The Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program serves children with special needs through therapeutic horseback-riding services in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. A horse’s movements, similar to a human's, can help improve the rider's posture, balance, and sensory processing, making horseback riding an ideal therapy tool for people with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. For some children, riding a horse as part of the riding program marks the first time they've been able to feel what walking is like. In addition to physical and sensory motor benefits, horseback riding can also improve socialization and self-esteem.
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.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre closed in 1989 and reopened its doors in 2001 after city funds helped 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee. But its most notable feature is the 2,200-pound chandelier, which gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
Refreshing zephyrs glide off freshwater lochs and onto SkipperBud's, an all-purpose marina on the shores of Lake Mendota. New and used boats from high-end brands such as Starcraft and Sea Ray bob beside the sprawling facilities, where savvy salespeople bring decades of know-how to the 40-year-old company. Engine parts, safety tackle, and watersports equipment are also on hand, as are adept boat mechanics trained to tinker on most boat models and engine types. Indoor storage facilities fend off the icy barks of Old Man Winter, and, in the summer, make for easy access to Lake Mendota's launch points.
There are no waiters at Mikey's. You order at the counter and find your own seat. But the pub’s casual atmosphere doesn’t detract from the quality of its food. Diners dig into gourmet pub eats such as open-faced prime-rib sandwiches, pulled-pork flatbreads, and buffalo chicken dip served with warm tortilla chips, sipping stiff drinks and craft beers all the while.
Waukegan Yacht Club almost seems to float on Lake Michigan. Perhaps that’s befitting an outfit that started out as a houseboat. Though it’s since moved into a shore-side building that juts into the lake, the club still upholds its seafaring mission, laid out back in 1927, to promote the goodly fellowship of kindred yachtsmen. The aquatic association invites members to set sail on the harbor in the club’s two 420s or the Sunfish yachts, free of charge. It also hosts a slew of special events like Blessing of the Fleet and Chicago-to-Waukegan race. The venue is also available for weddings, graduations, and other business or family events.
Oh, and they whip up a mean planked whitefish in their harbor-side restaurant. Club favorites include an 8 oz. filet mignon, beer-battered cod fish n’ chips, and the half-pound Regatta burger.