Best Place to Crush a Baseball

Just because you’re a dad doesn’t mean you know how to hit a curve. Fortunately, after my son fell in love with baseball four years ago, I had SwingScience Hitting Lab. This Lincoln Square facility has two batting cages equipped with HitTrax, which uses motion capture technology. You can see your swings played back in … Read more

Best Vibes on Karaoke Night

True to the name, Pop Up Karaoke apparates in various North Side bars five nights a week, putting on an infectiously joyful experience. As an enthusiast who has taken my “Wrecking Ball” all over town, I love how this series fosters a community of regulars who pack the dance floor and applaud every performance. It’s … Read more

Best Place to Blow Your Kid’s Mind

Each Sunday afternoon at Chicago Magic Lounge, a feat of pure impossibility is deftly performed: keeping a bunch of fidgety kids entertained for a full hour. The genre of children’s magic shows sometimes suffers from a corny reputation, but this long-standing residency in Andersonville is anything but. There’s a science to holding children’s attention rapt, … Read more

Best Public Sculpture Not Modeled After an Afghan Hound

For a dramatic take on public art, head to Jackson Park’s Wooded Island for Yoko Ono’s Skylanding. Amid this serene, grassy setting, a dozen 12-foot-tall steel lotus petals protrude from the ground — or have they fallen from the sky? The work, installed in 2016 on the site of the Japanese Pavilion from the 1893 World’s Columbian … Read more

Best Spot to Get Your Horror Fix

Whatever your tastes in creepy flicks — monster movies, arty gore films, sleepaway camp slashers — the Brewed has something for you. (Even the name of this Avondale café is an Easter egg reference to David Cronenberg’s The Brood.) Inside these lavender walls, no one has to wait until October to indulge in all things Halloween. The joint … Read more