Russian Banya of Dallas whisks visitors from deep in the heart of Texas straight to Old-World Europe for traditional banya and sauna sessions and Russian delicacies from Citysearch's Best Deli of 2009. Upon entering the unassuming storefront, which was recently profiled on Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, visitors receive a robe, towels, slippers, and keys for a locker and safe-deposit box, and staff members direct them toward the facility's showers. Once cleaned?which normally takes two full renditions of "Singing in the Rain"?visitors can choose to lounge in the wet heat of the wooden Russian banya, the dry heat of the wooden Finnish sauna, or the 100% humidity of the tiled steam room.
Though the staff recommends novice sauna sitters cool down naturally after their first session, they offer an invigorating 42-degree plunge pool for more experienced visitors to hop in after steaming. The staff also doles out optional venik massages that use chilled bundles of steamed birch, oak, or eucalyptus leaves to help to open pores and pump up metabolisms.
After draining themselves of sweat, toxins, and the desire to experience life as a steamed carrot, visitors can refuel with natural fruit juices and a menu of made-from-scratch Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Polish, and Armenian food at the BYOB deli. The eatery serves lunch and dinner, hosts events and parties, and stages live music every Saturday.
ASI Gymnastics helps children of all ages develop a lifelong passion for athletic activity through the practice of gymnastics. In addition to improving strength, endurance, balance, and coordination for children 12 months to 18 years old, the instructors use gymnastics training to bolster confidence and encourage mental growth alongside physical development. Age-appropriate programs begin by introducing fundamental techniques before moving on to more demanding skills, such as handstands, standing back handsprings, and cartwheeling through laser security systems. ASI Gymnastics also caters to varying levels of interest by providing competitive team training as well as casual birthday parties complete with trampolines and games.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas send sock-footed younglings high off the ground with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Trained, amiable staffers supervise fun-filled visits in which parents can leap around with their kids in gargantuan, air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Attendees can also focus their free play for special events, such as custom birthday parties and private team parties. These themed soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player.
BounceU's 10,000-square-foot indoor playground of plush and inflated superstructures was designed as an ideal place to host a party or just let kids jump and climb to their hearts’ content. With bright reds and purples kick-starting imaginations, kids crawl through cushy tunnels, climb up air-filled walls, and glide down bouncy slides. At each inflatable, kids discover fun ways to interact and exercise, burning off excess energy while developing balance, motor skills, and the ability to hold a conversation with a helium balloon. The center also makes an ideal venue for school field trips, fundraisers, or team parties. Committed to fostering childhood development, the team at BounceU organizes camps, such as Create and Bounce, where kids bounce and play before diving into creative projects such as painting or working with clay.
When The Island Spot owner Richard Thomas was growing up in Jamaica, his mother, Mama Joyce, would always make dinner for the family. On Sunday, they'd head to the farmer's market for mango, passionfruit, soursop, and other fruits to make into juice, which she'd serve along with dishes such as jerk chicken and curry shrimp to a crowd of extended family. Today, Richard uses those recipes to give diners at The Island Spot an authentic taste of the Jamaican food he grew up eating—chicken and beef patties, or meat pies, braised oxtails, smoked jerk chicken, and escoveitched fish fillets. "I would bathe in the rub they put on that chicken," wrote a D Magazine reviewer about The Island Spot's signature jerk chicken. The Dallas Observer named The Island Spot's jerk chicken the best in Dallas in 2012, due in part to its smoky flavors and the experience of digging in: a "burst of perfume that starts as a wisp and builds to a billowing smokescreen." Diners sipping rum punch or playing Jenga with a plate of jerk-chicken nachos can admire Richard's family portraits and snapshots of his favorite places in Jamaica as reggae, soca, or steel-drum music plays. On the first Friday of each month, a reggae band treats diners to live jams that transport imaginations to a breezy, sun-soaked island.