At any of the 15 Great Life Golf and Fitness locations, guests are encouraged to invent their own triathlon of gusto, switching from swimming in the pool to getting a total body workout to playing a round of golf. Great Life has facilities scattered throughout Kansas and Missouri, including golf courses such as the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks and the links at The Oaks, which were designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in the 1920s. Golfers looking for quick rounds can drop by the nine-hole courses at Maple Creek, Abilene, and CedarBrook. Gyms such as the 14,000-square-foot fitness center at Berkshire allow members or guests to pump iron or run on treadmills when they aren’t helping their golf balls safely reach the greens by paying golf carts to drink all of the water hazards dry. Although amenities vary at each club, all of Great Life Golf and Fitness’s venues boast a pro shop, and the courses at Berkshire and Prairie View maintain driving ranges where golfers can make golf balls practice flying without their parachutes.
Bookended by par 5s on holes 1 and 18, River Oaks Golf Course welcomes golfers into its grassy embrace with wide fairways, tricky bunkering, and water hazards in play on seven holes. The course checks in at 6,380 yards from the furthest of three tees, a manageable length that will neither give beginners fits nor cause more seasoned players to fall asleep in their own backswings. The course is accompanied by an extensive fitness center, where visitors can increase their driving distance and intimidation factor with barbells, dumbells, and weight machines.
Michelle Childs Beedle practically grew up performing—she began at the ripe young age of 3. Since then, she's taught competitive singers, snagged roles in various movies, and even won two Emmy awards. With Antonia Studios, she shares her talents not only through voice and piano lessons, but also by painting faces and hosting princess parties.
The instructors at Music House School of Music understand that music is a language and that languages should be used to express yourself. That’s why they’ve abandoned prescriptive instruction in favor of collaborative learning in a community setting, placing the music that their students want to hear at the center of their teaching programs. During private lessons, students forge a path through the genres of their choice, from rock to jazz to classical to birdsong. They show off their progress during monthly club meetings, working with a tight-knit group of like-minded musicians until they feel confident enough for public performance. In group classes, kids as young as 6 get to tickle ivory, strum steel, and set their uvulas abuzz with their burgeoning baritones.
On May 4 from 12–4 p.m., Music House School of Music celebrates the grand opening of its Lenexa location, which will feature live music, free classes and lessons for ages 6+, surprise goody bags, and refreshments. All attendees will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win six months of free music instruction.
Glossy bowling lanes explode with the sounds of crashing pins at Aaron's Family Fun Center, where an arcade, outdoor mini-golf course, and six sand volleyball courts keep all manner of attentions entertained. The 32-lane array gives ample space for individual and league play, though larger parties can opt to reserve The Den, a private, elegant bowling alley featuring six lanes, library-paneled walls, and no restrictions on false old-timey mustaches. The mini-golf course challenges putters to 18 holes with a range of colorful obstacles for year-round enjoyment, though unfavorable weather may limit off-season play to all but the most wind-resistant of miniature athletes.
The professional instructors of the Kansas City School of Music pass along musical torches to students learning the basics of strumming strings or tickling ivories during private and group lessons. Private studios insulated with soundproof walls ensure maximum concentration for students sight reading on acoustic pianos or turning the pages of sheet music with their minds. Each instructor follows a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on repertoire, technique, musicianship, ear training, theory, and more, and they encourage and prepare students to participate in recitals. Instructor credentials include either a masters degree or doctorate in their area of study.