In two separate jump rooms furnished with up to four huge inflatables each, kids bound off bounce-house walls, slip down air-filled slides, and navigate energy-burning obstacle courses. When taking breaks from bouncing, they challenge each other to games of skee-ball, Dance Dance Revolution, and pinball in the game room, replete with a Wii lounge and ball blaster. Kids can invade the activity-filled fun house during open-play times or birthday parties, which include private party-room space, game tokens, and DVD slide shows of the festivities.
Hounds Town USA’s friendly staff coddles pups, ushering them to peaceful, private boarding rooms to rest up for days spent cavorting with peers in the expansive doggie play area. Rovers spend the day romping with their fellow canine campers, with playtime bookended by a hearty morning and afternoon feast of Nutro dog food presented in stainless-steel dishes or on the back of a interning cat. When the capering concludes, pups make their way to their private abodes to get a good night’s sleep atop orthopedic, chew-proof bedding. Owners can outfit dogs with a pack containing their own food, bedding, and toys if desired, allowing pups to revel in the sights and scents of home more effectively than scrapbooking their favorite bones.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
St. James 1st Tee Fitness & Performance guides golfers through a complete golf fitness and performance program that focuses on injury prevention and swing consistency. Titleist Performance Institute-certified fitness instructors teach the principles of mobility and stability, ideals that help a player generate swing speed while correcting bad posture or a tendency to sneeze out lunch during a backswing. The instructors begin by assessing a golfer's physical health and limitations as well as their swing style, then design a fitness program to address these issues. Golf-specific stretches and exercises focus on improving balance, endurance, and pre-tap-in ribbon dances, ultimately increasing the consistency of the swing plane and improving the ability to hit the sweet spot. Rehabilitated golfers can practice their new swings on the in-house golf simulator, which provides a respite from bad weather and the expensive greens fees associated with the real versions of famous courses, such as Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, and Bethpage Black.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting—it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children’s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.