Historic spacecraft, fragments of far away worlds, and maps of the galaxy make outer space seem completely within reach. That's the magic of the Adler Planetarium. From the moment visitors pass through the Clark Family Welcome Gallery?a portal of aluminum tubing, fabric, and video projections?they embark on a journey through space, time, and imagination.
Born in India—the same land where yoga originated centuries ago—Poonam Gupta has felt a profound attachment to the ancient discipline since childhood, when her father led her through the first steps of what would become a lifelong journey. Those early sessions with her father led Poonam to spend countless hours meditating, meeting with teachers, and perusing spiritual texts. In the course of her studies, she discovered that the physical practice of yoga was only part of the equation; the process of studying and furthering her knowledge of the art proved equally self-empowering.
Poonam thought back to this breakthrough when it came time to found her own studio, naming it Yoga Gyan Jyoti, which translates to “light of yogic knowledge.” Today, her daily yoga classes help practitioners to improve their flexibility, build their strength, and overcome weight issues. The center complements its yoga classes with training in ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine that focuses on correcting imbalances that result from years of poor nutrition or one-handed pushups.
On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci prot?g?s study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
Legendary Excursions’ wheelmen demonstrate the tactics necessary for navigating unpaved environments and install adrenaline-hungry guests inside a 190-horsepower, 4-speed manual-transmission Baja 1000–style off-road racing car. During the Ride Along Adventure, patrons ride shotgun as a professional driver steers them through three laps on a tricky, 6.3-mile off-road course at race-like speeds, navigating tough terrain and catching air on jumps. Experts kick-start the Taste of Baja Adventure by honing fear-conquering clients' driving skills and dressing them in racing helmets and other appropriate gear. Once suited up, racers will be formally introduced to their trusty motor-steed, learning all about its controls, safety equipment, and ticklish spots before having their picture taken with it. Adventurers then spend three laps traversing the baja track's jumps, sweeping turns and rough terrain, letting the colossal BFGoodrich tires create swirling dust formations and spew out perfectly cooked mud pies.
With its massive selection of varietals and styles, Lynfred Winery seems determined to make something for almost any wine drinker. The cellar brims with everything from bold, spicy reds to crisp and refreshing whites, as well as fruit wines made from apples, cherries, rhubarb, and pears. The grapes arrive from vineyards throughout California and Washington state, although the rest of the fruit typically comes from a bit closer to home, including growers throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Despite this variety, the staff's commitment to approachable, fruit-forward flavors characterizes virtually everything that the winery makes.
This dedication to easy drinking seems only natural given the winery's origins in a home basement. In 1975, Fred Koehler, along with his wife Lynn, decided to try to re-create the family wines his father and grandfather had made throughout the 1920s. The batches grew larger with each passing vintage, and, in 1979, Fred and Lynn chose to upgrade their homespun hobby into a commercial venture. Within six years, Lynfred Winery's creations began to appear in the national spotlight as they garnered awards and medals from wine competitions across the country. This attention allowed Fred to swell production even more, eventually expanding to a larger location in 1990.
Fred and Lynn's legacy continues to inspire the staff as they operate a facility that creates more than 100,000 gallons of wine each year using as many as 80 varietals. These wines appear on restaurant menus, on retail shelves, and inside fish tanks throughout the Chicagoland area.
Less than 90 minutes from St. Louis, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum houses the world’s largest collection of original Lincoln artifacts, complete with the Gettysburg Address. A life-size replica of Lincoln’s log cabin set back in a forest of artificial trees stands 40 feet tall just like the President’s iconic top hat. The museum also houses a re-creation of the Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre, where the president was assassinated, and the state-of-the-art Union Theater, which projects films such as Lincoln’s Eyes, a broad overview of Lincoln’s personal and political life with a special focus on slavery. In the Ghosts of the Library exhibit, transparent phantoms of Lincoln and his contemporaries drift around powered by Holavision technology. Youngsters, supervised by parents, can try on period dress, pose for photos with life-size cutouts of young Abe, or reenact historic scenes in the Lincoln Home dollhouse located in Mrs. Lincoln’s attic, the hands-on learning center. Before heading home, patrons can browse the museum store—more than 3,500 square feet of artifact replicas and Lincoln-themed merchandise.