The Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program serves children with special needs through therapeutic horseback-riding services in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. A horse’s movements, similar to a human's, can help improve the rider's posture, balance, and sensory processing, making horseback riding an ideal therapy tool for people with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. For some children, riding a horse as part of the riding program marks the first time they've been able to feel what walking is like. In addition to physical and sensory motor benefits, horseback riding can also improve socialization and self-esteem.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Mindful Yoga's certified instructors fuse meditation with muscle-limbering poses during their low-impact classes. Unknotting muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders, beginning yoga class harmonize minds and bodies while relinquishing stress stored up in inner deposit boxes. Experienced practitioners can tap into the more vigorous flow of a Yoga 2 class, deepening awareness of anatomical alignment in Vinyasa style with two or more poses linked together by the breath and transcendental URLs. Inclusive All Levels classes teach the basics of breathing and alignment for stability, balance and strength, while Gentle yoga classes mollify nervous systems with lessons in relaxed systems theory.
America's Action Territory encourages familial bonding through amusements in session year-round indoors and seasonally outdoors. During warm weather, the park staff operates six outdoor activities, from bumper boats in a 75,000-gallon pool to paintball on a 20,000-square-foot inflatable field. Back inside, kids can enter the smoky, black-lit laser-tag arena to demonstrate who is most deserving of parents' love, or challenge their progenitors to skee-ball at the arcade. Between games, an eatery supplies patrons with refreshments such as sandwiches, chicken strips, and pizzas on crust made without gluten or lasers. It also offers a wine and beer list for adults, as well as free WiFi. For special occasions, Action Territory's team can also arrange birthday parties and organize group packages.
Over the past quarter century, Serpent Safari's indoor zoo has amassed a collection of rare reptiles that have appeared in publications such as National Geographic. Animals of impressive age, unusual coloring (such as an albino alligator), and Guinness World Record-holding weight have all called the Safari their home. Originally founded as a reptile adoption and education center, the Safari now runs guided tours and birthday parties that usher children through the world of scaly, cold-blooded creatures known as bankers into the diverse realm of reptiles. Following the tours, patrons can partake in photo opportunities with giant snakes, or take home a friend from the pet store.
• For $40, you get 18 holes of golf and cart rental for two Monday–Friday before 3:30 p.m. (up to an $80 value), plus 10% off food and drink at the restaurant and lounge. • For $50, you 18 holes of golf and cart rental for two Saturday–Sunday after 1 p.m. (up to a $96 value), plus 10% off food and drink at the restaurant and lounge.