Andy Siebert floated in the water, weightless—almost as if in outer space—and watched as all 40 feet of a Galapagos Island whale shark drifted past him. It’s moments like that one that Andy lives for, having devoted his life to scuba diving. He took his first dive as a teenager, but didn’t take the sport seriously until he turned 42, at which point he began his journey to log more than 3,000 dives.
Now, as owner of Scuba World, Andy works to help others discover their love of the underwater sport. One part retail shop and one part scuba-diving school, the PADI five-star IDC dive center is chock-full of gear for purchase and rental, as well as expert instructors who teach classes for divers of all levels, including instructor-level classes. Their classes range from beginner discovery sessions to open-water-certification courses to rescue-diver classes for the more advanced diver who is worried about all those fish in the ocean who need help getting out. Andy’s wife and partner, Lynn Siebert, plans trips that take divers to waters all over the world, including the nearby Monterey Bay and more far-flung expeditions in Micronesia.
As soon as children are old enough to walk, they are old enough to begin honing their coordination, body-awareness, and basic motor skills through engaging and age-appropriate gymnastics lessons. That's the central philosophy driving the instructors at Byers Gymnastics, which has four locations, and a 40-year legacy of providing both basic and competition-level training for boys and girls ranging from toddlers to teenagers. While youngsters learn the fundamentals of jumping, balancing, and rolling, older students can master more challenging routines and learn to safely use various pieces of traditional gymnastics equipment, such as the balance beams, floor, vault, and tumble trak, and the slightly off-kilter stepladder. These year-round programs cater to visitors of virtually all interests and levels, and share the common goal of building stamina and flexibility, while also teaching students the value of perseverance and self-determination.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills.
The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Colored lights flash as a disco ball spins and glitters over Sunrise Rollerland's glossy, blond hardwood floor where kids and their families roll along on quads or inline skates. During open-skating sessions, adults relive their childhood and children experience it the first time around as a live DJ spins tunes new and old. At the rink, clubs such as the Artistic Club and Speed Skating club congregate. These clubs are open to anyone, sanctioned by USA Roller Sports, and led by experienced teams of coaches. Additionally, skaters 5 years old and older can take lessons suited to their skill level. To celebrate a birthday, kids can choose from three party themes; the rink can accommodate skaters at any private event. On Wednesday night, adults 18 and older can enjoy adult-skate night.
Card sharks place their bets at Lucky Derby Casino's smoke-free blackjack and poker tables before heading over to Rounders Sports Bar for hearty steak dinners, billiards, and darts. Appetizing niblets ready hunger pangs for their fate, as couples sip on selections from the beer and wine list. A 12-ounce cut of tender rib-eye steak or tilapia whispers sweet nothings to taste buds, as a potato and veggies skulk on the side, always the bridesmaid. After dinner, chalk up some cues for eight felt-pelting rounds of pool or test precision tossing skills at the dartboard. Fifteen high-definition TVs rain down sporting events pumped into the pub by ESPN GamePlan and NFL Sunday Ticket, and comics make with the chuckling during open-mic Tuesday. The athletics-themed venue fills up with the sounds of amateur crooning on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights as singers take the karaoke stage.
Planet Fitness' massive, brightly colored edifices teem with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. After an intense muscle pummeling on the extensive selection of strength-training equipment and free weights, valiant athletes and masochistic vampires alike may bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths. Meanwhile, shiatsu massage chairs stand at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons.