At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance:
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities. Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine .
My Gym Children's Fitness Center, which currently has more than 270 international locations, began more than 30 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Whiz Kids, a class for kids aged 4.5 to 6, emphasizes motor skills such as running, jumping, throwing, and kicking. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem, while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
When lifelong gymnast Natalie McKee first started teaching children gymnastics as a college student, it was more of a side job than a career. Her only goal was to pay her tuition. But that changed when Natalie realized that most gymnastics curriculums for kids suffered a fatal flaw. They all landed in one of two camps: either too structured, or not structured enough. Students were forced to choose one, leaving them either bored without challenges or frustrated by tasks they couldn't achieve. To solve this problem, Natalie opened Jump! Gymnastics, which strives to challenge each gymnast within his or her ability level in fun, engaging gymnastics programs for kids.
Each class, designed for children from 18 months to 12 years of age, builds upon the previous class's teachings, ensuring that gymnasts stay stimulated with new moves without feeling overwhelmed by the challenge. With the success of her gymnastics classes, Natalie also decided to foray into other children's activities, including after-school care that keeps kids active, preschool, camps, and birthday parties.
The instructors at Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer work with students as young as preschool age to develop gymnastics and cheerleading skills. The gym offers welcoming classes for beginners as well as competitive teams for advanced gymnasts and tumblers. Moxie gives moms and dads a break with Parents' Night Out events as well as easy-to-plan birthday parties.