At Segway Tours of Grand Rapids, guides perch customers atop gyroscopic locomotors and teach them to tame the machines during fun tours. After giving a brief safety training, the experts lead the way along sidewalks amid the downtown shops and dining venues, pausing at local attractions such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Calder sculpture, and the Sixth Street dam. Guides cap sessions at eight riders, ensuring personal instruction, information, and even routes for parties who know the city. Tours set off throughout the week, barring deterrent external conditions such as lighting storms or the rebellion of local crossing guards.
Internationally trained and Pilates Method Alliance–certified instructor Ahmé Bovée channels more than 15 years of experience as a fitness instructor into her core-strengthening workouts. After ending her five-year career as the host of Canada's popular Pilates in Guelph television series in 2007, she founded her open, sun-kissed studio. At Pilates in East, she helps students of all ages and abilities boost flexibility and endurance with resistance bands, weights, and reformer machines during group Pilates classes and private training sessions. This busy instructor deftly divides her time between these Pilates classes. She hosts teacher training certification programs and—like that dollar bill with the online tracking URL—travels the country to present at Pilates on Tour conferences.
After slinging itself onto the Michigan art scene in 1996, The Mud Room has since spun into a hub of creativity for artists of all ages and artistic experience. Under the direction of the studio's in-house teachers, small groups learn to wield everything from paintbrushes to pottery wheels during four types of classes, which teach such skills as fusing colored glass tiles into kaleidoscopic works or hand-forming ceramics to recreate ancient casseroles. Customers can also stop in to paint pre-made ceramics themselves. The pieces come in various shapes and sizes, which patrons can adorn with colored glaze before handing their artwork over to the professionals to be fired and finished. The studio also offers group pottery classes for parties including girls' nights out, birthdays, and kids' celebrations. In keeping with its safety-first approach, The Mud Room features only nontoxic, lead-free products, ensuring the finished pieces are safe to use with food.
Inside Moves' sprawling indoor-climbing facility invites mountaineers of all skill levels to scale its many craggy walls, nooks, and ledges. Instructors are always on hand for safety tutorials, as well as lessons in top-rope, lead, and boulder-style climbing. Unharnessed climbers can also pilot the facility's low overhangs, which have variable hand grips to mimic a real rockface and black rubber padding to catch you when the mountain decides to "just be friends."
Marksmen with CO2-powered guns volley paintballs back and forth at T.C. Paintball’s four Michigan locations. Indoor and outdoor battlefields beckon players with a number of obstacles to duck under, dive between, or readjust for ultimate feng shui. Referees patrol the color-strewn grounds, where guests celebrate birthdays and special events with games of capture the flag and el presidente. The experienced staff at each of T.C. Paintball's well-stocked pro shops offer sharpshooting tips gleaned from years of chromatic combat, and can replenish paintball supplies that run low.
Although officially founded in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony's history stretches back to 1917 when an enterprising group of local musicians began practicing together and holding regular concerts. In the years since, the ensemble has retained this self-starter mentality while growing into one of the nation's preeminent regional orchestras. Always asserting its idiosyncratic individuality, the organization earned a 2007 Grammy nomination for its collaboration with flamboyant electric harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and the ire of conductors for its rule that all batons should be able to shoot sparks.