The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring's 13 courses are color-coded by difficulty level, from yellow for beginners to double black diamonds for experts. They aren't ski trails, though—they're climbing challenges. More than 150 platforms adorn 5 acres of trees, which participants trek among by way of cable, wood, and rope bridges, as well as ziplines. A short safety briefing precedes all excursions, covering how to use the included gear and harnesses.
The park's main courses aren't the only place to test climbing skills. Over in the Monkey Grove, visitors can scale 10 trees fastened with the footholds and grips of a classic rock wall. Younger climbers, meanwhile, can explore The Labyrinth, a small, contained structure featuring more than 40 junior-sized versions of the park's other challenges. The courses illuminate on select Glow-in-the-Park evenings, when food, live music, and hoot-owl choruses await climbers upon their return to terra firma.
The imposing tree lines on either side of the par 5 first hole at Cross Creek Golf Club frame the ideal shot right off the teebox, like two sides of a leafy goalpost. The crossbar, then, is the medium-size pond just past the tees—the first of 12 encounters with water players will have over the duration of the round. As with so many situations found throughout the course, the shot demands steely nerves, much like asking for chocolate syrup on a hotdog. Even so, the opening gambit can bode well for the rest of the round—there are only two par 5s on the course, making a solid opening drive a player's best shot at securing a solid score.
Course at a Glance:
A combination of jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet, tap, and gymnastics classes contribute to versatile dancers, which is why Making Moves Dance Collective is a good place to start learning the craft. Owners Amber Comer and Kellie Sellers sought to open a studio where competitive dancers would find proper training. Not all of their classes cater to aspiring professionals, though; they also offer a street-jazz class for adults that focuses solely on toning and conditioning.
The instructors at Abe Ballroom Dancing want the world of dance to be accessible to everyone. That’s why they have dance classes for those of all ages, no matter their skill level or previous experience. Dances include ballroom, waltz, cha cha, samba, and West Coast swing. They even have a class to prep soon-to-be newlyweds for their first dance.
Terrapin Adventures never fails to live up to its name—even their swing set gets the stomach fluttering with excitement. To be fair, though, the swing in question is anything but the traditional apparatus you'd find at a city park. It seats three people and starts its trajectory 40 feet above the ground, generating 2Gs of force as it swishes riders back and forth over the landscape. The park's other attractions are equally exhilarating. On the high ropes course, visitors attached to sturdy safety harnesses cross 18 traverses situated between lofty platforms; some must be tackled via a rickety bridge, while others require leaps of faith. The 43-foot high climbing tower offers 10 routes up and down, including a head-first downward climb over the Rainbow Serpent. Otherwise, the 330-foot-long zipline sends visitors gliding through the treetops at speeds of up to 20 mph, fast enough to beat the USA track team's star squirrel.
Sport Fit's gold membership grants aspiring athletes and established exercisers 30 consecutive days of calisthenics, including unfettered access to fitness centers and motivational group-exercise classes. Sport Fit's Bowie location boasts basketball and tennis courts, as well as a variety of indoor pools for swimming laps, alleviating aches, and trying to find Nemo. Bowie's group-exercise schedule is brimming with brawn-boosting group classes, including Pump Fit, Zumba, and 2K Knockout Fitness. For restless gym-goers, the Laurel Fitness and Swim and the Laurel Racquet club offer two separate locations from which to lift weights, labor over lay-ups, or lounge in a whirlpool or sauna. Athletic endeavors abound at Sport Fit in Severna, where a long list of weekly workouts displays a wealth of ways to maximize musculature and tone tendons.