Working at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1994 World Cup are a few of the sporting events on camp director Shelly Watkins's resumé, which she draws on to run a summer camp for kids of all ages. A mother herself, she believes in giving each child individual attention, recognition, and respect, rewarding campers with high-fives and compliments for jobs well done. Together with assistant camp director Cortney Spiegel, she runs fun-packed day camps focused on arts, sports, field trips, and specialty programs. Professional counselors work with pintsize Pacinos in the Lights, Camera, Action class to make short films; kick off Nerf-themed sports events in the Nerf Extravaganza class; or venture out to bowling, movies, rollerblading, and laser tag during the Mega Adventure Field Trip. Shelly and her friendly crew also lead precamp and aftercamp activities for early-morning and evening supervision, and junior camp for campers aged 4¬–7 or 10-year-olds having their pre-preteen life crisis.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up pulses with inflatable play sets and actually encourages kids to bounce off the walls. Within the indoor playground, a stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings, such as a classic bounce castle and slick inflatable slide that cushions children's heartfelt reenactments of Cool Runnings. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play, or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms and complimentary invites. Parties come as straightforward packages or as themed events that place the birthday child in structured story adventures where they take on the role of a mighty and clever superhero or pirate captain that drank too much saltwater.
What began in 1975 as one inner-city gym in Highland Park, Michigan, has since evolved into a global health-club organization with locations in 17 different countries. Powerhouse Gym equips weightlifters and cardio bunnies alike with all they’ll ever need to keep—or create—a tight and toned physique. The gym offers equipment outfitted with personal TVs as well as a cast of certified and knowledgeable personal trainers. Depending on location, members will also have access to group fitness classes, such as yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills BodyPump, as well as 24-7 turnkey access to the facility.
Evolution Sportsplex’s dome structure houses 60,000 square feet of artificial turf, which doubles as an athletics field and an indoor driving range. There, as well as outdoors, a golfer can improve their swing, thereby eliminating the need for the pneumatic hammer taped to the end of their club. Visitors can also putt their way through a manicured miniature-golf course peppered with shady trees and refuel at the concession stand before hitting the indoor field, which can be converted for sports ranging from football to softball.
At Elegance in Motion, friendly and talented dance instructors encourage movers and shakers of all ages to step into the limelight during a range of dance lessons. From within the spacious 2,400-square-foot studio, teachers guide singles, couples, and groups through ballroom, rhythmic, and social dances, such as the waltz, samba, and lindy hop. Once a week, the studio opens its door to social gatherings, allowing currently enrolled students to strut their stuff with teachers, students, or their own shadows.
All Sports Dome's undulating terrain entertains putters with a variety of scenic challenges. Groups of up to four golfers can guide balls across the turf into 18 holes, past environmental obstacles that include waterfalls, moats, and intimidating rock walls that hold night jobs guarding medieval castles. An outdoor course ensures golfers can coax out summertime tans and jump-start the photosynthetic process for leashed Chia pets. Miniature golfers (children are regularly $3/game) can exploit small statures to best adult competitors, navigating brick borders and dark caverns to avenge their repeated losses at '70s-era games of Trivial Pursuit.