Green grass and blue skies bookend the boot-camp classes at Bulldog Bootcamp. Leading the outdoor workouts, owner Greg Major and his team of seasoned fitness instructors spur their students on by shouting words of encouragement and tearing Chicken Soup for the Soul books in half. Major—a decorated bodybuilder and inline skater—has been a certified personal trainer since 1989, and has since picked up the credentials to teach CrossFit’s Level 1, Football, and Kids programs. He and his staff stage CrossFit classes at Bulldog Bootcamp’s training facility in Forest Park.
Celebrities and residents run a 5K or kids' dash in an effort to end homelessness, poverty, and violence. Run Home Chicago, hosted by The Primo Center for Women and Children, raises awareness and funds for homeless services by sending runners sprinting down the same city streets that many call home. While testing their endurance and speed, runners also champion the cause of groups across the city that provide medical, emotional support, and shelter upkeep services to the city’s homeless population—almost 40,000 people, according to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. In addition to the main events, race day activities include a kid's dash and guest speakers regaling listeners with inspirational speeches.
Cosmic Run provides a multi-sensory experience that pushes the limits of participants imagination with a mind-bending journey through a never-before-seen cosmic world setting. Witness futuristic, animating lighting effects that transport event-goers to another world. Become the cosmic canvas, as you pass through the glowing fluorescent color and become transformed into other-worldly hues, glowing with brilliant fluorescence. End this sensational experience with an electrifying concert finale featuring world-class EDM DJs as they provide the perfect heart-pounding soundtrack under the cosmic sky.
Behind Underwater Safaris' unassuming storefront lies an ocean. Light shines down on the water's choppy surface, and a pod of dolphins leap out of the water. But, like a tank of helium you forgot to bolt to the floor, they never come back down. The dolphin mural is painted, but the water is quite real: it's part of a PADI five-star facility where students prepare to explore waters across the world.
The journey to coral reefs and shipwrecks begins with the guidance of an experienced team of fifteen instructors. The center, which has been open since 1985, has taught thousands of snorkelers and divers from Open Water through to instruction. After introductory Discover Scuba sessions, the staff branches off into more specialized areas, such as diving at night, exploring underwater wrecks, or scuba diving as a career.
Underwater Safaris also hosts annual trips to scuba destinations around the world. Guided and independent adventurers alike are welcome to stock up on gear from brands such as Aeris and Aqualung in the dive shop.
Whisper Creek’s visionary architects, Greg Nash and Billy Casper, and Orchard Valley’s architect, Ken Kavanaugh, present two championship-style courses of verdant, undulating terrain, flecked with challenging features. Golfers traverse Whisper Creek's 240 acres of protected wildlife sanctuary in GPS-enabled golf carts that provide yardage measurements, record scores, and eliminate the need to ask tiger-head club covers for directions. During an 18-hole round (up to a $68 value with cart), clubs send dimpled orbs hurtling past imported white-sand bunkers, pristine waters, and more than 5,000 character hardwoods. Over on Orchard Valley’s 6,800-yard, par 72 grounds, manicured practice facilities conduct dress rehearsals for the course’s 18 holes (up to a $76 value with cart), which span sand traps and wetlands, including the expansive water hazard on the aptly named "All or Nothing at All" second hole.
Five-time national champion and Division A fencer Peter Habala and his team impart foundational skills to neophyte sword wielders in small group classes. Students absorb the art of fencing from the ground up, beginning with concepts and footwork before eventually advancing to lunge attacks and legible sword writing in enemy drapery. Attack postures, parries, and salutes are practiced alongside up to 14 students before fledgling fighters take their final bows and pose for a class picture. RedStar Fencing Club outfits participants with all the necessary safety gear and a French-style foil; students are only asked to wear workout attire, carry bottles of water, and memorize three quotes from The Three Musketeers.
Mindy Segal, a five-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef award, crafts contemporary American cuisine at her combination restaurant, dessert bar, and pastry shop. The restaurant’s foodsmiths aggressively pursue the best practices in cooking and plating, organizing ingredients in ways that accentuate texture, temperature, and taste. Fresh groceries sourced from farmers and Peter Rabbit’s knapsack become salads, such as beets with mixed greens, or sandwiches, such as the cheddar melt on pumpernickel. Entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner incorporate French ingredients and preparations while maintaining New-World flair. The restaurant’s namesake beverage—hot chocolate—comes in eight different styles, each crowned in housemade marshmallows and christened with steamed milk or coffee.