Fully licensed instructors, thoroughly maintained aircrafts, and a skydiving training program licensed by the US Parachute Association ensure that a jump at Chicagoland Skydiving Center is rigorously safe—but nothing can dampen the thrill of free falling from 14,000 feet. The center’s spotless student record can be attributed both to the longevity of the program, which has been around since 1968, and to the expertise of the instructors, some of whom have made more than 15,000 jumps. Their attention to safety enables visitors to focus on the fun part: a 60-second free fall followed by a leisurely float under a parachute with countless high-fives from passing birds.
Once their feet have firmly planted on the ground, skydivers can celebrate besting Sir Isaac Newton in a spacious facility with games, a lounge, and an onsite restaurant. Instant footage provides new perspectives on daring falls, and guests can purchase pictures and videos to commemorate the event.
J&J Tumbling, Trampoline, Dance & Swimming's team of athletic instructors strives to create a fun, enjoyable learning environment where kids and adults can master skills in a variety of sports, including cheerleading, swimming, and gymnastics. Within the facility's spacious gym, parents watch from the balcony as their offspring spring on five Olympic-sized trampolines and flip onto the surrounding safety mats and foam pits. A 50'x28' saltwater pool kept at a toasty 89 degrees sections off into four lap lanes where swimmers practice their breast strokes and water-walking lizards train for relay races. The sturdy hardwood floors of their dance studio weather the fiery footsteps of students learning ballet, jazz, and hip-hop gesticulations. J&J's fitness classes keep adult exercisers in fine fettle with workout routines such as lap swim, aerobics, yoga, and Zumba.
Though Ted Davis sits in the back of a green New Standard Model D-25 biplane, he won't be taking a nap. Originally built in 1929 to perform stunts and give rides—or barnstorming, as it was known—the D-25 can host up to five people on every flight—four passengers in the front and Davis, a certified commercial pilot, at the rear controls. Today, its hunter-green fuselage has been fully restored and carefully maintained to comply with modern FAA standards. In this steed, Davis, who has logged more than 5,500 flying hours since his first ascent at age 16, continues the barnstorming tradition, escorting passengers on bird's-eye views of the Wisconsin landscape as Icarus struggles to keep pace with his homemade penguin wings.
A player waits silently behind a tree, holding his breath as a group of enemies comes into view. Slowly, his finger moves to the trigger of a paintball marker. He pauses momentarily, then steps from his hiding place to paint the sky in acrylic salvos.
Wyldside Paintball's fields use the area's natural terrain to set a stage for friendly battles. Sporting different names such as Outback and Pines Field, the simulated battlegrounds surround teams in dense forests, felled trees, and man-made walls. Outside the forest, colorful ammo soars over more open landscapes at an Xball field. Wyldside Paintball also employs a legion of referees to ensure safety, fair play, and the absence of performance-enhancing Trojan horses.