Custom-built mountain bikes and hand-built wheelsets may be Richard’s Bikes’ specialty, but cyclists have frequented the store since 1910 to find road, cross-country, and freeride accessories. Staff pack more than 100 years of combined biking experience into the well-oiled gears that power their minds and match customers with premade bikes and equipment from manufacturers including GT, Schwinn, Mongoose, LeMond, and Klein. Richard’s carries a wide selection of helmets and protective gear, cycling apparel, and bike parts of all kinds.
Kindled on October 8, 1997—the 126th anniversary of Chicago's infamous blaze—the Chicago Fire played their first Major League Soccer season in 1998 as one of the league's first expansion teams—and nabbed its first and only MLS Cup in that inaugural season. Under the supervision of U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley, the club has been a hazard ever since, taking home four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophies and reaching the playoffs in nearly every year of its existence. Located in Bridgeview, Toyota Park hosts each home game, its grounds spacious enough to seat 20,000 and fertile enough for planting new soccer-net saplings each spring.
Move Your Feet Sports' hour-long lessons teach all ages and abilities to serve and volley like professional bowlers who used to be tennis title holders. Classes for beginners, intermediate players, and advanced players ($25 each) are available at all three facilities. The staff of experienced instructors pump each hour-long lesson full of heart-pounding cardio moves, skill-building exercises, and techniques to crush competition like monster trucks crush hot-dog carts. Look under the Groupon tab on Move Your Feet Sports' registration page to see class options.
The hum of Honda GX200 engines pervades both of Chicago Indoor Racing locations, where a duo of tracks takes Bowman go-karts through a series of turns and straightaways at speeds of up to 35 mph. When not trying to clock in top lap times from driver's seats perched 1 inch from the ground, guests can set other objects in motion at billiard tables and shuffleboard tables, which can be rented by the hour or millisecond. Clark’s Café at the Addison location and Stewart’s Bar & Grille in Buffalo Grove refuel guests with casual American fare and shots of motor oil.
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.
Ghastly horrors prowl The Massacre Haunted House in search of new victims and fresh screams. Inside, 40 actors in full makeup startle wary explorers navigating more than 35 rooms strewn with gruesome scenes that would strike fear into the heart of any adult, teen, or amnesiac zombie. Unsettling mazes and living nightmares stand between brave souls and the exit, where a second haunt––Fear Factory 3-D––awaits to pull them deeper into the madness. Where the haunted house may have turned hairs white with the help of live actors, the factory coaxes screams with 3D special effects made possible with specialized glasses.