The low, steady rumbling of balls rolling across polished wood echoes throughout Andover Lanes, where players line up shots or watch their friends topple pins from a seating area outfitted with retro, three-sided tables. Pulsating dance beats reverberate from the alley’s internet jukebox, mingling with the thunderous sounds of pins crashing to create an air of palpable excitement. This excitement is never more apparent than on Friday evenings, when the 24 lanes take on incandescent hues during rounds of cosmic bowling and the alley’s full bar and grill stays busy all night slinging pizzas, wraps, and burgers. The alley’s arcade similarly lights up with glinting pool balls and video-game consoles that keep fingers loose after hours of hurling balls down lanes or bench-pressing french fries. To complement its all-American food and retro vibe, the bar also hosts a wide projection screen for sports games and a stage for karaoke and live musicians
Surrounded by cheeky pink carpeting and floor-to-ceiling racks of metallic-colored medicine balls, instructors at Studio K lead 45-minute fitness classes, many of which focus on seniors. With a stone fireplace nested in the corner and mirrors surrounding the walls, cozy classes whip cores into finer fettle during yoga and mat Pilates, and patrons cut a cardio rug during dance-aerobics sessions that include Zumba and Latin Dance. Studio K takes part in the SilverSneakers program, which modifies cardio and strength workouts for seated routines, making it easier for older students and reigning monarchs to participate.
Jam Hops Gymnastics, Dance and Cheer was formed when The Gymnastics Factory of Ham Lake joined forces with Jam Hops of Mound View in 1997. At first, they focused only on recreational and competitive gymnastics. As the talent, energy, and location expanded, however, so too did the program—they began to include dance. The inertia then became harder to contain, leading to Jam Hops' cheer program, the "leap-n-learn" academic preschool program, and even birthday parties and day camps that have further integrated Jam Hops into the community. In 2013 alone, Jam Hops scored the "Reader's Choice Award" from the Anoka County Shopper and the "Family Choice Award" from Macaroni Kid
Despite expansions in locations and classes, Jam Hops maintains its original mission: to turn children into champions of life. Nurturing young talent, the enthusiastic staff—many of whom are CPR and First Aid Certified—boost the confidence of students in recreational and competitive gymnastics programs. They work with boys and girls ranging from preschool age to 12th grade, and have even shepherded teams to the Junior Olympics nationals. Instructors in the dance programs, meanwhile, teach adults, teens, and tykes as young as two the ins-and-outs of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet styles. It's not all about gymnastics or dance, though—the staffers in charge of academic preschool classes instill physical fitness and learning excellence in kids ages 3–5.
Since 1995, the Bunker Park Stable staff and their trusty team of horses have hosted a wide array of equine-based activities including lessons, trail rides, hay rides, and day camps. The stable’s well-appointed facilities reside inside the 1,600-acre Bunker Hills Regional Park and act as a hub for the vast network of trails that passes through the park’s grassy meadows and vast forests of pine and oak. Horse-top visitors may witness native park wildlife such as white-tail deer, sandhill cranes, and hawks and overhear songbirds as they belt out choruses in the hopes of becoming the next superstar discovered in a forest, just like Celine Dion.
Pump It Up's Inflatable Party Zone balloons kids’ excitement with an enormous playspace that welcomes open-play sessions and private parties. Tots 34 inches and taller run and leap in huge bounce houses, soar down an inflatable slide, and practice for future zero-gravity triathlon events in a bouncy jousting arena and basketball court. Various open-play sessions give kids of all ages free rein to the fun zone while accompanying parents stand by to officiate bounce-house property-line disputes. Pump It Up also boasts myriad celebratory and special-event shindigs, with friendly staffers supervising jumpers, and serving pizza and favors in a vibrant party room.
While other athletic clubs hibernate, Majestic Oaks welcomes Old Man Winter's frigid embrace with snow-savvy cheer. Played using golf clubs and a fuzzy tennis ball, snow golf provides nine holes of family-spanning fun and takes less than an hour to complete. Traversing the course, most of whose holes are under 100 yards, provides a reason to enjoy a brisk winter afternoon with friends while getting some light exercise. Hot chocolate and coffee (a value of $1.50 each) can keep your foursome of snow-golfers warm or can be used to punish snowmen who overindulge in mulligans.