Some consider golf a slow sport, perhaps even antiquated. But Golf Nation brings the traditional pastime into the modern age with the most contemporary technology and tools, including true-roll indoor putting and chipping greens. Golfers can also read up on the latest golf-training materials, perfect their game at true-roll indoor putting greens and multiple chipping short game areas; an indoor bunker area made of real sand ideal for green and fairway side shots; or they can venture outside for driving-range practice from heated bays.
With 25,000 square feet of space, Golf Nation also houses a fitness club stocked with quality cardio equipment and extra space for group yoga and spin classes. A caf? and lounge claims the remainder of the space, brimming with the aromas of healthy food and sound of convivial chatter.
Large windows let in as much natural light as possible, making the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center an ideal environment for the transformative practice of yoga. In Vinyasa Flow sessions and beginners' hatha classes, students follow a systematic progression of breathing and asanas?or postures?designed to strengthen muscles and align spines. The goal is to help clients maintain a healthy mind and body to lead a happier life.
The teachers follow the philosophies of Swami Rama, whose beliefs can be summarized in one inspirational quote: "Do your duties skillfully, selflessly, and grease them with love." Their work demonstrates their adherence to that teaching: instructors with decades of combined experience use their classes at this nonprofit studio to reach out to all sorts of yoga practitioners, from athletes to to people interested in mindfulness exercises to adults with physical challenges.
Visitors to Bauer's Brauhaus, located in Palatine, Illinois, may feel as though they've stepped in from the streets of Munich. Eight taps bear names such as Spaten, Radeberger, and Weihenstephaner. Waitresses clad in custom-designed lederhosen ferry dishes between tables. And a hand-carved bar stretches 30 feet along one wall.
Owners Jason, Judy, Bob, and Gene Bauer drew from their German-American heritage to inspire their brew house's ambiance, decor, and menu. Chef Jason relies on time-tested family recipes to prepare German-American dishes—deep-fried pickles, hamburgers, and Wisconsin cheese curds—as well as German food such as beef rouladen, sauerbraten, and bratwurst crafted in-house. These dishes pair with wines hailing from both countries and a range of Old- and New-World beers that may arrive in standard pints, traditional boot-shaped steins, or a hollow bust of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Kids can literally bounce off the walls at Happenings Family Fun Center, where eight air-filled play spaces invite them to cavort inside castle- or shoe-shaped abodes. The center's more than 30,000-square-foot arena not only houses an inflated playground but also 100 arcade games and 30 Xbox stations where kids can enhance their eye-hand coordination or prepare themselves for an angry mushroom invasion. Families and friends also can spin balls down mini bowling lanes, swing bats in the batting cages, and fill up on pizza, burgers, and corn dogs at the concessions stand.
At Orbit Skate Center, the glide of wheels on a half-acre of wood floors adds a percussive underscore to live music and colorful lights. As visitors skate the rink, DJs spin contemporary hits or throwback '80s and '90s favorites on retro nights. Some evenings feature the Galaxy SkyBar and Cosmic Cafe, as well as races, dodge-ball games, and light shows. Guests can strap on brand-new quad- or inline skates inside Orbit's pro shop, or sign up for all-ages lessons to improve basic skills for manual or automatic-transmission skates.
Up to 1,200 fans can dance and sway to the legendary sounds at Durty Nellie's. Planted across the street from the Palatine Metra station, the venue is easily accessible by public transit or private piggyback, the better to explore a 30-tap, 120-bottle beer list full of potions from Three Floyds and Goose Island as well as from France and Germany.