Unlike many big-box gyms, Club II has the whole family in mind. In addition to offering fitness services and health coaching for grownups, they host youth camps and daycare services for the kids. They up the ante with tennis and swim lessons, as well as social activities.
Bay Breeze Dive Center’s expert instructors attentively guide flippered pupils through scuba classes in an expansive indoor pool and the idyllic Pensacola Bay. Students submerge for one hour in the Discover Scuba class to gain a feel for aqueous activities, testing out flippers and learning how to breathe underwater without making a pact with a sea witch. Alternatively, the open-water-certification course pairs academic know-how with hands-on underwater lessons to train beginning divers in the ways of the water.
Members of Freedom Boat Club enjoy the luxury of captaining their own aquatic excursions without the maintenance and storage hassles of owning a boat. Outings begin with a boat-orientation course, during which an experienced captain teaches students key nautical skills such as tying knots, docking in the wind, and navigating by the position of a half-eaten sandwich that kind of looks like the Big Dipper. Once skippers feel comfortable commanding a water chariot, they take to the seas for a day of sailing along with up to six additional guests. With the trial membership, boaters can choose any available Hurricane deck boat, inshore fishing boat, or pontoon. Hop aboard Orange Beach's 21-foot Hurricane 2100 to cut through the water on the strength of a 150-hp engine or commandeer Perdido Key's Sweetwater 2486 pontoon boat to benefit from a deck-top canopy in the event that a witch's curse makes it rain salamanders.
Children at a birthday party with Nonie's Ark Animal Encounters might get to meet Jimmy, Jack, or Jill—but despite their deceptively human names, these guests are actually exotic animals. A naturalist and wildlife educator with a background in zoo-animal technology, Nonie encourages kids touch and sometimes hold live animals such as snakes, toads, chinchillas, and sugar gliders during hands-on interactive and educational presentations. Nonie has adopted and cared for each of these creatures, many of which were formerly unwanted pets. At some parties, Nonie also leads children in animal role-playing games like eating dirt cake and worms and doles out goodies such as safari helmets and outdoor toys.
At Vayu Sailing, a U.S. Coast Guard–certified captain opens his 32-foot catboat to groups seeking gorgeous views and fresh breezes across the calm waterways of Pensacola Bay. As the captain harnesses the wind in his sails to fuel the boat for a three-hour excursion, groups of as many as six settle into the comfortable seats of their private vessel. As the sailboat navigates the scenic impressions of oceanic ripples, passengers can pop a complimentary bottle of bubbly, snap photos of picturesque sunsets, and enjoy leisurely plank walkings with friends or family. Vayu Sailing’s flexible schedule lets Groupon holders schedule their perfect sailing date through next spring, accommodating those seeking popular weekend evenings or aquatic cures for the Monday blues.