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Recreation & Education

A Tavola Chef and owner Daniel Bocik passes his skills on to diners at his occasional cooking workshops at this intimate Italian joint (see Restaurants). Classes are held in the kitchen on slow Monday nights; all ingredients are provided, and after about three hours of prepping and cooking the students sit down to a four-course meal. Call to reserve a spot at least four days ahead of time. Arrow Selected Mon, 6:30 PM, A Tavola, 2148 W. Chicago, 773-276-7567 or, $50 (without drinks, tax, or tip). —Patrick Daily

Clemente Park This park, like Roberto Clemente High School across the street, is named for the Pittsburgh Pirate who died in a plane crash in 1972. It has a gym and indoor pool and facilities for baseball and tennis. Arrow 2334 W. Division, 312-742-7538. —PD

Commercial Club Playground What began as a simple playground in 1903 (built by the Commercial Club of Chicago, which donated it to the city three years later with the stipulation the name never be changed) has expanded to include a baseball diamond and a field house. Arrow 1845 W. Rice, 312-742-7558 or —PD

Creative Claythings Begun in 1979 as Chicago Fire and Earth, this joint claims its pottery classes will provide you with the “well-documented stress reduction and healing properties of clay.” Beginning and intermediate classes cost $130-$160 for eight weeks. Arrow 2255 W. Grand, 312-421-8000 or —PD

Electric Guitars by Fred Mangan Mangan’s reputation is as a wacky luthier—he builds guitars out of scrap like a satellite dish, a pipe from a church organ, or a 1950s high chair. But he’ll also teach you how to play that Ibanez you got on sale at Guitar Center. It’s $25 for a private one-hour lesson. Bring a spiral notebook and a blank cassette; Mangan says he’ll “learn songs that the students are interested in and teach accordingly.” He’ll also help you with your guitar-building project. Arrow 2351 W. Augusta, 312-497-2418 or —PD

Nature Yoga Sanctuary This yoga studio des­ribes itself as a place where “knowledge can be shared, where community can grow and the Di­vine be celebrated.” Classes run seven days a week with prices ranging from $15 for a single class to $1,200 for a year’s unlimited access; a private hour-and-a-half session is $100. Arrow 2021 W. Division, 773-227-5720 or —PD

Ritz Tango Cafe While the last empanada is being digested at this Argentinean eatery, the tables are being pushed to the wall so the tango lessons can begin. They’re taught by Jorge Niedas of the Tango 21 dance troupe and cafe owner Dinah D’Antoni. Monday evenings are reserved for intermediate-level dancers; a free open dance follows lessons on Saturdays and Sundays. Arrow Mon 7-9 PM, Thu 7-9 PM, Sat 8-9 PM, Sun 6-7 PM, 933 N. Ashland, 773-235-2233 or, $10-$12. —PD

Windy City Scooter & Bicycle Rental This company, founded by Aaron Aggio in 2004, specializes in renting out Vespa and Lambretta scooters (but also rents bicycles and sells new and used scooters and used luxury cars—see Shopping for more). Scooter rates start at $40 for two hours and work their way up to weekly leases. Bikes are $10-$15 an hour or $30-$40 a day. Arrow Through Labor Day, Mon-Sat 10 AM-8 PM, Sun 10 AM-7 PM, 2151 W. Division, 773-276-5200 or —PD


ARFhouse ARFhouse is a 100 percent volun­teer-run no-kill animal-rescue organization. It doesn’t have a walk-in adoption facility; its dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs are housed in foster homes and boarding facilities and adoptable animals at any given time can be surveyed at Besides fostering, volunteers can walk dogs; work at street fairs, adoption events, and fund-raisers; and help with marketing and other administrative duties. Arrow 773-305-1960 or —Patrick Daily

Arts of Life This nonprofit studio (see Galleries & Museums) has three full-time staff members who work with the disabled adults who make and sell their art here. They’re looking for artists to help the clientele with certain techniques; people who know how to do custom framing; photographers; archivists; and folks to work on the Web site and the artists’ MySpace pages. Arrow 2110 W. Grand, 312-829-2787 or —PD

Esperanza Community Services Founded in 1969 by a group of parents in the Pilsen neighborhood, Esperanza moved to Ukrainian Village in the 70s, where it now manages several educational and support programs for toddlers, youths, and adults with developmental disabilities. Volunteering opportunities range from one-on-one mentoring to group projects like painting classrooms or landscaping. Arrow 520 N. Marshfield, contact volunteer coordinator Linda Romano-Derr at 312-243 -6097, ext. 233, or; see —PD

Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago This repository of Ukrainian history and culture, particularly as it pertains to the immigrant experience in America, needs volunteers to help in its archives and library and with various events. Arrow 2249 W. Superior, 312-421-8020 or; see —PD

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