Most pools are not designed for children, with their plunging deep ends, regular calls for "adult swim," and robust colonies of piranha. Not so at Swimtastic Swim School, where every aspect of the center's design caters to youthful aquanauts. After passing by the colorful front desk changing into their suits, kids rinse off in the warm water of the on-deck palm-tree shower. Once classes begin, swimmers dunk into the pool itself, ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 feet deep and heated to a constant, comfortable 90 degrees. In the lessons themselves, experienced instructors use the skills they learned in the center's 30-hour training course to lead small groups through the basics of water safety and proper swimming form. Regular open swims let kids show off their aquatic mastery to parents and friends and make unlimited use of the deep-end water slide.
With a 25-meter indoor lap pool, a whirlpool, steam and sauna rooms, a healthy café, and a health-and-fitness library packed into its 61,000-square-foot space, Sky Fitness more closely resembles a resort than a fitness center. Its soaring floor-to-ceiling widows allow the sunshine to pour in as members jog around the indoor cushioned track or get competitive on the indoor basketball and volleyball courts. Kids burn off their own energy and cotton-candy reserves in a secure and supervised area while their parents work out.
The space is so huge that it encompasses an entire yoga studio, Avani Yoga, where sessions range from Vinyasa yoga to aerial yoga. The nearly 100 exercise classes offered each week at Sky Fitness include everything from arthritis-control sessions in a therapy pool to Pilates and Zumba.
Splash Landings's year-round indoor water park brims with swimmers of all ages and skill levels enjoying its watery attractions, which range from a zero-depth entry pool for kids, a relaxing whirlpool, and speedy slides. Soaring above the pool are vintage model airplanes sporting vintage model water wings, and lifeguards stand throughout the facility to ensure tykes are protected. The staff also prepares visitors for safe splashing with a wide array of swimming lessons offered year-round.
A PADI five-star dive center, D. D. Dive outfits novice swimmers with all the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to swim beneath the waves. Their courses are made up of classroom sessions, pool work, and open-water excursions to prepare each student according to PADI guidelines. The instructors also offer classes in rescue diving and diving-instructor as well as dive-master training, all of which are useful skills when working to open a dive school for dolphins. Once certified, new divers can go with the school on a globetrotting trip to a diving mecca such as Bonne Terre Mine, Kona, or the Galapagos Islands.
The Morton Grove Park District plays host to whole families with community-focused childcare, summer camps, fitness classes, and recreational programs. Preschool classes teach kids that classrooms are more than just growth chambers that middle schoolers walk into before emerging as bearded adults. Adults can stay fit with athletic programs or laps around the park's multiple pools. As visitors leave dance classes or wrap themselves in tinfoil to better reflect sunlight into the eyes of passing cyclists, they can take notice of the eco-friendly lighting of the Prairie View Community Center.
Healthy bodies aren’t born—they’re built. Construction commences at Le Club, where exercisers hone physiques in a fitness center stocked with more than 80 pieces of resistance strength-training and cardiovascular equipment—including treadmills and rowing machines—and a spinning studio with 21 stationary bikes. Ten climate-controlled tennis courts and three racquetball courts await the sound of whizzing spheres, and pools, including the 25-meter indoor and outdoor lane pools and the warm-water-therapy pool, welcome aquatic athleticism.
Spa massages and facials whisk away stress, and locker rooms induce relaxation with attached saunas and recordings of Maya Angelou reciting the phonebook. While parents work out, kids can explore Le Club’s youth offerings, which include a teen space maze and an outdoor playground for younger children.
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.