Things To Do In Chicago

Gorilla Tango Theatre – Up to 30% Off Burlesque

Bucktown

$35 $25

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Performers sling jokes and shed clothes during burlesque parodies of Batman and Star Wars

Up to 58% Off Tours from Urban Kayaks

Multiple Locations

$45 $20

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Kayaking tourists gaze upon Chicago's scenery from the Chicago River and Lake Michigan

50% Off Arts and Antiques Expo

Navy Pier

$20 $10

Visitors to the expo can browse everything from leather-bound books to diamond jewelry and 19th-century antiques

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra – Up to 73% Off

Harris Theater for Music and Dance

$44 $12

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The national premiere of a symphony suppressed by the Nazis, a Vaughan Williams piece, and a collaboration with the lauded Avalon Quartet

The Fray – Up to 47% Off

FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

$37.95 $20

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Grammy-nominated rockers behind "How to Save a Life" treat audiences to piano-driven hits and songs from their newest album

The Dance Mile on Randolph Street – $10 Off

Chicago

$45 $35

Twirl and sashay your way down Randolph Street decked out in a costume or Dance Mile neon tank, then keep the fun going at an after party

Up to 53% Off Standup Comedy

Near North Side

$30 $15

Upscale club partnered by Jim Belushi features local and nationally renowned comics

Up to 60% Off the Great Food Tour of Chicago

Chicago

$50 $25

Tours make six stops along Michigan Avenue, visiting the originator of deep-dish pizza and an eatery serving up Chicago-style hot dogs

Up to Off 80% Yoga Classes

West Town

$140 $29

A large studio space accommodates up to 70 students per class for a combination of vinyasa flow, balance postures, and meditation

50% Off "Fifty Shades of Grey" Parody

The Apartment

$86 $43

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Performers romp through the funny side of the hit erotic novel to the tune of Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Carly Rae Jepsen

Up to 55% Off The L.A.T.E. Ride

Buckingham Fountain

$55 $25

Celebrate the summer solstice with a night ride; FOTP members get a quarterly newsletter and discounts on park tours

49% Off Pup Crawl

Hubbard Inn

$35 $18

Pub crawl that benefits PAWS Chicago takes revelers to five local bars, including Hubbard Inn and The Boss Bar

Up to 51% Off Rooftop Cubs Game

Lakeview

$141.17 $69

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Gaze over Wrigley Field's right-centerfield wall from a luxurious rooftop as the Cubs continue to charge through the 2014 season

50% Pub Crawl or Brunch Tour

The Loop

$80 $40

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Groups roam the pedway's watering holes while hearing about prohibition days, or combine history with brunch

Up to 44% Off Loop Interior Architecture Tour for Two

The Loop

$52 $29

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Featured in the Chicago Reader, guides lead groups through architecturally striking interiors and share photos and videos via iPads

Up to 50% Off Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours

Chicago

$50 $30

Ride up to some of Chicago's most iconic landmarks as the sun sets and the skyline begins to glow

Up to 50% Off an Inside Chicago Grand Tour

The Loop

$45 $25

A bus ferries visitors to the North and South Sides, showing them major parks, the Museum Campus, and the sights along Lake Shore Drive

$8 Off Movie Outing

Logan Square

$19 $11

Historic theater screens current releases and classic films

Up to 57% Off Urban Scavenger Race

Dick's Last Resort

$80 $39

Teams navigate the city in search of 14 clues, which they must document via smart phone; first prize is $500 and entry for the championship

Riverfront Mayfest – Up to 57% Off Festival

Chicago Tribune Festival Lot

$23.25 $10

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New outdoor music festival features '90s tribute acts on Friday, local bands on Saturday, and country music on Sunday

Up to Half Off Urban Dare Adventure Race for Two

Allstars Sports Bar

$90 $45

Fast-paced competition challenges teams of two with trivia, photo hunts, and mental and physical challenges

"Second City's Game Night" – Up to 46% Off

Near North Side

$31.50 $17

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Using audience suggestions, skilled improvisors create scenes that riff on TV game shows at the new cabaret theater

Wrigleyville Rooftops – Up to 50% Off Tickets

Wrigleyville

$135 $69

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Take in a Cubs game from the rooftop while enjoying a complete food and beverage menu; access to climate-controlled suites included

