Multicolored holds dot the climbing walls inside North Wall, granting visitors a variety of gripping surfaces and seemingly limitless routes during their scaling expeditions. Since 1994, the rock-climbing haven has been beckoning climbing enthusiasts to its sprawling confines, where it offers classes and private lessons for climbers of all abilities. Participants can even join teams, in which they can boost their skills for competitions or leisurely scrambles up the noses on Mt. Rushmore.
Adrenaline rushes often lead to addiction. Having developed a tolerance through many a marathon and obstacle course, the elite athletic team of Adrenaline Games wanted to capture the thrill of the first rush. To that end, they crafted a treacherous trail that gets the pulses of even the most hardened adrenaline junkies pumping. The details of the course are kept top secret as not to spoil the element of surprise, but it can be revealed that elements of mud, foam, and water play their part in keeping competitors adrenalized and dirty as they vie for the top Junkie prize. After the finish line has been slathered in mud, participants can catch their breath while celebrating their victories with food, drinks, and live music.
The Gladiator Assault Challenge confronts racers with a 7+-mile course surrounded by scenic woodlands, cheering spectators, and 30 intense military training obstacles. Gladiators aged 18 and older go solo or join forces with other competitors to ford the waist-high waters of Mud Mayhem, rope-swing through Jungle Love, and use oversize novelty scissors to break the finish tape. Additional obstacles test physical stamina with 12-foot vertical walls, fallen trees, and cargo nets that act as moats blocking the finish line. After the Slideway ushers racers to a skidding finish, a complimentary beer and raucous after party lend ample time to scrawl "wash me" on opponents' backs.
Though the haunted alleys, crumbling subway tunnels, and blood-stained storefronts of Fear City are creepy enough, they aren't the reason why visitors tend to leave screaming. This ghastly municipality has more than 100 citizens—including deranged nurses and blood-covered asylum inmates.
These are just some of the scares that await within Fear City's 40,000-square-foot sprawl. The indoor attraction consistently places on hauntedhousechicago.com's top 13 rankings, and the city's always looking for new recruits: visitors are encouraged to dress up, join the madness, and take home whichever crazed clown they think would make a good roommate.
Curious about what else might lie in store? Click here to see videos that delve deeper into the city's secrets.
A Haunted House Actor Explains the Scares
A Fear City "fright actor" talks the art of haunted-house acting and the psychology of scares.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up of Crystal Lake sprawls over 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce house, air-filled playthings, and large imagination blocks that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts mandating dessert for breakfast. The ascending 16-foot double rock-climbing wall and a hump-shaped obstacle challenge climbers, and attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun.
On every second Friday of the month, Pump It Up of Crystal Lake throws a tween night party, with pizza, glow products, and a live DJ taking song requests. Families can also tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms, complimentary invites, and a veritable stockpile of extras to customize the celebratory shenanigans.
Towering inflatables shelter bounding, sliding, and climbing youngsters inside Party Fantasy's play facility. Staff supervisors strap adventurous tykes into the rock-climbing wall's safety equipment, then let them clamber up to the ceiling's lofty heights. Redeemable prizes await recipients in the arcade, featuring games such as air hockey, and the toddler area accommodates tots with toys and costumes to play dress-up.
Guardians enjoy comfortable seating throughout they play area and are entertained with high-definition televisions and free WiFi. In addition to open play for kids of all ages just dropping in, party packages sequester celebrations into one of two private rooms.