Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Youngsters descend upon Rolly Pollies, engaging in active play furnished with age-appropriate classes and open-gym time while developing motor skills and social aptitude within the multihued, bustling space. Tots ages 6 months to walking can partake in the Caterpillars class, which gathers fledgling explorers for singing, games, and dissertations on the power of community. The Gymbugs class combines free play and creative arts to impart a well-rounded session of vibrant fun for 3- to 5-year-olds, and gymnastics teaches 4- to 7-year-olds how to master staying steady on the balance beam while simultaneously balancing their checkbooks.
There's something for bowlers of all striped shoes at Crofton Bowling Centre. Visitors target pins on 48 shiny waxed lanes beneath bright lights?except during Millennium Bowling, when a DJ playing rock, punk, soul, and funk keeps the black-lit party going. But bowling's not the only thing the alley has got going for it. The arcade bleeps and bloops with digital fun, while The Roost serves beer and cocktails under the glow of high-definition TVs broadcasting all manner of sports. An onsite kitchen also dishes out a full day's worth of meals in addition to the expected snacks, offering everything from ham and egg breakfast sandwiches to bacon cheeseburgers to fried fish and fries.
Spider-Man and Minnie Mouse dole out high-fives as kids scale walls and bounce around a pink princess castle. This is just one possible scenario playing out at Laser Bounce USA’s indoor playground replete with themed bounce houses and a padded rock-climbing room. Superheroes and famous characters are also available for parties either onsite in the private party room or on-location. Trampolines and a ball pit also keep the kids active and burning energy during playtime, while classes such as Music Jam Dance and Yoga and Tumble keep them focused on fitness while having fun.
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.
Since 1984, the professional, certified instructors at Loftmar Stables have passed their equine expertise on to students of all skill levels, helping them learn horsemanship principles or advanced skills. Captained by owner Janet Loftus Martin, the team starts beginner riders out with 30-minute private lessons that encourage speedier progression and build self-confidence, rather than thrusting novices into large group classes. Instructors give special attention to riders who might be scared to get on horses or have had bad experiences riding in the past, such as getting thrown out of saddles or being paired with horses on blind dates. All programs begin with learning to care for horses and equipment before moving on to more advanced riding instruction in hunt-seat equitation, jumping, or dressage. The extensive facilities—including massive lighted indoor and outdoor arenas as well as wooded trails—ensure that lessons take place even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.