Uncover the Secrets of the Human Body at an Autopsy Seminar

Bucktown

$50 $50

The founder of the Autopsy Center of Chicago fields questions about death and the body during a slideshow

Tall Ship Red Witch – Up to 51% Off Sailing Trip

Central Chicago

$70 $35

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Passengers relax on Chicago's only wooden tall ship while viewing the skyline or delighting in exploding fireworks

54% Off Scavenger Dash

Near North Side

$127.59 $59

Teams of two traverse the streets of Chicago as they find clues, collect items, take pictures, and complete challenges

47% Off Ice-Dancing Performance

McFetridge Sports Center

$47.04 $25

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World-class figure skaters—including an Olympic Bronze medalist—perform dazzling choreography during the Chicago debut of "Let's Dance"

94% Off MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass

Multiple Locations

$350 $20

Instructors encourage full-body results in a variety of fitness classes supplemented by a success guide and nutritional coaching

53% Off Tomato Fight at Soldier Field

Soldier Field South Parking Lot

$62.08 $29

Six-hour outdoor event includes music, cold beer, and free-for-all tomato fight at Soldier Field

Up to 66% Off Private Lessons from Gil Davis Golf

Marquette Park

$325 $159

Fundamentals form the centerpiece of a teaching philosophy espoused by Gil Davis, an alumni of ESPN Golf Schools

50% Off Ghost Investigation Tour

Pilsen

$116 $58

After a crash course in ghost hunting, small supervised teams use tools of the trade to explore an Al Capone underworld operation

Up to 51% Off Kayak Architecture Tour

Goose Island

$65 $32

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Kayakers follow a guide down the Chicago River, passing the city's many architectural landmarks

Up to 71% Off Classes at Namaskar YOGA

Lakeview

$130 $45

Classes such as Vinyasa Flow, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for Runners are taught in a setting that nurtures each student's personal growth

48% Off Cake Decorating Class

Roscoe Village

$75 $39

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Chef instructors lead classes in basic cake decorating or working with fondant; all supplies provided

74% Off Self-Defense Seminar

Lincoln Park

$100 $39

Women and children learn the necessary moves and tips in order to properly defend themselves against attack during a two-hour seminar

67% Off a Two-Hour Pontoon-Boat Rental

Goose Island

$300 $99

Luxury pontoon boats host up to 10 guests as they tour the Chicago River or enjoy sunset views of downtown Chicago

67% Off Sailing Lesson

Multiple Locations

$300 $99

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Experienced captains instill proper seamanship & teach beginners fundamental sailing skills in lessons on Lake Michigan

80% Off at Windy City Adventure Boot Camp

Lincoln Park

$300 $59

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Certified trainer and regular fitness contributor to NBC Chicago news leads women in supportive routines against backdrop of Lake Michigan

Up to 61% Off Urban Scavenger Hunt

Cubby Bear

$100 $40

Five-hour scavenger hunt takes participants through 12 challenges that encourage them to explore the city while testing their mettle

50% Off Segway Tours for Two

Multiple Locations

$138 $69

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Segways effortlessly glide through the city streets, allowing riders to breeze by Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House or Soldier Field

Up to 50% Off First-Class Sailing

Lakeview

$199 $99

Captains ferry groups of up to six onto Lake Michigan for relaxing excursions and stunning views; patrons can bring their own beverages

Up to 78% Off from TikiBoat Chicago

Monroe Harbor

$1,799 $399

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36-foot party barge with water slide ferries guests onto Lake Michigan and Chicago River; amenities include stereo, grill, and full bathroom

Half Off a Standup-Paddleboard Rental

North Avenue Beach

$60 $30

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Balance on a board and paddle on Lake Michigan waters with a view of the skyline

Up to 50% Off Kayak Rentals

Wateriders on the Riverwalk

$40 $20

Torch calories in a kayak workout, or learn about Chicago's history and architecture or haunted spots while paddling the Chicago River

Up to 52% Off Boat Tours from Seadog Cruises

Navy Pier

$30.45 $15

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Speedboats zip past famed Chicago landmarks along the lakefront and river; informative narration on city's history and architecture

Up to 70% Off Private BYOB Sailing Cruises

DuSable Harbor

$220 $69

Daytime or sunset Lake Michigan cruises delight with views of the Chicago skyline; passengers can bring their own drinks and playlists

