Pump It Up knows it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, so they skip the last part. Each piece of the indoor inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards. The staffers' watchful eyes take care of the rest. Sock-clad striplings are then free to safely launch themselves into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Adult counterparts can leap alongside their offspring through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, or slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the lights get switched off, and the roomful of players navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape with glow sticks and bracelets.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero that melt off youthful energy faster than ice cubes tossed into a running DVD player. At the climax, the birthday boy or girl gets to blow out the candles on their cake while seated on a blow-up throne.
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.
Although their name fondly alludes to Michigan's proudest industry, the Detroit Pistons rolled off the assembly line in a different state entirely—Indiana. Automobile-part mogul Fred Zollner founded the team as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, joining the young National Basketball League in 1941. Under Fred's direction, the Pistons immediately found success on the court, winning back-to-back NBL titles in 1944 and 1945 and amassing 166 wins in just nine seasons. As the sport grew, so too did the team. In need of a bigger audience, the Pistons left Fort Wayne for the Motor City, where they continue to challenge Eastern Conference opponents in the NBA. Throughout the years, the team has claimed three NBA championships—most recently in 2004—produced hall of fame players, and earned the record for the highest-scoring game in NBA history—a 186–184 triple-overtime win over the Denver Nuggets in which both teams accidentally scored touchdowns for a whole quarter.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Shenanigans Farm’s owner, Mary McKiernan, has more than 30 years of experience working with horses. But she has also tamed an even wilder beast: eighth-grade students. As a middle-school teacher, she learned to work with each student at his or her own pace, a philosophy she transfers to horseback-riding lessons. Joined by assistant head trainer, Ricci Tarockoff, she teaches English-style riding to students of all skill levels.
Set on 62 rolling acres, Shenanigans Farm connects to the Metamora Hunt trail, offering myriad opportunities for scenic trail rides. Its horses graze in expansive pastures and paddocks, waiting for students to saddle them to trot around the large indoor or outdoor arenas. The farm maintains a family-oriented vibe, often hosting summer camps for boys and girls, Halloween parties, and costume contests to see who can dress as the most convincing bale of hay.
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.