Sports in Illinois

Select Local Merchants

Behind Underwater Safaris' unassuming storefront lies an ocean. Light shines down on the water's choppy surface, and a pod of dolphins leap out of the water. But, like a tank of helium you forgot to bolt to the floor, they never come back down. The dolphin mural is painted, but the water is quite real: it's part of a PADI five-star facility where students prepare to explore waters across the world.

The journey to coral reefs and shipwrecks begins with the guidance of an experienced team of fifteen instructors. The center, which has been open since 1985, has taught thousands of snorkelers and divers from Open Water through to instruction. After introductory Discover Scuba sessions, the staff branches off into more specialized areas, such as diving at night, exploring underwater wrecks, or scuba diving as a career.

Underwater Safaris also hosts annual trips to scuba destinations around the world. Guided and independent adventurers alike are welcome to stock up on gear from brands such as Aeris and Aqualung in the dive shop.

2950 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

To motivate exercisers to burn calories in their own dwellings, Fitness Experts' passionate employees pair exercise routines with the best-suited equipment from a reservoir of new and pre-owned fitness contraptions. The knowledgeable staff addresses individual fitness needs, advising patrons on purchasing the proper gear to avoid aggravating dumbbell allergies.

235 South Washington Street
Naperville,
IL
US

Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding, skis, and ice skates. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.

1127 S Roselle Rd
Schaumburg,
IL
US

While unloading their ammo upon enemies, paint-splattered warriors hunt for cover in the outdoor wilderness of Xtreme’s 10 playing fields. They duck behind multistory wooden barricades on the Castle field, navigate a maze of padded pillars and logs on the Arena field, dive into leafy ditches on the Bunker field, and command one of four two-tiered fortresses on the Four Forts field. Much like siblings competing to see who celebrates their birthday first, Xtreme Paintball Park gathers players to engage in competitive scenarios such as capture the flag and elimination. Park staffers expand these play opportunities by constantly building new playing fields and restaging area structures. During private parties, ranks of covered pavilions offer spaces where groups can take a break from excessive sun, rain, and snow as they prepare for the next round.

3545 Douglas Rd
Millstadt,
IL
US

Apart from selling bikes and the gear to go with them, Cycle Bike Shop’s savvy technicians cull parts and accessories from their shelves to heal and enhance cycles. They expertly steer patrons through a smorgasbord of two-wheelers, helmets, and gloves from brands such as Biria USA, Jamis, and KHS. During tune-ups, employees tweak brakes, hubs, and wheels before lubing cables to guarantee commutes are smoother and safer than a traffic cone sculpted from marshmallows.

1465 S Michigan Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Londo Mondo's activewear outfits women with designer swimsuits, workout apparel, and an array of fitness accessories. Chicago magazine attests that the shop stocks "all the big names in active apparel in sizes extra small to large."

1100 N Dearborn St
Chicago,
IL
US