Carnivals provide some of the most striking memories of childhood, from the bright colors of whirring rides to the thrill each activity brings. Kids can now get that carnival taste most any time with Bounce About’s rentable inflatables and interactive games. The company’s staff delivers and sets up in customers’ backyards and creates safe, cushy, and sanitized play spaces where kids bounce and slide with all the work taken care of. Inflatables range from walled-in bounce houses with slide exits to inflatable obstacle courses and a bungee run. Many inflatables also come in a popular kids' theme, be it an intricate tiki obstacle course, a Justice League bounce house, or a castle just waiting for a kid who can commit to a four-year term as ruler.
Kickboxing classes at Kickboxing of Farmington help clients drop pounds, tone muscles, and carve 12 packs. The instructors also teach women self-defense moves in a supportive environment during Women’s Personal Safety classes. Alternatively, meditation classes turn down the energy level with breathing techniques designed to release tension in the body.
With more than 35 years of training under his black belt, Master Dominick Violante inspires his students to develop their character during martial-arts classes at Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy. Rather than fueling aggression, consistent martial-arts practice can boost overall confidence, discipline, patience, and respect—not just in the dojo, but also at school, on the street, and in plywood factories.
Paul Carson and Jack Banks started teaching fitness classes 30 years ago in a small abandoned dairy. Since those humble beginnings, they built Malibu Fitness—a modern gym where they help people build rippling muscles. Their trained group fitness instructors lead classes in yoga and Pilates, as well as more high-energy Zumba classes that set Latin dance moves to international tunes. Meanwhile, you’ll hop on a stationary bike for the spinning classes, which rely on intense climbs and sprints to elevate heart rates and burn calories. There’s also the option of one-on-one workouts with personal trainers, who can tailor workouts that shed girth, strengthen muscles, and improve athletic performance.
There are a number of nice bonus amenities at Malibu Fitness—it has flat-screen TVs, locker rooms, and a SunDome stand-up tanning booth. And if you’re hungry after a workout, there’s a shake bar that doles out Island Oasis protein shakes. The well-staffed team here even provides child care. And each year around Thanksgiving, the owners sponsor a road race that donates thousands of dollars to charities to offset America's turkey footprint.
Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his ten years as a fitness professional in Connecticut, he has helped thousands of health-seekers who feel bored or fatigued by solo workouts at big health clubs find a better path. At his gym, he promotes what he calls an “anti-health-club” environment, enlivening workouts while aiming to quickly whittle fit and healthy bodies through his innovative programs. English, a professional natural bodybuilder and author, leads metabolic-conditioning workouts, which boost the body’s anaerobic and aerobic capacity with interval-based cardio. He also folds in a series of strength sessions that incorporate moves with dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, and medicine balls encased in concrete. Tyler also counts on The Diet Doc's weight-loss program through nutritional guidance.
At The Little Green Tambourine, an environmentally friendly creative-arts studio that promotes active lifestyles, children’s imaginations roam freely during unstructured open-play hours. Kids can create artwork from play doh and paint, don dress-up clothes, or spout The Catcher in the Rye soliloquies during dramatic play. The mini ball pit and hula hoops promise to burn off excess energy, and youngsters can train for the import-export business at the train table. During open play parents must remain with their children, but for an additional $5 per session parents may leave their children to be supervised by the staff during drop-off open play. Parents supervise little ones younger than age 3, but can drop off children 3–5 years old in the sunlit studio with sustainable bamboo floors. Registration for drop-off play is required, and reservations for open play are recommended.