In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old?12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.
Cheerleading is competitive. Sometimes it's even more competitive than the sport the cheerleaders are cheerleading for. But above all else, cheerleading is an exuberant experience that stresses teamwork, since there is no "I" in pyramid. For aspiring tumblers, twirlers, and acrobats, The RockStarz LLC cheerleading school trains young dancers, and even their parents, in the art of boosting spirits. Head coach and lifetime cheerleader Onea Davis brings her decades of squad experience to the lessons, while instructors Nikkia Tyrie Neal and Natalia Davis use their pedigrees in modern dance and Zumba to keep the RockStarz fit and agile as they master routines.
Kids get their fill of airborne fun at FabulouCity All-Stars, where instructors lead routines in gymnastics, cheerleading, and dance. The nonprofit youth center gives toddlers, adolescents, and teens a venue to express themselves in a positive way, encouraging movement and fun in a low-stress environment. Certified instructors lead everything from classes to cheer camps to birthday parties, where guests gambol around the gym and somersault into the piñata.
Nationwide Bowling orchestrates a cacophonous symphony of clanking pins and cheering bowlers at 11 modern bowling centers located throughout New Jersey. Center size varies from the Hudson location where 60 lanes with automatic scoring, a grill, sports bar, and arcade games accommodate armadas of bowlers to Garden Palace, which houses 16 lanes, a bar, and a snack shop. At all locations, staffers host birthday parties and corporate events and organize leagues for competitive bowlers or people who just like to chuck heavy objects as hard as they can.
CBL Fine Art upgrades abodes with custom artwork, décor, and sundries honed by the keen eye of founder Connie Lior. For more than a quarter-century, the boutique has supported artists while cultivating a wide selection of uncommon gifts, including the Lillo Studio glass heart box($35), which ably stores jewelry or sets of gold dentures. The shop also specializes in Judaica, from frosted glass Shabbat candlesticks etched with the phrase Shabbat Shalom ($30), to Kiddush cups in materials such as stainless steel, pewter, and glass ($38+). Shoppers can frame an engagement photo or cake-topper portrait within a 4"x6" wedding frame($25) and finally learn Roman numerals with a stained-glass table clock ($55). Accommodating staffers happily provide complimentary shopping counsel or gift-wrapping services, saving customers the inconvenience of wrapping presents in newspaper or old graduate dissertations.
At Essex Equestrian Center, more than 35 horses and ponies work together with an expert team of instructors to teach riding basics. Students can choose from the disciplines of hunter, jumper, dressage, and western riding for lessons that are conducted in private or group settings. Classes take place year-round as the center features both an outdoor ring and an Olympic-size indoor arena, perfect for when the weather calls for rain or Olympic-size hail.