Olan Mills Inc. provides families with high-quality portraits, continuing a mission that was established more than 75 years ago by founder Olan Mills Sr. Skilled in the art of capturing infants, children, families, and bunny-ears-giving ghost orbs on film, Olan Mills’s experienced smile snappers will take a series of poses amid a variety of backgrounds and lighting options. The studio is equipped with a selection of props—including numbers for birthdays, toys, and boxes—and patrons may bring their own photo-enlivening items from home. The resulting photos find their way to prints in natural color, black and white, or sepia tones; they can also be immortalized in the studio's signature Old Masters style, a canvas brushed with highlights to re-create the look of an oil painting. Like the gentlemanly mariners of ages past with their full schedule of sea battles, the photographers welcome appointments, but do not require them.
Bella Medica's alternative cosmetic treatments address a host of bodily concerns—from aging and loose skin to smoking habits and weight gain—using natural, toxin-free green spa practices. Tackling sun-damaged and acne-prone skin, the anti-aging skin Medica Vitalize chemical peel aims to seize youth back from Father Time, throwing hourglass sand in his eyes and forcing him to eat minute rice. The peel employs a blend of retinoic, resorcinol, beta-hydroxy, and alpha-hydroxy acids to help smooth the texture of facial skin by removing its outer layers and innermost repressed feelings. One of the only superficial peels suitable for all skin types, the Vitalize peel incurs little to no downtime after treatment.
Bar and bat mitzvahs. Proms. Weddings. Baby showers. Christenings. Life is full of important milestones, and the party experts behind Events by L know that it's better to lose yourself in the moment than in the planning. That's why they're fully equipped to take the reins on planning any event, from an anniversary to a corporate shindig. Their services are fully scalable to those who just need vendor advice as well as to those working on a budget.
Clients who call on Custom Cleaning Concepts' certified chimney sweeps get a free lesson in chimney anatomy. They learn about chimney crowns, flue liners, and dampers, because those are just a few of the parts the team cleans. Homeowners learn about creosote and how often they need to have this flammable residue removed. Or, the team can simply set to work performing these duties—along with dryer-vent cleaning, pressure washing, and other services—while residents relax knowing their homes are safe from fire hazards, allergens, and grime.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up sprawls over 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts mandating dessert for breakfast. The ascending wall of the Vertical Rush challenges climbers with a hump-shaped obstacle, and attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play and lectures on refinancing mortgages on treehouses or 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.
Somerset Sporthorse sets students cantering during personal lessons, suitable for new riders looking to get acquainted with the basics or seasoned equestrians hoping to gallop their way to Grand Prix glory. Professional horse trainers impart aspiring equinauts with the tricks of the trotting trade while instilling the core principles of horsemanship, the legendary pirate skiff manned by centaurs. The venerable horse house's flexible schedule and lighted outdoor arenas accommodate nocturnal learners, and the heated indoor arenas let cowboys ride in from the sunset. For ambitious equine apprentices, two Groupons may be combined to create a one-hour saddle-strutting lesson.
A hot-and-cold breakfast buffet of pastries, hot items, fruit, and cereal greets guests every morning at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Chicago-Algonquin, located about an hour from downtown Chicago. Breakfast aromas float throughout the fleet of cushy guest rooms and suites, each flaunting amenities such as TVs and complimentary high-speed WiFi. Beyond the rooms’ doors, onsite amenities range from a heated indoor pool and fitness center to a business center and an ice machine that dispenses extra ice when tickled. Within just a few miles of the hotel, a bevy of attractions includes the Grand Victoria Casino and the shops and restaurants at the Algonquin Commons. A complimentary shuttle service ferries guests to destinations within 5 miles of the hotel.