Chicago's flat terrain may be ideal for runners, but it can leave rock climbers in the lurch. Enter First Ascent Climbing, an indoor climbing gym with two locations in the Windy City. Though the two spaces—decked in bold, geometric patterns and a vibrant array of grips and footholds—have distinctly different offerings, they share the common goal of providing climbers a reprieve from their prairie-land surroundings.
The larger of the two, the Avondale location, boasts a full climbing wall with sustained overhangs, roofs, slabs, and cracks up to 60 feet tall. Here, a team of experienced climbers teaches guests to belay with a top rope and read routes while building footwork skills and balance. Meanwhile, the Uptown location, with its cavelike confines, focuses solely on bouldering, a more powerful style of climbing on shorter structures. Bouldering classes offered here arm students with the skills to navigate caves and overhangs. Both spaces provide unique—nay, seemingly impossible—challenges for even the most experienced climbers or bored geckos with grips on the ceiling. To keep climbers in top physical form, both locations also offer yoga and fitness classes.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
SIT is a 5-star-rated pet care company. Forget the madhouse and chaos of the typical doggie daycare. SIT provides boutique care with a max cap of 10-15 dogs per day.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Victoria, the owner has a passion for pets and entrepreneurship. She loves her small client base and believes in quality over quantity. She wanted to create a space where dog lovers and owners could receive 5-star care and socialize together after work and on weekends.
What do you love most about your job?
The people and the pooches.
What is the best reaction you've ever gotten from a customer?
We have a lot of happy customers, but our favorites are the awesome online reviews we consistently receive.
The food: bacon, and lots of it
To be more precise: small plates from some of the city's best restaurants, bakeries, and chef, including Fork, Bang Bang Pie Shop, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Kuma's Corner, Spacca Napoli, The Bad Apple, Glazed and Infused, Revolution Brewing, and more
The awards: the Golden Rashers, which Baconfest has deemed "the Oscars of the bacon world;" several of this year's participants are previous winners
Everything else bacon-inspired or infused beers, cocktails, luxury products, and artwork
The reason, other than that bacon is great: Baconfest benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository
Iproskills Academy is located in West Rogers Park, but its programs are decidedly European. After all, it was the use of European training methods that fueled the coaches' professional athletic careers. Many of them have even won national championships, and all of them know during which half of the game to hold afternoon tea.
Drawing on these successful techniques, the certified coaches help kids of all ages hone their soccer skills. In addition to summer camps, Iproskills Academy offers a variety of training options, including team practices, an intensive pre-travel program, private coaching, and specialized instruction in goalkeeping and speed, agility, and quickness.
Though typically only a wistful dream of humans and ostriches, spending a day soaring through the air becomes a reality at Trapeze School New York in Chicago (TSNY Chicago). One of six locations across the country and open seven days a week, TSNY Chicago educates participants of all levels in the art of flying through group trapeze sessions. The aerial academy also dapples its schedule with lyra, tightwire, trampoline, conditioning, and acrobatics classes, allowing students to have fun and eat unlimited servings of cloud while getting in shape.
Golfers of all ages and skill levels will appreciate the clean and well-maintained courses at Lincolnwood's Bryn Mawr Country Club.
Make the trip to this course even more savory with a visit to their fine restaurant.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this course — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.