Home to a frog-tongue slide and bordered by a pair of serpentine water slides, Lords Park Aquatic Center’s 14,142-square-foot recreation pool mixes water with whimsy to the delight of guests of all ages. In addition to the child-friendly fare, the Elgin Parks and Recreation facility invites older splashers to use the cordoned-off lap-swimming area, where they can practice their freestyle strokes and flip turns. Outside the zero-depth pool borders lie a sand volleyball court, a concession area, and plenty of chairs for poolside relaxation.
Sapphire Hills Stable shares its 22-acre expanse with indoor and outdoor arenas, as well as a vast network of trails for casual riding. Lifelong equestrian Cheryl Bethel with a specialization in Western Saddle riding—instructs riders of all skill levels with lessons in Hunter/Jumper and Dressage. Spectators can watch from the indoor arena’s heated viewing room—perfect for protection against the cold winter winds and cold shoulders from horses that won’t return high-fives.
Evil Intentions Haunted House evokes the details of its site’s checkered past to conjure the stuff of nightmares. The area the haunted house now occupies has been plagued with creepy occurrences for more than a century. Since the 1890s the expanse has been used as the premises of a coffin company, a stomping ground for escapees from a nearby mental institution, and a gathering place for the occult’s summer softball league.
Starting in 2005, the Evil Intentions Haunted House team slowly transformed this troubled spot into a haunted house that comes alive with shrieks once night falls. Visitors can leave their cars in the free parking lot and gather in the indoor waiting area before exploring more than 20,000 square feet of tortuous halls filled with dark decor and costumed frights. Demonic clowns, faceless butchers, and cleaver-wielding lunatics creep around corners and leap out of hidden alcoves, scaring both passing patrons and the actual ghosts who occupy the building.
Nadia, the founder of Institute of Bath and Body, applies her master's degree in molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry to the creation of bath and beauty products, crafting luxurious and elegant creations from all-natural, botanical ingredients. During her lotions-and-creams class, students delve into the chemical processes of creating emulsions, working with common ingredients and additives, and memorizing the treaty that liberated soap from the soggy clutches of their dishes. Students then blend their own 4-ounce lotion and 4-ounce cream to take home, personalized with a scent of their choosing. A sweet sugar-scrub class permits pupils to experiment with different exfoliating formulas for dry skin, oily skin, or lips, exiting the course with samples of all of their creations. Students can also opt for a cold-process soap-making course, during which they’ll cover sudsy topics such as chemistry, safety, and color and fragrance additives. All attendees take home a reusable mini-mold and a quality bar of soap ideal for sprucing up the guest bathroom or cleaning out the expletive-laden mouths of neighborhood archdukes.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood tickle ribs in an evening of improvised comedy. Starting with suggestions form the audience, Mochrie and Sherwood fashion witty sketches that free guffaws from bellies and remind sad clowns what they've given up for their craft. Interactivity spices up the evening, with the comedic pair calling audience members to the stage to assist in chuckle-making scenes. The Hemmens Cultural Center ensconces guests in main-floor seats guaranteed to be within 100 feet of the stage, affording straight sightlines to onstage action and comfortable distance from the occasional gargoyle infestations of the balcony.
Within the private Studio Maliha, a dance space with floating oak-laminate floors, full-length mirrors, and track lighting, Serafina Belly Dances welcomes dancers of all ages, sizes, and abilities. In private and group classes—with a capacity of 12—students learn the fundamentals of proper posture, technique, and vocabulary of belly dancing. Students not only glean a full-body workout from the physically challenging moves of belly dance, but can also garner empowerment and a healthy self-image from the sensuous art form. Serafina Belly Dances celebrates self-appreciation and encourages positive body image in women of all sizes.