The Emerald Cork’s artists help groups to unleash their creativity and socialize in a relaxed, fun environment. They provide step-by-step guidance and advice on techniques such as brush selection and color blending, and at the end of class, each guest leaves with their own work of art. Guests can bring along nonalcoholic beverages and snacks to enjoy while painting.
Winner of Parents Connect's 2009 Parent's Pick award for best local art class, Abrakadoodle transforms any party or class into a chance to expand minds with artistic-minded games and lessons. A one-hour arty birthday party package includes an engaging teacher, an art lesson, supplies, and a canvas artwork gift created by the guests for the party host or party recipient (parties start at $175 for six children, $250 for a minimum of 12 children, $10 for each additional guest). Creative classes such as the All You Need Is Love! class ($20) gives students the chance to create art inspired and accompanied by the music of The Beatles, and the Mini Masters for Mommy and Me class ($80-$90) allow moms and children to wield a brush while finding inspiration from botanical gardens and famous museum collections. Check the schedule for a full list of class times, dates and locations.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
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.
With programs for children and adults of all ages, Aqua Bella Fitness acts as both a playground and a training center. Its heated indoor pool embodies this versatility by hosting Summer Splash Camp sessions, Red Cross–certified lessons, and water-aerobics classes, which increase resistance on muscles more safely than working out in a quicksand pit. Exercise equipment abounds on the workout floor, where guests can tackle a 30-second circuit or dangle from TRX suspension systems. Though its focus is on promoting healthy lifestyles, the gym also endorses relaxation with day-spa services such as tanning and massage.
With a complete line of Life Fitness and Cybex machines, the Pensacola branch of World Gym upholds the franchise's relentless tradition of providing 24/7 access to fitness. Each device in the cardio stable is hooked up to a personal cable TV and DVD set, allowing runners to finally live out their dreams of running wind sprints through aisle 7 of the electronics store. Conversely, an outdoor workout area beckons the ruggedly inclined with battling ropes and climbing stations. Instructors lead a medley of aerobics and yoga classes, and personal trainers help members to craft their own custom fitness plans.