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 4 months old–12 years old 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.
With hundreds of locations throughout the world, Fitness Together contours the global musclescape one individual at a time with customized workouts. Beginning with a body consultation and assessment, clients are classified into different training zones leading to goal-specific programs that help them reach their true fitness potential. During the 45-minute sweat sessions, a trained muscle tutor supervises squats to ensure muscles are properly stretched and showered in both praise and post-perspiring soap. The one-on-one attention allows the trainer to fine-tune movements, tone trouble zones, and push students to keep going when they'd otherwise quit or become distracted by the fragile beauty of a passing hummingbird.
For 32 years, comics such as Jay Leno, Ray Romano, and Kevin James have kick-started their careers on the stages of Comedy Cabaret, tucked inside a pair of cozy restaurants. A trio of vaudevillian jokesters descend on Casa Carollo on May 5. The Legendary Wid juggles a barrage of stuffed animals, lawn decorations, and lamps to illustrate his offbeat sense of humor. Sharing the stage, comic actor John Kensil spreads Vegas-style suavity, and Danny B sets his japery to music.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, as party songs thump in the background, lasers beam over a row of 24 lanes—each home to a rack of glowing pins—and reflect off their thin layer of oil into the fog. Of course, Playdrome Devon Lanes hosts regular open-bowling hours throughout the rest of the week, when it echoes with the sound of crashing pins and celebratory sirens from the on-site arcade. Though unseen, heard, or smelled, the signal from complimentary WiFi streams through the air as well, allowing players to post their high scores online or to look up the cheat codes that enable the bowling balls' rocket boosters. Playdrome Devon Lanes also allows customers to bring their own food and beverages.
Versa Fit Studio's two locations blend old-fashioned support from personal trainers with newfangled technology, including the Vacu Fit, which, according to an ABC News report, exists nowhere else in the country. Classes and workouts incorporate the good vibrations of the Power Plate machine that quickens circulation, and Vacu Fit elliptical machines enclose lower halves in a heated vacuum chamber to trim away excess inches. Group exercise sessions bow to restrictive schedules with a range of classes that, unlike getting a tan from an Easy-Bake Oven, last only 30–60 minutes. In addition to high-tech courses, guests can drop in on traditional sessions such as core-toning Pilates, yoga, and boot camp, or they can burn calories in spin and dance aerobics that amp up heart health.
Tilt Studio's tenure as a family fun center dates back to 1972, a time when the menacing Pac-Man ghosts were still very much alive. Today, the 27,000 square-foot facility greets gamers with scores of arcade and ticket-redemption games plus spacious private-event rooms for corporate gatherings and birthday parties. Visitors receive a game card that works like a debit card, replacing cumbersome quarters that could otherwise be used to enter speed-drying competitions at the laundromat. In the arcade, up to four players can experience high-octane Formula One action, careening down a simulated Indy Motor Speedway, or land strikes on four lanes of virtual bowling, with backdrops depicting Rome, Japan, and Yosemite National Park.