The pilots at Sun Aero Helicopters Inc. have been training pupils in the autogiro arts and transporting clients through the skies since 1991. Inside their base at Lansing Municipal Airport, aviators maintain a 12,000-square-foot hangar area and 3,000 square feet of training offices and high-speed computerized flight-planning facilities. Expert pilots impart their knowledge to up-and-coming FBI agents, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and leisure pilots during one-on-one training sessions in Robinson and Bell copters. Pilots also give landlubbers a skyscraper's view of Chicago's landmarks, such as US Cellular Field, the John Hancock building, and the Sears/Willis Tower. When they aren't transporting rally drivers, golfers, and famous wiffle ball players with private charter services, Sun Aero serves national media companies with aerial photography and land surveys.
The Hub at Berens Park invites guests of all ages with a sprawling complex dedicated to wholesome fun. Groups can seek out par across the Hub's 18-hole miniature golf course, which encircles a scenic water feature, or protect the strike zone at the batting cages, where softballs and baseballs dart over the dish at speeds ranging from 40 to 80 miles per hour. A circuit of mini geysers erupts throughout the 6,000-square-foot spray ground, where tykes can freely frolic and arm themselves with Big Squirts?refillable water toys available for purchase at the equipment window?for leverage in juice-box hostage situations. The Hub also encompasses a playground with youth- and tot-friendly equipment, an indoor facility with restrooms and a concessions stand, and a party room families can rent for birthday parties or guileless secret-society meetings.
Located 14 miles from downtown Chicago, Elmhurst Art Museum displays national shows and the works of deserving regional, national, and international artists. In addition to hosting on going activities in the museum's education center, the museum seeks to spark creativity and foster sensitivity for fine art in the community through stimulating displays, programs, and mind control.
Attached to the museum is the historic McCormick House, which is one of only three homes in the United States designed and built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and then replicated in LEGOs. The museum layout is designed around the house, which stands as a tribute to Mies and has won the Chicago AIA Regional Architecture Award.
Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus gathers exercisers of all ages to its facility that boasts 60 fitness classes per week, an indoor climbing wall, and experienced personal trainers. From aquatics to martial arts, Courts Plus's troupe of trainers help their members and guests hone lean physiques, and a large gym boasts 70 pieces of cardio equipment, 38 strength-training machines, and impressively accurate mirrors. Youth programs abound as well, including summer camps, junior tennis lessons, and a strength-training program customized for ages 6–15.
The GolfBetter Studio tweaks clients' golf games using a holistic combination of instruction, fitness, and equipment to improve swings and skills. After a Power Golf Assessment, each participant enters a program in which each lesson focuses on developing changes in motor skills using the K-Vest. The studio's Titleist Performance Institute–certified instructors use every tool at their disposal to up their students' games, be it swing-analysis technology or making misbehaving golf clubs sit facing the corner for hours.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Pro Tip: Wear comfortable clothing
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Archery Tag
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
As the owner of Chicago Archery Academy, Casey has taught students to aim using Olympic recurve bows, traditional recurve bows, longbows, and compound bows. But the real enthusiasm at his training range stems from his latest creation, Archery Tag, which he describes as "paintball but with bows and arrows."
The event takes place in an arena much like a paintball field, with areas of cover and open expanses. Unlike paintball's projectiles, though, the soft, foam-tipped arrows never leave welts, bruises, or marks. The tip of each arrow resembles nothing so much as a marshmallow, which is not known for its aerodynamics. In fact, the shafts fly through the air slowly enough that a participant who is paying attention can dodge them in helping their team claim victory.