Driven by a desire to share the life-changing potential of martial arts, Dean Konley founded American Dojo in 1994. But his journey to that point wasn’t easy. As a child, Konley struggled with dyslexia, a condition that followed him into adolescence. Weighed down by bullying and constant frustration, he resorted to destructive behavior. Then, Konley found martial arts. Practicing martial arts gave Konley an outlet, and it quickly became a source of the success, discipline, and self-confidence he’d lacked in other areas of life. Konley earned his first black belt in 1986 and hasn’t quit progressing since.
Today, alongside his wife, Virginia, and a staff of highly trained instructors, Konley heads two American Dojo locations. Both of Konley’s facilities are family-oriented, and both offer classes for students as young as 4. Beyond empowering its members through goal-oriented lessons and programs, American Dojo opens its doors for birthday parties, too, allowing youngsters to burn off energy in a more positive manner than teaching the dog how to count cards at the casino.
Inside each Sky Zone location, a wall-to-wall half-pipe made entirely of trampolines gives children and adults a venue where they can safely hop, bounce, and somersault to their hearts' content. The vast, taut, springy flooring doesn't end at the walls, but instead the trampolines continue upward to form angles perfect for crawling up, springing off, or sliding down. Visitors can meander along the bounceable terrain in the open trampoline arena, throw themselves into giant foam pits, or sharpen their competitive edges in trampoline-assisted sports such as dodgeball. SkyRobics classes merge gravity-defying fun with fitness during instructor-led workouts that include calisthenics, core exercises, and strength-building aerobics to help guests shed calories without hurting their joints or taking a wrong turn on a treadmill.
Keen Fox Events hosts a variety of fun events that help burn calories and do some good. The Wicked-Fun 1990s Run encourages runners to race while traveling back in time to the era of grunge, virtual pets, and boy bands. In addition the workout and community-wide good cheer, some of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Special Olympics.
In 1928 the famous stage-acting couple Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt declared that from then on they would only appear onstage together. They also refused to act during the summer so they could spend the season at Ten Chimneys—their 60-acre estate retreat in the rolling hills of Kettle Moraine. Alfred had begun the construction himself in 1914, designing the first part of the three-story main house. In 1922 he and Lynn, newly married, began making additions: they converted the house's chicken coop into a private five-room country cottage and built a Swedish-style log cabin for use as a performance studio. Here, they lived and entertained a revolving cast of actors, writers, and artists until their retirement in 1960.
Today, trained docents lead small groups on tours through the cottage, the studio, and the main house's 18 rooms. Some of these confines bear unique titles such as the Flirtation Room, whereas others are named for past guests Helen Hayes, Laurence Olivier, and Noël Coward. Guides divulge the history behind many of the eclectic artifacts found there, such as Staffordshire figurines, pre-Civil War oil lamps, and Delft china, and reveal details about more personal pieces such as handmade gifts from Helen Hayes and Noël Coward, photographs with Charlie Chaplin, and murals painted by set designer Claggett Wilson. Outside, they lead visitors past a creamery and greenhouse, and point out a copper mermaid—designed and crafted by Cecil Beaton—that sits atop the estate's pool house to scare away sailors.
Throughout the year, Ten Chimneys hosts special theater-centric events. Play readings held in partnership with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater showcase the theater's interns as they read works connected to the Lunts or guests at their estate. During Music in the Drawing Room, cabaret artists from around the country gather around Noël Coward's historic piano to perform for small crowds and confuse unprepared time travelers. The estate also invites well-known local or national theater practitioners for a guest-speaker series inspired by the theater-minded talks that took place at the Lunts’ dining table.
In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
Throughout the summer, the paved paths of Frame Park welcome outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and interests, including riders seated on High Roller Fun Rentals's unique bikes and pedal carts. Two-, three-, and four-wheel vehicles transport groups down the 1.7-mile river walk?a path flanked by playground equipment, picnic areas, gardens, and volleyball courts.
For those looking to make a splash, High Roller Fun Rentals also maintains a floating fleet of creature boats, canoes, and kayaks. These inventive vessels allow groups of two, three, or four to navigate the Fox River with ease. And for added convenience, the rental center hands out maps to encourage exploration.