Though many students come to Mathnasium having fallen behind their classmates, a mathematically advanced child sparked the learning program’s creation. As founder Larry Martinek’s young son, Nic, developed an appetite for higher-level math concepts, Larry found himself developing an entirely new teaching language to explain them in an age-appropriate way. The kind of instincts he sought to build up couldn’t be nurtured by drills and rote memorization. Instead, they required a deeper understanding of the principles at the root of mathematical operations, delivered in a way that grade-school kids could apply throughout their academic careers.
In just a decade’s time, Larry and his team have established Mathnasium centers in most U.S. states and more than a dozen in other countries. At each, highly trained tutors develop custom learning plans for students in grades K–12 based on The Mathnasium Method. The system combines an education strategy of conceptual, tactile, and visual techniques with a curriculum structure that ensures kids can count, think proportionally, and break complex problems into smaller components to solve simply. Tutors allow some time during each session to help students with the concepts in their math homework, and the centers regularly check report cards and standardized tests as further measures of progress.
152 Club Bar & Grill sates surly appetites with a menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and more than 30 beers. Start the gustatory sojourn with fried pickles, spicy battered spears served alongside ranch dressing ($6), or dive mouth-first into the Island burger, a half-pound teriyaki-smothered patty dressed in a ring of pineapple, a layer of canadian bacon, and a space suit of vegetables ($8.75 with fresh-cut seasoned fries). The Club Stacker sandwich stacks smoke-pit ham, thick-cut bacon, and turkey breast between three layers of toast draped in american cheese ($8.25 with fries). The bacon-cheeseburger pizza represents a symbiosis of sandwich and pizza, sizzling with grilled hamburger meat and bacon on top of a thin crust covered in six cheeses and hamburger pickles ($12.25). A long list of beers, such as Blue Moon and Michelob AmberBock, gives guzzlers a choice of foamy beverages to wash down their grub, and seasonal draft selections rotate like a protractor playing Twister.
A tall painted portrait, illuminated from above, shows a woman standing barefoot holding a lamb. Follow her glance downwards and sideways, and you'll sight row upon brightly colored row of carefully stacked skeins of yarn from brands such as Blue Sky and Spud & Chloë. Classes teach tender-footed knitters to wield these materials with care, and more advanced offerings cover refined and specialized stitching skills. The shop also carries its own line of all-natural soaps, household cleaners, and moisturizers designed to soften hands toughened by efforts to wrestle needles away from uncooperative porcupines.
Since first teeing off in 1989, Fox Hollow Golf Club has hosted regular state championships and the 2008 sectional qualifying tournament for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, showcasing the club's 27-hole layout characterized by challenging play and picturesque surroundings. The course sprawls throughout 200 acres of hardwood forest and windswept prairie and is often blanketed by lush bluegrass and natural flora. The original 18 stretches along the banks of the Crow River for much of its 6,713-yard length, affecting play on five holes. Occasionally, golfers are forced to carry shots over the river, as is the case on the par 3 third hole, where players must aim their tee shots at the island green and hope the ball doesn't run off the steep sides or get eaten by an amphibious caddy. With two greens and a split fairway, the par 4 17th can take on two distinct identities or three creepy alter egos. If the hole is placed on the left side of the green, players are best suited to hit a small fairway landing area and execute a long approach, but if it’s on the right, they must blast their tee shot over two bodies of water to reach the green.Prior to a round, players can make use of the Fox Hollow practice facility, where they'll find a full-length driving range, three putting greens, and a practice bunker.Course at a Glance:
While other athletic clubs hibernate, Majestic Oaks welcomes Old Man Winter's frigid embrace with snow-savvy cheer. Played using golf clubs and a fuzzy tennis ball, snow golf provides nine holes of family-spanning fun and takes less than an hour to complete. Traversing the course, most of whose holes are under 100 yards, provides a reason to enjoy a brisk winter afternoon with friends while getting some light exercise. Hot chocolate and coffee (a value of $1.50 each) can keep your foursome of snow-golfers warm or can be used to punish snowmen who overindulge in mulligans.
Steel Toe Brewery's founder was a home brewer, fermenting beer in his bedroom overnight, until the gurgling sounds of the carboy began to disturb his wife's sleep. Origin stories like these are just one of the attractions of Taproom Tours' brewery tours, which also explore the Belgian yeast of Boom Island Brewing, celebrate session ales at 612 Brew, and enable sud savoring in the wood-paneled taproom at Indeed Brewing Company. Visitors taste sample brews at each location, and, helped along by a knowledgeable guide, explore the breweries' inner workings until they have learned every yeast strain's first name and favorite sports team.