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Fitness Cell Collective's disciples don't work out in a gym. Dubbed "The Compound," the Collective's roomy studio encompasses familiar fitness devices, such as kettlebells, as well as some unconventional equipment. Olympic-style rings dangle from the ceiling alongside suspension systems and ski machines, and a 40-foot-long set of monkey bars facilitates intense workouts and high-speed banana relays. With these tools, the certified trainers—who range from martial artists and professional weightlifters to dancers and triathletes—lead classes for all fitness levels. The classes—featured in New York magazine—range in scope to include kettlebell fitness, mixed martial arts, yoga, Pilates, and boot-camp training. The Compound houses more than just modern fitness equipment; postworkout, exercisers can purchase and refuel with fresh, locally made, organic snacks and signature protein drinks.

128 E 72nd St
New York,
NY
US

Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting—it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.

100 Reade St.
New York,
NY
US

Cousins Dean Del Prete and Paul Sattler started playing paintball for fun in 1986. Noticing a lack of places to play or find equipment, the pair took advantage of this business opportunity and founded Cousins Paintball the following year, creating a one-stop shop for players. They started out with the only paintball field on Long Island, and since then, they have grown to encompass 10 New York locations with scenario and speedball fields. Today, teams equipped with full mask and semiautomatic paint markers wander across their 20- to 80-acre spaces, searching for the opposing team's flag. Eco-friendly paint ensures trees do not suffer lasting damage, and themes such as hide-and-seek and cops and robbers add variety to a full day of games.

2727 Arthur Kill Rd
Staten Island,
NY
US

The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.

Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.

7421 18th Ave
Brooklyn,
NY
US

PacPlex dedicates its sprawling 200,000-square-foot facilities to sports, recreation, health, and education. At PacPlex, patrons can whip into shape in a TV-studded cardio-equipment area, on myriad weight machines, and throughout a schedule of fitness classes. The instructors lead kettlebell courses, Pilates core-strengthening workouts, and pool-aquatics classes, which help guests perfect their sea otter mating calls. Visitors flock to the vast grounds to work their bodies on racquetball courts, basketball courts, and an 18,000-square-foot indoor soccer field. At the two indoor and four outdoor swimming pools, guests can take a leisurely swim, play with water toys, and shoot down waterslides, or work on sculpting a chiseled bod by swimming laps.

Kids can take swimming lessons, and, for those who discover a hidden set of gills behind their ears, the staff also runs a junior swim league. When they're not splashing in the pool, kids can make new imaginary friends in preschool and daycare programs.

1500 Paerdegat Ave. N
Brooklyn,
New York
US

Currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, the New York Institute of Photography is one of the world's largest and oldest photography schools, offering comprehensive courses to students of all levels. With today’s Groupon, students will receive the 16-lesson Fundamentals of Digital Photography course, which includes beautifully printed packets, seven audio CDs, two DVDs, and a certificate of completion. During this 4-to-12-month course, lens-wielders will learn key concepts, such as different lens types, camera exposure modes, digital darkroom techniques, how to snap exceptionally blurry pictures of supernatural creatures, and landscape photography. The institute’s interactive training style keeps flashes charged, with two exploratory photo projects and a personally assigned photography expert who'll critique the student’s work, answer any questions, and never, ever, ever blink.

211 E 43rd St
New York,
NY
US