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.
Starry Night Dance Studio hosts a never-ending dance party atop its polished wood floors, inviting all to join and even offering free classes for beginners. Instructors wear the shoes of multiple ballroom styles to teach the centuries-old waltz alongside West Coast swing and merengue, a two-step dance outstripped in simplicity only by the one-step known as walking. Aerobic Zumba workouts and belly-dance classes loosen students’ hips while building muscle tone and cardio endurance. Additionally, Starry Night’s experienced dancers choreograph dances for special events such as weddings, quinceañeras, mortgage signings, and bar mitzvahs, and happily help students to prepare for landmark celebrations.
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.
For nearly two decades, USA Karate & Fitness Official Training Center’s experienced martial artists have taught students the foundations of martial arts and self-defense and encouraged them to approach life with positivity. As eager students observe, the certified instructors at each of USA Karate & Fitness Official Training Center's six locations lead them through age-appropriate classes, helping them overcome fear and obstacles through basic martial arts stances and maneuvers. Strength and poise surge within pupils during mixed martial-arts training, helping practitioners harness leverage to administer self-defense blows. Likewise, cardio kickboxing workouts burn calories and impart defense techniques through punching, kicking, and nail-sharpening exercises. Between training sessions, the trainers incorporate martial arts into ninja-themed in-studio birthday parties that invite kids and their friends to celebrate a special day under their guidance.
The sizzling of Cajun batter-fried shrimp mingles with the sweet twang of acoustic guitars and smoky jazz vocals. This distinct bouquet of sounds and smells is the essence of The Crossroads, a venue that describes itself as an amalgamation of classic Cajun and American stylings: “[It's] as if NY and N'awlins had a baby and moved to the suburbs.” Patrons can sate their appetites with a menu of soul and Cajun fare escorted by a choice of libations, including more than 40 martinis. Nightly musical guests have included local and national acts spanning the genres of jazz, bluegrass, and classic-rock cover bands. Nightly events and specials keep energy high. Every Tuesday, guests pay no cover charges and can climb onstage with their finely tuned instruments or an array of water-filled pint glasses for the open Jazz Jam with the house’s trio of musicians.
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.