Towering above the already-imposing 14-screen multiplex of Hoyts West Nursery Cinemas 14 is a luminescent globe encircled by a giant strip of film. It’s a sign of the theater’s mission to create an all-encompassing movie experience. Stadium seating inside every theater gives even the littlest family members undisturbed views of new releases, and digital sound systems broadcast musical numbers, high-tech explosions, and intercom requests to share your Skittles in crystal clarity. At the snack bar, traditional concessions are supplemented by made-to-order Uno pizzas.
In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
The looks on the runners' faces when they reach the Hell Mile—part fatigue, part excitement, all mud—says it all. Though harrowing, the 1-mile gantlet, which is a simulated Navy SEAL training course complete with drill instructors, comprises just a handful of the over 23 obstacles that make up Running Dirty's 4-mile mud runs. In addition to sloshing through muddy water like a Loch Ness Monster who wants to be seen, contestants climb up walls, crawl through tunnels and under barbed wire, and even leap over burning wood. Those who can't complete a particular obstacle can either seek help from a fellow runner or skip the obstacle entirely. At the end of the race, everyone can bond during the after party, which includes live music and fun activities like beer pong and keg-tossing contests.
Led by certified instructor Elaine Seidman, Turning Pointe Dance Academy aims to not only imbue exercises on students, but also to help them tone muscles and improve coordination and general fitness. Classes are designed to be accessible to guests of all fitness levels, and include Vinyasa-style yoga classes that focus on alignment, strength, and flexibility as well as dance fusion classes that get hearts racing while combining ballet, jazz, and modern dance.
A golf course is where players go to test their skills, but Arundel Golf Park is where those skills are formed. At Arundel's outdoor facility, instructors teach private and group classes and hold supervised practice sessions, in which they periodically check in with students as they drive ball after ball at a driving range protected from the wind and distracting cries of caddies. During "fitting days," golfers bring in their current clubs to have one of Arundel's pros determine their ideal length, loft, and other specs.
While golf remains the focus at Arundel Golf Park, the facilities have a couple of other ways visitors can work on their swings. An 18-hole mini-golf course shrinks the game down to a fun challenge of angles and finesse, and batting cages let players set aside the elegant, nuanced game of golf to simply enjoy bashing round things with blunt objects.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.