Climbing in Mount Prospect

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Founder Rick Sweitzer started the adventure travel company in 1983 before leading one of the first amateur dogsled expeditions to North Pole. Driven by his vision, the guides and instructors of The Northwest Passage lead travelers of all skill and fitness levels to some of the most dramatic terrain on the planet. Locally, the team leads outings around the Chicago area, ranging from stand-up paddleboarding classes on Lake Michigan to kayaking and camping trips in Door County, Wisconsin. As for the rest of the world, Northwest Passage sends it adventurers to conquer it locale by stunning locale during programs that include hiking across Europe, trekking to remote Polar regions, and dressing up like scientists to infiltrate Area 51.

1130 Greenleaf Ave
Wilmette,
IL
US

Adrenaline rushes often lead to addiction. Having developed a tolerance through many a marathon and obstacle course, the elite athletic team of Adrenaline Games wanted to capture the thrill of the first rush. To that end, they crafted a treacherous trail that gets the pulses of even the most hardened adrenaline junkies pumping. The details of the course are kept top secret as not to spoil the element of surprise, but it can be revealed that elements of mud, foam, and water play their part in keeping competitors adrenalized and dirty as they vie for the top Junkie prize. After the finish line has been slathered in mud, participants can catch their breath while celebrating their victories with food, drinks, and live music.

24 Rolling Hills Drive
Barrington,
IL
US

Ticket Reserve rewards football fanatics of all collegiate allegiances with the opportunity to reserve plaza-level tickets to witness the hard-hitting action of the 2012 Sugar Bowl game. Pigskin fanciers can reserve big-game tickets with the hope that their favorite team of chin-guarded play practitioners gets invited to play January football amid the arctic-like conditions of a New Orleans winter. Fans can choose their favorite team, alma mater, or imaginary alma mater and then sit on a chair made of pins and needles until the team selections are announced on December 5, 2011. If the team they picked gets chosen to play, reservations will transform from a fancied fantasy into a fancied reality that will take the shape of two tickets and be delivered straight to their mailboxes or beckoning hands.

840 S Waukegan Rd
Lake Forest,
IL
US

Sprinkled across Chicago from Evanston to the West Loop, the Chicago Athletic Clubs set a modern and user-friendly gym experience in urbane neighborhood settings. The various facilities are equipped with all the required equipment for losing weight, putting on muscle, or building flexibility on cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights. Group fitness classes such as yoga, spinning, and Zumba fill the schedule, and the several locations with indoor pools host water aerobics and family swim classes. The personal-training staff can also help tailor workouts based on your particular goals and share encouragement with you as you transform from chrysalis to Dwayne Johnson. In addition to the exercise areas, the gyms also sport such amenities as kids' clubs and sauna and steam rooms. Three locations even offer indoor rock-climbing facilities. As beginners and experienced climbers traverse craggy surfaces while protected from the elements, additional challenges crop up on the gym's endurance routes and in the bouldering cave where climbers defy gravity without being strapped in by ropes.

3212 North Broadway Street
Chicago,
IL
US

Originally part of architect Daniel Burnham's ambitious "Plan of Chicago" drafted in 1909, Navy Pier was designed to handle both recreational and freight traffic for the burgeoning metropolis. Its role quickly changed when it began serving as a barracks and training facility during two World Wars—it earned its nickname because of the more than 200 planes that littered the lake bottom around the pier, lost during exercises and sunk to intimidate fish with military technology. In the decades that followed, the pier was home to a University of Illinois campus, a convention center, and a venue for citywide festivals before falling into disuse. This ended in 1989, when the state moved to transform the venerable pier into one of Chicago's foremost tourist attractions.

Reopened in 1995, the revamped Navy Pier boasts 50 acres of parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment, scenically located along Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Chicago River. The pier's most striking denizen is its 150-foot tall ferris wheel, whose glittering lights slowly rotate above the water and frame a beautiful view of the city's skyscrapers for riders. Other attractions include a towering IMAX screen that shows educational films and Hollywood blockbusters, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which treats audiences to bold stagings of the Bard's greatest hits.

600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

Since 1988, the deal-hunters at Dry Clean Super Saver have connected customers with a trustworthy network of dry-cleaning and automotive-repair technicians. Armed with easy-to-use punch cards, clients save huge amounts money on dry cleaning and automotive maintenance, the two costliest household expenses after plumbing repair and poltergeist removal. The association of participating cleaners and garages stretches across the country, ensuring that cardholders can remove stains from a dress shirt or change an oil filter wherever they happen to be.

600 w. chicago ave
chicago,
IL
US

Mount Prospect Scene