Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
The Chicago Botanic Garden Wine Festival invites oenophiles, aficionados, and amateur wine-intakers to the lush, flowery foliage of the Chicago Botanic Garden for a weekend of wine tasting. More than 200 wines will be available for swirling, sniffing, and shipping at this year's festival, with a line-up of speakers and musicians providing enlightenment and entertainment for festival attendees. Local restaurants, including Abigail's American Bistro, Caoba Mexican Bar & Grill, and Bluegrass, will be on-site to sell gastronomic goodies, with an array of vendors showcasing everything from cookware to vacation services.
Local artwork garnishes the walls inside Park Avenue Wine Bar & Merchant as tastefully as the international vintages decorating the wine list. Under the guidance of three resident sommeliers, the staff carefully curates a collection of more than 70 wines by the bottle and glass, sourced from locales such as New Zealand, Argentina, France, and California. They summon their vast viticultural knowledge and ability to speak with grapes to help patrons complement the flavors of executive chef Ted Stay's elegant cuisine. Blending traditional European cooking techniques with contemporary methods, Ted whips up small plates, flatbreads, steaks, and seafood with a locally sourced arsenal of seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
Towering wine racks flank a curved bar, and glowing swaths of blue and purple light line exposed-brick walls inside the renovated historic building. The lights also illuminate the immense stash of wine bottles, craft beers, and top-notch liquors—all available for take-home purposes as well as sipping onsite. Park Avenue Wine Bar & Merchant also frequently hosts events, including live music and tastings.
The licensed educators at Kindermusik help enrich family relationships and bolster kiddies' mental development through interactive, music-focused play dates. Children from newborns to 7-year-olds can investigate the world of sound waves through age-specific sessions of sing-alongs, musical compositions, and sound barrier-breaking drum solos. ACE Music & Me sessions foster reading and language skills through dance and rhyme, and Village classes stimulate cognitive growth through musical activities. Guardians are encouraged to pick up a tambourine and belt out a note alongside their musical wards. After each pressure-free play date, Kindermusik instructors outfit each parent with a number of after-class activities suited to their child's developmental level and ability to impersonate Dick Clark.
When Bud Schwarzbach took a job managing his father's store in 1958, it was supposed to be a temporary position. More than 50 years on, he's still at it at Vin Chicago. The reason the business has endured so long may be that the Schwarzbachs and their colleagues don't just taste wine, but live it, tasting hundreds of wines each month, and assessing each one?s color, aroma, flavor, body, and finish. The result is a family business big enough to buy in volume, but small and passionate enough to carefully select every single wine that comes in. To back up their recommendations and prove they can count past the single digits, the team can tell customers each bottle's score on 100-point scales from Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, or Vin Chicago's own in-house rating system.
Quality may be the most important factor the staff considers when they update their selection at stores in Chicago, Highland Park, Barrington, and Naperville. But that's not to say they ignore affordability. Case in point: each store stocks a selection of sub-$10 wines that have all earned scores above 90.
As owner and head trainer of ThoroughQuest Acres, Dundee Bartlett has given form to her belief in using a patient, kind approach to produce a well-rounded rider. Her team of seasoned instructors shares her perspective, training riders as young as 5 in the hunter and jumper styles of riding with subtle incorporation of dressage principles to help build balance and suppleness. The facility, with its large outdoor arena and pair of indoor arenas, anchors the outfit?s 15 acres, granting students ample space to practice their form. Each lesson program begins with the basics, such as mounting and dismounting, before moving on to more advanced techniques, such as trotting, cantering, and dismounting with an aerial toe touch.