Though typically only a wistful dream of humans and ostriches, spending a day soaring through the air becomes a reality at Trapeze School New York in Chicago (TSNY Chicago). One of six locations across the country, TSNY Chicago educates participants of all levels in the art of flying through group trapeze sessions. The aerial academy also dapples its schedule with lyra, static trapeze, tightwire, trampoline, conditioning, and acrobatics classes, allowing students to have fun and eat unlimited servings of cloud while getting in shape.
Ultimate Martial Arts owner Dante E. Peña, an award-bedecked tae kwan do black belt, instructs fleet-fisted self-defenders in a state-of-the-art, 5,600-square-foot wonderland. The school's schedule teems with classes that furnish men and women of all ages with the muscle-molding prowess of krav maga, boxing, kickboxing, and jiu jitsu. Ultimate Martial Arts' cutting-edge TRX suspension system gives burgeoning cores an intense resistance workout, and the school's yoga classes maintain the flexibility necessary to select hard-to-reach Street Fighter characters.
The Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association has offered patrons ball-rolling entertainment with numerous local member centers for more than three decades. Over the course of two games (up to a $4 value each), hole-bearing balls can spend at least 20 frames gracefully gliding across waxed planks and toppling tiptoeing pins, or alternately fall victim to the gutters' tempting embrace. No matter which of the 28 participating locations patrons decide to patronize, their toes will be stylishly covered in a pair of rental shoes (up to a $4 value) that work to minimize bipedal friction and maximize the uniformity of spontaneous song-and-dance numbers.
Several years ago, during a filming of WTTW's Wild Chicago, Novelty Golf & Games owner Craig's brother stood next to a 10-foot fiberglass chicken and lamented, “This is the world’s loneliest chicken.” Its match had recently been stolen, and every fiberglass fox in the city had a solid alibi.
Shortly after the taping, a viewer called in with a tip: he’d seen the missing hen roosting in a backyard, clearly visible from the window of the Brown Line train. Boarding the "L" himself, Craig confirmed the spotting, and soon enough, the Loneliest Chicken's counterpart was on its way back home in the bed of a pickup truck.
Thus reunited, the two chickens stand proudly today over the 36 mini-golf holes at Novelty Golf & Games, along with the full menagerie of bears, elephants, mermaids, circus seals, and dinosaurs that the course has accumulated over its 63 years. Some of the attractions are as old as the course itself, including a 15-foot fiberglass shoe hand-built over a chicken-wire frame. While the statues are often replicated, Craig and his business partner Cassandra continue to design new obstacles the only way they know how, often sharing margaritas as they sketch their designs on cocktail napkins. “We change things,” they say, “but not for the sake of change.”
The course, after all, has always been a place of innovation. In the 1960s, Craig's mother opened an onsite restaurant and promoted the rabbit statue on the 14th hole to head doorman, earning the eatery its perennial nickname, “Bunny Hutch.” Throughout the years, the family has also acquired popular games, including four pinball machines, Dance Dance Revolution, an authentic photo booth, and a 1950s metal-stamping machine. Though they welcome each new addition, they strive to maintain the course’s classic appeal, insisting that “you can’t improve on perfection.”
On the same token, you can't just sit idly by when perfection flies the coop.
Isabella Samovsky fell in love with a salt lamp. Well, not just the lamp, but also the salt-assisted healing it provided. Her love for the salt lamp and its alternative approach to maintaining health inspired her to create Solay Wellness, a center that offers salt-based products and treatments. The Himalayan salt at Solay is harvested from ancient, mineral-rich seabeds, and can be found in hundreds of fair-trade and organic health, beauty, gourmet, pets, and lifestyle products including salt inhalers, natural rubber yoga maps, and soy candles. Solay Wellness also offers an extensive range of fair trade Himalayan salt crystal lamps with UL dimmer cords, which can be shaped like bowls, pyramids, globes, or salt shakers.
At the center’s private salt room, guests can meditate on lounge chairs as they breathe in the salt’s negative ions, which can help to reenergize the body, purify the skin, reduce stress, and alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms. Guests can also take up Tibetan singing-bowl sessions in rooms lined with ancient Himalayan salt blocks. Tiles and loose salt are also on hand to help stimulate pressure points in feet and give children a place to play. In addition to salt-based treatments, the center also offers reflexology and massage. Parking is available across the street, and a train station is nearby.