When Claudia Avans decided to end a successful public-relations career and open her own business, her family and friends had their reservations—but that didn’t stop Avans. As reported by Jessica Remo of the Clark-Garwood Patch, Avans used to spend her time throwing launch parties for luxury brands throughout the United States and Latin America. But when she started attending kids' parties with her two young daughters, she was disappointed in the events' levels of customer service and knew she had the skills to raise the bar.
The culmination of her experiences in marketing and mothering is Parti-licious: the ultimate personalized party destination for kids. An EntrepreMoms blogger who attended the studio's opening-day festivities found Avans and her team to be "warm, kind, and professional," and felt that the crystal chandeliers, feather boas, and jewelry helped guests "channel their inner princess." But if a princess theme isn't your daughter's cup of tea, not to worry. She can choose from plenty of other options, ranging from runway diva to a literal cup of tea in the Tea-time Delite Parti, which comes complete with hats and gloves, a cupcake tower, and glamorous add-ons such as a chocolate fountain or limo ride.
Avans focuses not only on the guest of honor's every whim, but on convenience for parents. "The years pass by so quickly," she told David Choi of the Cranford Chronicle. "Special moments shouldn’t be spent planning, they should be spent enjoying the party and creating memories." Her girl-power-fueled School of Glam also makes parents' lives easier with manners workshops, where youngsters can learn proper table etiquette, guidelines for online behavior, and the most compassionate way to tell an invisible friend she isn't real.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (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 an array 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.
The aroma of Harp-battered fish and fresh-cut potatoes frying in the kitchen mingles with tender filet mignon browning on the grill at Molly Maguire's Irish Pub & Restaurant. Chefs also prepare traditional Irish dishes such as shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. They help diners wash down their bites with sips of Guinness or Smithwick's Irish Ale poured from the full bar into pint glasses or lengthy top hats. The dining area's dark wood panels bedecked with Guinness signs add an Irish ambiance to a traditional pub atmosphere. Twelve high-definition flat-screen TVs broadcast NFL games, and music from karaoke, acoustic sets, and DJs fills the pub on weeknights. Live rock bands take the stage each Friday and Saturday night.
Hyatt Hills Golf Complex aims to make the game of golf less complicated. The facility exceeds the call of a typical golf venue, incorporating an 18-hole mini golf course, a driving range, and even a restaurant in addition to its nine-hole course. Measuring 3,350 yards from the back tees, the par 36 layout forces players to contend with several shots over water, healthy doses of greenside bunkering, and a pair of long doglegs in holes 2 and 5—both par 5s. Players can also work with Hyatt Hills' roster of PGA professionals for help getting over a scoring hump—a solution that's easier on the conscience than just conveniently forgetting every third stroke.
Under the umbrella of The Bowling Proprietors' Association of North Jersey, an eclectic group of alleys work together to fill the region with the thunder of scattering pins. At most of Bowling Proprietors' bowling centers, bowlers keep track of pummeled pins with automatic scoring, and bumpers, which arrive at the call of a button, keep balls on course without filling the gutters with retired VCRs. Snack bars at some locations bolster ravenous bowlers, and game rooms in select centers keep hand-eye coordination in peak condition. Free WiFi is available in some centers so that winners can exercise bragging rights.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.