Activities in Back of the Yards

Select Local Merchants

Chicago Indoor Sports' full-size field has enough turf to make a cow's spots turn green with envy. But that same animal would be disappointed if it took a bite. The surface is actually a carefully designed, imitation grass made of millions of tiny rubber pallets and a crushed stone base, which helps absorb shock. That last feature is key, since the indoor play area supports crowds of running athletes during competitive or casual games of soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and ultimate frisbee. The field is also home its own youth and adult soccer leagues, such as Liga Latino Americana.

Throughout many of their services, Chicago Indoor Sports places special emphasis on children. During their SoccerTots and SoccerTouch programs, instructors use soccer as a way to build motor skills and encourage mental development. Meanwhile, an arcade and three giant inflatables give kids a break from sports.

3900 South Ashland Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

Golf in Motion's fairway guru shares gameplay strategy and evaluates swing mechanics from the well-stocked confines of Chicago Style Golf. There, a team of avid golfers invites players of all stripes into its pro shop to check out the industry's newest equipment or have a broken club repaired. The shop buys old equipment from customers ready to upgrade their driver or trade in their putter after that black cat crossed their putting line. If patrons cannot find the specific club or specs they need, the staff can custom fit and order what they are looking for. Customers also can search for the right putter on the shop's synthetic putting green and test out clubs in one of their three hitting bays, complete with a launch monitor that assists with in-house swing lessons.

1130 West 37th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Live Purple Art's evening entertainment is a literal interpretation of life imitating art. A spin on the traditional BYOB painting class, Live Purple Art's teachers-cum-directors start each evening by assigning each member of the audience an aspect of a play. But the rules are pretty loose; rather than give everyone a character, they have some participants paint characters, some paint the the plot, others the theme, and so forth. Then the groups work and sip on wine for thirty minutes before unveiling their canvases to a group of actors and actresses. The players get a mere fifteen minutes to interpret the paintings before bringing their contents to life in a 15-minute improvised performance. Since everyone's interests may vary, it's not required for every participant to paint. Instead, they can simply enjoy the free-flowing wine, the freely given laughs, and the free-as-always oxygen.

1029 West 35th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Surround Sound of Fashion dazzles guests with an evening of new styles, fresh-faced models, and ear-pleasing performances from R & B stars Tyrese and Elle Varner, all helping fund local charities. Before the swanky festivities begin, Groupon customers can exercise VIP clout to attend a preshow reception party, where light refreshments and drinks presage a main course of delectable fashion. Throughout the night, aspiring models saunter the catwalk festooned in threads from both nationally known designers and up-and-coming couturiers. The catwalkers will compete periodically for prizes including extravagant trips, professional photo shoots, and a ride on a giant balloon during upcoming holiday parades.

1029 West 35th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

East Bank Storage securely caches furniture, clothing, wine, or possessions of nearly any size in its secure buildings and lockers. Self-store units are available in an array of sizes with corresponding month-to-month leases. Prices vary by location and unit size, with secure spaces from 2'x4' lockers to 10'x15' expanses the size of a large bedroom or a tiny concert hall. The Ohio and Kingsbury location sports 10'x10' spaces suitable for the contents of a studio apartment ($165/month). Those in need of smaller spaces can rent a 5'x5' unit ($49/month) at the Lake and Halsted site to store small chairs, tables, or perfected furniture forts. All locations protect possessions with covered loading docks, 24-hour video surveillance, and stoic guard robots.

1200 W 35th St
Chicago,
IL
US

It's no secret that street food requires lots of creativity: not only are people working in smaller spaces without the furnishings of a full kitchen, but they're hoping their food will stand out amid Chicago's many food trucks and street vendors. StreetFood Artistry celebrates their creativity, inviting hundreds of mobile food artisans to show off their culinary treasures in one convenient space. In that same spirit, the culturally conscious affair also gives visibility to local artists—whose work will be on display—and musicians, including DJ Alvin Black III, who will perform throughout the day. General admission include non-alcoholic beverages and access to the entertainment.

But StreetFood Artistry is more than just one annual event. The not-for-profit corporation was founded by Patrice N. Perkins, an attorney who works with creative-minded entrepreneurs. This year, she's introducing Stand Out Creative, an initiative that will help support one of SFA's participants: one participant will win a financial award to help grow their brand and will be set up with 50 hours of pro bono legal services. The winners will be chosen in part by fan-favorite votes at the event.

1029 West 35th Street
Chicago,
IL
US

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