During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.
Meet Nannette. She's a former professional ballroom competitor with a slew of competition wins under her belt, but that's not as important as what she'll do for you. Alongside her staff of similarly talented dancers, Nannette cultivates a fun, inclusive, and laid back atmosphere while helping students perfect their ballroom footwork with classes in popular styles such as swing, waltz, tango, and cha-cha. Men, women, and even children learn how to twist and spin at all of Nannette's six locations, where guests can get exercise, relieve stress, and meet new dance-savvy people while having fun. The studio also offers private lessons in clients' homes or in their favorite supermarket aisles.
Dr. Luis Del Rio and the crew at Infinite Health & Spine Center not only relieve structural and muscular issues with traditional chiropractic adjustments, but also attempt to stop pain before it starts. The clinic's own weight-loss program can alleviate some of the pressure placed on spines and muscles, sparing clients future back problems. When pain is already present, licensed massage therapists knead bodies with five different types of massage. The entire staff is bilingual, so they can consult with patients in either Spanish or English, though a single syllable of Italian makes them cry in confusion.
A devotee of meditation for many years, Heidi Chinlund found that hypnosis and self-hypnosis transported her to deep mental states more quickly than meditation ever had. Since becoming a Certified Clinical Hypnotist in 2010, Heidi has harnessed her hypnotic voice to help patients decrease their anxiety, gain confidence, and relieve pain from chronic ailments. She has also designed hypnosis sessions to access memories from past lives, as well as sessions to quit smoking by changing behaviors on the subconscious level.
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.