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 aged 4 months to 12 years 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.
At Let's Jump's indoor facility, kids bounce across 12,000 square feet packed with inflatable houses and rides. Sock-footed jumpers bound over to 13 inflatable attractions and defy gravity better than Buzz Aldrin's pogo stick. Parents kick back as their miniature versions glide down slides, overcome obstacle courses, and spring from the walls of the facility’s bounce houses. Combo bounce houses beckon kids to multitask their fun with multiple activities such as dunking basketball shots while dodging obstacles, and a separate toddler room grants smaller kids a safe place to jump. For kids who want to keep bouncing at home, Let’s Jump also provides party rentals for backyard celebrations.
Blanketing more than 100 acres, Fort Worth Botanic Garden houses several disparate gardens that welcome locals and tourists whether they want quiet reflection or a social stroll amid arboreal beauty. The Fragrance Garden lives up to its name by engaging olfactory zones with a dozen uniquely scented plants. In the 7-acre Japanese Garden, visitors commune with plants and animals, including the pond's koi fish and their pet minnows.
An affordable and monumental selection of sofas, beds, desks, and sarcophagi mingle good-naturedly in Ashley Furniture’s wondrous warehouse. A Conrad backless barstool ($48) commands shoppers’ attention with its sleek, contemporary design, and Kira furnishings provide stylish sites for storage, studying, or snoozing. A Bulkman pub table with four chairs ($399), sofas, and barstools anticipate increasing the comfort of various human inactivities.
Berry Patch, which threaded its first darning needle in 1977, caters to stitching savants with a patchwork of fabric and sewing essentials, as well as sewing classes. Specialty patterns start at $9.99, and breathe-easy cotton and batik yardage ($10.49/yard) are ideal mediums for a fashionable sundress or a hand-sewn bulletproof vest.
Natural Expressions Photography was started in 1999 by Christopher McBrown; he enjoys being able to capture moments that uniquely express his clients' thoughts and emotions. Over the years he has had the opportunity to work with a number of local and national clients and be featured in magazines such as Jer and Ebony.