Up to 70% Off a Pontoon-Boat Rental

ESTATE Ultra Bar

$250 $99

Gas-pontoon boats cruise leisurely up and down the Chicago River on a waterfront tour; bring your own food and drinks

Half Off Jet Ski Rental from Chicago Jet Ski Rentals

At 31st Street Harbor

$80 $40

Jet skiers blast over Lake Michigan's waves and enjoy the Chicago skyline

Up to 57% Off French Prestige Cooking Class at Cook Au Vin

Lincoln Park

$150 $69

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During hands-on classes, participants create a multi-course meal of French cuisine with ingredients such as truffles and lobster

Up to 53% Off from Chicago Crime Tours

Chicago

$79.90 $38

Learn about more than 100 years of Chicago’s crime history in a 90-minute tour of famous crime scenes and landmarks

Up to 50% Off for Two at Randolph Street Market

West Loop

$10 $5

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75+ vendors collect vintage furniture, art, fashions, antiques, estate jewelry, and fancy foods to sell at seasonally themed weekend markets

Up to 82% Off Classes at TriFit Boot Camps

Multiple Locations

$120 $39

Exercisers of all fitness levels tighten and tone through yoga and run club programs and outdoor boot-camp classes

Up to 57% Off Social Game Experience

Logan Square

$40 $20

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Players take part in a role-playing event that is set in the prohibition era and pulls from mob folklore

Up to 92% Off Boot Camp at Vitality Fitness

Chicago

$240 $19

Boot camps rely on diverse exercises to increase muscle tone and torch calories; personal training can take place at the gym or in your home

Up to 86% Off Tango-Class Packages

Old Irving Park

$310 $49

Students learn the intricacies of the Argentine tango from an instructor with competitive experience; large, air-conditioned studio

50% Off a Haunted-History Walking Tour

South Loop

$50 $25

A two-hour walking tour covers most haunted areas and allows guests to conduct their own paranormal investigation

Up to 91% Off Shaolin Kempo Karate Classes

Multiple Locations

$220 $29

Shaolin kempo karate classes for all ages blend elements of jujitsu, kung fu, and Shaolin temple boxing into a single self-defense style

73% Off at 105F - Bikram Yoga Chicago

Multiple Locations

$180 $49

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Intense 90-minute Bikram yoga classes take place in a 105º room with 40% humidity; locations in Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and South Loop

Up to 57% Off Golf Lessons

Chicago

$150 $65

Boasting membership in the LPGA and a past as a Division I Head Women's Golf Coach, Robin Aikens helps students build strong fundamentals

68% Off Personal Training

Chicago

$480 $154

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

45% Off

The Loop

$200 $110

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

65% Off Dance Lessons

Logan Square

$68 $24

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

53% Off Music Lessons

Chicago

$60 $28

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Up to 69% Off Hapkido or Tae Kwon Do Classes

Avondale

$240 $79

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Adults or kids don uniforms and join peers in Hapkido or Tae Kwon Do martial arts classes at a school that's served Chicago since 1971

81% Off Bikram Yoga Classes

Bikram Yoga River North

$150 $29

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In a sprawling studio heated between 105 and 110 degrees, instructors teach students of all experience levels the 26 Bikram yoga poses

Up to 77% Off Boot Camp Classes

Near North Side

$150 $39

Certified personal trainers aim to make fitness a game; 60-minute high intensity interval training workouts

45% Off Boxing

Chicago

$598 $329

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

70% Off Classes at 1 on 1 Fitness Training

Bucktown/Wicker Park

$79 $24

Certified health and fitness professionals lead students in positive, rewarding fitness boot-camp or fun, muscle-building MMA classes

47% Off Dance Lessons

Chicago

$15 $8

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Up to 67% Off MMA, Boxing, and Kickboxing Classes

Cragin

$75 $29.99

Get fit and learn new fighting techniques during MMA, boxing, and kickboxing classes

52% Off CrossFit at Mettle Fitness

Chicago

$165 $79

Get in shape with a month's worth of intense daily CrossFit workouts

Up to 51% Off Simulated Golf at City Tee Time

The Loop

$200 $99

The Old Course at St. Andrews, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and many other famous courses come to life on the 12 ft. golf simulator screen

Chicago History Museum – Up to 48% Off

Lincoln Park

$14 $8

Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at 50 years of the Ebony Fashion Fair

