With its massive selection of varietals and styles, Lynfred Winery seems determined to make something for almost any wine drinker. The cellar brims with everything from bold, spicy reds to crisp and refreshing whites, as well as fruit wines made from apples, cherries, rhubarb, and pears. The grapes arrive from vineyards throughout California and Washington state, although the rest of the fruit typically comes from a bit closer to home, including growers throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Despite this variety, the staff's commitment to approachable, fruit-forward flavors characterizes virtually everything that the winery makes.
This dedication to easy drinking seems only natural given the winery's origins in a home basement. In 1975, Fred Koehler, along with his wife Lynn, decided to try to re-create the family wines his father and grandfather had made throughout the 1920s. The batches grew larger with each passing vintage, and, in 1979, Fred and Lynn chose to upgrade their homespun hobby into a commercial venture. Within six years, Lynfred Winery's creations began to appear in the national spotlight as they garnered awards and medals from wine competitions across the country. This attention allowed Fred to swell production even more, eventually expanding to a larger location in 1990.
Fred and Lynn's legacy continues to inspire the staff as they operate a facility that creates more than 100,000 gallons of wine each year using as many as 80 varietals. These wines appear on restaurant menus, on retail shelves, and inside fish tanks throughout the Chicagoland area.
The dull roar of a bustling restaurant, the spirited chatter of commentators on HD TVs, the pulsing beats of live DJs?at Strike Ten Lanes, such noises ring commonly in harmony with the thunder of strikes and the screams of falling pins. The lanes? modern touches, including automatic scoring, carry over into the lane-side lounge areas, stuffed with comfy couches and low tables. On the other side of the alley, customers can take a break from bowling with video gaming, or by sitting around circular booths to chow down on burgers, pizza, and steaks from the onsite eatery's full menu. They also nab daily drink specials or any of eight beers on tap or 35 bottled varities from two full bars as TVs and projection screens display every Bulls and Blackhawks game and other heated contests between sports teams, sports analysts, and sporty monster trucks. Strike Ten Lanes keeps its doors open seven days a week, including holidays, and can cater to large, corporate events.
Fully licensed instructors, thoroughly maintained aircrafts, and a skydiving training program licensed by the US Parachute Association ensure that a jump at Chicagoland Skydiving Center is rigorously safe—but nothing can dampen the thrill of free falling from 14,000 feet. The center’s spotless student record can be attributed both to the longevity of the program, which has been around since 1968, and to the expertise of the instructors, some of whom have made more than 15,000 jumps. Their attention to safety enables visitors to focus on the fun part: a 60-second free fall followed by a leisurely float under a parachute with countless high-fives from passing birds.
Once their feet have firmly planted on the ground, skydivers can celebrate besting Sir Isaac Newton in a spacious facility with games, a lounge, and an onsite restaurant. Instant footage provides new perspectives on daring falls, and guests can purchase pictures and videos to commemorate the event.
Conceived by Las Vegas restaurateur Mark DiMartino, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery evokes Ireland by way of Vegas, with waitresses dressed in plaid mini kilts shouldering trays of chilled beer and pub fare. Like an enchilada stuffed with four-leaf clovers, the eatery’s irish nachos interpret a south-of-the-border classic in a Celtic way, slathering potato chips in cheese sauce and seasoned ground beef. Alternatively, pot roast and vegetables simmer traditionally in the Olde Dublin irish stew’s Guinness-infused beef stock. Barkeeps pour a full bar’s worth of wine, cocktails, and beer, which surfaces in bottles, bombers, and multi-brew mixes such as the Blue Moon-and-Guinness combination. 56 high-definition TVs—including three jumbo TVs and four screens on the outdoor patio—glow with a ceaseless parade of professional and college baseball, basketball, and hockey, and live bands add to the entertainment smorgasbord on Friday and Saturday nights.
Cooking Skills Academy's four resident chefs oversee hands-on cooking classes in a custom-designed gourmet kitchen. During the 15-Minute Meals class, students learn to prepare healthy, flavorful meals in 15 minutes each and hone an arsenal of cooking techniques more efficient than trying to convince raw asparagus to walk across hot coals. Other classes include Sushi class, Asian noodles workshops, and Grandma's meatballs and Sunday gravy. Like sculptors constructing busts of Martin Luther from limburger cheese, amateur food artists can snack on their masterpieces as they go, and take home a copy of each recipe used in the session. Check Cooking Skills Academy?s online calendar for a full list of class times and dates for such sessions as hands-on pasta making, Knife Skills 101, and Date Night Sushi 101.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (a $3.99 value).