Rab's Country Lanes seems to stretch endlessly into the horizon, housing 48 lanes, each with touchscreen computers and 42-inch LCD monitors hanging overhead. Late night cosmic bowling adds dazzling fluorescence to the alleyscape, and automatic bumpers keep the game fair for children and people who just stepped off rollercoasters. In the laser maze, aspiring spies can slither through a web of lasers, attempting to clear the course without tripping the alarm. Gennaro's snack bar refuels indoor athletes with pizza, burgers, and coffee.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Passersby that peer inside the windows of CKO Kickboxing won’t see treadmills, ellipticals, or stairclimbers. Instead, they’ll spot rows of heavy bags lurching backward and sideways from the force of participants’ kicks and right hooks. The kickboxing-focused gym doesn’t need excessive equipment or a catalog full of workout programs—the high-intensity fitness regimen of kickboxing is more than enough to shape up CKO members. Students of all levels reap the system’s multifaceted benefits, burning up to 1,200 calories per class, releasing stress, burning fat, and developing a six-pack more realistically than drawing on their midsections with a marker. Punches and kicks are kept basic to focus on fitness rather than martial arts, and classes build up in pace to match clients' expertise.
What began in Brooklyn as a personal affection for italian ice eventually bloomed into a multistate confection empire on the strength of frosty family recipes. Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices & Ice Cream crafts its treats from the same recipes founder Louie G used growing up in New York City, before the invention of robot-run ice creameries. The expansive menu now includes more than 40 flavors of italian ices and two dozen ice creams. Fresh maraschino cherries, Dole pineapple, and a variety of other candies imbue the shop's italian ice with a dazzling array of flavors and textures.
Anything can happen in the primary-colored wonderland of Kids n' Shape. Founded in 1989 by physical educator Robert J. Guarneri, the safe, supervised, and clean play facility bursts with interactive experiences designed to foster a love of physical play. A child might make new friends in the foam pit, celebrate a birthday with a zip down a slide, or break a personal altitude record on one of the many inflatables. Summer camps, field trips, and open gym time each cultivate this love in a different way. Here, children become the masters of their adventures, from zip lining, to fort-building.
The knowledgeable, licensed tour guides from Manhattan Greeterz shepherd newcomers through the wonders of the Big Apple, delivering personal anecdotes and useful nuggets of information along the way. During their in-depth tours, they show visitors the real city that everyday New Yorkers experience, not just touristy stops such as Times Square or an air-conditioned mall. They usher visitors past stunning architecture at St. Patrick's Cathedral and priceless works of art at The Met, and elucidate little-known secrets at the Grand Central Terminal.