At The Cupcake Factory, bakers banish boxed and prepackaged ingredients from the premises to ensure that every cupcake is made fresh each day from scratch. Chomp into a tongue-tantalizing creation in any of 18 available flavors ($2.50 each). Delicately moist strawberry cakes repine under waves of pink butter-cream frosting, and the dapper chocolate cupcake dons a cap laced with fudgey shavings. Adventurous taste buds can travel abroad with a chai cupcake, which infuses vanilla cake with hints of cinnamon and exotic chai frosting, or steep in British tradition by devouring the vanilla butter-cream frosting on the english toffee cupcake and then pretending to be shocked by its immodest state of dress.
Leaving men to such manly pursuits as braiding each other's beards, the women-only pole-dancing classes at Fantasy Fitness expertly smelt seductive motion, sweaty calisthenics, and camaraderie-intense group fitness. Groupon holders can attend any of the studio's upcoming 60-minute classes, which include Intro to Pole for shimmying beginners, as well as Climb, Sit, and Spin, a class that teaches pole-scalers the steamiest ways to disprove Newtonian laws of gravity. Casie Constantine, Fantasy Fitness's resident expert and America’s Got Talent vet, recommends wearing thigh-highs, leg warmers, or a set of knee pads to class, encouraging students to pay homage to the original uniform of Washington’s forces at Lexington.
Kids and adults alike can develop their martial arts skills and mental sharpness at John Emmons Taekwondo Academy, where classes are taught in a 6,000 foot facility outfitted with training aids. The schedule includes classes for kids as young as 3 as well as adult courses that mix strength work and aerobic training.
Retired police officer Sergeant Guy Samuelson is anything but inactive. A life member of the United States Martial Arts Association and a strength and conditioning coach for high-school football players, Sergeant Samuelson has devoted his life to being active. With that in mind, he started CrossFit Panoply, a non-gym fitness environment that offers workouts used by military special-operations units, professional athletes, and evil geniuses. His workouts focus on using the entire body for each exercise, ensuring activation in all muscles, and each exercise can be scaled to suit any student’s demands or limitations. He leads the classes along with certified instructors who boast law-enforcement or fire-fighting backgrounds.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando was founded to give those who share the Jewish tradition a communal setting in which to exercise, play, and learn with one another. Between them, the two locations boast full fitness facilities, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool. Group exercise classes and a gymnasium aid adults in acquiring fitter bodies, and sports leagues provide a venue for grownups to compete and ceremoniously dump sports drinks on each other. The center also puts on its own full-blown theatrical productions.
The center’s staff tailors certain events to the needs of senior citizens, helping them with exercise regimes such as yoga. Staff members also assist the Senior Nite club in organizing trips to new restaurants or the theater and help pintsize guests by helming a preschool, kids' camps, and extracurricular programs. Staffers can even pick up youngsters from school and ferry them to one of the facilities for afterschool development programs, which, like backyard mazes, are designed by the child’s parents to challenge young ones.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 months) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6–9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.