Equipment: Cybex, Woodway
Students should bring: Water, Towels, Yoga Mat
Average class length: 30–60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
One hour from New Orleans, Splendor Farms sits on 75 acres near the Bogue Chitto River. The working farm houses goats, horses, chickens, and a miniature-long-haired-dachshund kennel; guests can gather eggs and pick vegetables from the garden or just relax by the pool. Each of the bed and breakfast’s rooms has a private entrance and its own personality—the Ponderosa room has a distinct cowboy theme, with Western prints on the walls and an equestrian quilt, whereas La Louisiane is more romantic, with flowers and candles scattered around the room.
Every morning, you’ll wake up to a farm-hearty breakfast, with eggs, grits, and bacon making regular appearances on the menu. After eating your fill, head outside to visit the farm’s petting zoo, which has friendly miniature horses, alpacas, and burros. In nearby Covington, five-star restaurants abound, as do art galleries, bookstores, and boutiques.
NOLA Paddleboards equips sea wayfarers with the materials and knowhow they need to propel themselves down the waterways of New Orleans sans motor or fins. Imported from Hawaii, stand-up paddleboarding is the beginner-friendly love child of surfing and canoeing, inheriting surfing’s iconic board shape and canoeing’s steering technique. Taught by owner Jeff Lakey—a certified beach lifeguard and EMT—the 90-minute paddleboarding lesson introduces aspiring paddlers to proper technique, reinforces water-safety skills, and reviews the shapes of oceanic traffic signs. Class size never exceeds five students, allowing participants to bask like sea lions in the direct glow of instruction. Paddleboarding promotes core strength and treats the eyes to visions more soothing and less likely to be interrupted by a dodgeball fight than those found in a typical gym.
Within the springy confines of Space Walk’s Vertical Rush, tykes ricochet like excited electrons across tunnels, slides, and climbing walls. The springy obstacle course is one of hundreds housed inside Space Walk of Greater New Orleans’ 43,000-square-foot facility. Though those bounce houses typically measure 15’x15’, the facility can supply revelers with inflatables that measure up to 23-feet tall.
To ensure safe gravity defiance, trained bounce experts help parents hone in on an inflatables that suits tykes’ ages, interests and varying Buzz Aldrin impersonations. Additionally, the staff not only delivers and sets up houses, but happily trains party throwers in proper bounce-house technique, along with scrubbing down the houses before and after use.
Playmakers Indoor Sports facilitates the frolicking needs of recreationalists with a full menu of soccer, lacrosse, flag football, and paintball in a climate-controlled arena with a turf field. Every weekend, the field sprouts a series of inflatable bunkers for Friday-evening paintball sessions. Intermediate-leveled sharpshooters strap on provided protective gear and the equipment necessary for dappling human canvases with high-speed brushstrokes.
The dexterous, certified instructors at Northshore Swim impart water-safety knowledge while teaching fun and effective swimming strokes for aqua wranglers of all ages. Youngsters and longtime earth dwellers can learn liquid locomotion alongside two to three other students with the two semiprivate lessons (up to $22.50). Registration ($35) gives pool plungers a chance to begin H2O exploration in the safe confines of the experienced establishment, with 45-minute timeslots available Saturdays or 30-minute sessions on weekdays.