As the morning begins, a row of toddlers takes turns tumbling feet over head while their parents guide them into the correct movement. Later, school-age kids sit in a circle, legs stretched before them as they try to touch their toes. At My Gym, the trained staff imbues kids aged six weeks to nine years with life skills through music, physical activities, and games. Many classes focus on incorporating exercises with social and developmental skills. Additionally, gymnastics training and the development of sports skills teach tykes discipline in a noncompetitive atmosphere. All classes take place in a well-padded room, led by staff trained in child development and fluent in Muppet. Birthday parties give the special boy or girl and their entourage private access to the entire facility, games, and puppets.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
The creative founders of Pinot's Palette are inspired by lots of things, but one quote from Picasso may define their business best: “Every child is an artist," said the painter. "The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pinot's Palette has one solution: laid-back painting sessions set at their studios and at local bars that let participants of any artistic level follow along to an artist's step-by-step instructions. The result is individual renditions of handsome paintings such as an autumn tree at dusk, a bright blue peacock, or a city skyline rising above bustling streets. Students take their paintings home with them at the end of the class and often end up displaying them on walls or giving them to a parent in exchange for hugs.
Combining the fun of piloting a remote-controlled vehicle with the adventure of not standing in your own driveway, SCV Remote Control gives folks the chance to take the small and feisty vehicles off-road. Complete with pint-sized hills, sharp curves, and long speed-building stretches, SCV's indoor track sends cars flying around the bend in both lessons and races. The on-site RC pro shop sells ready-to-race cars, individual parts and supplies, and snacks that sustain racers and the miniature pit crews that keep the cars running.
A gallery of masterpieces showcases stunningly virtuosic renderings—which are especially impressive considering they were created by kids. While fostering a friendly, cheerful atmosphere, instructors teach classical art skills to classes of up to 12 students at a time. During weekly classes, the skilled instructors demonstrate how to realistically illustrate animals, figures, and still-life scenes using traditional media. "Creativity follows mastery" is the KidsArt philosophy, so they designed the sort of program they imagine the old masters would have approved. Planting graphite sticks and paintbrushes in pupils' hands, instructors teach color mixing, show students how to break an image into its component parts, and instill necessary behaviors such as focus and patience. Programs include individualized drawing and painting lessons and special-topic workshops, such as clay sculpture, figure drawing, and Anime/cartooning.
From garnishing a perfectly poured martini to doling out rounds of drinks quickly and efficiently, the experienced instructors at National Bartender School possess all the tips, tricks, and tools to succeed in the bartending trade. With years of industry experience under their belts, these knowledgeable spirits sages guide pupils through certification courses that cover every aspect of the job. Under their supervision, students learn to craft more than 200 cocktails, handle transactions, and practice the art of the upsell without breaking a sweat or bottle of 50-year-old scotch. Free refresher courses and job-placement assistance keep students on track even after school is through. For more focused pursuits, National Bartender School also hosts classes in specialty fields such as flair bartending and bar management.