Aikido is the "loving protection of all beings," in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, who created the martial-arts style. Although it sometimes incorporates wooden weapons, at its heart, aikido seeks to act as a replacement for violence. Greg O'Connor, founder and chief instructor at Aikido Centers of New Jersey, brings Ueshiba's tenets to his students, who have included children and seniors, as well as members of the New Jersey State Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Secret Service. O'Connor and more than 40 other instructors teach students self-defense tactics that redirect attacks, as well as more advanced methods that include wooden sword and staff training and aikido's dramatic falls and rolls.
At two locations, Top Hat Dance Studio's passionate team of nationally certified teachers inspires dancers of all skill levels to shuffle off to Buffalo while hustling, salsaing, and waltzing across the dance floor. During group lessons, skilled instructors teach guests to untangle left feet while performing intricate, stylized choreography in the Lancaster location's two-step, ballet, and West Coast swing classes or the Philadelphia location's salsa, bachata, and advanced-level chicken-dance classes. Fledgling fleetfooters can supplement group sessions with private lessons, during which feet will learn to tap out Morse-code messages to a far-away dance partner while sharpening skills with one-on-one instruction. In addition to these dance classes, instructors also specialize in preparing engaged couples for their first dance and offer a number of specially designed youth programs.
Stone Meadows Golf Course funnels club wielders into a scenic woods-lined golfing field whose open layout channels links-style courses dating back to 15th-century Scotland. During their round of full-contact driving and putting, players will find it challenging to avoid the 18 hungry holes anxious to devour their golf balls, although the included snacks—a hot dog and a drink each—can be used to distract them and gain access to the next fairway. Golfers escaping from the doldrums of daily living can also escape from the doldrums of driving regular-sized cars, instead navigating paved roads atop a 2010 golf cart.
Cleaved through the waving meadows of Lancaster County farmland, Tree Top Golf Course beckons to golfers of all stripes with a 4,651-yard, par 65 layout. The scaled-down links allow players to squeeze in an expedited round after work, before sunset, or during theater intermissions, and nine par 4s and a 427-yard par 5 channel the feel of a full-length layout. The course hosts night golf, during which clubbers tee up glow-in-the-dark balls and putt across greens illuminated only by the moon. To spread the game of golf to those at the critical age when they have to choose between golf and croquet, the course offers free rounds for children 8 and younger.
Course at a Glance:
The 18-hole course at Chapel Hill guides golfers along lush fairways framed by dense tree lines and confronted by water on 11 holes. Six holes—beginning with No. 1—demand precise course-management skills when navigating shots around the stream that cuts through their fairways, demanding that players lay up, muscle their shots over, or swap their golf ball out for a beach ball. Laid end-to-end, the course measures 6,089 yards from the blue tees, the farthest of four available for play on each hole.
Course at a Glance: