At the historic Highland Park Theatre, families and film buffs happily munch handfuls of fresh popcorn as spine-tingling thrillers, uproarious comedies, and rich, moving dramas play out on the big screen. The venerable North Shore movie house dates back to 1925, when it operated as the 1,200-seat Alcyon Theatre, which had a single screen that showed silent footage of cowboys racing on horseback, swashbucklers crossing swords, and complex romance plots communicated through drawn-out games of Pictionary. Today, powerful sound systems in the building's four theaters broadcast the dialogue of crowd-pleasing Hollywood blockbusters, as well as critically acclaimed independent films and imported foreign masterpieces.
Inside The Asylum Skatepark & Skateshop, boards flip and fly over ramps and half-pipes before grinding atop lips and sliding across rails. It’s there where skaters attempt new moves and perfect tricks in a skate park designed to welcome rookies and challenge veterans. Visitors can also take private one-on-one lessons while there and outfit themselves with new gear from the shop.
The Pilates Studio helps physiques strive to reach their potential with the help of small class sizes and a six-day-per-week schedule. Classes vary to accommodate students of all fitness levels, allowing experienced exercisers and beginners alike to customize the pace and rigor of their carcass reconfiguration. The instructor's encouraging teaching style, sharp eye, and attention to detail help students reach new levels of strength and calories reach new levels of panic.
Hundreds of LEGO pieces scatter across C&A Robot Factory’s worktables, where kids follow plans or their own imaginations to build everything from programmable robots to remote-controlled vehicles. During the center's projects and camps, children work through projects that explore science, math, and creativity. They might build a LEGO space station, program the movements of a solar-powered robot, or use salt water to power a LEGO car. The stop-motion-animation project—where kids assemble LEGO bricks into a movie set and then take hundreds of photographs that are edited together to become a short movie—stretches the potential applications of LEGOs even further.
Creative opportunities, however, aren't limited to structured projects. During open-play sessions kids can use C&A Robot Factory’s thousands of LEGO blocks to assemble buildings or the world’s most uncomfortable carpet. The LEGO Ville area lets toddlers play as well, surrounding them with Duplo blocks, cars, and trains.
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.
The Little Gym of Gurnee, a branch of the nationwide network of Little Gyms, fosters educational wonderment, physical development, and self-confidence in children aged four months to 12 years old through engaging, interactive classes. Trained instructors lead the classes and impart motor skills, language development, and leadership skills through karate and dance classes, as well as brain boost activities—all with the goal of encouraging age-appropriate development in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere.