SpitzerCares.org hopes to fund a million meals in 2012 through food pantries, shelters, kids’ cafés, and backpack programs. For every dollar it earns via community car washes, donations, and fundraising events, SpizerCares.org can provide four meals to northern Ohioans in need. Patrons can keep up with the organization’s progress online as a ticker shaped like an apple tallies the number of meals SpitzerCares.org has shelled out so far this year.
Delicious fuel springs from The Pufferbelly Ltd., a railroad-themed eatery in a refurbished train depot where canoes and stagecoaches hang from the ceiling. In addition to celebrating the steam engines of yore, the restaurant’s name hints at how diners fill their bellies to the brim after whiffing hearty Americana fare such as smoked St. Louis–style ribs and reubens made of corned beef or sautéed grouper. For Sunday brunch, cooks build a sprawling buffet from housemade muffins, eggs benedict, and crispy, made-to-order waffles. As festive as a piñata stuffed with birthday cakes, friendly staffers throw seasonal parties galore, from breezy autumn clam bakes to vibrant Mardi Gras fetes.
The movement maestros at Sharon Rae Dance School—named the best dance studio in Beacon four years in a row by Ohio.com—teach the fancy footwork of tap, ballet, and jazz to tots and youthful twirlers. In all the studios, including a colorful room designed for preschoolers, a layer of cushioning supports the shiny hardwood floors, warding off injuries as whippersnappers jive in musical-theater lessons and tumble with pompoms. All kids' classes are monitored through closed-circuit television, which keeps parents in the loop as they weld together first-place trophies in the waiting room. Students as young as 2 can build fine and gross motor skills in toddler sessions, and adults can leave their own cubicle-themed play sets to join fun Zumba workouts that combine aerobics and Latin dance moves.
Occupying 45,000 square feet, Adventure Landings encourages youngsters to expend excess energy during open-play sessions, birthday parties, or other special events. Kids and their parents can ricochet across five inflatables, including an outer-space-themed bounce house and an obstacle course, or whizz down a floor-to-ceiling side in the gymnasium. They can also strap into a safety harness and scale the climbing wall, which rewards strategic planning and amateur-yodeling attempts. A toddler play area caters to younger tykes, and an on-site cafe helps keep kids' energy meters fully charged.
Aerobic kickboxing melds martial arts with time-tested workout regimens and enhances the scene with energizing tunes. While improving flexibility and battling body enemies such as heart disease, kickboxing annihilates up to 800 calories in one hour, scorching the evidence of midnight bakery raids. The certified fitness pros at Asian Sun inject cardio-fit kickboxing classes with punches, jabs, and kicks that tone physiques and arm fitness seekers with a self-defense artillery to ward off hordes of alley-lurking trolls.