Most pools are not designed for children, with their plunging deep ends, regular calls for "adult swim," and robust colonies of piranha. Not so at Swimtastic Swim School, where every aspect of the center's design caters to youthful aquanauts. After passing by the colorful front desk changing into their suits, kids rinse off in the warm water of the on-deck palm-tree shower. Once classes begin, swimmers dunk into the pool itself, ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 feet deep and heated to a constant, comfortable 90 degrees. In the lessons themselves, experienced instructors use the skills they learned in the center's 30-hour training course to lead small groups through the basics of water safety and proper swimming form. Regular open swims let kids show off their aquatic mastery to parents and friends and make unlimited use of the deep-end water slide.
Healthy bodies aren’t born—they’re built. Construction commences at Le Club, where exercisers hone physiques in a fitness center stocked with more than 80 pieces of resistance strength-training and cardiovascular equipment—including treadmills and rowing machines—and a spinning studio with 21 stationary bikes. Ten climate-controlled tennis courts and three racquetball courts await the sound of whizzing spheres, and pools, including the 25-meter indoor and outdoor lane pools and the warm-water-therapy pool, welcome aquatic athleticism.
Spa massages and facials whisk away stress, and locker rooms induce relaxation with attached saunas and recordings of Maya Angelou reciting the phonebook. While parents work out, kids can explore Le Club’s youth offerings, which include a teen space maze and an outdoor playground for younger children.
Dolphin Swim Club’s faculty of professional First Aid– and CPR-certified lifeguards help children aged 2 and older learn how to swim in a safe and encouraging environment. They lead lessons within a pool comfortably heated to 89 degrees, keeping class sizes small to ensure individual attention. After trainers assess each child’s ability, they’ll place them in one of nine levels, which they can progress through in accordance with their budding skills. Very young splashers might learn bubble blowing and breath control in Level A, while older and more experienced children in Level 7 might refine stroke mechanics, build up endurance, or learn how to properly evade pool-dwelling Venetian merchants.
Dolphin Swim Club stresses child safety above all other concerns. Its founder, Tyler Brewer, was a founding board member of the Swim For Life Foundation, which stresses the Safer 3—Safer Kids, Safer Water, and Safer Response—to prevent children from drowning.
With a 25-meter indoor lap pool, a whirlpool, steam and sauna rooms, a healthy café, and a health-and-fitness library packed into its 61,000-square-foot space, Sky Fitness more closely resembles a resort than a fitness center. Its soaring floor-to-ceiling widows allow the sunshine to pour in as members jog around the indoor cushioned track or get competitive on the indoor basketball and volleyball courts. Kids burn off their own energy and cotton-candy reserves in a secure and supervised area while their parents work out.
The space is so huge that it encompasses an entire yoga studio, Avani Yoga, where sessions range from Vinyasa yoga to aerial yoga. The nearly 100 exercise classes offered each week at Sky Fitness include everything from arthritis-control sessions in a therapy pool to Pilates and Zumba.
Splash Landings Indoor Aquatic Center's year-round indoor water park brims with swimmers of all ages and skill levels enjoying its watery attractions, which range from a zero-depth entry pool for kids, a relaxing whirlpool, and slides. Soaring above the pool are vintage model airplanes sporting vintage model water wings, and lifeguards stand throughout the facility to ensure tykes are protected. The staff also prepares visitors for safe splashing with a wide array of swimming lessons offered year-round.
A PADI five-star dive center, D. D. Dive outfits novice swimmers with all the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to swim beneath the waves. Their courses are made up of classroom sessions, pool work, and open-water excursions to prepare each student according to PADI guidelines. The instructors also offer classes in rescue diving and diving-instructor as well as dive-master training, all of which are useful skills when working to open a dive school for dolphins. Once certified, new divers can go with the school on a globetrotting trip to a diving mecca such as Bonne Terre Mine, Kona, or the Galapagos Islands.