Fitness 19 welcomes exercisers into its pristine workout facilities lined with Life Fitness cardio machines, free weights, and fully staffed childcare rooms. A personal trainer works with fitness seekers to create motivating custom workouts, helping members set goals and chase them down with the precision of a saint bernard leading a search-and-rescue mission in an inflatable-ball pit. Heart rates rise and calories evaporate during jogs on treadmills and pedaling sessions on stationary bikes. Dumbbells and barbells encourage lifting and curling, and Smith machines help bodies perform squats safely and effectively. Make muscles ripple with plate-loaded strength-training equipment, an eight-station crossover cable, or high-intensity deadlifts with a complimentary water bottle.
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.
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.
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.
In 1848, dairy cows grazed on the 30 acres that now host the Volo Auto Museum’s five showrooms. The mooing of heifers has given way to the imaginary roar of 200 collector cars and 100 gleaming autos that once graced movie and television sets—including a Batmobile from the 1966 TV series, a Herbie from the latest movie, and one of the first General Lees. After ogling the television and movie collection, guests can wander among vintage and antique vehicles and reminisce about the days when we still had to go places in person.
Nearby, the military exhibit’s realistic scenery surrounds vehicles ranging from a WWII BMW motorcycle with sidecar to a 1967 Bell helicopter shot down in Vietnam. After examining older artillery and artifacts, visitors can gaze at cases holding items retrieved from Saddam Hussein’s palace and from captured Iraqi soldiers. Those below driving age can explore kids’ attractions, including SpongeBob’s boatmobile.
Guests traverse the vast showrooms on foot or via a 1915, Victorian-style trolley, free on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Trolley tours begin by exploring autos that used to be stabled by the rich and famous alongside their unicorns. They then venture into the old dairy farm’s 19th-century barn, where activity by Civil War ghosts has drawn investigators from the Discover Channel’s Ghost Lab. Before leaving, visitors can refuel with an Angus-beef patty at the Betty Boop Burger Bar and Beer Garden or drop into four antique malls.