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.
Legendary country crooner George Jones cracks open a frothing keg of No. 1 hits and heartbreakers as his rare tour chugs through the historic Genesee Theatre. A Country Music Hall of Famer and recipient of the National Medal of Arts, George Jones charted the blueprint of modern country music with his distinctive voice, brutally honest lyrics, and cast-iron liver. From rockabilly stompers such as "White Lightning" to 10-hankie saline spigots such as "He Stopped Loving Her Today," his unflinchingly confessional classics will strike a chord with generations of fans during a high-energy performance that forever shuts the door on his "No Show" days. Also known as "The Possum" for his facial features and immunity to rabies, Jones continues to out-moonshine modern country whippersnappers, even at the tender age of 80.
The Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association has offered patrons ball-rolling entertainment with numerous local member centers for more than three decades. Over the course of two games (up to a $4 value each), hole-bearing balls can spend at least 20 frames gracefully gliding across waxed planks and toppling tiptoeing pins, or alternately fall victim to the gutters' tempting embrace. No matter which of the 28 participating locations patrons decide to patronize, their toes will be stylishly covered in a pair of rental shoes (up to a $4 value) that work to minimize bipedal friction and maximize the uniformity of spontaneous song-and-dance numbers.
Zip Fitness's staff strives to keep intimidation from creeping in to each of the five gyms. To welcome all exercisers—even those who have never had gym memberships before—Gym Geniuses stroll through each location donning bright-red shirts that signal their availability to help guests operate the various machines and guide them in drafting fitness goals and coming up with routines for the day. They've stocked each location with strength equipment from brands such as Precor and Life Fitness, and a guided strength circuit's 30-minute full-body workout takes the guesswork out of toning physiques. Rows of cardio equipment include treadmills, ellipticals, and upright and recumbent bikes, along with rowing machines and StairMaster step mills. For stretching and ab work, bands, balls, and body bars abound, and free weights include dumbbells, barbells, and tamed school bells.
Gold memberships unlock additional perks, such as unlimited access to Hex II tanning booths and the ActivTrax online fitness and nutrition coach, which plots out workouts and offers nutrition tools tailored to each user's goals, from slimming down to having the flexibility to comb your hair with your feet.
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.
Lake County Family YMCA urges households toward healthier living with a supportive staff, fitness classes, and a treasure trove of gym and poolside amenities. Hearts and legs get pumping aboard ellipticals and stationary bikes while limbs and cores sprout muscle with the help of free or machine weights. Active Mature Adult classes hone balance, strength, and flexibility with a light to moderate workout that eschews the games of medicine-ball dodgeball found in more intense exercise classes. Alternately, Zumba classes motor hips into calorie-torching dance moves set to Latin music, and yoga courses pose physiques into fluid Vinyasa sequences. After sweat-inducing workouts, members can relax, letting the whirlpool's jets power wash stress from bodies or the dry-heat sauna's warmth melt pounds and tense muscles. The Vernon Hills location fosters watery fun with a children's aquatic play area and water slide, and the Waukegan complex lets joggers peer down onto the gymnasium below from an overhead running track. Both sites welcome whippersnappers into their drop-in babysitting service, where staffers entertain youngsters for up to two hours or however long it takes parents to stage one-person renditions of Logan's Run on the treadmills.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.