During the growing season, the gently sloped roofs of Hoffman Farms Store's historical barns and quaint country store barely peek out over the farm’s acres of lush fruit fields, as if politely looking for prospective visitors. Since its founding in 1983, the farm has seen a handful of renovations, including the building of raised vegetable beds and the conversion of an old silo top into portable shade for patrons who come to pick their own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The rustic country store is stocked with locally grown produce, including pre-picked berries, homemade salsas, and delectable cobblers, so visitors can leave with something sweet even on rainy days or days when it’s raining men.
The passionate and experienced lead instructor of Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a, Lisa Fujii Chang, helms classes designed to introduce beginning hip swayers of all ages to the arts of hula and Tahitian dancing. The month-long adult hula class focuses on basic steps and hand motions, training students to tell stories using long undulating motions, much like a snake moonlighting as the village minstrel. Children starting at 3 years old can indulge in the relaxing Hawaiian tradition in 12-week-long children's classes that teaches young dancers the rudimentary facets of hula.
One-hour youth classes (a $100 value)—scheduled Monday through Friday evenings—focus on building coordination, agility, and an overall familiarity with the sport. Adult classes (an $80 value) push further, emphasizing a specific fencing weapon (foil, epee, and saber) Monday through Wednesday evenings. Then, on Thursday evenings, adults can perfect their poise and control under the sharp eye of Sebastian Dos Santos, the current U.S. national coach for men's epee. Each adult evening consists of an hour of instruction and an hour of open fencing.
While for some people the idea of getting into golf shape sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, for Matt Averill it’s an all-consuming passion. As both a teaching professional and a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Matt possesses a broad perspective on teaching the game of golf—one that sees beyond simple swing tweaks to consider the physical shape of the person swinging the club. His golf-specific training gym, Matt’s Fit. Fore Golf, focuses on this approach. Inside, golfers work hard to improve such biomechanical attributes as balance, flexibility, coordination, and brute strength, aiming for substantial gains in shot distance and control. The training methods also help players avoid injury caused by overuse and tugs-of-war over a lucky putter.
Matt devises and oversees a personal-training regimen for each student, helping him or her reach their goals through such exercises as squats, short-burst sprints, and explosive jumps. Matt is also a student of his own techniques and a testament to their effectiveness, as he competes nationally in Long Drive Championships and boasts a personal best drive of 407 yards in competition.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set
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.