As they sweep the ice, most gas-powered zambonis also give off harmful carbon monoxide, which lingers in the rink for hours afterwards. But Skylands Ice World’s resurfacers are different—they’re fueled by propane, which means that, with the help of special converters and frequent tune-ups, they emit much lower levels of carbon monoxide. And to make them even more eco- and skater-friendly, the zambonis warm up in a separate, ventilated room before hitting the ice, which also helps carbon-dioxide levels in the rink stay well below EPA-approved standards. It might seem odd to put so much thought into the environmental and health effects of ice upkeep, especially since the state of New Jersey doesn’t technically regulate the air quality of skating rinks, but Skylands Ice World and its staff considers it worthwhile. Because in the end, a devotion to Mother Earth and its inhabitants is just as important as a devotion to sport and spectacle, which is also why the facility has recently installed an energy-saving, low-emissivity ceiling as well as high-efficiency light fixtures.
Knowing that the air and their consciences are cleaner than a personal trainer’s bill of health, visiting skaters can go for a care-free spin around the ice during daily public-skating sessions. Visitors can also groove to toe-pick-tapping music, which blasts out of a newly installed sound system during the popular Friday night Ice Jam event. And when they need a break from the figure eights and figure zeros, skaters can hop over to the onsite eatery, which dispenses Tim Hortons coffee and baked goods.
Kidoodle Learning Center strives to create a safe space for social, emotional, and intellectual development. Instructors embrace a curriculum of age-specific activities that foster socialization and motor skills through play, along with ample time for stories, art projects, and power naps. The cozy and colorful play space boasts a 1:4 instructor ratio for infants and a 1:6 ratio for children aged 18 months to 2.5 years. Kidoodle classes strike a balance between child-directed and teacher-directed activities that help prepare tykes for kindergarten and high-stakes games of Duck, Duck, Goose.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
A nonprofit organization, The Riverdale Art Center's only aim is to weave creativity into the everyday life of its community. To this end, its instructors host A Glass of Art BYOB art classes for adults, and pARTy pizza-and-art classes for kids and teenagers. Additionally, the art center offers studio and gallery space for local artists.
Even after 10 years in business, a spot on Golf Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, and multiple features in Entrepreneur magazine, CEO Joshua Jacobs maintains a laserlike focus on what’s important to the health of America’s youngsters. His youth-enrichment program, taught at all TGA franchises, uses the games of golf and tennis as means for communicating positive life values and building confidence in pre-K through 8th-grade students, all while keeping kids active to combat obesity. Born from a team of golf, tennis, and education professionals, the five-level TGA curriculum teaches etiquette, sportsmanship, and the value of physical activity alongside lessons in math, science, history, and English. The trained staff outfits each student with modified equipment for their lesson, including shorter golf clubs, lighter tennis racquets, and reduced-flight golf balls that have had their wings clipped for indoor use. Students also receive a handbook filled with lessons, activities, and challenges to encourage further development.
The professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio North Jersey, a chain of dance schools that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherd students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to sashay in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
Per the fitness center’s name, the trainers at One Human Performance eschew a one-size-fits-all approach, focusing instead on one human at a time. They begin each program with a comprehensive evaluation of movement, performance and strength. From there, they draw up the blueprints for client-specific training.
The gym also knows that no person is an island. To fill client’s motivational coffers with encouragement from peers, trainers lead group workouts. The classes focus on fitness disciplines such as kettlebell training, spinning, and bootcamp that tones the whole body more effectively than jogging while juggling medicine balls.