The coaches at Gym Spot have trained several award-winning state and regional gymnasts, as well as recreational gymnasts. However, they also train babies. Their curriculum covers classes for children as young as 12 months, as they believe that a gymnastics education develops universal life skills, not just the ability to win medals. Their preschool sessions allow toddlers to work with their parents or on their own, depending on age, as they practice hand-eye coordination and cooperation.
As for children in 1st through 8th grade, they participate in activities that align with the USA Gymnastics program, including tumbling, vaulting, balance beam, and bars. Students who hope to compete, meanwhile, work on graduating each successive USAG level.
Sheltered within the picturesque expanse of the Lake County Forest Preserves, Countryside Golf Club gives players a choice between two courses that roll through scenic terrain certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Before taking to either course, golfers can tee off on the driving range, where 30 hitting stations are trimmed with natural turf and synthetic grass grown fresh each season from seedlings of recycled sneakers. The club’s Prairie course and Traditional course are each marked by unique terrain features and challenges. The Prairie course is the longer of the two and eschews trees for wispy shrubbery and open vistas. It demands both hearty drives and accurate approach shots to greens hugged by sand bunkers and unemployed yetis. Through slightly shorter, the Traditional course tasks players with striking precise tee shots from bentgrass tee boxes overlooking tree-lined fairways.
Paramount Grove’s head trainer Molly McAdow welcomes eager horseback riders to her 30-acre countryside headquarters, where they’ll find two outdoor arenas, one indoor arena, and a hunt field ready for trotting and galloping. McAdow has honed her expertise throughout a lifetime of horseback riding—a career that includes numerous salt-lick tastings and medals in both the equitation and hunter rings as a junior. Riders learn from her wisdom during lessons, in which she sheds light on proper technique and helps students achieve their goals.
Steeds’ safety is also of high importance to McAdow. Fire-safety sprinklers protect every private stall, and the barn and indoor arena are heated during the winter. This prevents horses from getting cold and snowmen from wandering inside to taunt the animals with their noses.
When Sensei Katrina Polen teaches Ryukyu Kempo karate to students of all genders and ages during classes, she’s not just showing them self-defense techniques—she’s encouraging them to adopt a lifestyle of fitness, character growth, and creativity. She oversees sparring matches that teach the value of a strong work ethic or stunt double, and also plans optional competitions for those desiring more concrete stakes. To allow her protégés an artistic say in their practice, she gives them free reign of the demonstration group, TeamKat, which plans routines for performance.
She also offers non-karate classes in the form of Zumba, cardio-kickboxing, and personal-training sessions. She works to cultivate a tight-knit sense community by hosting additional events, such as birthday parties and bimonthly movie nights.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray has upheld since 1912. Students dance with a partner, or the instructor, who provides a greater understanding of the dance style of their choosing with either method. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in a cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close; rumba moves and swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to one’s repertoire. Arthur Murray Dance Centers provide a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons superbly suited to slicing and dicing a rug until it is no longer recognizable.
The practiced pros at Racquet Club of Lake Bluff hone students' strokes on the club's eight indoor Plexipave tennis courts. Beginner classes teach the basics of the game, and advanced classes prepare players to challenge Pete Sampras to a match where the winner gets the loser's Social Security number. During junior sessions, competition-minded youths develop footwork and shot selection with drills and match play supervised by coaches. Kids' classes introduce fundamentals to tykes as young as 4. This Groupon can be used for any of the classes found on this schedule, all of which are limited to six people so participants get individual attention.