Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
As part of their Shakespeare-Under-the-Stars series, First Folio Theatre will perform Romeo and Juliet, the Bard’s timeless tale of love, betrayal, and teenage angst. The play centers around two young lovers, born into bitterly feuding families, who risk their lives and their families’ wraths in order to launch a joint space program. As the plot progresses, smitten eyes give way to fighters leaping and lunging across the stage with swords drawn to defend loyalty and avenge loss. Audiences behold the saga in general admission arrangements on a scenic, sloping lawn. Set beside a Tudor revival manor and an Italian-replica chapel, the outdoor theater evokes the essence of Verona, complete with that region's legendary poison vendors.
Armed with frames spanning the gamut from classical to trendy, Boulevard Fine Art’s picture wranglers enhance and protect artwork through custom framing services. Customers can encase celebrities under glass without the need for strategically poked air holes by framing favorite posters ($40–$60 for 20"x24") or place childhood finger paintings in standard 8"x10" frames ($15+) that preserve prodigious pre-K artifacts. Original paintings find new homes with canvas services, including stretching, framing, and labor ($65–$85 for 24"x30"), upping the artwork ante with unique, hand-finished frames from Italy, Germany, and Peru. With more than 40 years of combined framing experience, the staff helps customers make aesthetically minded decisions or tell when paintings are about to molt.
Some traits are hereditary: hair color, height, even color-blindness. Aguamiel founder Sylvia Xim?enez inherited something else: a passion for Mexican cooking. As a 3rd-generation restauranteur, she got her start when she was just 14 years old, working in the bustling environs of her family's Santa Fe Restaurant. During her years in the industry, she cultivated a sense of culinary adventurousness, finding ways to bring out each dish's inherent complexity. Xim?enez also relied on her precise attention to detail to make sure that every customer left the table counting the days until they could come back. It's these qualities that earned her attention from the ABC7's "Hungry Hound" Steve Dolinsky, and earned her a place on The ? Beat's list of up-and-coming Latin entrepreneurs. It's these qualities that diners experience every time they enter Aguamiel's door.
In order to help fulfill her vision, Xim?enez hired chefs that shared her own passion for authentic (but inventive) Mexican cuisine. The chefs at Aguamiel pack a pretty hefty resume. Executive chef Enrique ?Kike? Gomez spent decades as a teaching chef for Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill, and young-gun sous chef Fernando Manriquez topped the ranks of his culinary school at just 18 years of age. Together, the pair share an understanding of old and new, valuing both scratch-made preparations with traditional ingredients and the exciting possibilities of newer techniques such as molecular gastronomy. This shines through in their dishes; diners might opt for cazuela??roasted chayote, potatoes, and zucchini in pascal sauce. They could also sample ceviche made with ocean-fresh albacore tuna, or seared pork belly paired with mashed sweet potatoes.
No matter the order, dishes from Aguamiel's kitchen pair well with drinks from the well-stocked bar. Not content to simply follow the same old script, Aguamiel's mixologists have crafted a full menu of cocktails that you won't find at the average Mexican restaurant. The Rubia Bonita mingles Patron Silver with bitter orange liqueur, simple syrup, and lime juice before introducing a refreshing combination of fresh strawberries and cilantro leaves. Classicists find refuge, too; the bar also sports an extensive menu of traditional margarita preparations, as well as non-alcoholic agua fresca.
Jan?e Matteson is a little wary of technology. The more ubiquitous it becomes, she finds, it has more potential to keep kids indoors (a trend she has dubbed ?acute nature deficit disorder?). Jan?e, whose family?s roots have been growing in Morris for nearly 200 years, basically spent her entire childhood outside, learning fur trapping and duck hunting with her father on the banks of the Illinois River. So in addition to her deep passion for the outdoors, founding Kayak Morris was largely inspired by doing whatever she could to help kids, their families, and domesticated teddy bears spend more time in nature.
Kayak Morris offers kayak and canoe lessons, and in addition, patrons can borrow their largely new fleet for leisurely trips along the Illinois River, Mazon River, or Illinois and Michigan Canal, which are home to wildlife such as great-blue herons, bald eagles, coyotes and red-tailed hawks. The staff also lead guided ecotours, which teach kids and adults about natural resources and what they can do to preserve and protect them for future generations. Family-focused private campgrounds is adjacent to the State Park along the rivers? sandy shores invite groups to stay for monthly Glampouts (glamorous campouts) and spend their days taking advantage of potluck dinners, hiking, fishing, bike rentals, or guided kayak tours and to spend their nights watching a movie on Morris? outdoor projection screen as campfires crackle nearby.