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Chicago Park District Serves Up Unique Classes This Spring

By Margaret Paulson in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 12, 2015 9:50PM

2015_2_12Park.jpg The Chicago Park District is the sponsor of our beloved Movies in the Park in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Its facilities include 580 parks spread across more than 8,100 acres and includes wellness centers, basketball courts, gyms, swimming pools and events spaces that feature the standard park district offerings: lap swim memberships, basketball leagues and personal training.

But if you’re looking to learn something new, try something unusual or enjoy one of your off-beat interests with like-minded people, the Chicago Park District has some pretty unique classes on tap this Spring. Check out our favorites below:

If you’re feeling inspired by Katniss Everdeen’s rad bow and arrow skills, check out the archery lessons at Pulaski Park in West Town. The Park District website describes archery as “the practice of propelling an arrow at a target, using a bow.” Archery classes are $51 for residents ($102 for non-residents) and are held every Friday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. April 3 - June 5.

If something less dangerous is more your scene, consider trying your hand at pickleball at Gompers Park in the North Park neighborhood. Pickleball harkens back to elementary school gym classes across the Midwest and is a delightful cross between badminton and table tennis. Costs are $11 for Chicago residents ($22 for non-residents). Sign up to learn pickleball skills, rules and fundamentals every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. or Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. April 1 - May 27.

Auto Repair
Perhaps you’re interested in something more practical? For a fee of $58 for Chicago residents ($116 for non-residents), you can learn the basics of routine car maintenance. The class includes oil changes, filter changes and brake and spark plug replacement. Plus, you can bring in your own car to work on! The class is held at West Lawn Auto Shop, which is conveniently located in West Lawn Park. The auto repair class is Monday and Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and runs March 30 - June 3.

Several Chicago Park District locations offer ballet classes for beginner or intermediate ballerinas and ballerinos. We can’t guarantee you’ll immediately become graceful, but chances are you'll be well on your way. Sign up for the beginner class at Indian Boundary Park in West Ridge to learn the five positions and do barre training. Beginner Ballet costs $36 for Chicago residents ($72 for non-residents) and is held Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 April 4 - June 6.

Online registration for Chicago Park District Spring programs begins Feb. 23.