Clad in crisp white uniforms, the students karate chop and high kick their way across Caywood Karate’s mats. The youngest age group, 4–6 years of age, focuses on improving gross motor skills. Adult classes concentrate on breaking through boards and airplane wings in a single punch.
Ocoee Zipz lifts its riders off the ground and transports them to new lands along seven lines named after beloved Wizard of Oz characters and featuring varying grades, distances, and terrain. Staff members, aptly nicknamed The Flying Monkeys of Oz, help adventure seekers soar above Ocoee's 40 acres of rustic scenery during two-hour zipline tours. Tours begin at the 30-foot-high Cowardly Lion launch tower, where fraidy cats find the courage they need to skim the tops of trees. The Dorothy line zooms along the Ocoee River to meet up with the Toto tower across a swinging bridge, where cushy crash pads wait with loving arms to catch especially enthusiastic zippers. Guests may try an upside-down dive off the Scarecrow tower, then test their speed on the Wicked Witch of the West line, which features a steep enough grade to get patrons up to 45 mph. Like Shakespearian arguments or family reunions, Ocoee Zipz's tours end with a duel on The Wizard's parallel lines, as participants race their way to the finish.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Since opening Nutrition World in 1979, founder Ed Jones has fostered healthy mastication with an expansive inventory of natural, organic, and gluten-free foodstuffs. As shoppers peruse the aisles, nutrition-savvy store clerks stand by to answer inquiries and suggest healthy alternatives to junk food such as chips or notoriously indulgent Cracker Jack prizes. Shelves sport boxes of DeBoles gluten-free pasta ($3.89), and refrigerators eschew lactose with cartons of sunflower, coconut, hemp, and almond milk ($2.99+). Shoppers can scarf down the protein of an OhYeah! chocolate-caramel bar ($2.49) or work on their Popeye impressions by downing Amy's spinach pizza ($7.99).
The fleet-footed instructors of National Dance Clubs shepherd students of all skill levels through a variety of dance styles and techniques. Aspiring hip-swivelers can acquire the moves necessary to woo passersby into impromptu swing sessions with an introductory dance package, which includes two private 50-minute lessons to get the dance ball rhythmically rolling. Solo dancers—who will be paired with an instructor—and cha-chaing couples take to the 2,000-square-foot dance floor, learning the steps, dips, and secret handshakes of American, international, and social dance disciplines, including bolero, fox trot, rumba, waltz, and tango.
Led by Master Ju Hyon Seo, Seo’s Martial Arts Education Center leads children and adults through classes that focus on developing techniques of hapkido and tae kwon do. In addition to instilling students with the character traits that are associated with tae kwon do, he also helps guests get into shape with kickboxing fitness classes.