For more than 50 years, the monks of Marmion Abbey have tended 300 acres of farmland. They started with Christmas trees, and now maintain 120 acres of pines, spruces, and firs that smell exactly like car freshener. On the remaining acres, they tend pumpkin vines and corn mazes, interspersing these areas with scenic picnic groves.
Throughout the year, the monks open their land to the public. In the autumn, they host Pumpkin Daze, a harvest festival with tractor wagon rides and a petting zoo. Around mid-November, they grant access to their tree farm, supplying visitors with rental saws for you-cut trees and bellowing "Timber!" just like Paul Bunyan did when he fell into bed at night. The monks stock their farm store with handcrafted goods that complement the season, whether caramel apples in the fall or quilts in the winter.
With the mission of making flight affordable and welcoming to all land-dwellers, the instructors at SimplyFLY help men and women of any background take to the sky on their own. Novice pilots prepare for solo flight through private and sport license training in a Remos aircraft, soaking up accessible instruction in just-for-fun flights or licensing programs. Rentals and joint ownership programs give customers a top-of-the-line aircraft when they want it without the hassles of storage and maintenance that come with capturing one’s own plane in the wild.
A good kettlebell swing engages the arms, core, and legs in a single action, not only strengthening them, but teaching them to work together. It's from this idea that Bob Garon takes his business's name: Synergy Kettlebell Training. At each of his four locations, he helps muscles synergize with new and different kettlebell regimens every day—instead of isolating specific body parts—usually themed around a specific workout principle that changes every two weeks. Each class lasts 30–45 minutes, the same amount of time it took the kettlebell's creator to come up with a name for his invention.
Open since 1945, Elmer's Doghouse has been a haven for generations of diners looking for cold brews, hot meals, and a set of familiar faces to enjoy them with. At this casual neighborhood spot, the kitchen staff still dishes out burgers, pizzas, and steak dinners lit by the neon glow of beer signs. On Monday nights, these meals emerge amid the tuneful clatter of the bar’s acoustic open mic, refueling audiences and musicians alike. Other musical entertainments include karaoke nights and live bands, who often coax diners into dancing or just giving them a bite of their food.
Visitors have an unusual transportation option for getting to Summer Solstice: if they get an early enough start, they can float up to the day of craft beer and concerts by canoe. As the Fox River ambles past the historic buildings of downtown Yorkville, it deposits a flotilla of revelers in Riverfront Park. Those who don’t want to paddle in are also allowed to arrive on foot or palanquin to enjoy the rootsy music and frosty brews of the fest, a collaboration between Rogue Barrister Records, Three Angels Brewing, and the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce.
At Raging Waves, certified lifeguards keep a vigilant watch over visitors as they traverse a park filled with 17 water slides and other aquatic attractions, but surveillance isn’t their only job. They secure up to four passengers in tubes before they zoom down a giant family slide and instruct riders on how to position their arms and wink Morse-code messages to eagles during their plunge down a winding speed slide with a near-vertical drop. Though adrenaline is the Raging Waves' main focus, it also houses slower-paced attractions such as a regular swimming pool, a quarter-mile lazy river, and separate children's play area.