Play N Trade is home to a huge library of new and used current and retro video games, consoles, and accessories. Customers will find the latest blockbusters and AAA titles for current-generation consoles alongside 8-bit classics. Additionally, Play N Trade also offers console repair and will gladly buff scratches out of worn discs.
Pencils and markers are nowhere to be found amid the array of colorful paints that fill Artistico Express's cozy studio. Instead, painters of any age and ability reach for paintbrushes, sponges, and stamps to create personal artworks on everything from plates, tiles, and masks to jewelry created from silver clay.
More akin to a small, self-contained town than a fitness center, each of Spectrum Fitness?s seven locations kowtows to packed schedules and multitasking parents. A slew of classes arranges social body blasting?customers can tone their torsos with squats, presses, and curls in a BodyPump barbell class or sweat in spinning classes atop a stationary bike equipped with pursuit-style handlebars, adjustable resistance, and a front-mounted E.T. Members of Spectrum Fitness can swing by its Central location and trot on the treadmill until dawn. They can drop off their tykes at the childcare center and take a yoga or kickboxing class. And they can follow a swim by basking in the bronzing light of the tanning bed before sauntering up to the Pro Shop for smoothies.
The staff takes great pains to accommodate newcomers of all ages, levels, and car-stacking abilities. Personal trainers concoct customized fitness regimens during solo and group training sessions, and Silver Sneakers and water aerobics classes bring seniors into the fitness fold.
Strangely enough, it was Maria Prochaska Boudreaux's baby daughter who first spread the word about her art. When her daughter was born, Maria painted a mural in her room. Friends who stopped by to see the newborn became entranced by the piece, and soon they were requesting murals in their homes, too. Maria did them one better: she opened up her own art business, where she sells her work and hosts art classes for all ages.
During these classes, she teaches students how to make textured paintings with layers of color that create 3-D ridges on the canvas. One of her more popular classes is the Women, Wine, & Whatever series, a three-hour session complete with a BYOB policy. Guests paint whatever they desire on an 11"x14" canvas while Maria provides basic instruction on brushstroke techniques and how to keep hungry raccoons away from your still-life portraits. She also hosts children's birthday parties and painting classes with set subjects, which range from stylized fleurs-de-lis to flowers, butterflies, and even crawfish.
Look Studios & Gallery’s team tutors all levels of students in realistic brush strokes and drawing techniques during classes focused on accurately depicting the human form. By discouraging participants from copying each other or hiring an art student intern to paint for them, the staff nurtures creativity and allows it to bloom during intimate BYOB classes. Here, they guide students through the basics to interpret a preselected image using provided materials. In addition to teaching portrait and human figure classes, owner Juliet Lockwood holds summer retreats for artists who paint seascape-inspired pieces during a one- to two-week stay in a Gloucester cottage.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.