronic creatures, and up-tempo music that begs them to stop and do the macarena. After the game, vests tally up points, and players can review their scores on a printout that will also detail the hits they made and received. Alternately, patrons can follow-up games with a trip to the arcade where they can keep their trigger fingers in tip-top condition.
Encompassing an 85’x200’ main rink as well as a smaller 80’x60’ surface, Franklin Park Ice Arena hosts wintry productions ranging from hockey and figure skating to broomball and birthday parties. When not configured for youth or adult hockey leagues, speed-skating time trials, or test drives of icebreaking jet skis, the rink hosts public skating sessions offered up to six times per week. Meanwhile, Orch’s Pro Shop stands at the ready for skaters with equipment by such major brands as Bauer, CCM, and Easton, as well as repairs and skate sharpening.
While the horses gallop, you needn't worry about pacing yourself at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Take endless laps around the Winner’s Circle Buffet on Thursdays (6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) or Grand Gourmet Buffet on Fridays (6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), then head to the dessert table (open until 10:00 p.m. on Fridays). The buffet offers a variety of succulent offerings, including ornate carving stations where you can get a hunk of meat with a lovely etching of your head on a horse's body, as well as unlimited shrimp, so when the race comes down to a photo finish, you can temper your adrenaline by slipping into a deep, shrimp-induced coma.
A child's laughter precedes her as she emerges from a rainbow-colored tunnel on her hands and knees before scampering up the steps to meet her brother at the top of the spiral slide. When kids first enter the indoor playground, they're tasked with deciding which activity to tackle first: the GyroCopter or the Yo Yo Ball? Perhaps the maze of tunnels? The center, an Elk Grove Village Park District facility, is open for two-hour periods throughout the week, giving kids enough time to try each activity as well as take unlimited rides on the carousel or conjure a competing carousel for friends to ride on.
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.
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