Outside of the packed theatre, a sleek sedan glides its way to the curb. An expectant hush falls over the gathered masses as the door opens to reveal the car's famous passenger. There is a pause, and brief silence, before frenzied cheers are punctuated by a flurry of popping flashbulbs. Scenes like this, common in entertainment capitals all over the world, are what the photographers at Photo Booth of the Stars seek to replicate on a small-scale at private event engagements throughout Chicagoland. Their brand of memory-making has proven especially popular at weddings, where reception guests can pose in front of backdrops that celebrate matrimony with pictures of hearts, rings, and the best man giving a thumbs up.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up of Crystal Lake sprawls over 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce house, air-filled playthings, and large imagination blocks that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts mandating dessert for breakfast. The ascending 16-foot double rock-climbing wall and a hump-shaped obstacle challenge climbers, and attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun.
On every second Friday of the month, Pump It Up of Crystal Lake throws a tween night party, with pizza, glow products, and a live DJ taking song requests. Families can also tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms, complimentary invites, and a veritable stockpile of extras to customize the celebratory shenanigans.
According to the law of conservation of energy, energy can be neither created nor destroyed?but the staff of Building Energy Experts can certainly help to control it. Channeling more than 40 years of construction experience, they visit homes and commercial properties to maximize the site's energy efficiency. They first analyze the structure, scouting for points in need of improvement. They then suggest any necessary solutions?air sealing, for example, prevents air from escaping so that houses cool down faster and air-conditioning costs drop, and cellulose insulation keeps homes warmer in the winter to reduce heating bills.
They can tackle a wide range of duties, from small maintenance tasks to the implementation of alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar power, or hundreds of potato batteries. On each job, they advise each clients on spending plans that are compatible with their budget. Building Energy Experts is an energySMART Nicor air sealing and attic insulation contractor.
Signature service: Personal Mentoring Services (PMS)
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: PMS is a partnered journey between you and your personal mentor.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.