Get Out and Get Active, Olympic-Style

Feeling inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games? Release your inner champion with some fun, easy ways to get out and get active!

Go ahead and try a new sport (I highly suggest the trampoline) or bring back those soccer skills you lost after elementary school. Most importantly, have fun with it—the gold medal isn’t everything.


For all you softball enthusiasts, check out North Shore Baseball Academy in Highland Park for training in both baseball and softball as well as lessons, clinics, camps and teams. Slammers in Lake Forest also has leagues, camps, teams, private training and has even paired with the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute to design a program which works on both technique as well as personal strength, balance, injury prevention, flexibility and much more!


To get your basketball fix in, be sure to head to Joy of the Game in Deerfield where they offer seasonal classes, leagues for all ages, camps and even private training on their NBA-quality courts.


Prefer being on the water, not in it? Try canoeing or kayaking the Chicago River with Chicago River Canoe and Kayak. Also, be sure to check out their Lagoons trip in Winnetka, which explores the old Skokie marshes.


Aside from workin’ up a sweat in a cycling class, try heading outside and checking out the 5 best bike trails to try in the area! Like your AC? Stay inside, perhaps in the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook!


Impressed by those Equestrians? Check out the Top 4 Horseback Riding Stables in the Chicago Suburbs for a lesson or two—some even offer horse shows for beginners, so don’t be afraid to go for that gold!


Head to Flips Gymnastics in Lake Forest or Wilmette Gymnastics to start balancing, vaulting and flipping like the pros! Both facilities offer classes for students as young as 6-12 months, and also feature camps and a competitive team. Flips even offers open gym time on Fridays!


Join a training program or running group for motivation at Real Running in Wilmette. Receive daily workout plans, individual coaching and even nutrition basics with this all-inclusive program.

Tired of treadmills and need some sun? Check out some great places to explore while adding some adventure to your run!


If sailing is more your thing, head to the sailing school at Wilmette’s Sheridan Shore Yacht Club for youth programs as well as private sailing lessons. For a wider variety of water sports, check out the North Shore Yacht Club in Highland Park for sailing, kayaking, power boating and personal water crafting as well as adult sailing instruction and youth programs.


Grab some friends and check out open soccer sessions for adults at the Highland Park Field House 3 nights a week at 10 p.m. Many local park districts also offer lit, public soccer fields, such as Willow Park and Fox Meadow Park in Northfield!


Let’s be honest—who doesn’t want to jump into a pool after the summer heat we’ve had? Cool off at Big Blue Aquatics in Wilmette or Foss Swim School in Highland Park with lessons, camps and competitive teams for all ages! Or take after our very own Olympic athletes Conor Dwyer and Matt Grevers and head to the Lake Forest Swim Club—they even have a program for non-members!


Who knows? You might even be the next Serena! So head to one of the 43 public outdoor tennis courts offered by the Glenview Park District or maybe Blair Park in Lake Bluff to whip out that racquet!


If you’d just like to jump around, bounce off to Niles to check out Sky High Sports with trampoline floors and walls (book online in advance to avoid lines and sellouts).


There’s nothing like a classic game of volleyball with friends or family to pass the summer time away. Beaches like Clark Street Beach in Evanston, Tower Beach in Winnetka and Waukegan Municipal Beach have volleyball courts available for public use!