Though you may see humanoid, purple dinosaurs and mouses wearing tuxedos roam amid the slides and obstacle courses at Jump N’ Jam Playland, it's no reason to call the doctor. In fact, it's a completely regular occurrence. Inside this inflatable playground––filled with bounce castles, jungle gyms, and basketball courts––characters from a variety of children’s shows appear to mingle with kiddies during Party! Party! Party! birthday celebrations. At open-play sessions, groups of kids to bounce and climb alongside friends for hours.
Catering to Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Music 4 Life furnishes any party with entertainment professionals dedicated to transforming dull events into hopping shindigs. DJs draw on more than 60,000 hit songs from the ’50s through the modern day to light up dance floors, and karaoke machines draw on more than 100,000 songs to encourage sing-alongs. Other services include photo-booth rentals with props, mood-setting uplighting, and promotions to spread the word about newly opened businesses and kids’ first haircuts.
Permalites collaborates with clients to create exterior lighting designs that not only provide peace of mind for homeowners, but also beautify their landscaping and increase the resale value of their homes. Each project starts with an in-person consultation with a certified and licensed technician who will discuss lighting ideas and budget constraints before designing a low-voltage lighting system that will meet those needs. All along the way, technicians keep homeowners informed on the project's progress and long after the job is done, technicians can return to homes to provide upkeep or repair services. Permalites can also prep properties for the holidays with Christmas lighting designs and installation, so homeowners don't have to persuade a jolly, bearded neighbor to camp out on their roof for a few weeks.
Most Popular Service: Bounce House Rentals
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Ez Inflatables,
Jump Orange, Ninja Jump
Pro Tip: Book early as popular days book up quickly
A nonprofit theater helmed by passionate cinephiles, Facets Cinematheque instills a love of film in its youngest moviegoers through its groundbreaking children's programs. Since establishing their first children's film exhibition series in 1975, the theater's stewards have branched out into education and outreach, introducing students to positive films and the inspiring stories behind them through channels including family film events, in-school screenings, and the Facets Kids Film Camp. They also oversee the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, which presents hundreds of films from around the globe during its annual autumn run. Though the festival caters to its smallest attendees, its scope is impressively large; welcoming over 20,000 attendees each year, the festival often offers the first screenings of award-winning fare, such as recent Academy Award winner The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
In addition to their children's programming, the theater also lights up its silver screen with indie films, award winners, foreign flicks, and documentaries. Celluloid-caretakers curate a collection of reels that seldom see screenings elsewhere in Chicago, frequently enjoying their city debut within the intimate 125-seat theater. Occasionally, production-team members or film experts join audiences immediately following the show for Q&A sessions—known as film dialogues—taking questions, exploring themes, and providing tips for removing stubborn popcorn kernels from teeth. Upcoming films can be found on Facets’ website.
Eyeballs absorb moving pictures thanks to the dual capabilities of Facets’ projection system, which handles digital and 35 mm films with equal aplomb. While the ephemeral stories fill brains with new ideas, soda and popcorn—acquirable at the old-fashioned concession stand—fill mouths with flavors that have defined every classic moviegoing experience since Orson Welles first invented the snack.
Sam Elias knows that being cooped up during long winter days can make people stir-crazy. So in 1993, after moving from Florida, land of palm trees and beaches, to Chicago, land of frigid winds and gray slush, he founded WhirlyBall as a way for people to release pent-up energy even as snow was falling outside. During each competitive WhirlyBall game, which combines aspects of basketball, hockey, and jai alai, players zoom across an indoor 50'x80' court in motorized cars called WhirlyBugs. They wield plastic scoops to toss a wiffle ball back and forth to their teammates before throwing the ball through an elevated goal. Refs keep watch during the games, eliminating score arguments that would otherwise end in sunrise duels. To fuel up for a bout, players nibble teriyaki chicken satay, gourmet pizzas, and prime rib, and swig draft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions such as video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey. The Vernon Hills location hosts an indoor rock-climbing wall, and both the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel Lasertron laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.