The organizers of Double Denim Bar Crawl have two goals: raise awareness of autism and have fun doing it. Their yearly bar crawls through historic Wringleyville gather revelers suited up from head to toe in denim jeans, jackets, and shirts to let loose amid raffles, dance-offs, and debates on the cultural degradation caused by khaki. Contests including ring toss and a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament complement prizes for best and worst double denim, denim princess, and achievement for drinking excellence. Celebrants can feel good about every sudsy libation they imbibe since profits of the crawl go to the Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to funding autism research, spreading awareness, and advocating for the individuals and families affected by autism.
The private rooms at Lincoln Karaoke act as a lyrical playground for parties of crooning compatriots fueled by audience admiration and refreshments from the kitchen and bar. Sofas cushion spectators as soloists belt out the lyrics displayed on flat-screen televisions, and two additional wireless mics aid in a capella renditions of the theme from Ghostbusters. A range of rooms is available to accommodate groups both small and large, with the biggest rooms seating up to 30 people. A menu of Italian and Asian favorites—such as pizza, dumplings, and orange chicken—sate hankerings and specialty concoctions from Dave the bartender wet parched throats between sets.
Home to a gymnasium, an indoor track, and a stable of 63 sets of cardio equipment, Niles Family Fitness Center is a 5,000-square-foot sanctum of wellness. The child-friendly facility features a wide range of options for the younger set, from childcare services ($6 per child per visit) to the 100-foot waterslide in the aquatic center, ideal for launching intercontinental cannonballs. Besides access to the health haven's fields of equipment, membership benefits include unlimited group exercise classes such as yoga, core conditioning, and cardio dance, all taught by trainers with either national certifications or a master's degree in exercise physiology. Students in Body Flex use hand weights, bars, and exercise balls to develop a toned, strong body, whereas turbo kickers raise their heart rates with an intense combo of kickboxing and dance fitness. Locking lockers and towel service are also provided to members, as is access to the sauna and the whirlpool, where athletes and their perpetual broccoli companions can enjoy steamy relaxation.
Overlooking the rolling fairways of Tam O'Shanter Golf Course, The Howard Street Inn serves up tasty plates of pub fare and helpings of crisply televised sports. Tongues waltz with morsels of deli and grilled sandwiches, a dozen different Angus burgers, pizza, and seafood during Friday's fish fry. Domestic and imported drafts, as well as specialty cocktails and bottled wines, wash down bitter memories of second-place finishes in the soapbox derby. A covered patio grants sweeping views of the links, while 15 flat-screen TVs afford unparalleled views of live games from NFL, MLB, and NCAA packages.
By the clear waters of a competition-size pool, Chicago Scuba School & Dive Shop's students are guided through the fundamentals of submarine exploration. In groups of 10, fledgling divers bedeck themselves in the masks, oxygen tanks, and cardboard shark fins required to spend extended periods below the depths. Three instructors then usher students into the pool, teaching them how to properly wield the Aquamanesque powers of their scuba gear as they train in the course of four hours. The expansive pool provides plenty of space for divers to flex their flippers, and small class sizes ensure that students’ flawless underwater backflips receive extra attention. If they wish to further their aquatic expertise, Groupon-holders can opt to take a full scuba-certification course at a $100 discount.
In pubs across Ireland, the craic, which means enjoyable conversation and gossip, is everything. It's the same at The Curragh Irish Pub & Restaurant, with regular live music, Irish dancing, and live streaming of rugby and soccer matches from around the world. The Curragh's menu relies on its Irish ancestry, with traditional dishes such as corned beef and cabbage or chicken boxty. Beers follow suit, with dozens of Irish ales, including Smithwick's and Guinness, on tap. Whiskeys such as Jameson and Bushmills are also poured through tap-like spigots at the wood-paneled bar. In the summery months, The Curragh's patio radiates with warmth and conviviality, often humming with the cheer and snorted laughter of catered parties.