When not hosting the 10th-largest adult hockey league in the United States, The Gardens Ice House opens its three full-size rinks and one mini rink for public skating sessions seven days a week. Upon arrival, revelers visit the rental desk to select hockey or figure skates, or one of each in attempts to perfect the elusive salchow-wall-check combo. A kindly staff of zamboni jockeys keeps the spacious, glass-lined rinks slick and mirroresque. After skating up appetites, speedsters can grab bites to eat and start conversations with a coffee machine at The Gardens’ Ice Breaker Cafe.
Alison Miller, a passionate dancer with a master's degree in performing arts, founded The Ballet Academy in 1981. Ever since, she and her team have led children, teens, and adults through classical-ballet routines based on the teachings at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and the Royal Academy. Students can also opt for Stretch and Tone classes to lengthen the muscles.
With no studio fee and an open-door policy, the Studio at Fulton is always ready for customers to stop in to create whenever the creative juices flood. Select from hundreds of pieces to personalize, including mugs, plates, and a variety of seasonal pottery. Items range from $5 up to $60 for the largest vessels. The Studio at Fulton's selections are all non-toxic and food safe. Deck out your design with more hues than a neon-splattered Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper dipped in a rainbow, or make a statement with a mod motif. Aspiring artists can also try their hands at fusing glass pieces, with no experience required.
The team at Pottery n More eschews cookie-cutter designs in favor of rampant creativity. They help guests select plaster items including tableware and holiday-, garden-, or pet-themed figurines to be covered with a choice of 15 different glitters and easy-to-use acrylic paints. The studio hosts parties for kids and adults, and programs such as summer camps, parents' nights out, and home makeovers for bottled genies. In the new game room, children bounce on inflatables or play board games while watching cartoons.
Much like the climate and the cost of a pickle, Sport Fit facility features vary by location, but all three locations harbor vast vaults of workout equipment and group classes. During your 30 consecutive days of training montage, mold and shape muscles into the clenched face of your favorite World’s Strongest Man with dozens of machines and free weights. Otherwise, stride onto the tennis, racquetball, or basketball court and win back legal ownership of your pancreas from that fast-talking vice president. Those who benefit from cardiovascular camaraderie can buoy spirits and sink flab with group fitness classes such as salsa, karate, functional fitness boot camp, and cycling.
Blueberry Gardens' seasoned instructors cultivate whole-body health with a schedule of multi-level classes inspired by ParaYoga, Anusara, and body-balance methods. A composite of breath and movement, ParaYoga challenges students to prod the body's upper limits of flexibility and strength through vigorous postures such as downward dog, dolphin plank, and recumbent Andrew Carnegie. Fueled by an uplifting philosophy, Anusara yoga encourages students to honor their differences, limitations, and talents, and body-balance yoga integrates the body and mind through asanas inspired by Protean animorphs. Each 90-minute class includes mats and props and, if missed, can be substituted in any of the other summer sessions.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.