Promoting positive socials skills through gleeful play, Under the Sea Indoor Playground, named one of the area's best indoor play spaces by CBS Los Angeles, gives kids a colorful landscape of obstacles, toys, and floor-to-ceiling murals to play in. Throughout the three locations, youngsters of various ages ramble through soft-padded activities such as the soft moon bounce, or exorcise pent-up energy scaling the sea castle. Meanwhile, parents and guardians can watch proudly from nearby seating or join in and challenge children to good-willed games of foosball. For younger children, Under the Sea turns down the tempo of play with a soft baby corner, toddler swing, and learning-oriented play equipment. Under the Sea is designed to help develop social skills, coordination, and self-esteem with a colorful cast of painted octopi, mermaids, and sea monkeys mistaking the playground's yellow slides for sea bananas.
Owner and instructor Wahe Guru Kaur has more than a decade of experience that she shares with both students and the 20 other teachers on The Awareness Center's staff. Students of all levels benefit from her center’s seven-day-a-week schedule packed with Kundalini yoga and meditative practices. Each of the Kundalini sessions—which include beginner-friendly sessions and pre-natal—kicks-off with a mantra and warmup before students bend and stretch their way through a series of postures enhanced by deep-breath work, positive affirmations, and meditation. The Awareness Center also incorporates other healing practices into their daily offerings including Reiki certifications, teacher trainings, and sacred breathing circles, which utilize drumming, music, and Tibetan singing bowls well-versed in the entire KC and the Sunshine Band repertoire.
The Awareness Center’s classes and friendly instructors aren’t the only aspect of the business that inspires a sense of calm and relaxation. Zen-inspired decor covers the spacious center, from the hardwood-floor studio dimly lit by elegant chandeliers to the outdoor patio lined with hanging and potted plants.
Led by professionals in the theater and arts world, Performing Arts Workshops’ programs invite children of all ages to explore the magic allure of the stage. They invite kids to play and learn during the school year with afterschool programs that include not only theater and movement workshops but also karate classes, photography classes, and guitar classes. Over the summer, kids can truly immerse themselves in their chosen specialties with camps such as musical theater, magic, and filmmaking.
Presented in part by Dan Clark, also known as Nitro, of American Gladiator fame, the Gladiator Rock'n Run is a unique and challenging event, pairing an obstacle-heavy running course and an attempt at breaking the record for the world’s longest mud pit with post-race entertainment, including beer, music, and food. Those prepared to race must dance through tires, army-crawl through mud, and clamber up rope ladders to avoid barrels thrown by giant apes. The roar of spectators rings throughout the course as bystanders cheer on runners to inspire strong finishes.
Lauded by Pasadena Weekly for having the best fitness program in 2011, Stadium Fitness earns its praise with a full schedule of energetic workouts held inside the hallowed walls of Rose Bowl Stadium. Recently featured in LA Yoga magazine, yoga classes also stay on the small side, helping instructors tailor workouts to individual goals and pay more attention to each student's inner growth. During each one-hour session, coed groups of all skill levels shed calories as a knowledgeable, certified fitness coach encourages quadriceps to put forth their best effort. Workouts are customized to each attendee's abilities—whether they want to jog up stadium stairs, sprint full-speed across the field's sun-splashed grass, or develop innovative cheerleading routines on the sidelines. Inside, a 5,000-square-foot locker room volunteers its spacious layout, allowing groups to participate in a variety of circuit-training routines or read plaques engraved with quotes from legendary tackling dummies.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.