What You'll Get
Find a safe and noble use for the superior hand-eye coordination that enables you to text message while riding a motorcycle with today’s Groupon. For $55, today's deal gets you and four friends one adrenaline-pumping hour of whirlyball, a low-impact sport that combines the best aspects of lacrosse, basketball, and bumper cars (a $120 value). At WhirlyBall, you'll maneuver your free-range bumper car and use a handheld scoop to collect whiffle balls to launch toward the overhead targets at either end of the court. You'll work together in teams of five to crush your opponents in a whirlywind of scoops, balls, and bumpers.
Take your pooper-scooping skills to the clean, puppy-free court at any of WhirlyBall's three locations in Chicago, Lombard, and Vernon Hills. Your Groupon is valid for walk-in play and same-day reservations. Combine up to two Groupons to bring along another five friends. Players using the Chicago and Vernon Hills facilities after 5 p.m. must be 21 years old to enter without a reservation.
Whirlyball builds upper-body strength and allows couch potatoes a fighting chance against accomplished athletes in a competition that replaces running with full-throttle maneuvers at speeds reaching three to four mph. Surrounded by safety bumpers, your vehicle enjoys a complete range of motion with powerful steering that allows you to turn on a whim or a dime. Because your open car sits low to the ground, zipping between cars at four mph can feel much faster. Competing against others in a souped-up bumper car is like automatically leveling up—you get speed and agility without having to neglect your loved ones during months of athletic training.
This is a fun way for kids and adults to stay active during the desperate winter months, so make your trip to WhirlyBall more than just an hour of gameplay. Sidle up to the bar and watch the game, or hang out with WhirlyBall's off-court pool tables, arcade games, and more. Perfect for a day of bonding with your pals, a game of whirlyball is an easy way to give your closest friends a holiday gift that doesn't involve retail shopping of selflessness.
Check out WhirlyBall on WGN and 190N. AOL Local named whirlyball the 2008 city's best bar game; in an article reproduced on WhirlyBall's website, the Chicago Tribune calls whirlyball "the X Games of recreational gaming."
- Whirlyball is a really fun source of entertainment....You drive bumper cars around and it's a very action packed event. It's pretty much addicting, though you can be really sore the next day. – Nancy B, Insider Pages
- You ride around in bumper cars trying to fling a whiffle ball at a target. Not as easy as it sounds, but loads of fun. The hardest part is drivng [sic] the car, and aiming the ball. – Douglas Y., Insider Pages
- What can be better than a little friendly competition that involves drinking and electricity. Team up and get in bumper cars for a jai-lai / track-ball (remember that game?) style game. Good for large groups. – Corey G., Insider Pages
A Dream Come True
If a sport played in actual bumper cars sounds as if it’s a dream come true, that’s because it is. In the early 1960s, inventor Stan Mangum was exposed to toxic levels of an experimental dream-enhancement pharmaceutical known as Compound-ZZZ, causing the idea of whirlyball to escape from his dreams and take a foothold in reality. What other dreams came true due to Compound-ZZZ overdose?
Manhattan, New York: While giving a presentation on the long-term economic viability of wind power, wunderkind junior-executive Clint Blackwell was suddenly attacked by an alive My Pet Monster®.
Ann Arbor, Michigan: Bookish high-school sophomore Wendy Pizzano was forced to explain to her parents why Johnny Depp was on their doorstep in full-pirate regalia holding a corsage and tapping his watch.
Washington D.C.: Then-President Gerald Ford’s pants suddenly dematerialize during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was too polite, or horrified, to alert him.
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The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Sep 5, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Valid for walk-ins and same-day reservations only. Standard cancellation policy applies. May combine 2 Groupons for up to 10 players. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
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 chicken wings, pretzel bites, and gourmet pizzas, and swig craft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions as well. The Vernon Hills and Lombard locations host video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey, and the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.