In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Astudia Dance World embraces all types of music—even kinds that haven't been written yet. Their Jam class trades order for on-the-spot creativity, encouraging students of any instrument to show up and practice the art of improvisation. It's a far cry from the more structured TRAC class (which stands for theory, reading, arranging, and composing), but both offerings celebrate creativity under the supervision of expert instructors.
Directed by Jane Maurer and William Blair, this team helps pupils of all ages explore the wide and varied world of music and dance. Their lessons cover classical styles such as jazz, tap, and ballet in addition to acrobatics, hip-hop, and musical theater, wherein every actor is required to carry a tuba. Meanwhile, instrument classes focus on the piano, guitar, or drums. All of these skills come together in recital performances, where parents can witness their children's progress and cheer them on.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Green Valley know that, in every active life, a little sweat must fall. From the confines of their super-heated studio, they help students boost energy, increase circulation, and master physical control with the detoxifying poses of Bikram Choudhury's 26 hatha yoga postures and two breathing exercises. They also stay sharp, continuing their training and education long after they complete their 600-hour Bikram Yoga Teachers Training course. This dedication to well-being is also reflected in the studio itself. There, students can relax with post-class showers, untangle knotted muscles with the help of an on-site massage therapist, and peruse the boutique for gear by Shakti, Bellissima, Asana, and more. Their tireless efforts helped build the type of yoga community idealized by the founder of their discipline; in 2009, Bikram Choudhury himself visited the studio to lead classes in his iconic postures and sign copies of his book.
Though Sue Harragan and Tawnya Christian discovered barre workouts on opposite coasts, a mutual love of fitness and their desire to help others achieve their "best self" brought them together in Las Vegas. The business partners now helm Barre Las Vegas, a studio that strengthens hearts, cores, and limbs with ballet-inspired barre workouts. Upbeat music fuels each session, during which students line up at the barre and perform a routine of precise dance-training moves that blend yoga poses, Pilates exercises, and orthopedic stretching. While patrons burn calories during bouts of fat-burning interval training, they also increase their flexibility and tone their muscles, making their bodies as lithe and lively as a break-dancing slinky. In addition to leading barre classes, the motivating instructors push students toward their fitness goals with workout-enhancing tools such as TRX suspension-training straps.
A lush oasis in the Mojave Desert, Black Mountain Golf & Country Club has challenged golfers for more than half a century. Today, players send balls hurtling against the backdrop of the Black Mountains, taking care to avoid hitting the water or slicing their ball into the Las Vegas strip 25 miles away. Since each course features its own unique style, players must adjust their games accordingly. Whereas one course tempts sharpshooters with several birdie opportunities, the other features the most water, requiring golfers to select their clubs carefully and shake off the mirages of caddies appearing as khaki-wearing cacti.
Course at a Glance:
Inspired by Michelle Obama’s Let's Move! initiative, Lily Sirsy set out to do her part to fight childhood obesity and promote lifetimes of healthy habits. Her passion resulted in Jumpfit Kids, a safe, colorful space for Nevada families to play, exercise, and create. Amid the 3,000-square-foot play gym, tots can defy gravity in one of two indoor bounce houses, tell tall tales with puppet theater, or expand their palates and built-in water wings in a variety of art, cooking, and exercise classes. Junior-size cardio equipment in bright primary colors fills the kids' fitness center, encouraging whippersnappers to work up a sweat or produce enough electricity to power a gingerbread house.