Hot Sand’s studio buzzes with activity as instructors dip pipes into molten glass and then demonstrate how to blow the globs into recognizable shapes. Nearby, other students work on finishing their pieces, refining contours atop wooden blocks and polishing surfaces on a diamond wheel. Hot Sand's glass-blowing artists impart these techniques through basic walk-in experiences and immersive workshops, showing guests how to craft objects such as candy dishes, pumpkin-shaped ornaments, or one-time-use dodgeballs. Welcoming visitors of all ages, Hot Sand earned the distinction as a top kids' destination in New Jersey Monthly's 2012 Jersey Choice awards. The studio also expands the aesthetic tastes of the community through a gallery that showcases original works for sale.
With over 40 years of experience in boxing, fitness, and martial arts, Victor Lashley has mastered methods of training to help students reach their goals. With his fellow instructors, they lead boot camp classes, kickboxing, cross training, martial arts, and personal training sessions. As a former corrections officer, his’s career often immersed him in life-threatening situations, putting his self-defense skills to the test outside the safe confines of a gym. To empower others with the ability to fight back while getting fit, he now teaches myriad forms of martial arts at ICAT Triple Threat Training Center. He trains patrons in MMA grappling, Kali, and his own method Defensive Concepts, which blends kicking and close-range striking techniques from muay thai, Kali, and boxing into a fast-paced striking art that earned Lashley a state certification as a Defensive Tactics Instructor. With the aid of his fellow instructors, he helms boot-camp classes and one-on-one personal-training sessions that devour calories. Nala—a boxer-breed pooch—serves as the gym's mascot, security guard, and head instructor of drool-based self-defense techniques.
Manned by certified fitness and CrossFit L1 certified trainers, Ultimate Fit Zone offers boot camp and crossfit held in a small group environment. AstroTurf lines the 3,000-square-foot facility, flanked by bright blue, green, and purple walls. This well-equipped space pulses with beating hearts during classes such as Zone 360 Boot Camp and Crossfit.
For more than 15 years, multi-instrumentalist Abdo Ades has striven to instill his love of music into students of all skill levels. Through The Home Studio, which conducts lessons at students' abodes, Abdo has helped pupils lay down funky bass riffs and rock out with drum fills. Though versed in rhythm instruments, his musical focus remains piano and guitar, whose fundamentals he teaches through a blend of classical, jazz, and rock styles. After reviewing basic scales and chords, Abdo moves on to more advanced techniques. Such skills ready pupils for The Home Studio's annual recitals, during which students showcase their achievements for family and friends.
On June 19, 1946, a veritable herd of racing fans—18,724 of them, in fact—galloped through the turnstiles at Monmouth Park Race Track. It was a gathering fit for a historic return, and indeed it was: 53 years separated that moment from the last time the track had hosted a race. Originally opened in 1870 in an effort to increase summer trade and give horses something to do while not in school, Monmouth Park was immediately popular, earning the moniker “Newmarket of America," a reference to the famed course in England. Yet in 1894, the state of New Jersey banned wagering on horses, effectively ending the facility's operations. In the 1940s, though, a man named Amory M. Haskell lobbied to have that law reversed. Today, the track honors its legislative savior by hosting the annual Haskell Invitational, a 1 1/8-mile race limited to three-year-old horses who’ve just learned to race without their training hooves.
Green Flag Driving Experience deals in adrenaline. At its racetrack, novice drivers and advanced rubber burners alike get to feel the heady rush of epinephrine as they reach speeds in excess of 90 mph while manning the cockpit of a racecar. Drivers choose their rides from a fleet of Winged TQ Midgets or a selection of Legends cars, 5/8-scale replicas of autos from the Golden Age of American engineering when men were men and cars were powered by miniature locomotives. Before sliding behind their chosen wheel, each driver goes through an introduction and orientation that cover safety skills and handling basics. Then the Green Flag Driving Experience instructors keep watch as their pupils don provided helmets and suits, buckle up, and hit the pavement. Afterward, the instructors provide a thorough critique that helps the budding Andrettis maneuver with even more finesse on their next time around the track.