Krussell Stables takes its name from professional horse trainer Ray Krussell, a highly decorated teacher who has produced numerous Reserve World Champion and World Champion horses and riders. Ray’s teaching style promotes learning and responsibility and preaches safety as the top priority. As such, his private and semiprivate lessons for students of all ages and skill levels are held in the discipline of english saddle seat, a safe, traditional manner of riding. A 60’x192’ arena houses each session, which parents and guests of riders can observe from a viewing window in the customer center. The center also sports WiFi and DirectTV, and the arena ensures comfortable lessons throughout the year by staying heated in the winter.
Colored paint pellets slice the air and splatter on the rough bark of large oaks and every once in a while on the back of an enemy. During paintball play, shouts and laughter reverberate through the forest canopy as the thudding of footsteps cuts through thick underbrush. Players on the 12 outdoor fields at Operation Paintball engage rival teams during bouts of capture the flag and last-man-standing shootouts, hoping to earn victory for their mates and impress Mom one more time. The Mother Earth field's tall trees stand between natural bunkers, the Speedball concept field boasts a circle of broken wooden picket fences surrounding a central bunker, and wooded slopes take over the Yellow, Blue, and Candy fields. Staffers prepare guests to safely skirmish by providing masks, secure goggles, and padded vests, each of which has helped to contribute to the facility's perfect safety record.
When he shuts up his workshop at the North Pole after another successful holiday season, Santa Claus doesn't simply hibernate until next December. Instead, he packs up his sleigh and heads to his summer home at the Fox River Valley's Santa's Village Azoosment Park. Open from May to October, the wonderland greets guests with three separate amusement experiences. The fun begins in Santa's Village, where quaint alpine building and expertly manicured pathways awaken feelings of nostalgia in hearts young and old. There, visitors can zoom down the original Santa's Tree House Slide, hitch a ride on the Kringle Convoy, or snap a picture at a recreation of Santa's North Pole home. They can also tap into the amusement rides including the antique carousel, the Tilt-A-Whirl, and Dracor the Dragon's Coaster.
A renowned lover of animals, Santa has also filled his park with a menagerie of creatures both familiar and exotic. After visiting Rudolph and company at Reindeer Ridge, visitors can grab a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh on their way to see the denizens of Parakeet Paradise, Tortoise Island, or Old MacDonald's Farm and Petting Zoo. In addition to grabbing up-close peeks of everything from a red-tailed boa to a fennec fox, visitors can also take in an exotic animal show that educates audience members about the park's wild residents.
Always in the holiday spirit, the park welcomes groups looking to add a spark to reunions, birthday, or group outings. This accommodating spirit even extends to the park's rule book: parking is free, and picnic baskets are encouraged.
Magic Waters' vast expanse of twisting slides, heated wave pools, and colorful attractions accessible to all visitors entertains entire families. While swimmers play, troops of lifeguards with extensive certification and training ensure safety, and mascots stand guard to pose for pictures with children and warn against the dangers of going down a water slide in a full-body costume. After careening through the mysterious darkness of the Abyss tube slide, guests drift down 1,200 feet of lazy river, sun themselves on the shores of the wave pool, or opt for more adrenaline with the Double Dare Drop, which plunges riders 75 feet in seconds. Younger aquanauts puff up their water wings in the interactive complex of Tiki Island or leapfrog over floating lily pads in Little Lagoon.
After exploring the twists and turns of rivers and waterslides, guests refuel with pizza, tacos, burritos, sandwiches or salads at Ocho's Cantina or indulge in cold treats at the Thirsty Turtle. A lineup of upcoming events entertains all ages with activities, while the park stays open until 9 p.m. on Friday Family Fun Nights and Magic Mondays.
Recurring dreams can often be brief and haunting. But 6 miles west of Lake Geneva at a large theater in the center of 40 acres of wooded trails, Dana Montana happily watches her lifelong dream unfold. Here, she takes center stage to introduce up to 300 guests to her beloved purebred Arabian horses that majestically trot out to join her. They entertain audiences alongside expert acrobatic performers and trainers, whose resumés include stints with the Ringling Bros. Circus, Walt Disney World, and Arabian Nights.
Garbed in sparkling bridles and feather-plumed headdresses, the magnificent steeds wow the crowd with dazzling footwork and quotes from Shakespeare’s lesser-known horse plays. Backstage tours wind behind the scenes, where trainers host presentations on horse training before leading crowds to the stables to meet and pet the hoofed performers.
Since the first fairway drive in 1923, players at Sycamore Golf Club have sent their golf balls cruising down tree-lined chutes blanketed in pristine bentgrass in effort to conquer the course par of 71. The 18-hole course straddles the Kishwaukee River and extends to a total length of 5,817 yards from the back tees and 5,302 yards from the front tees. A meticulous maintenance team keeps the course in excellent condition, meaning golfers will rarely have to hit out of fairway divots or find their golf ball running away with vagabond gangs of crabgrass tumbleweeds.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 71 course
Total length of 5,817 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 68.2 from the back tees
Course slope of 120 from the back tees
Two sets of tees per hole