Up to 59% Off Kids' Open Play at Chicago Playpen

Bronzeville

$60 $29

Kids play inside a facility that's full of educational installations, including a grocery store

Up to 85% Off High-Intensity Group Fitness and Yoga Classes

Near West Side

$100 $15

High-intensity FIT Method classes challenge strength and cardiovascular fitness and Fitness After Baby classes help new mothers get fit

Half Off Membership to the APR Pullman Porter Museum

Far South Chicago

$50 $25

Museum celebrates the victories of the nation's first African-American labor unions and the history of African-American railroad workers

55% Off at Victory Training

Roscoe Village

$144 $65

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Yoga and Fitness Classes

DePaul

$200 $89

Varied classes of 10 or fewer students incorporate yoga, Pilates, ballet, HIIT, Tabata, and other forms of fitness

Up to 55% Off Dance Lessons at Tango Chicago

South Loop

$50 $25

Learn tango moves from seasoned instructor Al Gates; a social dance complements the lesson

Chicago Things To Do Guide

Chicago is known for its lakefront location and wide range of cultural venues. The city's wide variety of seasonal festivals, sporting events, outdoor recreation and cultural activities means that people have no trouble finding things to do in Chicago. There is always something going on, from dances in the park to new touring theatrical productions.

Chicago has a year-round supply of musicals and plays featuring local artists. For comedy lovers, The Second City is a sketch comedy venue that has trained some of the leading comedians in the country. The theater is one of the top Chicago attractions, offering a range of shows throughout the year. Some shows include dinner, making them ideal for a complete night out. People who are interested in learning improvisational comedy can take classes at The Second City.

For people who love the great outdoors, Lake Michigan is a short drive from almost anywhere in the city. People who are looking for active stuff to do in Chicago can head to the lakeshore, where miles of paved trails run along the water. Kayaking offers a unique view of the city. At Wateriders Kayak Tours, the entertaining guides offer themed paddling tours. The Ghosts and Gangsters tour takes place at night, giving participants the chance to learn about Chicago's dark past and explore the haunted spots in the city's waterways.

People who love sports have no shortage of Chicago activities, no matter what the season. In addition to the big teams like the Cubs and the Bears, the city is home to the Windy City Rollers, a women's roller derby team. Each bout is rowdy and exciting, and the athletes are fearless. Tickets are inexpensive, and the stadium is easy to reach by public transportation.

Whether people are looking for an outdoor activity or an evening on the town, there are things to do in Chicago for every taste and budget.

For people who love the great outdoors, Lake Michigan is a short drive from almost anywhere in the city.
 

Select Local Merchants

You could film a training montage for pretty much any type of sports movie at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness. Built on 3.5 acres in Lincoln Park and spanning 185,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor sport and fitness space over four levels, the sprawling fitness center encompasses two swimming pools, a quarter-mile indoor running track, courts for basketball and squash, and four fully-equipped locker rooms. Avid tennis players of all levels and ages can take advantage of the eight indoor and three outdoor tennis courts with private instruction from U.S. and Euro tour pros, or try their alternate swing with recreational and competitive paddle tennis programs.

To complement these areas, fitness instructors lead cardio classes such as cycling, kickboxing, and Zumba, and core-strength classes, including yoga and Pilates reformer classes. Those looking for an advanced group fitness workout can check out Marcelo Ehrhardt's Athlete Zone class, which includes plyometrics, strength, cardio, and flexibility training. The fitness center also hosts workouts in the pool, where kids learn to swim and competitive swimmers learn to avoid dissolving into foam. Passes grant access to the facility's advanced fitness tools, such as the body composition analyzer Inbody 520 and the function movement screen (FMS), used by pro sports teams to identify the body's movement imbalances and asymmetries.

Lakeshore Sport & Fitness gives exercisers ample reasons to stick around after their workouts end. During the summer, the rooftop boasts outdoor yoga classes and the restaurant Harvest, which offers seasonal dishes, craft beers, and cocktails. All year, the 1320 Market serves healthy smoothies and meals, while the onsite spa rewards muscles for their hard work with acupuncture and several types of massage. The club's childcare services and child classes and camps let parents enjoy these extended stays as well.

1320 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.

Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.

