Aquatic Adventures of Michigan is the joint venture of independent dive instructors Kim D. Parker and Tom Rhoad, who, after years of working with other dive shops, yearned for a place where they could stretch their fins, teach scuba their own way, and bellow sea shanties as loudly as they liked. Today, their PADI Five Star IDC facility is fast approaching its 10-year anniversary, and has grown beyond basic PADI training programs to incorporate everything from underwater digital photography to lessons in deep diving, wreck diving, and night diving. The shop's instructors are fully certified in first aid and emergency oxygen use, and provide factory-authorized service to big-name companies such as Poseidon, Genesis Scuba, and Dive Rite.
On top of offering certified instruction in everything from open-water diving to sea-serpent domestication, the crew supplies fellow divers with quality scuba, snorkeling, and swimming equipment. They also plan exotic expeditions to the Caribbean and tropical Pacific for warm-water dives, and divers looking to stick closer to home can inquire about day trips or weekend getaways to locales such as the Great Lakes or Whitefish Point.
One empty school bus, twenty-seven abandoned cars, and a desolate two-story house are the only refuges for combatants roving an expansive urban field. Fourteen additional playfields set the stage for games, surrounding players in open fields and dense forests. It's at Futureball Paintball's 115-acre facility that friendly paintball and Airsoft battles unfold each day and have unfolded for more than 20 years. While vehicle carcasses characterize the urban landscapes, two airfields exhibit red inflatables that mimic the ruins of ancient bounce castles. Between games, a 5-acre picnic area serves as neutral ground to strategize and nibble snacks.
To ensure fair play, Futureball Paintball's staff leads brief orientations and monitors all action. They can also repair and upgrade guns.
The Earehart clan, boasting fourth- and fifth-generation equestrians and members of the United Professionals Horseman's Association in its ranks, shares their immeasurable equine knowledge with visitors during Liberty Stables' horse-riding and driving lessons. Liberty Stables' 40-acre facility––which includes an observation lobby, tack and feed rooms, and indoor wash racks––has served as a fruitful breeding ground for world and national horse-riding champions over the last 20 years. The seasoned equestrians also house four-legged companions available for sale, specializing in such breeds as american saddlebred, shetland, and ponies painted to look like zebras.
What began in 1975 as one inner-city gym in Highland Park, Michigan, has since evolved into a global health-club organization with locations in 17 different countries. Powerhouse Gym equips weightlifters and cardio bunnies alike with all they’ll ever need to keep—or create—a tight and toned physique. The gym offers equipment outfitted with personal TVs as well as a cast of certified and knowledgeable personal trainers. Depending on location, members will also have access to group fitness classes, such as yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills BodyPump, as well as 24-7 turnkey access to the facility.
MotorCity Trivia hosts ebullient live trivia shows at a variety of area bars and restaurants, letting teams and individuals alike munch on toothsome eats as their brains get tickled by challenging games. Monday-night munchers can detonate hunger with Lions & Tigers & Beers’ zing-infused Dynamite! burger ($8.99) laden with jalapeños and pepper jack cheese, and the Bayside Sports Grille’s macadamia-crusted Canadian whitefish ($16.95) sends mouths on a flavorful border-crossing sojourn on Wednesdays and Sundays. Those in search of circular sustenance during Friday and Saturday trivia fests can nibble through Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill’s comestibles, including a Caribbean jerk personal pizza ($12.59) festooned with sweet-and-spicy jerk sauce, bacon, and jalapeño steel drums. The chefs at CJ’s Brewing Company cloak Alaskan cod in a regal golden-ale beer batter when crafting their scrumptious fish 'n' chips ($10.99) for Thursday-evening feasts, and the burritos ($9.99) at Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern snuggle chicken or beef into soft flour-tortilla sleeping bags in honor of Tuesday dinner.
Diamonds's grill brims with certified Angus-beef steaks, burgers, and sea-plucked morsels. To intrigue appetites premeal, chefs hand-batter coconut shrimp, which somersault through coconut before diving into the fryer. Opt for Diamonds's filet mignon beef tips served with a sweet Cajun sauce, or trawl a seafood selection that includes Great Lakes whitefish and lake perch. Imported seafood plates include Norwegian salmon splashed with teriyaki glaze, or Icelandic crab cakes bobbing in lobster-cream sauce atop a fleet of miniature jet skis.