At age 7, Jung Oh Hwang began practicing martial arts in a small village in South Korea. As a young man he represented his home country at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where he earned a silver medal in judo. At Hwang's Martial Arts, Grandmaster Hwang and his staff pass on decades of martial-arts wisdom to the next generation, instilling technical combat knowledge and imparting valuable life lessons on self-discipline, perseverance, and teamwork.
Since opening the doors in 1986, Grandmaster Hwang has dedicated both time and money to bettering the lives of others. Hwang's has raised more than $750,000 for the local community and has a named playroom in the new St. Matthews Kosair Children's hospital.
It’s hard to be everything to everyone, but Bentley SportsPlex gets close: it’s at once a facility for fine arts, tutoring, and an arcade. The family-fun center has bounce houses, a gym, batting cages, and a gymnasium for basketball and dodgeball. Just recently added: a 1200-square foot laser tag arena.
In addition to its family-fun facilities, Bentley SportsPlex aims to be a haven for kids to express themselves. There’s a staff of talented professionals on hand that can provide guitar and bass guitar lessons, painting and craft classes, and tutoring services. There's even a theater branch so youngsters can learn how to accurately convey the pathos of what it’s like to be grounded.
Just southwest of St. Louis, a Cessna 150 rolls out of a hangar and turns to taxi down the runway of Festus Airport. It gracefully lifts off the ground, quickly ascending while dipping its right wing to head toward the muddy waters of the Mississippi River. Inside the plane is a first-time pilot, falling in love with the thrill of flight while an instructor watches over operations to ensure the utmost safety.
At Festus Airport, resident instructors illuminate tender-footed aeronauts during flight lessons, and experienced jumpers from Fly Free Skydiving usher adventurers out of perfectly good airplanes from high above St. Louis. Held each year across the airports' grassy fields, the Jefferson County Balloon Festival also calls Festus Airport home, entertaining more than 10,000 guests at last year's family-friendly flying festivities. The sight sets all visitors at ease with an indoor lounge, Internet access, and a picnic area with unlimited access to fresh air and views of the runway.
Trophy fisherman Walter Krause, who has 15 years' experience on the Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail and the Pro Musky Tournament Trail, takes up to two anglers aboard his private boat for a guided trip through two fish-filled Illinois lakes. Whether plumbing the depths of Cedar Lake for striper or pursuing Kinkaid Lake—one of the top trophy-muskie lakes in Illinois—for oversize bass, muskies, and walleyes, participants benefit from Walter’s 46 years of experience and on-board depth finders and GPS. During the course of each customized trip, visitors learn how to track fish movements, how to properly hold rods, and how to train a wall-mounted singing fish to bait other fish with its seductive crooning. Walter provides each angler with life jackets, bait, tackle, and rods, although participants must bring their own fishing licenses, lunches, and weather-appropriate clothing.
Your one-night Vintner's Getaway package includes a tour of the Crown Valley Winery, wherein a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will lead you through the behind-the-scenes areas of the 55-acre winery, taking you step by increasingly zigzagged step through the wine-making process. Along the way, you'll get an up-close look at the massive tanks, the wine-storing oak barrels, and the bottling line before sampling the creations in their final form. You'll also enjoy a separate tour of Crown Valley's champagne house, complete with tastings of its effervescent, fizzy-lifting drinks.