945 N State St
Chicago,
IL
US

Today, millions of people live and thrive among the streets and skyscrapers of Chicago, but at one time the bustling metropolis had only one resident—namely, the city's apocryphal, somewhat legendary founder, Jean Baptist Point DuSable. A Haitian of French and African descent, DuSable was the first of Chicago's great African Americans, a company that includes the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington. In one of the DuSable Museum's standing exhibits, the Thomas Miller mosaics, portraits of DuSable and Washington peer out along with eight of the founding members of the museum—a constellation of lodestars reminding visitors to maintain Chicago's diverse heritage.

While the mosaics incorporate the museum's own story, other exhibits examine African American achievements of all kinds. Red, White, Blue & Black, for instance, examines the contributions of black men and women in the armed forces, while voices from the past sing out in Spread the Word! The Evolution of Gospel, a survey of Chicago-based gospel greats such as Mahalia Jackson and Thomas Dorsey. In A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story, visitors explore the nuances of the momentous campaign through memorabilia and more than 150 mayoral artifacts. An animatronic likeness of Mayor Washington himself even steps in to relay stories and first-hand accounts made possible by animatronic robots' ability to travel through time. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts musical performance, film festivals, and book signings that introduce members to more aspects of African American history, including the scholars who continue to uncover it.

740 East 56th Place
Chicago,
IL
US

By the early 1920s, nearly every major metropolis in the United States and abroad had an aquarium. By 1930, Chicago stood tall among their ranks, thanks to civic leader John G. Shedd’s drive to build the first permanent inland saltwater collection in the country. Shedd’s contribution of $3 million paid for nearly a million gallons of seawater, which were transported by rail from Florida’s coast before filling exhibits large enough to accommodate sea mammals as well as fish.

Today, Shedd’s dream continues to thrive with the aquarium’s scores of undersea creatures—from sharks and dolphins to vibrant sea cucumbers—showcased in educational, eye-catching exhibits. The permanent collection spirits visitors from the Great Lakes to the Amazon River to the waters of the Arctic Circle. The resident critters often share their turf with temporary guests such as sea jellies and stingrays, who fill dramatic special exhibits.

The most exciting animal encounters, however, may come via the year-round aquatic show. Trainers show off the talents of sea lions, dolphins, and even beluga whales. They have some four-legged company, too: a trio of rescue dogs often perform alongside their finned adoptive family, demonstrating how learning through positive reinforcement transcends boundaries between species.

1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago,
IL
US

The creative team of framers and decorators at Foursided stocks stacks of creative greeting cards and paraphernalia. The self-described "frame nerds" do more than cultivate a collection of stationery by planting paper seeds in nearby printing presses; they also place prints and objects into frames and furnish homes with original pieces by a handful of favored artists. Staffers also buy and sell vintage flash cards, puzzle pieces, and letter tiles harvested from a variety of objects.

Owner Todd Mack has worked in framing for 20 years, and he draws on his vast experience when custom mounting a broad spectrum of pieces. Vintage and recycled frames, archival framing, and shadow boxes are a few of the options available. Mack's interest in shadow boxes makes perfect sense to visitors who take a look at his own art, which assembles found photos and objects in forms that aren't always 2-D.

On HGTV's Urban Oasis, interior designer Vern Yip ornamented a luxury apartment with prints gathered from Foursided's expansive collection. In that collection, colorful shelves of letter blocks, maps, corks, baby-doll heads, and harmonicas turn personal, nostalgic objects into stylish new decorations. Candles, jewelry, and books round out the gift selections.

5061 N Clark St
Chicago,
IL
US

CorePower Yoga founder Trevor Tice knows yoga is much more than a tool for increasing physical strength. "We've seen first hand emotional breakthroughs, physical improvements, and most of all, a new found confidence and balance our students carry from the studio into their daily lives," says Trevor. To further their holistic efforts, CorePower provides additional services and programs across various locations. Some outposts house spas where visitors can quiet their minds with a massage or facial, while others host Karma Yoga events wherein teachers lead free classes for cancer survivors, and students share home-cooked food with homeless youths.

But yoga resides at the heart of CorePower's mission to inspire as many people as possible, so each studio boasts a range of classes that accommodates all experience levels. Truly serious students can conjure pensive expressions as they enroll in a yoga-teacher-training program, and all patrons can take comfort in knowing their studio was built from recycled materials and equipped with energy-efficient fixtures.

555 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago,
IL
US