At most driving ranges, players can smash golf balls off of tees to their heart's content, but are unable to prove the results of their hard work on an actual hole. Then again, most driving ranges don't have a staff as seasoned as the one found at Chicago Players Club in Grayslake. The 20-acre property has all the features of a typical driving range—20 grass hitting stations, 5 target greens, and 20 separate mats. The difference lies in the men overseeing the operation. PGA teaching professional Mike Mandakas is available daily by appointment, ready to dole out advice on everything from how to correct a problematic backswing to which clubs make the best back-scratchers. He's joined by a team of instructors, who lend their expertise to players willing to journey to the course, which is conveniently located at the corner of Route 120 and US-45.
The Lake County Fairgrounds are the site an annual fair that showcases the Midwestern wonders that hide right in plain sight. No matter if they're habitual city slickers, suburb dwellers, country folk, or inveterate subterranean mole-people, visitors can experience the world of farm animals, award-winning flower gardens, and boxcar racing, not to mention the amusement rides and funnel cake that are now a vital part of every county fair. By now, the organizers have it down to a science?after all, the very first Lake County Fair took place in 1851, when it was hosted by the Lake County Agricultural Society and Horace the talking mule. Beyond those five glorious summer days, though, the fairgrounds hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, antique shows and art fairs, circuses, and mud runs.
At Dress Up & Dance!, classiness remains the top order of the day. Patrons are encouraged to wear party apparel—no gym shoes or baseball caps—to the non-alcoholic venue, where they can sip sparkling drinks and socialize with fellow dancers and non-dancers alike. Ballroom, Swing, Latin, and line-dance steps share the floor during open-dance nights, and lessons scheduled beforehand can prepare attendees to groove into the evening. The club also hosts private parties and themed events, such as New Year and Mardi Gras celebrations.
Owner and head instructor Netta Schleden harnesses her training at the British Horse Society to enhance horses and their riders alike. Eleven lesson horses hold riders aloft during safety-oriented riding lessons, while a team of sale horses allows riders to select their very own steed for engaging mounted police officers in high-speed chases. Equidream's boarding house lavishes steeds with twice-a-day feedings in clean and secure lodgings. The grounds' 2 acres of grass pasture are fit for blissful galloping, and 10?x12? stalls allow ample space for horse yoga.
The licensed educators at Kindermusik help enrich family relationships and bolster kiddies' mental development through interactive, music-focused play dates. Children from newborns to 7-year-olds can investigate the world of sound waves through age-specific sessions of sing-alongs, musical compositions, and sound barrier-breaking drum solos. ACE Music & Me sessions foster reading and language skills through dance and rhyme, and Village classes stimulate cognitive growth through musical activities. Guardians are encouraged to pick up a tambourine and belt out a note alongside their musical wards. After each pressure-free play date, Kindermusik instructors outfit each parent with a number of after-class activities suited to their child's developmental level and ability to impersonate Dick Clark.