Wheaton Sport Center's expert Pilates trainers fortify cores with personalized workouts that match the distinct fitness goals and abilities of every participant. Consisting of three to five students, the six-week, semiprivate Pilates reformer sessions tone, tighten, and align bodies throughout 55–60 minutes of varied exercises that help to enhance muscular balance, improve posture, and distinguish left wrists from anterior cruciate ligaments. First-time participants can skip the fundamentals course required to register for the session and instead receive a general orientation during their first class. Each week, the challenging, nonstop circuit workout conjures up full-body aerobics by rotating through simple mat exercises, dynamic machine routines, and exercises with Pilates props from gym-set productions of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Equipment: Aerial hammocks, poles, Pilates equipment, spin bikes, weights, yoga mats
Students Should Bring: Water, yoga mat
Registration Required: Yes
Good for Beginners: Yes
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5 people
Class Location: Indoors only
Parking: Parking lot
The sky's the limit at Flying Buddha Fitness. Or, perhaps more appropriately, the ceiling is. Aerial yoga is one of the fitness studio's specialties, and challenges students to perform traditional yoga moves while suspended in fabric hammocks that are attached to the ceiling. It sounds both exhilarating and exhausting, but the method is actually quite accessible for students of all fitness levels. The hammocks are hung close to the ground, so beginners can feel safe as they learn how to use the fabric to maneuver in-and-out of poses, support their body weight, and make old workout clothes feel stylish again, while experienced aerial yogis can work their way up to performing acrobatic maneuvers such as inversions and flips.
Of course, Flying Buddha has plenty of classes for those who prefer to stay on the ground as well. The schedule features everything from meditative vinyasa yoga sessions to upbeat turbo kick and piloxing classes. And, although challenging workouts abound, the studio maintains a family-friendly vibe, as evidenced by its array of youth classes and Friday night family fitness sessions.
When children go to piano lessons, they raise their guard and treat the gift of learning music like a trip to the dentist. The instructors at New Song Music are well aware of the old-fashioned traditional piano-teacher stigma, which is why they keep their pupils in their comfort zones by bringing their lessons to the student's homes. With years of experience, a surplus of patience, and computer software that tracks students' progress, New Song Music helps transform tots into Rachmaninoffs in fun lessons that sharpen skills and stir creative juices.
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–8, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
In Wheaton, a day at the park is never the same twice—unless, of course, you want it to be. The Wheaton Park District maintains 53 facilities that encompass everything from pools to hiking trails that weave through the area's lush outdoors. With just a glance at a few of its destinations and attractions, it becomes apparent that the district is serious about its commitment to "enrich the quality of community life."
The Prairie Path Minigolf Course and The Rail, for instance, take up residence at Clocktower Commons. Here, 18 mini-golf holes wind past a central water feature while a 12,000-square-foot skate park lets inline skaters and skateboarders practice tricks that are simply too rad for their parents' driveways. Wheaton Park District also includes The DuPage County Historical Museum and the Cosley Zoo, where a trip into the barn introduces visitors to goats, wooly llamas, and other local wildlife.
The Bank Restaurant, which was founded in 2007, draws ingredients from local farms including Elliot and Sons Bison, Catalpa Grove Lamb, and Piper City's T&J Free Range Poultry. The new menu is filled with specialties ranging from center-cut pork chops to thick burgers bracketed by soft brioche buns. Steaks arrive unadorned or tenderly rubbed with the restaurant's precise blend of spices, and seafood including Hawaiian style arctic char and "as seen on TV" seared scallops play well with their respective glazes and dipping sauces.
While the kitchen fills with culinary innovation that earned the restaurant the 2012 and 2013 Gamon Award for Restaurant of the Year, the dining room and surroundings exude vibes of timeless history. Built in 1875 to house the Gary Wheaton Bank, the building counts among its roster of notable visitors people such as football great Red Grange, journalism tycoon Colonel Robert R. McCormick, and the pink hippo from Hungry, Hungry Hippos.