Ayurveda, considered to be the root of many ancient healing practices, is also the inspiration behind all of the services at House of Ayurveda. The center's holistic practitioners bring balance to clients' bodies and minds through Shirodhara treatments, during which they pour a soothing stream of therapeutic oil over the forehead, and relieve allergy symptoms with Nasya treatments that target the sinuses. Clients can also take an active roll in their own wellness by attending the center's yoga classes instead of just rolling themselves like the calmest burrito inside their yoga mats at home.
The staff members at The Rock House wouldn’t lavish their attention on any old beans picked out of a wholesale catalogue—they needed a more personal experience with the coffee-growing industry. To guarantee the wholly non-exploitative origins of each cup of java served at their shop, the coffee brewers partnered with growers in Sri Lanka to develop their very own crops and went the extra mile to ensure quality by roasting all the beans in-house. As the staff brews single cups with an artisanal pour-over method, customers can sift through rock-’n’-roll-inspired merchandise under the light streaming from naked light bulbs, chandeliers, and disco balls.
Sam Elias knows that being cooped up during long winter days can make people stir-crazy. So in 1993, after moving from Florida, land of palm trees and beaches, to Chicago, land of frigid winds and gray slush, he founded WhirlyBall as a way for people to release pent-up energy even as snow was falling outside. During each competitive WhirlyBall game, which combines aspects of basketball, hockey, and jai alai, players zoom across an indoor 50'x80' court in motorized cars called WhirlyBugs. They wield plastic scoops to toss a wiffle ball back and forth to their teammates before throwing the ball through an elevated goal. Refs keep watch during the games, eliminating score arguments that would otherwise end in sunrise duels. To fuel up for a bout, players nibble teriyaki chicken satay, gourmet pizzas, and prime rib, and swig draft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions such as video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey. The Vernon Hills location hosts an indoor rock-climbing wall, and both the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel Lasertron laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.
From their vast catalog of music, AShah Entertainment’s DJs pluck original cuts and radio edits to spin at parties, complementing jams with optional music video mixing. But the entertainment company’s services extend beyond audio. Their team also supplies special events—from weddings to Indian gatherings—with artful lighting and photo booths, which document revelry more effectively than an undercover reporter posing as the host’s long lost geometry teacher.
Just Your Art's proprietor draws from a wealth of training and experience to help students of any ability level hone their skills. She has a background in medical and architectural illustration that helps her create lifelike depictions of figures and structures. To boot, her master's degree in education allows her to wear a mortarboard and gown at all times.
She works with students to cultivate a joy of self-expression and accomplishment found in creating their own paintings, whether they are grownups enjoying sips of wine between brush strokes or kids discovering their talents during summer classes. Young ones learn the history of art and the finer points of sketching and painting during summer camps, and BYOB parties combine the thrill of girls' nights out with the beauty of artistic creation, defined as turning a wine glass into a wine glass that's balanced atop your head while you paint. The staff sells cappuccinos, lattes, and real fruit smoothies.