In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
After beginning martial arts in 1980, two karate students earned seventh-degree black belts and eventually went on to become masters and open their own schools. They wanted to share their love of karate and other martial arts with even more people, so in 2011, they created Go2Karate.com. Go2Karate is a website that connects people around the world with martial arts schools in their communities. It also helps users learn about the various styles of martial arts?teaching them the differences between karate, Brazilian jujitsu, capoeira, and mixed martial arts, for instance?as well as helps them find a class based on their individual goals.
On the easy-to-use website, parents can find a karate school to successfully teach their child self-confidence and respect. Kids' karate classes acquaint students with others their own age, and also build skills that help them deal with schoolyard bullies. For women, karate and other martial arts do double duty as a fun and confidence-building fitness regime while also equipping them with essential self-defense moves. Karate and martial-arts classes for men help them not only hone fighting technique, but also reduce stress and drop pounds while chiseling stronger bodies. Users simply enter their location information and the style of martial arts they're interested in, and the website shows them a bounty of schools conveniently located nearby, many with a class schedule and news about recent events.
The beguiling motions of Irish step dance are just a hop, skip, and several tap-filled jumps away at the Chicago Academy of Irish Dance. Here, world-championship medalist and certified instructor Mallory Wendt introduces students to the Emerald Isle's traditional dance forms. Mallory can also guide more advanced students, too, drawing upon training she received from legends including Tim O’Hare, Mark Howard, and Glasgow's McLoughlin family.
Though the haunted alleys, crumbling subway tunnels, and blood-stained storefronts of Fear City are creepy enough, they aren't the reason why visitors tend to leave screaming. This ghastly municipality has more than 100 citizens?including deranged nurses and blood-covered asylum inmates.
These are just some of the scares that await within Fear City's 40,000-square-foot sprawl. The indoor attraction consistently places on hauntedhousechicago.com's top 13 rankings, and the city's always looking for new recruits: visitors are encouraged to dress up, join the madness, and take home whichever crazed clown they think would make a good roommate.
Curious about what else might lie in store? Click here to see videos that delve deeper into the city's secrets.
Founder Rick Sweitzer started the adventure travel company in 1983 before leading one of the first amateur dogsled expeditions to North Pole. Driven by his vision, the guides and instructors of The Northwest Passage lead travelers of all skill and fitness levels to some of the most dramatic terrain on the planet. Locally, the team leads outings around the Chicago area, ranging from stand-up paddleboarding classes on Lake Michigan to kayaking and camping trips in Door County, Wisconsin. As for the rest of the world, Northwest Passage sends it adventurers to conquer it locale by stunning locale during programs that include hiking across Europe, trekking to remote Polar regions, and dressing up like scientists to infiltrate Area 51.