In the Middle Ages, the only children's playlands were made of dull plows and untilled fields, and the only way to escape them was to become a clergyman or wizard. Enjoy less agricultural modern playlands with today's Groupon: for $20, you get an eight-visit punch card to children's open gym at Flying High Sports & Rec Center in Countryside (up to a $64 value). Open-gym hours include Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for all ages, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for kindergartners and younger, and select holidays.
Inside Flying High Sports & Rec's open gym, enthusiastic young tumblers can bounce off the padded walls and floors of a 27,000-square-foot, air-conditioned facility of gymnastic mettle testing. A 60-foot-long inflatable obstacle course balloons to life on the third Saturday of every month, teaching children a valuable life lesson about how even the most insurmountable challenges in life can be deflated with a penknife. On uninflated days, supervised kids can remain in a state of perpetual motion with in-ground trampolines, foam pits, swinging ropes, and other tools of the gymnastic trade. A parent must be present to watch kids ages five and younger, lest they be snatched by rafter eagles.
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Flying High Sports & Rec Center
Flying High Sports & Rec Center started out small, but after over 25 years of business, the family-friendly center now boasts more than 1,000 students and has grown into two facilities that house a wide variety of programs. Inside, the qualified instructors lead gymnastics, martial arts, and mentoring tykes as young as walking. In the cheer program, youngsters learn choreography and tumbling moves, and in gymnastics courses, kids learn to execute eye-dazzling flips and to navigate balance beams and the uneven bars, depending on their skill level.
Flying High also hosts open-gym classes and birthday parties. Additionally, two foam pits at the Countryside location, a rock wall at the Hickory Hills location, trampolines and an inflatable obstacle course await those looking to burn off some energy.