Gym Magic Sports Center & Preschool fosters healthy childhood growth with fun-focused fitness activities performed in a safe, noncompetitive environment. Teach future Phelpses how to thrive in the deep blue with a session of swim classes in the Lily Pad Swim School, a member of the US Swim School Association. In a shallow, indoor, kid-friendly pool filled with warm water to encourage comfort, instructors help novices grasp the basics and teach more experienced swimmers advanced techniques, such as the backward doggy-paddle and the walrus wade. Parent/child swim classes are offered to students from 6 months to 3 years old, and kiddies older than 3 learn to paddle sans guardian guidance. Classes run for roughly 30 minutes and maintain a maximum ratio of one teacher to five students to ensure optimal results and safety. Those already skilled in the trades of the sea can exercise their land legs in gymnastics classes for tumblers 12 months and older, with parent/child classes available for kids younger than 3. With skilled guidance, pint-sized acrobats will strengthen their bodies, minds, agility, balance, and likelihood of being the next Evel Knievel in an Olympic-size, foam-padded practice space.
The peaks of the Organ Mountains rise above the Mesilla Valley, framing the immaculate greenery of Sonoma Ranch Golf Course's 18-hole, 7,028-yard layout. Designed by internationally renowned course architect Cal Olson, the course unfurls across the valley floor with undulating fairways, encroaching water hazards, and sprawling bunkers that force players to build sandcastle trebuchets to rescue errant golf balls. A lengthy course when played from the back tees, the grassy monolith also challenges players' short game with massive, bentgrass greens peppered with hard-to-read breaks. Clubbers can prepare for their pin-hunting voyage with a stint at the driving range or practice green, or stare down the treacherous fairways over a tasty nosh at the Sunset Grill, which overlooks the scenic expanse.
Course at a Glance:
Guided by the philosophy of revolutionary educator Maria Montessori, who said, “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world,” Julie Smith guides young minds at Casa De Colores Montessori School. Julie, a NCME-certified teacher, draws on more than two decades of experience with teaching in public, private, and Montessori schools as she encourages children to grow into responsible, engaged human beings. She shepherds her pupils along a path of self-motivated education, rather than falling back on the juice-box bribery and teddy-bear-deprivation cycle that binds the traditional educational system.
Whether they're painting flowers, monarch butterflies, or reproductions of famous Van Gogh paintings, the students at Teresa Fernández's art school learn classic techniques while letting their own unique perspectives shine. As a former university-level art-history teacher and longtime mixed-media artist, Teresa has worked with many students over her career. Today, she helps kids, teens, and adults realize their artistic potential in drawing and painting classes in which they learn to depict light, shadow, and texture.
A Texas-certified educator, Alicia Lorena Tamez spent seven years testing numerous reading curriculums on her first-grade students. She balanced teaching with nighttime graduate studies, and, once she earned her master’s degree in reading, drew upon those skills and experiences to start All-Star Readers Learning Center. Along with an expert staff, Alicia runs a preschool program for children aged 18 months to 5 years and an after-school tutoring program for kids aged 5–12. The preschoolers learn a variety of writing styles during lessons at five activity centers, each based on disciplines such as literacy, math, and art. At the after-school program, meanwhile, staffers tailor activities such as mini lessons, independent writing time, and student-teacher conferences around each pupil’s individual needs. Along with the core programs, All-Star Readers Learning Center hosts story time at a local Barnes & Noble every third Saturday of the month, where parents learn useful teaching strategies such as yelling passages of Ulysses very loudly.
Maria Chuchena's staff updates traditional Mexican cuisine to feature contemporary adaptations on their lunch and dinner menus. Dive into modern Mexican with an order of La Rosas—cheese empanadas topped with strawberry and rose petal sauce ($7). Beer-battered fish tacos ($9) or trio mixteco—grilled chicken topped with a mixture of adobo, mole verde, and poblano sauces ($12)—give spice to afternoons otherwise spent cataloguing DVDs by the number of actors in each one. Sautéed shrimp enchiladas ($12) and slow-braised duck carnitas ($15) surprise tongues with a twist of typical Mexican eats. The currently featured Viva Oaxaca tribute menu highlights the flavors of its eponymous region with dishes including ensalada de cabra, a goat cheese salad in mango vinaigrette ($9), and lengua de estofado, an oaxacan beef-tongue stew ($18).