“Pimlico is more than a dirt track bound by four streets,” explained then-Maryland Club president Alfred G. Vanderbilt 50 years ago. Vanderbilt was referring to Pimlico’s status as an “American institution,” a title it has earned as the country’s second oldest racetrack. Founded in 1870, Pimlico has weathered everything from World War II to the day steeds skipped work en masse to see Seabiscuit, and remains a popular destination to this day as host to the US Triple Crown’s second leg, the Preakness Stakes. In its four-star Terrace dining room, patrons dine on buffet breakfasts and lunches as they view thoroughbreds galloping to the finish line. Meanwhile, the screens in the venue’s Sports Palace project simulcasts of offsite races, and the patrons seated in the Jockey Club enjoy especially clear views of the competing horses without having to glue equine portraits to the insides of their sunglasses.
In the world of athletic training, Robert Taylor, Jr.?s resume speaks for itself. In addition to stints as the head strength and conditioning coach for two NCAA Division I programs, his expertise also landed him gigs with professional baseball, football, basketball franchises, and World Cup lacrosse. Now, along with the other experienced coaches at SMARTER Team Training, Robert shepherds high school athletes toward their full potential at training camps and clinics. Whether they?re honing position-specific skills for football, lacrosse, basketball, field hockey, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, or other sports, or increasing overall athleticism during the school?s signature Speed, Agility, and Conditioning Camp, students always find a challenging itinerary designed to bring skills to a more advanced level. There's even a college prep training program, which gets high school players ready for the increased intensity at the college level.
The Bowling Classic hosted by Haruki Nakamura and other Ravens players gives football fans the chance to meet up to six players while bowling for a charitable cause. Attendees talk football and strategize cross-lane tackles as they bowl, wander, and mingle with Haruki, who will spend time at each lane alongside Ravens players and fans. Guests can compare an 8"x10" signed photo to Nakamura's actual likeness as they bid in a silent auction or enter raffles to win Ravens memorabilia and tickets. The winning team will receive a basket of autographed Ravens items, which they can hoist overhead or spike to the ground in victory. Bowlers can whet whistles and toast to big-league dreams at the full bar or nosh on concessions available from area vendors. Part of the event's proceeds will be donated to a charity of Haruki's choice.
Big House of Bounce's bounce houses and popcorn machines become the focus of the party after technicians set them up on location or when groups of kids arrive at their indoor playroom. Whether indoors or outside, the moon bounces keep kids entertained and tumbling inside the inflated structures, which were modeled after Orion’s rec room. Parents can choose from giant birthday cakes and castles with themes such as princess, crayons, or sports. Popcorn machines pump out tasty kernels into bags to fuel further bouncing.
Big House of Bounce's commitment to gravity-defying fun isn't shown solely in its traveling bounce-houses–they've set up shop as well. An indoor playroom stocked with some of its bounciest creations welcomes youngsters to two-hour play sessions or parties celebrating a birthday, third-grade graduation, or the continued production of chocolate milk straight from the cow.
Alex Layne, a graduate of the illustrious Peabody Institute, edifies aspiring shredders of all ages with guitar-playing prowess he purloined from members of punk group Reptile House and other musicians such as Felicia Carter and Antony West. During two 30- or 45-minute lessons, students can perfect their plucking on an electric, acoustic, or inflatable axe as Alex summons more than 20 years of teaching know-how to impart basic, intermediate, or advanced skills. Customized to each pupil’s individual aptitude, sessions can cover fundamentals that include open chords and strumming techniques, or such advanced talents as mastering pentatonic scales and upstaging lead singers. Today’s Groupon may also be redeemed for online lessons via Skype, allowing Alex the ability to zoom in on complicated chords.
Music seems to be a perpetual source of energy at Hot Skates Roller Skating Center. During public skate times, you might find participants wheeling around the wooden rink to the tunes of Radio Disney and the Top 40 charts. Up to 500 skaters can take to the rink at any given time, which often turns things into a rolling party. On special nights, themes take over, giving visitors the chance to skate to an all-night Michael Jackson tribute or gospel tunes on first Mondays.
In addition to playing fun music and serving up pizza at the cafe, staffers also teach skating lessons. Hot Skates Roller Skating Center also houses an arcade with more than 20 games, including redemption machines that reward gamers with tickets and the occasional "I like you just the way you are" in a robot voice.