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 to 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.
For more than 15 years, Marshall Canyon Equestrian Center has welcomed horse enthusiasts for riding lessons and gallops across its sylvan expanse. Guided trail rides require no previous horseback experience, leading as many as 10 riders to witness area wildlife, rumble past clear babbling streams, and admire flowers left by spurned centaur lovers. The center?s instructor, Donna, leads lessons in the riding disciplines of Western and English, specializing in teaching new riders proper horsemanship essentials in the well-lit arena. Marshall Canyon also boards horses in fully covered 16?x16? stalls, where they enjoy daily cleaning and healthy portions of alfalfa.
Harnessing yourself to a rope and rappelling into a canyon is challenging enough--but what if on the way down, you run into a waterfall? Since 1999, ATS AdventureWorks has prepared students for exactly this type of outdoor challenge, with courses in canyoneering, mountaineering, and rock climbing. Adventurers can also try their hand at these vertical sports on the company's indoor ropes courses, or on guided trips to rock formations and climbable celebrity homes throughout Southern California. The company's veteran team oversees every outing and class, keeping novices safe and sharing tips on gear and safety. And even when they're not working with students, they're navigating rough terrain and setting up specialty TV rigging for shows such The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, and The Biggest Loser.
Wherever Johnny Allen goes, you're likely to find the sounds of tennis players hard at work: shuffling feet, the rhythm of an extended baseline rally, maybe even the occasional grunt. But you'll also hear the melodies of upbeat tunes—a staple of all Johnny Allen Tennis instruction that underscores his program's emphasis on fun and positivity as motivational tools. Although playing music during every lesson may be an unorthodox stroke, it's fueled a program that now helps more than 400 students improve at seven locations. Allen's success is evident in the many top junior players and scholarship college athletes who have graduated from his program.
A night at Chaparral Entertainment Centers means more than just a few games of bowling?with its up to 48 shining lanes are the main attraction. The alley's lounge hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights, so bowlers can jam out to a band, karaoke, or a DJ, who might accept requests for "We Are the Champions" after every strike. There's also a big-screen TVs, six pool tables, shuffle board, darts, and an arcade in the lounge. At a full-service snack bar, bowlers can order appetizers to tide them over between frames, and they can choose from up to 44 beers on tap, wine, and liquor.
While the rest of the natural world prepares to hibernate for the winter, Enchanted Country Trees & Pumpkins has been at its most active since 1983. Farmers pick the plumpest pumpkins from their patches, displaying them next to bounce houses and trundling John Deere tractors. Barnyard animals deign to be petted in exchange for palmfuls of feed, and ponies accept small riders for afternoon trots. Come winter, the lots fill with Christmas trees.