Sea Lion Aquatic Park is more of a network than a single pool?the park splits its reservoirs into separate areas for different ages and activities. Six lanes stretch across the 25-yard lap pool, which also serves as home to the Sea Lion swim team. Two body flume slides twist and turn into landing pools, while two short drop slides send riders into a "splash playground" filled with interactive water games. The Vortex pool, on the other hand, creates water resistance that's ideal for water aerobics; but turn the other way, and it becomes a mini lazy river.
The park also hosts special events. These occasions might have kids build their own boats for a cardboard regatta, or bring in a DJ to prove just how hard it is to charleston with your legs under water.
With its bare hands, Norris Recreation Center tears through the piecemeal membership and class fees that keep exercisers from traditional gyms, and flings open the doors to its modern facility. A gift from the St. Charles–native Norris family, the nonprofit establishment makes living healthier a viable option. Within its stone walls, five dedicated rooms bustle with the whir of cardio and weight-training equipment, and swimmers careen down the 12 lanes of the 50-meter pool during lessons, lap swims, and open pool time. The squeaks of pivoting sneakers peal off the racquetball court's walls, and twosomes, foursomes, and Billie Jean King's army of clones descend on the four tennis courts, which guests rent by the hour. Members can simmer in the center's saunas or whirlpool, or shuck off tension with a swedish, sport-injury, orthopedic, or deep-tissue massage before showering and retrieving their gym bags from complimentary lockers.
Trained instructors lead 13 free classes throughout the week, with diverse aerobic curricula that include cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. For individualized guidance, personal trainers coach clients out of workout plateaus. As parents work out, childcare professionals engage lads and lasses with interactive games, toys, and movies in the center's nursery, where kids build social skills and imagination while pretending to be heroic astronauts, firefighters, or accountants.
Just like at the beach, when you wade into Seafari Springs' zero-depth pool, the water will just cover your toes. Keep going, and the water's surface stretches farther and father above those toes, up to 12 feet at its deepest. Surrounding this pool are water-driven attractions designed for different ages. Little ones cluster around the Aqua Bloom, a blossom that sprays erratic streams of water from its center, much like a camel with holes in its humps. At Turtle Falls, a 13-foot waterfall douses visitors, while a wide swathe of grass nearby invites guests to let the sun lend its warmth or keep their coffee warm. Older kids zip down speed slides, tube slides, and a 130-foot long water slide. Meanwhile, the Oasis provides a variety of concessions to satisfy appetites.
With an indoor lap pool, full basketball court, strength equipment, and 90 cardio stations filling its 40,000-square-foot facility, LifeStart at Central Park aims to be a one-stop fitness haven for the community. Cardio Theater equipment entertains brains as members run on treadmills, scale stair steppers, and tone legs on elliptical machines. Lifters can supplement their reps on the facility's arsenal of strength-training equipment with more than two-tons worth of free weights. After workouts, they can wipe away sweat with the complimentary towel service before relaxing in the whirlpool or deciphering the original US Constitution on Jefferson's antique mirror in the sauna and steam room.
When they're not leading personal-training sessions, instructors cartwheel over to LifeStart at Central Park's two spacious group exercise studios to helm fitness classes. In addition to leading cycling sessions, instructors demonstrate Zumba's easy-to-follow moves to the backdrop of global music and fortify core muscles in Pilates.
In the summer, most people flock to Meadows Swim & Tennis Club to enjoy the heated pools. The club has three of them?a six-lane lap pool, a junior pool, and a baby pool?as well as trained lifeguards on staff. But there's no shortage of activities out of the water. Guests can make rivals on one of two tennis courts or fuel festivities around the firepit and pig roaster.
With eight indoor tennis courts, an indoor pool, and a 20,000-square-foot fitness center brimming with workout equipment, Oak Brook Racquet & Fitness Club sets the stage for athletic accomplishment. The event calendar overflows with adult classes ranging from low-impact yoga or aqua Pilates to high-intensity circuits filled with muscle toning TRX, strength training, and cardio workouts. Kids and teens are welcome at the club, with junior tennis and aquatics classes as well as a workout room where kids get strong enough to bench-press a Power Wheels car. The 85-degree indoor pool hosts swim lessons for all ages, as well as personal training and rehabilitation exercises. Post-workout, members can take advantage of the club?s amenities, which include a kids? playroom, onsite pub, and massage room for kneading out aches.