What is WhirlyBall?

Vernon Hills, IL

So… what the heck is WhirlyBall?

It looks kind of like people in bumper cars playing basketball with a whiffle ball and a miniature LaCrosse Stick… and well, it is… but it’s also AMAZEBALLS. Lake County folks are super lucky to have one of three locations in Chicagoland right here in Vernon Hills.

what is whirly ball

What is WhirlyBall?

WhirlyBall Vernon Hills can be found just off Route 60 and Route 21 (Milwaukee Ave), near the mall and behind the former Babies R Us. It’s an entertainment complex that has elevated “bumping” into your friends into a game of champions.

Two teams of 4-5 players maneuver their WhirlyBugs across the court floor while using hand-held scoops to propel whiffle balls at the opposing team’s target. High jinks and laughter are inevitable. The WhirlyBall court serves as the great equalizer – are you a great hockey player, basketball star, Indy race car driver? PFFT! Big whoop. Leave your trophies and your ego at the door. Anyone can excel at WhirlyBall and have an awesome time doing it.  Watch grown men weep while grandma wipes the floor with them. All in the name of good clean fun, of course…

what is whirly ball

Way back in 1962, Stan Magnum, an auto shop owner, saw his son playing a version of hockey with a stick and a tin can while driving a golf cart. That’s one creative kid! Stan soon developed the WhirlyBug, the vehicle that modern-day enthusiasts use on the WhirlyBall court, and a new pastime was born! The Vernon Hills location opened in 2004.

WhirlyBall is for Big Kids and Big Kids at heart. No, really, you must meet height restrictions and be at least 4’6″ to participate. Stick-in-the-muds need not apply as well as other restrictions for your health and safety.  It’s a huge draw for corporate events as well as birthday parties.  According to WhirlyBall Marketing Director John Krol, they see an average of over 600 children through all three WhirlyBall locations each weekend.

But who says kids should have all the fun?  With a full-service bar and killer party menu, WhirlyBall should not be wasted on hot-dog-inhaling-pubescents alone. Foodies and craft beer enthusiasts will find their sweet spot here too. Krol’s favorite item on the menu is a toss-up between the Chicken Alfredo Cavatappi and the Parmesan Tilapia With Red Pepper Cream. Excuse me while I mop up this puddle of drool.

what is whirlyball
© L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2015

While the WhirlyBall court is of course the main attraction, the Vernon Hills location also features a rock-climbing wall and a multi-level Laser Tag arena.  Every location has large-screen HD TVs for watching the big game, video games, foosball, and air hockey.

what is whirlyball
© L. Thomas | littlelakecounty.com | 2015

With all the insane activities available at WhirlyBall, you can really let your imagination run wild when planning an event here. It’s a fantastic location for a bar or bat mitzvah. You can create your own world! The most creative event Krol recently witnessed was hockey-themed. There was an ice rink-styled dance floor, penalty boxes on stage on either side of the DJ, centerpieces that appeared to be on a sheet of ice, and each table decorated with the colors of a different NHL team!

WhirlyBall is ideal for anyone with a playful spirit and a drive to crush the competition! Consider the Vernon Hills venue for:

  • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
  • Family Reunions
  • Jack and Jill Wedding Showers
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
  • Parents’ Night Out

Hmmm…a Mom’s Night Out at WhirlyBall Vernon Hills?

Don’t mind if we do!

Because we’re all about getting down in the trenches for the sake of our readers, the Little Lake County writers took the WhirlyBall challenge for ourselves! Follow our screwball antics all this week, pick your favorite writer, and root for her as we bring our A-Game to the WhirlyBall Court. We’re going to give you the real scoop on what WhirlyBall is all about and tell you exactly what we think of the experience.

what is whirlyball
© R. Bridges | Little Lake County.com | 2015

We’re putting Dad on diaper duty, and we are *kiss*kiss* out the door for a crazy night of camaraderie, competition, cocktails, and more. Prepare yourself for the Little Lake County Moms Gone Wild (rated PG) story when we go “Behind the Wheel at WhirlyBall.”


WhirlyBall – Vernon Hills
285 Center Drive, Vernon Hills | (847) 918-0800
Connect with WhirlyBall
Website | Facebook | Twitter

By Loralie

When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.

Disclosure: WhirlyBall Vernon Hills provided Little Lake County with a complimentary team-building event to facilitate our review. No other compensation was received.  

What is WhirlyBall?

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