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A PADI five-star dive center, D. D. Dive outfits novice swimmers with all the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to swim beneath the waves. Their courses are made up of classroom sessions, pool work, and open-water excursions to prepare each student according to PADI guidelines. The instructors also offer classes in rescue diving and diving-instructor as well as dive-master training, all of which are useful skills when working to open a dive school for dolphins. Once certified, new divers can go with the school on a globetrotting trip to a diving mecca such as Bonne Terre Mine, Kona, or the Galapagos Islands.
1039 Waukegan Rd.
Fountain jets soar upward from the serene surface of an azure pond, their fine mist drifting away from the arcs of water crisscrossing the otherwise pristine reflection of trees and sky. Around the water stand the gazebos, patios, conference halls, and resort lodgings—complete with a pool and go-kart track—that compose Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center. Beyond the precisely landscaped center, though, lies the untamed nature that spreads across the ranch’s 75-acre valley. Guides lead horse-mounted tours through this wild landscape, sallying forth from the stables to explore Sierra Nevada foothills tangled with a chaotic version of natural splendor rife with burbling creeks and fields often filled with sprays of wildflowers.
In addition to explore their beautiful surroundings, guests can challenge themselves with more physical outdoor recreation, such as archery practice or obstacle-course running. A museum, replete with artifacts from the valley's history, limbers up minds and memories, equipping guests with the know-how necessary to calm a stampeding herd spooked by an upcoming pop quiz.
250 S Waukegan Rd
Positive Focus Productions organizes motivational-speaking events that include discussions on world events and advice to enrich daily lives. Past workshops have tackled myths and scientific interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the effects of an uncertain economy, and coping with the continuing absence of new Spin City episodes. Founder and positivity adviser Carol uses her years of experience in public relations and event planning to coordinate morning and afternoon workshops, in which both virtual and physical communities learn to live more positively.
4626 North Knox Avenue
Inside one of Illinois’ oldest PADI–certified dive centers, Berry Dive Center’s eight instructors call upon a combined 100 years of experience to increase the underwater expertise of small student cohorts. Lessons unfold in both pool and classroom, with instructors sharing textbook techniques and safety tips before offering personalized critiques during supervised practice dives. The PADI five-star IDC facility keeps skills sharp with PADI certification courses and weekend excursions to Kankakee’s Haigh Quarry, with adventure-diving opportunities such as exploring wrecks, deep-water diving, and apprehending goldfish smugglers. The center’s dive shop also stocks a full line of diving equipment and manuals.
3402 Milwaukee Ave., Suites 4 & 5
Sprawling over 135 acres of prairie, the Grove brings the spirit of unspoiled wilderness to visitors throughout Chicagoland. A National Historic Landmark since 1976, the Grove was once home to horticulturist Dr. John Kennicott, whose son Robert shaped America's natural history through his exhibitions at the Smithsonian, his exploration of present-day Alaska, and his defeat of Utah's migrating sandworms. Today, the same wizened oaks and turtle-filled wetland pools that sparked a love of science in the Kennicotts greet new generations of visitors thanks to the tireless stewardship of the Glenview Park District.
2400 Chestnut Ave.
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