At each Art & Elixir painting event, artists of all skill levels, especially beginners are welcome to explore their creative sides. Instructors guide participants through each event allowing up-and-coming artists their own “intentional composition decisions.” During events, the owners–who are skilled artists themselves–give students step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the evening’s featured painting. But it’s up to the artist to decide how to interpret that work. Using paints, brushes, aprons, canvases, and easels provided by Art & Elixir, guests can paint fields of lavender with bright red acrylic paint. The only rule during these casual two–three hour sessions is that painters (aged 15 and older) enjoy themselves. Events take place at venues such as Lone Oak Grill and Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille, where guests can snack on food and drinks available for purchase.
Experienced photo gurus Doug Box and Randy Kerr impart practical photo skills to curious shutterbugs during engaging seminars that have appeared across the States and in eight countries abroad. Doug Box, author of myriad photography-technique books, is one of 13 Kodak mentors and is the Executive Director of the Texas Professional Photographers Association. His co-teacher, Randy Kerr, heads World Photographic, which uses photography as a vehicle for illuminating humanitarian and environmental topics. Both men have been teaching photography classes for years and help amateurs take photos that capture piercing looks, toothy smiles, and elusive dodo sightings.
Lara Olson was unhappy with the quality of art education her children were receiving in school. Taking matters into her own hands, she decided to open Kidcreate Studio as a place where youngsters can exercise their creative muscles while practicing the visual arts in a fun learning environment. The studio’s curriculum immerses students in the kaleidoscopic world of art through professional lesson plans, incorporating media ranging from watercolor paints and pencils to clay and cloth. Birthday parties at the studio keep children thoroughly engaged with hands-on activities and themed projects, and play groups lasting up to three hours give kids enough time to make new friends or think up at least a dozen more imaginary ones.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Refreshment is the ultimate goal at YogaFresh, a community-focused, earth-toned studio, which won Woodbury magazine’s Best Yoga Class award in 2011.
This serene backdrop gives way to the intense, heated poses and breathing exercises of the studio’s dance-like Vinyasa classes, which build the delicate balance of strength and grace required to bench-press a killer whale. Several other classes such as Yin Yoga, Warrior Sculpt, and more, unfold in a studio heated to a sweat-inducing 99 degrees—all the better for loosening tight muscles and quarters lodged behind the ears. Ballet and Pilates inform Barre Burn sessions, which combine yoga poses, isometric exercises, and weightlifting to sculpt the limbs and core.
Yoga Alliance–certified instructors lead each class, emphasizing form and safety as students stretch and align their bodies. After class, peruse the studio’s boutique, which teems with workout-friendly apparel and eco-friendly yoga mats from brands such as Alo, Manduka, Beyond Yoga, Karma Wear, Vimmia, Rese, Manduka, Yogitoes, and YogaFresh Brand.