A staff of more than 30 qualified yoga instructors sporting diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise have made Sanctuary Yoga Highwood an inclusive studio for practitioners of all abilities and interests. Credit for the place's welcoming vibes also belong to owner Amanda Small, whose Mississippi-borne Southern hospitality inspires her to create a warm space, in both the emotional and physical sense. Though not every class is heated, some of the Vinyasa flows are performed in temperatures as high as 98 degrees to promote deeper stretching and to detoxify the body. For a less strenuous session, students can try one of Sanctuary's specialty classes, such as Stretchy and Gentle and Yoga Basics. An adjoined retail lounge keeps guests outfitted with exercise apparel and accessories from brands such as Yogitoes, as well as with organic candles and aromatherapy products that freshen up homes filled with sweaty yoga apparel and accessories.
Since its birth in 1949, The Alley, or at least the North Shore ground on which The Alley resides, has come full circle. During its earliest years, it was known as Mary Jane Lanes, a 10-lane bowling center that buzzed with family-friendly competition throughout the 1950s and '60s. That buzzing continued at a much louder decibel level during the 1970s, when Mary Jane Lanes became Minstrel's Alley, a go-to music venue rocked by the riffs of bands such as REO Speedwagon and The Ramones. In the 1980s, after crews restored its lanes and dug out all the burnt electric guitars embedded into its gutters, the building returned to its origins as a family-first bowling center. Today, The Alley has been updated with automatic scoring, projection TVs, and pool tables ready to accommodate guests of all ages. Every Friday and Saturday, though, The Alley detours back through the '70s, as live bands revive the facility's glory days during Rock and Bowl.
At the historic Highland Park Theatre, families and film buffs happily munch handfuls of fresh popcorn as spine-tingling thrillers, uproarious comedies, and rich, moving dramas play out on the big screen. The venerable North Shore movie house dates back to 1925, when it operated as the 1,200-seat Alcyon Theatre, which had a single screen that showed silent footage of cowboys racing on horseback, swashbucklers crossing swords, and complex romance plots communicated through drawn-out games of Pictionary. Today, powerful sound systems in the building's four theaters broadcast the dialogue of crowd-pleasing Hollywood blockbusters, as well as critically acclaimed independent films and imported foreign masterpieces.
Inside an open-floor gym stocked with treadmills, weights, and bikes, Body Empowered Fitness's personal trainers bolster clients' bods with custom workout regimes and specialized exercises. The gym's staff, including owner and NASM–certified corrective-exercise specialist Sylvia Knilans, constructs fitness plans that utilize Simultaneous Functional Training, a fusion of strength and stamina exercises, to slim figures and build muscle without radioactive spider bites. Trainers share their knowledge with up to four participants at various points throughout each workout and catalogue the day's progress for future exercise regimes.
Hidden Creek AquaPark's sprawling grounds swim with watery entertainment for guests of all ages, from kids waiting beneath the water playground's dumping bucket to grandparents reading a good book atop lounge chairs. Swimmers can slip down the winding slide or take the plunge from a drop slide, which spits them out into the deep end of a pool that gradually descends from its zero-depth entry. Meanwhile, kids can keep themselves busy building castles and multistory housing units in a sand area. After practicing swan dives and cannonballs off the diving board, guests can storm the concession stand or relax on the lawn.
Chad Surdich, a two-time Golden Glove semifinalist, surveys his red-walled boxing gym from behind the chainlink fence that circles the ring. Around him, boxing pupils wham their fists into focus mitts during small-group classes, or work up heart rates by hopping onto cardio machines. Chad and his expert instructors make use of North Shore Fit Pit’s bountiful array of weight machines and heavy ropes to lead boxing classes, cardio boxing classes, and hot boxing classes that amp up workouts with detoxifying heat and squirts of tabasco snuck into water bottles.