With an armada of kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards at their command, Midwest Paddlesport Adventures' team spearheads expeditions to bodies of water across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Frequent trips include calming floats down the Fox River––which is densely populated by local wildlife––and Lake Andrea, a former quarry characterized by local rocks. The expert navigators safely guide groups to their destinations, pointing out animal tracks and majestic waterfowl and they commute to the office.
At Chicago Firearm Training, chief instructors John Frycek and Jamie Tallerico combine their NRA training certifications with field experience as private investigators and personal-security specialists. The two assemble their instructional team from experienced law-enforcement officers, who receive ongoing training so they can pass on the most current armed defensive tactics to students. In addition to keeping their team's skills sharp, John and Jamie assign two or three instructors to each class. Coupled with enrollment limits, this approach helps ensure instructors can give individual attention and greet each student in their class by humming them a personalized theme song.
When Director Tony Youhanna and George Solomos founded Little Legends Soccer Academy in 2009, they found themselves filling a niche. At the time, the North Shore offered no quality soccer coaching for youngsters interested in the game. Their first session was a success, drawing thirty eager players, but it didn't prepare them for the popularity that was to come. Since that day, the academy has ballooned: more than 300 children ages 24 months to 8 years old are currently enrolled in its various programs.
Each clinic helps kids build soccer fundamentals such as foot skills, passing, and receiving in an environment that encourages fun and teamwork. Very young players—24 to 36 months—start off in the Born to Kick program, which couples soccer skills with mind-nurturing topics such as shapes, colors, and vocabulary. As children get older and their skills progress, they move into clinics aimed at more advanced techniques, eventually putting them to work in games. The academy's Space program—standing for speed, agility, core, and endurance—does away with the soccer ball altogether, focusing instead on exercises to improve footwork, speed, and balance.
Ping pong balls ricochet off 10 tables arranged neatly within a 5,000 square-foot dedicated space, only to rise up and meet a whipping paddle that instantaneously reverses their direction, back over the net and across the table. The scene may conjure images of international tournaments, and for good reason: Joola Table Tennis Club, an official table and apparel sponsor of USA Table Tennis, was never bound to take the game lightly. Instead of limiting invitations to championship-caliber players, however, the club also invites mere mortals to take hold of a paddle, line up themselves up at a table, and try their hand at the challenging, fast-paced sport. Novices can enroll in private or group training with a professional, or even rent a robot for concerted stroke repetitions or practice shaking someone's hand. When ready to put their new skills to the test, players can also take on challengers during all-day open play sessions.
Through spellbinding drama and whimsical musical performances, the Chicago Kids Company showcases familiar and imaginative children's stories to enchant kids and adults alike. Colorful costumes, hilarious characters, and sing-along songs will captivate youthful imaginations as professional actors and up-to-date references pique parents' interest until the final curtain.
Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.