Dave Link boasts an extensive background in the sculpture and design industry—he's sculpted toys for Mattel and Hasbro, and worked with gaming-industry giants such as Sega and IGT. Mike Skodacek has spent more than 10 years designing and founding haunted houses, when not acting as a ghoul in full makeup or custom-building his own demolition-derby cars. These two artists have combined their visions into the 45,000-square-foot multilevel Asylum Xperiment Haunted House, blending Dave's affinity for intricate, movie-quality sets and Mike's unique brand of psychological horror that plays on real fears and phobias that could actually happen.
Their indoor haunted attraction spans 40 rooms and three haunts brimming with 40 animatronic monstrosities, realistic props, and film-style sets—where more than 100 actors present gory and spooky vignettes. Many of these sets pay tribute to classic Hollywood horror films, forming a show that culminates in a surprise ending and features a montage of the monsters trying on clothes.
In The House, adventurers navigate rooms and a graveyard crawling with zombies and ghouls. In Blackout, they feel their way through the black halls of a winding maze, body hairs standing up as they wonder whose hot breath just kissed their necks. The Armageddon attraction throws visitors into a post-apocalyptic cityscape replete with streets on fire, ruined buildings, and zombies disobeying traffic signals.
The air inside the facility fills with the rhythmic taps of green tennis balls volleying across courts, a staccato symphony punctuated by the grunts and whoops of players perfecting their game. A typical morning at The Naperville Tennis Club reflects its dedication to fostering an atmosphere of recreation while helping members achieve their personal bests. Alongside open play, a team of seasoned pros helms a host of tennis programs for adults and juniors that range from basic techniques to competitive training programs.
Away from the courts, the club’s outdoor L-shaped swimming pool beckons aquanauts to leap from the diving board into six lanes of sparkling waters. Swim lessons help unleash kids’ inner merpeople, and adult programs are a chance to interact with other grownups while doing laps and exchanging business cards midbackstroke.
Artist, instructor, and The Genuine Article owner Betty James Hoppensteadt provides students with artistic and practical guidance during classes that cover a variety of mediums. Turn chaotic piles of beads and stones into harmonious arrangements with a two-hour lesson on bead stringing, where crafters of all abilities can learn how to properly wield jewelry-making tools and create interesting patterns and designs on cord, wire, or thread. A large selection of finishing notions completes each adornment, allowing each student the opportunity to leave class sporting one-of-a-kind body ice.
Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus gathers exercisers of all ages to its facility that boasts 60 fitness classes per week, an indoor climbing wall, and experienced personal trainers. From aquatics to martial arts, Courts Plus's troupe of trainers help their members and guests hone lean physiques, and a large gym boasts 70 pieces of cardio equipment, 38 strength-training machines, and impressively accurate mirrors. Youth programs abound as well, including summer camps, junior tennis lessons, and a strength-training program customized for ages 6–15.
Whether they run, walk, or hop aboard the closest CTA vehicle, the participants of the Chicago Urban Race for CHD Research 2013 tear across the city in search of the next scavenger hunt mission. After decoding clues to determine their next location, teams of two to four consult their list of 10 challenges, which span from physical tasks to perplexing puzzles. Teams are allowed to use transportation tools such as GPS systems, smartphones, and trails of breadcrumbs not yet eaten by pigeons. The first three teams to complete 9 out of the 10 challenges receive a prize and, most importantly, bragging rights.
The proceeds of the urban race benefit the Children's Heart Foundation’s mission to raise research funds and awareness for congenital heart defects. Since the foundation's start in 1996, it has funded more than $5 million worth of clinical research in the United States and Canada.
A water-survival instructor for more than three decades, Rita Goldberg established British Swim School after a career on Great Britain's national swim team. Children ages 3 months (with a parent) and up can hone their gill skills during the school's 30-minute swimming lessons. Beginners start by learning how to float on their backs—a crucial technique that lets swimmers rest, breathe, and spot life-preserver-shaped clouds. Classes, which are taught year-round in heated, indoor pools, consist of small groups of students learning techniques from the basic to the more advanced freestyle and breaststroke.