The taut canvas sinks under the weight of two sock-clad feet, stretching its coiled spring fasteners to their limit before rebounding and jettisoning the acrobat skyward. High-flying stunts abound at The Trampoline Place, where 10 competition-style trampolines let gymnasts and fun seekers attempt new airborne flips, spins, and toe touches. The gym boasts safety harnesses and pads to provide a safety net for those trying out new techniques, and the USA Gymnastics–certified staff offers lessons for those trying to bolster their trampoline skills.
At Anytime Fitness, members work out at any time of day, any time of year with 24/7 access to ellipticals, treadmills, tanning, freeweights, and weight machines. Visitors boost their heart rate and build muscle with personal and small-group training, or build balance and tone bodies with Pilates classes.
Pure Fitness (formerly known as Powerhouse Fitness and still owned by Scott and Nikki Holland) has a full roster of certified personal trainers and seasoned group-fitness instructors who guide exercisers to physical peaks, building strong muscles and healthy lifestyles. The workout room helps guests to slim down their silhouettes with new exercise equipment, including calorie-torching cardio machines and dumbbells perfect for toning biceps or hurling at cardboard cutouts of Charles Atlas. There's also a recently added athletic-training center.
Group classes range from Les Mills dance aerobics to CrossFit functional training, which strengthens sinews with Olympic lifting drills and gymnastics-inspired bodyweight exercises. A juice bar replenishes vitamins and minerals, and saunas banish stress with warm, dry air. To help parents squeeze exercise into busy schedules, the gym offers childcare services seven days a week.
More than 560 horses come to life when you ignite the engine inside one of The Racing School's authentic stock cars. The ensuing roar engulfs the entire vehicle, and your body rumbles as you grab the steering wheel and look towards the track. No stop signs. No pace cars. Just grip the steering wheel and drive?a race-car driver is born.
The Racing School has facilitated more than 14 years of thrilling moments just like this (and documented many of them on video). The staff here consists of current and former professional racers, who teach novices how to handle traditional stock cars, racing trucks, and other high-octane vehicles. Once instructors cover acceleration, braking, warp speed, and the other essentials, training culminates with a driving experience at professional-level tracks, including Waterford Speedbowl, Devils Bowl Speedway, and Thompson Speedway. Here, the experts give newbies the freedom to drive like pros, encouraging passing and letting drivers set their own pace.
A ferocious breed of animal races through the countryside of Northeastern Connecticut. Its habitat: a 500-acre complex known as the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, where a 5/8 mile oval track has roared with the sounds of these creatures for more than seven decades. High-powered automobiles are the species in question here, and thanks to the track's TSMP Exotics program, the general public has the chance to tame one of these Italian, German, or Japanese super cars for themselves.
With an instructor in the passenger seat, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and other automobiles fly around the course the way stars fly around a dazed cartoon coyote's head. The cars also speed across a 1.7-mile road road course whose sharp turns and long straightaway require skill to complete quickly. Afterward, visitors can cool down from the experience at the onsite Bogey?s Ice Cream Stand.