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Family Palooza offered fun for all ages

Batmobile on display at Family Palooza
Batmobile on display at Family PaloozaSue Masaracchia-Roberts

In the sleepy town of St. Charles is a mammoth venue. Recently a family-focused event called the Family Palooza was held at the Pheasant Run Megacenter and Ballroom. Hundreds of families enjoyed a day of adventure, interactive activities and games, along with a petting zoo and an "explor-a-torium" -- a mobile form of the facility in San Francisco, CA -- which is like a 21st century learning laboratory that is ever changing and provides a spot for children and their families to explore and tinker in a playful venue.

Behind this innocuous exterior was a day of imagination and fun at Family Palooza
Behind this innocuous exterior was a day of imagination and fun at Family PaloozaSue Masaracchia-Roberts

Among the attractions on hand at the Chicago-area event, were inflatables, a number of games of skill and sporting activities, carnival games and a wide array of entertainment from magicians and Medieval Times swordsmen, to Simon Sez expert Brian Wismer and “Circus Boy,” who rides he world’s smallest unicycle. There was also a kids game show and musicians offering a wide range of musical experiences, along with unique face painting options.

Among the rides and activities on hand were “Eurobungee,” where kids of all ages can perform trampoline-like activities while strapped in with bungee cords; a 220 foot indoor zipline, a rock climbing wall, indoor miniature golf, moon jumps, trackless train rides and a petting zoo containing a camel, llamas, goats and other animals.

The venue was nicely laid out between two areas, connected by tent-like coverings to ensure warmth during this especially brutal spring weather. The décor was even clever, as old photos of Chicago’s historic Riverview Park and classic movies like The Wizard of Oz dotted the indoor landscape.

Costumed figures roamed around, including the Minions from Despicable Me and its spin-off, Cinderella, men on stilts, a pink gorilla, Spiderman and Batman, along with the Incredible Hulk. Even a few vehicles, like the Batmobile were on hand. It was certainly a one-day paradise for kids of all ages.