Swing Away Baseball Training Center's head coach, Taylor George, knows what it takes to get drafted into the big leagues. After all, he was drafted himself—twice. The Tampa Bay Rays selected George right out of high school, but he opted instead to play college ball at Cypress College, where he excelled enough to get picked up by the New York Mets after his sophomore season.
At Swing Away, George shares his innate understanding of the game with youngsters who might also have major-league goals. He helps his students improve their mechanics for hitting and pitching, and he also works with them to develop the strategic thinking it takes to run the base paths or trap a cat in a game of pickle. Athletes as young as 4 can take cuts inside the facility's batting cages or work on their velocity inside one of two pitching tunnels.
Every summer, the sprawling fields and winding horse trails of the peaceful Walnut Grove Park undergo a transformation. The clinks and clanks of a towering stage being built permeate the soundscape, taking prominence over the usual noises of bird chirps and rustling leaves. The aromas of tender barbeque meats fill the air, and droves of music-lovers, families, and groups of friends flock to the park with their lawn chairs and beach blankets in tow. Once the crowd has arrived, top local musicians take to the stage to perform lively rock and blues songs as servers top off plastic cups with ice-cold brews. The normally serene park is now the bustling scene of the weekend-long City of San Marcos Rock, Blues & BBQ Festival, which?like the Lincoln statue?s brief sentience and subsequent leg stretch?only happens once a year.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together to build tots' creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for every age from the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, and Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn. The month-long membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule).